Girl Genius
Girl Genius

This article is about a member of the Von Mekkhan family. For others in the family or other uses, see Von Mekkhan (disambiguation).
This article is about a member of the Heliotrope family. For others in the family or other uses, see Heliotrope (disambiguation).

"Carson von Mekkhan. Former seneschal and keeper of the keys to Castle Heterodyne. Welcome, my lady—if my lady you be."[1]

Carson von Mekkhan,[2] alias Carson Heliotrope, is the last surviving seneschal to House Heterodyne prior to the events of the story.


In his youth, Carson von Mekkhan "rode with the Jägermonsters". Carson holds the hereditary office of "Doom Bell Ringer" of Mechanicsburg[3], which comes with a nice stipend. When confirmed as seneschal, Carson gained the ability to use the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne, via having special socket-holes drilled in his skull. Carson served as seneschal during the reign of The Heterodyne Boys until he retired nineteen years ago[4] in favor of his son. Three days later, his son died during the Attack on Castle Heterodyne. Though Carson is one of the best witnesses known to date concerning the events surrounding the Other War, he has as yet said little about his own actions during that time. He also knows more than almost anyone about how Heterodyne sparks operate.

When the Wulfenbach empire took control of Mechanicsburg and Baron Klaus Wulfenbach set up a town council, Carson was part of the shadow government that continued to rule Mechanicsburg in secret. Around this time (437215353 seconds (13.8545184995 or 13 years and 10 months) prior to Agatha's arrival in Mechanicsburg to be precise), Carson used the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne to communicate with the Castle Heterodyne. No reason for this communication with the Castle has been revealed, but Carson swore never to channel the castle again.

Carson retired again when his grandson, Vanamonde von Mekkhan, took up the office of seneschal and assumed day-to-day responsibility for Mechanicsburg.

The Return of the King Queen[]

We first encounter Herr Heliotrope comfortably retired to a flat above the Heliotrope Scribe and Book Works. He is skeptical of the new Heterodyne heiress that his daughter-in-law Arella brings word of. Carson's usual policy on Heterodyne pretenders is to get them into Castle Heterodyne as soon as possible and let it deal with them. This time around, Arella's report piques his interest enough that he rouses himself and goes to the front gates of the city, where a bench is evidently set aside for his use. And sure enough, Agatha soon appears, making her low-key entry into the city on horseback accompanied by Krosp, Zeetha and Wooster. At first Carson believes the group's cover-story about visiting The Great Hospital with a sick child, but as they ride on through the gates, Carson realizes that the Castle at least suspects something[5]. He thus follows them into the city, and covertly watches them as they make their first aborted attempt to approach the Castle. With the arrival on the scene of Zola "Heterodyne"[6] Carson formally introduces himself to Agatha, and takes her to meet Vanamonde in the latter man's coffee-shop "headquaters". Agatha's ensuing display of supreme coffee-making Sparkiness[7] is convincing enough that Carson undertakes the considerable indignities of mounting the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne to allow Castle Heterodyne to interview her. Following this interview, and everybody in town witnessing Gil's defeat of an invading army of battle-clanks, Carson and Wilhelm Diamant take the unusual step of helping Agatha get into the Castle disguised as a prisoner, rather than via the now-guarded front door.

And so Agatha does indeed go in, one thing leads to another, and she is forced to "kill" the structure's controlling intellect. When she does this, Carson learns that he has an unknown mental connection to that intellect, and collapses as the shock hits him. In the aftermath, he and Van discuss the situation and wonder why the Baron isn't taking advantage of the shutdown. Sadly, Carson isn't allowed to recuperate in peace, as his home is soon invaded by Baron Oublenmach, who demands to be given the striker for the Doom Bell, so as to claim the famed Heterodyne family treasure. Van tells the fellow where he needs to go, and he goes, taking Arella with him. Fortunately, that gets sorted out pretty quickly, and the Siege of Mechanicsburg truly begins.

Carson and Van are among those present at a meeting of the real town council discussing said Siege when the somewhat-revived Castle announces its reappearence (which Carson again feels in his head), and officially declares the Agatha is the new Heterodyne and Van is her seneschal. It also takes a moment to comment that Carson is and always has been a suspicious old grouch, and Van will be a lot more fun. With this transfer of power, Carson pretty much drops out of sight, but is presumably still in Mechanicsburg when Klaus time-freezes the city with his Take-Five Bomb.


  1. Carson introduces himself. Voice of the Castle has these words on p. 54-55, except "Welcome home," instead of just "Welcome."
  2. Also spelled Mekkahn, or even Mekken; the canonical sources themselves seem inconsistent, but the novelization settles on this spelling.
  3. It says so on his calling card .
  4. Internal Chronology.
  5. A gargoyle with whom Carson is conversing takes notice of Agatha's party.
  6. Carson immediately recognizes the Zola "Heterodyne" gambit as an attempt to take over the town.
  7. Agatha makes coffee.