The four quadrants are the four different types of romance recognized by trolls, first explained through exposition <3), so are trolls on both Beforus and Alternia conditioned to strive for four distinct types. Humans are shown to be able to have pitch and ashen feelings and cherubs are naturally inclined only towards kismesissitude . They are a frustratingly difficult concept for humans to grasp, so much so that in response to a , Andrew Hussie trolls the readers by forcing us to read the troll relationship info “BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK.”As humans are socialised to expect their single type of romance, a concept that can be defined by a single symbol (
The quadrants primarily exist to facilitate the complicated reproduction of trolls. “When the IMPERIAL DRONE comes knocking, you had better be able to supply genetic material to each of his FILIAL PAILS.” Therefore, having a stable matesprit and kismesis is a matter of life and death for trolls. Because of these high stakes and the frequency of lesser feuds that might encroach on exclusive kismesis relationships, auspisticism is a necessary quadrant to prevent widespread infidelity and death. Likewise, moirallegiance exists to prevent violence and death, though it is not related to the other quadrants.
These needs explain why all four quadrants are described specifically with the word "romance." Humans, due to their only means of reproduction being heterosexual, usually feel strongly about finding a matesprit and often have a strong belief in true love. (This description is of course not as black and white due to the varying nature of humans' sexuality and gender expression, but for the purpose of explanation it is simpler to leave it at that.) Therefore, trolls feel equally strong about having relationships of both red and black nature, because it correlates directly with their reproductive habits.
Matespritship is also described as the flushed quadrant and is denoted by the ♥ symbol. It is the quadrant most similar to the concept of human romance and is characterised by positive/loving emotions and is concupiscent (sexual).
The term érōs), or "passionate/lustful love."of "mate" and "esprit" (French for "spirit"), as in a soul mate. Mating fondness corresponds with the ancient Greek concept of έρως (
Chat version: <3
“A reasonable human translation would be the concept of a soul mate, but in a more platonic sense, and with a more specific social purpose.”
Moirallegiance is also described as the pale quadrant and is denoted by the ♦ symbol. It is characterised by positive/loving emotions and is conciliatory (designed to pacify) and non-sexual. It is a form of guardianship, but it isn't simply about being platonic soul bros forever: see Andrew's comment. They are a protector of their moirail's heart. They keep each other grounded.
A troll is compelled by fate to watch over their moirail and keep them in line. Despite the platonic appearance of this role (as we currently understand it) to us humans, trolls consider it a type of. Moirallegiance also entails pacifying one's partner, something that is essential due to the violent nature of trolls and which is often skewed to one side. The two partners in a strong pale relationship will serve to balance and complement each other's emotional profiles, and thus allow their other relationships to be more successful.
Moirallegiance is a portmanteau of "moira" (fated) and "allegiance." This kind of relationship may be most similar to the Greek concept of φιλία (philia), or "brotherly love".
Chat version: <>
- “CG: BOTH PARTIES HAVE TO HATE EACH OTHER EQUALLY, I MEAN LIKE TRUE HATE.”
Kismesissitude is also described as the pitch (or caliginous) quadrant and is denoted by the ♠ symbol.
Kismesissitude is what a troll feels towards someone known as their kismesis. It is linked to hatred, and it is necessary that both parties feel equal, balanced hatred towards each other. Not any kind of hatred will do, since there is such a thing as platonic hatred amongst trolls (similar to the human concepts of hatred and platonic love).
In other words, kismesissitude seems to be based on a mix of hatred and sexual attraction. As it thrives on a rivalry between two trolls, defeating or killing your kismesis is discouraged, since obviously there wouldn't be a relationship anymore. However, despite the stronger hatred aspect of the relationship, in order for a kismesis to last there must be some level of respect between the those persons involved; the tension in kismesissitude relies not only on hatred and annoyance of ones more irksome aspects, but also a level of admiration for their more positive aspects, as explainedIt is one of the two concupiscent relationships, those that deal with reproduction, the other being matespritship, and it has been shown that like with matespritship, . Andrew says that the most appropriate human concept that is somewhat synonymous to kismesissitude would be "potent arch-rivalry". From what we know, it seems like kismesissitude is like a couple that hate each other, but stay together willingly.
According to Terezi, “4 TRU3 K1SM3S1S 1S JUST 4S MUCH YOUR L1F3 P4RTN3R 4S YOUR M4T3SPR1T 1S” and “SHOULD PUSH YOU TO B3TT3R YOURS3LF. TH3Y SHOULD SH1N3 4 L1GHT ON TH1NGS 4BOUT YOURS3LF YOU WOULD OTH3RW1S3 1GNOR3 OR D3NY”. (Dubiously Canon)
Kismesis is a portmanteau of "kismet" (fated) and "nemesis."
Chat version: <3<
- “CA: i figure if youre going to auspisticize any twwo brinesuckers wwho sneer at each other a funny wway you might as wwell make it official and be ours right”
Auspisticism is also described as the ashen quadrant and is denoted by the ♣ symbol.
An auspistice is a "facilitator" of some sort between a pair, mediating interactions between them and keeping their relationship functional. Auspisticized pairs include Spades and Snowman, and Vriska and Tavros, all of whom have been shown to be potentially pitch to some degree, as the emotions between two auspisticized trolls are similar to those of kismesis but are interfered with by the auspistice. Unlike the other quadrants, ashen feelings have only been shown and have only felt by the auspistice and not the two parties in the mediated relationship. It may be permissible for a troll to be involved in more than one ashen triad at a time, according to Karkat's suggestion that he auspisticise between Rose and Kanaya in order for Kanaya to auspisticise between Terezi and Gamzee. This comment may also indicate that a couple can be auspisticized even if they were not entering a pitch relationship.
Andrew explains that if the mediator does a poor job or is uninterested in keeping the peace, the two might delve into more torrid emotions, as stated above. Without auspistices, widespread black infidelity is guaranteed. It is one of the two conciliatory relationships, those more platonic to humans, the other being moirallegiance.
Auspistice is a portmanteau of "auspicious" (fortunate, promising) and "armistice" (truce.) It may be analogous to the ancient Greek concept of ἀγάπη (agápē), or "selfless love," since the auspistice doesn't get anything out of this directly. It also aptly sounds like asbestos, for its sound absorbing and flame resistant nature.
Chat version: o8<
Quadrant vacillation is the tendency for relationships to switch or flicker back and forth between different quadrants. Due to the complex nature of troll romance and its volatility, it is not uncommon.
Matesprit/Kismesis double reacharound
Often in quadrant vacillations one party will have red feelings while the other one has black feelings. Usually one party will adjust their feelings to match their partner's emotions, but this is not always the case.
This sort of relationship volatility is one of the reasons why auspisticism is an important part of troll culture.
Vacillation from black to red is often drawn from the feelings of respect and admiration that are the other half of spades-type emotions (the first half being just hatred). As Karkat puts it, .
Double reacharound pairs may correspond with the ancient Greek concept of μανία (mania), or "highly volatile/obsessive love".
Due to the multiple relationship types and the demands of troll society, trolls form groups and chains of Matesprits and Kismesises. A quadrangle is the simplest complete form of such a group of relationships. It consists of four trolls with two Matespritships and two Kismesissitude between them. If one pairing in a relationship group swaps its relationship type, it can force all other relationships within the group to swap as well.
A troll disease which spreads among groups if not carefully controlled. Equius says that in troll language, the word for friend is exactly the same as the word for enemy, even though both words are said separately in , which he has with Gamzee right afterwards, and Terezi specifically mentions the concept of .
Friendship corresponds with the ancient Greek concept of φιλία (philía), or "love between peers," which humans inexplicably believe to be a good and powerful thing. As a prank, John refers to it as an emotion in a with Karkat, but (from Karkat's perspective, earlier from his own) insists that it is not.
Aradiabot refers to Karkat as being her friend in Alterniabound, and many other trolls appear to have amicable relationships with one another.
Troll emotions and society
Karkat has that trolls are driven by the two primary emotions, hate and pity. As he is young and idealistic, this is probably an oversimplification, as Marquise Spinneret Mindfang has in reference to her flushed feelings for one of the slaves she took. The words hate and pity also do not seem to be direct translations to the human concepts.
The concept of pity is strongly linked with empathy and understanding. A troll who pities another wouldn't want that troll to be culled. The concept of hatred is strongly linked with passion.
Though the Beforan trolls were not subject to the corruption of society by outside forces that the Alternian trolls were, they subscribe to the same quadrants. Though Beforus was more peaceful, they still had the same method of reproduction to consider. It is unclear as to whether this was compulsory as it was in Alternia. Kankri has implied that at least on Beforus, some trolls are incapable of feeling the emotions required for certain quadrants similar to the human concept of asexuality, or even if they do, may choose not to engage in certain romantic configurations.
Trolls often form quadrangles in regards to their concupiscent relationships, which roughly translates to our human concept of "love triangles" except with more elements in the mix, thus making it more complicated.
The boundaries between the relationships are fluid. Young trolls, like humans, have to find the right balance between the emotions. Since all the Hivebent trolls are still young, they seem to be perpetually confused by the complexities of troll romance, and in some cases are far from discovering romance in any quadrant. Trolls do not differentiatewhen it comes to their relationships - the very idea is foreign to them.
Examples of quadrant relationships
- Dad Egbert and Rose's Mom, confirmed .
- Marquise Spinneret Mindfang and the Summoner, confirmed .
- Latula and Mituna, confirmed .
- Aranea and Porrim (former), confirmed .
- Jade and Davesprite (former, pre-retcon), confirmed .
- Meulin and Kurloz (former), confirmed .
- Alternate John and Vriska (former, pre-retcon), confirmed .
- Kanaya and Rose, confirmed .
- Dave and Terezi (former, pre-retcon), confirmed .
- Jake and Dirk (former), confirmed
- Rufioh and Damara (former), confirmed
- Sollux and Feferi (former), confirmed .
- Spades Slick and Ms. Paint, confirmed .
- Karkat and Dave, confirmed .
- Meenah and Vriska (former), confirmed .
- Bronya and Elwurd (former)
- Konyyl and Azdaja
- Stelsa and Tyzias
- Rufioh and Horuss, confirmed .
- Roxy and John (Epilogues - Candy route, former) (Dubiously Canon)
- Roxy and Calliope (Epilogues - Meat route, ambiguous) (Dubiously Canon)
- Harry Anderson Egbert and Vriska Lalonde (Epilogues - Candy route) (Dubiously Canon)
Known flushed crushes
- Eridan for Feferi, from .
- Eridan for Nepeta, from .
- Kanaya for Vriska, from . (May only be formerly, as she planned to “Abandon [Her] Preposterous Infatuation”)
- Nepeta for Karkat. from and . (Formerly, as in the conversation between Nepeta and Jaspersprite, she calls her crush silly and is planning on giving it up.)
- Vriska for Nicolas Cage, from .
- Tavros for Jade, from .
- Equius for Aradia, from .
- Vriska for Kanaya, from .
- Vriska for John, from .
- Gamzee for Tavros, from .
- Sollux for Gamzee from . Sollux's crush vacillates between flushed and pitch, possibly due to his dual nature.
- Jane for Jake, from .
- Roxy for Jake (former), from . This was subsequently dropped out of respect for Jane.
- Roxy for Dirk, from .
- Jack for PM, from .
- Jake for Aranea, from .
- Cronus for Meenah. from .
- Jasprosesprite^2 for Jane, from .
- Jasprosesprite^2 for Nepeta
- Lynera for Bronya.
- Jake for Dirk (Epilogues - Meat route) (Dubiously Canon)
Possible matesprits or crushes
- Karkat and Terezi (formerly), from . (They started developing one, but Terezi has broken it off mixed signals.)
- Karkat for Jade, from and (possibly unrequited)
- John for Rose, from and
- Latula and Porrim (former), from .
- Kankri for Latula.
- Lil Seb for Clover from .
- Roxy for Jane and Calliope (Roxy has stated that she finds both and to be attractive.)
- Zebede for Cirava
- Zebruh for Chixie
- Zebruh for Marvus
- Daraya for Elwurd
- Terezi and Vriska
- Cirava for Charun (in Charun's route, it's said that Cirava liked a bunch of their posts)
- Feferi and Eridan. (Formerly)
- Nepeta and Equius.
- Kanaya and Vriska. (Formerly)
- Gamzee and Karkat. (Formerly, pre-retcon)
- Kurloz and Mituna.
- Horuss and Meulin.
- Terezi and Vriska.
- Xefros and Dammek
- Kuprum and Folykl.
- MSPA Reader and Polypa. (Dubiously Canon)
Possible moirails or pale crushes
- Draconian Dignitary and Jack Noir.
- Eridan for Karkat.
- Tavros for Gamzee
- Tegiri for Polypa
- MSPA Reader and Chixie (Dubiously Canon)
- MSPA Reader and Stelsa (Dubiously Canon)
- Kanaya between Vriska and Tavros. Yet it failed, because she was too worked up on her own feelings to grasp the situation and now it's all gone down the slime tube.
- Nepeta believes Jade to be auspisticizing between Karkat's past and future selves.
- Doc Scratch between Snowman and Spades Slick, as seen
- The Courtyard Droll (apparently) between Liv Tyler and the Wizardly Vassal, . The text does say he "mediates between the two bickering parties" and to top it off, the eyepatch he makes for Liv Tyler is a club badge.
- Vriska was . to have demonstrated “Strangely Natural Proficiency With Auspisticism” when it came to intruding Kanaya's and Rose's privacy for the sake of keeping the latter sober and busy with her crush.
Known potential auspisticisms and ashen crushes
- Kanaya between Rose and The Noble Circle of Horrorterrors. An aborted auspisice. Aborted specifically because Rose informed Kanaya she was auspisticizing through her remarks, and Kanaya would “GA: Rather Not Get Stuck In That Kind Of Pattern Again” .
- Terezi believed Eridan was asking her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Alterniabound, but she knew Sollux did not want to be in a relationship with him.
- Feferi also rejected what she perceived as Eridan's ploy to get her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Kanaya: Return to the core.
- Kanaya between Eridan and Vriska. Eridan attempted to get Kanaya to auspisticize between him and Vriska, claiming that as she's “the vvillage twwo wwheel devvice wwhen it comes to auspisticing” she should be interested, but she rejected him.
- Kanaya felt the compulsion to auspisticize Gamzee and Karkat as seen , but Karkat paps her, stopping her as seen .
- Kanaya also feels compelled to auspice between Karkat and Dave as seen , though it has not yet been addressed again.
- Rose, between Terezi and Gamzee as seen , as Rose believes the kismesissitude between Terezi and Gamzee could potentially unstablise Terezi's relationship with Dave, and Gamzee's moirallegiance with Karkat.
- Jade, between Bec Noir and PM in . Unfortunately, PM got annoyed and punched Jade
- Jack and the Queen. Andrew stated "troll players could immediately place it as a dead ringer for kismesissitude." Even in the form of Snowman, the Black Queen continues to taunt Spades Slick.
- Eridan and Vriska, until Vriska broke things off.
- Karkat believes he might be his own kismesis. The only opponent he's ever really felt strongly about were his past and future selves, who he has spent most of his recent time on Trollian arguing with, even after meeting the kids. According to Terezi, he has become obsessed with arguing with his past and future selves.
- Marquise Spinneret Mindfang and Orphaner Dualscar, until Dualscar ended the relationship.
- Terezi and Gamzee (pre-retcon). During Openbound, Gamzee stated that they were in the shadows about it, since he believed Karkat would most likely want to kill him if he found out. discussion between Karkat and Dave proves this belief wrong however; he had known for a long time and, while he severely disapproved, was purposefully not taking action. Finding her half-naked and covered in Faygo, however, Karkat attempted to convince her to break it off, while Terezi confessed that while she is incredibly unhappy with the relationship, she finds herself unable to break it off because the very things she finds infuriating and repulsive about him are what makes him so irresistible and alluring as a kismesis.
- Tagora and Galekh. Originally stated to have mutual pitch crushes, they eventually become a black couple off-screen at some point between Hiveswap Friendship Simulator Volumes Twelve and Fourteen, as confirmed in Marsti 's route when the player interacts with Galekh's lusus.
- Gamzee and Jane (Epilogues - Candy route) (Dubiously Canon)
- Tavros Crocker and Vriska Lalonde (Epilogues - Candy route) (Dubiously Canon)
- Jake and Jane (Epilogues - Candy route) (Dubiously Canon)
Known pitch crushes
- Eridan for Rose. He solicits her, citing what he perceives to be similarities between the two of them as reasons why they would make a good rivalry: noble blood and diabolical theatrics. She blows up his computer, which seems to only exacerbate his feelings towards her.
- Karkat for John, as shown in . Over time, the feeling changes to this human emotion called friendship.
- Gamzee for Dave, as shown . (Or possibly for Insane Clown Posse, after seeing their video.)
- Terezi and Vriska have developed a rivalry that several characters explicitly recognize as a potential kismesissitude; Nepeta includes it on her shipping wall.
- Peregrine Mendicant for Bec Noir as shown .
- Sollux for Gamzee as shown . Sollux's crush vacillates between pitch and flushed, possibly due to his dual nature.
- Eridan for Sollux as shown in Alterniabound, although Feferi dismisses it as a ploy to lure her into auspisticing in order to pull her and Sollux out of their flushed relationship.
- John and Terezi as shown and .
Possible pitch crushes
- Damara for Meenah.
- Equius for Gamzee, from and .
- Konyyl for Skylla, and vice versa.
- Daraya for Lynera
- Alt-Calliope for Dirk (Epilogues - Meat Route) (Dubiously Canon)
- MSPA Reader for Skylla Koriga (Dubiously Canon)
Possible matesprit/kismesis double reacharound pairs include
- Sollux's two-colored crush on Gamzee.
- Equius and Aradia.
- Vriska and Tavros.
- Karkat and Terezi.
- Jack Noir and Peregrine Mendicant.
- Jane and Jake (Epilogues - Candy route, former) (Dubiously Canon)