Howdy, readers! How would you like an adventure story for today? A story full of intrigue and political plots? A story that’s almost as confusing as the canon it comes from? Then grab a seat and get ready to hear about the most intense Homestuck fanfic I’ve ever read.
Authors urbanAnchorite and schellibie’s (of ‘Promstuck’ fame) epic happens in a universe where the trolls never meet the human kids, and SGRUB is never played. They grow up as normal—though they still know each other—and move on to their respective jobs as dictated by their hemocaste. The Serendipity Gospels takes a step back from the more rancorous of the group twelve and follows after legislatcerator-in-training, Terezi Pyrope, alongside her assigned charge, Gamzee Makara. Upon the Executor, the ship where both their castes will be taught their place in Alternian society, the separation of church and law appear to be finite, though intertwined deeper than one would immediately assume from a religious institution that is run by juggalos who are stereotypically always high. Although the subjuggalators, the ‘warriors’ of the church, have more power, their murderous rampages are kept under strict supervision by the ever-watching eyes of the legislacerators. To no one’s surprise, Terezi excels at her position; in contrast with that is everyone’s lack of surprise at how awfully Gamzee fails at his. The problem they must address is that if Gamzee fails his final exams, so to speak, so does Terezi: both a corporate death and an actual death may be waiting for them should this happen.
Unwilling to let Gamzee’s idiocy ruin her prospects, Terezi forces Gamzee to study and takes away his sopor. For those who follow Homestuck, the repercussions of this are already known, but the long and short of it is that without the sopor (a jellied substance with hallucinogenic properties if ingested in large quantities) Gamzee’s focus increases, but he also no longer has a muzzle on his rage. They both pass, but neither of them are happier for the experience.
What follows graduation is a personal invitation onto the Grand Highblood’s (see: the troll Pope’s) personal ship and the revelation that the two’s destinies are more entangled with each other than they could have ever dreamed. Also, they’re put in charge of smiting the second coming of the Sufferer (see: troll Jesus) before the Grand Highblood’s religion can be overthrown.
What urbanAnchorite and schellibie do marvelously with The Serendipity Gospels is keeping all the characters in character. Everything sounds exactly like what the characters would say, every action is something they could do. And when canon plot points are mirrored in the fic—Gamzee getting un-sopored—they’re done believably and aren’t just thrown in because it was done in the canon.
Also, one thing I really like about this fic is that it shows a kismesis relationship done right. I’m not going to go into the whole quadrant thing, but kismesis is the quadrant that deals with the “love to hate you” corner. In canon, Terezi and Gamzee have a kismesis relationship, but even by the standards of the more naturally violent trolls it’s abusive. In The Seredipity Gospels, their relationship is much less squicky and more about a true respect between two trolls that hate each other very much. And really, that’s the true power of this story: the respect and power between Gamzee and Terezi. They’re both amazing at what they do, but Terezi really shines. She’s born from the best legislacerator that ever lived and she owns that completely. However, she has some genuine moments when she has to deal with discrimination against her caste and the hatred she gets from being the top in her class. Terezi is a strong character in this not because she can decapitate someone without blinking, but because she overcomes all her obstacles in her own way, even as her world falls apart around her.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been sitting on this fic for a long time—about a year—waiting for it to be updated so I could show it to you in its entirety. Unfortunately, my wish wasn’t granted. Sitting at 130k words, the story still only leaves off just before the third act. Despite this, I whole-heartedly recommend taking a couple hours and reading this. I will make the caveat that if you’re not too certain of troll lingo, I’d have Google up in another tab. But if you ever wanted a closer look at how Alternian society runs after the days of schoolfeeding come to an end, no better guess will you find than this.