In Girl Genius, the seneschal serves as an interlocutor on behalf of the intelligence of Castle Heterodyne via the Throne of Faustus Heterodyne. This role, it's fair to say, is, well, creepy .

The von Mekkhan family has served House Heterodyne as their seneschals for many generations. The family's hereditary title of Doom Bell Ringer is, theoretically, separate from the office of Heterodyne Seneschal.

Outside Information Edit

Seneschal (fem. "seneschale") is a very old term for the senior servant of a noble household.[1] The seneschal also had to oversee the lands of his liege, and sometimes administer justice. The word is recorded in English since 1393, deriving via Old French seneschal, from Frankish Latin siniscalcus, itself from Proto-Germanic roots sini- "senior" and skalk "servant" (as in "marshal" etc.). The office of "steward" is roughly equivalent.[2] (The Catholic Bishop of Rome assumes the role of seneschal for the universal Church, using the symbol of "the Keys of Peter" to represent this office.[3]) Note that a seneschal is not a feudal vassal with defined rights, but a servant who serves at his master's pleasure and may be dismissed.

Similar titles/positions include "majordomo," "castellan," and in later centuries, "head butler" − someone entrusted with the keys, even to the wine cellar.[4] However, these titles imply responsibilities for a single manor rather than for all of a noble house's holdings. None of these outside-world concepts does justice to the crucial (so to speak) role that the seneschal to the Heterodynes plays.

See also Edit


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