Girl Genius
Girl Genius

"We are elite warriors trained in speed, subtlety, and misdirection. What have a bunch of dirty pirates got to counteract that?"

The Smoke Knights are an order of stealthy warriors, ostensibly loyal to House Valois or House Sturmvoraus, although at times this is significantly subverted by Lucrezia's machinations[1] or other agendas.[2] Trained in the traditions of the Storm King's elite guard[3], the current Smoke Knights are at least in part drawn from a family related to Tarvek’s, and serve as the hereditary personal security force for his family. They also do foreign information gathering and may have additional duties typical of intelligence agencies and secret service organizations.

Ordnance & Equipment[]

Poisons & Potions[]

Smoke Knights are experts in potions, poisons, and antidotes. The "Moveit" super-stimulant potion appears repeatedly, in various grades of potency. While not confirmed, Montebaarg's Beef Boy Elixir may also be a part of the Smoke Knight potion arsenal.

Violetta also carries a kit for diagnosing and treating poison: her dialogue with Tarvek suggests that he would normally be expected to have one too. She uses this kit to determine that Agatha has been poisoned with "Auntie Mehitabel's Natural Causes".


Violetta possesses several throwing knives, and a larger dagger. Tarvek asking if Violetta has been "licking her knives" when he thinks she is talking wildly implies the throwing knives are drugged or poisoned. Darts, which can be tipped with poisons or drugs, are carried. A small blowpipe is carried to launch them.

Other Equipment[]

Several Smoke Knights carry Grappling guns, and it is safe to say that it is a very common, if not universal, tool in their organization.

Violetta wears a headband-mounted red electric light she calls a Hunting Light. Unsurprisingly, Smoke Knights are known to carry smoke grenades. Messenger bats are used to convey orders, a system that involves "locator lures".

Stealth cloaks are sometimes used for concealment, but may not be unique to the Smoke Knights.

Tarvek has revealed the existence of a "large-scale Smoke Knight concealment field" , which renders the subject (in this instance, an airship), all but invisible. This implies that smaller-scale versions of this technology exist and are in use by Smoke Knights.

Skills & Training[]

"Smoke feels nothing."[4]

"How do you guys do that?
"It's… complicated."
"It's secret."
"Hey! You guys have already said too much!"[5]

Training in 'The Way of Smoke'[6] is extensive, sometimes beginning at birth[7], but is not necessarily all consuming.[8] It may involve an oath to serve the Storm King, although opinions differ as to who that may be.[9]

Talents displayed by various Smoke Knights include:

  • Unarmed combat
  • Use of bladed weapons, including throwing knives
  • Use of blowpipes
  • Advanced First Aid/Field Medicine
  • Poisons & Antidotes
  • Undercover operations
  • Climbing
  • Misdirection & Sleight-Of-Hand
  • Escape and Evasion
  • Disguise
  • Intrusion & Breaking & Entering
  • There is a collection of Smoke Knight doctrine known as the Yellow Codex.

Possible Members[]

At first, Violetta is the only explicitly named full member, and a rather incompetent one by her own admission. In all likelihood, a competent member would not have revealed her position to the Heterodyne.

Violetta also revealed that another member was under cover as employee of the hospital, but got herself killed trying to assassinate the Baron. Possibly this was the nurse seen attempting to administer “a vitamin” to Baron Wulfenbach, and the first victim of Gil’s lightning staff, who Dr. Sun Jen-djieh stated was not “one of theirs." However, as both Gil and Dr. Sun Jen-djieh consider that attack unprofessional, the smoke knight was more likely a later attack.

Veilchen is another possible member, based on the similarity of his dress, his working directly with the Sturmvoraus children, that he possessed an identical grappling gun, and even his name, which means violet in German. It remains somewhat uncertain because it has not yet been explicitly stated. Naturally, being one of their best, he doesn’t go around revealing to foreign military operatives state secrets such as the name of his organization. (Although, if they are in need of funds, they now know of a clientele who might be interested in at least one item of their equipment.)

Grandmother officially commands at least some of the Smoke Knights, but does not appear to be one herself. She sends an undercover team of them to forcibly extract Tarvek from the hands of the Immortal Library. Mr. Obsidian is among the members of this contingent, but again it is never made clear if he is an official Knight. The mission is technically a success, but the entire team except for Obsidian end up dying in the process. When Tarvek subsequently gets shipped off to England by Seffie, Grandmother dispatches another batch of Knights[10] to retrieve him, and again they suffer heavy losses- only two (one of which is named Marka[11]) manage to survive and (intentionally) slip away with Tweedle-minion Jaron instead of Tarvek.

Moloch von Zinzer is not a member, but his skills in escaping made Violetta incorrectly assume he had trained as a member of the organization.

On the other hand, Tarvek,[12][13] Zola,[14] Tweedle,[15] and presumably Seffie, while not Smoke Knights per se, have received the training.

There are many Knights stationed in the Refuge of Storms, but many of those meet their death in the confusion following Tweedle’s “return”. In particular, we have one referred to as The Blonde Question.

In Act 2 we meet Varpa, a Knight in Seffie's service, and Malek, whom Tweedle sent to follow Agatha (and whom Varpa was sent to distract).

There is Madwa Korel, a renegade in the service of The Other. She had a Bartleby with her who by the time we meet him is already severely living impaired.

Sparafucile is another Knight serving Seffie.

Other Considerations[]

In the 2nd novel Lucrezia in Agatha's body is surprised and almost shocked by the fact that Violetta, while a Smoke Knight, isn't wasped and thus able to ignore her orders, implying that the process was made mandatory when the Other joined the conspiracy, but the standards grew lax after her disappearance.

See Also[]