Duke Josef Carmelita Strinbeck (his first and middle names are given in the third Girl Genius novel[1]) is one of a pair of noblemen supporting the takeover attempt of Zola "Heterodyne". He is seen in the pink airship that brought her to Mechanicsburg, expressing concern that being rushed and "wild card" elements like Castle Heterodyne and the real "Heterodyne girl" will interfere with their plans. His comments about the Doom Bell suggest he's more pragmatic and less inclined towards fairy tales than the other nobleman, Baron Oublenmach.

Their reactions to Gilgamesh Wulfenbach's use of lightning in battle suggested to some prescient Girl Genius readers that he and his co-conspirator, Oublenmach, were Knights of Jove, although more cautious and pedestrian readers had to wait for Tarvek's statement to reach that conclusion (or at least the conclusion that they are working on behalf of House Valois, without necessarily being members of the Knights of Jove specifically) with confidence.

Strinbeck refers to himself as "royal " because he is a deposed Duke from a minor kingdom in Lithuania[2] (that was overrun by unsettlingly large wind-up toys[1]) and part of the Fifty Families. The fact that he was apparently involved in the analysis of the castle that concluded it had fractured into 12 separate entities after the Other's attack makes him seem reasonably intelligent in the seventh graphic novel, but in the third prose novel, he portrayed, and explicitly described, as an idiot.[2]

He is very inflexible with his hired ship and crew, and is determined not to let them disrupt his conspiracy, despite the fact that this could seemingly get them all killed, including him. Faced with such a liability, the crew took action without his permission to dump ballast and get clear of the attacking Torchmen. When Duke Strinbeck continued to interfere with the getaway, he was apparently put in the ballast category…

This may have earned him a niche among the Living Impaired, but it's too early to be sure. However, he's tentatively placed there, in what may amount to wishful thinking.

See also Edit

The Storm King conspiracy


  1. 1.0 1.1 This information comes from Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, p. 44, note 10.
  2. 2.0 2.1 This information comes from Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, p. 58.