A child with two personalities sharing the same body. The two personalities are playing a game of Sburb, in a supposed two-player session between both of them. Though initially hinted to be trolls, the child belongs to a new race entirely, Cherubim.
- After the End: Their world is so old that their sun is now a RED SUPERGIANT that's ready to collapse any day now, and its original native inhabitants are all dead. It's also covered in pixelated Statues of Liberty/Shout Outs to Planet of the Apes, and the pair live in decaying buildings on the Troll's meteor, which has since hit Post-Scratch Earth, which was relocated from the dying B Universe to another sun.
- Alternate Universe: Thanks to WEIRD TIME SHIT, this lets them treat the events of the A1, A2, B1, B2 chain of universes as ancient history/legend and as events taking place at the same time, though evidence shows that they actually are not as separate as Calliope believes. They in fact live on the Troll Meteor which has hit a version of planet Earth, which was removed from orbit around our sun and placed in orbit around theirs, according to Hussie's Author Avatar.
- Ambiguous Gender:
- Cherubim seemingly don't even have gender in the same way humans do, but both personalities have opposite identified genders. In fact, there's no way other than eye, cheek swirl, and blood color to tell them apart before maturation.
- Mature cherubim avert this trope appearance-wise, but their body appears to be sexless or Hermaphroditic, as males can lay the egg if they lose to females in their mating ritual duel.
- Animal Motifs: Both are loosely associated with snakes.
- Bag of Sharing:
- Subverted. Their shared modus is JUJU. Putting something in it sends it to the other's Sylladex. In their hands, it's as impractical as you can get—they hate each other, so it gets used as a communal garbage dump. Nevertheless, it resembles the key mechanic in Bughouse Chess, reinforcing the story's Chess Motif.
- Averted once Caliborn gained complete control of his body. It loses the Bag of Sharing and...allows him to just retrieve items without any bullshit.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Adult cherubim serve as a powerful cosmic force for this trope, helping to promote the growth of civilizations within a universe and thus allowing a universe to reproduce via Sburb.
- Bizarre Alien Biology:
- Cherubim have coloured blood like trolls but are distinctly different from trolls, sharing two persona (one "good" and one "evil") in the same body until maturation, at which point one becomes "predominant" over the other. Until that time, one is active while the other sleeps, and their blood, eye, and facial marking colours switch when their personalities do. Upon predomination, a cherub develops wings and claims a huge swath of interstellar territory, fueled by the death of the star that incubated their egg for millennia.
- Their reproduction is entirely by kismesissitude, driven by their attraction to / loathing of cherubim of the opposite gender and moral alignment. Mates find a black hole with a dying star and duel in the form of titanic, nigh-immortal serpents until one dominates. The loser is fertilized and loses its territory. If the male is fertilized, the alignment & gender pairing of the parents is copied in the two personalities of the child; if the female is, it flips. Other than that, biological gender is cosmetic. Children grow up wholly alone except for their hated other personality, leading good cherubim to become benevolent loners and evil cherubim to become cruel tyrants. Eventually, the loneliness of losing their other self drives them to seek out a cherub like their other half and repeat the cycle again.
- BrotherSister Incest: Because of how their species works, when one child dominates the Split-Personality Merge they will come to long for the half they lost. They will then seek a mate similar to that half in order to mate with them in their Masochism Tango.
- Cthulhumanoid: The cherubim that briefly appear in the Act 6 Act 5 Act 2 introduction have this sort of appearance.
- Darker and Edgier/Lighter and Softer: Calliope is a lighter version of Karkat, Caliborn is a darker version, both literally and figuratively since their chat colors are lighter and darker shades of grey than Karkat's respectively.
- Faux Symbolism: In universe, they've been associated with the symbols associated with Karkat, as well showcasing exaggerated aspects his personality. Together, Calliope and Caliborn's text colors (#929292 and #323232) average together to be Karkat's (#626262). Their symbols contain candy red for Caliborn and lime green for Calliope, which are Karkat's blood color and where his blood color would be in the order the trolls are listed in, if he had a normal blood color (ie, between Sollux's mustard and Nepeta's forest green), in addition to lighter and darker shades of grey. These colors are their blood colors as well.
- Good Counterpart: Although they weren't exactly evil, Calliope is a kind counterpart to the trolls. Even her communication program indicates this: she's not trolling, she's cheering!
- Evil Counterpart: Caliborn though is just mean, and his communication program indicates this: he's not trolling, he's jeering, and he's looking forward to the chance to kill Calliope when the game starts.
- Jekyll & Hyde: With Calliope as the "Jekyll" and Caliborn as the "Hyde."
- Last of His Kind: Initially assumed, since they were the only living thing on their world aside from Gamzee. However, with some exposition on how cherub reproduction works, it turns out it's perfectly normal for a cherub child to be the only living thing on a given planet. Their species is space-borne, and tends toward extreme isolation. While they are the only cherubim seen in the comic (flashbacks/exposition notwithstanding), it's made pretty clear there are plenty of others around. They just aren't relevant.
- Like Father, Like Son: When a male cherub gives birth, the child is born with the same alignment as the parent with the same sex. Opposite from the females, where the alignments are flipped. This is why Caliborn is like his father and Calliope her mother.
- Men Act, Women Are: Their classes, Lord and Muse, are the two most Active and Passive classes in Sburb - at least within a typical session.
- Messianic Archetype and Satanic Archetype: Aranea states that cherub siblings and parents tend to be like this, one being pure good and the other being pure evil. As per tradition with these tropes, it's implied that this extends to their affects on others; Calliope's positive personality, for example, is hinted to have brought out the best in Gamzee, whereas Caliborn's influence only serves to corrupt him further.
- Meta Guy: Calliope is a reference to MSPA's fandom, while Caliborn is a reference to its anti-fandom. They lampshade a lot of things, including Calliope's own exposition and the colors of the pesterlogs.
- Off the Rails: What little that has been seen of their session is incredibly bizarre and doesn't correspond to any other session: Dersites wear white while Prospitians wear black, and Skaia has clouded over and become stormy. According to Aranea, cherubim were never meant to play SBURB themselves.
- From Bad to Worse. So much worse. At the very least, an entire planet and a player were prototyped—or worse—when the sprites of both players were released at once, collapsing into a black hole.
- Harder Than Hard: The session isn't a null or void session, but a dead session, which is what happens when you try to do a one player session: The Kernel becomes a blackhole, sucking the planet in, and the game will never produce an universe even with outside help. It can only be won in a different sense. Just to truly enter his land and actually start the game for real could take years.
- Our Angels Are Different: Cherubim are incredibly solitary creatures, their only form of romance is Foe Yay, and they look like Lord English (with white or black wings if they mature normally).
- Overly Long Tongue: A post-canon snapchat update shows Calliope eating steak, her tongue wrapped around a large piece.
- Physical God: Potentially, upon maturing. It seems to be a racial trait.
- The Reptilians: Their appearance is an odd mix of this and Dem Bones, being reptilian looking humanoids who also appear to be skeletal.
- Scaled Up: Cherubim turn into astronomically giant serpents when mating. As in around 150,000,000 km in length.
- Their parents' final pose at the end of their mating duel duel is one to AURYN, the snake amulet from The Neverending Story.
- Their species' desire for their lost "other halves" being the motivating force behind their sexuality is reminiscent of Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium (possibly more familiar as "The Origin of Love" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.)
- Sibling Yin-Yang:
You love having a dead sister. Having a dead sister is an experience you would highly recommend to everybody.
- Calliope is kind and "cheers"; her brother threatens and "jeers". One is a huge fangirl of the game and the human players; the other professes to hate it all. Their typing quirks are a mirror of each other—all lower case bUt U's or ALL uPPER CASE BuT u's, and their SBURB classes are the most extreme opposites in terms of the active/passive split. Calliope is a fantastic artist while Caliborn can barely draw a straight line.
- This even extends to their (alleged) blood colors and the Fantastic Racism attached to it: she's lime green, while he's cherry red. Also Calliope's tongue is white, while Caliborn's is black, probably the most blatant Yin-Yang reference.
- To both confuse and reinforce the trope, Calliope considers Caliborn a brother, but Caliborn thinks that human concept is insulting and refuses to consider Calliope his sister, though he does state (via narration):
- And according to Aranea, this applies for all cherubim when they are first born.
- Skull for a Head: See the pictures below.
- Smart People Play Chess: Subverted. Calliope is pretty smart, but Caliborn is Book Dumb and usually gets beaten by her...until he does something underhanded and cunning.
- Split Personality: The two are sharing the same body, and calling out one's name causes the other to "wake up". Like a living example of an innocuous double.
- Literal Split Personality: However, they do have separate dreamselves.
- Split-Personality Merge: It's hinted at that this is the natural course of maturation for cherubim, and by killing Calliope Caliborn will be unable to grow up psychologically.
- Split-Personality Takeover: Caliborn takes complete control once their Sburb session begins, symbolized by the spirals on his cheeks becoming solid red circles. Aranea believes that restoring Calliope is the key to defeating Lord English.
- Stealth Pun: There are two UUs, or two double u's, i.e.: WW.
- Calliope is the fandom avatar, Caliborn is the anti-fandom avatar. In other words, they're u!
- Caliborn's terrible drawings are seemingly actually done in MS Paint, making them the first since the first panel of Jailbreak.
- Strong Family Resemblance: They look very much like smaller versions of Lord English.
- Family Eye Resemblance: And they have the 'juju' Lil Cal's eyes.
- Superpower Lottery: Both cherubim are stated to have the two most powerful classes in Sburb. Calliope is the most passive class, the Muse of Space and Caliborn is the most active class, the Lord of Time. They also both naturally have abnormal abilities, according to Calliope.
- Theme Naming: All of the other handles have initials that correspond to the base patterns of DNA (except John when he changed his handle). Their shared initials come from uracil, a base pattern in RNA (which replaces thymine). Both of them have the word "Umbra" in their names, which is used to refer to the deepest and closest shadows cast by celestial bodies, which may also tie into the fact that they consider the human sessions to be mythological, as historically, celestial bodies were considered gods.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Subverted; Calliope is introduced with visible eyelashes. However, because of the fact that they share a body, her brother also has the eyelashes.
- This Is My Side: Calliope is chained so she can't reach her brother's side of the room. Before she goes to sleep, she makes sure to fasten the chain that prevents him from reaching her side of the room. The area both chains reach just contains the exit and sarswapagus.
- Ugly Cute
- Unwinnable by Insanity: Because Caliborn killed Calliope's dream self, the session is considered one-player, and is therefore a "dead session." In Sburb, this is basically the worst thing ever.
- Verbal Tic: They both have a tendency to repeat things 11 times similar to Vriska's 8 based tic.
- Walking Spoiler: Several bits of information crucial to understanding these characters are tied to huge spoilers: the fact that neither of them are Trolls (in spite of what the story suggests up until that point), the fact that they share the same body, the fact that Gamzee raised them for a time, and the fact that they look like young versions of Lord English (and one of them outright is Lord English). The last one is so surprising that Andrew Hussie released fake pictures of Calliope's appearance shortly before The Reveal.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?:
- Calliope expresses disappointment that she cannot have flushed feelings, which is a trait common to their entire species. Kismesissitude is the only form of romance cherubim know.
- Her brother is just as fascinated with platonic redrom but purely from the perspective of it being depraved and sick, like someone who views Shock Sites for fun.
- Wild Mass Guessing:
- They inspired a lot of it. A lot of it, so much so that a hefty portion of the Jossed section are disproven theories on Calliope's identity. And once their true identities were revealed, even more speculation came around.
- As well as prompting it, Calliope engages in it.
A kindhearted Cherub who cheers Jane and her friends on in their quest. She is beginning her own session with her brother, and is fascinated with the four human and troll sessions.
She is the Muse of Space of her session. Her chumhandle is uranianUmbra.
she commUnicates Using lower case except for the letter U
Uses stUpid-looking emoticons ^u^ <and emotes!>
and Uses faUx british phrases sometimes too love
as alternate calliope she types with no caps at all in a deadpan manner, and types in her brother's blood color.
- Aliens of London: Her British accent is Lampshaded by Dirk and Calliope herself. Her quirk is learned behavior, which is why she wasn't quite sure about how she used the phrase "Bob's your uncle," not actually knowing what an uncle is.
- Ambiguously Gay: In-Universe — John is uncertain of the exact nature of Calliope and Roxy's "weird ambiguous relationship", mostly because Cherubs aren't biologically hardwired to feel romantic love.
- Antiquated Linguistics: A few of her Stock British Phrases are anachronistic sounding.
- Author Avatar: Her Trollsona Callie Ohpeee is a major character in her In-Universe fanfiction.
- Audience Surrogate: Just as how all the trolls represent common internet archetypes, Calliope represents the MSPA fanbase. She's read about all the kids, made fanart of Dirk (and Cal) as the Prince(s) of Heart, and written fanfiction that she's embarrassed to share.
- She also enjoys speculating about them, though admits the fanfiction is something she enjoys more, reflecting that theorizing is less popular than the absolute deluge of fanworks.
- She also represents the fans that try to get other people to read Homestuck, even if they have no interest in it.
- Her debut conversation starts out very much like Karkat's debut conversation, except she's actually nice to Jane.
- At one point Jade tells Karkat that if he was nicer to her she would have believed what he was saying. Jane specifically says that Calliope's niceness is what makes her somewhat more believable.
- Her refusal to spoil things before the Kids reach them smacks heavily of Jade's own philosophy up through Act 5.
- Her fanart is titled "dirkisthisyoU" and "roxyisthisyoU"—a reference to Terezi's drawings.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Jake mentions here that someone had to twist his arm to get him working on the bunny. When Calliope talks to Jake, she mentions giving him "more arm twisting", revealing that Jake was referring to her.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl: She enjoys cosplaying her own fan character and spent some time dressed as her during Act 6.
- Covert Pervert:
- In A6A6I4, when a doomed Jade talks to Calliope about Typhaeus and describes him as a large green snake, she immediately associates him with the mating form of a cherub, and begins to snicker as Jade describes Typhaeus as 'awake and ready for [John]'. Though admittedly, a "large snake" being "awake and ready" for someone would probably sound kind of dirty to a human too.
- Take a look at her symbol (a caduceus). The cherubim species mating form is snake-like. A caduceus has two snakes wrapped around it. Her symbol is the mating form of two cherubs.
- Cute Monster Girl: Even though she's convinced otherwise.
- Daddy's Girl: Apparently, towards Gamzee when she was a baby. It's actually really adorable.
- Dungeon Bypass: Much of Act 6 since her "death" has focused on finding her in dream bubbles, to defeat Lord English. This whole process is rendered irrelevant by Calliope herself telling Roxy her name, and that calling it out to Caliborn will cause her to take over their shared body.
- However, this was revealed early on in act 6 intermission 4 to not work, as Calliope is dead.
- Exposition Fairy: As part of her role as representing the comic's diehard fans, she loves to ramble on about anything and everything, and fills in both the B2 players and the readers about quite a few Sburb mechanics. She tries to avoid "causal spoilers" that the kids are intended to eventually figure out on their own, but grows less and less concerned with that as time goes on.
- Face Death with Dignity: Knowing that she's about to face Death of Personality courtesy of Caliborn, she spends her remaining hours chatting with the kids and giving them some last pieces of advice (and finally sharing some of her artwork with Roxy), takes one last walk outside her home to admire the sun, and cleans up the room as a parting jab to her brother before getting into the sarcophagus. She's clearly terrified at the implications of dying, but decides to face it head-on and with a measure of grace.
- Fandom Nod: Fanart commonly depicted Calliope as looking like Calmasis with troll horns. Hussie acknowledged this through cosplay. Amusingly, it was revealed she essentially was cosplaying as Calmasis with troll horns.
- Foreshadowing: She is cheering instead of trolling. Calliope is not a troll, but a cherub.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: She takes on the form of her Trollsona when she meets Roxy in the dream bubbles, presumably because she believes herself to look hideous. However, Roxy claims that she's absolutely fine seeing what Calliope really looks like, making this an Inverted Trope.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: On the rare occasions where she genuinely loses her temper, the insults that result tend to fall into this because she's normally so mellow and passive. Caliborn mocks her for it.
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Since she represents the fandom, she also has a self-insert trollsona, Callie Ohpeee, whom she has written many stories about. Some of which may or may not be Lemons.
- I Am Not Pretty: She dresses like a troll because she thinks she will never be truly beautiful, though she's still pretty cute as far as green skull monsters go.
- In-Series Nickname: Roxy calls her Callie, which by coincidence is the name of her trollsona. Some of the other kids use this name too, due to being introduced to her by Roxy.
- Living MacGuffin: During Act 6, many of the ghost players are trying to find her in the hopes that she'll prove to be an ace in the hole against Lord English. She isn't. Ironically, she only ascends to be considered this trope after Caliborn kills her.
- Magic Wand: It doubles as a revolver, and uses the bullets loaded into the latter to fuel magic, though we never actually see her using it.
- Man Behind the Man: Calliope is responsible for quite a bit of the events that occurred in the two human sessions.
- Meaningful Name: The "uranian" in her name refers to the unique sideways rotation of the planet Uranus, which she admires for its resemblance to a pool ball's topspin, or "english". Umbra usually refers to the deepest part of a shadow cast by a celestial body; taken literally, her name means "the shadow cast by Uranus" or, more symbolically, "the shadow cast by [the planet with the] English".
- Calliope is the name of a famous Greek Muse. Specifically, the muse of epic poetry (that is, heroic stories). She is also commonly depicted as holding a tablet—think fanart. And, of course, it starts with "Cal", which turns out to be her brother's nickname for her.
- Also, Urania is the name of another Greek Muse: the muse of astronomy. Urania was said to be able to tell the future by looking at the stars—similarly, as a Prospit dreamer, Calliope can see visions of the future while dreaming by looking up to the clouds of Skaia.
- Both this Calliope and Calliope/Cal from Middlesex have bodies of ambiguous sex.
- When she was first introduced, many fans pointed out that "uranian" is an archaic term for "gender variant". This is one of many things that lead to a I Knew It! moment when it was heavily implied and then outright revealed that Calliope and Caliborn shared a body.
- The Muse: Literally, though her powers are only vaguely alluded to. Despite having done almost nothing in the plot so far, an entire army of spirits is aiding her in her cause against her brother.
- Ms. Exposition: Explains about Sburb titles, and seemingly has spent time researching them.
- Mystical White Hair: In her cosplay outfit. She's cosplaying a limeblood, who were known for their powers.
- Nice Guy: She's one of the most helpful and polite characters in Homestuck. She even tried to get along with her Jerkass brother, who unfortunately does not want to return her favors. Her kindness is even demonstrated when she contacts people: she's cheering them!
- Oracular Urchin: Like all Space players, her dreamself is awake on Prospit before the game begins. Calliope also has the ability to communicate across the timeline like the trolls can but is doing so before entering the Medium. Calliope knows that the B2!Kids will meet the B1!Kids and promises that together they will escape the influence of the Green Sun and build a safe future for their descendants.
- She also has Rose and Kanaya's detailed walkthrough, so she's able to convey a lot of information about Sburb's mechanics.
- Rage Quit: Caliborn's bending of the rules of chess makes her angrily quit, hitting the table and declaring her (platonic) hatred for him.
- Rule of Symbolism: Her computer's symbol is a combination of the Rod of Asclepius, a medical symbol associated with Ophiuchus, the 13th astrological sign in some versions of the Western Zodiac and the Caduceus, a symbol of commerce and negotiations associated with Mercury.
- In universe it's complicated as well. It contains both Grey and Green, matching her resemblance nature to Jade and Karkat. The lime portion of her symbol matches the color used for First Guardian powers and Uranium both. Limebloods are also the Troll caste in between Sollux and Nepeta, aka where Karkat would be if he had normal troll blood, though this fact turned out to be Fauxshadowing.
- The use of the Caduceus is also symbolic in universe, as Greco-Roman mythology influences the Denizens, among other things.
- Ship Tease: She acts British, so a lot of her lines come off as rather flirty.
- The Smart Guy: Fits pretty well, and gets easily flummoxed by Roxy. She's apparently spent some time researching the B2 Session and the legendary figures (i.e. the players) of it, and knows quite a bit about Sburb titles.
- Space Master: Has the potential to be this due to being the Muse of Space.
- Stealth Pun: Her symbol and blood color is lime. "Limey" is old slang for Brits, particularly sailors.
- Stepford Smiler: She's one of the sweetest characters in the comic. She pretends to be a troll because she finds everything about them to be better than her—prettier, more fun, more interesting social dynamics—and feels that nobody would ever love her or bother to kiss her back to life.
- Weapon of Choice: A Magic Wand/deudly white magnum. Her brother is said to wield "something a little more...heavy handed"
- Wish Fulfillment: She writes fanfiction of her trollsona having romantic pursuits.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Dresses in a suit.
God Tier Calliope
- The Atoner: Seems to regret killing her brother through predomination to some extent.
- Apocalypse Maiden: This Calliope exists only to bring about the destruction of the Green Sun.
- Beyond the Impossible: Rose and Aradia had both expressed disbelief about whether the Green Sun could be destroyed; Act 7 proves them quite wrong.
- Big Good: What this alternate, doomed-timeline self turned out to be, being powerful enough to destroy the Green Sun and depower Lord English.
- Blessed with Suck: Her incredible power came at the cost of complete isolation from everyone she would come to protect.
- Carpe Diem: After a life of loneliness, her final advice to both Calliope and Jade is to "live" and "have fun."
- Comes Great Responsibility: She points to the restraint Space players must have with their incredible powers, immediately before turning the largest star in the universe into a metafictional black hole.
- The Comically Serious: Downplayed. She's one of the least humorous characters, but her ultimate fate has her drifting into the sun like a fucknig piece of gargbage.
- Friendless Background: Alpha!Calliope theorizes that this one never contacted the humans.
- Mercy Kill: Goes to Echidna to die rather than to live forever in a dead session.
- Good Counterpart: As a fully realized Cherub, this Calliope acts as the closest counterpart to what Caliborn becomes as Lord English
- Misery Builds Character: Her doomed self seems to be an example of this: while she had no human friends in this timeline, her isolation with only Caliborn for company made her strong enough in her resolve to predominate over him, something her alpha self never could have achieved.
- The Stoic: Completely isolated throughout her life, this Calliope never shows any emotion and speaks only with lowercase letters.
- Time Abyss: Part of her Choice with Echidna involved spending nigh eternity as a ghost, completely alone.
A mean-spirited Cherub who jeers Dirk from time to time. He detests everything, most especially his "sister", Calliope, and the four human and troll sessions. He will grow up to become Lord English. His Juju is/was a red Lollipop.
He is the Lord of Time of his session. His chumhandle is undyingUmbrage.
COMMuNICATES uSING ALL CAPS EXCEPT FOR THE LETTER u.
DROPS IN A LOT OF PERIODS. WHERE YOu MIGHT EXPECT COMMAS INSTEAD.
AND ALSO. SOMETIMES ENDS STATEMENTS WITH A QuESTION MARK?
uSES RuDE EMOTICONS LIKE tumut
HAS TAKEN TO SPEAKING IN ALL-CAPS AND WITH HIS SISTER'S BLOOD COLOR. AS A TOKEN OF HIS RUTHLESS TRIUMPH.
ALSO PUTS SPACES IN GENDERED WORDS. SUCH AS CRAFTS MANSHIP. AND A MISS.
- Alas, Poor Yorick: He is shown holding a poorly-drawn version of Lil' Cal's head in his overly-dramatic soliloquy.
- All Women Are Lustful: A firm believer of this. When he briefly sees Roxy and Jane on the same screen, he expects them to start cuddling immediately.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He is undeniably a sociopath, but also admits finding it very hard to think clearly, often overlooks obvious solutions to his problems in favor of unnecessarily complex workarounds, has very poor social skills, lacks impulse control and self-awareness, and admits to "thinking in colours", suggesting he views the world in a fundamentally different way.
- Ambition Is Evil: Invoked. Ambition is the only human quality he admires, which serves to make him look more like a jerk.
- Art Evolution: From indecipherable scribbles to a perfect circle made out of straight lines to a step above stick-figures to imitation manga to an improved version of the "straight line art" to crude stop-motion animation and claymation.
- Ascended Fanboy: Inverted. He represents anti-fans of Homestuck, particularly people who complain about being constantly told by fans to read the comic but don't find it enjoyable. For example, his vehement dislike of the colored pesterlogs refers to a common criticism about the comic. Due to the rest of his personality, he may serve as a Take That, Critics!.
uu: OH MY GOD. WHO CARES?
- He also represents much of the negativity of the Homestuck fandom, serving as a Take That, Audience!. His complaints about the kids wasting time refers to the fans who want the plot to move faster instead of having romance drama or humorous interludes.
uu: IT'S JuST SOME MORE POINTLESS TRASH FOR YOu TO OBSESS OVER, AND DISTRACT YOu FROM GETTING ANY ACTuAL RELEVANT SHIT DONE.
uu: THE AMOuNT TIME YOu PEOPLE WASTE. IT IS FuCKING uNBELIEVABLE TO ME.
uu: I READ ABOuT SOME OF THE THINGS YOu AND YOuR PREDECESSORS HAVE DONE. FAR MORE THAN I CARED TO. TRuST ME.
uu: AND EVERY TIME. I'M ALWAYS JuST...
uu: *GET THE FuCK ON WITH IT ALREADY.*
- He has been shown to be overjoyed at the sight of worldbuilding, which is something that Hussie hates.
- Armoured Closet Gay: To date, he is the only character in the whole webcomic to express quasi-homophobic attitudes (particularly towards Jake/Dirk) because hey, why not have another reason to hate him? So, naturally, when he speaks with either Jake or Dirk, the Ho Yay goes off the roof. All of this despite the fact that he lives in what may be an hermaphroditic body, but cherub sexuality has been shown to be rather complicated. He clearly identifies as male, so the point remains.
- Ax-Crazy: He's playing the game to kill, he plans on killing Calliope, and he's also threatening people with death. It turns out that he has already killed his sister's dreamself by proxy. His reaction to first seeing Gamzee, and being asked by him if he wanted him to be his guide? More Dakka.
- Bad Boss: To any version of Jack Noir. Who he proudly proclaims he'll dispose of once they outlive their usefulness.
- Bait the Dog: The infamous "Porn Drawings" incident made him look like he would be something of a fairly likable Cloudcuckoolander Jerkass...and then he revealed that he killed his sister through proxy.
- Blood Knight: He specifically wants the his session with Calliope to be about competition between the players, mainly because he enjoys the idea of bloodshed. When told by Dirk that the game may have assigned him a role that would pressure him into restraining his bloodlust, he blows off the idea.
- Book Dumb: He admits that he has trouble learning new things, when he isn't doing things the hard way from some perceived notion of it being in easy mode.
- Break the Haughty: Implied in [S]GAME OVER: John enters a fight with Caliborn, and at first, they're evenly matched. However, John, who is very mad at this point, gains the upper hand, tears Caliborns cape in half, humiliates him, and then jumps on top of him and proceeds to beat his face in. It's implied that if John didn't teleport, he would not have stopped till Caliborn was dead. Caliborn looks visibly shaken by this event, staring into the sky while barely blinking.
- Call-Back: Caliborn's first conversation with Dirk, in which Dirk responds that he though Caliborn was angling for him to draw more weird porn after Caliborn acted like Jigsaw, is a reference to Hussie's insane "Cheerfulbear" Saw/Muppet Babies parody, previously referenced by Bro messing with Dave. It's also a call back to when Vriska interrupted John to tell him to get going because he'll be wasting time; turns out he was wasting time because he was talking to Vriska.
uu: SO I FEEL THAT. THE MORE I GROW IN POWER.
- Later on he calls back a line from Karkat and a letter from Bro, both of which were previously called back by other characters. The strangest thing is that Dirk finds them both familiar.
- Once he enters his land, he makes Callbacks to John and Karkat's Intro poetry, before going into a awareness-addled reverie on why he thinks of that.
- When he first talks to Jane he calls back to another line from Karkat which was said first (chronologically) by Vriska.
- He currently wants to make Jake into a Worthy Opponent and become the cause of everything like Vriska.
uu: THE MORE STUFF IT SHOULD TURN OUT I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR.
uu: UP TO AND INCLUDING. EVERYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENS.
uu: EVEN IF IT HAS TO BE.
- Captain Ersatz: Has an apparent fondness for "puzzlemurders" à la Jigsaw or The Riddler. Note that Word of God has stated Lord English resembles Jigsaw.
- Card-Carrying Villain: So evil, he wraps around to cute... Or maybe adorabloodthirsty.
- Cassandra Truth: He's completely correct about Lil' Cal being a bad omen. On the other hand, even if Dirk took his advice and destroyed Cal it's unlikely that it would actually prevent anything. Then he learns that he would be the one who makes Lil' Cal a portent of ruin.
- Character Blog: Right over here You can find all of the art he drew in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3, and the drawing that inspired his Author Avatar.
- Character Development: Defied. He has no interest whatsoever in becoming a better person; only in winning.
- Chubby Chaser: Lusts after Jane because she's "meaty."
- Cluster F-Bomb:TT* : What if your real quest is to put aside your differences and work together, if you want to both survive, and grow as a person?uu: NO.
uu: NO. NO. NO.
uu: FuCK THAT SHIT.
uu: HuMAN FuCK THAT SHIT. NOT EVEN ALIEN FuCK THAT SHIT. SO YOu CAN uNDERSTAND BETTER. THE KIND OF FuCKING OF THE SHIT THAT'S GOING ON.
uu: HuMAN FuCK IT SO MuCH. SO HARD, AND SO ANGRILY.
- Comically Missing the Point: Happens a lot, since he refuses to even acknowledge how the game is supposed to be played, but reaches a zenith when he is utterly incapable of picking up Hussie's increasingly obvious hints that he should give Leprechaun #7 (the future Crowbar) his crowbar.
- Complexity Addiction: Beyond any reasonable extremes. Caliborn tends to do any and all tasks, from the pedestrian to the epic, in the most needlessly convoluted way possible. Calliope, Aranea, and The Narration/Hussie himself all state that Caliborn revels in performing tasks that would make most others Rage Quit right away, and goes out of his way to do such things.
- Create Your Own Villain: Inverted and invoked. Caliborn eventually starts grooming and advising Jake to become his future Rival.
- DeterminatorARANEA: And while such trials might discourage most players from even trying, our villain's response was quite the contrary.ARANEA: He was only em8oldened 8y the mind num8ing chores. He took to them with gusto, as if performing them out of spite.
- Deuteragonist: As the sole player of the fifth session in the narrative, Caliborn takes his place as the Pentagonist of the story, following John, Karkat, Roxy, and Meenah.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Killed his Denizen, Yaldabaoth, by beating it to death with the crowbar juju.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even he thinks Jake sounds like a bit of a Casanova Wannabe and a douche.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While Calliope at least attempts to understand romance in all four quadrants, he dismisses it as being stupid and asinine. This is probably why his requests for "pornography" are simply mundane depictions of red romance.
- He also fails to understand why anyone would bother giving anyone a funeral.
- Evil Laugh: After he reveals he killed his sister.
- Later he directly echoes Cal's "haa haa hee hee hoo hoo" laugh.
- Does a seemingly endless laugh after destroying discs 1 and 2 while saying there's no disc 3.
- Evil Virtues: He embodies Tenacity and Work Ethic.
- Fate Worse than Death: He thinks that having to listen to "Elevatorstuck" is this.
- Flipping the Bird: He makes liberal usage of the emoticon "tumut", which represents a person holding up both middle fingers at once.
- For the Evulz: Once he encounters Gamzee in his land, he promptly treats the troll to More Dakka.
- Foreshadowing: In the updates on April 12 and 13, 2015 he reveals the big fight between him and the eight kids: The Beta Kids get sucked into his juju, a glowing Homestuck logo, which will become the trapped kids weapon. Caliborn then delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the Alpha Kids (equally, because he's not just a misogynist he's a "pro-sogynist"); watching Dirk getting beaten causes Jake to have a "hope-splosion". Also, at some point Gamzee gets sliced in half vertically.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He goes from being a largely harmless brat chained to a wall far from any other living creature, capable only of verbally tormenting people, to an Eldritch Abomination who tears universes asunder to destroy everything that exists.
- Gambit Roulette: The beginnings of his tendency towards such plans are visible in his "art", where he draws a circle using nothing but an enormous number of scribbled right angles by squashing them together in a circular shape. That he expends all that effort rather than just plain drawing a freaking circle shows how, in the future, he'll construct convoluted plots and schemes where simple ones would suffice out of the conviction that using a simple way would be dumb and for girls.
- Genius Ditz: He's a bit of a reckless thug, to be sure, but he's excellent at planning. In fact, he actually prefers elaborate schemes purely to spite those who say he can't.
- Giftedly Bad: Only someone as vain as Caliborn could think art as bad as his is good in any capacity.
- Good Guns, Bad Guns: Uses a tactical AKM-style weapon, shared with his eventual self as Lord English who is the primary antagonist of Homestuck.
- Half Truth: Like Doc Scratch, Caliborn enjoys using these on occasion, managing to convince Jane that Dad was being tortured despite the fact that he told her earlier that Bad is Good and Good is Bad for him, when Dad was given the 5-star-hotel treatment.
- Handicapped Badass
- An Arm and a Leg: Bites off his own leg, losing a tooth as he does so, then replaces it with a metal prosthetic.
- He also has a learning disability but still manages to outwit his sister, who did not seem to have one.
- He-Man Woman Hater: He shows blatant disrespect for women but also prefers that at least one female be present in any of his "porn".
- Hostile Show Takeover: Act 6 Act 6, by ascending to the highest God Tier and being on his magical mystery planet.
- Hot-Blooded: With red-hot blood too.
- Hypocritical Humor:
TT* : For someone who has such strong opinions about long winded people,
- Expresses his hatred of long, meandering chatlogs in the form of a long, meandering chatlog where he's doing most of the talking. Lampshaded by himself and Dirk:
TT: You've kinda been talking my ear off. I do actually have shit to do.
uu: SEE HOW YOu PEOPLE SuCK ME INTO YOuR BuLLSHIT?
- He goes into long, meandering complaints to describe in a long, meandering way what he's complaining about, and then makes a long and meandering complaint about that.
- Incest Subtext: Starts to go a bit off the rails in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3:NOT TO IMPLY THAT ANY OTHER ASPECT OF HER IS LIKE YOUR SISTER. LIKE BEING ATTRACTIVE. WOW. WHAT? READ INTO STUFF MUCH? YOU DECIDE YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS. YOU STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS TOPIC STARTING AS OF IMMEDIATELY.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Makes many toward his sister. Until he actually gets her killed.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Deconstruction. All of the things he does despite his learning disability would be inspiring if they weren't so horrible.
- Interface Screw: Courtesy of Crowbar's signature weapon applied to the MSPA narration terminal.
- Hussie also implies that this is part of the reason that the Cherub session is so messed up. He said that if Caliborn kept attacking the narrative, he would create many problems—including many for himself.
- Intrigued by Humanity: He asks Dirk to draw romantic pictures of Dirk and his friends. When he starts drawing on his own he draws mostly human characters, and includes things like "alpha males" being kissed by the ladies, or even Yaoi Guys. This is not because he likes humans in any way. Rather he seems to get off on humans and their concept of romance, like it's a sick deviant fetish. Which it probably is, by the standards of his race.
- Jerkass: Caliborn is probably the least pleasant character to interact with in Homestuck, and he's more than willing to toss insults at people whenever he feels like it. This extends to people who are trying to help him, and in one case, his loyal acolyte/adoptive father.
- Kick the Dog: He revels in doing this.
- Making Dirk draw "porn" of his friends to keep him from murdering his sister, then sends Jack Noir after her anyway.
- Laughing his ass off at the kids' supposed deaths while mocking his sister all the way.
- Beating the stuffing out of Gamzee when he was only trying to help figure out how to get the game to work. Even worse once you find out that Gamzee raised him since he and Calliope were infants. Granted, this also counts as Kick the Son of a Bitch, as the misery Caliborn inflicts on Gamzee is hilariously cathartic for many readers after that slasher spree on the meteor and the shit he does after that.
- After calling Jane fat (and trying to pass it off as a compliment), he describes Mr. Crocker's supposed torture in vivid detail. On her birthday, no less.
- Laser-Guided Karma: See Self-Inflicted Hell.
- Laughably Evil: When he doesn't go overboard with being completely sociopathic, he's actually pretty funny.
- Laughing Mad: He has a laughing fit when he reveals that he killed Calliope's dreamself.
- Leitmotif: "Eternity Served Cold" note .
- Lemony Narrator: During his brief time running Act 6 Act 6.
- Love Makes You Crazy, Evil, and/or Stupid: Despite what he says he actually loves playing the game, it's just that...UU: his passion for games transcends any hUman Understanding of love.
UU: for yoU to Understand it woUld be to fUlly comprehend the meaning of...
UU: how to pUt it.
GG* : Um.
- Made of Iron: Bites off his own leg. It doesn't even slow him down.
- Mary Sue: In-Universe. Creates a blatant self-insert (even admits to it being one) at the beginning of Act 6 Act 6 Act 3.THIS IS YOURS TRULY. MY SELF INSERTION GUY. WHICH IS MY PREROGATIVE TO DO AS AN ARTIST.
- Meaningful Name: undyingUmbrage. Umbrage also means annoyance, or offense. Taken literally, his name could be interpreted as "Eternally annoyed" which describes him pretty well. Umbrage also has an archaic meaning of "shadow", connecting him to uranianUmbra, and the "undying" part may also be a reference to his conditional immortality as Lord English.
- "Caliborn" is likely a corruption of "Caliban", though perhaps he bears a closer resemblance to Marvel's Caliban.
- Medium Awareness: In a way never done before (in Homestuck at least)! After having entered the Medium, Caliborn is somehow capable of understanding the narration of his thoughts, and goes to express that he has MAJOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. The only thing close to this is Hussie's dialogue with the reader/narrator. And then he finds an Exile terminal and starts to talking back to the narration...
- Mood Whiplash: A funny scene where he wants Dirk to drawn "porn", but without any human sexuality, and just the relationship stuff, whiplashes when he decides that the scene of Roxy and Jake married with a baby isn't cutting it, and he wants a picture of Jake eating the baby. A few pages later, just as we're getting used to Caliborn being unstable but harmless, he reveals that he killed Calliope's dreamself.
- Act 6 Intermission 4 is almost entirely made of these moments.
- Most Annoying Sound: In-Universe, the elevator music that plays in the flash sequences he appears irritates him to no end. It gets to the point where Andrew Hussie threatens to play it if he keeps shooting Gamzee.
- Munchkin: He plays games only to win, purely and simply. He's even more of one than Vriska, who at least had a Freudian Excuse and an actual excuse (in the form of her Lusus) to be one.
- The Napoleon: He's shorter than Gamzee (the shortest troll, if Hussie really meant it). He compensates by being as abusive as possible.
- Never My Fault: Whines that a nerd "beat him up because he didn't like his art" (John beat him up because he's evil) and that it happened after he "tragically lost his sister to murder" (conveniently leaving out that he murdered her by proxy in the first place) after John beats him up.
- Nice Hat: Acquired a fedora for his awfully-drawn OC. Caliborn is also seen wearing a fedora briefly in [S] GAME OVER before John deliberately struck him to the floor and kicked his ass.
- The Nicknamer: He's addressed his leprechaun minions collectively as gnomes, elves, frog men, puppet people, and toad goblins, and individually after the colors of their hats.
- His names for the "Homosuck" trolls are Krabkrab (Karkat), Honk Friend (Gamzee), Cape Douche (Eridan), Smelly Horse Man (Equius), Other Guy (Sollux), Bull Horn Wimp (Tavros), and miscellaneous bitches (all the girls, collectively).
- Not Growing Up Sucks: His stunted development leads him to become a Psychopathic Manchild, which only serves to make him worse and worse as a person.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: At first he seems mostly bluster, given that we'd already seen trolls who talked big but tended not to follow through, only for him to kill Calliope's dreamself and divide by zero his own session. Not to mention that he's the younger version of the comic's Big Bad.
- Occidental Otaku: Well, the alien equivalent. After getting his hands on a How To Draw Manga book he's become a "man gaka" and an expert at "the yaois" and "bishies" ("IF YOU'RE CONFUSED, BASICALLY THE IDEA IS. YOU PRETEND THEM TO LOOK MORE LIKE GIRLS. TO MAKE IT LESS WEIRD FOR EVERYBODY WHEN THEY DECIDE TO TOUCH EACH OTHER.") and the concept of "tsundere" ("IT IS A TEMPESTUOUS LIAISON OF MUTUAL GRIEVANCE. AND YET, DEEP DOWN. THEY KNOW IN EACH OTHER'S HEART THAT THEY ARE SOLID DUDES.").
- Odd Name Out: The first person to have a non-uppercase chat handle.
- Pet the Dog: Every time he attempts to reach out to someone, he intentionally uses it as a vehicle to toss cruel insults at his target. He did, however, refuse to hurt his loyal minion Sawbuck when prompted to by Hussie, and he did refer to Gamzee as a friend when working on Homosuck.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's incredibly misogynistic, referring to female characters as "bitches" and speaking of them in a very demeaning way.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Caliborn acts like an obnoxious brat while gleefully thinking about how he killed his sister.
- Real Men Eat Meat: He tells Dirk that meat and candy are the only types of food he likes, to the point he refers to Roxy/Jane as Cotton Candy and refuses any pictures of Dirk/Jake saying the colors are too much like a pumpkin.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In contrast to Calliope's softer green eyes.
- Renaissance Man: Has come to think of himself as one. He's not. He's really not.
- Rule of Symbolism:
- Caliborn's sigil is a red tilde overlaying a capital U, which is a somewhat obscure symbol for Ophiuchus. U is used in ~ATH code as shorthand for Universe, and the shade of red matches Karkat's blood and the color used for the kids' universe. Taken together, the red tilde over a U can be said to resemble a universe bathed in blood, which reflects his Blood Knight attitude.
- On the cruxtruder he was using, it showed a red tilde with a lime U, instead of a red tilde overlapping a black U. The Ophiuchus symbol of the tilde and the U together was meant to be a man's arms holding a snake. Here, the arms were Calliope's as the U was lime green and the red snake was Caliborn meaning that Caliborn has escaped from Calliope's grip and is now in complete control of his body and wherever he wanted after escaping Calliope's Juju-enchanted lock.
- The timer's display of ~U is similar to ~ATH, or tildeath, coding. While the actual in-universe coding we've seen in ~ATH has been different, some would suggest ~U parses as "At the Death of the Universe," which would certainly be a feasible entry time for anyone entering a black hole, as relativistic time could cause them to experience the rest of the universe in a short amount of time near the event horizon.
- Rules Lawyer:
- The king and queen are wearing each other's hats, but they're still the same pieces. No rules against decorating chess pieces, and even if there were, Calliope did it first. This, understandably, upsets her.
- Later, he starts beating Gamzee with a crowbar after being told that he wasn't allowed to shoot him.
- Self-Inflicted Hell: By killing his sister, he undergoes a punishment twofold:
- Instead of trying to undergo a Split-Personality Merge with her, he will be stuck as a stunted, miserable tool forever.
- He is punished by the game for starting a one-person session, which is called a Dead Session. It will take ages for the actual game to start and, once it does, it's going to be Nintendo Hard. Of course, that's what he wanted all along.
- Shout-Out: His Self Insert is based on this fan art; the self-insert also gets a Dogged Nice Guy trilby and connects two memes:
- Slasher Smile: Try any time he smiles...
- Small Name, Big Ego: As far as his artistic "talent" goes. He thinks of himself less as a spiteful little imp and more as a tortured artist around the time of Act 6 Act 6 Act 4.
- The Sociopath: The only person that he outright likes is Jack Noir, known best as the guy whose selves doomed two universes. Just let that sink in.
- Being liked isn't necessarily a good thing for Jack considering what Caliborn inflicts on him.
- Later, he decides that once he gets what he wants out of any given Jack Noir, he'll arrange for his death. "It's bad form to leave stray Noirs wandering around" indeed.
- He seems to have grown fond of Hussie, in his own twisted way, and throws a tantrum when Hussie falls silent and "sheer force of petulance" proves no longer able to get him to talk back. He also likes a few of his leprechaun minions, particularly Crowbar.
- Being liked isn't necessarily a good thing for Jack considering what Caliborn inflicts on him.
- Something Only They Would Say: His Evil Laugh is a variant of Calsprite's and Doc Scratch's laugh. Given that both Calsprite and Doc Scratch are tied to Cal, which is a vessel for Caliborn, their laughter is understandably derived from him.
- Stealth Pun: Dirk is the only person Caliborn can stand to talk to. In the process of transcription of DNA to mRNA, Thymine is replaced by Uracil. In other words, TT becomes uu.
- Sweet Tooth: Candy is the only non-meat food he will eat.
- Take That, Audience!: His complaints about slow pacing were mocked by Dirk for Caliborn actually causing the story to slow down while providing insight into Caliborn's character, much like how the fandom complains about both the slow pace and detailed characterization of some characters being neglected for pacing issues.
- Teens Are Monsters: And, according to the narration, he will remain that way forever, at least mentally, because his predomination occurred much earlier than for most cherubim.
- Terrible Artist:
- Dear god. He's even worse than Karkat. His "drawings" are indecipherable scribbles, not even coherent enough to be stick figures. Put into perspective, starting here we see Dave and Karkat fighting over a marker, causing them to create an absurd scribbly mess all over the page (with some crudely-drawn penises courtesy of Dave's trolling). When Calliope finds it, she immediately recognizes the drawing style...as her brother's.
- He's gotten better: He can draw circles now! Kind of.
- You can actually tell what this is supposed to be.
- Despite his status as a decidedly bad artist and terrible person, he does dispense some sound advice for the aspiring.
- His people look like people now! Really, really amateur, person-who-just-discovered-anime people, but people nonetheless.
- Even his "sketchy" style has improved, as seen in A6A6A4.
- He's branched out to crude stop-motion animation and claymation (via Vine).
- The Peeping Tom: He peeped into a pillow fight between Jane and Roxy.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Upon meeting Gamzee, Caliborn proceeds to unload his assault rifle into him for four straight pages, even taking the time to Double Tap Gamzee's motionless body.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: After having his shit kicked in by John, his reaction is simply to stare blankly and reach for his mouse.
- Token Evil Teammate: He just wants to get into the game so he can "FuCK. SHIT. uP." That includes playing the game competitively instead of cooperatively and killing Calliope at the first chance.
- Took a Level in Badass: Did he ever.
- Troll: The kind that says you suck and issues death threats, but not the literal kind.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He doesn't appreciate anything anyone does for him.
- The Un-Twist: He's Lord English. After a major flash sequence that implied it, it was outright revealed in a pretty dismissive way.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played straight and quickly subverted. When he briefly shared his conciousness with his sister, he seemed to be content and non-malicious. However, shortly after he gains control, he became like the prick that he is years later.
- Villainous Breakdown: John's ass-kicking of him is enough to cause him to cry (near the end of a prolonged soliloquy).
- Villain Protagonist: Of Act 6 Act 6, where Caliborn actively takes over the narrative for five self-indulgent interludes where he portrays the story to match his own hideous taste.
- The Voice: Until the end of Act 6 Act 3, his text was the only thing that was shown, not what he looks like.
- Weapon of Choice: A pimp cane that turns into an assault rifle.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: For Caliborn, human romance seems to be the equivalent of sick, deviant, alien porn. And he likes it.
- You Keep Using That Word: Dirk calls him out on using the word "ironic" to characterize his enjoyment of observing human love and romance, when it's clearly more of a weird Fetish.
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