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Homestuck adventure notes
Mozai, 2011-08-22 20:15,  
Just so's I don't lose track of this stuff.

The Idea
- A civilzation emphasing castes/estates/strata of society.  Castes are
  for life, and determine career.
- Children don't have parents but sponsors, just as citizens of Rome
  had their 'pater' sponsors; this is where we got the English word
  'patron', and the concept of a child's "godfather."
- Strife between the players are symbolically strife between castes.
  Kids eventually learn not to judge each other based on their heritage /
  caste, but on individual merit and accomplishments.
- The number three over and over again... with a mid-story reveal that
  what they thought was three is actually four.  The magic number for this
  session is "324".

Humans have **'guardians'**, the full-grown humans who raise, teach and
care for the players (usually the young human's progenitors, or other
family ie: Dad, Mom, Bro, Grandpa).

Trolls have **'lususes'** ('lusus' singular), the monsters that care for
them as infants and are in turn cared for.  Lususes are not themselves
trolls (ie: crabdad, Tinkerbull, spidermom, Byol'gbub, Becquerel)  Trolls
have no attachment to their offspring, and due to their reproduction
methods may never see any of their many offspring, but many trolls
revere their predescessors and wear a sigil to show their lineage,
tinted to show their blood colour and thus social status.

Prenu have **'patroni'** (singular 'patronus' or 'patron'), an adult prenu
that invests, sponsors and grooms young prenu to assist and eventually
take over their affairs.  These young prenu are called 'children', but a
more appropriate human translation might be 'apprentice.'  Adults do not
care for their offspring, seeing infants as offspring of the community
as a whole (hatching from exocorpus eggs?).  Individual parentage is
irrelevant -- what an infant will become is more valued than where an
infant came from.  Infants are cared for in the hopes they are fit to
be sponsored by a high-status patronus.    When an infant is adopted
by a high-status patronus, it elevates the reputation of the community
that infant was raised by, and when the child becomes an adult they are
likely to return to their "home" and bring the high-status skills and
resources they have inherited from their patronus.

Most humans don't have a birth-caste system; those that do, the children
inherit their parent's caste, though you can leave your caste by moving
to a new community so long as you're willing to start in the "foreigner"
caste.  It is possible in many human communities to elevate caste by
earning respect and providing worth to the community at large.

Trolls have a blood-caste system; your elevation in society is
determined by the nature and colour of your blood, from rust maroon
(lowest) to tyrian purple (highest).  Furthermore, the highest castes
are visibly amphibian, spending most of their time at sea and displaying
fins (gills?) on their head.  Lower castes are expected to defer to
higher castes; higher castes don't seem to have any corresponding
responsibility to lower castes.  Lower castes have a higher incidence
of physical or mental mutation, but the higher castes are on average
much more resilient in physical or psychic conflict (ie. a mid-caste
blueblood may have a mutation to instanly hypnotise a person and make
suggestions, whereas an orangeblood could charm entire herds of beasts,
and a purpleblood could do neither but can resist any attempts by
either to sway her mind, and physically overpower both).

Prenu are casteless when born (or belong to the 'infant' caste).
When they are self-sufficient, potential patroni come and adopt the
infant into their caste; then they are no longer infants but 'children'
(or, as humans would say, 'apprentices').  There are three(*) castes:
**Clergy**, those who teach, craft and ajudicate; **Knights**, those
who lead, fight and adminstrate; and **Labourers**, those who build,
transport and cultivate.  Child-rearing is shared among all castes
equally, as infants must be taught, disciplined and provided for,
though some communities will have a majority of caretakers of one caste.
Prenu merchants are the Labourer caste, as they are "providing" goods by
transporting them and seeking fair exchange.  Prenu artisans were almost
entirely Clergy caste until recently; experiments with industrialzation
and mass production are giving more of this power to the Labourer caste.
Blah blah, generations of looking down on Labourer caste, civil unrest,
Clergy develops industrialization and mass production techniques to share
responsibility for crafting with Labourer caste, though the Clergy still
keep the specialist and expert jobs to themselves.

(*) there is a fourth caste, not counting infants, but the
players/protagonists only know of three because they are still children.
This is the 'exile', 'untouchable' or 'criminal' caste; their duty to
improve the community is to stay out of the community.  The carapace
refugees from Prospit and Derse will be viewed as members of this caste,
to be shunned.  A lesson that the game will teach the players is to
stop viewing castes as better or worse than each other, even the 'exile'
caste.  People should be judged on their own merits; a Clergy patronus
is not automatically better than a Labourer patronus, what matters
is the quality of the children each patronus raises to adulthood.
(I have half a dozen examples of the useful work the 'exile' caste would
do for the prenu: sin-eaters, funerals, paramilitary, disaster recovery,
the goyim that orthodox Jews hire to do work for them on the Sabbath, all
stuff that "polite society doesn't talk about.")

Prenu Biology
Warm-blooded reptiles?  Egg-laying, so parent's aren't invested in
gestation and thus attatched emotionally to particular offspring.
Use hair-like headfringe for heat venting instead of sweatglands?
Important to be able to adapt to many climates, can't be like
cold-blooded lizards with metabolism tied to ambient temperature.
Hormone cues at puberty -- slight physiological changes according to
the caste of the majority of adults.  Thus, Knight children who stay
near their patronus and other Knight adults will gain Knight-like
adaptations.  Possible to see at a glance which caste prenu have taken
by their appearnace, and also discourages switching castes.  
What does this mean for chilren who enter the game and lose their
patroni?  How will they gain their caste's adaptations without exposure?
Could be a crisis in Act 2 of the story.  (answer: godtier prenu gain
'adult' adaptations, just as godtier trolls gain 'adult' wings)

There will be six players, two from each caste, 3 to a side.

Possible boy names for the Prenu players: `Abe, Ben, Jim, Jon, Ken, Rob.`

Possible girl names for the Prenu players: `Ada, Amy, Ela, Eve, Jan, Kim.`

Prospit players will use additive colours: Cyan/Turqoise, Magenta/Spinel,
Yellow/Citrine (pyrite?). Derse players will use subtractive colours:
Blue/Lapis, Red/Ruby, Green/Malachite.

The players aren't 'server and client,' they are 'patronus and child,'
which will irritate some, and scandalize some, until they figure
out that each player is patronus to one and child to another in a loop,
so it's all balanced out.  They're all children/apprentices, so
legally they cannot be someone else's patronus, but this is just a
game of pretend (just as human children playing 'King of the Hill'
aren't really royalty).

Prenu Relationships

There are three(*) types of committed relationships -- "commitments"
for short --  that the prenu may have with each other.  Prenu may have
the same type of committment to more than one other prenu, but may not
have multiple types commitments to the same prenu.  Each has an sigil,
which coincidentally look like the icons of human playing cards,
and troll quadrants.

<3 - **eros** - animal - creation - the desire of two equals to create
something together.  Sometimes this is a new business venture, a novel
innovation, or joining to create a new infants.  Infants 
are appreciated by the community since they replenish each caste, and
they are opportunities for the community to indirectly inherit
resources from another community.  It is considered taboo for an
adult prenu to be patronus to an infant in their own community; the
equivalent human idea would be 'inbreeding'; trolls have no such taboo.
It is not unheard of for a former patronus / apprentice pair to have
an eros commitment.  This will freak out a troll or human when they
discover this could be starting a new business venture together,
or making an infant together.  Two prenu in a patros committment
would never have an eros committment; it's not taboo, it just never
happens since eros commitments can only be between equals.
It is infrequent that people of different castes will have an eros
committment, though they necessarily must be of equal relative status
in their respective castes.  The castes of the parents do not
determine the caste of the infant.

N.B.: !!! The prenu who are playing a new game are not engaging in
an eros ("erotic") committment; the game was already created before
they found it.

<> - **fratros** - mineral - protection - the promise between equals to
protect and support each other in common interest.  This could be allies
in warfare, or a business contract between partners.  Committments of
fratros do not depend on caste, and may be made between more than
two prenu.

c3< - **patros** - plant - cultivation - the voluntary burden of a
superiour to train and improve an inferior, and the inferior's promise
to obey the superior.  This is the relationship between patronus
and child.  It is possible -- and some think it is ideal -- for the
patronus and child to become equals and change the relationship to <>
fratros, but some patroni prefer to always have this relationship, and
only surrender their affairs to their child upon death.  Committments of
patros are necessarily in the same caste, and a patronus may have many
children, but each child may only have one patronus.

(*: there is a fourth relationship, which is only revealed in Act III
or Act IV, when the prenu players discover that their society always
had a hidden fourth section... and some players were already tempted
or have succumbed)

<3< - **mortos** - absence - destruction - the relationship between one who
kills/destroys/ends, and the entity that is ended.  For some, this
commitment means taking on the duties of the prenu that was killed,
for some it means taking only the wealth owned by the dead prenu
(or salvaging the remains of the destroyed object), and for some
it means the commitment to destroy the rest of the dead prenu's
affairs (ie. killing all the children studying under that patronus,
burning the remains of the destroyed object, censoring any mention of
the destroyed idea).  A prenu may have a mortos committment to many
things, but each committment does not end until the target of their
intent is murdered/destroyed/eliminated.  Having too many ongoing
mortos committments can weigh heavily on someone, sending them into
depression, or neurosis.

(eg: Older prenu would see right away that the troll Eridan Ampora had
a mortos committment to landdwellers, and would point out that making
a mortos commitment to the majority of his own species would make him
very unwell and eventually drive him insane or suicidal.)

The Midnight Prenu
Their names and natures also correspond to these prenu commitments.

- HB <3 is the venturer, with goals and ideals, and always first to
  enter the fray.
- DD <> is the businessman, looking out for the group and tidying
  loose ends.
- CD c3< is the apprentice, learning and being cultivated, prompting
  the Crew to think about what they're doing instead of running on
- SS <3< is the murderer, eliminating every obstacle and more besides.

Unlike the prenu, SS seems capable of endless mortos committments
without any ill effect himself.  The truth is he only has one such
commitment: to the entire world.  Thankfully he will never have the
power to live up to this omnicidal mortos commitment (in this session
anyways)(we hope).