May. 23rd, 2016

sylphauxiliatrix: (Default)

Name: Rav-T
Means of Contact:
Age: 31
Other Characters Played: none

Name: Kanaya Maryam
Journal: sylphauxiliatrix
Canon: Homestuck
Age: No specific canon age, must be between between 7 and 8 sweeps, a range of 16-18 years. I'm going to fiat say 18 years old.
Canon Point: Act 6 Act 6 Act 2 Gigapause

Background Information:

Wiki Link --
Kanaya's introduction page in the comic serves as a good guide to her background up to the moment she becomes a primary character in the story --
A Quick Synopsis:
Kanaya and her eleven friends were all fairly typical alien teenagers on the planet Alternia, a brutal world that starts life with hunger games for babies (losers may literally end up as paint or catsup) and only gets worse from there. They decided as a group to play a new video game, SGRUB. The game seems to affect reality, starting with the destruction of their homeworld as they all escape into a place between universes, the Medium. They fought long and hard through their game, gaining all the levels, some of them realizing the full potential of their roles, and finally all coming together to beat the final boss and collect their prize. Before collecting though, some demon appeared out of nowhere, forcing them to flee to a lab hidden in a rock in the Medium. There, they learned of a group of humans who were playing the same game. These humans created the demon that screwed the trolls over. At first the trolls harass them over the internet (which works between worlds because of the game), but eventually they become friends. The humans screw up their game to an insane degree, and have to reset. In escaping the reset, two of the humans meet up with the surviving trolls, and travel on the rock for three years to reach the newly reset game session, which has been set up with four different humans playing. The canon point I've selected is at most a few hours after arriving in the new game session, where everything has gone south in a huge way.

A note on age: It's heavily implied that all of the trolls were six sweeps old at the start of their adventure. A sweep is equal to 26 months, or 2.1666 years (2 years, 2 months). Thus, a six sweep old troll could be, in human terms, 13, 14 or even 15 years old (in the later case, they would be within two human months of their seventh troll 'birthday'). The canon point I'm choosing is a little over three years after their adventure. I'm choosing to have Kanaya be a bit older, and going with the high end: currently 18 years old by human standards. Though the age of consent in my area is 16 and I have no qualms roleplaying just about anything, the age of 18 does make a lot of things easier for others in an out of character way.


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. Helping people is something of an obsession for her, really. Despite her kind nature, she's no stranger to violence, and is ready to inflict a staggering amount of it on any target she deems deserving.

That's a nice short synopsis of some of her personality traits, but far from a sufficient exploration of her character. Here I'm going to break this down to three major sections: The symbolism that occurs around her in her canon, the recurring themes attached to this character, and a section on her sexuality and relationships. Given the nature of this game, this will include a more detailed than usual look at her sexuality.

--Literary symbolism-- Andrew Hussie (creator of Homestuck) 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 later, such as the meaning behind Kanaya's name. Like most of the trolls, there are three good sources for this sort of indirect examination of her character: trollhandles, Ancestors, and Sgrub Roles.

Kanaya's chat handle is "grimAuxiliatrix". Auxiliatrix is Latin for a "helpful woman", a core component of Kanaya's personality. 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 almost a fairly typical troll, unfazed by violence. She killed Eridan Ampora 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. Another good example of this would be amputating a friend's paralyzed legs while he was asleep so he could receive a robotic replacement.

Troll ancestors are a legend in their culture. It suggests that every troll has an ancestor that is a replica of them, living ages in the past. The legends say that a troll's ancestor will live a life that mirrors their own, with the younger descendant being given the chance to face similar challenges to them with possibly different results. We get to see some of Kanaya's ancestor in Homestuck, and we learn that the ancestors are literally genetically identical to their descendants. Kanaya's Ancestor is the Dolorosa.

The life story of an ancestor seems to mirror the story of the descendant through some sort of literary resonance. The Dolorosa was a jade blood troll who became rather unique in her own right, abandoning the duties of her caste to instead raise a young mutated troll named the Signless. The Dolorosa raised Signless as his mother, while Kanaya had quite a close friendship with Signless's descendant, Karkat. The Dolorosa was romantically involved with a woman named Mindfang, though it's implied that the Dolorosa had no choice in the matter. This reflects into Kanaya's unrequited crush 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 Ampora. 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 not exactly clear in the comic what a sylph of space is or does. We know that Sylphs are a sort of healer class, and we've seen space players affect the physical properties of things, but Kanaya never gains any powers related to this. 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.

--Themes-- Most Homestuck characters have several major themes that come up time and time again in various ways when examining them as characters, and Kanaya is no exception. The ones I've identified here are Uniqueness, Purity, Motherhood, and Vampires.

Uniqueness : The phrase "you are one of the few" is used 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 a personality section. Unlike most trolls, Kanaya:
- Cares about appearances instead of just function ("an affection for the aesthetic"). Few trolls care at all for form, but Kanaya loves fashion. She designs her own clothing, and likes to make clothes for others.
- Has an expressed interest in one gender over the other. Most trolls are epansexual by nature, but Kanaya is not. Further discussion below.
- Enjoys the feel of the harsh Alternian sun. Most trolls are injured by it, but Kanaya enjoys the warmth. Also, she's not nocturnal like most of her race.
- Has little to no interest in politics, personal power, or killing for fun. Such things are almost required of her species, but Kanaya has no interest in it. This may be typical for her blood caste though, since they are supposed to spend their time helping and protecting mother grubs.
- Was granted the unprecedented honor of having a mother grub for a lusus. While this isn't an aspect of her personality, it's very likely that this is where she gets her mothering instincts.

Further, Kanaya is made of strange and unique juxtapositions. She's a lumberjack, and a seamstress. A Chainsaw Surgeon, and a caretaker.

Purity: Kanaya's first name is a Sanskrit word for the constellation Virgo, and her personal symbol is the zodiac sign for that constellation, the virgin. This isn't just a crack about her love life, but rather a recurring 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, an image of the strength of purity and serenity. While most of the trolls aren't very well connected to the zodiac symbols they represent, this description 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: Motherhood is a strange theme for a troll, as they don't really have the concept. Her connection to her Ancestor shows a lot of this theme. 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.

Vampires: What a wonderful theme to go with Purity and Motherhood. Kanaya's character has been defined, from her very first appearance, by stereotypical vampire stories. Her hair in her first appearance has an intentional similarity to a high collared cape stereotypically worn by vampires, and a visible pair of vampire-style fangs. Later, when Kanaya is properly introduced, we learn that she's a huge fan of well, basically trashy vampire erotica. Uh, I mean, "sensuous tales of rainbow drinkers and secret passion". through this we learn that 'Rainbow Drinkers' are trolls own version of vampires, and exist in pretty much the same way as they do for humans. They're fictional beings, long regarded as monsters, though recent media has been reinventing them as tragic romantic figures. Unlike typical vampire myths, rainbow drinkers are called 'daywalkers', who hunt in the sun. This inversion is partially because trolls are typically nocturnal and hurt by the sun, and partially as a reference to Twilight's particular reimagining of the vampire myth.
After dying, she arises as a rainbow drinker herself, revealing them as a very real thing. Her skin glows white, further cementing the reference to Twilight's sparkling vampires. Kanaya comes to find that the condition is not quite like it's depicted in her books. The need to feed on blood has proven to be more of an annoyance than a tragic motivation. In later discussions, she theorizes that the condition is actually an occasional adaptation by members of the Jade blood caste. The speed, strength, and fortitude of the condition all would help a jade blood deal with threats to the mother grubs, and the glowing helps navigate in dark caves.

--Sexuality-- 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". This only applies to presented gender, since the genitalia for trolls is a complete mystery as is, and if it is anything different than human, her relationship with an alien (human) named Rose proves that she doesn't focus on what's in someone's pants.

Kanaya's symbol of virgo, the virgin, rather obviously has some sort of impact on her sexuality as well. In canon she had an unrequited crush that lasted for years without ever really doing anything about it. When trapped on a meteor with another 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 (though a year of her relationship with Rose occurred almost entirely off camera). 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.


Kanaya is tall and slender. Roughly 178cm/5'10", 61kg/135lbs. Her skin may either be grey or glowing white (described in Abilities). Her hair is black, medium-short length, and usually in an eccentric style, a combination of spikes and curls somewhat reminiscent of a stereotypical vampire's cape. She has two candy-corn colored horns, one of which sports a sharp barb. Her teeth include a set of long sharp fangs, also in a vampire style. Kanaya almost always wears makeup, most noticeably black or jade green lipstick. A galley of a few of her canon appearances is available on the Wiki address in the Background Information section.


Unlike most members of her race, Kanaya is not particularly nocturnal nor does she abhor sunlight. The average troll appears to be physically somewhat stronger and more resilient than the average human. Her preferred weapon in combat is a chainsaw, an ungainly weapon which she nevertheless wields with speed and grace. Many aspects of being a rainbow Drinker (troll vampire) are left ambiguous.

Here is what is solidly canon: As a Rainbow Drinker, Kanaya has become even more physically formidable. She survived and continued to run and fight with a large gaping hole where her spine should be. She can move with superhuman speed in a sort of vampiric celerity which one character dubs "Drinker Fastness". Kanaya's skin can glow with a soft white light, bright enough to illuminate up a large hallway. This glowing feature can be turned on and off at will. Like a vampire, she must ingest blood to survive.The bite has no lasting effects beyond a small pair of puncture wounds that are treatable with a bandaid, suggesting that either the bite is small (and thus only a small amount of blood is drawn) or the feeding process includes some sort of healing agent to reduce the harm. The rainbow drinker condition is not passed by the bite, or by any other process, and is theorized in canon to be an adaptation to help some jade blood trolls fulfill the tasks of their caste. She can and does drink blood from dead bodies without issue, including blood that has been bottled and kept in someone's inventory for several years.

The following is extrapolated from canon: Apparently only small quantities of blood are required as she survived for three years with a handful of friends, none of whom seemed to suffer from any ill effects. A human can give about a pint of blood every week with no symptoms, and about two pints of blood in a sitting without requiring medical attention. Assuming that she takes about a pint per feeding, the most she could feed without it being apparent would be less than once per day, and that would require careful balancing of which of her friends she fed off of. So we have an upper bound of 5-6 times per week, and a lower bound of 'just enough to be considered a bit of an annoyance'. I like to put it at about twice per week. When Kanaya died and changed into a rainbow drinker, she seemed to go on a bit of a rampage. Granted, this mostly seemed to be due to anger at the person that killed her, but it did include drinking from two of her friends that were unconscious. She still seemed to be 'in control', as she took the time to bandage the wounds she caused by feeding before going on to saw her killer in half. I postulate that going without for some time does build up a hunger in a rainbow drinker, but hunger isn't likely to cause them to flip out the way some vampire stories have it. The worst that can happen is a typical sort of desperation anybody would have from being starved.

There's nothing else really hinted at by canon to work with, aside from the condition obviously being influenced by vampire myths. I am fine suggesting that this is the extent of the situation. Kanaya died and was reborn as a rainbow drinker. She's alive again, not a walking corpse. She still requires food and drink, she still needs to breathe, she's still affected the same as any of her race by drugs, poisons, radiation, etc. The canon has not suggested any special weaknesses to garlic, crosses, running water, wooden stakes, or any other typical vampire things.


(One sample may be a link to a post/log thread of decent length that's occurred in the last six months from another game, or from a meme/musebox if the setting is the same as what the character will be apped from and the thread provides a good example of characterization — i.e. no AU settings or overly cracky memes. The other sample must be written to take place in Carvaka's setting.

For the Carvaka-specific sample, we're looking for a good example of character voice and how the character will adapt to the setting. We suggest avoiding "where am I?" or "where are my friends?" type samples, as these tend to be generic and often not fully representative of a character's normal behavior. You can still send in these kinds of samples if you wish to, but we advise applicants to consider whether or not they fulfill the requirements that we're looking for.)

First Person:
Hello. I don't know if anybody has noticed yet, but there seems to be some newly accessible areas now that the floodwaters have receded. This happens to include what was apparently once a cultivated agricultural exhibit. I was wondering if anybody would like to join me in a restoration effort. While I don't possess any seeds at the moment I think we can obtain some through the belief powers of this place. Also, in the exhibit area is a solar growhut. I am claiming 'dibs' at this moment, though I am willing to share. After all, that structure will likely be vital to the restoration effort.

I know this sort of project may not be the most important or beneficial to us in terms of survival. It will provide psychological benefits, however, both as a finished project, and as a task to focus on. If anybody has any particular flora from their homeworld that they would like to be represented, please contact me. With enough requests, perhaps we could set up different ecological sectors.

Third Person:
Third person prose on the TDM


sylphauxiliatrix: (Default)Kanaya Maryam

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