Kankri Vantas the Scholar preaches troll rights on the floating island of Beforus.  Unfortunately, it’s already a pretty nice island, so his long-winded chastising is usually ignored.  To show the great gravity of his words, he wears a long-chained monocle and adds a link after he recites one million pages of socially justice text.  Only his monologues have the power to silence his Alternian counterpart, Karkat the Blatherer.

In this universe, steam power (much like nuclear power) was invented during war that destroyed the earth’s surface.  Thus, people created great engines to lift islands of arable land into the sky. This resulted in two classes of people: those who live on the sky islands and those who power the steam engines that keep it afloat.  Body modification with steam-powered accessories has become the norm to help people survive with their minimal resources.