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Fan Fic: Hemostuck
I'm a very boring person, I suppose. But I'm okay with that. I have to be, don't I?
fanfiction by Roachpatrol
Alternia: where warm blood defines a troll's nobility, cold blood their commonality, and Her Imperial Luminescence Aradia Megido struggles to keep her people together. Whether or not she can do it before Ascension Day is another thing entirely.
In other words, where some fanfictions switch around the blood colors of the trolls, Hemostuck
does a complete spectrum reversal with Aradia her Imperial Luminescence at the top and saltlickers Eridan and Feferi at the bottom. It's a gorgeously illustrated story that's as much about the characters as it is about the world they live in, with new gods
and blue blood death matches and so much more. At the moment, it's split into three parts: Pretty Little Windstorm
, which focuses on Tavros being a resignedly badass dork and his uncouth lowblood friend who drags him on unseemly adventures; Fisher Prince
, which tells the story of Eridan Fucking Ampora, the swaggest seadweller to stalk the docks; and Lost Teeth Like White Jewels,
a tale of how Karkat, a stubbornly atheist member of the Threshecutioner Corps gets involved in both hunting seamonsters and ridiculously tangled quadrant drama.
The stories themselves can be read here
. Background information and tidbits of what lies ahead (there is quite a lot of thought being put into this great honking AU) can be found on this blog
and in Roachpatrol's Hemostuck tag.
This series provides examples of:
- All-Loving Hero: Karkat loves the whole world. The whole world loves Karkat right back.
- All There in the Manual: The Hemostuck tumblr and the notes on Roach's provide further information that can't be crammed into the story.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Oh, so very much. One, the hemospectrum is reversed. Two, no such thing as Sburb. Three, there might be more worldbuilding in this fic than there is in the comic proper. And four, the original human kids (and Karkat) are actual, definite gods who are taking a very close interest in the affairs of mortal trolls, especially a certain twelve.
- Author Avatar: The whole Threshecutioner Corps, in fact. More information here.
- Badass: Eridan, of all people, complete with Badass Boast.
"I'm Eridan fucking Ampora, thank you ever so," you snap. "I'm half shark and half hurricane, you get me? I can outrun, outfight, and outfuck any ten trolls put together and this was never your glubbin show in the first place!"
- Badass Adorable: Tavros, who is half metal alloy, half Adorkable, and a well-hidden core of Unstoppable Rage.
- Badass Cape: Subverted, Eridan just thinks Sollux's cape makes him look like a nerd.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: As explained here.
- Blood Sport: A series of death matches going on between the blue bloods that Vriska's involved with. Has a lot to do with politics. And cannibalism, because why not? Through shenanigans, Vriska ends up getting Tavros crowned as the Blue King, which definitely won't have any negative repercussions at all.
- The Consigliere: Tavros to Aradia.
Tavros: It is, uh, totally the duty of the Empire's Grand Premier to behave with grace and diligent responsibility to each of her Luminesence's subjects, as he's, uh, the clear water that reflects the benevolence of, uh, her holy flame.
- Costume Porn: Court dress is fancy as can be.
- Covered with Scars: Some trolls perform ritual scarification to dedicate themselves to a particular godhead - an atom for Frost and Frogs, a lightning bolt for Wind and Shade, and so on. A single ritualistic scar is the mark of someone pushing the far side of "zealot". So it's both alarming and unsurprising that Terezi has covered her entire upper body including her arms and minus her head with the iconography of Heat and Clockwork, crashing straight through "tribute" and out the other side to, in the words of the creators, "an epidermal dirty love letter."
- Cool Bike: Vriska's flying motorcycle (proudly sporting the glorious name that is Fucksl8yer). Very handy for kidnapping members of state for the sake of participating in a death match over the mountains.
- Death Is Cheap: Karkat, at one point in Lost Teeth, pushes himself too far, has a heart attack, pukes blood, and dies, for real no pulse or breath busted heart and brain dead gone. Then he comes back. This has apparently occurred before.
- Despair Event Horizon: Eridan experiences this when he thinks Feferi has been killed.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Karkat. Everyone Is Bi as in canon, Karkat's job is to essentially pass out the hots to the whole goddamn world, and gosh, he delivers.
- Everyone Is Related: The twelve characters are all related, by troll standards. Troll families are made up of one's quadrants, and theirs, and theirs, as far out as you have to get to reach a closed system. Most people generally only worry about their "inclades", fairly close relatives of three removes or less. The characters form a "clade", a family made up of only inclades- meaning that by the time they're in their late teens, every one of them is related to all the others. This is explicitly very unusual; clades are rare, and usually have closer to seventy members than twelve.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombies feature heavily in Fisher-Prince. Why? Because they're awesome.
- Expanded Universe
- Fantastic Ghetto: The seadwellers get forced into the ghetto 'round the docks, and some of the worse-off end up living in what passes for the sewers.
- Fantasy Pantheon: A well-thought-out one, in which each of the original four kids of Homestuck is represented; and (somewhat bizarrely) Karkat, even though he is definitely living on Alternia being mortal. Having Rose as a Goddess introduces the rather intriguing concept of her taint creating zombies out of recently killed trolls. From the last chapter of Fisher Prince, it can be surmised that she's using Eridan as an avatar for her grimdark purposes.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Eridan. Sort of.
- As of Lost Teeth, this is definitely Karkat. Interacting with four of the five gods in person? Being fed marshmallows by them? Watching them fight like siblings and laugh at the ridiculous clusterfuck of drama that is his life? It's a hallucination. A really...oddly cohesive and persistent hallucination that knows things Karkat himself doesn't know. Yes. Right.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: As a threshecutioner, Karkat is basically a sacred whore. His role is to help other trolls with their social problems by any means necessary, up to an including providing feelings jams and hands-on sexual education. Good thing Karkat really, really loves his job.
- Ill Boy: Karkat.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: There exists such a thing as formal dress armor designed to be simultaneously functional and awesome. There are clacky lacquered gloves that go with full-length gowns; there are knee-high boots with cloven toes and three-inch heels; there are double-breasted jackets or frock-coats on pretty much anybody. And there is so much jewelry. And that's just formal wear for the aristocracy or public servants. Blue-blood casual wear especially is Hellbent For Leather and they have more piercings than you'd think would fit on any given body part, and Eridan, even as a dirt-poor sea-dweller, dresses so sharp he'd cut himself if he wasn't getting cuts all the time anyway from random knife-fights. But...
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: ...Sollux Captor kind of overdoes it, in that he includes all three primary colors in his outfits, has a weird fixation with bees and swans around in a high-collared cape. To look upon him is to go gaudily deaf.
- Light Is Not Good/Dark Is Not Evil: As in canon, trolls are nocturnal, and effectively see the symbolism of light and dark (as understood by humans) backwards. Daytime is perilous and spent sleeping, night-time is safety and spent active. The face of god associated with darkness and voids (Pulse and Haze) is the most venerated and one of the most kindly, while the most fearsome and destructive is Light and Rain, called explicitly "the brightest face" and "the fair lady of light". There are references to "daymares" and "day terrors", and scattered all throughout the text are human turns of phrase with night and day switched around.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Eridan.
- Love Dodecahedron: Karkat's section of the clade is rather messed-up around the time of Lost Teeth. Considering how much the relationships in the clade change over time, it's safe to say that all twelve trolls make up a loose, shifting Love Dodecahedron that gradually gets sorted out, and Karkat is just the center of a particular tangle.
- Marry Them All: Karkat is torn over which best friend to go flushed with — Eridan or Sollux. This problem is solved by Karkat dating both of them. It helps that Eridan and Sollux are already in a caliginous relationship with each other, and are only too happy to compete over who's better at pleasuring their new matesprit.
- Mythopoeia: The authors have created own mythology pertaining to the five gods of Alternia. Readers are allowed to submit their own myths as well, and do so with reckless abandon. The Gods are based on the four original kids (and Karkat, sort of), like so:
- The God of Pulse and Haze, who governs voids, within and without; these include domain over space, romance, family, the future, the soul and destiny.
- The God of Heat and Clockwork, who governs the sun, order, intelligence, machines, progress and justice.
- The God of Frost and Frogs, who governs the jade moon, healing, sleep, dreams, nurturing love, natural death and rebirth.
- The God of Wind and Shade, who governs the sky, luck, fortune, chaos, bravery, joy and opportunity.
- The God of Light and Rain, who governs the rose moon, rain, the ocean, secrets, rage, vengeance and destruction.
- Note that none of the faces are unholy - though Wind and Shade and Light and Rain are both extremely chaotic, with W&S being a trickster deity and L&R a force of terrifying destruction, they're as vital to the makings of the world as their siblings and venerated as such.
- The seadwellers also venerate Frost and Frogs and Light and Rain as corruptions of ocean gods called 'the Sisters', who were subjugated by the male 'bright gods'. There were also the clown cultists, once, who worshipped twin Mirthful Messiahs, wore face-paint and wandered around in long caravans looting, killing and laughing it up. The worshippers have since been wiped out and anything that even looks like clown-cultism is now extremely illegal. Which makes Gamzee, a dedicated clown-cultist (albeit a nice one) rather a problem whenever he comes to shore or interacts with landdwellers.
- Nay-Theist: Word of God describes "atheism" among the current youngest generation as basically this trope. "When someone in the upper cohorts says they’re ‘atheist’, they mean they don’t believe that God exists as anything but a convenient social construct. When the first cohort says they’re ‘atheist’, they pretty much just mean they’d like to stay out of God’s way." Even Karkat's attitude is described as closer to disbelieving in a political party than to disbelieving in the existence of something.
- Official Couple: So many that it requires a shipping chart to keep track of all of them.
- The Ophelia: Feferi is very beautiful (all the more so because she's a pretty seadweller who has no scars or injuries at all; they tend to be Covered with Scars and shabbily dressed and generally look like shit) and has a tenuous grasp on reality.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The methods for creating a zombie are numerous and varied. Also messy.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Tavros and Aradia's moirallegiance.
- Promotion to Parent: The basis of their being moirails is how Eridan and Feferi agreed to be something like each other's lusii when they were kids and found themselves orphaned.
- Rape as Backstory: Kanaya, Eridan. See below.
- Rape as Drama: Kanaya and Eridan have had hard lives.
- Self-Made Orphan: Karkat. And all Threshcutioners
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Eridan works extremely hard for this, to the point of obsessing over stains in his single well-made jacket. Karkat, in his fancy Threshecutioner outfit, pulls this off effortlessly. Sollux doesn't look too shabby in his pinstripes and waistcoat, either.
- Smoking Is Cool: All through Pretty Little Windstorm, Tavros can be seen trying very hard to abstain while everyone but his moirail is annoyed at how tetchy he gets without his fix. By the end, he gives up on quitting and rejoins Vriska in the terrible wonderful habit.
- Sweet Tooth: Karkat to a mildly disgusting degree (though justified by his illness - either he's sick and needs energy to keep going, or recovering and needs energy to heal). He likes his coffee as syrup, essentially, and has been known to carefully gather all the leftover sugar from an empty snack box and dump it into his mouth, as well as eat powered sugar from the bag.
- Tangled Family Tree: Like you wouldn't believe. Yet somehow it keeps from being dysfunctional.
- Unreliable Narrator: Karkat in Lost Teeth.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Confirmed by the authors that there is definitely a thing between Karkat and Eridan, although they try to ignore it most of the time.
- With This Ring: Trolls exchange rings when they officially become a couple in any quadrant, though it's rarest in the ashen. One of Eridan's more regular sources of income is pawning off Sollux' kismesis ring to annoy him.