This was an event caused by the Take Five device used by Klaus at the very end of the Siege of Mechanicsburg. The device froze time in the whole of Mechanicsburg, just as Agatha, her Wasp eater, Krosp, Tweedle and Violetta were tumbling through a space-jump created by the Monolith. Instead of the expected instantaneous trip to The Refuge of Storms, the group emerged from that stronghold's Mirror two and a half years later.
The timeskip ended both the struggle for Mechanicsburg and the The Storm King conspiracy. Everyone assumed that Agatha and the others were either trapped inside the frozen time field surrounding Mechanicsburg or dead. Everyone who met them as they emerged in the Refuge of Storms was shocked to see them.
Referenced Events In-Story That Occurred During This Timeskip
- After the Take Five bomb was detonated, rebellions immediately broke out throughout the Empire, arising both organically and being manipulated into existence. This led to plunging much of the Europan continent back into the chaos of the Long War. It has never been made entirely clear how much of the Empire's old territory Gilgamesh Wulfenbach still controls, beyond the valley immediately around Mechanicsburg.
- The empire was attacked by some manifestation of The Other; according to Dimo, Gil was somehow able to thwart her use of wasped minions, at least on board the airship Castle Wulfenbach.
- The Polar Ice Lords attacked the empire as well, with the result that Gil took a/the Great Sky Wurm as a war-prize.
- The Order of the Knights of Jove and their Smoke Knights were in turn hunted down by Gilgamesh and restricted in their activities as a key shadow-player.
- Possibly as a result of this, Grandmother was widowed, and "The Council" destroyed or reformed. Grandmother then declared there would be no further attempts at installing a new Storm King and/or fake Heterodyne until either Tarvek or Tweedle reappeared. It is implied that Zola was written off an asset, but even so she somehow still managed to install herself as The Queen of the Dawn.
- When Gil later visits England, mention is made of his having been in Paris dealing with a collection of sealed Egyptian canoptic jars "about two years ago". However, Gil simultaneously gives the impression that this may have happened when he was a student in the city, rather than after he became Baron, in which case the date may be an error on the Foglios' part.