Girl Genius

Doom Bell

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One of the signature relics of House Heterodyne, the Doom Bell stands outside Castle Heterodyne. Carson von Mekkhan, Seneschal Emeritus to House Heterodyne, still holds the hereditary office of "Doom Bell Ringer"[1], which comes with a nice stipend.

Today, the bell is little more than an object of curiosity to Mechanicsburg tourists. Ardsley Wooster points out that the bell only rings when a Heterodyne is in residence at the Castle, which of course means that it hasn't been heard for more than twenty years. One of the Black Squad recalls that it rang for the birth of Klaus Barry Heterodyne. Castle Heterodyne fondly reminisces that the bell also tolls for the installation of a new ruling Heterodyne.[2] Besides coronations and births, little is known about what other events the bell might ring for, though deaths, declarations of war, and weddings would be possibilities.

The Doom Bell rang following Agatha's speech announcing that she was the Heterodyne . As might be expected from a Heterodyne artifact from the old days, the bell rings with enough force to stun anyone in the vicinity of Mechanicsburg who isn't acclimated to the effect.

Legend of the Doom Bell and the reason the hammer is missing.Edit

Nothing is known about whether ringing the bell may have non-ceremonial effects as well (although most recent evidence, including reactions of the townsfolk to the news that the Bell might be rung, as well as the gleeful anticipation of the Castle itself, suggests that it is at the very least an impressive event). However rumors abound. Baron Oublenmach is obsessed with the legend that the Heterodyne treasure is revealed when the bell is rung. He even ran the fake Heterodyne gambit in order to hear the bell ring and find said treasure. Other adventurers have heard the legend as well. So the town over the years has realized it made sense to remove the bell's hammer and store it in a safe place.

The significance of the Doom Bell to Mechanicsburg isn't lost on the outside world. Some of the backers of the Zola "Heterodyne" gambit believe that its ringing will be a sign of the success of their conquest of Europa.


  1. It says so on his calling card .
  2. "The Doom Bell rings . There's a quaint little ceremony [involving ceremonial daggers] in the Red Cathedral, the people parade around [in a torch-bearing mob] singing old folk songs, and the princes of Europa offer you tribute and beg you not to plunder their lands."

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