MechanicsburgersPeople, constructs, clanks, and sentient buildings who live (or lived) in the city of Mechanicsburg (by choice or otherwise)
Castle Heterodyne, Lair of the Heterodyne Family
Castle Heterodyne is the hereditary home of the Hetereodynes and the central structure of Mechanicsburg, a masterpiece of Malevolent Architecture and Artificial Sentience created by Faustus Heterodyne. It was badly damaged in the still-mysterious explosion that announced the arrival of The Other in Europa - adding multiple personalities to its many intentional quirks. Nevertheless, the last thing Judy (AKA Lilith) told Agatha was to get to the Castle. "It will help you."
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: When first encountered, the castle is badly damaged, but since it was originally imbued with intelligence by the gleefully diabolical Faustus Heterodyne, even the 'fixed' portions regard grisly deaths as entertainment.
- Bad Boss: Castle Heterodyne's more addled subsystem fragments are stupid, murderous, and confused when it comes to repairs. Even the more sane fragments have a penchant for killing the inhabitants unless closely supervised by Agatha.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The castle has a very slaughter focused view of the world.
- Big Fancy Castle: It's in disrepair, but some parts, like the library, still look good. Also, with the visible part of the castle not exactly small already, consider that it sits on top of a large rock overlooking Mechanicsburg. And that inside that rock it reaches down below the level of the spring of the river Dyne.
- The Bus Came Back: Played with. The Castle, being capable of a higher level of consciousness and perception than humans, is still able to think and function in a limited fashion under the effects of the temporal stasis. Additionally, machinery containing one of the Castle's fragmentary personalities was removed before Agatha arrived in Mechanicsburg to begin with; Agatha discovered it in Paris, and while it's more limited than the actual Castle, it does have its little ways of being useful...
- Crazy-Prepared: It claims to be prepared for "more contingencies than you can imagine." This apparently includes getting stuck in a time stop.
- Death Course: The interior of the Castle is a labyrinth of heavily booby-trapped chambers, corridors and passageways, crawling with various deadly constructs, the whole thing controlled by the Castle's own highly sadistic mind.
- Eldritch Location: Not in a magical sense (as far as we know). But its sentience, ability to rearrange parts of itself (and the entire city that surrounds it) around to fight off attackers, and ability to retain full awareness and partial function despite the entire area it occupies being frozen in time definitely qualify it as such.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Sparks have been working for fifteen years to sort out what is and is not dangerous in the castle. The idea of entering an area that hasn't been mapped yet is considered suicide.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, it mentions that despite doing everything it could to please them, the Heterodyne Boys never liked it. Even decades on, it's still confused as to why. It should be noted that the Castle was the one who killed their mother, the one who raised them to be good and saved them from their mad father. The fact that the Castle never considered this to be a reason why Bill and Barry never liked it speaks for itself.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: As Zola notes, the Castle's worst trait is that it likes to think it has a sense of humor. But to a normal person, its sense of humor is crude at best and usually sadistic.
- Evil Is Petty: It's implied the Castle takes note of the prisoners that are closest to getting out and makes a point of killing them before they can escape it.
- Exact Words: See Jackass Genie.
- The Genie in the Machine: Deliberately invoked: "I must have misunderstood you" is one of its excuses when confronted with its frequent misdeeds.
- Genius Loci: At first, a massively fragmented one. But as Agatha restores more and more of it, it gradually becomes less deranged and more capable of helping, ultimately culminating in the Castle reminding the attacking Wulfenbach forces just why Mechanicsburg is unassailable.
- Haunted Castle: So the rubes believe. It's actually more of an A.I. style Sapient House with a massive mean streak.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Not very heroic, just aligned with the interests of our protagonist heroine. But very sociopathic! And, it likes to think, even more comedic!
- Heroic Second Wind: After Agatha fully recharges its energy reserves, the Castle reminds the world why the hundred-year Great War never came to Mechanicsburg.
- Horrifying the Horror: When Gil and Higgs make their excursion into the stasis time-field to retrieve Vole, the Castle "encourages" them to get a look at the Clock Roaches for it. The sight of the looming abomination makes it scream like a little girl.
- Invincible Hero: Not the castle itself, but it seems to assume that any "real" hero can automatically survive any and all deathtraps without explanation. The really weird part is that it seems to be right.
- Jackass Genie: Castle Heterodyne prefers to interpret all orders it is given in whatever way allows it to have the most fun, for which read: "cause the most casualties and destruction". Imagine the maze in the Cube movies with an AI that likes to think it has a sense of humor.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all its sociopathic tendencies, schizophrenia and contrariness, the Castle is a loyal servant of House Heterodyne, and has stated a willingness to lay down its life(?) for Agatha.
- Kick the Dog: Prisoners are reminded to never tally their total points out loud, as the castle can and will devote more effort to killing those close to getting out.
- Large Ham:
- Gleefully. It happens when the Castle's mind is a copy of a Spark's brain (specifically that of Faustus Heterodyne, the current castle's creator).Agatha: Let's just say that somewhere in here is a dial marked "High Drama," and it needs to be turned way down.
Castle: I do have a certain flair...
- When someone suggests BRIAN BLESSED be used as the voice of the Castle, the authors agree entirely.
- Gleefully. It happens when the Castle's mind is a copy of a Spark's brain (specifically that of Faustus Heterodyne, the current castle's creator).
- Laughably Evil: The Castle loves its work, and those of us who are safe beyond the fourth wall get to be in on the joke.
- Malevolent Architecture: More so than most, as it will actively try to kill you.
- Maximum Fun Chamber: Fun for the Castle (and the Old Heterodynes back when), that is.
- Mechanical Abomination: A sentient castle with more deathtraps than possible that can ignore fluctuations in time.
- Nightmare Fetishist: As the HQ and The Igor to generations of demented maniacs, the Castle delights in human misery. Also, when the Baron declares that he is going to end the Battle of Mechanicsburg personally, the Castle has a fanboy moment.
- Nothing but Skulls: The Heterodynes had a relatively simple but effective design decor.
- Pet the Dog: In its own twisted, warped way. The Castle did like Professor Tiktoffen, so it kills him quickly.
- Put on a Bus: When Klaus crosses the Godzilla Threshold, he freezes the Castle and its occupants (and himself) in temporal stasis, removing them all from the story. But even being frozen in time doesn't stop the castle from telling Gil that something physically unconstrained by the bounds of time is coming to to do terrible things to Mechanicsburg so long as it's still frozen.
- Robotic Psychopath: That murderousness isn't a bug, it's a feature.
- Sanity Slippage: As something created by Heterodynes, the castle was never particularly sane to begin with, but once Agatha, Gil and Tarvek are inside, it starts getting increasingly irrational. The first sign is when Gil tinkers on one section, causing the castle to start rambling about yurts. It completely loses it when it hears of the trio's plan to cure themselves of Hogfarb's Resplendent Immolation: Kill the patient... and then revivify them after purging, but alas, the Castle doesn't care. After the castle is "killed", a less insane handy backup copy takes over.
- Sapient House: Remember the house from The Addams Family? Imagine fifty generations of Addamses adding onto it... and weaponizing it.
- Shipper on Deck / I Want Grandkids:
- One of its only sympathetic traits: the Castle is determined never to be left without a master again. Therefore, Agatha must have children. Immediately. It openly ships Agatha x Gil x Tarvek (to her mortification), but it's not really fussy - anyone will do. Of course, given its other personality traits, it takes the idea of imprisoning them all until it gets what it wants quite seriously.
- It seems to ship Higgs/Zeetha as well, presumably out of sentimental fondness for two unusually entertaining humans.
- Supervillain Lair: Proud (and we do mean "proud") home of some of the greatest monsters in Europa's history!
- Sympathy for the Devil: In the novel, Agatha expresses sympathy towards the castle whenever it brings up her father and uncle. It had always been praised as one of the greatest Heterodyne inventions, and then The Heterodyne Boys come along and demand it stop doing what it was designed to do. Taking away its only purpose.
- Those Two Guys: The fragment of the Castle that was smuggled into Paris was found by Agatha and rendered unto a super-Dingbot that looks like a tiny set of fortress walls with organ pipes out the top. Joined with the similarly miniaturized Beast of The Rails, the two become this. Castle is the more compliant and anticipatorily helpful of the two. However, it's more than clear that, should Agatha leave the pair alone for 24 hours, mayhem would swiftly ensue.
- Trap Door: Enjoys dropping people through these, often into Bottomless Pits.
- Undying Loyalty: Naturally, as the greatest Heterodyne abomination ever created, it is loyal to the death towards its creator's lineage like (almost) all the others. It vows that it will declare Agatha Heterodyne to the world if it's the last thing it does.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Ordinarily it has to obey its master (or mistress), even if it doesn't like it. But one of the cannier Heterodynes did give it the ability to resist if its master seemed to be suicidal. When Agatha talks openly about handing herself over to the Baron, the Castle clamps down on the idea.
William and Barry Heterodyne, Lords Emeritus of Mechanicsburg
The heroes of the previous generation, Bill and Barry Heterodyne were a pair of brothers, the first good apples in a looong line of villains. Their tenures as masters of House Heterodyne led to an age of peace and prosperity for much of Europa, lending their immensely powerful sparkiness not to conquer like their forefathers, but to lend a hand wherever they could. Their adventures were so fantastical that they have been immortalized in a series of theatrical productions. They were close friends with Klaus Wulfenbach, and built the constructs Punch and Judy. Bill eventually married their old rival Lucrezia Mongfish, and is Agatha's father.
The Boys went on a crusade against the Other after it attacked Castle Heterodyne, killed Bill's infant son, and kidnapped his wife. (Or at least that's current semi-public description of that eventful day.) Eventually, they both disappeared, but Barry returned in disguise with a young Agatha in tow, and left her in the care of Punch and Judy before disappearing once again.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Agatha set a Heterodyne record by NOT killing someone within the first two minutes of her rein, implying that Bill offed at least one someone pretty much immediately after being declared the Heterodyne. Given that their mother killed Saturnus and then the Castle killed their mother, it was probably someone who was loyal to their father or tried to protect the Castle from his wrath.
- Big Good: They were, more than anything, a beacon of hope in a world that had been nothing but a playground for mad scientists for far too long. They always tried to negotiate before fighting, and helped install town councils and other long-lasting forms of government before moving on.
- Celibate Hero: Possibly Barry. Upon learning Agatha's true parentage, Klaus notes it would be "a surprise" if Barry had any children. In the Heterodyne stories, Barry is just paired off with any spare woman the story has at hand, often "The High Priestess."
- However, Maxim does mention that both of them did kiss a lot of girls back in their days. So while Barry definitely had interest in women, Klaus might've meant that he would not be the type to settle down, at least back then.
- Covered in Scars: Dimo says that Bill was more scars than skin towards the end of their public adventuring career.
- Dating Catwoman: Bill and Lucrezia Mongfish. By all indications she did actually love him. Then the Other came...
- Deceased Parents Are the Best:
- Mother Teodora Heterodyne, the one who raised them to be good, was killed by the Castle shortly after killing their villainous father.
- Bill is probably this for Agatha. Especially given he's not been seen since, and Barry returned from wherever it was he went alone, and the Other seems pretty convinced he's gone.
- Disappeared Dad:
- Bill. Barry never explained what happened to him, or at least word never reached Agatha or the reader.
- Uncle Barry himself disappeared almost eleven years ago.
- Establishing Character Moment: Burning down the Flesh Yards made clear to Mechanicsburg that these two were not the usual sort of Heterodynes.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Utterly averted, Saturnus Heterodyne really wasn't happy to learn that his children weren't acting like Heterodynes, and had been planning to kill them and start all over again.
- Famed in Story: Not only do they have their own series of very popular pulp novels, there are traveling shows who specialize in performing their adventures.
- Fat and Skinny: Bill being the slim one, Barry being the more portly one.
- Folk Heroes: They are revered across Europa as the greatest heroes of their generation. There are plenty of books and plays about their adventures, which are assumed by many to be greatly exaggerated. This is unlikely, as ridiculous story elements such as "Mechanical Camels" are plain truth. However, no one said a single damn thing about them being accurate.
- The Ghost: Outside of a single photo, Bill has yet to properly appear in the comic, flashback or otherwise.
- Good Is Not Soft: Mentioned in the novels. They'd try and redeem their opponents as much as humanly possible, preferring reason to violence, but if it came to it, they would kill.
- Heroic BSoD: It's revealed in the novels that Bill was emotionally hollowed out by the death of his son and disappearance of his wife. He barely ever spoke and never showed any emotions. However, his abilities were seemingly heightened during this period of despondency.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Their mother Teodora killed their father Saturnus before he could kill them for forsaking the Heterodyne way, and was herself killed by the Castle for it. Allowing her sons' to grow up to redeem the family name, and she is later made a saint - patron saint of those who run afoul of Sparks according to the novels.
- History Repeats: Much like Andronicus Valois, Bill fell in love a Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter and believed he could sway her to the side of good, only for her to betray him (or at least somehow become The Other) and destroy the peace he had worked to build. The irony being that this time it was a Heterodyne being betrayed by someone allied with the Knights of Jove.
- Horrifying the Horror: When two copies of Lucrezia talk, they both display terror at the idea of Barry turning up alive.
- Ideal Hero: They were such a complete 180 from their ancestors that it's almost suspicious. They were friendly, egalitarian, always saw the best in people, and always won. There's a reason they became folk heroes overnight.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Uncle Barry created the locket that he mandated that Agatha needed wear for much of her life, because she was breaking out at a young age and he knew that preventing that was necessary for the sake of keeping her safe. The flashback where he gives it to her makes it clear that he certainly wasn't happy with what he was doing, and knew that she'd suffer as a result, but he had to do it for her sake. Agatha herself, in the present, would probably reluctantly agree with his reasoning despite what she went through, and the locket did end up (mostly) shutting down The Other when she was downloaded into Agatha's brain, with the additional side effect of helping Agatha be able to think better and eventually overcome her mother's mental strength, so it can be argued that Barry made the right call.
- Kill It with Fire: Mechanicsburg used to have a large section known as The Flesh Yards. Day One of Bill and Barry's exploits was them getting rid of it this way, then building the Great Hospital where it had been.
- King Incognito: After returning from places unknown with young Agatha, Barry did everything in his power to remain hidden. Likely so that the Other's forces wouldn't come after Agatha; also, he evidently felt he had reason to be deeply suspicious of Klaus.
- Living Legends: They were famous thanks to their adventures and all good things they did for Europa.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Implied to be the case with Bill, who married Lucrezia and gave her the run of his castle in spite of her clearly cruel and selfish nature.
- Magnetic Hero: They apparently had a reputation for gathering followers and hangers-on during their adventures.
- Meet the In-Laws: Bill's marriage to Lucrezia Mongfish made things... well, "awkward" for all parties involved, what with the Mongfishes being long-time rivals to the Heterodyne family. It got especially bad at holiday season. Apparently gatherings changed venue each year, to minimise the inevitable loss of life.
- Not So Above It All: Barry held that the ways birds flew was "silly", and designed a flying bicycle contraption for Franz to use.
- One-Man Army: Possibly, with Barry, who apparently went and recovered an infant Agatha from The Other's Geisterdamen forces, who were expecting someone to try and rescue her.
- Really Gets Around: Barry has this reputation in the stories; "The High Priestess" is an in-universe trope that means "Barry's Girl Of The Story." Although, see above under Celibate Hero.
- However, when talking about them (in the midst of arguing over joining Master Payne's Circus), Maxim does note both brothers kissed plenty of girls in their days.
- Sanity Slippage: Bill, after the attack on Castle Heterodyne that took his wife and child. Mention is made of him being so out of his mind with grief even the Jäger Generals had difficulty restraining him. After that, he spent the next three years suffering a major Heroic BSoD.
- Tranquil Fury:
- When the Boys came back in the aftermath of the Castle attack. Bill was an emotional wreck, while Barry was "deadly calm." Seeing that the mere mention of Barry freaks out The Other...
- According to the novelization, the "tranquil" part stopped a few hours after they returned, and the brothers spent hours screaming at one another.
- Upbringing Makes the Hero: Despite Heterodynes' bloody legacy, they turned out good thanks to efforts of their mother.
- Uncertain Doom: Barry was last seen eleven years ago, and had promised to be back in a few months. He's almost certainly dead, but the Other is still worried. Bill is an even bigger question mark.
- Unwanted Assistance: Bill and Barry, eager to not elicit memories of the Old Heterodynes, were not eager to have the Jägers helping them even on the sly.
- White Sheep: After centuries of bloodthirsty Heterodynes dedicated to nothing but chaos, destruction, and mad science, Bill and Barry dedicated themselves to heroics, goodwill-building, and mad science. This had a slightly darker side; because they were the opposite of their family in every way, they hated everything to do with the Old Heterodynes—especially the Castle and the Jägers. The Castle couldn't understand why they hated it so much, while the Jägers did understand, but tried to protect them anyway.
- This is also Agatha's advantage over the Boys; she's a good person, but she's very fond of the Jägers and even the Castle and is willing to use them to help people.
- Bill and Barry did have a pretty good personal reason for not wanting to do much with the Castle: It killed their mother, the one who kept them safe from their father and raised them to be good-hearted men. The fact it never occurred to the Castle that killing the parent who saved them could be why Bill and Barry hated it says a lot about the castle.
- As for the Jägers, while they did not hate the Jägers, they were still symbols of the old ways of fear. As such, Bill and Barry ordered them to no longer follow when the two eventually found out. Even Dimo, one of Da Boyz, admits that on several levels, this was a good move, as the base reaction to seeing Jägers in the "modern" day is lynching. Of course, the first mission they went without them following was the one where they went to stop the Other. The Jägers are painfully aware of this.
An ancient lineage of mad scientists that even other mad scientists thought were mad. And science-y.
- Aerith and Bob: A bit of Freeze-Frame Bonus in the Heterodyne family crypts shows that amidst the typically unusual and / or malevolent names the Heterodynes had, one of them was simply called... "Bob".
- For that matter, Bill and Barry, just one more way that they contrast with their ancestors.
- At Least I Admit It: The fourth novel put forth the theory that part of the reason why the Heterodynes is the oldest surviving Spark House, despite being universally hated since their founding, is because they made no excuses for their actions. Unlike the rest of Europa's Spark nobility, they did not act like they were inherently better or claim to be favored by the heavens. They didn't hold themselves to any moral or elitist standards that restrained them or had consequences if they failed to uphold them. They proudly made it clear that they were just of a bunch of maniacs indulging in their sick curiosities.
- Axe-Crazy: Some of them, anyway. They'd attack anything.
- Badass Family: They tamed the river Dyne (capable of turning anything into a rampaging monster) by first drinking it then using it to power their castle. And that's where they started.
- Benevolent Boss: In a very specific sense, mind. Moloch feels the convenient array of labs shows a decent amount of consideration for their minions. After all, they're the ones who have to carry everything. This is actually why they lasted so long. They treated their minions and monsters with respect and garnered unending loyalty from pretty much all of them. Whenever their own people did go against them, it was usually for something more petty like "Valentine Day Riots" where one of the romantically minded Heterodynes got many of the local women in a frenzy. It was their enemies that they took much of their sadistic streak out on.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: When you have Mad Scientists raising bad villains, things are bound to get a little... screwed up.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Robur Heterodyne thought he had brought angels looking to punish his sins, he wasn't entirely sure which specific sin it was they were after.
- Cain and Abel: The Red Heterodyne and the Black Heterodyne, according to the novels. Their aptitudes lay in different areas, and the two frequently disagreed, Spark-style. This generally meant misery for everyone else.
- Complexity Addiction:
- Par for the course with sparks, but because they were successful sparks, they spent centuries working on one location... Castle Heterodyne is kind of ridiculous.
- The books elaborate that this was part of the Heterodyne's Sparky nature. Every one of their devices had multiple functions. Invariably, one of these functions was to "surprise".
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: A law in Mechanicsburg requiring everyone to learn how to play musical instruments was passed after the Incredibly Brief Rebellion (so called because it lasted less than four minutes). The reigning Heterodyne of the time, Queeg Heterodyne, didn't want to kill anyone from his town, but was required to do something. So he hit upon the idea of forcing everyone to suffer the sound of people trying and failing to play musical instruments.
- Cutting the Knot: Faced with imminent Dreen coming through a vortex he'd made, Robur Heterodyne freaked out, smashed the machine, and then had pie. Crisis (mostly) over.Castle Heterodyne: In many ways, he was a remarkably simple man.
- The Dreaded: They were monsters who made monsters and adored monsters. They rampaged across Europa for centuries and no one could stop them. (Though the Storm King managed a pretty good defense..)
- Dysfunction Junction: Their idea of a toy for the nursery is a giant, maniacal kill-bot.
- Enfant Terrible: There's probably a reason the Castle's nurseries include metal cages.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: They appeared to genuinely care about their family members and their minions. This has fostered a level of Undying Loyalty highly atypical in Sparks' minions among the local populace ("Sure, they were monsters, but they were our monsters.") and especially among the jägers.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Heterodynes aren't particularly picky about who they have working for them, regardless of how they came into their employ (kicking and screaming, usually), but this does mean Mechanicsburg is surprisingly cosmopolitan.
- False Reassurance: The "Good" Heterodyne's name was not because he was a good person, just that he was a good Heterodyne.
- For Science!: One of the family's primary motivations.
- For the Evulz: One of the family's other primary motivations.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Again, common to sparks, but thanks to their ability to Heterodyne, the Heterodynes take it Up to Eleven.
- Generation Xerox: Temporal shenanigans seen as an interesting day out. Appreciating and collecting the weird and dangerous tech around them. Circumventing other people's schemes by cutting to the chase. Doing his/her own thing, regardless of expectation. Adapting with Sparky charisma. Heterodynes.
- I Gave My Word: Robur Heterodyne rarely kept his word. That he did keep his agreement with the Corbettites speaks volumes of just how badly the Dreen spooked him.
- It Runs in the Family: The Heterodyne Spark is apparently, if not unique, then at least distinctive among the sparky traits of Europa.
- Kill It with Fire:
- The Black Heterodyne's favourite flavour was "charred".
- Saturnus Heterodyne, Bill and Barry's father, once set Mechanicsburg town hall alight during the Year of Three Winters, and managed to keep it aflame for five whole months.
- Living Legend: The Heterodynes who survived childhood tended to terrorize Europa. The Heterodyne Boys (Agatha's father and paternal uncle) put an extra gloss on their own legend by being the only Heterodynes in history to be heroes.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: One of the reasons the Heterodynes were such a long lasting evil dynasty; their creations were/are all fanatically loyal. Most sparks are killed by their creations.
- Mad Scientist: A whole lineage of them. Mad, science-y, and generally evil.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Almost all of the Heterodynes had given names or nicknames to inspire terror. Given their history, just the name Heterodyne was enough. And then come Bill, Barry, and Agatha.
- Nightmare Fetishist: All the Heterodynes, being ridiculously sparky sparks, have a thing for the creations of other mad scientists. One even let the war machines of other sparks into the city (to make war) because he wanted to see how they worked. The Black Heterodyne brought the Bloodbats to Mechanicsburg because he thought they were positively wonderful.
- Omnicidal Maniac: "Two minutes and she hasn't killed anyone! A new record!"
- Our Vampires Are Different: At least one of the Heterodynes was a vampire-style being. And they're evidently still alive(-ish) beneath Mechanicsburg.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: The typical means by which a Heterodyne acquired romantic partners, such as Saturnus and Teodora.
- Power Floats: It is strongly implied Igneous Heterodyne briefly managed to float after drinking unfiltered Dyne water. Then he exploded.
- Power Perversion Potential: In addition to death traps, the Castle Heterodyne is full of restraints. And most Heterodynes... well, they never married for love. Lust was a common factor, but restraints are good for that too.
- Psycho Serum: They invented the jäger-draught, which they use to create jägers. They also drink the water of the river Dyne, and sometimes even survive doing so.
- The Red Baron: Vlad The Blasphemous. Given the average Spark, and the average Heterodyne, he likely got the name for ramping those traits Up to Eleven (he is the one that made the Jägerdraught, after all).
- Shared Family Quirks:
- Seriously, most of these tropes even apply to Agatha, her father, and her uncle, and they're the good ones.
- Also, as the castle notes, the family rarely produces female descendants.
- Sigil Spam: The Heterodyne trilobyte is everywhere in Mechanicsburg.
- Something Only They Would Say: Basically, the more mad a response is, the more Heterodyne it is. The more time someone spends Admiring the Abomination, the more Heterodyne they are. The more they want to do something absurd and dangerous... you get the point.
- Split Personality: Apparently, according to the novels, several Heterodynes have had a severe case of this, which made for an interesting variation of "good cop / bad cop". Only it's "bad cop / utterly evil and insane cop", and they're the same person.
- Strong Family Resemblance: According to Dimo, who would know, the typical Heterodyne is generously endowed in the buttock area. Makes mid-battle underwear shopping difficult.
- Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The Heterodynes have an interesting take on that sort of thing. They actually mean it, though. The Castle is, perhaps, the pinnacle of what the family can pull off when they work together... over generations. But, each and every construct has various bags of a suspiciously similar Big Fun personality to go with the danger they represent.
- Supervillain Lair: Although Castle Heterodyne is the centerpiece of their power and the focus of much of their mad science, Mechanicsburg and the surrounding countryside both benefited (sort of) from their overlordship.
- Unholy Matrimony: The Castle fondly recounts how the Skull-Queen of Skral sent a legion of homunculi to get Dagon Heterodyne's "attention". In the novelization, it notes that she's Agatha's ancestor, so that apparently worked out pretty well (just not for anyone else).
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Again, another spark trope taken to eleven. Bathing in the Dyne kills people and drives them mad, and at least one of the Heterodynes drank it. (And survived; as noted above, Igneous Heterodyne evidently ran into problems..)
Prisoners from the Castle/Roving Band of Heroic Repairmen
A thoroughly mixed bag of Sparks, constructs, criminals and psychopaths sentenced to repair Castle Heterodyne, thus killing two birds with one stone from the Baron's perspective. Provides a ready pool of minions (or mooks) for whomever is currently ascendant.
- Action Survivor: Sentencing is based on points. Try to rack up too many points too fast and you'll get killed for sure, play it too safe and you'll never get out... making for some very savvy survivors.
- Beware the Silly Ones: As the novelizations points out, just because many of them are entertaining maniacs, they are still dangerous maniacs who got put in the castle for a reason.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Snaug is apparently either a Revenant...or just VERY susceptible to brainwashing. It's implied that she spent her childhood in one of Mittlemind's "containment tanks."
- Break the Haughty / Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Mittlemind and Mezzasalma enjoy breaking idealistic young Sparks.
- Death Is Cheap: Mittelmind is part machine and is able to be brought back to life in short order if something blows up in his face, assuming the body is mostly intact. Diaz... isn't so lucky.
- Dumb Muscle: R-79, an incredibly strong construct. However, even he's smart enough to Know When to Fold 'Em.
- Dwindling Party: Once Agatha enters the castle, their numbers start depleting quickly, thanks to Zola forcing most of them to charge after her. Later on, Tiktoffen has most of the remaining survivors killed.
- Explosive Leash: The method of containing the prisoners is to latch a choker around their neck that's explosive and bearing the Heterodyne emblem. Since Agatha's suppression locket looks nearly identical, it allows her to easily walk in the front door when passed off as a new prisoner.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Depending upon whom has the upper hand (or the gun, or the Castle's obedience) at the moment.
- The Igor: Snaug seems to be the only minion of this type still alive.
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Snapper" Boikov and "Jack A'Horned".
- I Just Want to Be Special: Silas Merlot was a brilliant if perfectly normal scientist who had the misfortune of sharing the world with those that can casually break the laws of physics. Despite a profuse dislike of Sparks his pet project of turning chalk into cheese was clearly him trying to mimic the outlandishness of sparky science rather than 'actual' science.
- Killed Off for Real: Diaz is brained with a marshmallow gun by Zola. Rather than trying to revive him, Mittlemind and Mezzasalma loot his corpse for body parts (though in fairness, some of those belonged to Mezzasalma ''first'').
- Laughably Evil: Dr. Mittlemind is a complete raving loon of a social scientist, obsessed with turning towns into mazes, which got him and Snaug thrown in the castle, but his hamminess and actual threat level (which is low compared to folks like Zola) allow him to fall here.
- Mad Scientist: Goes without saying. There's even a mad Social scientist, Dr. Mittlemind, who has been known to grumble about funding going to the "flashier" sciences.
- Meaningful Name: Possibly if Snaug is pronounced like 'snog'. Kissing. A small hint? Probably would classify as a Punny Name, too.
- The Mole: Professor Tiktoffen, who is apparently the "inside man" for both the Baron and the Knights of Jove, and several other factions. He's actually the inside man for himself. And he knows how to keep the Castle from killing him. Of course, Agatha knows the simple way to deal with that.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Mittlemind is technically dead.
- Pet the Dog: Mittelmind has a very twisted idea of what qualifies for this.
- The Purge: Tiktoffen has a lot of the unnamed prisoners murdered, either for what they did before they were sent to the castle, or for minor offenses against him.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: With a big side order of murderers, sadists, and psychopaths.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Those that survive are given a chance to join in repairing Mechanicsburg's defenses after the castle is fixed.
- Retirony: The castle finds inflicting this on people who have almost acquired enough points to be allowed to leave amusing. Never total your points out loud!
- Sanity Slippage: Occurs to Snaug, apparently. Her boss, Mittelmind, wipes her memory yearly for her birthday. This may be a hint of losing it or just her yandere getting stronger.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Tiktoffen, Mezzasalma, Diaz and Mittelmind are all sparks.
- Serious Business: Tiktoffen's Spark manifests in a fondness for architecture.
- Spider People: Mezzasalma's lower body has been replaced with an arachnoid clank apparatus that serves as his means of ambulance.
- Those Two Guys: Mezzasalma and Mittelmind, the two older sparks still alive in the group, have such a schtick going on.
- Too Dumb to Live: Snapper, who tries to hold Sanaa hostage on finding out who she is. Cue death by Neck Snap.
- Villainous Breakdown: Merlot was a jerk early on and didn't get less so. Compare him then to now. He has totally lost it by here.
- Yandere: Fraulein Snaug, Doctor Mittelmind's minion, has it in for poor Moloch.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Jäger skin tends to be all manner of colors.
- Amazon Chaser: The more dangerous and violent a lady is, the more they'll be in luv with her. The ones on Castle Wulfenbach adore Von Pinn, no matter how violently she disembowels them.
- The Dreaded: Having served as the Heterodyne's head monsters for several hundred years, the people of Europa are not terribly fond of them. In places where the Baron's presence isn't so strong, and the memory of the old Heterodynes linger, the typical response to a Jäager is to try and kill them.
- Funetik Aksent: Deys gots the Mechanicsburg aksent. It even applies to sound effects around dem.
- The Gadfly: Most Jäger traditions are maintained to annoy people.
- Horrifying the Horror: Having served alongside the maddest of the madboys, it's generally a sign that if something can scare this guys, it's time to run.
- I Gave My Word: They swore to serve the Heterodynes forever, but when Bill and Barry disappeared, they signed up with the Baron, knowing it was the only way to keep them safe. A few of their kind, such as Da Boyz, were sent into the wild to keep up the search, despite knowing there was probably no chance of succeeding, just so they could say they had kept their word.
- Long-Lived: They can last, with the proper maintenance from the Heterodyne, upward of hundreds of years.
- Made of Iron: Side-effect of not dying of the Jägerdraught is becoming near impossible to kill. Of course, this does have the leedle problem that Jägers can be overconfident in the face of a problem, or in some cases not outright notice something's trying to kill them in the first place.
- Nice Hat: A Jäger without a hat might as well not be a Jäger. And there are rules about how one goes about acquiring them (gotta be a battle trophy off a worthy opponent, can't just pop into a little shop and buy one). Conversely, they'll respect someone with a nice hat, or even give one as a sign of respect (or at least, what they think is a nice hat). A good way to make them angry is to knock it off their head.
- The Nose Knows: They've got an astoundingly good sense of smell, capable of discerning a Heterodyne instantly.
- Skewed Priorities: Jägers are very protective of those hats of theirs, and a plan's general worth can be balanced on whether or not they'll still have a hat at the end of it, everything else be damned.
- Smarter Than You Look: Most people look at Jägers and see dumb, slavering monsters. Slavering, maybe, monsters, yeah, but while most of them aren't exactly gifted in the brains department, they are by no means stupid. The Baron's attempts to dupe them and keep them away from Mechanicsburg fails because of this.
- Super Serum: The highly toxic concoction that transformed them from mere humans into Jägers is known as the Jägerbrau. Amongst the ingredients is raw water from the River Dyne's eldritch spring. It killed the majority of people who imbibed it, but the rest got all the wondrous Jägerperks... Except Higgs who just got the super-physicality, super-durability, and immortality.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Heterodynes, and deys gots the oath to prove it!
Generals Zog, Khrizhan, Goomblast, Gargantua, and "Mamma" Gkika
1-3. "Dose three old ogres". When the story begins, they seem to act as military advisers for Klaus, and live aboard Castle Wulfenbach. There are three of them, General Zog (the most normal-looking one), General Khrizhan (the one with the gold-capped tusks who seems to be in overall command) and General Goomblast (the freaking massive one with an impressive wide mouth and array of teeth).
4. "Mamma" Gkika is another general, and one of only two female Jägers seen so far. In the Jägerkin's current holding pattern, she runs the Mechanicsburg bar/hospital where incapacitated Jägers wait for a Heterodyne to come along to heal them up.
5. General Koppelslav, a large red Jäger who appears in Mechanicsburg in a council of the generals after Agatha is proclaimed the new Heterodyne. Long known only as "Gargantua" since a hostile Wulfenbach soldier calls him that, before his name was finally confirmed in the fourth GG print novel.
6. General Zadipok, whereabouts unknown...
7. And a "tricky general" who is said to be "keeper of many secret things." He apparently wishes to remain hidden until the Other is removed from Agatha's mind. It's finally revealed that he now goes by the name Axel Higgs. And that unique among Jäger, he's remained human-looking all these centuries.
- Almighty Janitor: The hidden general, Higgs, who has been serving in various inconspicuous positions throughout the militaries of Europa for hundreds of years.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Mamma Gkika takes it a step further by having a "fun color change-y hepidermoose [epidermis]!" She kept on the down low by staying Mechanicsburgher-colored, but now can "mek vit the pretty colors again".
- Arch-Enemy: While the Heterodynes, and thus the Jägers, were enemies with pretty much anybody, the one enemy the generals hate is the Other's insects. This is because the Jägers serve of their own will while the slaver wasps use Mind Control.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Defying this is part of what separates the Generals from regular Jägers. Although they still love a good fight, they also know when it's better not to.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Jäger. Generals. Unlike their normal brothers and sisters, it seems at least General Gkika has enough strength and constitution to wield a Clank Gun.
- Bar Brawl: Mamma Gkika organizes one every evening to let the incapacitated Jägers in her care blow off steam. Except for Thursdays; Thursdays are Poetry Slam night.
- Big Red Devil: General Gargantua has this look and wears Spikes of Villainy.
- Blood Knight: Cunning old Jägers they may be, they are still Jägers and enjoy a good fight as much as any of their subordinates. However, the large difference between them and the grunts is that the Generals are not driven to the insane frenzy like the grunts are (on account of their age and wisdom) and are able to make decisions and do strategy. In fact, given what Vole underwent through, it's heavily implied that by the time they reach their age and have undergone decades or even centuries of blood lust and the emotional consequences of it, they mellow down considerably.
- Cavalier Competitor / Spirited Competitor: They don't hold grudges over any finished campaigns. And apparently keep kill-counts, arguing with each other over which foes did "count" and which weren't enough of a sport. Goomblast also liked the idea of Combat by Champion, though his opponents declined.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Generals make a game of who can score the most kills in a battle. General Khrizhan points out the others' cheating, not because he thinks it's unfair, but because he doesn't want to get called out for doing everything the others are doing.
- Cute Monster Girl: Downplayed, as Mamma's definitely not a girl, but she is pretty good-looking and the most humanlike of the Generals except for Higgs, and to a lesser extent Jenka.
- Dark Action Girl: Mamma seems to be half way between this and Lady of War.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They would very much enjoy working for a "fun" Heterodyne again, but even they hate Mind Control enough to hear out the possibility of Agatha being the Other.
- Femme Fatalons: Seen on Mamma here. And she keeps them perfectly lacquered even when in "uniform".
- Four-Star Badass: All of the Generals are brutally competent warriors. Four of them working together can utterly crush an entire airship of elite Wulfenbach air-assault troops.
- Funetik Aksent: Being Jägers, this is to be expected.
- Gentle Giant: All of the generals seem perfectly capable of being personable and making very polite conversation over a pot of tea (Zog's a bit rusty). This is actually what makes them generals. Jägergenerals are in fact the mature form of common Jägers; this usually takes hundreds of years, and most Jägers die before reaching it. Though almost all Jägergenerals possess unique physical characteristics, the most important difference between a Jäger and a Jägergeneral is that a Jägergeneral is no longer driven to fight as a Jäger is, but only fights when they choose to, and can thus fight rationally enough to lead others in combat. They are, however, still Jägers.
- Genius Bruiser: The generals seem far more on the button as far as politics are concerned than many people, never mind Jägers. Case in point: when it's revealed that Klaus plans to destroy Castle Heterodyne because Agatha's possessed by the Other, and Boris tries to deceive them into going along with it, they ask Boris to tell them what he knows rather than killing him out of hand. Turns out their intelligence and wisdom is the result of centuries of experience. And Higgs is a master of disguise and subterfuge, and has been hiding out posing as lowly crewmen and soldiers in half of Europa's military.
- Hidden in Plain Sight:
- This is how Mamma Gkika's remains hidden. It's underneath a much gaudier tourist trap of the same name, filled with show girls dressed up as fake jägers.
- The "sneaky" general manages to stay hidden in plain sight as well, disguising himself as lowly soldiers in the various armies of Europa.
- I Call Her "Vera": Mamma Gkika's axe, "Dollink".
- Improbable Weapon User: Gargantua sports large organic-looking shoulder-spikes which he can tear off and throw with deadly accuracy. It's not clear if they are part of his body or his outfit.
- Lightning Bruiser: At least, General Goomblast. A Wulfenbach assault team seeing a huge Jäger General with a light fencing sword didn't realize why they should be terrified. Oh, and he also seems to be ambidextrous.
- Master Swordsman: General Goomblast is capable of disarming his enemies such that their own (poisoned) swords impale them. While fighting six on one.
- The Medic: Mamma Gikka is the person Jägers turn to if they need medical attention.
- Mildly Military: According to the novels, Jägers have no proper rankings or chain of command outside of the Generals, who are respected by virtue of being the oldest and strongest of their kind. It's also noted that the Generals have no clear hierarchy between themselves either.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: While standard for most Jägers, Goomblast takes it a bit further.
- Nice Hat: General Zog and General Gargantua (like most Jägers) both have one. Fandom is divided as to whether Goomblast's skullcap (seemingly riveted to his skull) counts. Khrizhan lacks one, a very rare thing in a Jäger. However, in this strip, we're told sometime in the past he had to abandon a very impressive uniform in Mamma Gkika's, which got recycled for Gil. Gil's hat may also be built out of (or on) Khrizhan's. When the actual topic's brought up, Khrizhan just cracked a joke about it. According to the novels, General Øsk was presumed dead when he charged down a monster's throat to retrieve his hat. Higgs' proclivity for wearing Nice Hats was one of the earliest (if most subtle) clues to his identity.
- The Nose Knows: With Krosp not believing the Dead Olga ruse will work because Agatha smells different as Foreshadowing context, the nonchalance over learning that Agatha is dead becomes this: they can smell the body isn't her, and quickly act casual over "Agatha's" loss.
- Older and Wiser: A requirement for being a Jager General. They're all around centuries old and while still a love good fight, they have mellowed out considerably and with age comes wisdom, including an understanding and appreciation for strategy, politics and tactics. Furthermore, it's implied that an emotional requirement is the understanding of how much being a Blood Knight can suck. In fact, given how when Vole notes the horrible actions he did and Higgs remark that all of them do that and then they grow up, that this is likely something most Jagers realize if they ever reach the age.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: As noted, Gargantua, possibly; it's a hostile Wulfenbach soldier who calls him that.
- Really 700 Years Old: Almost literally, their ages are in the neighborhood of 600-700 years. Apparently, this a partial requirement for being a General; after centuries of living, they are now fully matured and have a great deal of wisdom and experience to match their superhuman strength.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: They are willing to hold off formally aligning with Agatha when Boris calls them on how much upheaval it would cause at the current moment (though their main concern was Agatha's opinions on them starting a war). Once Wooster tells them about the Baron's plans to kill Agatha in the interim, Khrizhan neither accepts nor denies the accusation until getting copies of the Baron's orders. And finally, instead of killing Boris on the spot, Zog insists he tell them about Agatha being the Other first.
- Shipper on Deck: Agatha/Gil, although Zog got beaten up by Khrizhan for suggesting they push it along. They also approve of Agatha/Tarvek - a little romantic rivalry is fun for all.
- Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: While Wulfenbach and all his minions are all treating Agatha as if she were The Other regardless of explanation of her situation, the Jäger Generals are willing to risk it to help their beloved returned mistress expel The Other from her head and carry the day.
- Slasher Smile: Goomblast has a mouth a shark would be envious of. Most Jaeger Generals can sport one once they get in the mood. Even Higgs.
- Spot of Tea:
- While the rest of the male generals seem to prefer alcohol (they are certainly using goblets in their meeting with Tarvek) this seems to be Goomblast's beverage of choice.
- Krizhan, Zog and Goomblast make polite conversation with Agatha over a large and elaborate afternoon tea when they first meet.
- When Boris arrives, with a badly beaten messenger, demanding a meeting, Zog orders a servant to bring him tea. They then have a very significant sit-down meeting.
- Stronger with Age: After Vole artificially aged hundreds of years it seems clear that this is why the Generals look so much more mutated than regular Jägers. In fact, some of them were the first ever consumers of the "Jägerdraught".
- Super Soldier: Implied to be among the first Jägers. Higgs has explicitly confirmed that he was among the very first to undergo the process.
- Super Serum:
- Mentioned as the source of change and confirmed by Word of God. They are humans transformed by the "Jägerdraught", a concoction that includes raw River Dyne water as an ingredient. Perhaps due to advanced years causing additional mutation, side effects of repair or perhaps because they might have been in the original batch, most Generals are a LOT less human than the regular Jägers. Though if what Vole went through is any indication, it's likely a result of growing mutations with age.
- On the other hand, apart from her aqua hair, sharp teeth and pointed ears, Mamma Gkika can almost pass for human (and in fact does, hiding in plain sight among her human showgirls who dress up as Jägers).
- And on the very far end of the spectrum, Airman Higgs is completely indistinguishable from a human. He's not actually happy about that, he'd at least like the teeth.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Khrizhan and Gkika both have moments where they display this attitude.
- Team Mom: Even part of her name; "Mama Gkika"
- Undying Loyalty:
- Explicitly explained to be a choice on the Jägers' part. They are not compelled to serve the Heterodynes; rather, every Jäger has made a conscious choice and vow to serve the Heterodynes for life - a very long life - before they drank the Jägerbrau. It's a gamble, but "de vuns vot live gets all kinds ov goodies", evidently including toughness and immunity to aging. So strong is their loyalty that they'll stick with the Heterodynes even when the current masters are "boring". Many of the Generals are implied to be some of the first Jägermonsters.
- Of note is that the Jaeger Generals consider anyone who fights for and protects a Heterodyne is just as worthy of their loyalty. When Zeetha was mortally wounded fighting Zola to protect Agatha, Gkika and Higgs considered it worthy enough that they gave her the Jaegerdraught and begin turning her at least partially into a Jaeger in order to save her life.
Jenka, Jäger Scout/Ambassador of Mechanicsburg
- Action Girl / Dark Action Girl: Hard to call exactly but it has to be one of these two.
- Ambadassador: Sometimes her duties call her to engage in more diplomatic venues. She's got more patience for it than her brothers-in-arms.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Grey skin, not that impressive but it does give us yet another choice of Jäger skin tone.
- Arrow Catch: On her first appearance, when a panicked guard shoots at her. She doesn't even flinch.Jenka: I forgive. Once.
- Badass Adorable: Does not look like the super scary badass she is.
- Badass Cape: She wears one that also obscures her mouth. Because she actually has entirely normal teeth, thanks to Andronicus Valois ripping out her "luffly fangs."
- Bears Are Bad News: Füst, her ursine mount. And he is awesome. She states he's a Jäger-bear, implying he too has had some of the Jäger Draught
- BFS: Her weapon of choice.
- Bilingual Bonus: Füst is Hungarian for 'smoke', ie her pet is Smokey the Bear. Doubles as a Stealth Pun
- Breast Plate: Not initially, but contrast her first appearance with her later one.
- Cool Mask: Part of her cape.
- Cursed with Awesome: She's one of only two Jägers without fangs because Andronicus Valois, the first Storm King, ripped them out. This enables her to go on diplomatic missions, as she's the only Jäger capable of speaking without a lisp. She's still pissed about losing her fangs, though.
- Cute Monster Girl: What we can see of her anyway. Later confirmed during the Paris arc when we see her with her mask off.
- Drop-In Character: Shows up every once in a while, with very little warning of her appearance.
- Funetik Aksent: Her accent is often noticeably less pronounced than the other Jägers. For example, while she says "is" as "iz" like any other Jäger, she often says "you" normally instead of "hyu". Given that Da Boyz are/were a roaming band of Jägers on special assignment, and are now sticking close to Agatha (in both cases, not part of a larger Jäger group), it's entirely plausible that Jenka often has to travel through hostile territory to meet up with them. A less-pronounced accent may help in staying unnoticed if necessary. Confirmed when she shows up in Paris disguised as a (more or less) regular human. She serves in many ways and therefore must wear many faces. It helps that she can speak without a lisp because Andronicus Valois, the first Storm King, ripped out her fangs — though she's really rather mad about that.
- Horse of a Different Color: She rides a war-bear, Füst; it's implied at one point that he may have also taken a dose of the Jäger-draught.
- Man of a Thousand Faces: It's all but stated she's this when Agatha meets her again in Paris after the Time Skip, which led to her being, among other things, the official head diplomat for Mechanicsburg. Though it's never made entirely clear if it's a Jäger ability, or she's just good with disguises.
- More Deadly Than the Male: She is in charge of Da Boyz, and the Jägers are pretty big on Asskicking Equals Authority. This is also demonstrated in the fight with Andronicus Valois, the first Storm King; he hates Da Boyz, but he's actually scared of Jenka.
- Nice Hat: No Jäger should be without one.
- Praetorian Guard: Apparently she used to be part of one for Euphrosynia Heterodyne.
- Pretty in Mink: When she shows up in Paris, she is wearing a rather impressive ensemble, which no longer covers her mouth, which also makes her virtually unrecognizable to Agatha.
- Really 700 Years Old: No actual word on her age, but she seems to have seniority over Da Boyz, and by human standards they are old. She's also old enough that she knew Andronicus Valois personally, and was apparently Euphrosynia's "retainer" of some description.
- Ship Tease: At the underground Paris party, she makes Dimo dress up nice and then calls him "darling." It's hard to tell if this means they have a relationship, or if she was just needling him.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Unlike most Jägerkin, she understands the need to be "soobtle".
- Super Soldier: Again, Jäger.
- The Tooth Hurts: Andronicus Valois ripped out her "luffly fangs." She's still pissed about it hundreds of years later.
- Undying Loyalty: By now, "Jägermonster" should clearly be synonymous with "Loyal to the death to the Heterodynes".
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Going by what she says to Agatha, the fact that Jenka in her guise as a Parisian socialite travels around with a Jäager-bear is seen as nothing more than "eccentric". And then only because most society ladies prefer little dogs.
- Women Are Wiser: She comes across as being calmer and more careful than Da Boyz.
Sanaa "Wilhelm" AKA Sanaa Trygvassen, Castle Heterodyne Prisoner
One of the inhabitants of Castle Heterodyne. We first encounter her reporting on her repair efforts in Castle Heterodyne. She was the one who welcomed(?) Agatha to the Castle, but for the most part she mingles with Moloch von Zinzer and the rest of the Castle crew.
- Action Girl: Hardly surprising given she is a Long-Lost Relative of Othar Trygvassen (GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER).
- Action Survivor: Before she even got to the castle, apparently.
- Fangirl: For her brother (no, not like that) - at least, when she isn't furious with him.
- Hopeless Suitor: She's been the target of this from Moloch. She begins showing signs of reciprocating after he semi-officially becomes Agatha's Chief Minion.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Since she probably wouldn't last long being outed as the sister to Othar Trygvassen (GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER) in a prison full of villainous scum, she took the first name of Wilhelm Diamant, one of the town elders, as her last name. Diamant was the one who recommended she do so as well.
- Long-Lost Relative: To Othar.
- Pirate Girl: Pre-Castle, she spent some time as a pirate queen. May be the origin of her pink hair; we've met another gal of "proud European-pirate" ancestry who sports a similar look.
- Shipper on Deck: Assumes there's some kind of Othar/Gil attraction.
- What Are You in For?: Asks this to Agatha when they first meet.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pink. Presumably dyed. Although in Girl Genius, you never know. She did something to it which provokes an expression of disapproval from Othar.
Doctor Sun Jen-djieh, Chief of Staff at the Great Hospital of Mechanicsburg
- All Asians Know Martial Arts: Is able to give a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to a two story clank.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Capable of taking down clanks with his bare hands.
- Combat Medic: Able to fight a clank with his bare hands and revive a person from their severed head.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's well known for "Sun-ny bedside manners".
- Doctor's Orders: He has no doubt at all that his authority extends over Klaus when he's injured.
- Dr. Jerk: People make jokes about his Sun-y bedside manner.
- The Exile: The novelisation explains that he's on "extended vacation", with the threat of painful death should he ever return to China, for being "contaminated" by foreigners (I.E. The Heterodyne Boys).
- Mad Doctor: A benevolent if grouchy one.
- Master-Apprentice Chain: He strongly implied that he was the guy who taught Realpolitik to Klaus. Who taught Gil (directly) and Tarvek (indirectly). So in a way, both the setting as we know it and main plotlines can be traced back to him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!/Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: It really all depends if you are taking Agatha's POV or Klaus', but him taking down Klaus and forcing back to bed after the Castle is "killed" can be seen as this. Unbeknownst to Dr. Sun, Klaus was desparate to defeat Agatha because he had been wasped. He figured killing her as soon as possible would render that fact pointless and, thus, save his empire. However, according to Tarvek, he couldn't just TELL anyone this because of the mind control. So to Klaus, Dr. Sun broke it, but to Agatha, him stopping Klaus fixed her problem. Given that there are multiple versions of the Other running around and Agatha is generally the one in control of her body and not Lucrezia, Dr. Sun probably would have stopped Klaus regardless (if he had all of the facts on hand) as Agatha dying would have increased the chances of the Other winning.
- Not So Above It All: As the novel shows, if you give Sun a corpse to dispose of, he'll instantly start smiling and pointing out all those convenient closets he just happened to have lying around his hospital.
Carson and Vanamonde von Mekkahn, Former and Current Seneschals of Mechanicsburg
- Bald of Evil: Carson, sort of. He probably wasn't both bald and evil simultaneously, but he's bald now and apparently served the evil Heterodynes before Agatha's heroic father and uncle — he rode with the Jägers in his youth and could describe Agatha's grandfather's usual reaction to invading war clanks. The print-novel version also has a nasty set of scars up there; see People Puppets below.
- Bluff the Impostor: Carson tries this on Agatha at first, asking if Punch ever mentioned him. He is quite surprised that she knows Punch couldn't talk, though this still isn't enough to convince him. The novelisation notes that if Agatha had told Carson about everything that had happened to her until that point, he would have believed her then and there.
- The Bus Came Back: Vanamonde was a side-extract along with Gil's ultimate target in extracting from the time distortion field: Tarvek Sturmvoraus. Tarvek was poisoned by the fleeing Martellus while in pursuit, and Van had caught Tarvek's fall after he collapsed from the virulent effects. That was the position the two were in when the Take-Five Bomb detonated.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Young Vanamonde has shown a strong skill in this.
- Former Teen Rebel: Carson. Again, rode with the Jägers in his youth, under the old evil Heterodynes. Is now retired, lives with his daughter-in-law, and seems to have mostly spent his days soaking up rays on the balcony before being introduced in the comic.
- The Good Chancellor: Carson and Vanamonde both are/were eminently capable civic administrators, spymasters, and have Mechanicsburg's best interests at heart.
- Legacy of Service: The most prominent case in an entire city filled with legacies of service to the House of Heterodyne. Their family have been seneschals to the Heterodynes for generations.
- Multicolored Hair: Vanamonde is blonde on top but has dark brown sides.
- Must Have Caffeine: Vanamonde is addicted to coffee.
- Obfuscating Stupidity/Rich Idiot with No Day Job: To outsiders, Vanamonde looks like a young loafer who does nothing but laze around and drink coffee. In reality, he wrote a definitive book on coffee (under a pen name), is (according to Carson) "more competent than he appears", and, oh yeah, secretly runs Mechanicsburg.
- People Puppets/Unusual User Interface: Part of Carson's duty as seneschal. He has special holes drilled in his skull that let him use the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne to become Castle Heterodyne's puppet so that Agatha can talk to it in the crypt. Vanamonde's skull hasn't been prepared for such a thing yet, but the Castle is looking forward to it.
- Put on a Bus: The Von Mekkahns were trapped in the effect area of Klaus's Take Five Bomb that entrapped the vast majority of Mechanicsburg. The Bus Came Back as noted above.
- Psychic Link: Carson didn't even notice he had this until he felt Castle Heterodyne die.
- Retirony: Inverted by Carson, who retired just in time to miss dying in the Other's attack. His replacement, who was also his son, died instead. (Vanamonde is his grandson.)
- Seen It All:
- Carson.Carson: Don't try to boggle me, Mister Talking Cat. This is Mechanicsburg. You are by no means the strangest thing in this town.
- This is something of a front; the first time he sees Krosp talking he does look a little surprised.
- Skeptic No Longer: Agatha's performance in the coffee shop (and her "perfect" coffee) make Vanamonde a believer. By the time Agatha cows Castle Heterodyne from punishing Herr Diamant for expressing his skepticism through sheer force of will, Carson is convinced she's real too. And Herr Diamant as well.
- Spell My Name with an "S": There's some disagreement on whether it's spelled Mekkahn, Mekkan, or Mekkhan.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Carson had mere days in retirement enjoying time with his grandson while his son took over the family tradition of being the Heterodynes' seneschal before the Other's attack on the Castle became a harbinger of the dark times ahead. After that happened, he arranged and led a shadow government for Mechanicsburg, essentially rendering the nominal Wulfenbach-appointed city administration impotent. He has since (semi) retired again, letting his grandson Vanamonde, now an adult, take over.
- Too Clever by Half: Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get rid of those conspiring to asassinate Agatha included killing Vanamonde, since the current seneschal likes to portray himself as knowing everything that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he had to know about the plot and be in on it.
- Undying Loyalty: They come from a long line of seneschals to the Heterodyne family; so much so that they're almost as synonymous with Mechanicsburg leadership as the Heterodyne family itself.
Franz Scorchmaw, Bone Gnawer of the Heterodynes, First and Most Dread of the Dragons
- Breath Weapon: As indicated by his name, he can breath fire.
- Catchphrase: "Rejoice!" For context, he is demanding revelry while beating down a host of attackers because the Doom Bell has heralded the return of a Heterodyne scion.
- Dragon Hoard: Franz serves as the guardian of the Heterodyne treasury. He uses (some of?) it in a giant bag as a blunt weapon during the Battle of Mechanicsburg.
- Foreshadowing: First seen in an off-hand appearance during Da Boyz educating Gil that all the monsters in the city are loyal to the Heterodynes, he later has a major role in the Battle of Mechanicsburg.
- Happiness Is Mandatory: If you're not rejoicing after a new Heterodyne has been acknowledged, you're probably an enemy.
- Heroic Second Wind: He doesn't hold up well against "Pretty Boy", the pompous red dragon in the Wulfenbach army attacking the city at first. Then Agatha gets the idea to give him a jolt. Then it is on! We don't see the details of the fight, but the end result is clear: Franz is next seen wearing Pretty Boy's helmet, still glowing blue with power.
- Not Quite Flight: Franz apparently can't fly by himself. So Barry Heterodyne made him what is essentially a giant penny-farthing that drives a pair of helicopter blade things.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The first time you see him, he just looks like a rather generic monster. Only once you see him more fully after the Doom Bell rings does he start to look more draconic. And once he throws down with Pretty Boy, he's explicitly called a dragon.
- Undying Loyalty: Like every other Heterodyne monster, Franz is absolutely loyal to his lord/lady Heterodyne.
Daughter of Clemethious Heterodyne, sister of Bludtharst and object of romantic interest of Andronicus Valois, the original Storm King. Very little is known about her for sure, besides the fact that she probably played a significant role in destroying the Storm King's regime.
- Arranged Marriage: Her marriage with Andronicus was arranged as a part of peace treaty with the Heterodynes.
- Damsel in Distress: In The Storm King opera, Andronicus first meets her when she is menaced by Ogglespoon. She also ends up kidnapped at the end of the second act. According to Voltaire, what apparently actually happened was that she tried to search Van Rijn's workshop for secrets to steal, ran afoul of "something none of us understood", and disappeared as a result; there's been no mention of Ogglespoon outside of the opera.
- Foil: Much like Lucrezia, there is the driving question as to whether or not she planned the hero's downfall all along or something else was afoot. She is also often paralleled to Agatha as a Heterodyne loved by the Storm King whose presence endangers Europe and shatters a great peace (Euphrosynia with the Storm King's coalition and Agatha with the Empire).
- The Ghost: She is yet to appear in person, either in the comics or in the novels, unless you count a rather fanciful tale told by Klaus. We've heard a few tantalizing eyewitness comments from a Jäger and the Master of Paris, and Martellus mentions some correspondence of hers is still around.
- Historical Hero Upgrade / Historical Villain Upgrade: Quite possibly both in-universe given the wildly-disparate versions of her as either a straight up damsel in distress or a villainess plotting the Storm King's downfall all along.
- Honey Trap: She is believed to have manipulated the Storm King and used his love for her to enact his downfall.
- In the Blood: Rerich the Jäger pointed out that even if she did love the Storm King she was still a Heterodyne, making her just as much of a chaos-loving monster as the rest of her family, meaning that she would never have submitted to his wishes for peace and submission.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: The opera presents her as a classic example of this trope: beautiful, innocent and a love interest for the hero to rescue from her evil, crazy family. Other sources, however, suggest she was either a type that agreed with daddy's evil plan and faked being in love with the hero to distract him or loved him truly but betrayed him anyway since his success would mean destruction of her town and her people.
- Never Found the Body: Andronicus claims he saw her disappear before his eyes in Van Rijn's workshop, and assumes it was Rijn's fault. Voltaire counter-claims that she was only there in the first place because she was trying to steal his secrets, only to run afoul of something horrible.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: The actress presenting her in the opera wears a pink dress.
- Really Gets Around: When Martellus asks Rerich if she loved Andronicus, the Jäger mockingly replies that she "luffed lots ov pipple!"
- Star-Crossed Lovers: In the opera she and Andronicus are tragically separated when Euphrosynia is kidnapped by Ogglespoon. How things really looked is uncertain. Especially since more reliable sources suggest that she may have not been in love with Andronicus at all and only played along to fulfill some plan of the Heterodynes, or loved him but betrayed him anyway. The latter comes from a Jäger who had some limited contact with her, and invokes the trope by noting how her marriage to the Storm King would have meant putting Mechanicsburg under his power, which Euphrosynia could never allow even if she did love him.
- Strong Family Resemblance: As noted above, we still have no idea what she looked like, apart from the "Evil Witch" from Klaus's story. For whatever it's worth, the actress who plays Euphrosynia in the latest staging of the Storm King opera looks a great deal like Agatha, and in his last moments, Andronicus Valois mistakes Agatha for her, at least in regards to her voice. That said, no one else has yet mentioned any undue similarities, even among people who knew Euphrosynia, such as the Master of Paris and her personal guard Jenka. Even Valois doesn't show any recognition, when meeting Agatha earlier in a somewhat more rational state of mind.
Ghengis Ht'rok-din, founder of the Heterodyne Family
- Blood Knight: Par for the course for the founder of the Heterodyne family.
- Clarke's Third Law: Recognizes and name-drops the trope when faced with a stun-gun:VAT KIND UF SUFFICIENTLY ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IZ DIS?
- The Dreaded: The Heterodyne family's legacy of conquest and woe? He started it.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Of Mechanicsburg at least. And of the Heterodyne family and their legacy of Conquest and Woe.
- Funetik Aksent: He appears to have a very Jäger-like accent when talking in English (or whatever "modern language" is being spoken via Translation Convention).
- Genius Bruiser: He's a muscular, brutal Expy of Conan, but he's still a Spark. He also seems to know quite a few languages.
- The Spark of Genius: He has the Spark, natch.
- Stable Time Loop: According to Homecoming King, he concentrated on building his legacy and siring a family after being pulled into the future and seeing the extent of his descendants' domain:Ht'rok-din: Hy tought hy hed run out uf places to make mine. But now hy see hy overlooked time itself.
- Violation of Common Sense: The locals around the spring that eventually became the source of the River Dyne were superstitious about it: those who bathed in it often went mad. What did Ht'rok-din do? He drank the water.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Par for the course for his barbarian motif.
A monastic order dedicated to the operation of a passenger rail line network throughout Europa. Staunchly neutral and quite able to defend their neutrality, they serve a vital role in transportation through the politically volatile realm.
- Badass Normal: The majority of Corbettites are perfectly normal (for a given value of "normal") people who joined up for a variety of reasons. Doesn't make them any less dangerous, especially since they're the ones keeping Spark-created blasphemies under lock and key.
- Badass Preacher: Corbettite trains can, will, and on many occasions have shot their way through a wide variety of horrific constructs and clanks wandering the Wastelands that threatened their railways. The monks are so well regarded for their toughness that when the Old Heterodynes accidentally made something so dangerous that it scared them, they entrusted it to the Corbettites for safekeeping. And the monks were able to successfully extract concessions from them (which the Heterodynes actually honored for centuries) in return for doing so.
Father Gerät: Yes, it has been a long time since we faced the trials of raiders....Corbettite: Exactly, and are we strong enough to stand against them?(massive explosions)Father Gerät: ...I meant, will we find the strength to spare any of them?
- In addition, the Corbettites provide a free "assassin disposal" services and are skilled enough to be able to take down Smoke Knights by surprise.
- When one character asks why the Corbettites would build a massive crypt filled with all manner of incredibly deadly traps, the immediate answer is "Because it would be awesome."
- When Martellus' fleet foolishly opens fire on their fortress depot, the Corbettites immediately return fire and destroy eight of his airships with a single shot.
- While Martellus can be an idiot, he's not this big an idiot; a subordinate went behind his back to order the attack. Martellus personally tossed him out of the command airship for his massive stupidity.
- Binding Ancient Treaty: Between the Corbettites and the Heterodyne family. So long as the Corbettites keep some artifacts that are so dangerous that the Heterodynes couldn't trust themselves to protect them without being tempted to use them again safely locked away, no Heterodyne troops will attack Corbettite trains, railways or stations. The agreement has been in place for centuries, and has never once been broken.
- Rail Enthusiast: Explained in Agatha Heterodyne and the Voice of the Castle as to why some of them signed up - it's a chance to drive big shiny trains really fast.
- Secret Government Warehouse: Have several vaults that contain various dangerous Sparky creations that are entrusted to them because everyone in Europa knows that they can be trusted to never try to use them.
- Seeking Sanctuary: If a traveler gets on one of their trains and gives the monks an honest explanation of who they are, where they're going, and why, then they are entitled to sanctuary and safe passage until the train gets to their stop.
Brother Ulm, Corbettite Train Conductor
A brother and confessor of the Corbettite Monks, who serves as the Conductor aboard the Wyrm of Limerick, a rail liner with a massive dragon head figurehead on the front of its locomotive.
- Badass Preacher: Presumably, he has received the same training that enables his brothers to dispatch Smoke Knights skulking around the train looking for Margarella.
- Brain Uploading: After nearly dying when the Beast was finally unplugged (which involved an explosion), he was instead uploaded to be a construct consciousness in the Corbettites' brand-new super-locomotive that Agatha also helped complete and perfect, in a manner similar to Castle Heterodyne. Though it's ambiguous whether the procedure involved full Brain Uploading or just Wetware CPU.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: He was on the verge of pressing the "Confessional Eject" button instead when Agatha was in there, but thought better of it.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: After trying to kill Agatha for fear of her causing his order trouble at their base, his punishment is to accompany her around and do her no harm, while also making sure she doesn't cause trouble.
- Dysfunctional Family: When commiserating with Agatha in the confessional.Brother Ulm: Sure, and my own family is a gift from the Almighty... which is a fine thing, since I certainly wouldn't have paid for them.
- Fiery Redhead: He can vary from kindly priest to steam-headed rather quickly. Especially if he thinks there's a threat to the Corbettites.
- Hazy Feel Turn: Becomes much more antagonistic towards Agatha when forced to take her with the other passengers to the Corbettites' headquarters because he fears she'll unleash some Heterodyne creation they have locked up there. While he's less on her side, he's still not a bad guy.
- Irish Priest: Complete with usage of irish colloquialisms like "Sure, and" or "boyo".
- Ironic Hell: Averted and in fact Inverted, with his transformation into locomotive being utter heaven for a Corbettite monk.
- Killed Off for Real: He dies stopping The Beast, when ripping out its brain results in a large explosion... Or so it seemed.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Corbettite order. Taken to the most literal extreme.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Worried about letting Agatha into the stronghold, he goes to quietly shoot her. Another monk stops him.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Discusses this with Wooster upon realizing that maybe Agatha's not evil like the old Heterodynes were (and after she's not the one to release the monster).
Brother Matthias, Corbettite Train Engineer
- Not every Spark is crashing around trying to take over Europa, you know! Some of us get to work on trains! Beautiful, shiny, wonderful trains! Other Sparks beg us to build lines into their territories! Munahahaha!
The chief engineer of the Wyrm of Limerick, as well as a Spark. He is by far the most...eccentric of the Corbettites, and as such Brother Ulm tries to keep him out of the public eye as much as possible.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: His propensity to go off on a sparky tangent despite immediate peril he must focus on seems to be infectious as both Tweedle and Agatha get swept up in his tangents too.
- Berserk Button: Do not insinuate that his train will ever be late.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Especially in regards to trains. To the point where he cares more about how awesome the Beast is than the fact that his order needs to take it out. Thankfully his rant on the subject still gives Vadaxus the information he needs.
- Mad Scientist: The Wyrm's flamethrower? His doing. Just look at his manic evil smile in his picture: That's some Spark-level evil grinning.
- Rail Enthusiast: Brother Matthias likes trains quite a bit, to the point that he sees working on them as far more fulfilling than the things most other Sparks get up to, like ruling empires.
Father Gerät, Abbot of the Depot Fortress of Saint Spzac
The Abbot of Saint Spzac, and Ulm's superior. He describes himself as an administrator, and isn't as worried about the theological implications of the Order's work.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Gerät" is German for "device".
- Swiss Army Appendage: Father Gerät's prosthetic arms have been seen as a tentacle, a water nozzle, a hammer, pincers, claw machine-style grabbers, and a hand.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Gerät's a reasonable man, and is willing to hear Ulm out when he's caught attempting to kill a passenger. He's also not keen at all on being ordered by a higher power in the church to obey "King" Martellus, and most certainly did not see one of Agatha's entourage knock Martellus out.
Brother Vadaxxus, Saint Spzac Depot Head Chef
The head cook and military leader of the Depot Fortress of St. Spzac.
- Almighty Janitor: When he's not leading the battle against whatever is besetting the Fortress, he's the head cook. He says preparing food for all the Corbettites at the fortress makes planning a battle look easy in comparison.
- Electronic Eyes: Steampunk/Gaslamp Fantasy variant. Vadaxxus's left eye is not the one he was born with.
- Frontline General: Vadaxxus is out front leading the Corbettites against the Beast.
Humongulus, Saint Spzac Depot Yard Hauler
An enormous Clank in service to the Corbettites. He works at their monastery lifting platforms into position.
- Big Damn Heroes: He shows up just in time to stop the Beast from reclaiming its lost cars.
- Gratuitous Latin: Parodied. Humongulus will spout off the occasional Latin phrase, but if you translate it, it will usually be fairly modern vernacular.Humongulus: What is this? Humongulus cannot move! Non est frigidus!Lat.
- Humongous Mecha: It's right there in the name, after all. Humongulus is one of the biggest Clanks seen to date.
- Large Ham: In every sense of the word. Particularly when it comes to his lifting abilities.
- Noodle Incident: Brother Ulm explains that, since he joined the monastery, Humongulus hasn't leveled any mountains in decades...
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Parodied, with a gratuitous dose of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe; Humongulus has a motto scrawled on his chest reading "Dost thou even lyft?"
- Sophisticated as Hell: Combines a stilted, overly formal speaking style with Testosterone Poisoning-style boasts.
- Testosterone Poisoning: Humongulus tends to be a playful poke at extreme bodybuilders, and is constantly boasting about his lifting abilities.
- Third-Person Person: Humongulus rarely lets a sentence go by without mentioning himself in third person.
Knights of JoveVarious characters involved in the highly factional Storm King conspiracy (which is why others are on both the Protagonists and Antagonists pages as well).
The Fifty Families
The former ruling elite of Europa consisting of fifty noble houses all vying to have one of their own declared Storm King. Many of them were decimated by during the Other War while the rest were conquered by Baron Wulfenbach. Chafing under the Baron's rule, the Families united and secretly began conspiring to overthrow the Wulfenbach Empire.
- Aristocrats Are Evil:
- Their main goal is to get rid of Klaus and reinstall the Storm King as Europa's ruler in order to halt the meritocracy that's slowly growing under the Wulfenbach Empire and protect their various elitist traditions, caring little about the death and destruction their actions have caused or the fact they are likely inviting war and chaos to tear the continent apart.
- They assisted Lucrezia in the Other War since, though she was causing mass destruction and enslavement, she was also wiping out a lot of the "upstart" Spark Houses. It's almost certain that if she hadn't disappeared then she would have eventually wiped them out as well.
- In general, most of the Fifty Families are made up of people who are of incredibly low morality and are completely blase about murder, betrayal and inflicting pain on others, even when it's done on their own family members.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The majority of the members shown so far are directly or indirectly related to one another, and most of them have tried to murder each other at some point either for personal benefit or mere enmity. Tarvek is shown to have been to related at least five other families and most of them, including his own, have tried to kill him at one point or another with it being made clear that this behavior isn't abnormal.
- Death Is Cheap: Averted. While resurrection is common in the Girl Genius universe, one of the major rules of nobility is that when you die you're removed from the line of succession and your heir immediately inherits your titles and holdings even if you get revived.
- It's the Principle of the Thing: Europa's nobility actually have little issue with how Klaus runs Europa nor does Klaus harass them unless they start causing trouble. The main reason they scheme to overthrow him, and potentially trigger a country destroying war, is because he refuses to "play the game" and acknowledge that social rank is important or legitimate. Had Klaus declared himself emperor after taking Europa, the Fifty Families would have proudly served him as slaves. According to the novels, a couple members of the Storm King conspiracy defected to the Empire after learning Gil has a claim to a royal title through his mother's side.
- Enemy Mine: Most of the Fifty Families were bitter enemies but they've joined together in their hopes of defeating the Wulfenbach Empire.
- The Ghost: Only about a fifth of the Fifty Families have been introduced, most of whom are lower ranking member of their respective House.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Fifty Families' and Storm King conspiracy are prominent secondary antagonists right behind the Other but their current scheming and past dealings with Lucrezia are responsible for a lot of the tragedies in the story.
- Leeroy Jenkins: The Storm King conspiracy's original, long term plan to overthrow Klaus was fairly well hidden and had a legitimate chance of succeeding. However, the appearance of Agatha and her injuring the Baron caused many members of the conspiracy to panic or try to take advantage of the situation, with some speeding up their plans to take Castle Heterodyne while others deciding to go off script entirely and try to kill Klaus or conquer parts of the Empire for themselves. This early playing of their hand not only caused them to reveal themselves to Empire before they were ready to confront it but it also caused a lot their existing plan to fall apart.
- Motive Decay: Apparently the Knights of Jove had started off as a loyal order dedicated to the Storm King, which then got hijacked by the Other. After she was gone, it was mostly reduced to a few old farts who just used it as an excuse to hang out, drink and mutter about "the good old days". Then Zola's backers came along...
- Realpolitik: "The game" as the Families call it is a never ending, centuries long series of wars, alliances and shady dealings between the nobles done in attempt to get one of their own declared Storm King.
- The Remnant: The name "Fifty Families" is a misnomer. After the Other was done, there were only seventeen of the prior great houses left, and that's assuming the strife between then and the modern day hasn't whittled them down further.
- Secret Keeper: An evil version. The Families knew that Lucrezia was the Other, with some being fanatically loyal to her, and they managed to hide it from Klaus for almost two decades.
- Super Supremacist: Many Families insist that only a Spark can be Storm King, even though Andronicus Valois wasn't one, and it's implied that Sparks are often given precedence in inheritance.
Malek, A Stonemason at Heart
A Smoke Knight based out of Paris who serves Martellus von Blitzengaard.
- Cool Hat: His military style beret with a gold pin.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Varpa is able to distract him even though he knows that that's what she was sent to do, he's still following Agatha he's just not paying as much attention as he ought to.
- Hidden Depths: He studied Ecclesiastical Architecture at University and considers himself a stonemason at heart, as he puts it "Being a Smoke Knight is what I do not what I am."
- Hidden Weapons: None of his weapons are seen unless he's using them. It's likely Smoke Knights often wear capes to help make hiding weapons easier.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Skewered from behind while talking to Violetta.
- Impossible Thief: Smoke Knights are all capable of this and at one point he and Varpa are able to take Agatha's notes, read them over, and return them without being noticed by the two very good warriors on guard.
- McNinja: He's a Smoke Knight.
- Offscreen Teleportation / Offscreen Reality Warp: All part of the a good Smoke Knight's repertoire.
- One Head Taller: Malek is one of the taller Smoke Knights while Varpa is one of the shortest and they grow attached while working together and making out.
- Performance Anxiety: Malek is generally quite good at his job, but is used to working alone. Working with a partner leads to potentially fatal mistakes:Varpa: Are you trying to kill us?!
Malek: I'm used to working alone! I get nervous when someone's watching!
- Stealth Expert: He and Varpa follow Agatha's group for a couple of days and are only noticed by the Smoke Knight in the group even though the rest of the group is made up of a couple of Sparks, a Warrior Princess, a Master Spy a Super Soldier and a clever seasoned adventurer.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: He is a Smoke Knight so this is a basic part of his repertoire, he and Varpa were able to look over Agatha's notes while Dimo and Zeetha were on watch without even being noticed, though Violetta was aware of their presence.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: The Geisterdamen announce their presence in Paris and the fact that they've been alerted to Agatha's group by spearing him through the chest with some kind of hook on a rope and yanking him out of the carriage to toss him away off the rooftops.
- Worf Effect: The Geisterdamen occasionally need to show the audience just how deadly they are. Even top level Smoke Knights can be sneak killed by them. Though, to be fair, he was distracted at the time.
Varpa, Poet and Smoke Knight
A Smoke Knight who serves Xerxsephina "Seffie" von Blitzengaard.
- Badass Cape: Her dark purple cape is hooded so that she can hide her hair and eyepatch.
- Blow Gun: She uses a blow gun to take out a Geisterdamen with poison.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Like most of the family Varpa is a redhead, however unlike most of the other redheaded members of the family she has a dark complexion.
- Emotion Suppression: After Malek, who she'd been growing to care about, is unceremoniously killed and tossed off a roof by a Geisterdamen she has a conversation with Zeetha that hints this is part of a Smoke Knight's training though she takes a minute to get there herself.Zeetha: This could be a rough fight, are you going to be okay?
Varpa: Of course. Smoke feels nothing. and when they are dead I will be very okay.
- Eyepatch of Power: Though her low hood usually hides the eyepatch.
- Handwraps of Awesome: Varpa keeps her hands wrapped in bandages to prevent injury while fighting and to make handling poisons safer.
- Hidden Depths: She writes poetry about cheese, publishing it under a pseudonym.
- Hidden Weapons: None of her weapons are seen unless she's using them except the knife at her belt.
- Honey Trap: How she interpreted Seffie's order to "get in [Malek's] way a bit." In a twist, Malek was aware of what she was doing and didn't seem to mind.Malek: Does this mean no more kissing?
Varpa: ...less kissing.
- Impossible Thief: Smoke Knights are all capable of this and at one point she and Malek are able to take Agatha's notes, read them over, and return them without being noticed by the two very good warriors on guard.
- Instant Seduction: Her Lady knows she's capable of this when she sends her to get in Martellus' Smoke Knight's way, and indeed by the time she's seen again the two appear to be in the early stages of a relationship though they've known each other for at most a day and a half.
- Kiss of Distraction: She's been distracting Malek from the mission Martellus sent him on with kisses but they've hit it off even though they know they're working against each other.
- McNinja: As are all other Smoke Knights she is essentially a European ninja.
- Offscreen Teleportation / Offscreen Reality Warp: All part of the standard competent Smoke Knight repertoire.
- Skunk Stripe: In a possible overlap with Locked into Strangeness when she's finally seen without her hood a chunk of her hair above her scarred and eyepatched covered eye is white.
- Stealth Expert: She and Malek follow Agatha's group for a couple of days and are only noticed by the Smoke Knight in the group even though the rest of the group is made up of a couple of Sparks, a Warrior Princess, a Master Spy a Super Soldier and a clever seasoned adventurer.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: All part of a Smoke Knight's repertoire. She and Malek were able to look over Agatha's notes while Dimo and Zeetha were on watch without either of them noticing.
- Uncertain Doom: The last we see of her, she's going to try and cross a revenant-infested Paris to reach Seffie's location. She's not there when we/the other characters finally arrive at said location, and the next time we see Seffie accompanied by a Smoke Knight attendant, it's not Varpa.
Veilchen, Smoke Knight
One of the Smoke Knights who worked for Tarvek's faction. He "parted ways" with the rescue party leaving them in an oubliette and told Violetta about the hunt on Tarvek's Smoke Knights when he was wounded himself. Seems to be a very popular dude.
- The Ace: Tarvek explicitsly calls him "one of the best."
- Bald of Evil: He's more of a cold-blooded professional, but the archetype is here.
- Game-Breaking Injury: His right arm is broken after the mission in the Sturmhalten sewers, forcing him to rest.
- Idiot Ball:
- Sure, he escapes from an oubliette in pretty badass fashion, but forgets about the pursuing monsters that caused him to fall into the thing in the first place.
- He also manages to forget that if you sneak through a sewer, you're going to pong a bit afterwards.
- Laser-Guided Karma: See Villain Ball below. he gets that after he abandoned the group for their fate.
- McNinja: As a Smoke Knight, he's basically a European ninja.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The monster catches him and he screamed. Next time he appears he reports to Tarvek.
Lord Rudolph Selnikov, Commander of the Knights of JoveOne of the Knights of Jove, Lord Selnikov assists Anevka in her attempt to usurp her brother. He also leads the Knights in their attack on Mechanicsburg, consequently getting himself killed by Gil.
- Awful Wedded Life: The moment he realizes being reanimated will mean the end of his marriage he perks up and ask Dr. Sun is if he can have a plaque reading "Reanimated Abomination of Science" bolted to his forehead.
- Badass Normal: He's got no Spark, and is past his prime, but he's still surprisingly capable.
- Death Is Cheap: He was killed by Gil's attack, but revived since the Baron determined he'd possess information that would be of use to them.
- Head In A Jar: Thanks to a mix of Gil's lightning stick and Vole's method of "recovering" his body, it's what he's been reduced to.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: He's not too fond of his wife or his brother in-law, Prince Aaronev.
- Oh, Crap!: Practically his default expression.
- Pragmatic Evil: During the attempted take-over of Mechanicsburg, he stated he wanted to make it at least look like he wanted to do it without bloodshed. He also advised against antagonising the Jägermonsters. He also switches sides to Wulfenbach rather readily, citing how despite them being so ruthless, it's a step up from being in the Deadly Decadent Court of the Knights of Jove.
- Secret Keeper: He is one of few that knows about Spark-infecting wasp. The others are Prince Aronev and the creator of the device himself. Well, and Tarvek, but he wasn't supposed to know.
- Your Cheating Heart: In the novel, at least, he's "busy" during the time Anevka murders her father, while his wife is away in Paris. Suggested after he's revived, as well, given his dour mood vanishes the minute he realises he's not longer technically married.
Princess Xerxsephina von Blitzengaard
- Arranged Marriage: She's trying to set one up between Gil and herself. She's well aware he's obsessed with Agatha, but is insistent that it would help stabilize everything if the two largest factions were joined by marriage. Gil is annoyed to note that she's right.
- She elaborates to Tarvek later that she knows she'll end up in a political marriage one way or another, so she might as well choose who she wants to marry, and Gil is the best choice by far. It may not sound like a great marriage on paper, but she's determined to make it work.
- Badass Normal: She isn't a spark but that doesn't hinder her ability to scheme and manipulate others, such as Gil or her brother. It also doesn't stop her from being just as crazy as a Spark.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's decidedly not a fan of Gil's crush on Agatha.
- Evil Laugh: She's working on her harmonics.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: She has a couple of moments during the attack on Paris. First, she tells her grandmother that she shouldn't beat the servants... because it's bad for her shoulder. Next, when Colette has trouble controlling the gargoyles, she asks her to avoid killing Martellus, because she needs him alive for her master plan. On the other hand, usefulness seems to overshadow affection in this family as a rule.
- Mask of Sanity: Possibly. While she seems affable enough even if a bit eccentric due to wanting to perfect maniacal laughter, she COMPLETELY loses it when the tea she is drinking "becomes cold" and she smashes the cup against the table several times. Of course, the real trigger is her being confronted with the fact that Gil loves Agatha rather than her. When she comes out of it, she apparently doesn't process that she broke the cup and casually blames it on one of her underlings.
- The Matchmaker: Encourages Tarvek's crush on Agatha to get Agatha out of the way for her own crush on Gil, which also means she's opposing Martellus' claim to the Lightning Throne, as his claim basically hinges on him wedding Agatha.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She's a bit hands-on when it comes to Gil. Not too much, not even enough for him to mention it, but enough to earn her a few glares.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She is (at least when the subject isn't Gil) a more level-headed counterpart to her heavy-handed and brutal brother.
- Secret Keeper: Surprisingly, Gil trusts her enough to use her as a diplomatic messenger, even giving her papers meant to be placed "under the rock in catacombs." Furthermore, she appears to know that Gil has his father riding around in his head.
- Stalker with a Crush: She has a borderline-psychotic crush on Gil and has been intercepting his letters since she was a child.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Inadvertently starts a new fashion trend in Britain when she shows up at the Queen's court with candy in her hair, claiming it's fashion, rather than just admitting she slipped and fell and it got stuck in her hair.
- Underestimating Badassery: Like Klaus, Lucrezia, Vole, Martellus, and who knows how many others, Seffie underestimates Agatha.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: She's very flexible in her planning, to the point of tossing the entire Knights of Jove agenda in the circular file after everything went pear-shaped and forming an alliance with the heir of the Empire they'd been planning to replace.
Terebithia, Matriarch of the Knights of Jove
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: See directly below.
- Cool Old Lady:
- A subdued version as far as the setting goes - she apparently throws some wild parties. And she has some rather impressive dresses.
- It is worth noting that she's the head of a family so unruly Tarvek once commented the only way to keep them in line would be to kill them, a family that's produced folks like Martellus, so she has to be doing something right.
- Defector from Decadence: An odd variation where she hasn't defected to the "good guys", but rather she still defected away from the most evil side. Unlike her (presumed) son-in-law Wilhelm and many other men of the cabal, who was madly loyal to Lucrezia, Grandma has been described as "hating Lucrezia", is outright opposed to and plotting against her, has taken control of at least a major part of the Knights of Jove away from The Other's objectives, and has basically ordered that all of her subordinates put aside rivalries and other cross-purpose agendas to take out anyone still loyal to Lucrezia, likely having performed a major purge of Lucrezia loyalists in the Knights of Jove during the timeskip. All of that said.. She cheerfully assists Zola!Lucrezia!The Queen of the Dawn in escaping from Paris when the latter woman's take-over plans get at least temporarily thwarted by Colette Voltaire becoming the new all-powerful Mistress of the city. Or at least being caught by Colette's forces, as always with this character, her motives for doing so remain vague, as it's entirely possible that she plans on acquiring Lucrezia's secrets via Zola still having Lucrezia trapped in her head.
- Dirty Old Woman: When Tarvek, disguised as a servant, makes a joke about her whipping him, she cheerfully states that he sounds "just like his grandfather" making Tarvek wish for Brain Bleach.
- Good Parents: "Good" being in relative terms considering she's still a member of her family and just as much a schemer as her kids and numerous grandkids, but she's certainly a better parent/grandparent than Tarvek and Anevka's father ever was. She definitely cares about her grandkids, and the feeling is mutual - when she and Tarvek finally reunite, their discussion is quite cordial and even heartwarming, with Tarvek even concerned for her health. Specifically, bursitis in her dominant shoulder, which she complains hampers her ability to use a whip, while Tarvek notes that he told her to use her cane instead, though Grandma remarks that said cane makes her look old. Of course, they have this conversation immediately after she had Tarvek kidnapped and forcibly dragged to her.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She was usually referred to mainly as "grandmother" though this is because most of the time, she was with her family. She's revealed to be named Terebithia when Simon Voltaire, Master of Paris, refers to her as such. Given their First-Name Basis with one another, they've had a history and still soft spots for one another.
- Evil Matriarch: Probably. She's in charge of the Knights of Jove, which is not in any way a pleasant organization, but how evil is still an open question. For example, it's unclear whether she supports Tarvek or Martellus over each other, or, given the return of the original Storm King someone else.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Whatever her ultimate goal is, it's not known to us. As noted above, she's been said to "hate Lucrezia" but other than that her plans are unknown; it's not even clear which of her relatives, if any, she would prefer to see become Storm King.
- Hidden Depths: When she learns that Archimedes' Lever has started spewing lightning, she knows exactly what it means (Andronicus Valois is still alive) and immediately begins making plans to take advantage of this fact. How much of this is fore-knowledge as opposed to shrewd guess-work is currently unknown.
- She's also well-acquainted with Simon Voltaire, the Master of Paris. She has invited him to several of her parties (though he never showed up despite promising to). Their quieted dialogue indicates they care a good deal about one another and even may have been intimate in the past. Furthermore, they're on first-name basis with one another and refer to one another in affectionate insults all while she supports him and gently clasps his hand.
- Never Mess with Granny: She's getting up there in years and is shown to be suffering from arthritis, but still manages to efficiently run one of the world's most widespread spy networks, on top of being strong enough to crush a pistol with her bare hands (as Zola finds out the hard way).
- Whip It Good: Apparently has quite the reputation for using one.
Lady Margarella Selnikov, Sturmvoraus Dissident
- Action Survivor: She's made it as far as Agatha's auspices without being offed by Smoke Knights, but she certainly is not fighter material. Subverted when it turns out she's orchestrated at least some of the railway attacks that seemed to be after her, in order to get to the Corbettites' base, and takes one of their members hostage, as seen here.
- All for Nothing: Turns out she was looking in the wrong vaults all along...
- Awful Wedded Life: It's made more explicit in the novels, but she and her husband did not have a happy union.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Turns out she was trying to get to the Corbettite fortress to go through their weapons stash, and deliberately leading the assassins to her.
- Killed Off for Real: Freeing the Beast? NOT a good idea. Violet herself verifies she is DEFINITELY dead.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Goes well with her rather black travel dress as well.
- Protectorate: Thanks to Agatha's Chronic Hero Syndrome. She remains so even after her identity is revealed by Wooster.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: She supports Tarvek over Tweedle, due to Tweedle being an absolutely horrible Storm King by any measure. She's on the lam because of it. This is zigzagged. It turns out she's not remotely a good person at all. And then later it turns out she wasn't working for either side, but the resolutely neutral Library. Except that the Library at the time was neutral in Tarvek's favor, so she may have still been a Tarvek loyalist after all. It's complicated.
- Villainous Breakdown: Loses it when her targeted Corbettite vault doesn't contain whatever it is she's looking for. She runs around frantically opening other vaults willy-nilly, until she gets to the one containing The Beast..
- Widow Woman: Her husband died in the war stomper attack on Mechanicsburg. Unbeknownst to her, his head was revived by spark doctors aligned with Wulfenbach, and was being pumped for information last we saw him.
Count Wolkerstorfer, Magnet Demon
- Absent-Minded Professor: Wolkerstorfer has a few memory retention problems... He is nearly derailed from his mission in finding Lady Selnikov by Krosp until he runs through his memory again.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: As a result of his forgetfulness, he tends to lose track of things in the middle of conversations.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In many ways a forgetful Cloudcuckoolander. But he's AMAZING with magnets, and he's still capable of fending off major attacks singlehanded.
- Ditzy Genius: He's ditzy even by Spark standards, but he's a genius even by their standards too.
- Eye Beams: How he kills Baron Oomfumf. His mech's cyclopean eye rakes the Baron's tuba trombone battle wagon thing with a beam.
- For Science!: Seems to be his default mode of thought, though he's a lot calmer about it than many such individuals.
- Humongous Mecha: We haven't seen Wolkerstorfer himself, just his huge bulbous mech... unless that is his body. It's anyone's guess where Sparks are concerned.
- Magnetic Weapons: Wolkerstorfoer is all about this, though not the typical rail/coil guns, but much more reality-breaking sparky applications. Martellus even calls him a "demon with magnets".
- Nothing Personal: It appears you really have to work at it to get him to form a grudge; after confronting Agatha and the Corbettite Monks and having them do some fairly serious damage to his mecha, he later cheerfully assists them in their fight against The Beast. He couldn't be angry over it, because from Agatha's and Matthias's invention he learned something fascinating about magnets!
- They Called Me Mad!: He seems to be not very well-regarded by his peers due to his inability to focus, leading to this response (following the offending party's death by eye beam).
Mister Obsidian, Hired Muscle
- Affably Evil: Very much all business but tries to be polite where possible. He even complains that he rarely gets the chance to be nice when doing his job.
- Establishing Character Moment: Curb-stomps Tarvek with ease without even needing to evade, with the first "holy crap" moment when Tarvek breaks a wrench over his head without the guy even moving.
- Names to Run Away From: Mister Obsidian. With the latter word being generally associated with materials that are extremely durable.
- Implacable Man: See image to the right. This guy takes the cake.
- Made of Iron: He outclasses Higgs by virtue of being so durable that he simply doesn't even react to being hit, nevermind take any kind of damage. This trope might be close to literal in his case, if he's a construct. So far his capabilities border on Nigh Invulnerable.
R. Van Rijn, Royal Advisor to King Andronicus Valois
- Ambiguous Situation: In Voltaire's story, Van Rijn was described as having carted away Andronicus' corpse to give him a proper burial after the Shining Coalition finally defeated him. Flash-foward 200 years, and Andronicus is alive again, but as a decaying Humanoid Abomination. What and why Van Rijn did this, or if he was even involved, is left up to speculation.
- Beyond the Impossible: Managed to make sentient clanks in the form of the Muses, something that's considered widely to be impossible even 200 years later.
- Born in the Wrong Century: 200 years later, the exquisite craftsmanship and intricacy of his Muses remain unsurpassed by other clank designers. Although there have been hints he got a leg up thanks to his conversations with The Muse of Time.
- Bookworm: He founded an autonomous library of extreme bibliophiles.
- Dirty Old Man: The Muse of Time refers to him as a "presumptuous old lecher".
- The Ghost: His inventions and legacy feature heavily in the comic's plot, but Van Rijn himself has been dead for centuries by the present, and even in flashbacks, the kind of person he was is deliberately kept extremely ambiguous.
- Immortality Seeker: He sought to trap The Muse of Time in order to force from her the secret of immortality. Although it's been hinted that this was not done entirely for his own sake.
- Mad Scientist: He was a Spark, so this is a given.
- Never Found the Body: Well, technically someone finally did... 200 years later.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: At the very least, he constructed the Muses, forged the Storm King a powerful electrified sword, built an industrial sausage-works and was a talented painter and sculptor.
- The Paranoiac: Explicitly stated to be one in a footnote in one of the Girl Genius print novels, and there have been hints of this in the comic; his notebook is larded with codes within codes.
- Posthumous Character: By the time Agatha finds him, he is a long-mummified husk.
- Shrouded in Myth: Again according to the novel, not much was known about the guy even when he was alive.
- The Slow Path: Possibly, in his dealings with the entity he named The Muse of Time.
- Sweet Tooth: Among the hidden secrets inside his notebook Agatha finds numerous recipes.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Sparks are well-known for Tampering in God's Domain, but Van Rijn was still greatly unnerved after he created the Muses about just what it was he'd created. Then they kindly told him it was alright.
Andronicus Valois, The First Storm King
A legendary ruler who commanded the Knights of Jove and ruled a large chunk of Europe roughly 200 years ago. Super-Spark Van Rijn constructed the Muses for him. He beat back the forces of Bludtharst Heterodyne as head of the "Coalition of the West," for which he was hailed as the "Storm King" and received the blessing of the "Five Good Emperors." According to an opera written about his life, he fell in love with Euphrosynia Heterodyne when he saw her menaced by her fiancé, Ogglespoon (who was her fiancé by arrangement with her father, not by her choice, supposedly). He tried to rescue her, only to be thwarted by a bonsai hedge maze. He then vowed to search for her forever, leading to the downfall of the Knights of Jove and his empire.
- Actually, That's My Assistant: Sees Agatha wearing her trilobite brooch and assumes she's the servant of the Heterodyne's rather than 'The' Heterodyne.
- Ax-Crazy: When he is reawakened in the present, he's an enraged, psychotic husk of his former self that proceeds to go on a rampage through the streets.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Used to not be this, but he's now a practically radioactive green, complete with the ability to melt someone's skin to mere bone on touch. Or subject it to rapid aging. Or something.
- Ambadassador: He loved diplomacy and negotiation and used warfare not to destroy his enemies but to get them to negotiate terms of peace with him.
- Artifact of Doom: His mace The Platonic Solid has been corrupted in some fashion, although exactly how and by who remains unclear. (Bludtharst Heterodyne is the most likely candidate in the latter case, The Castle apparently confirms it.)
- Badass Normal: Going from his dialogue in the second novel's prologue, he most likely isn't a Spark nor does he have a particularly high opinion of them. And yet, not only was he able to conquer most of Europa but he managed to do it with diplomacy, bringing legitimate peace to continent for a time. Ironically, his descendants insist that being a Spark is a prerequisite for becoming Storm King.
- Berserk Button: Jägers. He really hates them. Da Boyz and Jenka eagerly tap-dance all over this button to distract him and get him so riled up that he can't fight properly.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Implied by Simon Voltaire, he was apparently corrupted by the enemies of the Shining Coalition, or at least his corpse was. In the current era, he has utterly lost his mind, believing all his former allies are "oathbreakers and wizards", demanding to know "where his bride was taken", believing his love is still alive despite it being two centuries since he was last active. He keeps talking about wizards in a setting filled with Sparks, which says a lot about his mental condition and/or historical perspective.
- Deal with the Devil:
- The deal with Bludtharst Heterodyne to marry his sister Euphrosia, in exchange for both sides being at peace. The Heterodynes never had any intention of following through with this, and betrayed him.
- Apparently made some kind of bargain with the Heterodynes. It didn't work out so well, as he ended up mad, insane and evil.
- Enemy Mine: Part of the reason he was able to build his empire was the need for everyone to unite against the Heterodynes. Bludtharst Heterodyne even had "He Couldn't Have Done It Without Me" engraved on his tomb to rub this fact in.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: When he enters the story, he is confused by his surroundings, last remembers the long dead Van Rijn smirking over one of his machines, and assumes treachery. He finds the modern Paris to be astounding.
- Foil: To Klaus. Both have large and impressive empires which try to focus Sparks toward productive goals, while building and maintaining infrastructure along the way. Andronicus conquered Europa with diplomacy and saw war as just a means to get his opponent to agree to peace talks. Klaus ended the Long War by conquering Europa with brute force and shows disdain towards negotiation. Also, both their declines in power can be attributed to Heterodyne women, with Andronicus' coalition collapsing because he put his faith in Euphrosynia and the Wulfenbach Empire lost control of Europa because Klaus refused to trust Agatha.
- The Good King: Universally regarded as this.
- He Who Fights Monsters: An externally-caused version of this. After trying to rid the world of the Heterodynes and their monsters, he ended up becoming a horrific, undead, maddened evil Heterodyne-made monster himself.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A light-hearted version in the novels. He instituted high fashion in order to keep the nobles distracted from fighting each other. Unfortunately, since he was King, he had to lead by example. While Valois utterly hates having to wear a dozen silk waistcoats, he does at least consider it a worthwhile price for relative peace. Taking half an hour just to undo his trouser buttons, on the other hand...
- Humanoid Abomination: Was apparently transformed into a maddened undead monstrosity by his enemies, which his allies were forced to put down. When he appears in the current era, he looks increasingly monstrous the longer he fights - he starts off looking human except with green, glowing skin, but by the time Voltaire destroys his weapons, he's degraded into some kind of walking skeleton, and after that he's practically falling apart.
- Killed Off for Real: Eventually gets worn down completely by Master Voltaire, Da Boyz, Jenka, Martellus and Agatha, before finally being finished off by Martellus. His final end is no less tragic than he was first defeated - a maddened undead monstrosity put down by his last remaining old friend, the Jägers who were his old foes back in his glory days, his descendant and the descendant of the woman he loved, mistaking her for Euphrosynia and spending his last moments utterly thrilled that he had "found her", only for Martellus to crush his skull moments after. Of course, being the glory hog that he is, Martellus doesn't even take a moment to mourn his ancestor and contemplate his tragic end, he goes straight to literally claiming his crown for himself. Then again, said ancestor did corrupt his close friends/followers into undead monsters, thus forcing Martelleus to Mercy Kill them, so it's understandable he would spare little thought to him.
- Lamarck Was Right: One character can confirm that he has Von Blitzengaard's voice and Von Sturmvoraus' nose. Said character is Dimo talking to Agatha about the madman they encountered minutes previously.
- Love Makes You Crazy: He was already crazy to begin with after he was turned into some kind of monstrous construct, but he's so obsessed with Euphrosynia that he's demanding to know where she was "taken" (despite it being two centuries since she disappeared), and he's blaming Van Rijn for her disappearance, and angry at his former allies for not telling him anything, despite Voltaire quite clearly stating Euphrosynia's disappearance was entirely her fault and nobody actually knows what happened to her.
- Not Quite Dead / Immortality: If Muse Prende is to be believed. It's not currently clear if Andronicus is actually immortal or some kind of time traveler or has been held in suspended animation, but he is most certainly beyond just human at this point.
- Oh, Crap!: The novels show exactly when Valois realizes trusting the Heterodynes was a Bad Move: The night before he's set to marry Euphrosia, the Muses come to him and outright tell him she's going to screw him over. And they can only tell him then and there because it's too late to do anything. At that point, Valois starts thinking, starts really thinking, about which one of the two lovers was the one who actually suggested marrying...
- Rasputinian Death: Putting him down the second time requires, in order, getting blasted multiple times by the Gendarmy, repeatedly electrocuted and buried in rubble by Voltaire, stabbed in the gut with his own sword by Martellus, having an entire building collapse on top of him, getting smacked around by the Jagers, Voltaire melting the weapons that grant him Immortality, Agatha blasting him with a Wave-Motion Gun, and, finally, having his head crushed by Martellus' final blow. To say it took everything the heroes had to put him down is not an exaggeration in the least.
- Really Gets Around: By reputation at least. Multiple people have said that claiming descent from the Storm King doesn't mean much, because if the legends are true, half of Europa is descended from him. And his reign was only 8-10 generations ago. Apparently, at an impressionable age, the young Andronicus read a number of scholarly works that talked about a king being a fertility symbol, and thought this was a mighty fine idea.
- Sealed Good in a Can / Sealed Evil in a Can: Apparently was one of these. The jury is out as to which, with current events leaning towards "corrupted evil insane undead monstrosity".
- Shrouded in Myth: As noted, a lot of what the audience "knows" about him comes from an opera of dubious historical accuracy. Violetta also doesn't know the abilities of his signature weapons because legend describes them in obtuse, fanciful language.
- There Was a Door: This is how he decides to leave an underground chamber to go settle some matter. In Zeetha's words, his route is very direct.
- Walking Spoiler: It's incredibly obvious that there's some sort of major twist involving him. Considering everything we knew about him was told through the opera and third-hand comments, some kind of major reveal was practically inevitable.
- Was Once a Man: Andronicus was... corrupted somehow according to Simon Voltaire. His closest confidantes ultimately had to sacrifice much to end his deranged rampage. For all intents and purposes, everyone considers him to be ''undead''.
- Weapon of Choice: Has two, a sword and a mace. Voltaire destroys them both to prevent the maddened Andronicus from becoming basically unstoppable.
- The sword, Archimedes' Lever and dubbed as "Slasher" by the Jägers, forged by Van Rijn, and basically capable of calling down lots of lightning. It was said that it was supposed to be so sharp that it could "cut day out of the night".
- The mace, Platonic Solid and dubbed "Smasher" by the Jägers, that can send energy to melt solid rocks and turn people into gruesome-looking mind-controlled zombies. We've heard two evidently contradictory stories about its creation/source: Violetta says it was a gift from Albia, Queen Of England, while Simon Voltaire says that Van Rijn made it along with the sword.
- Turning people into mind-controlled zombies is apparently the result of the Platonic Solid being corrupted due to the work of Bludtharst Heterodyne (as confirmed by the Castle itself.)
ParisiansTropes pertaining to the Master of Paris, his various minions/relatives, and other denizens of the City of Paris.
Aldin Hoffman, member of Incorruptible Library
- Action Survivor: You need to be this you are a librarian who constantly gets dragged to your brother's misadventures and especially if your brother cannot move on himself.
- Bash Brothers: With his actual brother, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
- Bookworm: Pretty much a given for anyone who works in the Library.
- Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes his stories about the adventures his brother drags him on. They're just that weird.Larana: Well, Aldin, if you didn't write such fantastical reports...
Aldin: I am incapable of making things up! It all happened! No one ever believes me, but it happened!
Larana: Even the—
Aldin: Yes, even the thing with the naked mole rat queen.
Dimo: Hoo Hoo! Sounds spicy!
Aldin: It was not. I assure you.
- Deadpan Snarker: Here.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Apparently evil villainesses enjoy dressing him up in "silly loincloth outfits." And then we see why, the man looks like a classical gladiator.
- Megane: With some manner of magnifying doohickey attached to the frame.
- Hero of Another Story: He gets dragged into a wide variety of misadventures with his brother. To the point more than a few people consider he and his brother the next Heterodyne Boys.
- Hidden Depths:
- It eventually becomes clear his shy and timid personality is partly a facade.
- He's an expert lock picker.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He's calm & competent once he's resigned himself to something. It's potential problems that he has trouble with.
- Noodle Incident: We only get hints of all the crazy stuff Jim has dragged him into.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Would you believe that shy, serious Bookworm Aldin and gung-ho Genius Ditz adventurer Jiminez are brothers?
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Sort of displays this attitude towards his brother, thanks to getting dragged along on the latter's adventures.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Moloch (or probably Wooster). Both are Average Joes who complain about any bad luck and danger that have involuntarily befallen them.
Count Drusus Beausoleil
- And I Must Scream: As retribution for killing her father and nearly destroying Paris, Colette messily destroys each and every last one of his remote bodies and makes him feel the pain of every single death in exquisite detail. By the time it's over, he's slumped on the ground and moaning in agony.
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: References the trope when he offers to do so to Agatha on Du Quay's behalf. Du Quay dismisses it as a cliché and a distraction from his moment of triumph, but nevertheless suggests he bring her to the Velvet Dungeon for later.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Some of his bodies are subjected to this.
- Death Montage: We're treated to most of a page of the ways Colette killed his bodies.
- Didn't See That Coming: His plan to usurp Paris falls through thanks to Colette breaking through and taking over the city herself in the wake of Voltaire's death.
- Dirty Cop: While he does do his duty to thwart various schemes against the Master, he is also a key figure in one of those himself. He also embezzles from Voltaire's private cheese stock.
- Fake Defector: His standard operating procedure is to pretend to support any upstarts trying to usurp the Master so he can spy on them. He's done this so many times that when he finally defects for real he feels the need to tell the Master that this time it's genuine.
- Frame-Up: He murders the Master of Paris, doing the deed with a sword decorated by the Heterodyne symbol in order to frame Agatha.
- Manipulative Bastard:
- He manipulates a bunch of his students into fighting one another in order to create a diversion in order to abscond with Agatha in the confusion.
- He worms his way into Du Quay's trust, manipulates him into accepting Agatha as a prisoner by pointing out that she makes a good hostage against Gil, and looses her to rip apart Du Quay's attempt at overthrowing the Master.
- In order to motivate Agatha, he refuses to give Agatha the info she wants until she completes a task for the master. When she does so, he admits that they don't actually have what she wants.
- He manages to betray and sabotage the Master himself right under his nose, forcing the Master to do his last resort.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He claims his reason for turning against the Master was because the man was so stingy about sharing his technology secrets, which could have been used to improve his clank-bodies.
- Not Worth Killing: Colette doesn't deem it worth her time to hunt down Beausoleil's real body outside Paris after destroying all his clank bodies, as whoever his new "masters" are will certainly not be happy on his failure to deliver Paris to them.
- Remote Body: He keeps a large supply of remotely controlled clank doubles. And then Colette destroys them all (save the one in front of her). At once.
- Secret Police: As one of the Master's agents, it is his job to deal with the occasional overly ambitious spark so the Master isn't interrupted from his work by yet another would be conqueror.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Just after he kills the Master, all manner of alarms start going off. He isn't reassured when they stop, and with good reason...Beausoleil: ...Why does this not seem like a good thing?Colette: Think of it - AS A FINAL MOMENT OF SANITY!
- You Have Failed Me: When he tells Colette that she can't kill him because his true body is already outside Paris, she points out that his true masters will probably punish him for failing to usurp Paris on their behalf, and his reaction suggests he agrees.
Colette Voltaire, Master's Hand and later Master of Paris
- Ambiguously Gay: Has no interest in the many, many men pursuing her romantically (not even Hoffman, who she admits isn't after her for power like most of her other suitors), and in one of her early appearances makes a joke to Agatha about how "their love can never be".
- Badass Boast: "Paris is mine- and I will defend it."
- Badass Finger Snap: Does this when killing Beausoleil's bodies.
- Badass Normal: She may not be a Spark but she is the leading candidate to become the next Master of Paris and one of the most respected members of her family. And then her Spark starts breaking through.
- Clothing Damage: As Colette becomes more and more a madgirl, her clothes start catching fire and get rent apart by the electric arcs caused by her interface with Paris. By the time she's at full-tilt Madness Place while exacting revenge on Beausoleil, her clothes are so shredded that she's one soft breeze away from being essentially naked.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She rejects Violetta's sympathy for having a difficult family, because of the source.Violetta: Whoof! And I thought my family was bad.Colette: Your family is bad. Mine is noisy and embarrassing.
- Empowered Badass Normal: She was a cunning leader and warrior from her first appearance, and was already beginning to tap into the Paris network before her Spark broke through. When she does break through, with a little help from the Castle, she fully assumes her father's mantle as the Master of Paris.
- Get Out!: Says this when destroying Beausoleil's last body.
- The Madness Place: Once her Spark makes its initial breakthrough, she goes deeper and deeper into this state. She's able to pull out of it by the next day thanks to Tarvek and Agatha's help.
- Not Listening to Me, Are You?: After Agatha has been traumatised by her meeting with The Master, Colette confesses her love for her, then takes Agatha's lack of response as confirmation that she's not pretending.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: What she does to Beausoleil after he murders her father is brutal, but there's no question that he deserved every second of it.
- Pet the Dog: The Castle Clank's soft spot is shown when helping her and the nascent AI of Paris(?) out. Sure, everything it did ultimately was helpful for Agatha, but it went suspiciously out of its way to be a little extra helpful, hold the rampant Evulz. Without explicit orders to play that degree of nice.
- Power Floats: When she is channeling the energy of Paris, she gets some impressive floating done.
- She Is the King: Opts to retain the title Master of Paris since Mistress of Paris makes her sound like a demimondainenote .
- The Spark of Genius: Averted. She, alas, is not a Spark like her father. Except when she starts breaking through in the middle of a Ballroom Blitz in Paris.
- The Spymaster: Serves as this for her father.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Soon after feeling her father's death, her nascent burgeoning Spark reaches the maximum level of The Madness Place in exacting retribution on his murderer, Beausoleil.
- Unwanted Harem: Because she is the daughter of the Master of Paris and prime fodder for marriage for power, she has quite an unwanted following.
- You Are in Command Now: Her father grooms her to be his successor for years. When The Master finally kicks the bucket, she's plugged into the Paris control network and is in the middle of her Spark breakthrough, prodigiously learning the controls at an astounding pace.
Jiminez Hoffmann, Paris University Student
- Accidental Pervert: After he is almost blinded by acid, he and Agatha make a vision-enhancing helmet with different settings. One of the them is X-ray vision.Hoffmann: I can zoom in between macro and microscopic vision! We even gave it different filters! It can do infrared, ultraviolet, and... [stares at Larana] And... Uhhhh...
Agatha: [changing the settings] And X-ray.
Hoffmann: Uh, yeah. X-ray. Sorry.
- Adorkable: Acts the same way around Colette as Larana acts around him.
- Almighty Janitor: Nominally speaking, he's just a student at the University of Paris, not even being an agent of the Library like his brother. His list of exploits still rivals that of the Heterodyne Boys, and he's barely into his twenties. That being said, the University is shown to be something of an Academy of Adventure, and the comic implies multiple times that Hoffman would be dead a dozen times over if not for Aldin and Larana's help.
- Arranged Marriage: Accidentally gets himself into one. He makes peace between two underground peoples that have been long at war by suggesting they form a political marriage. But both peoples are completely different species, with one being comprised of humans and the other being made up of mole people. As a result, he is adopted as a prince of the mole people and put into an arranged marriage with the other side.
- Bash Brothers: He and Aldin practice a two-person "fighting style" called heroic freestyle.
- Battle Couple: With Larana, after they finally sort out their Unresolved Sexual Tension.
- Cool Helmet: His vision-augmentation helmet after he suffers the Eye Scream incident below.
- Determinator Nothing will stop him from adventuring. Whether it be broken legs, having his bones turned soft or literally being on fire.
- Disability Superpower: He and Agatha make a vision-enhancing helmet when Hoffmann is nearly completely blinded by acid. He eventually gets cat eyes as a permanent replacement.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Colette admits that Hoffman's interest in her is at least genuine, unlike other would-be suitors who are after her family's political power. She's still not interested in him, though.
- Drop the Hammer: Had one in his first appearance. It was a kinetic energy accumulator that he'd been hitting things with all day. Setting it to "discharge" created a massive explosion, leading to its confiscation.
- Genius Ditz: Though he is a Spark, he is also a space cadet, and also apparently can't tell the difference between "invincible" and "invisible".
- Eye Scream: He gets a facefull of acid from an old clank while exploring the Corbettite crypt. He's lucky the acid had lost most of its potency, and it still leaves him almost blind.
- Good Is Dumb: Not totally dumb, mind you. He is an honest, good person who can neither scheme nor reduce his collateral damage. Which leads to Aldin excluding him from his own schemes since he would almost certainly leak it to Agatha.
- Hero of Another Story: According to Aldin, the two of them have gotten into so many crazy adventures that the library curators consider them to be the new Heterodyne Boys.
- Humble Hero: He saves a king's life and puts an end to a war that has lasted generations. He insists it's no big deal. And gets chewed out for it because that war was the only thing keeping the people involved from waging war upon the surface.
- Last-Name Basis: He is usually called by last names, except when his brother, Aldin, is around.
- Love Epiphany: He eventually comes to realize that he has feelings for Larana... right around the time he mistakenly comes to think that she's in love with his brother, Aldin.
- Not Me This Time: He releases monsters onto Paris often enough that the Master assumes he's behind the latest weirdness involving van Rijn's secret lab. He really wasn't.
- Oblivious to Love: From Larana.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Played With all around in regards to his arranged union with Larana. She loves him, but he's painfully oblivious to it and only sees her as a friend- at first. Then he starts to reciprocate, only to get the impression that she's in love with his brother. It takes an Anguished Declaration of Love from Larana to finally sort things out between the two of them.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Would you believe that shy, serious and Bookworm Aldin and Genius Ditz, Good Is Dumb and adventurous Jiminez are brothers?
- Unrequited Love: He is one of Colette's many admirers. But she has no interest in him, viewing him in the same way one would an Annoying Younger Sibling.
- Weirdness Magnet: His brother Aldin laments this fact. Trying to keep him out of trouble only makes it worse.Aldin: Lady Heterodyne, if we take him back now, he will complain for months. He will actively seek me out, follow me around, and tell me at excruciating length why we shouldn't have "run away-" And while he is doing so, he will drag me into six "adventures" worse than this death crawl can ever be.
- X-Ray Vision: His helmet has this, much to Larana's dismay.
Princess Larana Chroma of the Silver Lands
Princess Larana is daughter to the King of the Silver Lands, a subterranean kingdom deep beneath Paris. Unlike her father, she sees infestation by Revenants to be a problem.
- Action Girl: She is a member of ''Deep Library's Hunting Party" who frequently goes to dangerous expeditions. She later proves to have a love of explosives.
- Adorkable: Whenever Hoffmann talks to her, she will lose her words.
- Arranged Marriage: Self-arranged for an alliance to stop her father's plans with The Other.
- The princess that "Honorary Prince" Jiminez Hoffman has been arranged with? She's it. He knows this, she doesn't, at first. When he tells her, he assumes she's not interested and takes her attempt to say otherwise as confirmation, then an explosion calls his attention away before she can correct him.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Larana has it for Hoffman, who is clueless about it.
- Establishing Character Moment: Lady Heterodyne, be my friend (Huge Grin, pictured at right). I have exploded the tunnel and will do so to boats which we don't use. (Gasp) Mr. Hoffman, you are also here? (Adorkable-ness ensues)
- Frontline General: Plans to lead her people into battle against the newly risen Storm King, after usurping the throne from her father.
- Only Sane Man: Everyone else in her father's court seem to either be revenants or in on the conspiracy. She's concerned enough about this being a big problem to take part in a plot to kidnap her own father and go into an arranged marriage with a prince of a recently accorded former enemy kingdom to enlist their aid. And later outright usurp the throne and go into battle against the Storm King.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Played With. They are heads over heels in love with each other, and from what is shown would make a pretty good match. This would make their arranged marriage an example of this trope, except that neither of them realizes how the other feels.
- Politically Active Princess: See Only Sane Man above.
- Rapunzel Hair: Even in a ponytail, it hits near her ankles.
- Statuesque Stunner: She stands a good head above Agatha, Jiminez, and her own father. Easily seen here with Agatha.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Seems to be her specialty.
- The Usurper: Technically. She cites the "Ancient Tradition of Filial Usurpation" when dethroning her run-amok father to defuse the situation in the Incorruptible Library. The Library's war party returns just in time to help enforce her usurpation.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: When Hoffman gets sprayed in the face with acid by a Corbettite clank, her response is to break out the explosive charges on the clank with intent to collapse the passageway on it. She also previously got vehement when the Library sentry expressed hope that Hoffman would throw himself out of the lift due to his notoriety at the Incorruptible Library.
- While she planned all long to take her father out of power, she outright usurps the throne as soon as he threatens Jiminez.
Simon Voltaire, The Master of Paris
- Art Attacker: Fitting for being a large patron of the arts. When making a tactical move against the Geisterdamen attacking Martellus's masquerade, he flourishes as if revealing an artistic opus ("VOILÀ!"), and the scene looks like a perspective picture.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He doesn't fight as much as when he was younger, but he is the Master of Paris, and has had to defend that title against all comers for centuries.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Or at least one of his "youngest" children, Colette, thinks so. They aren't malignant screwed-up like the Valois clan, but they are obnoxious and embarassing (again according to Colette). Also, some of his "children" are decades old and geriatric.
- Black and Nerdy: He's a Spark, and black. Self evident.
- The Chains of Commanding: Like Klaus, he'd rather focus on his spark work, so he tries to leave incidents to his agents. He's very agitated when his agent fails to stop an incident involving Agatha taking control of the city, because it forced him to take matters into his own hands.
- Cyborg: Appears to be mostly mechanical from the neck down. This might be part of how he's lived for so long.
- Dented Iron: He's an old man, and even his cybernetics have their limits and are breaking down. He's no longer able to fight like he did in the days of the Shining Coalition, and after the battle with Andronicus, he's badly beaten enough to be taken down for keeps.
- First-Name Basis: With the Matriarch of the Knights of Jove, Terebithia. Not only does it reveal the name to the readers, but as one of several hints indicating they may have had an intimate past.
- He Knows Too Much: The Master encourages people to study the means by which he controls Paris, since it allows him to ferret out weak points in his system. But whenever anyone uncovers too much, he will Make an Example of Them, leaving behind nothing but large craters.
- Hermit Guru: Okay, so Paris does not really qualify as remote in the conventional sense, but getting to see The Master of Paris isn't easy.
- Hero of Another Story: As we catch more glimpses of the story of the Shining Coalition, it becomes clear that it was an epic tragedy, easily worthy of its own webcomic, one that finally ends two hundred years later with the Coalition's last two members, one embittered and the other corrupted, facing off for the final time.
- I Gave My Word: Agatha's rescue of his city only warranted 6 hours of study-time in Paris, with the other 2 days and 18 hours being time left over on the accounts of the Heterodyne Boys. Being their heir, she inherits this time because he pays his debts.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Has kept himself alive for centuries because he has yet to find anyone he'd be willing to leave control of his city to. After his murder, his daughter Colette, whom he believed showed promise and recently awoke her Sparkiness, is able to take control of city and assumes the title of Master.
- Killed Off for Real: Confirmed by The Castle. He was already spent after the battle with Andronicus, but Beausoleil successfully murders him, using a sword that purges him from the systems of Paris. Fortunately, Colette is able to take over for him.
- Knowledge Broker: Of sorts. It's stated that the Master doesn't particularly care what you do in Paris, provided you're not making a ruckus, but he insists on knowing.
- Large and in Charge: He is quite massive and has very odd body proportions, even discernible through his very thick overcoat; it's eventually revealed that most of that bulk is cybernetics.
- Mad Artist: Even if he isn't one himself, his city is more or less run for the benefit of them. His threatened use for criminals is "Raw Materials". During his response to the escalation in Paris, he gets artistic in defeating a horde of Geisterdamen.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He is very old and has many children. His children vary in age quite significantly, with some of them being ancient.
- The Master: Of Paris!
- Memetic Badass: In-Universe, he's seen as being able to hold off Klaus and force the latter to recognize his authority in Paris. The "memetic" part comes because it's more of a puppet-theater joke - Simon is independent because Klaus knows he will never have any reason to come over there.
- Not So Above It All: He made Hoffman roommates with troublemaker and Conspiracy Theorist Pierre van Stron just because he thought it would be funny.
- The Omniscient: Or at least so he claims. According to Othar's twitter, his power depends on the fact that everyone accepts that nothing can happen in his city without his finding out. It's eventually revealed that he used to be omniscient in a way, when he could connect and become one body with the entire city itself, but he's generally too old for that in the present. Not that that'll stop him if things cross the Godzilla Threshold...
- Power Floats: When he links in with the systems of Paris, he starts floating in an energy bubble.
- Really Gets Around: See Massive Numbered Siblings. By most standards, and judging by the age and numbers of his children, his sex life is very active.
- Really 700 Years Old: He is referred to as one of the oldest, wisest sparks around (Albia is the only known living Spark older than him), and he personally fought alongside the Storm King against the old Heterodynes as part of The Coalition of The West. This would make him 200 years old at least. The reference in the Storm King Opera to "The Five Good Emperors" raises the possibility that he was already a powerful ruler at this time. He also refers to The Baron as "Young Klaus." He also has several "children" who are not so much unaffected by aging, and are geriatric. It's hinted that he may be trying to create an heir that has inherited both his Spark and his sensibility. He has high hopes for Colette... which may be exactly what he's looking for since her breakthrough has begun.
- The Spymaster: It is almost impossible to do anything without his hearing about it. Almost.
- Stern Teacher: How he deals with unruly foreign heads of state he can't kill, judging from a footnote about a visit from some rambunctious tsars the second novel gives. After a lengthy period of debauchment (which did make several businesses in the city much richer), they were summoned before the Master... who promptly sent then packing with homework.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Klaus Wulfenbach. He keeps order through his reputation, he hates The Chains of Commanding and would much rather be left alone to his Spark work, and he distrusts Agatha because of his prejudice against the Heterodynes. The only difference between the two personality-wise is that the Master is willing to talk to Agatha and give her three days in his city.
- Wetware CPU: The legends of his ability to know everything that goes on in his city stemmed from the fact that at one point, he had literally hardwired himself into the control systems of Paris. As he grew older, he was forced to stop doing so and delegate control of various subsystems to subordinates for health reasons, but that doesn't mean he can't plug himself back in and assert admin privileges over everything if he has to.
- We Used to Be Friends: Was once one of Andronicus Valois' closest and reliable allies before the latter was changed into an undead monstrosity. He is determined to finish what he started, despite his extremely advanced age, so he can save his old friend from himself.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: He's getting very tired of dealing with "the same nonsense over and over."
Castle Wulfenbach Students
Many of them remain as of yet un-named but two, Sleipnir O'Hara and Theopholous DuMedd, re-entered the story in Mecanicsburg. Three in particular have more characterization than the rest: Zulenna Luzhakna, Theopholous DuMedd, and Sleipnir O'Hara.
Tropes associated with the Castle Wulfenbach Students in general:
- Arranged Marriage: Sleipnir had a political marriage waiting for her back home before she ran off with Theo. There are hints other students may be in a similar situation.
- Blue Blood / Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Anyone without at least one of the two is at the bottom of the social heap. Sleipnir also notes that Sparks matter more than lineage, though.
- Gilded Cage: They're happy, healthy, and well treated, but it's also true that they are hostages. At least one of them regretted having to leave, though he may have had other reasons. As Tarvek put it, Castle Wulfenbach is the place to be — especially for an ascending Spark.
- Hostage Situation: In the manner of old-fashioned royalty, to keep their families in line.
- The Mole: Tarvek got kicked from Castle Wulfenbach because of this reason and he countered with basically "Who isn't?". The students not only being hostage, they can also spying Wulfenbach's from inside his base of operation.
Princess Zulenna Luzhakna
A royal without the Spark, but with a strong sense of noble pride, as well as unshakable faith in the Baron. She starts out strongly antagonistic towards Agatha for a large number of reasons. However, she changes her tune when Agatha's heritage is revealed. The Heterodyne Boys personally designed her family's defenses, and thus she stays behind to buy Agatha and the others time to escape. She is killed by DuPree, but Klaus orders her put in the cold room to be revived later.
- Alpha Bitch: Zulenna is the main enforcer of the pecking order amongst the students.
- Freudian Excuse: Sparks matter more than lineage. So, as non-Sparky Princess, her standing was not the highest and she became an Alpha Bitch to compensate what she lacks.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Agatha escaped, Zulenna stayed behind and stood up to Von Pinn. Then Bang subverted that to hell a page later. Then Von Pinn double-subverted it and the ensuing squabble gave Agatha the time she needed to escape. And Klaus ordered her brought back to life.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Revealed with her Heroic Sacrifice; she may look down on anyone of lower station, but she gave her life to repay a family debt. Also in Tarvek's own words, she was always very nice to him, which is why he arranged things behind the scenes for her to even be on Castle Wulfenbach.
- Team Mom: Though Von Pinn is the official nanny, Zulenna does help mind the younger students; admonishing them to not believe everything in a story, and keeping them kempt at the dinner table.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She was killed by Bang after Von Pinn was unable to overcome her programming when Zulenna pulled a You Shall Not Pass!, but the Baron intended to revivify her against the social by-laws about resurrecting aristocratic family members. And then... nothing (so far).
- No mention was made of Zulenna, but the closest thing to a reference to her was the name-dropping of her homeland, Holfung-Borzoi, which had forged a new alliance with a former enemy, being overseen by Zola/the Queen of the Dawn.
- She's later revealed to be a cousin to Tarvek and the only reason she was on Castle Wulfenbach was because he pulled strings, in order to keep her safe. He thinks she's dead dead though.
Theopholous "Theo" DuMedd, Head Boy of the Wulfenbach Academy Dormitory
A friendly Sparky boy, mostly in charge of wrangling the younger students. His mother was one of the Mongfish sisters, making him Agatha's cousin - a fact he is quite pleased to discover, considering she's the first family member he's had who's not dead, missing, or a head in a jar.
- Actually Pretty Funny: The Baron actually smirks on hearing Theo's story about The Other being a robot dragon.
- Big Man on Campus: As the Head Boy of the group. He's got both Blue Blood and the Spark, so he may technically be even higher in the pecking order than Zulenna.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: His parents died several years ago, apparently fighting pirates.
- Gargle Blaster: A specialty of Theo's. Just one is enough to even knock out Gil! Note that he somehow managed to make a 200 proof beverage that contains something other than alcohol, which is chemically impossible (A 200 proof drink is 100% ethyl alcohol by definition).
- Genre Savvy:Theo: Well, we're in a Heterodyne story now. These things happen.
- Get a Room!: After Theo starts to really Spark out near fan-of-science Sleipnir, their resulting... chemistry leaves the other present characters very eager to leave and give them the room.
- Long-Lost Relative: Theo's mother was Lucrezia's sister, Serpentia, which makes Agatha his first cousin. Unlike the rest of the Mongfish family relationships, the one between Theo and Agatha is far more cordial and friendly. The Mongfish connection may explain why Theo doesn't have any living duMedd relatives, either. He's also related to Zola the same way, as her mother was a third Mongfish sister. This has not been mentioned directly in any fashion
- Meaningful Name/Just for Pun: DuMedd was originally "doomed", until the Foglios got attached.
- Put on a Bus: After fleeing Castle Wulfenbach, he is mentioned in passing as the source of how Othar found out who Agatha really is, but that was it until the Mechanicsburg arc. He's back on the really huge double-decker bus along with a lot of other characters caught in the fan-named Take-Five time-freeze bomb that was the cause of the Time Skip.
- Relationship Reveal: He and Sleipnir are revealed to be more than just traveling companions, when she started getting turned on by Theo sparking out in Lucrezia's secret lab.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: He has the Spark.
- The Storyteller: Well-known enough that Klaus is able to realize he was the one behind the break-in at his lab when the kid they caught mentioned a story.
- White Sheep / Token Good Teammate / Only Sane Man: Not For Wulfenbach students, but for Mongfish family, along with Agatha. His grandfather Lucifer Mongfish was a long-time enemy of the Heterodyne boys, his aunt Lucrezia was the Other, and his other cousin is Zola. We can only imagine how bad the rest of the Mongfishes were.
A highly intelligent mechanic (not a Spark) who quickly befriends Agatha onboard the Castle.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Between the adventure in Castle Wulfenbach and her re-appearance in Mechanicsburg, she gets her hair cut short, trades in her frumpy jumpsuit for a revealing halter-top, and very... "fitted" bodice and pants.
- Fingerless Gloves: Sleipnir gained a pair of fingerless gloves long enough to be considered detached sleeves as part of her Adrenaline Makeover. Presumably they offer her some protection while she's doing mechanic work while still allowing her fingertips to be free for tactile discrimination in order to more quickly tell materials apart and perhaps for extra dexterity not offered by full protective gloves.
- Get a Room!: See this entry for Theo.
- Meaningful Name/Just for Pun: Sleipnir was introduced Agatha's roommate on Castle Wulfenbach - someone to "sleep near." This is lost in the novels where Agatha's roommate is Zulenna.
- Put on a Bus: Similar to Theo, and The Bus Came Back in Mechanicsburg at the same time Theo did, and left again just like Theo with the Take-Five bomb.
- Redhead In Green: Sleipnir spends much of the comic during her stay on Castle Wulfenbach in a green jumpsuit. Once in Mechanicsburg, she trades it for a haltertop - still green.
- Relationship Reveal: See Theo's entry.
- Runaway Fiancé: Sleipnir - when Agatha met her on Castle Wulfenbach, she had an arranged marriage waiting for her back home, but by the time she met up with Agatha again in Castle Heterodyne, she'd run off with Theo.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: She doesn't have the Spark, but she still has some similar tendencies. In addition to becoming his lover, she's also starting to become Theo's personal minion.
- Wrench Wench: She's introduced wearing a jumpsuit after a duty shift doing mechanical work, and is handy as a Spark's minion.
One of the younger students on Castle Wulfenbach who likes Theo's Heterodyne Boys stories and is eager to have some adventure himself and to hang out with the older kids.
- It's All My Fault: Itto tries to invoke this when he realizes the Baron isn't buying his story of sneaking into the labs alone though he still doesn't give up any names of other students.
- The Load: No one gets mad at him since they did pass up an opportunity to take him back to the dorms but once they get into the Baron's lab he gets startled and freaks out, yelling and running away alerting the Baron to the presence of the students and he is the only one that gets caught since he goes the wrong way. He does refuse to give up the older students though the Baron is able to figure out Theo's involvement from things Itto says and just knowing Theo.
- Most Definitely Not Accompanying Us: When the older Castle Wulfenbach Students decide to sneak into the Baron's lab so they can see what a wasp engine looks like Itto tries to invite himself along and is quickly told by Theo that there is no way they are taking him with them due to his age. He manages to follow them for a while before they catch him and Zulenna decides to allow him along, but not before stressing how dangerous the engine is and scaring him to the point that he no longer really wants to.
- Tagalong Kid: He's starting to try and join the older students when they try to sneak into forbidden parts of the castle.
EnglishmenTropes pertaining to the nation of Great Britain and its residents.
- It's revealed when Agatha and co get to England that the island-nation was somehow set to sinking by a band of Sparks some 300 years ago. Rather than let this bother her, Albia simply rebuilt England as a Rapture-esque aquatropolis, and the nation is thriving, even as it continues to sink ever-deeper into the sea.
- This has caused them to be Crazy-Prepared when it comes to sparks, too: They have a large dome where the best are collected and kept, not really so they can inspire and work together, but because that makes it conveniently easy to take them all out if things go awry. One of the labs allotted to Agatha is called "abominable" (as in, abominations unto science) and comes with all sorts of safety measures and a prepaid electrical bill.
- Character Tics: Questioning the social status quo too much, such as suggesting they leave the increasingly unsustainable sinking cities of England, is met with a variant on "Her Majesty would never permit it."
- Common Tongue: Due to England's trade fleets, English is the lingua franca of much of the world.
- Determinator: Even with their island sinking under the ocean, the English absolutely refuse to abandon it, and accepted the challenge of living underwater. In fact, they consider the challenge of living underwater to be one of the reasons why they are one of the most powerful nations on the planet.
- More Than Mind Control: Albia is capable of controlling the minds of many of her subjects directly, including overriding Slaver Wasps affecting her soldiers, but the vast majority of her subjects appear to have a genuine devotion to her. Of course, she is a Mad Social Scientist. That's only to be expected.
- Undying Loyalty: To their queen, Albia. Whenever an outsider suggests doing something differently, such as abandoning their sinking city, they simply say a variant of "Her Majesty would never allow that," and the matter is considered settled.
- Tattoo as Character Type: the more nautical characters appear to be heavily tattooed, and there is the Queens Tattoo which appears to serve as a mark of special distinction.
Queen Albia, Her Undying MajestyThe mysterious and seemingly immortal Queen of England.
- Berserk Button: According to the Klaus-overlay in Gil's mind, she doesn't like it when other people describe her seemingly-supernatural abilities as "magic".
- Brawn Hilda: One of her older forms, possibly her original, is a stout bulky red head.
- Clarke's Third Law: Even by the setting's standards, her technology seems magical, to the degree that she can make things happen without any visible interfaces or machinery. According to Klaus Wulfenbach, her technology still follows the normal laws of nature, it is simply far more advanced than what most of the world has access to.
- The Collector: She maintains a "garden" of interesting individuals, the exact size of which is not yet clear; it may even be all of Londinium or even England. She hopes to lure Agatha and (some of) her companions into "voluntarily" becoming permanent residents.
- Control Freak: When Lucrezia, masquerading as Agatha, remarked that anything can happen, Wooster replied that's not the case in England; "Her Majesty wouldn't allow it." Gil also comments to Zola that going against her whims is "literally unthinkable." Although this appears to be an exaggeration; when the action finally reaches England, we witness all sorts of things happening that Albia definitely would not approve of, and that she cannot directly fix even after learning about them. There have been hints that her power may be waning in some fashion.
- The Dreaded: Doctor Sun was horrified to learn that Gil threatened to destroy her and England to get her spy Wooster to submit to him, indicating that provoking her is a very bad idea. Later on, it's shown that pretty much everyone is terrified of the idea of crossing her. Even the Lucrezia copy in Agatha's mind is absolutely terrified of her.
- Due to the Dead: She is capable of speaking someone's name such that it will never be forgotten by anyone who hears it. She uses it as a high honor for soldiers who die in her service.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Albia very much implies that this is responsible for at least some of her otherworldly abilities when she meets Agatha. Trelawney Thorpe says that she started out as a Mad Scientist no different from any other, and then broke through a second time.Albia: Oho! Yes we thought so! We can always tell. You are one who has peeped into the infinite!
- Everyone Has Standards: As furious as she is at Dr. Vapnoople for his past crimes against England, she's absolutely horrified to see what Klaus' lobotomy procedures have done to his brilliant mind.
- Extradimensional Power Source: Implied to be the true nature of second breakthrough, being powered by a special form of energy she absorbs from a different dimension.
- Eye Color Change: Blue most of the time (and briefly brown), but at one point they turn gold... the whites included.
- Fake Memories: She has the power to edit a target's memories, though according to Klaus there are ways to detect it. According to Trelawney Thorpe, it is a power she is reluctant to use and will only do so when necessary.
- Flaming Hair: Fogio drew a sketch of her for a fan which depicts her as a scantily clad woman equipped with what appears to be this. When she is finally met in person, her hair appears normal... until a massive bout of Sparky glee over an experiment idea causes her hair to burst into flames for a single panel.
- The Fog of Ages: A normal person has trouble with one century's worth of memories. A spark can handle more, and Albia is the next step past a spark, but even she can't handle the countless millennia she has been alive. In order to deal with this, the first thing she built upon her second breakthrough was a building designed to archive her memories.
- Giant Woman: When Agatha and Zeetha finally come into her presence, she's busy pruning the top of a fir tree. It's quickly revealed she can "compress" herself down to human size. Which, if either, is her default height is unknown.
- God-Emperor: She was once a member of an entire sisterhood of secretive and immortal god queens. She is one of the very few to make her status openly known to the world at large, and one of the very few that is even still alive. She lost contact with most of them when the technology they used to communicate was (probably) sabotaged, and she has spent the past few centuries seeking out the surviving queens or their remnants.
- Good Parents: She's got several kids, and unlike pretty much every other parent we've seen, is absolutely loving and doting to her "pookies".
- Gorgeous Garment Generation: Her unexplained shapeshifting abilities extend to her outfits. She often shifts her clothes based on who she's talking to, or even what they're talking about.
- Holy Halo: Her Undying Majesty has little constant about her appearance outside of her hovering halo of glowing stars. Even this is slightly altered when she reveals a bit of just how dangerously sparky she could be with her very magic-like abilities and power.
- Immortality: She is known as "Her Undying Majesty" and is (far far) older than Simon Voltaire, who is well over two hundred years old. And, unlike the elderly cyber-assisted Master of Paris, Albia appears as a young and beautiful woman.
- Instant Costume Change: Can go from gardening clothes to mourning garb to a Skifandrian outfit over the course of five panels. The changes appear to reflect her thoughts and/or the current topic of discussion.
- Large and in Charge: She tends to take on the giantess form when dealing with matters of State.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Normally a grayish-blue color, it also appears as red, emerald, and brown at different points.
- Manipulative Bitch: She's a Mad Social Scientist, and her fingerprints are all over England. While the question of if she will ultimately be an antagonist or not remains to be seen, she is conspiring very effectively to split up Gil Agatha and Tarvek so that Agatha will remain in England as part of her collection. And the degree of fanatical devotion her subjects display tapdances on the line between Undying Loyalty and something far more sinister.
- Mind Manipulation: If she wishes to she can manipulate peoples' minds. According to Gil it is literally impossible to go against her wishes.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's the only known (semi-normal non-Jäger) person in Europa who is older than the 200+ year old Simon Voltaire. And even he doesn't know the secret to her longevity. It's eventually revealed it's due to her being a "second-stage" Spark, and she is in fact thousands of years old.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Has the sense during a massive Sparky rant to admit that it would be much better to let Agatha fix things with her and Gil's minds, as Albia's plan and methods involve much more potential for damage, even if Albia thinks it would be fun. Although see above under The Collector.
- Unlike Voltaire, she is also more willing to give Agatha a chance, as she is quite friendly to her, even providing advice. Considering Agatha's family history and both Klaus' and Voltaire's hesitance to give her a chance to prove her moral character, this is a major contrast. Though it helps that Agatha is quite respectful to her, as she is aware that being in the presence of a ruler in their domain is not something to be taken lightly.
- Royal "We": Utilizes this manner of speech, which is appropriate, since she is the Queen of England. Although an occasional "I" still slips in there.
- Sizeshifter: She can shift sizes, apparently at will, though doing so too quickly makes her burning hot to the touch.
- The Social Expert: Even among Sparks, who are all charismatic and can turn their genius to social engineering in a pinch. Even beyond her second breakthrough this is her specialty, since back when she was a normal Spark in Doggerland she was a master of the art of knowing people's hearts and motivations.
- Statuesque Stunner: Even at human size, Her Undying Majesty still has a good foot or two over Zeetha in height. This may be a deliberate intimidation tactic; as previously noted, it's not at all clear what her "normal" size is.
- Stripperiffic: Some of her outfits embody this trope, others are more conservative.
- Telepathy: She can examine other peoples' minds.
- Teleportation: Capable of teleporting both herself and others at will and apparently without consent, as seen when she briefly warps Agatha into the air during their first meeting.
- Time Abyss: Has been a Spark since before the English Channel existed, which depending on your interpretation could put her at four hundred and fifty thousand years old.
- Villain Override: Non-villainous variant. This turns out to be the reason why it's "literally unthinkable" to go against her: she is able to broadcast her will to all of her subjects in the surrounding area (how far this effect reaches is unknown) to the point that she can even temporarily override The Other's slaver-wasps. And beyond that, some her subjects (Trelawney among them) are able to voluntarily summon her to possess their bodies and channel her powers directly through them. This power is reseverved for emergencies where they desperately need to use her Enlightenment Superpowers for themselves; Albia cannot maintain this connection for long, as it soon begins to damage the subject.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Seems to have a pretty liberal degree of control over form, including Sizeshifter, Eye Color Change, Kaleidoscope Hair and Gorgeous Garment Generation.
- Weather Manipulation: Capable of conjuring tiny storm-clouds in the palms of her hands. She ramps it up to a giant one while confronting Krosp and his legion of bears.
- We Used to Be Friends: According to the print novels, Albia was one of Klaus's biggest supporters during his conquest/cleanup of Europa. However, as their two empires began to butt political and commercial heads, as well as the tendency of Sparks to seek hierarchical control over each other, their relationship fell apart and Klaus (and later Gil) are barred from entering England as long as she rules, and both sides are waiting for the other to start something so they can invade. Assuming that Lady Astarte wasn't just winding Gil up, they apparently used to be more than just friends...
Trelawney Thorpe, Spark of the Realm
An agent in Albia's intelligence service.
- Action Girl: Who carries around explosives.
- Ambiguously Bi: Nothing explicit has been said about her tastes, but, whilst she and Wooster show signs of some attraction to each other when they meet at the start of Second Story Volume 5 and she very deliberately tries to seduce Gil, she also much more openly flirts with the female pirate(ish) captain who ferries Tarvek and Gil to Londinium, with the latter being a much more strongly implied Ambiguously Gay character. However, she has been hinted here that she may genuinely like Gil.
- And after Wooster is killed by Lucrezia-in-Agatha, she breaks down weeping.
- The Berserker: Not to suicidal levels, but she's been shown to rather impulsively spring into action.
- Crazy Sane: Trelawney is able to remain relatively calm and focused even when she falls into the Madness Place like other Sparks. Lucrezia is impressed by her self-control.
- Famed in Story: A number of novels have been written about her exploits, similar to those of the Heterodyne Boys. There's been disparaging comments in-story (from knowledgeable witnesses) as to how accurate they are.
- Hero of Another Story: While her novels are said to be exaggerated, she really does have a very busy life.
- Honey Trap: Queen Albia sends her to capture Gil's heart to ensure Agatha has fewer reasons to leave England. Klaus-in-Gil has not only caught onto this, but encourages it, if more so as to keep Gil away from Agatha.
- Instant Costume Change: She is able to casually rip off her elaborate full-length dress, leaving her wearing a far more practical catsuit.
- Secret Keeper: She serves as this for Albia, and chooses to share some of them with Gil.
- Spy Catsuit: As noted, this is her chosen outfit when she's in action. It's green.
- Willing Channeler: As one of the Queen's sacred guardians, she can pray to her for help and be possessed by her. However, it puts a serious strain on her body, making it one of her last resorts.
An English noblewoman. Has interests in both Science! and fashion. She was the financial backer for the airship expedition that "discovered" Skifander.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: It appears she's got some sort of covert agenda regarding Zeetha and/or Skifander.
- The Fashionista: Has a very intense attitude when it comes to clothes.
- For Science!: As noted, she's a major supporter of The Queen's Society of Sparks. It's still not clear if she herself is a Spark.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She sports a Marge Simpson-esque blue hairdo.
- Meaningful Name: Along with her more obvious last name, in Classical Mythology, "Ariadne" is associated with thread.
- Multiarmed Multitasking: Has four arms. Also Multi-Armed and Dangerous.
The Boilergast/"Karl Thotep"
An alien from another dimension. He has long lived within the English undersea dome of the Queen's Society and built up a reputation as a ghost due to his invisible nature.
- Invisible to Normals: Most people can't see him. Tarvek and Higgs are among the few who can.
- The Nameless: He has yet to say what his real name is; on the Girl Genius website, he's called Karl Thotep in the links to the sections of the plot where he is prominent.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He didn't know just how dangerous Dr. Dimitri was before his lobotomy and heals him.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Gil thinks of him as Tarvek's "imaginary friend", but he's real enough.
- Seers: He has a different perception of time relative to the natives of Europa and can predict the future in broad strokes, ie, "perform Action X and it will somehow get everyone killed."
- Significant Name: "Karl Thotep" is a fairly obvious Shout-Out to H. P. Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep.
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Due to the nature of his existence, he has trouble deciding what tense to use when speaking with people.
Master Payne's Circus of Adventure
A traveling Heterodyne Show that takes Agatha in for a while after she saves them from a wandering monster-clank. Zeetha was originally one of them, but decided her place was with her student when the rest of the Circus was Put on a Bus.
- Arm Cannon: Ollie has a prosthetic hand that either can transform into a hand cannon or he has a separate hand cannon prosthetic. He is never seen with it in any stage but mechanical hand or weapon so it is unknown if it is two devices or one but it looks like he just removes the hand portion to access the cannon.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Abner and Pix start out this way, then get together soon after Agatha joins the circus.
- Blue Blood: Marie is apparently distantly related to the Queen of England, and is often referred to as "the Countess."
- Chivalrous Pervert/Handsome Lech: Lars apparently has a... colorful history.
- Circus of Fear: Not usually; they're decent people. But after SHOWTIME!, things get... interesting.
- Flying Dutchman: Embi, of the Wandering Jew variety. Assuming he wasn't sending Agatha out for a crate of balloon juice about that.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Marie again.
- Handicapped Badass: Trish Belloptrix is a spark who walks with the aid of a crutch and is confirmed in the novelization to be missing most of her left leg. That crutch transforms into a large gun to take out the monsters and clanks that threaten the circus in the wastelands.
- Happily Married: Master Payne and Marie, with a little bit of Vitriolic Best Buds mixed in.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Lars.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: A lot about the circus. Especially how they're mostly Sparks.
- Inksuit Actor: Master Payne is based on a Northwest stage magician of the same name who is a friend of the Foglios.
- Knife-Throwing Act: Dame Edith has a knife throwing act, unfortunately she has at least once turned her knives on the audience when she asked if anyone was a vampire and someone raised his hand understandably thinking she was joking.
- Ladykiller in Love: Lars, who gets a fairly obvious crush on Agatha. He confesses it as he lies dying.
- Little People Are Surreal: Embi notes that most of his appeal to the audiences the circus pulls in is that he is short.
- Lovable Coward:
- Lars starts out as this.
- Arguably, the whole circus is this. They play heroes on stage, but they don't do any actual heroics - traveling the Wastelands is dangerous enough without it.
- The Masquerade: Many of them are minor Sparks, hiding from the Baron and from potential Burn the Witch! situations.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Master Payne.
- Necessarily Evil: Master Payne
- Older Than They Look: Embi, who is apparently well over a hundred years old.
- Performance Anxiety: According to the novelization Yeti has stage fright even though he acts in the plays, it is unknown what his usual part is but in one performance he acts as Punch.
- Phony Psychic: Madame Olga was a fortune teller traveling with the circus.
- Pie in the Face: Shockingly, this is plot-relevant!
- Pillow Pistol: When Master Payne and Marie are woken by a Sturmhalten soldier banging on their carriage door he slides a gun out from under his pillow to take with him to answer the door.
- The Plot Reaper: Lars, when Gil is about to come back into Agatha's life.
- Put on a Bus: To England, specifically.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A lovable kind.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Master Payne.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: While most weapons in Girl Genius are death rays or other creations of mad science one of the circus members, who looks to be the young Spanish woman who acts as their Thundering Engine Woman impersonator, prefers a revolver even though she herself is a Spark.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Many of them are minor Sparks. Very few of them are any good at it.
- Stage Magician: Master Payne himself, much like the real life stage magician he is based on, but with more tricks that rely in Sparky innovations and inventions.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The trope is well-used: the circus establishes the post-apocalyptic world the Other left behind and works Zeetha, Dimo, Oggie and Maxim into the main cast. Plus jokes.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Yeti just wears a necklace and pants, though he is rather fuzzy so he may not feel the need to don a shirt.
Old Man Death, Sandwich Shop Proprietor and Undefeated Retired Jäger Auxiliary
An old man who runs a gourmet sandwich shop with his granddaughter. Used to run with the Jägers and put them to shame. His hat is therefore very significant to Jägers, as the more important and badass the hat's owner, the more awesome and badass the hat. As such, he has to put up with the occasional attack on him for it, often enough at least for there to be a three tries only rule.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Squicks his granddaughter with the tale of how he met her grandmother.
- Badass Normal: He is a human who can put Jägers to shame.
- Chef of Iron: Again, he makes gourmet sandwiches and out-fights Jägers. Often at the same time.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: He plays this...to the JÄGERS, with his Nice Hat as the reward.Old Man Death: I'm just a human. Rode with the Jägers. Never. Lost. A. Fight.
- Dramatic Irony: Tells his granddaughter that he'd be more impressed if any of the jägers he fights nowadays used cunning or stealth to steal his hat, but that it will never happen since jägers don't do subtle. Maxim's third, and successful, attempt starts with stealth (hiding in a herring barrel) and ends with him (sort of) tricking Old Man Death into giving over the hat and escaping quickly (by ordering it in a sandwich to go).
- Foregone Conclusion: It was obvious that Maxim was going to get Old Man Death's hat as soon as you saw it- while the purple hat with red trimming looked out of place on an old man in an orange shirt and an apron, it already matched Maxim's outfit perfectly. It actually looked pretty similar to his old hat, only more ornate.
- Former Teen Rebel: As was mentioned, "rode with the Jägers", i.e. was an auxiliary to the most badass and evil army in Europe. Now runs a sandwich shop.
- Graceful Loser: He's apparently fine with losing his hat, he really didn't care about it, and he tells his granddaughter "your grandmother always hated that hat".
- Hash House Lingo: He knows the ingredients of the most obscure sandwiches you can imagine. And there is apparently a story behind every one of those oddly named sandwiches. The "Red Heterodyne" (Fried bat wing with mushroom sauce on pumpernickel) apparently stemmed from the long-dead Red Heterodyne getting trapped in a cave network for several years after a raid gone bad, forcing him to live on bats and mushrooms until he could get out, by which point he'd developed a taste for them. The "Prince of Sturmhalten's Big Bet" (Hat sandwich) stemmed from Prince Viden of Sturmhalten saying that he'd eat his hat if Dante "The Good" Heterodyne could get a cathedral built in Mechanicsburg which, long story short, Dante did and so Prince Viden did.
- Honor Before Reason: Or at least, as noted below, he cares more about his reputation as a sandwich-maker than winning his latest fight with a Jäger.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: It's doubtful that 'Old Man Death' is his given name, and the only other thing he's addressed as (By his granddaughter) is 'Grandpa'.
- Memetic Badass: Among the Jägers, at least. [in-universe]
- Moral Dilemma: Maxim forces him to choose between his reputation as a sandwich-maker and his hat. He chooses his reputation. Apparently he didn't have another hat in the store to make the sandwich with or he was unwilling or unable to leave his shop to get another one.
- Alternatively given the he claims to have considered just tossing the hat several times and states that his wife hated it, he may simply have seen the opportunity to get rid of it.
- Mysterious Past: Exactly how, why, and when he stopped marauding, moved to Mechanicsburg and set up his shop isn't clear, although he claims it was due to his meeting his princess wife-to-be: "..she sort of abducted me. Took me away from all of that, you know."
- Nice Hat: Played with, he freely admits his hat is nothing special, but the fact that it is his makes it irresistible to the Jägers.
- Noodle Incident: The story behind the names of all the other sandwiches he can make, except the bat-and-mushroom "Red Heterodyne" as noted above.
- Not So Different: When he gets angry enough, he starts talking in the same Funetik Aksent as the Jägers.
- Papa Wolf: The fight with Maxim over his hat was going fine, and was fairly friendly, until Maxim tried to hit on the waitress, his granddaughter.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: He induces this in his granddaughter... who apparently misses the fact that she's technically royalty according to the story as well.
- Retired Badass: He just wants to run his sandwhich shop these days.
Airman 3/c Axel "The Unstoppable" Higgs
Higgs is first introduced as a lowlevel crewman who happened to be on the medical airship assigned to transport the wounded Baron to Mechanicsburg. Over time, it's become clear that this was a cover identity. After much prolonged hinting and implications about his true nature and identity, he finally explicitly confirms the truth to Agatha in person. (See various spoilers below.)
- Almighty Janitor:
- Higgs has a very wide range of skills. In particular he seems very good at winning. After the time skip, he seems to hold a position more in line with his talents, both as Gil's personal attendant and as Agatha's spymaster and the missing Jäger general.
- Tarvek guesses that he actually plays this role for half the armies of Europa, taking innocuous and low-level roles that let him coverly infiltrate various militaries as needed.
- Amazon Chaser: Chasing a literal Amazon, Zeetha, and she chases back.
- Ambiguously Human: Looks normal enough, but is capable of feats of strength and stamina that would be virtually impossible for a normal human, even with the Rule of Cool-driven physics of this series. He's also frequently implied to be much older than he looks, particularly by the Castle. It's eventually revealed that he's actually a Jäger, specifically their long-hidden 7th general.
- Berserk Button:
- Messing with Zeetha is a really easy way to set him off, as Zola finds out the hard way.
- The Castle suggests that revealing anything about his Mysterious Past without his consent is another major button. Higgs later confirms it when Tarvek privately outs him as the seventh Jäger general. The only reason Higgs didn't kill him on the spot is because Tarvek is still useful to Agatha.
- Bishōnen Line: He's the seventh Jäger General and he's virtually indistinguishable from a normal human being, while most of the other generals became more monstrous as they got older. He later confirms that he never gained any Jäger appearance-traits when he drank the Jägerdraught in the first place. He did get the Jäger traits that counted: Super Strength, Super Durability, and effective immortality.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He's become one for Gil over the course of the Time Skip, as evidenced here.
- Cosmic Plaything: The tale originally told about his rescue from the Baron definitely counts (he gets attacked by, among other things, a concussed pirate captain and a nesting goose) More recently it seems like he's been drawn into the events swirling around Agatha and Gil without any real desire to be. Exactly how he prefers it to be interpreted.
- Covered in Scars: His arms and torso are dotted with criss-crossing marks from old wounds. He's not stitched together like Klaus, but that's probably just because he's harder to tear apart in the first place.
- Death Glare:
- When Zola stabs Zeetha. "I vas starting to like her."
- Later on, when Tarvek figures out he's a Jaeger General, he gives Tarvek one of these while nearly choking him to death, before deciding to let him live because of how useful he is.
- Determinator: It is this which wins him his epithet. He's not as "invulnerable" as some cast members, but no matter how much you damage him, he will keep coming. The fact that he's a Jaegermonster helps, of course.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: After the Time Skip both sides believes that he is a Double Agent working for them, and nothing has been seen to determine which side his allegiance is with. He's eventually confirmed to be the Secret Jäger General, and ultimately serves Agatha and the Heterodyne family as The Spymaster.
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Once Zola pissed him off, things (including Zola) got ugly.
- Game Face: A subtle version, but in the comic where he confronts Tarvek about uncovering his Secret Identity, you can see his grin becoming almost unnaturally wide and his teeth seem suspiciously sharp, the only obvious physical signs we've seen that he is, in fact, a Jaeger.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: In close quarters, he won't bother using a weapon. He really doesn't need one, either, seeing as how he can tear through anything up to and including Sparkhounds (which are tough enough to shrug off conventional blades and bullets like pebbles against a brick wall) without visible effort.
- He Knows Too Much: He doesn't mind if you are suspicious and act with Selective Obliviousness, but if you actually know his secret or start stating it outright, there is a high chance he will kill you, even if you are his girlfriend. The castle almost told Zeetha his secret because it thought that would be funny. Higgs himself starts threatening Tarvek when Tarvek alludes to his secret in open.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Gil, strangely enough. He gives Gil relationship advice, shoots down Gil's ideas of a sparky Grand Romantic Gesture, assists him in the restoration of Mechanicsburg and only reacts with mild annoyance when he learns Gil knew he was really a Jäger. Only Bang has comparable status with Gil following the Time Skip.
- Her Boyfriend's Jacket: He's the "boyfriend" in question; Zeetha possesses his jacket. He in turn was gifted her little face charm thingy that mimics her facial expression. Since it mimics her expression regardless of distance, it's a way for him to know if she's okay or not.
- I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: The Castle states that if it told Zeetha exactly what his deal is, he'd do this. Since they like each other, it decides not to.Zeetha: Aw. But.. Couldn't you just tell me something? I mean, maybe just enough to that he'd only have try and wound me a little?
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: While he doesn't use the stock phrase, this definitely seems to be what Higgs is hinting at here — he makes it clear that he can quite quickly and easily kill Tarvek, but he holds off because he's helping Agatha. He's very clearly making the implication (and Tarvek clearly understands) that Higgs is not going to hold back if Tarvek even thinks about hurting Agatha.
- Implacable Man: Fans came to love him from his impossibly badass introduction, told by Doctor Sun. In the Castle, it is made clear that Sun's story was vastly understating his capabilities.
- Kubrick Stare: In the rare cases where he gets angry, he delivers one of these to his victim.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: For the most part, he stays in the background and doesn't get actively involved. When he does get involved, he proves to be one of the most dangerous characters in the entire comic. You don't become a Jäger General by inserting yourself into fights needlessly, but you also don't by not being extraordinary deadly when you do.
- Lightning Bruiser: His absurd durability is the very first thing readers learn about him. He's also, properly motivated, capable of throwing around car-sized monsters like sacks of flour and moving so fast a trained Smoke Knight can't react in time.
- The Magnificent: The Unstoppable Higgs.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Post Time Skip him and Zeetha are official, and while we may not know much about him before the story, much less his age, what we do know is that he is definitely older than her 20-something. He outright tells Tarvek that he's seen many generations of the Stormvaus family line come and go, indicating he is much, much older than any human.
- With regard to the problem of their relative lifespans, they really don't know. It's possible that the efforts Mama Ghikika went through to save Zeetha's life, including Jagerdraught, have rendered her similarly long lived. Or not, because it wasn't the full Jager process either. They'll have to find out like anyone else.
- Meaningful Rename: When asked the question of whether "Axel Higgs" is his real name, he states that it wasn't his original name, but he considers it his real name now.
- Minion Shipping: He has an immediate soft spot for Zeetha, which eventually passes from a Bash Buddies stage to an actual (if informal) relationship. Becomes even more pronounced when it becomes apparent that he's a Jaeger; they're both Agatha's minions.
- More Than Meets the Eye: There have been a lot of hints that Higgs is the Hero of Another Story. Let's put the bits and pieces in a spoiler: The Castle knows him well, and for apparently longer than one human lifetime, and appears to have in interest in preserving his secret so vested that it notes it'd have to kill Zeetha if it told her. He requests permission to leave his post, but it's not clear whether he asked Gil or Agatha. He's actually seen Igneous Heterodynes (who clearly predated Bill and Barry) drink from the Dyne - he compared that reaction to Agatha's. He knows the secret passages of Castle Heterodyne. The fight with Zola reveals distinctly superhuman strength, speed, and resilience to injury, and when upset he seems to have a trace of a Jäger (or at least East European) accent. The Jägers seem to be in on his secret, at least partly, since Dimo covers for him when Gil's asking awkward questions. Mama Gkika seems to know him quite well and refers to his 'tricks' (a word also mentioned in reference to the mysterious, hidden seventh Jäger General.) Most recently, these three strips hint that Higgs is, or at least was, a Jäger General. Note Higgs' reactions to what Gil says in the second strip and his use of "All" in the third. And here, Tarvek outright calls him a "general." In the next strip, Higgs does everything short of outright confirming to Tarvek that he is a General, complete with his face deforming like a Jaeger's and saying that Tarvek will serve "the lady" quite well. He eventually outs himself to Agatha once Lucrezia is removed from her head.
- Nice Hat: Apparently he's a crewman of the ship Rozen Maiden. Later, after the Time Skip, he has a similar hat, but with "Wulfenbach" labeled instead, signifying that he's moved up to a post on Castle Wulfenbach. His tendencies toward such apparel is because he is a Jaeger.
- Not So Stoic: He has facial expressions: he just doesn't use them much, thanks to his Seen It All life.
- Older Than They Look: References old Heterodynes like he was there. "How time does fly". he also tells Tarvek that he's seen many generations of the Stormvaus line pass. Being a Jäger, he may very well have.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Higgs seems to function normally even when the wounds he took should be debilitating or lethal, much like all of the other Jägers we've seen.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Or showing. When Zeetha is stabbed he shows a trace of what seems to be a Jäger accent. Muddying the issue is that some Mechanicsburg citizens have the accent as well, having maintained it through the generations as a matter of pride.
- Punny Name: Higgs is an Airman, 3rd class. A Seaman, 3rd class is a Bosun — so he's Higgs, Bosun. The mysterious missing particle. (Still don't get it? Ask a physicist.)
- Put on a Bus: Suffers a relatively short-term case of this, when he and Vole set out for Paris upon learning that Zeetha has been injured. He finally turns up serving in uniform on board a British submarine, with Vole nowhere to be seen.
- Really 700 Years Old: It's implied by a number of characters that he's actually much older than his appearance would suggest. Eventually confirmed with his reveal as a Jäger, of whom even the youngest are a couple centuries old.
- Sailor's Ponytail: Complete with a bow at the end.
- Scars Are Forever: Has such an epic map of scars on his chest that it can be mistaken for hair at first glance.
- Seen It All: He always looks rather bored, no matter what is going on. Being a Jaeger General, he really has seen the worst possible in Europa.
- Only one thing has really ever unnerved him and that's falling in love with Zeetha. He never grew close to anyone like that before and the new experience almost scares him.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: He and Zeetha went through this stage.Higgs: Uh—she—she ain't my Miss Zeetha, sir.
Tarvek: Oh, heaven forbid. I'm sure you'd desert your post and hare off to save any green-haired amazon.
- Shipper on Deck: He favors Agatha/Gil, even going so far as to give Gil relationship advice.
- Slasher Smile: The only smile he has to offer is one of these while choking Tarvek one-handed. Both meant to intimidate and clue him (and the readers) in that he's right about Higgs being a Jaeger General, perhaps more right than he'd want: a mouth and teeth like that could only belong to a Jaeger.
- Smoking Is Cool: That is one badass pipe.
- The Spymaster: Higgs is the missing seventh Jäger General, and announces himself as Agatha's spymaster.
- Stating the Simple Solution: Quite possibly one of the most awesome examples of this trope ever, where Higgs calls out Gil (and apparently a lot of other male Sparks Higgs has known) for doing utterly ridiculous things to try and communicate with a girl they have a crush on instead of just writing a letter, as seen here.Higgs: Now. Write. Use the pen. On the paper. Tell her what you want to say.
Gil: [beat] I could build a machine that would project a simulacrum of myself that could explain—
Higgs: Why I smacked you?
Gil: Or... I could... just write...
- The Stoic: Which makes the few rare times he loses his temper all the more terrifying.
- Super Toughness: He's repeatedly shown suffering Amusing Injuries that fit the cartoony art style but would definitely have damaged most of the cast. In the case of the fight with Zola, the injuries are no longer amusing... but he's still fighting. In fact, he's getting faster. Being a Jäger helps.
- Token Human: Downplayed. He hardly looks out of place in Agatha's group. That said, he is, to date, the only Jäger to partake of the drought, and survive with all the abilities it gives, but none of the physical transformations. At the very least, he regrets not getting the teeth.
- Tranquil Fury: The rare moments where Higgs gets angry are moments where he still remains absolutely calm... but also absolutely dedicated to destroying whatever has pissed him off.
- Undying Loyalty: As a Jäger, literally, to Agatha, seeing how she's the only known living Heterodyne.
- He also seems to have this towards Gil to a lesser extent; even putting aside the fact that it ultimately helps Agatha, he was still more than willing to accompany Gil on the first expedition into the time-frozen Mechanicsburg. Possibly he sees no contradiction between serving both Agatha and Gil.
- Unfazed Everyman: He seems this at first, but as we see him more and more, it's obvious that his durability was not just there for a gag as originally depicted. He's still unfazed by a lot of stuff, though. Ultimately Averted by the reveal that he's the hidden 7th Jäger General; he remains entirely unfazed, but he's definitely no everyman, he simply plays the role of one.
- Unreliable Narrator: The story that initially earned him the fans' love and respect was related by him to the group of soldiers that found him. It hasn't quite... meshed with what we've seen of him. It turns out he's more badass, not less. Considering what we've seen him go through in order to reduce him to "walking wounded", what Higgs went through to get the injuries Dr. Sun mentioned has to have been far, far worse than what he reported.
- Zen Survivor: He seems tranquil, or apathetic, or slightly bored most of the time. Most of the time. It's implied later on that this is due to his long lifespan and the countless things he has seen. If his comments to Vole about how "we all did" horrible things and then growing up, he may have done some stuff he grew to not be proud of as he got Older and Wiser.
Mistress Von Pinn AKA Otilia, the Muse of Protection
When first encountered Von Pinn seemed to just be another of the many monsters given jobs by the Baron. It eventually emerged, however, that she was the nursemaid at Castle Heterodyne when Agatha was born and this has made things rather interesting. Pursued by many Jägers as the height of womanhood and absolutely terrifying, Von Pinn seems to hate Agatha, fear what she is to become (whatever that is) and want to protect her.
- Action Girl: Punches in the same weight class as Jägers, or a little above.
- Big Damn Heroes: At least once.
- Combat Sadomasochist:
- Oh, yes.
- Her attitude improved a lot the moment she was transferred into a body without pain sensitivity.
- Compelling Voice: She can do this when in her mechanical muse body, it isn't very effective in the other bodies she's worn.
- Dark Action Girl: If the way she looks isn't enough her response to getting stabbed in the hand is to run her hand down the blade to grab the hilt.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Dark, vicious, aggressive, but not evil.
- Enigmatic Minion: Has a complex agenda that we now know some of the details of, but not the whole story.
- Femme Fatalons: Her primary weapons.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Just look at her!
- High-Class Glass: Not your average monocle.
- Horrifying the Horror: The Other, or perhaps Lucrezia, is terrified of her, even after having shoved her mind into a body she could control. With good reason.
- Large and in Charge: Von Pinn is incredibly tall. As Otilia, she was a full three metres.
- Magical Nanny: Well, SCIENCE! nanny, but yes. Of the "stern but fair"-variety.
- Mama Bear:
- DO NOT endanger the children under her protection. Even if you're one of them.
- She's apparently the most protective of Gil. Had Agatha not been able to force Von Pinn to let her go, things would probably have gotten much worse before they got better, thanks to Agatha making a remark about really not liking Gil after first meeting him.
- And it turns out the kids return her loyalty.
- Mega Neko: Otilia's gone from a human(ish) body to that of an enormous mechanical cat. She likes being a cat clank better, even if it's not as good as her original, Van Rijn built body.
- Not Quite Dead: Seriously, someone like Von Pinn is a threat as long as they can move a finger.
- Parental Substitute: Yes, kids on Castle Wulfenbach had a vicious guardian construct in loco parentis and were rather attached to her.
- Really 700 Years Old: Von Pinn was originally the Van Rijn muse Otilia, built centuries ago for the Storm King.
- Sanity Slippage: When her charge Klaus Barry Heterodyne was killed, she went completely insane and had to be locked up until the Baron found a use for her.
- Super Soldier: Well, the programming of a legendary combat robot downloaded into a cybernetic body of notable resilience. Works out the same.
- Took a Level in Badass: As Otilia, while her design was for protection, she apparently wasn't much of a fighter, according to Tarvek. Von Pinn is most definitely a fighter.
- Wetware Body:
- It now appears that she is the Muse Otilia, transferred into a construct body as part of Lucrezia's experimentation. Why she did this, where the body's original mind, if any, ended up, and what this will mean is still up in the air.
- She has since had her mind transferred out of her organic body, since it was dying, and transferred into a giant cat clank (with improvements) until her original Muse body is repaired. She seems happy with it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Agatha drops her down a bottomless pit. "TRULY YOU ARE YOUR MOTHER'S CHILD!"
Bärenkönig, Acting Leader of the Swartzwalders
Leader of a group of sentient bear constructs, and tentatively named the Swartzwalders by the fandom after their previous appearance in the non-canon Girl Genius card game The Works. He considers himself their temporary leader, and has been long awaiting the arrival of the bears' true "Master".
- Bears Are Bad News: The only thing that could be scarier than a bear is a sentient bear designed to be a warrior.
- BFS: He has a curved saber that is easily as long as Dimo is tall. Since König is also quite large, it's a one-hander to him.
- Bilingual Bonus: "König" is "King" in german.
- Bling of War: His "crown" is a ring on a necklace, and he has a pair of bronze armguards to indicate his station. Or alternatively, it really is a crown, intended to be worn by Krosp.
- Large and in Charge: König has significantly more body mass compared to the other Swartzwalders.
- Made of Iron: When the Beast was finally vanquished and it exploded, he fared better than Brother Ulm, who only survives by means of Brain Uploading into the Corbettites' new super-locomotive.
- No-Sell: He and the other bears aren't affected by The Beast's magnets due to not having metal on them.
- Third-Person Person: He is "This Bear" when referring to himself.
- Retired Badass: As soon as Krosp appears on the scene he immediately and cheerfully steps down from his leadership position and takes a new job as the engineer on the aforementioned super-train.
- Slasher Smile: Bears are not really designed to look happy, so even when this bear is meant to be happy, he still looks like he's sporting one of these.
- Uplifted Animal: Though not to the intellectual level of Krosp, König and his fellow Swartzwalders are sentient nonhuman animals.
- You No Take Candle: Like all Swartzwalders, he has very simplistic speech. However, it belies an intellect beyond just being Dumb Muscle, as he was savvy enough to think that The Beast was bluffing.
A set of clanks, built by Master Van Rijn, "The Greatest Spark of All Time" for "the Greatest King of All Time", Andronicus Valois. Their numbers include Otilia, Moxana, Tinka, Prende, Orotine, Mawu and Liza (the non-twins) and Artimo. Ludicrously advanced, even by modern Spark standards, most have been lost or gone missing due to people's attempts to replicate their technology.
For details of Otilia, see Von Pinn's entry.
- Death by Despair: Moxana starts heading this way, thanks to being separated from Tinka.
- Fem Bot: Unlike most (gender-neutral) clanks, the Muses were explicitly designed in both form and personality to be female, and are referred to as such by other characters.
- Living MacGuffin: A minor case. Finding the Muses that remain and replicating the technology used to make them is a long-term goal of Tarvek's.
- Lost Technology: Their tech is far more advanced than any Spark of the modern day could develop. Tarvek's the only one who can reverse-engineer it, and only to a point.
- Off with Her Head!: Tinka is decapitated by Vrin and her Geisterdamen, but given she's a clank, this could be fixed in time.
- Revenge: There is a final muse called the Muse of Vengeance, created to wipe out the Heterodynes for their crimes against Europa and their part in the Storm King's downfall (or at least to be unleashed against enemies of the Immortal Library.) It has long remained inactive, but the librarians have recovered its heart as a precaution since some of their leaders fear Agatha is probably every bit the monster her ancestors were.
- Shock and Awe: Tinka and Prende have both displayed the ability to zap folk, though higher amounts of voltage burn off any clothing or wigs they might have on them.
- Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Somewhere between type 3 (comparable to humans) and type 4 (Super Intelligence), which is to say significantly higher than most other clanks, and an accomplishment by Van Rijn still unmatched in the comic's present day. Moxana and Tinka have regressed significantly in their state of disrepair, but still show occasional flashes of great acuity.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: They can move with astounding quietness if they need to. Even Smoke Knights like Violetta and Madwa have difficulty detecting their presence if they choose not to be noticed.
- The Voiceless: Moxana, who communicates exclusively through playing cards and hand signs. She used to be able to speak at some point, but apparently lost the ability to after being separated from Tinka.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- Of the set, Otilia is stuck in Mechanisburg, Prende is (last seen) in Paris, and at least one of them was deactivated by an unidentified Spark. The fate of the rest is unknown.
- Moxana and Tinka were last seen in Sturmhalten, before it was overrun by monsters, and the Baron's forces. And Tinka had been decapitated.
- You Are Too Late: They were programmed never to give Andronicus Valois a straight answer, merely hint towards what he should do. When they actually did give him a straight answer, it was because there was nothing that could be done to stop it.
The Muse of Time, the Mysterious Entity
The Muse of Time, also known as the Enigma, is a very mysterious clank that can time travel. There's a pretty good chance she is somehow connected to Lucrezia Mongfish. Later confirmed by Queen Albia that the Muse of Time is an instance of Lucrezia.
- Body Horror: When Agatha finds her in Van Rijn's lab, she looks like a hideous combination of a robotic skeleton and a Devil Dog from Castle Heterodyne.
- She first appeared in a time window pointing at Agatha and proclaiming "... Like that?!" to someone offscreen.
- In her first appearance, she has hands that look very similar to the dragon from Theo's Heterodyne Boys story. They also look similar to the hands of the Geisterdamen's mistress from Lady Vrin's flashback.
- In Van Rijn's notebook, we're shown that one of the Muse of Time's forms looks very similar to Agatha and wears what looks like a Heterodyne symbol on her eye.
- Mysterious Stranger: Almost nothing is known about her and she has only shown up twice in the series.
- Robot Hair: In her first appearance she has long wires coming from her head that has been styled into braids. In her second appearance, she has disheveled human-like hair.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: While not enough is known of her to call her "evil", Van Rijn was able to trap her in his lab below Paris where she stayed for over 200 years before the Lucrezia-copy in Agatha's head influenced/instructed her host into restoring the Muse's power, allowing her to escape.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In her first appearance she spooked Agatha, causing her to run into the alley where her locket was stolen, kicking off the plot.
- Time Master: She has the ability to travel through time seemingly at will.
- Trickster Mentor: When she appeared in front of Van Rijn and stayed long enough to talk, she would sometimes teach him new things.
An incredibly unlucky traveling storyteller who by strange coincidence always seems to end up near the latest disaster.
- Author Avatar: He and the below-mentioned woman are the stand-ins for the Foglios.
- The Bore: The Great Hospital at Mechanicsburg hires him to help get difficult patients to sleep, much to his disgruntlement. This gets him volunteered to help get Klaus to sleep soon after. About the only person who doesn't find his storytelling dull is Tarvek (who is moved to Manly Tears instead).
- The Chew Toy: He's arrested and thrown in an oubliette in Sturmhalten for "unflattering portrayal of a royal", mocked for being boring, pestered by Oggie, frozen in the time-stop, used as a guinea pig from removal from said time-stop by Wulfenbach scientists...
- Deadpan Snarker: When listening to a Wulfenbach troop reciting what he thought happened at Sturmhalten (thanks to having inhaled some of the Circus' hallucinogenic gas).Trooper: It was unbelievable!
Storyteller: (glowering at the man) That, I'll grant you.
- Direct Line to the Author: The novelization confirms that the Storyteller is supposed to be Phil Foglio, and the series is him re-telling what he knows of Agatha's rise to power. Though he also admits in-story that he's been exposed to so many mind-altering chemicals and energies that he can't be sure exactly what happened.
- Meet Cute: A filler image depicts him meeting Kaja Foglio's in-comic character by having her accidentally drop a book on his head from the top of a high shelf. The book is titled "How They Met".
- Missed Him by That Much: On occasion, the Storyteller comes very close to Agatha, without ever interacting with her (being nearby when Agatha saw the Muse of Time, being present when Agatha unleashed her dangerous Carnival on the Baron, being at Mechanicsburg during the siege).
- Tempting Fate: He tells Oggie he'll find a girlfriend as soon as Oggie finds a Heterodyne. And then he sees the giant hologram of Agatha bursting out of Prince Aaronev's castle...
- Unwanted Assistance: Is a great-great-great grandson of Oggie. It's Oggie's "assistance" with trying to help the family line along that has in fact led to the Storyteller being one of the last of said line.
Doctor Dimitri Vapnoople, Soundly Defeated Spark
One of Baron Klaus's experiments in "pacifying" particularly mad/stupid/dangerous/annoying Sparks, reduced to a janitorial role aboard Castle Wulfenbach. At some point he created Krosp.
- The Beastmaster: Vapnoople's specialty as a Spark was creating and modifying biological life, his last creation being Krosp. Far from being a minor threat, the backstory heavily implies he was incredibly powerful in his prime, capable of going against Sparks of the caliber of Baron Wulfenbach and Queen Albia and posing a serious threat. He gets better and doesn't dissappoint. His beastmaster abilities are such that he controlled monsters from other dimensions!
- Beware the Silly Ones: A guy who tinkers with animals, For Science!, he obviously can't be dangerous, right? Wrong. Even without those bears, the first novelization mentions he managed to hold out against the Baron for a good long while. Plus the fact that he was subjected to the Baron's "only the worst of the worst" brain-coring experiments. Within seconds of getting fixed, his actions make Agatha realize why he was subject to those experiments.
- Canis Major: The Sparkwolves employed by Tweedle in the present were originally his creation. That original incarnation formed a Badass Army so dangerous Klaus had to wage a months-long war and wipe them out to nearly the last man to defeat it, and what remains are still the Red Shirt-slaughtering Elite Mooks of the Knights of Jove.
- Chekhov's Gun: In this case, one that took a decade of real-world time to fire: Vapnoople was introduced in an early chapter in December, 2003, where he's shown to have a penchant for making bears, and is distraught due to all the others being "taken away." In March 2004 it is revealed that having created Krosp, he was skilled in creating intelligent animal constructs. In hindsight, the appearance of an army of intelligent bears that were waiting for Krosp to show up and lead them as he had promised was probably inevitable.
- Combat Pragmatist: Rather than allowing his foes to slink off in terror of his victory, only to return later to seek revenge, Vapnoople finds that a permanent solution is superior.
- The Dreaded: According to Wooster, he is the only modern spark that Albia actually feared.
- Dumb Is Good: He committed many crimes as a Spark (to the point that Albia is ready to go into a violent rage upon seeing him), but is friendly and almost child-like after his brain-coring. This is subverted in the print novel, however; he no longer has the intelligence, but still has the mindset of a Spark, with bouts of megalomania and an obsession with revenge.
- Then he gets better...yup. He is DEFINITELY evil when smart.
- The Extremist Was Right: So it turns out that the Baron had a very good reason to neuter the man's Spark, because with it Dimitri is every bit the villain that deserves to be lobotomized.
- Fate Worse than Death: Baron Klaus experimented on his brain, effectively lobotomizing him and leaving him an imbecile who can no longer use his Spark. The novelization makes it worse - he still has the mindset of a Spark, and therefore treats being complimented on menial tasks as the highest accomplishment possible.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He was paid unto by Baron Wulfenbach. Deliberately inflicting psychologically degrading brain damage in the pursuit of understanding the physiological nature of the Spark sounds pretty heinous, enough for even another enemy of Vapnoodle to take pity on him afterwards... but then the Londonium arc shows that Vapnoodle was not at all undeserving of such a fate after his malignant intellect and top-class Spark were restored, and further backstory on his misdeeds are revealed.
- Pet the Dog: Possibly with his relationship with his creation Krosp, but again the whole timeline of events has not been made clear. If Vapnoople created Krosp before the bears, then created the bears to serve his failed experiment, yes, it was a very nice thing to do. On the other hand, if the bears were made first, then Krosp was probably just a cog in Vapnoople's master plan, with the "cat king" thing being some sort of cover story. The print-novels make Vapnoople's motives a lot less ambiguous and less pleasant: he specifically says that the bears were bred to wreak bloody revenge on Baron Wulfenbach, and that he deliberately bred near-slavish loyalty into his creations. Plus there's the fact that his favorite apprentice was Tweedle.
- Put on a Bus: He deliberately steps though a portal into a monster-filled higher dimension, though his attempt to take his new "apprentice" Agatha with him is thwarted. He vows to return.
- Scars Are Forever: His head is covered in a crosswork patching of scars from Baron Klaus' experiments.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Was apparently a fraternity brother to Saturnus Heterodyne, Agatha's grandfather.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Queen Albia of England has every reason in the world to hate and resent Dr. Vapnoodle for what he did to her country. Indeed, when Krosp comes to her seeking asylum for Dr. Dim, she's ready to reject him outright... until she sees what Klaus Wulfenbach did to him.
- The Social Darwinist: Turns out to have been a big one. After his mind is restored, he immediately goes into a Motive Rant explaining that his monsters will "scour the land" and "cull the herd", leaving the "remains of humanity" stronger and sharper than ever.◊ Basically, he believed that the principles of antimicrobial resistance ("that which does not kill everything makes the survivors stronger") can and should be applied to human civilization.
- Uplifted Animal: It seems that he specialized in making these, given his creation of Krosp. And Krosp's army of uplifted bears.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the first print novel, when Agatha and Krosp flee Castle Wulfenbach, Krosp tries to take Vapnoople with them, but fails due to the man's damaged mind making him refuse to leave. We don't know what happened to him after that.
- Krosp and his bears rescued him from Castle Wulfenbach and took him to Albia.