Anonymous asked: You wrote a post once about the quadrants and their similarities to human culture. How do you think the quadrants originated? Like, I could imagine matespritship and kismessitude being the two 'sexual' quadrants in order to get genetic material from two vastly different parents, with the pale and ashen quadrants invented to prevent these producers of potentially promising offspring from killing each other.
IT’S REALLY FUNNY that this question came in after the last one I answered. (They were far apart, time-wise, but it was like… a perfect pair up).
From a purely meta standpoint, Homestuck trolls only have the loosest of worldbuilding behind their biology and culture, and there are so many huge gaps that a person could spin up any number of ideas that could fit that gap. That said—
As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s a mystery and always would be. It’s really, really hard to separate out entrenched cultural biases with actual biological necessity, especially in a culture like the trolls’ where any challenge to the status quo is swiftly and violently crushed.
You can see this in action in real life with people who cling very tightly to evolutionary psychology and use it to try to ‘explain’ bullshit like why men are just naturally driven to cheat, or whatever the fad is this month. (Evolutionary psychology isn’t 100% bullshit, but the usual deployment of it all too often is.)
Like, why do trolls have to have two sexual quadrants? Why would they have to ‘for biological reasons’? They deposit genetic material into a receptacle, then that genetic material given to the mother grub who combines it (somehow) into an ‘incestuous slurry’. It’s all mixed together in the end — why would they need to have two partners, or any at all?
In the brief description of troll reproduction, the part about how the dominant genes rise to the fore and the more powerful the relationship, the more dominant the genes strikes me as a myth meant to maintain the cultural norm, especially since unreliable narration and subverting what the kids have always taken for granted is kind of a Thing in Homestuck. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering the whole slurry thing, and it strikes me as another reason to keep trolls divided and competing for the best possible relationships, rather than thinking of ways to fix their fucked up culture.
Then there’s also that troll quadrants map to human relationships and are essentially a very compartmentalized version of those but you’ve read that post already.
TL;DR — imo it would be impossible to separate the biological origins of troll quadrants from cultural pressures. It’s especially impossible considering we know almost zilch about troll evolution and more than a few cultural changes over time, and that they are presented as a cultural monolith, a very unlikely scenario in a species so cognitively like us and hinted at having a very large population. We can’t even begin to triangulate the possible origins with only one point.
Not to mention why do they need industrially-produced buckets if mixing genetic material out of the body is in any way natural
not only does it smack me as an artificial method of reproduction but also as incredibly fucking unhygienic
as valid as all of the above is, plenty of earth insects make safe clean little containers for their offspring out of wax, paper, and mud, and a lot of birds and reptiles build complex nests. If the bucket thing is a biological requirement rather than a cultural one, pre-industrial trolls would have a range of natural options for holding and transporting their genetic material.
It’s possible that they just had a gigantic orgy during a mating season wherever the local mother grub was so the genetic material didn’t have to be transported very far.
DM: The temple crumbles and the city is destroyed. History will remember that it was all Russel’s fault.
Player 1: Since when are we the bad guys?
Player 2: We’ve been the bad guys for eight sessions. Team Rocket was trying to stop this.
Player 1: But they’re Team Rocket!
Strength is being able to crush a tomato.
Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato.
Constitution is being able to eat a bad tomato.
Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.
Charisma is being able to sell a tomato based fruit salad.