Girl Genius
Girl Genius

This article is about a member of the Von Mekkhan family. For others in the family or other uses, see Von Mekkhan (disambiguation).
This article is about a member of the Heliotrope family. For others in the family or other uses, see Heliotrope (disambiguation).

"This is the fool you want. My grandson, Vanamonde"
"Oh, am I now part of the tour, grandfather?"
"You could be, you never leave this table!"
Carson von Mekkhan and Vanamonde [2]

Vanamonde von Mekkhan (plus or minus a spelling variation or two) is the grandson of Carson von Mekkhan, Seneschal Emeritus of Castle Heterodyne. He is, at least in principle, the current Seneschal, but carefully avoids exercising the responsibilities of the office (or for that matter, any other responsibilities that he can avoid, with one exception), because it has proven convenient for Baron Klaus Wulfenbach to believe that the Mekkhan line has died out. That way Klaus doesn't take too careful a look at the way Mechanicsburg functions, and thus doesn't realize that the satraps that he's set up to "govern" the place have no real power, while the town takes care of itself just as it always has.

Vanamonde projects the image of a particularly idle young fop who spends most of his time hanging out in a coffee shop in town, run by Rinja. However, while he's hanging out, he's listening, which is actually quite a commendable trait if you think about it. In this unassuming way he's amassed a considerable body of information regarding the false Heterodyne heir, Zola, and the powers behind her attempt to usurp rulership of the town, or at least of Castle Heterodyne. His grandfather isn't necessarily amused at his projection of worthlessness, but does concede that he's more competent than he appears .

Vanamonde plays a large, if inadvertent, role in getting the people of Mechanicsburg to accept the idea that Agatha may be The Heterodyne. Vanamonde does like his coffee (and, to be sure, probably other beverages as well), but his preferred coffee engine is broken, so he's using a backup. (He also seems to have written the textbook on coffee preparation, Bean There, Done That.) When he reveals this to an impressively wired Agatha, who speed-reads his book (and makes corrections lined in red), she rebuilds it as only a Spark can -- that is, not only making the thing itself function like no other coffee maker has ever functioned, but wowing all the onlookers (including Rinja, who isn't wowed by anything) with her Sparky charisma. When this mightily enhanced gadget produces its first cup of coffee, Vanamonde plays the role of good Seneschal and tests it before Agatha can have a sip. The result, he decides, is ... perfect .

Still under the influence of the coffee, Van meets Gilgamesh Wulfenbach (along with Zeetha and Krosp) in the secret Mamma Gkika's to discuss how to deal with the Baron's plans . They leave through the public Mamma Gkika's , intent on saving the city.

He is later shown in Chapter 10 conversing with his grandfather about the death of Castle Heterodyne. His loyalty to Agatha as 'his' Heterodyne is referenced, and his grandfather says that he'll make a fine Seneschal.

After a long day running the town he returns home accompanied by his new self-appointed Assistant for a well deserved rest only to find a certain miscreant has decided to get the Doom Bell rung; after a rant about the problems said Bell has caused in recent decades, he tells the fellow where he needs to go.

He leads the delegation which greets Agatha when she is officially proclaimed the Heterodyne by the Castle, and organizes the town defense in the chaotic multi-sided battles which come both before and after this pivotal moment. During this, the Castle officially declares that he is Agatha's Seneschal, and in a more personal aside, that he's a lot more entertaining and obedient than his grandfather.

When the Wulfenbach forces are finally driven from the city by the fully-revived Castle, he takes Agatha to the Red Cathedral for further official ceremonies. He is among the pursuers when Agatha is kidnapped by Martellus von Blitzengaard. When Martellus hits fellow-pursuer Tarvek with a poisoned knife, Vanadmonde stops to assist the victim, and so does not go through the Monolith gate, meaning he is still in the Cathedral when Klaus activates his Take-Five Bomb, locking Mechanicsburg in a time-bubble. Two and a half years later, now-Baron Gil successfully extracts Vanamonde from the time-bubble, although possibly only because he was pretty much occupying the same space as Gil's true target Tarvek.

In the in-comic side story Ivo Sharktooth PJ , which is set at some point in the intermediate future, he is shown to be officially serving as Agatha's Seneschal in a (relatively) peaceful and prosperous Mechanicsburg which has been freed from the time-bubble, with (evidently) the Assistant still Assisting him in some official capacity. In the course of events, it's revealed he has acquired a somewhat-overblown reputation for omniscience, and that he has certain control mechanisms built into the trim of his Seneschal outfit.