Girl Genius
Girl Genius

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Pax Transylvania (also The Baron's Peace or Pax Wulfenbachia) is the name for the peace built and enforced by Baron Klaus Wulfenbach's irresistible takeover of Europa after he returned from exile.

A detailed explanation of the term[]

Pax Transylvania is based on one simple subsidiarian, patriarchal principle: "Don't Make Me Come Over There" - and consists of four simple yet iron-clad rules (first listed in the Girl Genius Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game):

  1. Keep the Peace: Klaus has a very casual interpretation of the monopoly on violence - he does not regulate the private sale or ownership of weapons, and permits client states to keep a "reasonable" military force(even by Spark standards, which often results in states the size of Liechtenstein with standing armies any real life first-world nation would envy; legions of heavily-armed fighters with reality-defying skills, entire fleets of airships, "walking gunboats", etc.) - but any attack against a fellow nation protected by the Pax is strictly forbidden. Obviously, this also applies to any violence against the Baron’s forces.
  2. All Examples of The Other’s Technology Are to Be Turned Over to the Baron: The inventions of The Other are strictly forbidden to anyone but the Empire itself. It is not unknown for someone to stumble across an old slaver wasp hive, even today; after all, the entirety of Europa was once covered with them. The Baron demands that any device of the Other be immediately turned over to his team of specialist Sparks, as they are the only ones who can safely examine and neutralize them. Of course, there are numerous rumors that the Baron is finding ways to adapt and use the inventions to his own means... and that’s assuming one doesn’t buy into the belief he may already be the Other in the first place.
  3. Pay Your Taxes: Rather obvious, this. However, whatever percentage Klaus demands is so reasonable that the only time taxes are mentioned is when Gil defends the Wulfenreich — people have so little problem with being taxed they simply don't consider it worth mentioning.
  4. Permit the Transportation of Goods and Passengers Through Your Territory: They can be taxed and tithed. Rulers can even refuse to let them stay. But excessive confiscation and/or kidnapping is treated as piracy.

Violation of any of these rules is met with swift and overwhelming force - not unlike a surgical procedure may be used to keep an infection from festering - and the aggressor's lands and property are forfeit. Through the enforcement of this policy, Wulfenbach's empire has grown from his ancestral seat - a barony, which by definition encompassed only that which was visible from the highest point of his castle - to encompass most of Europa. (And of course during the Empire's heyday the Baron's castle is actually a giant airship, from which he can see a very long ways indeed.)

In exchange, the nobles and minor royalty rule their own domains in their own manner without interference - save basic humanitarian laws forbidding discrimination based on race, religion or manner of birth (primarily because Klaus didn't want persecuted constructs trashing the landscape, and included this in the Peace[1]) - and become eligible to claim the benefits of imperially-sponsored railroads, educational institutions and other such public works[2]. Moreover, given the list of Wulfenbach military units, it's clear that the Baron also takes responsibility for the roads, fighting fires, and emergency communications (though these units serve a dual purpose as Wulfenbach's most destructive assets yet seen[3]).

Uses of the term[]

Possibly relevant outside information[]

The names "Pax Wulfenbachia" and "Pax Transylvania" are a play on Pax Romana, a name coined by Edward Gibbon in the 1770s to describe the ancient Roman Empire as it was during the first two centuries. Rome excelled at maintaining infrastructure and adopting conquered nations' technology. In most cases, they also allowed a great degree of self government to those they subjugated; the requirements were only that the Roman Emperor be given standing in the pantheon and that the taxes be paid. Pax Romana differs from Pax Transylvania in that little expansion took place during the period in question.

See also[]


  1. "Refreshingly, the Baron had long let it be known that blatant discrimination against constructs was officially frowned upon within the Empire, and he backed this policy up with force." (mentioned in Agatha H. and the Airship City)
  2. "I will donate the costs of the Corbettite terminal if they will supply the labor."
  3. "There's more, but you get the idea."