Girl Genius
Girl Genius


Kolee-dok-Zumil describes the relationship between Agatha Heterodyne and Zeetha, Daughter of Chump. It's hard to describe, so let's put it in Zeetha's own terms :

Ah ... kind of hard to translate.
Sort of like "teacher and student."
Sort of like "cause and effect."
Mostly, like "grindstone and knife." WHACK!

The practice of Kolee-dok-Zumil evidently originates in the royal house of the lost city of Skifander, of which Zeetha is a scion and representative to the world beyond. It is not bestowed lightly; Zeetha says that she is allowed, in this life, to train one other person besides her own (future?) daughters in the Kolee-dok-Zumil relationship, and that's all. She chooses Agatha for this honor, and describes the bond it represents as "stronger than that of friends -- of family -- of lovers." Needless to say, Agatha finds this a bit puzzling.

As time goes on, it's clear that the Kolee-dok-Zumil bond serves three basic functions:

  • Preparing Agatha for life as a warrior princess;
  • Toughening her up;
  • Giving Zeetha a bit of an outlet for her sadistic tendencies -- she's not an outright homicidal maniac like, say, Bangladesh DuPree, but she clearly enjoys toughening Agatha up a lot more than Agatha enjoys being toughened (which is not really saying all that much, though).

So what does becoming a warrior princess have to do with Agatha's apparent destiny, which is to be a super-Spark and re-establish House Heterodyne? Well, quite a lot, actually. Agatha is developing into quite a competent hand-to-hand fighter, as some poor, unnamed schlemiel learns to his disadvantage when he tries to mug Agatha on her delivery as a "convict" to Castle Heterodyne. She later deftly avoids an attack by Silas Merlot. Life in Europa being what it is, this probably isn't the last time she'll need some close-combat skills.

Perhaps even more importantly, it's the Kolee-dok-Zumil bond that allows Zeetha to figure out what's going on with Agatha's on-again, off-again possession by The Other. She deduces that whatever Agatha was when she was possessed, she was not Agatha. She furthermore deduces that Agatha's locket provides a defense against the possession (and also serves as a great warrior's talisman), and between that and Agatha's own insights into the way possession works, establishes the basis for keeping her safe in the future. All told, this relationship is proving to be a Good Thing for Agatha, even if it involves really extraordinary exhaustion and sore muscles.

Note that Zeetha sometimes uses the term Zumil to describe Agatha individually.