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Mindfang's journal

Daedric alphabet glyphs as seen in Mindfang's journal.

The Alternian Alphabet refers to character sets used in Homestuck and Hiveswap to represent the Troll language. Although the Trolls generally converse in English (with some exceptions) and use the standard Latin alphabet, many pieces of graphic designSburb Logo, booksSburb Logo, and even Homestuck's overlayed game textSburb Logo on Alternia use the alternate "Alternian" character sets. Despite perhaps meaning to give the impression of an inscrutable alien language, such messages are still in English, simply with the letters swapped for the Alternian symbols (in Homestuck and using the Daedric Alphabet, the text is also written from right to left and from the bottom to the top of a page, although in Hiveswap and with the new Alternian Alphabet this is often not the case and text reads left to right, bottom to top). This allows for all such messages to be easily translated, and they usually (but not alwaysSburb Logo) match up with any given English translations in the page text.

As these Alternian glyphs are usually seen more often in the context of older writings, such as Mindfang's journal, or in media produced by corporate or establishment enterprises, it may be that they represent an older, more traditional character set most popular in ancient times or with the longer-lived Highbloods who hold the most power, whereas the younger generation favours the English alphabet. Regardless, most Trolls seem able to use and read the two interchangably.

The "Alternian alphabet" can actually refer to two, separate alphabets. The first of which, the Daedric alphabet, is the version of the alphabet used in Homestuck itself. This alphabet is actually the Daedric alphabet from the popular video game series The Elder Scrolls, except flipped vertically. Hussie took this alphabet and decided to use it in Homestuck for the Troll language, and it remains the "Alternian" alphabet which is found throughout Homestuck.

During the development of Hiveswap, the first Homestuck adventure game, it was decided that a new, original Alternian alphabet should be created in the same style of the original, presumably to avoid copyright claims from Bethesda, the company behind The Elder Scrolls. In Hiveswap and related media, the trolls are retconned to universally use this new alphabet in place of the old, representing an inconsistency with Homestuck. Like the Daedric alphabet, this alphabet is a set of alternate Latin alphabet glyphs, and messages written in them are still in English. The two alphabets have a very similar visual style.

Daedric Alphabet Edit

Daedric Alphabet Edit

The full Daedric Alphabet as it is shown in MSPA. It should be noted that the Daedric Letters here are upside-down. The O's two points should be on the bottom, and so on.

The Daedric Alphabet is stolen originated from the popular video game series The Elder Scrolls. At the beginning of Act 5 Act 1, Andrew found this particular writing in the suggestion box which he opened only shortly, as people were pouring in and slowing down the server. It was used to name Karkat Vantas on his 6th Wriggling Day, in a similar fashion to John's naming on his 13th birthday and was also used to name the planet: Alternia.

In Homestuck, an inverted version of the Daedric alphabet is used to represent the troll language. When used in this manner, the entire text is read flowing right-to-left and bottom-to-top.

The Daedric alphabet is not actually an alphabet, but merely a set of alternate glyphs for the Roman alphabet (the letters are the same, just drawn differently). Numeric digits are not often seen, but where they do appearSburb Logo in Homestuck, flipped and inverted versions of the standard western arabic numerals are used. Punctuation seemingly does not appear in the Daedric alphabet.

Interestingly enough, in The Elder Scrolls, the Daedric alphabet is primarily used by the Dremora, who, like the trolls, are a warlike race of grey-skinned, yellow-eyed humanoids with horns who use a caste-based social structure. However, as Andrew has stated he picked the alphabet at random, this is most likely a very lucky coincidence.

(New) Alternian Alphabet Edit

AlternianAlphabetComplete

The Alternian alphabet as seen in Hiveswap media.

The new Alternian alphabet was introduced in promotional material for Hiveswap, and represents a new set of original glyphs that fulfill the same role as the Daedric characters did in Homestuck, without any looming threat of copyright claims from Bethesda. The introduction of this new alphabet was a retcon by What Pumpkin, and it will presumably be used as the official troll alphabet in all future media, while in-universe nothing is regarded to have changed, and this new alphabet will have "always" been the alphabet of Alternia.

This new alphabet appears to have been created in a similar style to the original Daedric alphabet, with the intent of capturing a similar feel. Notably, this new alphabet also incorporates punctuation symbols, which were conspicuously absent from Alternian text before this (as the original Elder Scrolls Daedric alphabet did not contain any).  As in the Daedric alphabet, numerical digit symbols are not often seen; however, as shown in the announcement post for Hiveswap Friendsim: Volume Two, stylized versions of the standard western arabic numerals are used as in the Daedric alphabet. Furthermore, while the old Daedric alphabet was often written from right to left and from the bottom to the top of a page, this alphabet as it appears in Hiveswap instead tends to be written from left to right and top down, as in English, and similarly, the numeric digit symbols are not flipped and inverted.

Although this alphabet is now the de-facto canonical Alternian alphabet of the Homestuck franchise, it is unlikely that Homestuck itself will be edited to use the new characters due to the amount of work this would take to facilitate, and due to the fact that Homestuck books have already been printed (although this did not preclude other retcons).

List of Daedric Alphabet appearances in HomestuckEdit

Karkat

Karkat Vantas slashing apart his incorrect name "Bulgereek Nookstain", written in the Daedric Alphabet.

  • It was used to name the planet the trolls originated from. However, while the image caption refers to the planet's correct name as Alternia, the Daedric text in the image itself reads "TrollplanetSburb Logo". On the previous page, it was used to give Alternia an incorrect name; this text reads "Turdodor FuckballSburb Logo".
  • It was used to give Karkat an incorrect name, "Bulgereek NookstainSburb Logo", before his correct name was revealed in the next page's caption.
  • Karkat's movieSburb Logo postersSburb Logo are written in this font, as well as the cover of his Game Grub magazineSburb Logo. Unlike with the name of Alternia, the text on the magazine cover is as described in the image caption: the name of the magazine is indeed "Game Grub", and the headline is "Exclusive Leaks". Oddly, Karkat's The Thresh Prince of Bel Air DVDSburb Logo and bookSburb Logo on the ~ATH programming language (as well as ~ATH code itself) are actually written in the Roman alphabet.
  • During Karkat's encounterSburb Logo with his Custodian, the word "grief" appears. This is likely the troll equivalent of Strife. It may be a reference to griefing, an online activity just as obnoxious as trolling.
  • Aradia's Ouija modus has Daedric writing on itSburb Logo, showing the alphabet, the numbers, and reading "OUIJA GOODBYE"; as well as spelling out a word related to the item being retrieved. The only one seen so far is the Crosbytop being "BINGSburb Logo".
  • Feferi's can of TabSburb Logo.
  • The title ofSburb Logo "Sweet Kid and Hella Jack".
  • The subtitle in [S] Wake.Sburb Logo, unsurprisingly, reads "Derse".
  • In Kanaya: Return To The Core, at the beginning of Sollux and Eridan's fight, there is briefly Daedric text which reads "Grief"
  • Vriska's ancestor's journal.Sburb Logo. Curiously, the image shows spaces where the numbers "8" should have been, as there are no "Daedric numbers". This is, however, contradicted by the upside down numerals on Aradia's Ouija modus page. It reads: "would aghast misgivings did not complement his so endearing arsenal of qu8nt flaws it is impossi8le to stifle this grin even now as i write"
  • When Vriska fightsSburb Logo against Jack Noir the title is "Grief" instead of "Strife". This follows the pattern of Karkat's previously mentioned encounter with his lusus.
  • Vriska's ultimate attack and highest roll on the Fluorite Octet, "ANCESTRAL AWAKENING".
  • Vriska's and Bec Noir's health bars read "Health Vial"
  • Vriska's action upon using her ultimate attack, "AUTO-PIRATE"
  • The Handmaid's "Grief" against Doc Scratch is headed in the usual manner. Her commands are Aggress and Aggrub.
  • The Condesce's flagshipSburb Logo is known as the "BATTLESHIP CONDESCENSION".
  • The text on the computer screen at the start of [S] Act 6Sburb Logo reads "CLICK ==> TO CONTINUE".
  • The text above the record player at the end of [S][A6I1] Karkat: Mental breakdown.Sburb Logo reads "THIS IS STUPID".
  • The alphabet is laid out on a computer keyboardSburb Logo that is used by Calliope.
  • In [S] Jane: Enter.Sburb Logo, after the text in Latin alphabet "Years in the future", a text in Daedric alphabet reads "but not many".
  • The text on the folderSburb Logo given to Roxy by the Condesce says "YOURE WELCOME"
  • The text in Calliope's scrapbook (a ~ATH programming manual) is also written in Daedric. The first line on this pageSburb Logo reads "ge first laser - is light true - short the source code for our first program" (to be verified), this would suggest that the entire content of the page is not random text, but indeed includes actual programming instructions.

List of new Alternian alphabet appearances in Hiveswap (and related media) Edit

  • Grubbles lyric videos.
  • Xefros's picture of the Heiress that reads "All your hive are belong to us."
  • Subtitles on Xefros's television.
  • Error message on Dammek's monitor.
  • Dammek's SERPENT games.
  • Trizza's selfie in Act 1, which reads "Wish you were here."
  • Miscellaneous writings by Dammek.
  • Miscellaneous posters in Dammek's hive.
  • Xefros's vault.
  • All Hiveswap Friendsim character select screens, which translates to their name.
  • Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Two announcement post.
  • Cirava's Good Ending in Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Two - some text floats by reading "aesthetic".
  • In the nursery in Bronya's route in Volume 3, the corkboard has text on it that reads "Nursery".
  • When you meet Tagora in Volume Four, the text above him says "Payment owed for legal services offered:" followed by an amount in numbers for each interaction with him. The currency has it's own symbol of an Alternian C, with two horizontal lines going through it (representing the troll currency of caegars).
  • Various poster's in Vikare's hive in Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Four.
  • During Remele's art heist in Volume Seven, Remele asks you to push two buttons to disable the laser security system - the one with "a meat claw but with angry eyes" and another with "a meat hook but it's got purrbeast claws".

External linksEdit

  • Daedric Alphabet on The Elder Scrolls Wiki. Further information regarding the Daedric alphabet can be found here.
  • Daedric Alphabet on The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages. A TrueType Daedric font can be downloaded from there.