Ask the Blade Dancer

Uuuh…

He’s mentioned internet friends before—

I… have no idea… I don’t discuss His personal life with the Elders! If— if you are speaking of the average follower, then His personal life is most certainly not a topic of daily discussion, and it’s an outrage to even think of—

…green

There was trouble even before I was appointed! Thankfully, most of it wasn’t actually directed at me in particular so much as the idea in the first place.
You see, the whole matter was supposed to remain a secret while teachers were being considered, however there was a leak and soon the whole Hive was up in a tizzy about it. Gossip spreads fast in the hives like you wouldn’t believe! From my understanding, there was a disagreement among the Elders, and revealing this delicate issue was merely part of an extended hissy fit by the slighted party. Childish, I know. I’m just glad names weren’t leaked as well, because, much as you guessed, not everyone was happy with the idea. 
But after the matter became widely known, many other ex-threshecutioners started to put themselves forward as the most qualified for this duty. Which is simply preposterous! Humility is one of the Sacred Virtues a follower of the Iron Will must cultivate. Ignoring His teachings in order to bask in His successor’s presence is not merely ridiculous, it’s simply wrong. They were all turned down in the end, but the damage was done. Everyone was reduced to squabbling wigglers. And, even though it’s understandably an extremely loaded word, I can’t help thinking of it as a miracle that my name still wasn’t out there by that point. I mean, most of those arrogant threshecutioners who sung their own praises were being stopped everywhere they went and told off by nearly everyone they met! There’s probably a lesson to be learned there, but all I know is I couldn’t handle being the target of those reproachful eyes. It must have been difficult for them.

When my appointment was finally publicly announced, though…



Well, the reaction was strange, but relieving. 
Not to say that I wasn’t put under heavy scrutiny since then! And though it is really not my place to assume, I can’t help feeling that they were constantly trying to find something to disapprove of at first. It’s an understandable reaction, but I still find it somewhat unsettling that some people would ask more about how I touched Him and spoke to Him and behaved in front of Him than about the Pink Moon’s Moirail Himself. You’d think they’d be more curious about how he acts when outside of Congregations!
And like I mentioned before, sometimes I let his wiggler name slip out and get myself into a heap of trouble.

There was trouble even before I was appointed! Thankfully, most of it wasn’t actually directed at me in particular so much as the idea in the first place.

You see, the whole matter was supposed to remain a secret while teachers were being considered, however there was a leak and soon the whole Hive was up in a tizzy about it. Gossip spreads fast in the hives like you wouldn’t believe! From my understanding, there was a disagreement among the Elders, and revealing this delicate issue was merely part of an extended hissy fit by the slighted party. Childish, I know. I’m just glad names weren’t leaked as well, because, much as you guessed, not everyone was happy with the idea.

But after the matter became widely known, many other ex-threshecutioners started to put themselves forward as the most qualified for this duty. Which is simply preposterous! Humility is one of the Sacred Virtues a follower of the Iron Will must cultivate. Ignoring His teachings in order to bask in His successor’s presence is not merely ridiculous, it’s simply wrong. They were all turned down in the end, but the damage was done. Everyone was reduced to squabbling wigglers. And, even though it’s understandably an extremely loaded word, I can’t help thinking of it as a miracle that my name still wasn’t out there by that point. I mean, most of those arrogant threshecutioners who sung their own praises were being stopped everywhere they went and told off by nearly everyone they met! There’s probably a lesson to be learned there, but all I know is I couldn’t handle being the target of those reproachful eyes. It must have been difficult for them.

When my appointment was finally publicly announced, though…

Well, the reaction was strange, but relieving.

Not to say that I wasn’t put under heavy scrutiny since then! And though it is really not my place to assume, I can’t help feeling that they were constantly trying to find something to disapprove of at first. It’s an understandable reaction, but I still find it somewhat unsettling that some people would ask more about how I touched Him and spoke to Him and behaved in front of Him than about the Pink Moon’s Moirail Himself. You’d think they’d be more curious about how he acts when outside of Congregations!

And like I mentioned before, sometimes I let his wiggler name slip out and get myself into a heap of trouble.

Yes.







I was fascinated by the color. Words alone can’t describe its fiery intensity.

Tragically beautiful.


I’m still not sure if my sudden fainting spell fifteen minutes later was a delayed reaction or not.

Yes.

I was fascinated by the color. Words alone can’t describe its fiery intensity.

Tragically beautiful.













I’m still not sure if my sudden fainting spell fifteen minutes later was a delayed reaction or not.

I believe these questions are related, so I will strive to answer them all at once. I’m afraid my answer will require some extensive context, though!

It would be a lie to claim that I was not basically freaking out in every possible way during the whole process that was my induction as His sickle master. And it was quite a production! I was told by the Grand Elder himself that I was being considered for this prestigious duty. Just imagine what my face looked like! Honestly I don’t know myself. I’m afraid it was quite slack, though.

All the other candidates were High-Level Guardians of the Scripture — unlike me, a mere Mid-Level Guardian — so I really wasn’t expecting to be their final choice. But the Elders took many factors in consideration other than advancement in the Mysteries, such as body type, horn position and horn size, and that was how I came to be given this sacred mission.

After being thoroughly instructed in my duties, though, the Grand Elder told me in confidence that he supported me for one reason above all else — and that was the fact that I used to be a Pupa Minder before offering my skills to the protection of the Sufferer’s Holy Scripture. He felt that my experience dealing with children was more important than my experience as a fighter, because, despite his timeless wisdom, the Son of Sorrow was still a child himself. A very smart child who found adults and their blind worshiping to be rather frustrating, in fact! So I was asked to treat him as a child, not as my savior, and given full permission to call him by his Wiggler Name rather than by Prayer.

On an intellectual level I knew there was wisdom in his requests, but knowing that did not assuage my nerves at all! Oh god, I had the most ridiculous dreams on the preceding nights. Instead of a child, He’d look as He did in the frescoes, broad-shouldered and imposing in His traveling cape, His face in shadows and His eyes gleaming scarlet. And He’d just stand there judging me, and I kept dropping my sickle! One time I dreamed I’d forgotten to put on my glasses and I actually woke up from the distress of it. What if I uttered His Illusory Name and was struck down for my disrespect?

But once I truly saw Him for the first time…

I knew the look in that face very, very well. Whenever we took in a child who’d already experienced life on the surface, they’d have that look. Always distrustful, always bracing for disappointment, always expecting the worst.

So I called him Mister Karkat, and he raised an eyebrow really high and looked totally floored!

I tried my best to make sure he was at ease. I sat down with him on the floor for a talk just like I used to back in Wingpowder Hive and gave him a gentler version of the usual introductory spiel before going into an abbreviated history lesson. I was so nervous, though! It was hard to concentrate on that first day. He’s so fascinating and his charisma is so overwhelming, it takes some acclimatizing to.

But once we had that first conversation, he was not nearly as aloof, and I also felt a lot more at ease. He’s very hard-working and takes these lessons very seriously, and yet underneath all that seriousness there is a caring child with a sense of humor. In the span of a second, he can turn from a wise young man with the weight of trollkind on his shoulders to a clever, impatient kid who’ll challenge me to back anything I say! Bearing witness to all the multiple facets of his personality is such a blessing. It wasn’t long before I was teaching him much as I would have any other kid, only this one was draped in Sacred Red. Before I knew it I was poking him much like I used to poke my old students.

We actually have fun — or at least I enjoy myself teaching him, and he always looks like he’s enjoying himself while learning.

So I would say the answer to your questions is: my feelings were complicated but positive, touching him is like touching a very dedicated student, and yes, I am allowed to address him in less formal terms. It’s not smart to do so in mixed company, though! Letting his wiggler name slip out away from his presence has actually gotten me punched a couple of times…

Ummm……

We make them ourselves! The ancient art of weaving was not altogether lost to automation by the Sufferer’s time, and our group has kept it alive since then. It definitely came in handy after the Summoner’s Rebellion, once the adults were exiled and thus unable to stroll up to a planetside merchextortionist and request a batch! Since all merchextortionists would be up on spaceships and all.

We are all taught how to use the loom during our own advancement through the Signless’ teachings. It’s how we honor and celebrate the Dolorosa’s life and lessons, and her importance to His growth and development as a person! But of course that doesn’t mean we’re under any obligation to weave our own fabric or else. Weaving takes time, and we’re all busy trolls! Some of us specialize in clothing, while others choose different types of manufacturing. It’s common to barter for goods, or to give away your surplus.

Our specialized weavers have also made their own improvements to the loom, plus new techniques which are passed down to any who choose to follow that particular call. They are myriad and varied and produce many wonderful and different kinds of cloth.

I guess that’s true! I’ve heard similar comments often enough since I was a young troll, but I’ve learned not to take them as seriously as I used to. 

Yes, my eyesight without glasses is not exactly the best, and this has been the case for as long as I remember. The corrective lenses available for trolls of non-standard sight were not strong enough for my needs either. I guess if your visual acuity doesn’t reach a minimum, you’re supposed to just keel over and die from it! Just one among the many ways in which our society devours its own tail.
My first moirail was actually the one to make corrective lenses for me. She had a knack for glassblowing… She always said I looked cute in them.

…I still have no idea what they culled her for.

I guess that’s true! I’ve heard similar comments often enough since I was a young troll, but I’ve learned not to take them as seriously as I used to.

Yes, my eyesight without glasses is not exactly the best, and this has been the case for as long as I remember. The corrective lenses available for trolls of non-standard sight were not strong enough for my needs either. I guess if your visual acuity doesn’t reach a minimum, you’re supposed to just keel over and die from it! Just one among the many ways in which our society devours its own tail.

My first moirail was actually the one to make corrective lenses for me. She had a knack for glassblowing… She always said I looked cute in them.

…I still have no idea what they culled her for.


No no no no why—
Why is everyone mistaking me for Troll Nijinsky, even people I don’t know think I’m Troll Nijinsky…
I assure you I am not Troll Nijinsky! I…

What… what do I do…

No no no no why—

Why is everyone mistaking me for Troll Nijinsky, even people I don’t know think I’m Troll Nijinsky…

I assure you I am not Troll Nijinsky! I…

What… what do I do…


Oh no no no I assure you that Threshecutioner training does not actually involve the kind of maneuver that would often result in these kinds of accidents! Not ideally, at least! Whatever kind of regimen you were introduced to was clearly not organized with the pupil’s steady growth in mind!
In Troll Nijinsky’s original teaching method, the student must dominate the basic stances before being introduced to steadily more complex maneuvers, and should not by any means be required or expected to master them in a perigee or ten! Of course, as soon as his first generation of pupils was allowed to teach, most of them aimed for faster results rather than quality results. And so the skill of Nijinsky-style Threshecutioners has been steadily declining with each passing generation. Ugh.

But as for the point of your question, well, losing one’s balance is not unusual in training, since so much of Nijinsky style involves lifting your body onto a narrower base in order to diminish your foot’s friction against the battlefield’s surface. But falling on your behind is still rare, at least in the teaching block’s controlled environment. Stumbles are a much more common occurrence when learning new footwork.
On the other hand, the Child is very observant and has a strong independent streak, so it’s not uncommon for him to attempt techniques he is far from ready for. His eyes and mind grasp the concepts of each attack much faster than his body can enact them! So, yes, he has fallen on his behind a few times.


But he used to do it more often roughly a sweep ago, on the beginning of our classes. I’ve found he’s grown more patient and mature since then. He’s certainly more aware of what he can do and what he’s allowed to attempt on his own! And when it comes to learning Nijinsky Style, patience is the most important part of learning.

Oh no no no I assure you that Threshecutioner training does not actually involve the kind of maneuver that would often result in these kinds of accidents! Not ideally, at least! Whatever kind of regimen you were introduced to was clearly not organized with the pupil’s steady growth in mind!

In Troll Nijinsky’s original teaching method, the student must dominate the basic stances before being introduced to steadily more complex maneuvers, and should not by any means be required or expected to master them in a perigee or ten! Of course, as soon as his first generation of pupils was allowed to teach, most of them aimed for faster results rather than quality results. And so the skill of Nijinsky-style Threshecutioners has been steadily declining with each passing generation. Ugh.

But as for the point of your question, well, losing one’s balance is not unusual in training, since so much of Nijinsky style involves lifting your body onto a narrower base in order to diminish your foot’s friction against the battlefield’s surface. But falling on your behind is still rare, at least in the teaching block’s controlled environment. Stumbles are a much more common occurrence when learning new footwork.

On the other hand, the Child is very observant and has a strong independent streak, so it’s not uncommon for him to attempt techniques he is far from ready for. His eyes and mind grasp the concepts of each attack much faster than his body can enact them! So, yes, he has fallen on his behind a few times.

But he used to do it more often roughly a sweep ago, on the beginning of our classes. I’ve found he’s grown more patient and mature since then. He’s certainly more aware of what he can do and what he’s allowed to attempt on his own! And when it comes to learning Nijinsky Style, patience is the most important part of learning.


No no no whatever could have possibly given you the impression that I could in any way be such an eminent figure living a humble life of anonymity
I am flattered that you would mistake me for the famous Troll Nijinsky but I assure you I am simply the humble Blade Dancer, mid-level Guardian of the Scripture! And I was never famous in any way whatsoever!

No no no whatever could have possibly given you the impression that I could in any way be such an eminent figure living a humble life of anonymity

I am flattered that you would mistake me for the famous Troll Nijinsky but I assure you I am simply the humble Blade Dancer, mid-level Guardian of the Scripture! And I was never famous in any way whatsoever!