Their understanding of romance is divided into halves, and halved again, producing four quadrants: the FLUSHED QUADRANT, the CALIGINOUS QUADRANT, the PALE QUADRANT, and the ASHEN QUADRANT.
Each quadrant is grouped by the half they share, whether horizontally or vertically, depending on the overlapping properties one examines. The sharpest dichotomy, from an emotional perspective, is drawn between RED ROMANCE and BLACK ROMANCE.
RED ROMANCE, comprised of the flushed and pale quadrants, is a form of romance rooted in strongly positive emotions. BLACK ROMANCE, with its caliginous and ashen quadrants, is rooted in the strongly negative.
On the other hand, the vertical bifurcation has to do with the purpose of the relationship, regardless of the emotions behind it. Those quadrants which are CONCUPISCENT, the flushed and caliginous, have to do with facilitating the elaborate reproductive cycle of trolls. Those which are CONCILIATORY, the pale and ashen, would be more closely likened to platonic relationships by human standards.
There are many parallels between human relationships and the various facets of troll romance. Humans have words to describe relationships of a negative nature, or of a platonic nature. The difference is, for humans, those relationships would never be conceptually grouped with romance. Establishing those sort of relationships for humans is not driven by the same primal forces that drive our tendency to couple romantically. But for trolls, those primal forces involve themselves in the full palette of these relationships, red or black, torrid or friendly. Trolls typically feel strongly compelled to find balance in each quadrant, and seek gratifying relationships that each describes.
The challenge is particularly tortuous for young trolls, who must reconcile the wide range of contradictory emotions associated with this matrix, while understanding the nature of their various romantic urges for the first time.
Of course, young humans have this challenge too. But for trolls, the challenge is fourfold.
1) New trailer for Hiveswap! Creeping ever closer to the release of episode one. In case you weren't aware by now, What Pumpkin Studios is developing it. WP is now a gamedev studio which I happen to think is pretty cool. There have been a bunch of Kickstarter updates recently showing progress too. Here are some more links which will help you keep up with game news: Twitter | Tumblr | FB
2) Homestuck returns on April 13th! That's in just a few days. Are you ready? I doubt it, but when has that ever stopped us before. We start with Caliborn's much anticipated masterpiece, running from the 13th-15th. Then regular updates probably resuming a week after that. I haven't decided on the update schedule yet, but when I do it will almost certainly be communicated to you in the only manner which you will tolerate from me, which is more horse calendars. I am thinking of a fairly swift update schedule. A lot has piled up. Over the last month (not counting his 40 page masterpiece, which was done months ago) I have somehow drawn another 400 pages, which is possibly some sort of MSPA record. Be warned, due to that obscene page rate some of these panels are lookin pretty fast and loose! They nevertheless exist, which is usually what matters most for this website. There's still more to draw beyond that to finish off the rest of A6A6I5, which is the final "normal act". But really not too much. We're getting real close here. I will chip away at the remaining panels as I roll out this batch. Then, it's all animation work after that.
3) Paradox Space! 4/13 is the exact one year anniversary of its launch. And as HS resumes, PXS will be pausing for a good while. We actually paused production back in January, and have just been posting from a comic buffer since. This has much to do with shifting priorities heavily to gamedev needs, but I'll explain more about it and the future of PXS in a little while, on that site. But also, there'll be a PXS book coming out soon! It looks very good. Also, if you haven't checked out PXS in a while, now would be a great time, because it's going into its pause on a very strong note. It's been running an incredibly great 51 page story by Zack, Jon, and Shelby. Kudos to all of them. This has easily been one of my faves.