Girl Genius
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Girl Genius

The Royal Collection of Inconvenient Oddities has also been referred to[1] as the Museum of Inconvenient Oddities. We are introduced to this Londinium museum by Trelawney Thorpe as she brings Gil there after he complains about his inability to concentrate on his work (trying to find a way to free Mechanicsburg from the time stop). She explains that the really interesting exhibits go in "proper museums," but we soon learn that this museum is under heavy guard, and that its exhibits are interesting indeed.

Once past the guards, the first exhibits we see are King Arthur's crown, armor, and shield, previously seen in the semi-canonical Trelawney Thorpe adventure The Crown of the Sleeping King. Other exhibits we pass by without comment by the characters are the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!, the skeleton of a large dinosaur, and the Fiji Mermaid (half monkey, half fish). Later we see a carving of a queen; its explanatory sign is partly obscured, but it is almost certainly the Queen of Angkor Wat, dated to the year 1000 BCE.

Trelawney and Gil are met by Hippocrates Brunel, whom Trelawney introduces to Gil as the Chief Curator of the Collection. Since his other job is collecting and interpreting the notes of dead sparks, it's easy to imagine that this Collection includes artifacts previously collected by those sparks.

But when Gil asks to see Brunel's favorite exhibit, we see the pièce de résistance : one of the Queen's Mirrors (said by Brunel to be not working, though there is reason to take his comments with at least a grain of salt). It transpires that both Gil and Brunel know much more about the Mirrors than, up to this point, the reader. (Trelawney, if we can believe what she says, knows nothing about them.) The Collection's Gate is subsequently partially activated by the Other cultists on Big Rat Island.

It remains to be seen whether this encounter is the coincidence it appears, or whether Trelawney brought Gil here precisely to see the Mirror. Or possibly to deal with the next exhibit on display: the inhabitant of an Egyptian Canopic Puzzle Jar, a large bipedal crocodile construct. Or to be more precise, former inhabitant...

Following the messy resolution of that little problem, it is revealed (to the audience if not Our Heroes) that Lady Ariadne Steelgarter is associated with the Collection as well. We learn later she has an official position with the Collection, in charge of the Library of Lost Libraries Library.

References

  1. On the page for Wednesday, January 26, 2022 (volume 20, page (093), panel 8, ) Neena uses the name "Museum of Inconvenient Oddities" when looking through the activated Queen's Mirror in Doctor Monahan's lab on Big Rat Island, which had been visually connected to the mirror in the museum.
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