Balan's Gap

Sturmhalten as seen from Balan's Gap

The city of Sturmhalten lies right on Balan's Gap, a mountain pass, and brings in money by taxing the traffic. Until recently, it was ruled by Prince Aaronev VI; its current status is uncertain.

The sewers underneath have a rather distressingly active ecosystem, including albino squid, giant glowing rats, and ghouls. Deeper, more secret tunnels (the "Deepdown") were evidently used by the Geisterdamen. Hive engines were transported through there, which presumably also accounts for the fact that the city is entirely populated by revenants.

History Edit

According to the novelization, Sturmhalten Castle was originally built by Andronicus Valois “two hundred and sixteen years ago”[1]as his base of operations as the Leader of the Coalition saving Europa from the Heterodyne. Heavily fortified, it is meant to garrison a larger population than it would in the centuries to come, possibly explaining its large and intricate sewer system.

Recent HistoryEdit

Prince Aaronev was a major political player and a devoted ally of Lucrezia Mongfish, even after her disappearance. Nevertheless, he opted not to resist when the Baron came conquering, preferring to work quietly on her behalf.

The work he did for her apparently consisted of tracking down female Sparks and attempting to transfer her consciousness into them, a process that was almost invariably fatal. Even his daughter was subjected to it, though she managed to survive for a while- and appear to survive even longer- due to the intervention of her brother Tarvek Sturmvoraus, who appropriated Tinka from Master Payne's Circus of Adventure to use as reference in building her a new body.

Ultimately a suitable host, Lucrezia's daughter, came into town with that same circus, prompting a complicated coup attempt by Anevka and Tarvek, the return of the Other, rampaging monsters in the streets, and a full-scale battle between Klaus and Agatha in which Klaus was squished by a chicken house.

According to Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, the situation is currently "contained". Exactly what that means is not clear.

Characters from Sturmhalten Edit

Questions and Theories Edit

  1. According to Othar's Twitter, to reach Sturmhalten from Paris, one travels east past Heidelberg.
  2. Were Aaronev's depredations the only reason for the rarity of female Sparks, or are there other factors?
  3. What was/is Tarvek actually trying to do?
  4. What's clank!Lucrezia up to now?
  5. What were Aaronev's motives/goals in working with Lucrezia? How do the Council and the Knights of Jove fit into all of this?
  6. Sturmhalten's modern-day equivalent might be Brașov, which's German name, aptly, is "Kronstadt" - "Crown City".

Possibly relevant outside information Edit

"Sturmhalten" translates from German as "Stormhold", which is the name of a kingdom in Neil Gaiman's Stardust ruled by a similarly backstabbing royal family.


  1. Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess, “Prologue,” p. III. More precisely, the events of this Prologue evidently take place 216 years before Agatha’s escape from Castle Wulfenbach and joining the circus, but Valois had been there for three years by that time, so it would have been started about 219 years before the main story—very nearly two centuries exactly before the start of Agatha's life.