Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Aaronev Wilhelm Sturmvoraus, sixth Prince of Sturmhalten of that name and ruler of the town of Balan's Gap, is a major Spark, a Knight of Jove, and devoted to Lucrezia Mongfish.

He is the father of two children; Lady Anevka, and Master Tarvek, who is also his heir. His unnamed wife, a direct descendant of the original Storm King, is evidently long deceased by the time the story starts.


Prince Aaronev VI had been a "major player as a Spark" and a "meticulous" practitioner of biological sciences, at least judging by a specimen spotted on his examining table and the creatures infesting his town's sewers. This might have made him a natural to be drawn to Lucrezia Mongfish's style of invention, as her interest in organic forms would be compatible and harmonic. And as noted above drawn, he was; he was one of Lucrezia's most devoted and loyal followers.

Following the end of the Other's war and her disappearance, however, he submitted quietly when Baron Wulfenbach rolled through the region on his initial pacification mission, and had since served as a "good little vassal" , taking travelers for all they can bear on one of the few good passes through the mountains, and maintaining the peace overall.

At least in public. Privately, he schemed constantly to overthrow the Baron's rule, slowly assembling a long-term plan to install a new Storm King/ fake Heterodyne union that could displace Klaus, along with maintaining and even attempting to improve the Other's various devices. And his determination to see Lucrezia again in some form never wavered: when Vrin and the other Geisterdamen appeared in Europa, he allowed them to assemble their "Shadow World" temple reconstruction in the vast chthonic system beneath his castle, and generally gave them sanctuary as they searched for their "Holy Child". Additionally, he and Vrin set up the rebuilt Summoning Machine in a former chapel in Sturmhalten, and began feeding countless young women into it in a failed attempt to bring back Lucrezia mentally if not physically. In the end, Aaronev even used the engine on his own daughter, mortally injuring her in the process and forcing Tarvek to construct a mobile life-support chamber with attached puppet-clank to allow her to interact with the outside world. In the process of doing this, Tarvek appropriated the Muse Tinka from Master Payne's Circus of Adventure in his father's name, leading the Circus to give Sturmhalten a wide berth whenever possible.

Meeting Agatha[]

Aaronev crosses paths with Agatha when she is traveling with the Circus following her escape from Castle Wulfenbach. The Circus is crossing the mountain range of which Balen's Gap is a part (possibly the Carpathians) unusually early in the year to get Tinka's bereaved "sister" Moxana in for (hopefully) some repair by Tarsus Beetle. (Master Payne is quite disappointed when Agatha tells him that's no longer an option, what with Beetle being dead and all.) Since there aren't many passes through the mountains open this early in the year, their route takes them first to the horrors of Passholdt, and when that doesn't work out(!), over Balan's Gap -- and right back to Sturmhalten. Aaronev is informed they are passing through town, and issues a demand for a command performance. Although initially he is merely hoping for some idle amusement via a performance of the infamous Socket Wench of Prague, he quickly learns via his monitoring equipment and the audience's reaction that actress Agatha is in fact the Geister's Holy Child. He has her brought to the Castle, confirms his suspicions by slipping her some truth serum during dinner, and takes her to be processed in the Summoning Engine, with a protesting Tarvek and Anevka in tow. Suspecting that he is correct that the procedure will indeed work this time and that otherwise dissuading him is impossible, clank-Anevka fatally electrocutes him. Events in Balen's Gap generally spiral out of control from there, but Aaronev's part in the narrative has been played.

Possibly Relevant Outside Information[]

Aaron Williams

The original

A curious fact about Aaronev is that his retinue contains clever references to the "Nodwick" webcomic. Minions Artacz and Nod both have physical features mimicking the characters in "Nodwick" with similar names (tall and skinny with a long, scraggly moustache in the first case; and real honker of a nose in the second). Artacz even speaks with some of the mannerisms of the "Nodwick" character Artax. Better yet, the creator of "Nodwick" is Aaron Williams, and Aaronev's own name obviously connects to Mr. Williams'. This bit of professional courtesy foreshadows the much more numerous shoutouts to other webcomics that will appear later on the outskirts of Mechanicsburg (and elsewhere).

Of course, in the other direction, Aaron Williams' comic, PS238 includes the villainous mad scientist, Phillip Von Fogg and his son, Victor, whom Williams has confirmed are direct homages to Prof Phil Foglio and his (at the time) young son.[2]

See also[]

The Storm King conspiracy


  1. This is based on speculation backed by deductive reasoning. Terebithia is referred to as the Dowager Princess of Sturmhalten, meaning she inherited the title from her husband, the former Prince of Sturmhalten. Aaronev is the 6th Prince of Sturmhalten, he presumably inherited the title from his father, Terebithia's husband.
  2. also known as Experiment #1