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For a list of troll characters, see Troll/Individuals.

Trolls are a prominent race in Homestuck, Hiveswap and their spinoffs, inhabiting the planet Alternia in Universe A.

Concept and creation[]

Homestuck's trolls are named for internet trolls, reflecting their initial role harassing the human kids over their respective chat clients. Some aspects of the trolls' world and biology also reflects the trolls of European folklore, such as their connection to fairies and their aversion to the sun, a classic trait of literary trolls which are often described as turning to stone on contact with sunlight.

Biology[]

Kanaya lips

Even though a troll's lips are naturally black [...] they can always be blackerHS

All trolls have grey skin and horns colored in bands of red-orange to yellow-orange (vaguely resembling candy corn). The sclera of most trolls' eyes are the same yellow-orange color as their horn tips; however some trolls with mutations can have eyes in different colors, and which can flashHS and change color altogetherHS under certain circumstances. A troll's orange eyes can become more reddenedHS when "bloodshot"HS or turn completely red when damaged, for example by the sun. Many other parts of troll anatomy are black, including their hair and lipsHS.

Trolls' bodies are saturated with an ingredient that colors much of their internal biology, including their blood and their tears, and the position of their blood on a spectrum of colors affects various other aspects of their biology (see the hemospectrum). While troll irises are grey in youthHS, they also become this color in adulthoodHS; outside of this, however, a troll's blood color is rarely visible externally, and even some inner organs such as their tonguesHS appear as a bloodless gray.

Anatomy[]

Trolls often refer to parts of their anatomy in vague terms. The word 'stem' is used to allude to a part of the torso (LOBE STEMHS) as well as to a sort of appendage (stick your busy stem betwwixt (a grudge)HS), 'nub' to a troll's shoulder (take t)(e c)(ip off your nubHS), chest (something [...] that ivve been meaning to get off my nubHS), knee (NUB SLAPPERSHS) or particularly short and blunt pair of horns, and 'frond' to mean any kind of limb or appendage (PULL1NG MY FRONDHS, A LIMP FRONDED STOOGEHS). The phrase 'frond nub' has even been usedHS to refer to what is presumably a tree.

The term 'nook' seems to refer to any crevice or hollow in the troll body, such as a throat or stomach (really gets stuck in your nookHS), anus (up to your nookHS, his head up his nookHS) or heart (FROM THE 8OTTOM OF MY NOOKHS). The phrase BON3 NOOKHS is also used, possibly to refer to a skull. The terms 'bulge' and 'bone bulge' are used similarly, sometimes seemingly meaning someone's head or skull (IT DIDN'T GET THROUGH YOUR THICK BULGE???HS), an appendage (bulge bumpiing pupa pal2HS) or some kind of phallic sex organ (get you all off my bulge about iitHS).

Troll skeleton

Damara's humanoid skeleton.

Despite referring to it with their own terminology, much of troll anatomy seems to be similar to that of humans. Most mature trolls have four limbs and a head attached to a vertical torso (presumably supported by a spine-like structure called the TORSO PILLARHS). Trolls have four fingers and a thumbHS on each hand and two eyes (GANDERBULBSHS), a mouth (a chitinous windholeHS attached to a PROTEIN CHUTEHS and/or a SQUAWK BLISTERHS) and some form of hearing organs called auricular sponge clotsHS or HEAR DUCTS.HS Female trolls also have breasts, though they do not serve a mammary purposeHS like human breasts do (likely due to their reproductive method: see #Reproduction and life cycle) and are called rumble spheres.HS

Troll brains (sometimes called the 'think pan', which can also generally mean 'head' or 'mind') supposedly appear similar to human brainsHS, and certain psychic powers are seemingly caused by mutations of the brain.HS

Reproduction and life cycle[]

Trolls are reproductively 8isexualHS, capable of forming reproductive relationships — matesprit and kismesis pairs — between any combination of sexes. Trolls provide a combinative genetic mixHS from these concupiscent pairings to the imperial drone, who takes it to the mother grub in the brooding caverns to be combined into one incestuous slurry. According to commentary in the Homestuck books, Andrew Hussie "believe[s] it's been implied" that this genetic material is the result of "prodigious vomiting",[1] but references to the particulars of the troll mating ritual in the comic itself are sparse.

With this genetic material the mother grub lays hundreds of thousands of eggs at onceHS. These eggs hatch into six-limbed larval trolls, called 'wigglers', which attach themselves to the cavern's stalactites to spin cocoons. Wigglers emerge from their cocoons as young trolls with two arms and two legs. After this pupation a troll is expected to go through a series of dangerous trialsHS, failure at which means to death. Surviving trolls are selected by a lusus naturae that is sympathetic to their scentHS, which serves as a companion throughout their life and provides young trolls with their names. After emerging from the caverns young trolls design their own hivesHS, which are built for them by CARPENTER DROIDSHS.

In the Hiveswap Friendship Simulator (Dubiously Canon)[]

Mallek Adalov and Lanque Bombyx both possess a pair of blood-colored markings on each side of their torsos, likely reflecting the long-held fandom headcanon regarding "grub scars", remnants of the pairs of insectoid legs a wiggler loses or absorbs during pupation.[citation needed] In reality, in holometabolous insects - insects with distinct larval, pupal and adult stages - most larval structures break down in the pupa and new adult structures are grown from microscopic imaginal cells, leaving little trace of the larval body plan whatsoever.

Diet[]

The troll diet seems to mostly consist of insect matter, though they can subsist on other forms of meatHS, and some trolls have even been known to drink milkHS with no apparent setbacks. Troll teeth vary greatly in shape, ranging between flat human-like incisors, vampiric fangs, consistently sharp shark-like teeth and blunted uneven fangs from individual to individual.

In The Homestuck Epilogues (Dubiously Canon)[]

Trolls have to get their stomach pumpedMeat if they eat onions; plants in the Allium family such as onions contain sulfoxides and aliphatic sulfides which are toxic to many non-human animals on Earth.[2]

Society and culture[]

Main article: Alternia

Trolls initially lived on a peaceful planetHS called Beforus. A glitch in a game of Sgrub played by its inhabitants, however, necessitated a scratch in order to give their race a second attempt at playing. The glitch was in actuality the calling card of Lord English, and served to allow him and his servants to appear on the planet post-scratch and manipulate the trolls for his own purposes.

Condesce on throne

Her Imperious Condescension, the monarch of the Alternian empire

Troll society on Alternia has been influenced by Doc Scratch since the dawn of their sentienceHS, at which point he introduced Gl'bgolyb to the planet, allowing the fuchsia caste and Her Imperious Condescension to rule over the rest of the race. Alternian trolls have placed great cultural importance on teaching children to become architecturally adept while very youngHS, indicating that their society has been influenced in order to produce better players of Sgrub.

Like their real-world namesakes, trolls are a generally crude and antisocial race; however in their vernacular TROLL 1S 4 V3RB TH4T H4S 4 LOT OF NU4NC3 and C4N M34N 4 LOT OF TH1NGSHS. This stems from their warlike nature; many young trolls aspire to take on military roles such as THRESHECUTIONERSHS, CAVALREAPERSHS, LaUgHsSaSsIn(s)HS and RUFFIANNIHILATORSHS, all of whom aid the Condesce in the invasion of other planets across the galaxyHS. Their violent society is enforced by a rigid caste system whereby trolls with purple blood oppress trolls with blue blood and so on downward to the red blooded, and also by their culturally negligent upbringings, during which they are on their ownHS save for their lusii, and are susceptible to drone attack if they fail to uphold the strict Alternian regime.

Every troll in Alternian society is given a sign; how exactly these are assigned to the individual troll is not known, though blood color is a factor, with each caste having a huge alpha8etHS specific to that class. Many trolls also believe that a troll from the past who shared their sign is likely to be their ancestor, and that the two are likely to have similar fates.

Rather than the single form of romance or love practiced by humans, trolls have four quadrants, two of which serve a reproductive purpose (see reproduction and life cycle above) and two of which serve to balance the incredibly complex and, as described above, often bellicose social relationships among trolls.

References[]

  1. Andrew Hussie. "How do they provide so much fluid for the heart or spade pail? I believe it's been implied that the mutual result of the red or black concupiscent ritual is the prodigious vomiting of genetic material. Though to be perfectly honest, I can't remember at all if this was implied anywhere in the text, or just in my imagination at some point over the last eight years." Homestuck: Book 4: Act 5 Act 1, p. 312. February 12, 2019.
  2. Natália Kovalkovičová, Irena Šutiaková, Juraj Pistl, and Václav Šutiak. "The toxic components in all type of onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and other plants of the Allium family, are sulfoxides and aliphatic sulfides, specifically allyl and propyl di-, tri-, and tetrasulfides." Some food toxic for pets - PMC. September 28, 2009.
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