In reality, Hornpile is a 'Memo' or chatroom within the Pesterchum chat client. Originally created for a small group of friends to gather and roleplay as their favourite Canon Homestuck characters, the Memo has since attracted alternative Canons, original characters, varients, copies, Tricksters and even a few visits from Hussie himself (though probably not the *real* Andrew Hussie).
When the characters speak of the Hornpile, however, they mean their current environment. Mostly the Hornpile exists within the asteroid used by the beta Trolls to hide during Bec Noir's rampage through spacetime, although it's limits are somewhat 'elastic' (at least once it's bounds included a whole pocket-dimesion which was used for a short carribean adventure-holiday). 'Owned' and 'run' by Gamzee Makara (who may or may not be completely canon), the place has lost all sense of connection to its original universe or even timeline and drifts randomly through the multiverse passing through Dream Bubbles, doomed timelines, alternative universes and stranger places, picking up all manner of peculiar immigrants and visitors.
The asteroid has become a completely self-contained environment, adapted by its residents to accomodate all their needs. It started with the ectobiology lab and a coffee machine in the library, as depicted in Homestuck. It now has a kitchen/galley, several private quarters, a shower, a bathroom, many storage spaces and at least one general-purpose laboratory. Presumably there is also a hydroponics bay and a pasture of sorts somewhere because the fridge is never empty, although several characters have been known to go shopping in different times and universes, so it's possible the residents survive by raiding the multiverse like an oversized, poorly-guarded larder.
The good ship Hornpile may yet become a 'lifeboat' for an otherwise doomed species. The population continues to grow, and there has even been a recent birth! Hope springs anew in the most unlikely place...
For memo rules please see: Rules
Science and TechnologyEdit
The Hornpile drifts freely within Paradox Space, outside of time and beyond the rude grasp of Newtonian and Einstienian physics. As such, things happen and exist within and around it that should by all rights be impossible, and at least one Horrorterror makes frequent social calls. This accounts for the wide variety of minor variances in morphology and lifecycle exhibited by it's residents, specifically the Trolls. This new understanding of their situation is slowly supplanting the previous wisdom, which relied heavily on an arcane mishmash of superstitions known collectively as 'fanon's or 'headcanon's.
Due to these peculiar conditions it is not uncommon for there to be multiple versions of certain canon characters running around at once (I'm looking at you Karkat), from different stages along that individual's timeline, parallel timelines, doomed timelines, beyond the grave and even completely seperate worlds. To put it simply, the Hornpile *potentially* exists at all locations and all points in time in every concievable universe (and more than a few that it's best not to concieve of, just in case you accidentally call them into being). In such a bass-ackward 'world' all sorts of time and space shenanigans are accepted facts of everyday life and insane feats of mad science beckon the intrepid (or more likely plain nuts). Miracles of modern Hornpilian science include the Recycler (which converts any waste tossed in its vague direction into power and grist) a self-restocking vending machine, an Ectobiology-powered hot tub and the latest public works project, the Large Tachyon Collector array (Tachyons are so energised that they pass through time *backwards*, which means that if you can catch just a handful you can provide enough energy to sustain a small city or, say, asteroid-based science facility for years at effectively nil cost).
The citizens of Hornpile are mostly Trolls, with a significant minority of Humans, one Human/Troll hybrid (Kellen, son of copperSteampunk/Karkat and xenoBiologist/John) and a smattering of more peculiar, part-time residents. A First Guardian sometimes makes an appearance in order to eat all the tuna, play with any unnatended yarn and have his belly tickled.