Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Prende's Chronometric Lantern, Prende's Lantern, or the Muse's Lantern is known as a "magical lantern" supposedly created by Van Rijn that could manipulate time. How exactly the Muse Prende got her name attached to the device is as yet unrevealed. To quote Violetta: "Tarvek was really into anything related to the Storm King, you know? All kinds of things, even fairy stories… There's this one where Van Rijn creates a magical lantern to free the Storm King from a castle where the sun never set." [1]

However, Agatha finds a passage[2] in the Van Rijn notebook that seems to show the Lantern may be more than just a fairy tale and she begins to suspect that this device is what Margarella Selnikov was looking for in the Corbettite crypts of the Depot Fortress of St. Szpac.

Hoping he will be able to provide more information about the Lantern or where it might be found, Agatha becomes even more determined to find time-expert Dio Zardilev, since she thinks the Lantern's powers might be used to free Mechanicsburg, now frozen in time.

She eventually discovers Zardilev and rogue Smoke Knight Madwa Korel attempting to break into an abandoned Corbettite vault underneath Paris. It is revealed the vault indeed contains a blue-glowing lantern connected to a glowing orb via power(?) cables and guarded by Prende herself. When the lamp is knocked free from the cables, it is revealed that it was being used to hold Andronicus Valois himself in some form of temporal stasis. In the general chaos invoked by the breaking of that stasis, both Zardilev and the damaged lamp are stolen away by Korel, although when last seen the glowing orb is in the possession of Violetta.

Korel books passage for herself, Zardilev, and the lantern on a smuggler's submarine headed for Londinium. On its arrival, Zardilev and the entire crew are found dead (from poison gas), and the lantern missing. It eventually turns out that Korel is still very much alive, and the lantern seems to have arrived in Londinium on HMS Audacious — an inference from the fact that its crew were unaware of having docked.

In fact, Korel meets with Ariadne Steelgarter and they proceed to the island where Francisia Monahan evidently is doing terrible deeds. They attempt to use the lantern against Agatha and those with her.


The lantern may however predate Van Rijn, and could be part of a Robur Heterodyne device , that was given to the Corbettite Monks after his experiments with the nature of time, along with the Dreen /angels.   Van Rijn was working with the Corbettite Monks to study dangerous artifacts in their care, and found the Heterodyne device in the vaults . According to Van Rijn's notes the Muse of time was more likely to appear to him there, because of the Heterodyne device .

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  1. This story may be related to a tale known as "The Queen of the Mines and the Lamp that Summoned the Night".
  2. ""After the fall of the King, Prende's Chronometric Lantern was thought to have been entrusted to the care of the Corbettites—" On the page for Monday, September 21, 2015, panel 3.