Quadrants are a set of extremely complicated relationships in Troll culture. They are a frustratingly difficult concept for humans to grasp, so much so that in response to a , Andrew Hussie trolls the readers by forcing us to read the troll relationship info BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK.
Karkat has stated that trolls are driven by the two primary emotions, hate and pity. However the other trolls seem to be capable of the full spectrum of emotion familiar to humans and given the corruption of their society by outside forces and revelations about their uncorrupted society, it is likely this statement is part of the beliefs of the corrupted society and not accurate.
The four quadrants are:
- Matespritship, the flushed quadrant (♥)
- Moirallegiance, the pale quadrant (♦)
- Auspisticism, the ashen quadrant (♣)
- Kismesissitude, the caliginous quadrant (♠)
Matespritship and moirallegiance are part of the red romance (redrom) group, which means that they revolve around more positive emotions. Auspiticism and kismesissitude, on the other hand, belong to the black romance (blackrom) group, which means that they revolve around more negative emotions. Matespriteship and kismessisitude are part of the concupiscent group, and revolve around more sensual emotions. Moirallegiance and auspiticism, on the other hand, are of the conciliatory group, and revolve around more platonic emotions. Trolls usually form quadrangles in regards to their concupiscent relationships, which roughly translates to our human concept of "love triangles" except with more elements in the mix, thus making it more complicated.
The boundaries between the relationships are fluid. Young trolls, like humans, have to find the right balance between the emotions. Since all the Hivebent trolls are still young, they seem to be perpetually confused by the complexities of troll romance, and in some cases are far from discovering romance in any quadrant. Trolls do not differentiatewhen it comes to their relationships - the very idea is foreign to them.
Nepeta enjoys a hobby of guessing and tracking different relationships with her Shipping walls. Her shipping wall on Alternia lists all possible redrom combinations, while her shipping wall in The Veil includes only current known and suspected relationships (both red and black). Similarly, Karkat "studies" relationships as an avid admirer of troll romance novels and rom-coms. He considers himself an expert in troll relationships, despite exhibiting unusual shyness, bossiness, and relationship failures in both concupiscent quadrants.
The Beforian Trolls appear to share the quadrants, having made reference to both flushed and caliginous relationships among their members, and having referred to Moirails and the quadrants themselves outright. While the term "quadrants" implies a fourth relationship, auspistice itself has not yet been confirmed. This article currently tends to the Alternian system until future information comes to light: differences between the two cultures may or may not arise in future updates.
Red Romance (Redrom)
These types fall under the pity hemisphere of troll emotions, and are associated with the color red. They are tied to strongly positive emotions.
Matespritship/Flushed Quadrant ♥
The one most like human love/romance. Matesprits have a strong feeling of affection for one another - though troll psychology being what it is, courtship can be just as violent as that between kismeses, and indeed it can flail between one and the other. It is one of the two concupiscent relationships, those that deal with reproduction, the other being kismesissitude. Matespritships's quadrant is known as the flushed quadrant.
Known unrequited matesprits:
- Eridan for Feferi.
- Eridan for Karkat.
- Kanaya for Vriska (May only be formerly, as she planned to "abandon" her "preposterous infatuation").
- Nepeta for Karkat.
- Vriska for Tavros .
- Vriska for Nicolas Cage.
- Tavros for Jade.
- Eridan for Nepeta.
- Vriska for Kanaya, from .
- Vriska for John.
- Gamzee for Tavros, from .
- Jack for PM, from .
- Sollux for Gamzee as shown . It's worth noticing Sollux vacillates between this and Kismesissitude, more likely due to his dual nature.
- Sollux and Feferi, shown .
- Kanaya and Rose, shown .
- Karkat and Terezi, from (They started developing one however Terezi may have broke it off mixed signals).
Chat version: <3
Moirallegiance/Pale Quadrant ♦
GA: It Just Means Theres Got To Be Someone Around To Keep An Eye On Them
Moirallegiance is a process that occurs between a troll and their "moirail" (also informally known as a Andrew's comment.). It is a form of guardianship, but it isn't simply about being platonic soul bros forever, see
A troll is compelled by fate to watch over their moirail and keep them in line. Despite the platonic appearance of this role (as we currently understand it) to us humans, trolls consider it a type of. Moirallegiance may also entail pacifying one's partner, like what Nepeta does for Equius and Karkat for Gamzee. Moirallegiance may translate (roughly) to our human concept of "love for siblings", which contains no intent for reproduction.
It is one of the two conciliatory relationships, the other being auspistice. As it is a redrom, it is linked to pity in the same way that black romance (blackrom) is linked to hate.
Moirallegiance is a portmanteau of "moira" (fated) and "allegiance." This kind of relationship may be most similar to the Greek concept of στοργή (storgē), or "like family," which can be defined as "a desire to ensure the well-being of another."
Known unrequited moirails:
Chat version: <>
Black Romance (Blackrom)
These types fall under the hate hemisphere, and are associated with the color black. They are tied to strongly negative emotions.
Auspisticism/Ashen Quadrant ♣CA: i figure if youre going to auspisticize any twwo brinesuckers wwho sneer at each other a funny wway you might as wwell make it official and be ours right
An auspistice is a "facilitator" of some sort between two others, mediating interactions between them and keeping their relationship functional. Auspisticized pairs include Eridan and Vriska, Spades and Snowman, and Vriska and Tavros, all of whom have been shown to be potentially caliginous to some degree, suggesting the emotions between two auspisticized trolls are similar to but distinct from those of kismeses.
Andrew explains that if the mediator does a poor job or is uninterested in keeping the peace, the two might delve into more torrid emotions, as stated above. Without auspistices, widespread black infidelity is guaranteed. It is one of the two conciliatory relationships, those more platonic to humans, the other being moirallegiance.
Auspistice is a portmanteau of "auspicious" (fortunate, promising) and "armistice" (truce.) It may be analogous to the ancient Greek concept of αγάπη (agápē), or "selfless love," since the auspistice doesn't get anything out of this directly. It also aptly sounds like asbestos, for its sound obsorbing and flame resistant nature.
- Kanaya between Eridan and Vriska. According to Eridan, Kanaya can be called upon frequently for this function, and he refers to her as "the vvillage twwo wwheel devvice wwhen it comes to auspisticing".
- Kanaya between Vriska and Tavros. Yet it failed, because she was too worked up on her own feelings to grasp the situation and now it's all gone down the slime tube.
- Nepeta believes Jade to be auspisticizing between Karkat's past and future selves
- Doc Scratch between Snowman and Spades Slick, as seen
- The Courtyard Droll (apparently) between Liv Tyler and the Wizardly Vassal, . The text does say he "mediates between the two bickering parties" and to top it off, the eyepatch he makes for Liv Tyler is a club badge.
Known potential auspistices:
- Almost John, between Terezi and Karkat, but this was averted.
- Terezi believed Eridan was asking her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Alterniabound, but both she and Sollux did not want to be in a relationship with him.
- Feferi also rejected what she perceived as Eridan's ploy to get her to auspisticize between him and Sollux in Kanaya: Return to the core.
- Kanaya felt the compulsion to auspisticize Gamzee and Karkat as seen , but Karkat paps her, stopping her as seen .
- Kanaya also feels compelled to auspice between Karkat and Dave as seen , though it has not yet been addressed again.
Chat version: c3< (though o8< appears in Equius: Seek the highb100d.).
Kismesissitude/Caliginous Quadrant ♠
CG: BOTH PARTIES HAVE TO HATE EACH OTHER EQUALLY, I MEAN LIKE TRUE HATE.
This is what a troll feels towards someone known as their kismesis. This is linked to hatred, and it is necessary that both parties feel hatred towards each other. Not any kind of hatred will do, since there is such a thing as platonic hatred amongst trolls (similar to the human concept of platonic love).
In other words, kismesissitude seems to be based on a mix of hatred and sexual attraction. As it thrives on a rivalry between two trolls, defeating or killing your kismesis is discouraged, since obviously there wouldn't be a relationship anymore. It is one of the two concupiscent relationships, those that deal with reproduction, the other being matespritship, and it has been shown that like with matespritship. Andrew says that the most appropriate human concept that is somewhat synonymous to kismesissitude would be "potent arch-rivalry".
Kismesis is a portmanteau of "kismet" (fated) and "nemesis."
- Jack and the Queen. Andrew stated "troll players could immediately place it as a dead ringer for kismesissitude." Even in the form of Snowman, the Black Queen continues to taunt Spades Slick.
- Eridan and Vriska, although Vriska broke things off.
- Karkat believes he might be his own kismesis. The only opponent he's ever really felt was strong enough against him was his past and future selves, who he has spent most of his recent time on Trollian arguing with, even after meeting the kids. According to Terezi, he has become obsessed with arguing with his past and future selves.
- Marquise Spinneret Mindfang and Orphaner Dualscar, although Dualscar ends the relationship.
Known unrequited kismesissitudes:
- Eridan for Rose. He solicits her, citing what he perceives to be similarities between the two of them as reasons why they would make a good rivalry: noble blood and diabolical theatrics. She blows up his computer, which seems to only exacerbate his feelings towards her.
- Karkat for John, as shown in . Over time though, the feeling changes to this human emotion called friendship.
- Gamzee for Dave, as shown (or perhaps Insane Clown Posse after seeing their video.)
- Terezi and Vriska have developed a rivalry that several characters explicitly recognize as a potential kismessitude, including its appearance on Nepeta's Shipping wall.
- Peregrine Mendicant for Bec Noir: After donning the White Queen's ring, PM can be seen with a <3< mark in response to Jack's apparent flushed feelings.
- Terezi for Gamzee as shown , though whether the emotion survived Karkat's shooshing her has yet to be seen.
- Sollux for Gamzee as shown . It's worth noticing Sollux vacillates between this and Matespritship, more likely due to his dual nature.
- Eridan for Sollux as shown in Alterniabound.
Chat version: <3< (though <}< appears in Equius: Seek the highb100d.).
Not a quadrant of troll romance but rather the interactions between multiple quadrants. Due to the complex nature of troll romance and its volatility it is not uncommon for two parties to flicker back and forth between different quadrants.
Matesprit/Kismesis double reacharound
Often one party will have red feelings while the other one has black feelings. Usually one party will adjust their feelings to match their partner's emotions, however this is not always the case. This sort of relationship volatility is one of the reasons why auspistice is an important part of troll romance.
Possible matesprit/kismesis double reacharound pairs include:
- Equius and Aradia.
- Vriska and Tavros.
- Sollux for Gamzee (unrequited)
- Karkat and Terezi
- Jack Noir and Peregrine Mendicant.
Double reacharound pairs may correspond with the ancient Greek concept of μανία (mania), or "highly volatile/obsessive love".
Due to the multiple relationship types and the demands of troll society, trolls form groups and chains of Matesprits and Kismesises. A quadrangle is the simplest complete form of such a group of relationships. It consists of four trolls with two Matespritships and two Kismesissitude between them. If one pairing in a relationship group swaps its relationship type it can force all other relationships within the group to swap as well.
Possible Quadrant Vacillations include:
A troll disease which spreads among groups if not carefully controlled. Equius says that in troll language, the word for friend is exactly the same as the word for enemy, even though both words are said separately in , which he has with Gamzee right afterwards.
Friendship corresponds with the ancient Greek concept of φιλία (philía), or "love between peers," which humans inexplicably believe to be a good and powerful thing. As a prank, John refers to it as an emotion in a with Karkat, but (from Karkat's perspective, earlier from his own) insists that it is not.
Aradiabot refers to Karkat as being her friend in Alterniabound.
Relationships With Humans
In trolling the kids' timeline, and despite Karkat's orders to troll with extreme predjudice, some of the trolls seem to have developed feelings towards the kids, the only confirmed one being Karkat's failed kismesissitude for John. Kanaya is hinted to have moirallegiance-type feelings for Rose, as shown. Her feelings have since become "the red kind," which Rose may or may not reciprocate (see ).
Also, Vriska has developed a crush on (presumed deceased) human action star Nicolas Cage (in reality, he became the Nick of Time), and used her intensified variation of the symbol for matespritship, <33333333, "a human d8, whatever that entails" if they ever meet. Terezi has also been shown being somewhat infatuated by Dave, though the outcome remains to be seen.. She later
Tavros admits to Jade that, However Jade tells him that they've only had a few conversations and that you need to know someone before you start having those kinds of feelings for them.
Karkat also almost declares something to Jade, just before the events of Cascade.
The kids have also been shown throughout their early childhood as wearing the quadrant signs:, and . This presumably leaves Rose with Clubs.