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NAME: Shikki
PREFERRED CONTACT: fetchmodus @ plurk

NAME: Tavros Nitram
AGE: 6 solar sweeps/13 years old
CANON: Homestuck
CANON POINT: After being fatally stabbed by Vriska Serket

PERSONALITY: Let's talk about Tavros Nitram.

There aren't a lot of irons in the fire for him. What you see is pretty much what you get with him - an awkward, easily flustered kind of guy who just wants to have a fun time. He remains one of the most - if not *the* most - stable of all of the sGrub players due to his even nature and temperament. This simple, gentle personality makes it rather easy for him to get along with many of the people he comes across. He has a knack for friend making. And as an alien from a warmongering race, not a single one of these traits is considered "good" or "worthy". In all honesty, if it wasn't for his friends, he'd probably have been dead long before anything actually happened to him.

Tavros is just bad at being a troll. Even by the internet definition he falls short. He's bad at antagonizing people in a purposeful way. He's bad at maintaining a facade. The kid can't even whisper right.

The boy is a stuttering, faltering mess. He's often unbearably awkward even in the most relaxed of conversations. The only people he ever seems completely at ease with are Gamzee, Nepeta, and Aradia. Weird as they are, he accepts them for all their quirks and flaws and enjoys their company for what it is. And even then, in casual conversation he's quiet prone to apologizing in advanced for things when nothing has even happened, or trying to play along with what they're saying but failing to keep tempo and apologizing for that. He's kind of a mess.

Which makes sense, as troll society has told him that due to his gentle personality and paralysis, he isn't worth a whole lot and should feel lucky to be alive. Constant bullying and offhanded remarks from his less tactful friends don't do much for his self esteem either. It's not surprising that he prefers to keep his head down and just tries to make everyone happy. When not tripping over himself with apologies, Tavros alternates between being painfully straightforward and being purposefully vague. He either fumbles for a simple explanation, backpedals around anything that could be inflammatory, or trips over the point he's trying to make in a vain attempt to keep the other party from becoming angry with him, or he states what he's thinking with no buffer and apologizes for it afterwards.

This is largely because he is simply not a confident person. He's never had a chance to be. His ideas of "confidence" are as warped as his idea of normal friendships - something he's seen in practice but hasn't fully experienced for himself. He hides behind stronger people and accepts their mistreatment while trying to avoid conflict and confrontation out of fear. At the same time, he looks up to those people and ends up taking all the wrong cues from them.

To Tavros, being loud and in-your-face seems to be what confidence is. We see this spectacular failure at understanding for the first time when he tries to troll Dave, and again when he goes to consult Rose on how to get under his skin. He rejects her offer to help with a boast of his own abilities, only to accidentally block her and then apologize for the rudeness. Then he goes on to destroy Dave with his "sick fires", oblivious to the face that he has literally done nothing to the human with his fumbling attempt at freestyle rap. And again, later, after the attachment of his robot legs and subsequent, incredibly forward, conversations with Jade, we see just how hard he's trying to pump himself up and seem like a somebody she could like and how disastrously it works. As, unfortunately, confidence for Tavros also goes hand in hand with being controlling and intimidating. When in doubt, he falls back on being a jerk to make up for his own glaring self esteem and respect.

There are things he cannot and will not do. Even when people are bullying him and breathing down his neck. For one, he wouldn't kill unless pushed to his absolute limits -- he doesn't have the heart for it. The closest he's ever gotten was charging at Vriska, and that ended so poorly for him he completely abandons any future notions of violence until the end of the comic. For two, he draws the line at apologizing or taking responsibility for things that were well beyond his control. For three, he absolutely refuses to lower himself any further than he's already been lowered.

Still, responsibilities and the "right thing" are not things that Tavros seems too invested in if it means serious effort. Above all else, Tavros seems to abhor being relied upon or having expectations put on his shoulders.

This is absolutely no surprise, since in the past any time anyone relied on him or expected something of him, he would inevitably fail to meet their expectations - leading to pain for him. Tavros is nothing if not practical and he understands the situation he is in well enough to know keeping his head down and not making a scene is a good way to survive it.

Still, he knows the difference between right and wrong. It's only his fear of getting hurt that stops him from acting on it. Tavros has an incredibly low threshold for emotional and mental stress - while other trolls might snap and use violence, Tavros simply curls up in a ball and cries. As Karkat pointed out, something is "wrong" with him - he doesn't handle stress well, he's completely aware of his limits and doesn't try to push them. He dodges the possibility of being hurt at every opportunity and it often leaves him left out, or acting as dead weight, and far behind the rest of the group in terms of strength.

This bleeds into other areas. He's content to do things for the fun and pleasure of it, not because he has to or has any desire at all to fulfill an obligation. Tavros doesn't like responsibility and seems to fear growing up - which is fitting, as Alternian culture means he'll probably be killed well before he becomes an adult. The Peter Pan homages are for more than just a nudge and a wink. A product of a lifetime of being shoved around has him reluctant to grow up or get into real world situations. Most unfortunate is when he finally decides to take his problems head on, he dies.

What gets him killed is his desire to finally stand up to what's wrong and push back against her self-centered actions. Unfortunately it doesn't end so well for him, but Tavros is best characterized by his moments of action - few and far between as they may be.

This leads back into a cycle of avoiding problems a little later on (staying dead, not wanting to live again, doing whatever Vriska says to make her happy) and being dragged along by his nose straight into them. He's a cautious person by nature, and that cautiousness leads him to desiring to play his whole life "safe". Even by the end of canon, Tavros might have made choices for himself but he ultimately caves when a more dangerous person begins to threaten him.

He's not really complacent in this cycle, though. While Tavros isn't usually outright aggressive or hostile, he is consistently passive-aggressive and puts up resistance where he feels it possible.

While he struggles to properly assert himself, he gets his points across with quiet, subtle comments, back-handed compliments, and asides to himself about how he feels on the situation. This is more apparent after his death, when his choice of weapon is just quietly insulting Vriska while she's on a tirade, but even before his death he gets little barbs in that she doesn't notice.

But it's not all doom and gloom and no happiness. One of his best traits is that he's thorough, patient, and easily excited for things that he enjoys. Aradia praises his flarping abilities because he has the patience to build himself up and engross himself in lore. He loves the adventure and the story more than the reward and it's reflected in his preferred gameplay style - tedious, boring to watch, but well worth the payoff if he had been left to his own devices.

It's his kindness and awkwardness that brands him such a delightful and endearing nuisance to his friends. He tries really, really, really hard to show off and would love nothing more than to have his efforts at fitting in validated.

Tavros pretty wholeheartedly and unashamedly loves what he loves. He's a "slam poet" who thinks himself pretty good, but the truth of it is he's a pretty damn terrible lyricist. He doesn't know that he's bad, nor would he particularly care to find out. Slam poetry is a great love of his and he'd probably love to ascend to the ranks of Troll Eminem or Troll Formerly Known as Snoop Formerly known as Snoop Dog Now Currently Known as Snoop Lion. He is actually incredibly well spoken, though, known to be a little more verbose than he needs to be at times. He loves Fiduspawn, jousting, reading, roleplaying, mythology, and fantasy. He's not really ashamed to like these things either. His best skills are largely interpersonal - somehow, despite being a kind of awkward mess, people tend to like how genuine he is and he has no trouble making friends if he just acts like himself.

Despite being a walking social disaster, Tavros is not actually very shy. Timid and hesitant are better words. He's often uncertain of what to say and trips over his own tongue, but he's usually rather eager to make new friends or show off his "skills". He cares deeply about the people he meets and values each and every one of them immensely. He uses this to his advantage to gather an army later in canon (halfway out of spite, because that's the kind of person he is) but lacks the qualities (or perhaps just the inclination) to actually lead it.

He's also largely a pacifist. Tavros didn't kill a single creature in his session! He just befriended them and had them join him on his journey. The closest thing to "killing" he got was running over his lusus (which was an accident), potentially his denizen (it was defeated, but there is no specifications on how or why) and trying to stab Vriska. Tavros will mostly just back the hell away from anything that threatens him and keep his distance.

All in all, he's kind of a disaster who only attracts more disasters - but he's trying.


- First and foremost, Tavros has the ability to control animals telepathically. So long as it's an animal or has some kind of animal traits - such as the Imps in sGRUB - he has the capacity to control it and make it bend to his will. There's no limit set in canon to how many he can control, nor is there a set distance for where this stops working. As long as a creature has some major animal component it seems as though Tavros can control them, so long as they aren't mixed in with human or troll. For example, he can control Bec - but he doesn't seem to be able to control Bec Noir.

It seems to work with creatures he can see and is at least passingly familiar with. Canon doesn't seem to be a limit for distance, intelligence, or size, so I'd say that anything that possesses a complicated intelligence or is super massive (so dolphins, whales, etcs) would be out of the question, and he has to have a visual on it for it to work.

- His legs are robotic. They probably don't feel anything and they're fairly heavy... this is both a good thing and a huge downside, since he can barely navigate stairs and probably can't swim great. They'll most likely require some kind of upkeep as time goes on.

- Can apparently survive more than a human can. He survived a drop from a massive cliff and was cognizant enough to text for help. He can also bleed a huge amount before it seems to become a problem, which may just be a troll thing as we see multiple instances of trolls losing limbs and being more or less a-okay with the bloodloss.

- His sylladex. It's never given a specific type, so it's safe to assume it's just a generic video game inventory system.

- Puzzle solving. Tavros is ALL ABOUT PUZZLE SOLVING AND ADVENTURING. He might not be into other people being involved in that, but that's what he loves to do best.

Also, he's allergic to cats.


- His Lance.

- A black shirt with brown blood all over it.

- Robot legs.

MEMORY ALTERATION: Tavros will recall getting stabbed and being tossed over the edge of the pillar he was fighting on - but instead of hitting the ground, a dormant transportalizer kicked into action and he ended up falling through that instead. He has no memory of his death and assumes that he was saved.

SAMPLE: Sample!


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tavros nitram

December 2016

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