Oct. 22nd, 2013

sylphauxiliatrix: (5x showdown combo with chainsaw)
I understand that you've reached your canon limit for Homestuck characters in reserves. If all those reserves apply I will gladly recuse myself and my app. I have no problem being passed up for all those that reserved, and would of course understand that you're going to ignore this app until the end of the app round, just in case those reserves come in. I just hope that you'll accept me in the case that enough reserves fall through that you still have a Homestuck slot open.

Name: Rav-T
Timezone: GMT-5 (EST)
Personal Journal: [personal profile] krypt
Player Contact: [plurk.com profile] hiddenKrypt
Characters in Game (previously too): N/A

Name: Kanaya Maryam
Canon: Homestuck
Gender: Female
Age: 16 1/2 -ish
Suitability: Kanaya is at least 16 in canon. She was 13 to 14 when introduced and a little over three years have past in canon.
Species: Troll (Alternia)
Canon Point: From the most recent update at time of writing. [megahiatus]
World/Setting: n/a

History: Fan Wiki link


Kanaya is a passionate aesthete, spending much of her free time on fashion and interior design, as well as gardening when she has the opportunity. She loves horror and romance novels, with a particular weakness to trashy vampire erotica. Her no-nonsense attitude and calm demeanor make her seem somewhat humorless, but that's only because her humor specializes in the sarcastic and acerbic. She'd detail oriented, and speaks in a precise manner enhanced by her wide vocabulary. When she uses large or rare words, it's not in an attempt to seem smart, but because those words carry the precise meaning she wishes to convey. She's a worrier to a fault, and has made a bad habit out of butting into other people's business if she thinks she can help.

I'm going to break the rest of this personality segment into three subcategories. First, the overarching themes that are repeatedly shown throughout her character. Second, the literary hints and references that indicate elements of her personality indirectly. Finally, given the nature of this game, a more detailed than usual look at her sexuality.


Uniqueness : The phrase 'you are one of the few' is mentioned six times in Kanaya's second person introduction. Constantly, Kanaya is marked as being a bit different from other trolls, either by actions, by accident, or by personality. Obviously it's this last point we should focus on for this personality section. Unlike most trolls, Kanaya:
- Cares about appearances instead of just function ("an affection for the aesthetic")
- Has an expressed interest in one gender over the other
- Enjoys the feel of the harsh Alternian sun
- Has little to no interest in politics, personal power, or killing for fun
- Was granted the unprecedented honor of having a mother grub for a lusus

Purity: Kanaya's personal symbol is the zodiac sign for Virgo, the virgin. This isn't just a crack about her love life, but rather a reoccurring part of her character. While she never shies away from necessary bloodshed, she is far less violent than many trolls. Her motives in killing Eridan, hunting Gamzee, and even taking Vriska as a moirail have always been based in protecting others, and providing a calming effect to her friends. The homestuck Tarot card collection even has Kanaya on the Strength [VIII] card. The card's design shows Kanaya holding down an enraged Gamzee. This is based on the classic Rider tarot design of a woman holding a lion. It's an image of the strength of purity and serenity. Kanaya's name is even a Sanskrit word for the constellation Virgo. While most of the trolls aren't very well connected to the zodiac symbols they represent, this descriptiuon of the Virgo star sign is almost a perfect description of Kanaya, to the point where I would be tempted to just use that as a personality section some time, just to see if it would work.

Motherhood: This theme is brought in from her connections to her Ancestor, the literally matronly Dolorosa. Kanaya's last name, Maryam, is one that she shares with the Dolorosa and Porrim, and it's a Arabic form of the name 'Mary', as in the virgin Mary. Fitting of course, as the Signless is a pretty blatant Jesus analogue. Motherhood is a strange theme for a troll, as they don't really have the concept. Their reproductive cycle means that Trolls never care for their young, and cannot usually trace their lineage. Your average troll is violent and self-centered. The fact that Kanaya cares about her friends and wants to protect them is strange to begin with. On top of that, she's literally connected with the concept of motherhood. Her lusus gave her the task of restarting the troll race after it's destruction. She was literally raised by a mother grub, one of the creatures responsible for the birthing of all trolls. The Jade blood caste traditionally served the Mother grubs, providing a part of the process at the core of troll reproduction. For a while Kanaya avoided her duties, but she had promised her lusus she would try. After Eridan destroyed the matriorb, Kanaya wasn't sure she'd be able to fulfill that promise, but recently she's actually been somewhat hopeful. We've seen that the Batterwitch has her own plan to acquire a new matriorb, so it may be possible for Kanaya to finally do what she promised.

------Literary symbolism------

Hussie is a huge fan of using symbolic hints and Easter eggs throughout his work as a way of providing more information about the world and his characters. Some of this is evident in the themes explored above, such as the meaning behind Kanaya's name. Like most of the trolls, there are two good sources for this sort of indirect examination of the character: Their trollhandles, and their Ancestors.

Kanaya's chat handle is "grimAuxiliatrix". Auxiliatrix is Latin for a "helpful woman", something we've discussed quite a bit already. The grim aspect is reflected in her willingness to do whatever she needs to, and how little she flinches at necessary tasks. In this way she is a fairly typical troll, unfazed by violence. She killed Eridan pretty much entirely out of revenge and in a horrifically violent manner. She has shown little thought or remorse for this act. She may seem like a nice person but under the right circumstances she has no problems with killing, something that may be off putting to any members of other cultures should they find out about her history. Besides the normal violence inherent in Trolls and Alternian society in general, Kanaya's grim nature may be a result of her time spent gardening and landscaping around her hive. To have maintained such a lush and well grown area in the middle of what seems like arid desert would take quite a dedication the craft of agriculture. Such skills often lead to necessarily but unfortunate decisions, a form of triage being necessary to decide what plants will not be able to grow properly. In a way Kanaya has likely been culling the weak to protect what she can for a while and this attitude for plants matches in some ways her attitude in other unfortunate circumstances. Her willingness to kill is not a symptom of evil, but of utilitarianism. She does not have any problem doing whatever it takes to protect those she cares about.

The life of Kanaya's ancestor provides some interesting insight as well, reflecting in a way what Kanaya had to go through herself. The Dolorosa raised Signless as his mother, while Kanaya had quite a close friendship with Signless's descendant, Karkat. The Dancestors Porrim and Kankri seem to be somewhere between these two: Porrim mothers on Kankri a bit, but they are similar in age and do not have a relationship as analogous to the Dolorosa and Signless. The Dolorosa was romantically involved with Mindfang, though it's implied that the Dolorosa had no choice in the matter. This reflects into Kanaya's unrequited flush for Mindfang's Descendant, Vriska. The situation is similar, but reversed. So too is the fate of the Dolorosa. She was murdered either directly by, or on the orders of Dualscar. Kanaya was murdered by his descendant, Eridan. But when Kanaya died, she rose back up as a rainbow drinker. She then hunted for Ampora, and killed him in return. In that moment, it's as if Kanaya was getting revenge for herself as well as her ancestor who didn't have the same second chance Kanaya got.

Kanaya's title in the game of Sgrub is the "sylph of space". For the most part she never really explored her role, and it's quite unclear in the comic what a sylph of space is or does. However, as a space player she was responsible for the 'breeding duties' of the game, breeding frogs together to solve the puzzle at the heart of the whole game. This has an interesting duality with the traditional role of her caste, a role she never got to fulfill in her time, the same role her ancestor cast aside.


Let's start with the elephant in the room. Trolls are inherently bisexual. They have no concept of homosexuality or heterosexuality. Kanaya, however, has only ever shown attraction to women. The fan-arguments here were legendary. Finally, someone got the creator to answer a question about it. His response was long and somewhat vague, but it ended with the line "From a human perspective, she's an unmistakably gay character." This solved the problem for a lot of people, but a few took this as evidence that she's not gay. Because Hussie included some detail about the troll's cultural view on sexuality, the argument is that the phrase "from a human perspective" changes the result. This line of argument usually claims that Kanaya is bi like most trolls, but she has a "gay kink" or "female kink". these arguments have mostly settled down, but every now and then they flare back up. As such, I try not to claim that my opinion is the "right" answer. I play Kanaya as a lesbian, only interested in Women. As a troll, she has no concept of homosexuality, so if someone identifies her as such she would just get confused. If someone pointed out that she's only ever interested in females, her response would be something like "Oh. That's true, isn't it? I never really thought about it." If hit on by males, she'd most likely turn them down with some variant of "not interested".

Kanaya's personal symbol is the zodiac symbol for Virgo, the virgin. In canon she's had an unrequited crush that lasted for years without ever really doing anything about it. When trapped on a meteor with her new crush for three years, they didn't even really hook up for two years of the trip, and even then it was Rose who drunkenly made the first move. By all available evidence, Kanaya has not done anything more than kiss with anybody. At the same time, it's hard to imagine her as a total prude! The themes of motherhood, of pragmatic control... in general, I think she'd be comfortable discussing sexual topics at length, as long as the conversation isn't about her. Kanaya is the type of person that would have done exhaustive studies of sexual topics, out of curiosity if nothing else, but always in a dispassionate, intellectual way. She'd be perfectly happy to help others with their problems, and could take all the weird shit this game's setting could throw at her without reacting. She's only really easily embarrassed when it comes to her own sexuality. Naturally, for the format of this game, she wouldn't be a total prude, instead having an attitude more in line with Ivan the Apprentice. Given a few initial encounters to get used to the idea, she'd be quite interested in sex, but very cautious.

In general, Kanaya is horribly attracted to dangerous women. This isn't because she's a submissive sort, drawn to dominating types, but that the danger adds a certain thrill... not to mention her natural inclination to try and curb the more hazardous traits of others. Her initial attraction to Vriska was built around Vriska's propensity for violence. Kanaya can't really help but try and protect others by getting close to these hazards and trying to convince them to be less dangerous. As such, she'd probably sign up to be an apprentice initially, but let’s be honest she's not going to make any headway if she tries to pacify the Mistress. Hopefully she figures that out quickly.

Abilities/Weaknesses: Kanaya is a weird troll-vampire thing known as a "Rainbow Drinker". She has a few decent advantages from this: Increased speed, strength, and resilience. All three of these are implicit in canon, though only the speed has been specifically addressed. She also can make her skin glow. This is... not really useful? I dunno. In canon, the traits that define a rainbow drinker are infuriatingly vague. For a previous game I prepared my own headcanon on the topic.

The alien vampire thing comes with the weakness of requiring blood to live. Again, this isn't well explored or specified in canon, and my headcanon link above addresses the facts known compared to how I play it out. TL:DR; She needs blood to live, can go a week without feeding regularly, a little longer if she gets plenty of sunlight (one way that rainbow drinkers are different from the standard vampire myths), and even longer (up to a month) if she drinks plenty of blood from non-living sources (bottles, transfusion packs, etc.)

Kanaya is a "Sylph of Space", but not god tier. While some Homestuck characters have displayed elements of their power from their title before going god-tier, Kanaya has never done anything to indicate that her title has given her any sort of special abilities. We're not even really sure what those powers might be like.

RP Samples:
A thread in your Taste Test Meme starting here, with my response over here, if you don't feel like searching through the other replies.

Something from a previous game.


sylphauxiliatrix: (Default)Kanaya Maryam

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