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In reply to the September Blue response: In Interlude 18æ: Breaking Quarantine Krixwell quoted
“September blue, thy sorrows be forgotten
October auburn, let this season pass
Nove-e-ember gray, re-estore with thy rain
December white, thy beauty ever last“
and linked to the song Chant of Benevolence by 4everfreebrony. That singed reminded me of the two Avett Brother’s songs, November Blue and Denouncing November Blue.
Side note: Denouncing November Blue is a much better song, lyrically and musically, but it is a sequel to November Blue
Ohh, that “September Blue” song! I thought you were referring to a title or an artist and it confused me since I don’t know any songs or artists by that name.
Hmm… November Blue is nice lyrically, and the melody is okay, but the vocals are really not my style. Very grating, wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the song. (In a way, I didn’t. The video I was listening to, not the one linked, cut off about a line and a half before the end for some reason.)
I definitely agree that Denouncing November Blue is better. The melody is significantly better, the lyrics are more interesting, and while this is still not a genre I’m particularly interested in, (at the risk of sounding harsher than the first song deserves,) it sounds like the Avett Brothers learned to sing in the four years between the songs.
Maybe I shouldn’t speak so loudly about song quality…
“Charlatan” was from the interlude tags (old message). There was one new name from the 19.1 tags (“Chitter”)
Ohhh. It would be the Trickster clones, then, I see.
Chitter… wait, did Skitter clones get two names, or did I misattribute Scurry? There was a Skitter clone in the Interlude too (and yeah, it did seem odd to me that some of those names would only come up after 19.1, which should have clued me in on the fact the ask was in response to the Interlude), so she’d be among the last set already…
I’m pretty sure the only truly new clone material in 19.1 was the dogs, but “Chitter” doesn’t seem right for that.
It would make some sense for Tattletale, but again, the idea that Tattletale was cloned off-screen and the one with the team now is a clone is very far-fetched. It would take some very tricky plays to pull off, and raises the question of where the heck the original Tattletale has been stuffed away.
…though admittedly it would support her decision to use a terrible healing power on Skitter without explaining how vulnerable it makes her until it’s too late.
I am so here for it if that is what happened though.
19.1 character taggs added 1 more clone name – Chitter. Protagonist’s privilege to have individual names for the clones I suppose, since we already had Scurry.
I suppose that’s fair.
It’s also possible at this point that Scurry is intended to come back later in a greater capacity, and therefore deserved an individual name. Then again, she would likely come back with the rest of the clones from the end of the interlude, and those didn’t get unique names… so we’re right back to protag privilege.
This makes more sense to me than “Skitter clones get unique names just because”, because Chitter isn’t unique. There were two of them.
A third explanation is of course that Wildbow came up with Scurry first, tagged the Interlude with that, and then went “oh I could have used Chitter, let’s do that instead ” and forgot to update the Interlude tag.
Poof ended up being called Pale. Pale is his longest work so far at nearly 2 million words, which is funny because he’s been writing Pale for a year and 8 months while Worm at 1.6 million words took around 2 years and 5 months.
You’re telling me this madman sped up?!
That’s about 3300 words a day, up from 1813. Dang.
Now you’re past your spoiler about the existence of a cape named Scapegoat who hotswaps people! And what’s funny is you seem to have forgotten it. And what else is funny is that it was always a more meaningless spoiler than it seemed, because best I can tell, there is no power that’s actually popularly known as “hotswapping”; that was just one person’s idiosyncratic description of the power, and could just as easily have been referring to any number of powers.
Oh yeah, you’re right! I did forget about that!
“Hotswapping people” as a power description on its own reads to me like Trickster’s power, although Scapegoat’s name gives some additional hints about what exactly he hotswaps.
power classification nerds be like “he owns a shotgun he’s at least a Blaster 3”
I’d joke about a Worm AU where Taylor’s power is just “gun”, but I can almost guarantee that it’s been done. Probably several times. Heck, it could even happen in a powerswap, because Miss Militia’s power is practically just “gun” with a large inventory.
If you could have any Worm character’s power (excluding Eidolon because that’s boring), whose would you want? This question brought about by of your talk about Scapegoat losing the power lottery.
In real life? I’m not even joking when I say Über. My man’s vastly underutilizing his power and even if it wasn’t being used for crime, livestreaming and/or heroism, it would just be a fantastic power to have in day to day life. Being able to do anything like a master… admittedly it might take some of the fun out of learning to do things, but if you can resist the temptation of using the power for a few select things you can still get some of that, while cruising through the things that aren’t fun to master.
In a cape capacity, I feel like Trickster’s power would be a fun one, but I’d be crap at using it. Alexandria is tempting, since she has the combination of flight, low risk of injury in fights, and most importantly memory, but I agree that it’s no fun if I just say one of the most powerful ones.
Will there be a more detailed search function coming to the new site? I wanted to find where you talked about classpects of various worm characters, but I don’t want to have to binge the entire thing to find them. On that topic, what would you think the classpects of some of the other characters would be? (Sorry if I’m using the wrong terms, I haven’t read Homestuck but I find some of its analytical lenses fascinating)
Unfortunately the search function is handled by WordPress, so if there’s a way to improve it, I don’t know how to do it.
I found what you were looking for, though. My trick was that I searched “classpects prince”, because I knew I’d probably only have used the word “prince” on the blog in the context of classpects, and this post was the only result.
I see back then I only covered the Slaughterhouse Nine. Yeeah, there are a bunch more interesting characters to classpect.
First, though, I’m going to repeat the note from last time: Please don’t send in alternate classpects or debate me on the meanings of classpect terms. Sharks is not familiar with the meanings behind classpects and can’t catch any potential spoilers inherent in your suggestions, especially given the variety in how classpects are analyzed by different readers. And speaking of that variety, I have my interpretations, largely based on the theories of bladekindeyewear (he’s controversial because he went a bit far in some of his endgame theories, but I think his classpect stuff remains pretty solid), and will base my takes on those. This blog isn’t the place to discuss the basis of those theories, only how they apply to Worm.
So let’s take a look at the Undersiders!
- Tattletale: Tattle is easy. The Light aspect is her lifeblood as a character. Light is a broad aspect that covers knowledge, information, awareness, importance, attention, agency and narrative. Much like Jack, there’s some overlap with Mind, but Tattletale is all about using her knowledge to mess with minds. She seeks information, and puts it to use. Despite all of this focus on awareness and her name, she’s also one of the most notoriously secretive characters in the main cast, which relates to Light’s opposite, Void. But fortunately there’s a class that fits perfectly for this.
A Knight, by the theories I subscribe to, is someone who actively (i.e. directly and for their own benefit) exploits their aspect, often as a weapon. They also have a number of side tendencies: They often start out with little of their aspect (forcing them to make the most out of what they do have), they tend to have a facade that hides their aspect especially as it applies to themself, and they tend to be in groups that otherwise don’t have much of it.
Tattletale as a Knight of Light exploits knowledge, information and attention (how many times has she derailed things for her enemies by forcing them to pay attention to her?), while hiding almost anything she doesn’t have to share.
- Grue: It’s easy to knee-jerk Grue as a Hero of Void, but I don’t think that’s accurate. (Case in point, apparently I suggested Page of Void back in Insinuation 2.5, when I’d barely met him, and changed it to Maid of Void by Arc 11. 2.5 also had Thief of Light for Tattletale, whose exact power and MO wasn’t clear yet.) While there’s often a correlation, classpects are not about a character’s powers, but about their narrative roles and the things they do.
Grue as a character is all about Blood, the aspect of relationships (romantic, familial, friendly, whatever the case may be), emotional bonds and groundedness (literally and figuratively). The hard part is figuring out his class. What Grue usually does is try to protect his Blood, but there’s no protector class in BKEW’s/my interpretation of the classpect system. (Some interpretations make Knights protectors, but I don’t think that makes any sense.)
Another way of looking at it is that his role in the story is to passively provide Blood to other characters. For Skitter and Imp in particular, that means relationships and emotional bonds, but it also means he keeps the team grounded with his pragmatic and realistic approach to supervillainy. This would make him a Page (“equips” others with the aspect so they can use it like Knights) or a Sylph (more generally allows the creation or repair of the aspect). I’m leaning towards Page of Blood for now.
- Similar to Knights, Pages often start with little of their aspect, but grow into a fount of it. Before becoming an Undersider, Grue pretty much only had Imp.
- Imp: Imp, meanwhile, I feel it’s more justified to call a Hero of Void. Void is the aspect of mystery, secrets, unawareness, lack of attention, forgotten things, and there’s a Ring of Void in Homestuck canon that makes the wearer invisible. I think her personality and way of using her power lend themselves to a very active (direct, for own benefit) class, such as a Knight or a Prince.
I’ve already discussed Knights, so let’s take a closer look at the Prince. The Prince is one of the most explicitly stated classes in Homestuck. It’s a very active destroyer class, which can either destroy their aspect, or destroy using their aspect. They also tend to lack their aspect. I think this fits Imp’s MO better than Knight does, because while she can use her power to pull of some very sneaky things, when left to her own devices, she seems more inclined to perform assassinations like against the clones. Her power also works backwards — she’s cloaked in Void by default and has to actively use the power to turn it off, destroying the Void, and in her first in-person appearance, she stabbed right through Grue and Skitter’s secret identities. Still, she works with either class, I think. Prince of Void or Knight of Void.
- (A very different example of a Knight of Void in media is Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials.)
- Regent: As much as he would argue that it’s body control dammit, I want to say Thief of Mind for Regent. Body control and mind control don’t differ when it comes to the fact that they steal the choices away from someone. One could also make the argument that he’s a Thief of Light, since one of Light’s domains is agency, which would be amusing considering I’ve discussed Regent potentially being a Vriska and Thief of Light is her classpect. But I don’t think Regent does any of the other things associated with a Thief of Light. For example, he makes no attempts to grab the spotlight in any way, which is a key feature of how Vriska interacts with her classpect. It’s also worth noting that Mind is opposed to Heart, the aspect of emotion and individuality. But I’m not entirely sure he’s actually a Thief either — Thief is an active role, and aside from having a few people to defend himself with while at his base, I’m pretty sure we’ve only ever seen him use his power passively, as in, for others. He doesn’t make a lot of decisions on his own, he takes control over someone and then allows the leaders of his team to decide what he does with them. He controls the bodies, but he’s rarely the one actually making the decisions about what those bodies should do. The one time we’ve seen him go outside of this, when he faked relinquishing Shadow Stalker, it was for Skitter’s sake. Because of this, I’m going to say he’s a Rogue of Mind, one who takes choices from someone and gives them to someone else, or takes choices from others for the sake of the team. A Robin Hood of bodily autonomy.
- (Then again, he did have some nasty Thief moments in his backstory.)
- Bitch: Hmm. Bitch’s narrative role and power are kind of tricky to put into classpect terms. Let’s see, she makes Skitter learn how to see other people’s perspectives, see the people behind the monsters. She’s fiercely loyal but struggles with relationships. She can be singleminded and aggressive at times, but cares deeply, especially about one thing in particular. I’m thinking she might be something of Rage, which is kind of an underappreciated aspect because it’s largely about negative things, but those things can also be necessary in healthy doses. Rage covers negativity, anger, pessimism and all that jazz, but it also covers focus and disbelief (contrasting with Hope’s belief, optimism and lack of focus). Taken too far, “focus” becomes “tunnel vision”, but it can be useful in healthy doses. I think part of Bitch’s development has been adjusting the dosage. Question is, what does Bitch do with her aspect? Given her destructive MO and the stuff I wrote about tearing down Skitter’s singleminded worldview, I’m inclined to suggest she’s a Bard of Rage. A Bard is like a Prince but passive, allowing or inspiring the destruction of/through the aspect rather than doing it herself. She didn’t force Skitter to learn to see the other perspectives, Skitter started doing that on her own just because Bitch was there. She powers up her dogs, allowing them to destroy singlemindedly. Bards are also a notoriously capricious class, exactly the type of people liable to push an ally they don’t like into containment foam given the opportunity.
- Homestuck has a canon Bard of Rage and I’m scared of the potential fanart this assignment enables.
- Skitter: Main characters are particularly difficult when you’re only halfway through a story, because their arc usually doesn’t peak until just before the end. Many main characters don’t fully grow into their classpect until very late in their stories, and they often have a big moment at the climax that has a lot of impact on what their narrative role should be considered to be. So I have very little confidence that I can hit Skitter’s classpect right on the mark here, despite how well I’ve come to know her. Let’s try, though. Oddly enough, my first thought is actually Knight of Hope.
(Yes, that’s two or three Knights among the Undersiders alone, out of fourteen possible classes — superhero stories like Worm lend themselves well to Knights, due to the focus on creative exploitation of one’s particular Thing. Let’s not forget that this team also has three Masters, there’s no rule against multiple characters of one classification. The Masters all use their Master powers differently, and the Knights all use different aspects, differently.)
But why Hope? Taylor isn’t exactly a hopeful person. However, Hope covers more than just literal hope and optimism. It covers beliefs, ideas, perspectives. Taylor takes what little Hope she has, and uses her broadened perspectives — both in terms of bug sense and in terms of seeing things both as a hero and as a villain — to execute a wide array of ideas. Where Rage would have someone like Bitch focusing on one thing, refusing to see other possibilities, Skitter keeps constant tabs on everything around her at once, sometimes without even realizing she’s doing it, and goes through every option in her mind. Her black-and-white, singleminded worldview at the beginning of the story is a manifestation of her initial lack of Hope, her Rage, and through her arc with Bitch that begins to erode and she begins to come into her own as someone who looks at the world from thousands of little perspectives at once. So yeah, I’ll settle on Knight of Hope for now. Someone who exploits hope, ideas and perspectives, often as a weapon, and hides her inner idealist behind the mask of a cold, calculating villain.
I think a lot of us have been waiting for you to get to Scapegoat’s reaction. Time for some SkitterFacts. “Skitter went blind once. Nobody else noticed and she forgot it happened.“
“Skitter once had smoke inhalation, blindness, some messed up ribs, and was covered in puke. Or as she regarded it, a minor inconvenience.”
“Skitter was complaining about some mild aches and pains when a hero with the ability to absorb injuries tried to heal her. He started screaming moments later.”
“The Undersiders after exactly 4 vapes” by CheekyHerbivore
…yeah that looks about right.
How do you explain this?
[Magic the Gathering card]
Purple Worm (five generic mana, two green mana)
Creature — Worm
This spell costs 2 mana less to cast if a creature died this turn.
Ward 2 (Whenever this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays 2 mana.)
Underground civilizations maintain magical barriers around their settlements to deter these monsters.
I don’t know about you, but I think it looks a little… pale.
“Chitter” by scarfgirl
She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll bug you in the face. This is a really good Chitter design!
I’ve also received context for that one piece from the previous Between post where Taylor said she didn’t need friends and then struck a pose… but, uh,
Context might be a generous term.