some thoughts on troll lifespans and population distribution
Apropos of nothing in particular, I have been thinking about troll lifespans in Homestuck, and I have reached the conclusion that a Fibonacci-style sequence is the most elegant pattern for them to follow. For example, say Aradia’s highest potential lifespan is 20 sweeps (or 43.3 years). If we then posit Tavros at 30 sweeps, and Sollux at 50, you can go on from there via simple addition: Karkat at 80, Nepeta at 130, Kanaya at 210, Terezi at 340, Vriska at 550, Equius at 890, Gamzee at 1,440, Eridan at 2,330, and Feferi at 3,770 (or 8,168.3 years).
(Note: I am assigning Karkat what I assume would be a typical limeblood lifespan, since that is his position in the trolls’ internet contact list and therefore in the zodiac. Given cherub blood colors, I think it’s not too farfetched to assume candy red blood is a mutation specific to limebloods, and, weirdly enough, may have helped him survive his childhood given that all actual limebloods were wiped out on Alternia.)
Anyway, you can tweak the numbers a little, maybe start Aradia out with a longer potential life. For example, put her at 30, Tavros at… hmm… 40, Sollux 70, Karkat 110, Nepeta 180, Kanaya 290, Terezi 470, Vriska 760, Equius 1,230, Gamzee 1,990, Eridan 3,220, and Feferi 5,210 sweeps (or 11,288.3 years). The main constraint I can see is that jadeblood lifespans need to be long enough for the Dolorosa to still be in decent shape by the time she becomes Mindfang’s slave, while also allowing time for Mindfang to grow up and establish her reputation as a gamblignant in a world where the Sufferer’s story had been pretty thoroughly erased (and I doubt that erasure happened overnight; people cling very tenaciously to inspiring stories). But I think the basic pattern is sound.
Those lifespans also make obvious just how much the population must be weighted toward trolls with rust, brown, and yellow blood. Actually, you can Fibonacci sequence population levels in reverse: for every 1 troll born with tyrian blood, there are 2 with violet, 3 indigo, 5 blue, 8 cerulean, 13 teal, 21 jade, 34 olive, 55 lime (except actually none), 89 yellow, 144 brown, and 233 rust. Except I think you’d have to cube the numbers to get a reasonable population size. That would mean that for every tyrian troll born on Alteria, 12,649,337 rustblood trolls would be born, 2,985,984 brown, 704,969 yellow, 166,375 lime (except actually none), 39,304 olive, 9,261 jade, 2,197 teal, 512 cerulean, 125 blue, 27 indigo, and 8 violet. Which comes to roughly 16.4 million trolls born every sweep (not counting the missing limebloods). Presumably most tyrian grubs don’t survive to find their would-be lusus, either because they fail the trials or because the custodians of the birthing caverns cull them until the current Heiress fails to overthrown the Condesce.
These are very rough estimates at best, since I think jade is supposed to be a fairly rare blood caste, and there are now canonically trolls with blood colors in between the twelve who play Sgrub, but I think they’re a reasonable starting point if nothing else.
Ouroboros Mix recs, part 2
I am trying to get a bunch of internet housekeeping tasks done tonight, so… better late than never? (Also, I am sorry, but I am not going to backtrack my links and add author names. I am, at heart, a terribly lazy person and the names are now on the stories themselves in any case.)
Anyway, here are twelve more stories I think you might enjoy. :-)
1. though ii 2ang iin my chaiin2 liike the 2ea (The Mercy of His Means Remix): Or: No one can tell me our fate can’t be repaired, Hard Mode.
Eridan/Sollux/Rose. Remix of though ii 2ang iin my chaiin2 liike the 2ea by venusian_eye, 7,400 words.
I don’t even know where to start with this story. It’s definitely up there on the scale of “most horrifying things I’ve ever read (in a good way),” but just saying that doesn’t nearly do the fic justice. Hmm. I think it’s the balance between what’s on the page and what seeps around the edges of the words that really makes it work — and the way those absences mirror the gaps between what the characters say and what seeps around the edges of their interactions.
In which Roxy tries to reverse the brainwashing effects of Jane’s tiaratop, and tries, and tries, and tries some more. Strangely humorous despite the bleakness of the premise. (Also, this does a really neat structural trick, where it takes the main premise of the original — Roxy trying to deprogram Jane — and turns it from backstory into future-fic.)
3. The Serpent’s Tale (Radioactive Midnight Remix): “Someone told me once, before all of this started, that if you didn’t dream it meant you were bonkers. Or maybe I heard one time that dreams kept your soul steady and therefore kept you sane.
Nowadays, there’s an awful sort of sickness in our city. One that poisons your soul, and steals your dreams and sanity away from you. It goes by the name of “Lord English’s curse,” though I don’t know why.
I don’t know if it’s in other places or if it’s just this city. But what I do know is it means we go in for weekly dream evaluations, like a regular person with a therapist, only it’s my job on the line with my brain constantly being threatened.
I’m a detective, you see. We’re not allowed to be crazy.”
-entry from Jane Crocker’s private journal
Background Roxy/Calliope. Remix of The Serpent’s Tale by dashery, 14,000 words.
It’s a noir detective story in a city where a demonic curse destroys people’s ability to dream and sends them homicidally insane, starring Jane Crocker doing what Jane does best. Creepy as fuck and not easy to read, but beautifully constructed and relentless in its progression to the only possible end.
4. Less Coffee, More Killing (sex and violence dub): Your superiors think you are the best possible agent for the tough cases, and if they don’t quite understand why you have, at your young age, enough skills for any two trolls—well. You tell yourselves that of course most people aren’t clever enough to figure you out, and you try to be more smug than furious. Karkat<3<Terezi. Remix of On Murders And The Nightly Ingestion of Coffee by graveExcitement (arachnids), 1,600 words.
Wherein Terezi and Karkat are a talented young legislacerator on the trail of a murderer, a tale that includes several instances of black flirting, an exciting duel, a successful prosecution in the field, and hot bodysharing blackrom porn. Guaranteed to leave you smiling. (Possibly lasciviously, but oh well, these are the risks one shoulders in fandom.)
5. start as you mean to continue: TG: so did it ever occur to you
TG: that maybe i dont actually want your help
TG: newsflash to crazy alien chick
TG: he’s just not that into you
Dave<>Vriska patronswap. Remix of proving to each other that romance is 8oring by roachpatrol, 2,500 words.
Perfect Dave!voice and perfect Vriska!voice (when she feels guilty, she just funnels it into increased determination to carry out her self-aggrandizing plans), and it’s lovely to see this completely weird relationship develop organically over the course of the game.
6. Prima Facie (The Exit Strategy Remix) : Neophyte Terezi Pyrope is out for blood; Rose Lalonde, Esq., is out for her next paycheck. It should be a simple murder trial. Rose<3<Terezi, implied past Terezi<3<Vriska. Remix of Rose Lalonde: Space Attorney by CaptainZombri, 6,500 words.
Intrigue, world-building, bizarre courtroom shenanigans, and flawless character voices. Creepy, sad, and hilarious by turns.
7. Late in the Day (When I Grow Up Remix): She’s got dark red lipstick and long dark eyelashes, curled, and accented with perfectly-applied eyeliner. Her eyes are a bit brighter than you thought you’d seen in the vids, but she was putting on a show for them and she’s not doing it for you. You like to think she’s just genuinely happy to see you, like you are to find her sitting at the foot of your bed with Frigglish on her lap. She’s wearing what you can only categorize as a super-banging science suit that hugs her curves that you are impatiently waiting to inherit.
It takes far longer than you’d like to admit before you realize she isn’t your mother.
Roxy dreams of Roxy. Remix of late in the day by nextian (cosmogyral), 1,400 words.
An amazing character exploration of Roxy Lalonde in two timelines at once.
Dave, Aradia, doomed selves, Weird Time Shit, and a melancholy yet strangely hopeful post-game universe.
9. I Know Of Heaven By The Line At Its Gate (The Cleanup Crew Remix): The Earth looks beautiful, like most things do, before its death. Aradia<>Dave. Remix of if it dont speak in tongue by anthrop, 4,500 words.
More Dave, Aradia, doomed selves, and Weird Time Shit, but this one veers left into a discussion of the line between life and death, a choice to show compassion, and the consequences of so choosing.
10. Ripples: Though her friends insisted otherwise, she knew that her gift of precognition was a curse. It was never clean. There were no constants. Even the variables where mutable within themselves, turning things inside out and upside down until the inexact science of seeing forward became muddied with the countless possibilities. Jade<>Rose. Remix of drawing out the season’s stains by nextian (cosmogyral), 2,700 words.
Super pale-romantic Jade and Rose species swap moirallegiance, plus thoughts on precognition, a really nifty fight scene, and hints of fascinating background world-building. Also an adorable cameo by Bec. :-)
11. Distortion Party (She Wants the D(estructio+n o+f the Patriarchy) Remix): She thought they were all working to escape this hellish game. He makes her wonder if she’s been thinking wrong. Remix of Mysterium Fidei by tawnyPort, 2,500 words.
Porrim and Gamzee meet in a dream bubble and argue about the relative weight of faith versus works when deciding the worth of a religion. The world-building fleshes out Beforus as a realistic world (not just a paper “utopia”), the characterizations are great, and the slowly ratcheting tension is very well paced.
12. dormez-vous, mon coeur? (the cock-crow remix): Even in the cradle of darkness, Rose Lalonde is Light. Armed with needles of shadow, still she is a beacon against the oncoming storm, and there are those who would carry her banner. Remix of wake up sensible heart by blackouthart, 5,500 words.
Because how often do you get to read a happy Rose story, particularly in the alpha timeline? Also, this is beautiful and wise about the importance of friendship, as well as the work and rewards involved.
I still need to read the two stories I failed to finish before the author reveal, but one is Eridan-centric and I don’t care if he’s somehow become a fandom woobie, I still think he’s an annoying jerk and stupidly boring besides (boring being the much greater sin for a fictional character), and the other looks like it will probably be complicated and somewhat depressing and… I dunno, if I read it and it’s fantastic, I may return and add it to this post, but I am kind of recced out for now, particularly since recs are NOT my usual mode of fannish engagement.
[Fic] “Sing a Song of Sixpence” - Homestuck
This story started as a fill for a Three Sentence Ficathon prompt (any, any, toss a coin), but it quickly became obvious that the fic wouldn’t fit the format restrictions. I kept writing anyway, and after a while it occurred to me that it would also work as a Cotton Candy Bingo fill, for the prompt: money. So that is what it is now. I have said so, and my word is law. *grin*
Summary: Terezi and Vriska on a typical Team Scourge Flarp campaign. 900 words, contains children killing other children. (Yes, I call it fluff despite that. Fluff is relative and Alternia is a terrible planet. Also, this story seems to have ended up as a prequel to Scourge of the Sea, though both fics can, of course, stand alone.)
“Do you see this coin?” Terezi asks, crouching down in the carpet of last season’s leaves to display the caegar to her terrified opponents. Behind her, Vriska snickers as she sorts through their sylladexes, pocketing anything shiny and tossing the rest aside to lie with their confiscated weapons. Terezi ignores her partner with the ease of long familiarity, and continues: “In a moment, I will flip it. If it lands heads up, I will kill you. Otherwise you are free to go. Do you understand?”
The two trolls — one olive, one a blue half a shade higher than Vriska, both at least a sweep older than Terezi — exchange an all-too-readable look. “Those terms exactly?” the blueblood asks, her voice wobbly despite the dull imitation of cunning kindling behind her eyes.
“Those terms exactly,” Terezi agrees.
“We understand,” the oliveblood says, straightening on his knees beside his partner.
Terezi flips the coin. It spins through the air, the few slivers of green and purple moonlight that penetrate the forest canopy reflecting off its sides in dizzying blinks.
The oliveblood snatches it from the air before it can land.
[Fic] “In Which the Librarian of the Unseen University Makes an Unexpected Acquaintance”
For ailavyn_siniyash, in response to the prompt: Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Morwen, “NONE OF THIS NONSENSE, PLEASE”. It was already past the closing deadline for the ficathon, so I said to heck with both format restrictions and the boundaries of a single fandom. (…Okay, more accurately I was attacked by a ninja plot bunny with massive teeth, but the effect is the same so who cares? *grin* (Particularly attentive readers are requested to ignore the minor problem that the Discworld runs on eight-day weeks and
doesn’t have Tuesdays apparently has Tuesdays anyway, given the existence of the Soul Cake Tuesday Duck, whoops. But anyway, shhh!))
The title is the summary. (625 words)
The short ginger-haired woman in tidy black robes who marched up to the reference and circulation desk with the Dean’s ear pinched firmly between finger and thumb cast a swift and appraising look over the Librarian but made no visible reaction to his species. Instead, she pointed her free hand at the oddly damp and lemon-scented wizard in her grasp and said, “This person — and I use the term loosely — claims to be a wizard from the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork. Have Trouble and I backtracked successfully through L-space or do I need to keep searching for his keepers?”
“Ook,” the Librarian confirmed, then gestured toward the stacks and inquired, “Ook ook ook?”
“Morwen, from the Enchanted Forest, and I’d appreciate you keeping your other faculty and students out of my personal library,” the ginger-haired woman said. “Your kind of wizard may not steal other people’s magic, but if this one’s any example, I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with their nonsense.”
“I resent that insinuation,” the Dean said faintly. The battered gray tomcat perched on Morwen’s shoulders raised a paw — claws unsheathed — and hissed at him.
“Ook,” the Librarian said sternly. The cat looked abashed for a moment, then began to groom its whiskers with a nonchalant air.
“I’m sorry; Trouble is excellent at magic but his company manners leave something to be desired,” Morwen said.
“Ook,” the Librarian said graciously. “Ook ook, ook ook ook?”
“I think it was the copy of Lefevre’s Discourse on the Reflections of Truth that was the final straw,” Morwen said. “I’d never had problems before. Then again, it could simply be the portal between my library and Telemain’s; if they count as a single entity now, that should be more than enough books to compress reality.”
“Ook?” asked the Librarian.
Morwen shook her head. “No, he’s a magician. Listen, I’d love to chat more, but I was in the middle of repainting my garden fence and I need to apply the protective charms before the paint dries completely. I trust you’ll deal appropriately with this person?”
“Ook ook. Ook?”
“Aside from the trespassing issue, he was bending the corners of my first-edition Morgenstern,” Morwen said. She glared at the Dean over her gold-rimmed glasses.
“Ook,” the Librarian said, rising from behind his desk like a three-hundred pound sack of rubbery tendons wrapped in orange hair and implacable wrath. “Ook ook ook ook.” The Dean twitched.
“I’ll leave you to it, then,” Morwen said, releasing the Dean’s ear and dusting her hands. The gray tomcat jumped down from her shoulders and sauntered off into the stacks, crooked tail held like a jaunty banner. Morwen followed at a brisk stride, then paused just before the first turn. “My goodness. Is that the Book of Going Forth Around Elevenish? I didn’t know there were any extant copies left.”
The Librarian paused in his advance upon the Dean, who took the opportunity to flee the library, his boots squelching slightly with each step.*
“Only fragments quoted in other works,” Morwen said. One hand raised slightly, quivering almost involuntarily with the urge to touch the book in question, but she politely refrained.
The Librarian thought for a long moment. Then he said, “Ook.”
Morwen smiled without baring her teeth. “Thank you. Will next Tuesday afternoon be convenient?”
“Ook,” the Librarian said, and waved a long, rubbery arm as Morwen and the cat disappeared into the quantum folds of L-space. It was always a pleasure to meet a fellow book-lover.
*The Dean’s escape was temporary at best. He was later found under the bench of the University organ whimpering about a private concert. Archchancellor Ridcully took one look at the Librarian, still playing a cheerful tune on the less esoteric keyboards, and decided not to ask.
[Fic] “last and least (and loved)”
“Gone lazy on me this morning, have you?” Alice Stanton asked, sending an indulgent look across the kitchen toward her youngest child as he slouched into the room and slumped at the table long-since abandoned by his more punctual siblings; perhaps he had been up too late last night, making the most of summer’s ragged end before school resumed tomorrow, indulging in childhood as he so rarely did since his twelfth birthday.
Will looked up at her voice and Alice frowned at the sight of his face, pale and drawn in a way that suggested more than simple lack of sleep; she set the glass and rag down in the dishwater, wiped her hands, and hurried to press her wrist against Will’s forehead: heat seemed to spill from him as if fire ran under his skin, and when she glanced down at his eyes the whites were bloodshot and suffused with a faint, unnatural tinge of yellow.
“I— on the day— I can’t—” Will said, one hand rising to clutch weakly at Alice’s arm before falling slack as his eyes slammed shut and his head lolled back, and then somehow she was hauling him to his feet, bracing his full weight — as limp and boneless as a sack of flour — and shouting for Roger to call Dr. Armstrong before it was too late.