- For the Pre-Scratch versions of the Ancestors, see Pre-Scratch Trolls
Ancestors are a concept in troll society. They are historical figures who lived centuries before the set of twelve trolls who are followed in Hivebent. Each ancestor is said to be a close genetic match to a particular troll, and young trolls believe that they are supposed to find clues about their ancestors. The ancestors are also intended to serve as role models for adolescent trolls. Each troll shares their zodiac symbol and blood color with their respective ancestor. After the Condesce took over Earth she enforced a system of culture and reproduction onto the humans that was similar to that of the Trolls. Consequently, Roxy's Mom and Dirk's Bro can be seen as Ancestors.
The ancestors of the main twelve trolls were ectobiologically created by Karkat. If the troll ectobiological process is similar to the humans', then it is probable that Karkat first cloned the ancestors and then from the mixing of the ancestors' genes, the current generation of trolls would have been produced. Since the ancestors were the first to play, however, it is possible that the genetic relation goes the other way, i.e. the current generation are the ectobiological parents of their "ancestors," much as the post-scratch kids are the ectobiological parents of the pre-scratch kids.
Conversely, the revealed ancestors look like grown up versions of the current trolls, which suggests that there might have been no mixing process involved at all, but instead duplication. This is more in line with the social concept of troll ancestors, who are said to have the closest genetic match with their descendant. On the other hand the young pre-scratch trolls display traits that may indicate a mixing process after all.
According to Doc Scratch, the trolls' twelve ancestors were the original Sgrub players in the trolls' universe. However, their session became unwinnable, and they chose to perform the Scratch in order to have more favorable starting conditions, losing their memories and knowledge of the game in the process.
As part of the bargain they struck with Echidna, though, they would be unable to participate in the new Sgrub session and became the trolls' ancestors while their own ancestors became the troll players. The majority of the ancestors in the new universe were involved in the rebellions of either the Signless or the Summoner.
The ancestors, like the trolls and kids, follow a naming scheme. All except for the Grand Highblood have an eight-letter title. Some of them have their titles changed at some point in their lives, usually to another eight-letter word.
Some of them have had their names revealed in addition to their titles. Of these, all are eight-letter names made by combining two common words. Marquise Spinneret Mindfang is the only ancestor who has had both her first and last name revealed. Seeing how it was told that Marquise is a title (befitting of her blue-blooded caste), and it also fits the pattern, it would be inferred that Vriska's ancestor would be known as The Marquise, or Marquise Mindfang.
There are a few exceptions, but most are handled by using typing quirks to their advantage. The Ψiioniic's title is spelled with a Ψ (the Greek letter psi) and Sollux's typing quirk to fit the pattern, as psionic is seven letters. E%ecutor Darkleer's title changes to, in Mindfang's words, "Expatri8," even though expatriate would be ten letters. Her Imperious Condescension is referred to as the Condesce for short.
List of Ancestors
The Handmaid is the "ancestor" of Aradia Megido, albeit not chronologically so, and the post-scratch incarnation of Damara Megido. It was revealed later in the story that she Whether this is true for all of the ancestors is unclear. The meteor she was on appeared long after the destruction of Alternia ( 612 years or sweeps), so her life actually started after Aradia herself was dead, a roundabout paradox that complements Aradia's status as the Maid of Time. Her interference with several events in troll history gave her a reputation as a demoness amongst the trolls (as by Doc Scratch), even the helper of Death itself.
Doc Scratch intercepted her meteor and began raising her so that she could be one of Lrd English's servants. Under Doc Scratch's tutoring, she became the Handmaid and was released to English. He then gave her a very long lifespan via a curse and sent her back through various points in Alternia's history to serve as a player in major turmoil, such as class warfare and rebellions, in order to prepare the trolls for their Sgrub session.
This all caused her to be feared more than English himself, who rarely interfered directly. She has one last assignment to complete after the destruction of Alternia and the death of the rest of the trolls: recruiting Her Imperious Condescension to serve as her replacement in English's service. Once completed, she will finally be allowed to die.
The Handmaid attempted to escape from this fate while Andrew Hussie distracted Doc Scratch by aggrieving him, but she ended up running right into the waiting gaze of English, who mocks her for trying to flee from a master who is already here.
The Handmaid also has many similarities with the Aradia figure from Charles Leland's 1899 work, Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches. Aradia is the daughter of Diana, the Roman moon goddess, and Lucifer. She is a messianic figure sent down to earth to teach peasants about witchcraft to use against upper classes and against the Roman Catholic Church.
The Handmaid also knows how to use clockwork majykks (appropriate for a Time player), and stirs up class warfare amongst the trolls. Her name may also tie with the Virgin Mary's title as the "handmaid of the Lord".
The ancestor of Tavros Nitram, and the post-scratch incarnation of Rufioh Nitram. According to Mindfang's journal, he was a commander of an army of beasts and a member of the Cavalreapers who, by skill and bravery, became their leader, then won their undying loyalty by growing or revealing wings much like the god tier trolls have.
His evolution would inspire his troops to follow him in a revolution against the Highbloods. The revolution was eventually crushed, but resulted in the Condesce banishing all adult trolls to space, leaving the planet only inhabited by the young. This is possibly a reference to the fact that Neverland is only inhabited by kids who stay young forever.
According to the Magic Cue Ball, the Summoner was fated to become Mindfang's matesprit, but was also destined to be the one to kill her. Due to his lowblooded status he would not be born for some time after the last entry in her journal was made. He is somewhat similar to Rufio, and much like how the Signless became a myth over the years, his own actions may have inspired the Pupa Pan stories. The Summoner was the only ancestor that had wings, due to his mutation.
The Ψiioniic / The Helmsman
The ancestor of Sollux Captor, a follower of the Sufferer, and the post-scratch incarnation of Mituna Captor. He was a mage of unequaled telekinetic ability, who was inspired by the Sufferer to defy his masters and break out of the slavery typically assigned to his low class, or those of his psychic power.
After the Disciple was spared by the E%ecutor, and the Dolorosa sold into slavery, the Ψiioniic was "enlisted in a far worse, if more prestigious service": being grafted to the flagship of the Condesce. He was forced to serve as its Helmsman, directing and powering the engine with his psychic abilities.
It was during his tenure here that the Condesce apparently grew fond of him, increasing his lifespan with her 'touch' until he finally died as a result of the Vast Glub while traveling back to the troll home planet.
It's unknown what implications the Ψ symbol in this ancestor's name actually has, though it may have something to do with the Condesce, considering the letter resembles a trident, and the same letter is used in the name of Feferi's 2x3dent, Ψdon's Entente. The Ψ symbol seems to ultimately refer to the Condesce's sign as well as the logo for Betty Crocker which Jane Crocker is the heiress to. It can now be seen as a label – a collar, even – connecting those it marks to the evil Batterwitch.
Ψ, "psi", is the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet, thus making the original pronunciation of his name "the Psionic". A psionic is defined as one possessing psychic powers.
The Signless / The Sufferer
The ancestor of Karkat Vantas, and the post-scratch incarnation of Kankri Vantas. Like the other ancestors, he was one of the 12 unsuccessful heroes from the original, pre-scratch session. However, unlike the others, he gradually began to remember his previous existence on Beforus (to which Doc Scratch speculates is a side effect of his mutant, candy red blood).
Inspired by his visions, he spread word of a culture free from conflict and suppression based on blood color. This eventually resulted in a large scale sectarian revolt that would be crushed by the highbloods. After the revolt, he was captured and killed. Even though any reference to the revolt (including in pre-scratch incarnation's chat style.) was forbidden, his followers and teachings remained alive in secrecy, referring to him by the number 69 replacing the b and o in "sym69ls", as they resemble the Cancer symbol and his
He was never as angry as Karkat until his torture, when his love for his people became an all consuming rage and hate that rang throughout paradox space as the Vast Expletive, his final sermon. In fact, it has been implied that the anger he felt during his final moments lives on in Karkat, with whom he shares the. As his name implies, the Signless was not given a symbol like other trolls normally are. It was through his instruments of punishment (shaped like the Cancer sign) that his followers gave him a sign, and a new title: the Sufferer.
Aranea Serket implies that Kankri's ability as the Seer of Blood was not realised until his life as the Sufferer, where he remembered his time on Beforus. This could imply, like Darkleer's void abilities, that the Ancestors also retained their pre-scratch titles and abilities. Which would also make the Sufferer a Seer of Blood.
The ancestor of Nepeta Leijon, the Disciple was the Sufferer's most devoted follower, and the post-scratch incarnation of Meulin Leijon. She listened to every vision he retold, every lesson he preached, and faithfully recorded his scripture. Eventually, they became matesprits, although it was said that their relationship was more than that, going beyond the standard set of quadrants entirely. To spread his message throughout the world, they took to the seas in the vessel of legend known as the First Ship, a transparent reference to "shipping".
The Disciple was to be executed along with the Sufferer, but the E%ecutor took pity on her and allowed her to escape. She absconded with the Righteous Leggings, the only remaining evidence of the Sufferer's existence, and spent the rest of her life in caves, recording the Sufferer's teachings on the walls with the blood of slain creatures. This parallels Nepeta's shipping wall. Her dedication was critical to the persistence of his message.
The ancestor of Kanaya Maryam, and the post-scratch incarnation of Porrim Maryam. She raised the Sufferer to maturity from just a grub due to a chance meeting while she was running an errand. Due to her jade blood, she belonged to a rare class whose only duty was to tend to the mother grub in a cavern. Seeing no other chance for the Sufferer's survival, she abandoned this duty to raise him. In time, she became his first follower, and one of his close circle.
After the Sufferer was executed, the Dolorosa was sold into slavery and spent the rest of her life as property of vicious sea dwellers. It is highly probable that she was the female slave Mindfang took an interest in. If this is true, then she was later assassinated by Dualscar. This mirrors the (admittedly complicated) red interests between Vriska and Kanaya, as well as the fact that Kanaya is later killed (albeit temporarily) by Eridan.
"Dolorosa" is the Spanish word for "painful," and serves as a traditional attribute of the Virgin Mary (in the full form "mater dolorosa," or "grieving mother"); thus bearing a connection to her (as well as her descendant's) symbol, Virgo.
Inas well as a , the Dolorosa's eyes and mouth appear to be glowing with a bright yellow incandescence, suggesting that, like Kanaya and Porrim, she became a rainbow drinker at some point.
The ancestor of Terezi Pyrope, and the post-scratch incarnation of Latula Pyrope. She was a neophyte legislacerator who was sent to apprehend Mindfang and bring her to justice after the incident with Dualscar. She is said to be quite talented, but still inexperienced, as evidenced by the title "neophyte."
She eventually captures Mindfang, who underestimated her, not knowing about her dragon lusus, Pyralspite. Mindfang's sensitive vision eightfold is burned out by looking into the dragon's bright eyes, and her arm is severed by Redglare. Unfortunately, Mindfang uses her powers during her trial to turn the spectators' aggression towards Redglare, causing a riot that leaves her hanging from the very noose intended for Mindfang.
Redglare is shown wearing the sign of the Sufferer around her neck, signaling that she was part of that underground movement that supported his ideals after his death. This may be because Redglare supported the idea of equality, and, along with the fact that she was a keeper of justice, can be directly tied to her sign, Libra.
Notably, Pyralspite is the only known ancestor lusus, other than Gl'bgolyb, who is shared by both the Condesce and Feferi. Mindfang noted in her journal that Pyralspite swallowed her lusus whole, but Mindfang's lusus has never been seen or further described in-story.
Marquise Spinneret Mindfang
In her youth, her descendant found a journal in an impact crater that detailed much of Mindfang's life, and had clues for hidden treasures, including the Fluorite Octet set of dice and massive piles of treasure. Mindfang was also the namesake for Vriska's Flarp character.
Her name, Spinneret, breaks the ancestors' naming system of using eight letters; the spinneret is the organ from which spiders produce their silk. However, her title, Marquise, preserves the pattern. Her last name, Mindfang, is an obvious reference to her and Vriska's mind control abilities.
Through her, it is revealed that she had a kismesissitude with Orphaner Dualscar, Eridan's ancestor, which may have been Vriska's inspiration for her relationship with Eridan. Mindfang seemed to have a habit of playing redrom games with various trolls, most of them of lower castes, which Dualscar despised and envied. The journal also reveals that Mindfang had a female slave lover, who is implied to have been Kanaya's ancestor, the Dolorosa. This would mirror the red feelings between Kanaya and Vriska that were present at one point.
After hearing that Neophyte Redglare was sent to apprehend her, she thinks of it as little more than a joke. Underestimating the inexperienced Redglare, she is taken by surprise when the Neophyte confronts her together with her dragon lusus, Pyralspite. In the confrontation, Mindfang loses her vision eightfold to Pyralspite's scorching gaze, and Redglare tears off one of her arms, matching the injuries Terezi causes Vriska to suffer. Mindfang is then taken into custody until her trial.
Using her powers of manipulation, Mindfang successfully turns the rust bloods at the trial against Redglare, leaving her only to deal with His Honorable Tyranny to complete her escape. Having slain the beast with Redglare's staff, she met with E%ecutor Darkleer, who created a new robotic arm for her.
In addition to being the original owner of the Fluorite Octet claimed by Vriska, she has also been shown to be the previous owner of the all-knowing cue ball, and had communications with Doc Scratch (who called her his protege) in a manner similar to Vriska. Once she retrieved it from Darkleer's home, she hid it with her journal serving as the map, believing that knowing the future caused her more harm than good, particularly referring to her knowledge about her eventual death at the hands of her future flushed relationship, the Summoner. This might actually be the reason of Vriska's confused black-to-red feelings for Tavros. It is implied that Vriska used a map in the journal to find Darkleer's home and the ball.
Other than the Condesce and the Handmaid, Mindfang has so far had the most influence on the plot. The most obvious examples are the Pop-a-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer created by John from Mindfang's weapon and used to damage the health bar of Jack Noir, her cue ball being used to create Doc Scratch, and the karmic cycle of revenge that began with her and Neophyte Redglare. The last of the three was intentionally reprised by Terezi on several occasions; first when she manipulated Doc Scratch into blowing up the cue ball in Vriska's face, then to confront Vriska, assuming Vriska was responsible for many of the troll murders that had occurred and wanting to bring the Scorpio troll to justice. It is likely that Terezi, like Vriska, knows in some way of the exact details of the conflict. Where Mindfang killed Redglare, Terezi killed Vriska, avenging Redglare and Tavros. Mindfang's less significant influences on the plot include her journal, which she bequeathed to Vriska and may have sent by meteor, and her writing quirk, which Vriska obviously copied from the journal as a way to emulate Mindfang. Said quirk is the only one seen to be shared by a pair of dancestors, matching Aranea's. Terezi and Latula's quirks aren't a perfect match, with Terezi normally speaking in uppercase while Latula normally speaks in lowercase.
E%ecutor Darkleer / The Expatri8
The ancestor of Equius Zahhak, and the post-scratch incarnation of Horuss Zahhak. He is skilled in machinism of some kind that is analogous to his descendant's work in robotics. Unlike his descendant, both of Darkleer's horns and teeth are, at least when he is seen, unbroken. Equius's teeth were stated to usually grow back in his .
He was tasked with executing the followers of the Sufferer, though he could not bring himself to kill the Disciple. For his failure, he was banished by the Highbloods, and became the Expatri8, as Mindfang's journal calls him.
Mindfang escapes from her trial and seeks out Darkleer for a "debt" to be repaid in the form of a prosthetic arm. Mindfang has found that her admiration of Darkleer has vanished over the sweeps, as he continues to mourn the situation involving the Disciple and his banishment. She considers his work to be a good "distraction" for any grieving that might weigh on his mind.
Darkleer is thought by Mindfang to be surrounded by a Void that conceals him from Doc Scratch's omniscience. She left the cue ball with him so that Doc Scratch would not be able to locate it. This ability is most likely related to his alternate self's role as Page of Void, and descendent's role as the Heir of Void and may provide an explanation for why Vriska was able to keep the Cue Ball hidden from Doc Scratch in turn.
The Grand Highblood
The ancestor of Gamzee Makara and a member of the subjugglators, presumably the leader, and the post-scratch incarnation of Kurloz Makara. Like his descendant, the Grand Highblood was violent and deadly, and belonged to a juggalo-like cult.
The Grand Highblood was in charge of keeping the lower castes in check during his reign, operating much as an enforcer for the Condesce's regime. However, he was known to be capricious and unpredictable, rendering this point moot. It's possible that he was responsible for the fate of the Sufferer and many of his followers. On post-scratch Earth, his role was mirrored by the Juggalo presidency.
After Dualscar's kismesissitude for Mindfang failed, he offered her location to the Highblood. Mindfang wrote in her journal that this plan either would, or already did, fail spectacularly due to the subjugglator's sanguinary nature, resulting in Dualscar's death. Despite this, the Highblood apparently took the threat Mindfang posed seriously, and sent his wild card, Neophyte Redglare, to apprehend her. His descendant mirrors this action by sending Terezi to deal with Vriska.
The Grand Highblood liked to decorate his walls with the blood of his victims. This gory rainbow included blood of all castes (excluding the Condesce's tyrian purple, mutant candy red, and his own caste's purple), which surely. This mirrors Gamzee writing messages on walls with the blood of his fellow trolls, and writing messages with his own blood in the style of his fellow trolls.
The Grand Highblood is the only ancestor whose name violates the eight letter naming rule.
He was prone to jealousy, despising Mindfang's redrom games with other trolls though she was already his kismesis. Because she would not return his feelings and always taunted him with her redrom games, Dualscar had Mindfang's potential matesprit (most likely the Dolorosa) assassinated.
He also placed a bounty even larger than the one she had on Mindfang's head. This obviously ended the pair's kismesissitude. It is also mentioned that he had a redrom interest in the Condesce. "Orphaner" is likely a reference to Eridan's – and possibly Dualscar's – practice of killing other trolls' lusii in order to feed Gl'bgolyb, leaving them orphaned.
He attempted to inform the Grand Highblood of Mindfang's location, but was likely killed by the Subjuggulator due to the clown's insane and unpredictable nature. However, since both Ahab's Crosshairs and the Fluorite Octet were found on the same ship by Eridan and Vriska, it remains a possibility that Dualscar escaped the Highblood's wrath considering the fact that Mindfang likely would not have come into possession of the crosshairs without Dualscar dying somewhere where she would have access to his remains.
The only source currently available for this information is Mindfang's journal, and she doesn't seem to have bothered with confirming Dualscar's fate, so strictly speaking his fate after meeting with the Subjugglator is unclear. However Aranea has pointed to his death at the hands of the Subjugglator because he could not tell a funny joke.
Her Imperious Condescension / The Condesce / The Baroness
- Main article: The Condesce
The Condesce (pronounced /ˈkɒn.dɛs/ kon-dess), is also known by her full title Her Imperious Condescension. She is the ancestor of Feferi Peixes, and the post-scratch incarnation of Meenah Peixes. The Condesce is the present empress of Alternia, and held that position during the lifespans of the trolls' ancestors as well as the troll players. Her name is the eight-letter shortening of the word "condescension", which highlights her possession of said quality.
Pre-scratch Feferi(Meenah's Ancestor)
Despite not being mentioned or making an appearance, it is implied that as the ruling fuchsiablood on Beforus, she is the reason behind the softer meaning of 'culling', other than the lack of Doc Scratch's influence.
This table contains extremely approximate timelines for the ancestors, in relation to each other. Numerous details are not elaborated on in the story; for example, it is not known when the Grand Highblood died, other than that it was some time before Hivebent. Such gaps are left blank.
|Follower of Sufferer||Preaching||Follower and lover of Sufferer||Follower of Sufferer|
|Enlisted as Helmsman||Executed||Spared by Darkleer||Sold into slavery||Exiled|
|Serves as Helmsman||Seclusion and eventual death||Killed by Dualscar||Captures Mindfang||Captured and maimed by Redglare||Seclusion and eventual death||Killed by Highblood|
|Hanged by lowbloods||Escapes trial|
|Kills Mindfang||Killed by Summoner|
|Revolt fails||Bans adult trolls from Alternia|
|Dies in the Vast Glub||Return trip to Alternia|
|Raised by Doc Scratch|
|Killed by Condesce||Kills Handmaid|
|Enters kids' universe|
Connections between ancestors and descendants
Many of the ancestors' interactions are inverted by the troll players. Dualscar killed the slave, who was likely the Dolorosa, the Summoner killed Mindfang, Dualscar was possibly killed on the orders of Her Imperious Condescension with the Grand Highblood as her proxy, and Mindfang arranged Redglare's death. Accordingly, Eridan temporarily kills Kanaya, who then permanently kills him in return (both imitating and inverting the ancestors' case), Vriska kills Tavros, Eridan kills Feferi, and Terezi kills Vriska. This likely has to do with the troll kids(i.e. getting revenge).
Other events are paralleled. Redglare's dragon, Pyralspite, disabled Mindfang's vision eightfold, while Terezi informed Doc Scratch of Vriska's possession of the Magic Cue Ball, causing him to explode it in her face, and disabling her vision eightfold. However while Mindfang subsequently killed Redglare, Vriska merely blinded Terezi in retaliation.
A more complicated addition to the above two points occurs when Tavros prepares to revive his complicated possible romantic interest Vriska with a kiss, when she was almost dead. She prevents him from doing this, however, and then exhorts him to kill her. Meanwhile, the Summoner is known to have killed Mindfang, who was his matesprit.
Many of the troll kids' titles bestowed by Sgrub fit with their ancestors' roles in history:
- Aradia is the Maid of Time, corresponding directly to the time-travelling Handmaid.
- Tavros is the Page of Breath, relating his (supposed) wind abilities and rocket chair to the Summoner's wing mutation and flight abilities.
- Sollux is the Mage of Doom, corresponding with the Ψiioniic being a powerful mage of unequaled telekinetic ability and his ill fate.
- Karkat is the Knight of Blood, connecting his and the Sufferer's unique candy-red blood mutation.
- Nepeta is the Rogue of Heart, and like the Disciple engages in unconventional behavior for the sake of the people she loves.
- Kanaya is the Sylph of Space, endowing her with the role of a healer and breeding duties. The Dolorosa, in her nourishing maternal role, mirrors both.
- Terezi is the Seer of Mind, and could relate to Redglare's name and her dragon lusus Pyralspite's burning glare.
- Vriska, the Thief of Light, or fortune, is the descendant of Mindfang, a pirate and Gamblignant.
- Equius, the Heir of Void, inherited Darkleer's void powers.
- Gamzee's fulfilment of his role as Bard of Rage also recognizes his hatchright as a high subjugglator.
- Eridan, the Prince of Hope, is the descendant of Dualscar, who was presumably also nobility.
- Feferi is the Witch of Life, corresponding directly to the life-extending Batterwitch.
Both Sollux and the Helmsman were killed simultaneously as a result of the Vast Glub, fitting their duality theme.
Several ancestors, as well as Doc Scratch's interference in the events concerning them, can be interpreted as direct references to characters from the biblical tales involving Jesus Christ. Hussie has commented extensively on this topic on.
- The tale of the Sufferer teaching peacefully, his martyrdom, and the adoption of the means of his torture as a symbol by his cult are clear references to Jesus himself. When Terezi said " ", she may have been talking about the Sufferer, which would parallel her ancestor's portrayal as a follower of the Sufferer.
- The Ψiioniic could reference to the apostle Peter; both were good friends of their respective messiahs, and were later punished in a way that they would suffer greatly.
- The Disciple may parallel Mark the Evangelist, whose symbol was a lion. They both were faithful disciples and recorded their masters' teachings. The beloved disciple is another candidate. She could also be a counterpart of Mary Magdalene, who was a disciple of Jesus and theorized by some scholars to have been his lover or wife.
- The Dolorosa as the adoptive mother of the Christ-like Sufferer, parallels can easily be drawn with the Virgin Mary. This connection might be due to the fact that Mary's birth is celebrated during the Virgo period, on September 8. Kanaya Maryam's surname is drawn from an Arabic term for the Virgin Mary.
- The E%ecutor parallels with Pontius Pilate, the Roman who was tasked to kill Jesus Christ, as well as the semi-apocryphal figure Longinus, the soldier who wounded Jesus during his crucifixion, as Darkleer shot the Sufferer with an arrow during his flogging.
- Complacent Beforus (the A1 session) was transformed into to conflict-wrought Alternia (the A2 session), through the scratch and bargain with Echidna. This is yet another Biblical parallel in which Beforus represents the Garden of Eden, Alternia represents the "real world", the bargain with Echidna represents the manipulation of the serpent, and the scratch represents the consumption of the fruit of knowledge. This further cements the role of The Signless as a Jesus-like prophet.