Girl Genius

Dio Zardeliv

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Doctor Dio Zardeliv (or possibly Zardilev) was (and probably still technically is) a professor at a university in Paris (probably the Paris Institute of the Extraordinary) with an obsession with clocks and time. He is the author of a six-volume treatise on Potential Widdershins Chronoparticle Spin, which was required reading in one of Agatha's classes with Doctor Beetle. He is the great-uncle of Violetta, who grew up knowing him as "Uncle Tick-tock." According to her, he has no interest in their family's endless internal power-struggles.


Uncle Tick-tock, back in the good old days

After Mechanicsburg is sealed off in a time stasis, his lectures on the mechanics of time become incredibly popular within the school, and he becomes a celebrity in greater Paris society. This in turn leads to the first of several attempts on his life (there are many powerful individuals who do not want Mechanicsburg freed) and to his retreating into the extensive world of the Parisian Black Market, reportedly in search of a notebook that "one of his idiot nephews lost". Despite an important missing key[1], his office is taken over and his clocks wound by his fellow professor Drusus Beausoleil, while his more promising students all go to assist in Gil's ongoing efforts to unseal Mechanicsburg. When Agatha arrives in Paris a year and a half later, Zardilev is still officially among the missing, though she eventually learns that he went to ground specifically in The Incorruptible Republic of the Immortal Library of the Grand Architect. However, the assassins follow him even there, leading him to go further into hiding, inside the Library's sealed-off ex-Corbettite artifact vaults; the notebook details the extensive trap network the Monks installed. Along with avoiding death (by assassin at least), it is possible that Zardilev is also seeking a semi-mythical time-manipulating object known as Prende's Chronometric Lantern.

When he finally appears in person , he is shown struggling to break into a particularly secure vault, working with the Smoke Knight and Lucrezia-follower Madwa Korel. Following the arrival of Agatha and her exploration party, he gets gassed into unconsciousness and Madwa spirits him away to parts unknown.

How Do You Spell That?Edit

This character's last name has been spelled as both Zardeliv and Zardilev in the comic. The last several times he has been mentioned, however, the spelling Zardeliv has been used and seems likely to be the one the Foglios intended. In the Chronology entry for a page mentioning the name of this character, the spelling used on that page will also be used in the page description, but it will be linked to this article however it is spelled. If the name is spelled multiple ways on a page, this will be noted. If the Foglios change to a consistent spelling in the future, then the wiki will be updated.

Possibly Relevant Outside InformationEdit

"Dio" is the Italian word for God, but it is quite possible that the Doctor is a reference to another character with the name of Dio and time control powers: Dio Brando the vampiric antagonist of the first and third arcs of the Japanese Manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Zard is persian/hindu for yellow (anemic?) and liv is life in several languages.


  1. It is not currently clear if the key (un)locks the office door or is used to wind the clocks, or both.

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