Machiavelli would be proud Edit

Tarvek Sturmvoraus is the Sparky son of Prince Aaronev VI of Sturmhalten and, on his mother's side, a descendant of the Storm King, whose legacy he is attempting to claim. He is up to his hips in the Storm King conspiracy and is a Byzantine schemer, with a track record of complicated double and triple crosses. Tarvek has a gift for constructing anthropoid clanks, is ostentatiously charming, and appreciates attractive young women.

Tarvek considers himself to be the Storm King by right. For the time being, his ancestry is known only to his fellow conspirators. Tarvek thinks of Klaus Wulfenbach to be nothing more than a dangerous usurper to be overcome, a view which seems to be shared by most nobles.[1] Tarvek does not have his father's special devotion to Lucrezia Mongfish / the Other, but he does attempt to ally with her, just as he capitalizes on interactions with his father, his sister, Agatha, and everyone else.[2]


Nothing is known about his mother other than the fact that she is a descendant of Valois; she is only mentioned once in-comic. (Though the print-novel Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess implies that Anevka murdered her at some point.) According to Zola, Tarvek's birth was carefully planned and assisted by the Mongfish family, ensuring that there would be a worthy heir to the Storm King's throne. Considering the Mongfish family's skills with biology and genetics, what exactly they did to "ensure" this is a most interesting question. He was apparently raised by nannies until he was sent away for schooling.[3]

When he was young, Tarvek was schooled on Castle Wulfenbach along with the children of other nobles, where he became friends with Gilgamesh Holzfäller (aka Wulfenbach) . However, the two later developed an intense and mutual dislike following Tarvek's expulsion from the Castle, something Tarvek still feels bitter about . Their rivalry apparently continued when they both attended the University of Paris. At this time, evidently, he also got to know the Master of Paris's daughter Colette.

He has had the same Smoke Knight training as his cousin Violetta and is proficient in their martial arts . She served as his hereditary bodyguard until he covertly arranged to have her shipped off to Mechanicsburg in order to save her life.

Before Tarvek appeared in the story, he spent years maneuvering amidst his father’s obsession with finding the Holy Child and restoring The Other. However, his personal focus seems to have been his obsession with finding and restoring the Storm King's Muses, partly in order to adapt their technology to help his disabled sister Anevka. Tarvek expresses considerable and hard to discount enthusiasm for this laudable project.[4]

His father Edit

Tarvek's relationship with his father is difficult to read. Once the initial, brief shock wears off, he expresses no overt sadness or grief in the aftermath of his father's death (by his sister's hand, no less). When Tarvek first appears, he is attempting to manage Aaronev's obsession rather than take power himself (which would have involved patricide, defeating a spark, and inevitable imperial entanglements).[5] However, that may only have been due to his need to focus on the rapid series of climactic events taking place at the time.

Aaronev, for his part, appeared to have cared more about Lucrezia than about his own son's ascendancy or his daughter's life. It's implied that Aaronev sacrificed many girls to the Holy Machine to bring Lucrezia back, including Anevka, Tarvek's sister. It was Tarvek who built the injured Anevka a clank body (based on the van Rijn muse Tinka that had been appropriated from Master Payne's Circus of Adventure). Working on a Muse seems to have been the chance of a lifetime for the young spark.[6]

Battle of Sturmhalten Edit

Though Agatha’s command voice registers as a match on Aaronev’s instruments and the drugged Agatha confirms her mother's identity, Tarvek resists and delays subjecting Agatha to the Holy Machine. First, he works to replicate her command voice with Anevka's clank voicebox. Once his father's ally Lady Vrin is imprisoned, Tarvek attempts to release Agatha back to the circus (with a request that she return and help him with the Muses at some point in the future). Whether he is simply doing the right thing, aiding the Heterodyne Girl for his own purposes, or perhaps conveniently doing both at once, is unclear.

He does not anticipate Dingbot Prime releasing the Geisterdamen. When Lady Vrin throws the switch and resurrects Lucrezia into her daughter's body, Tarvek's entire game board is upended. Faced with an ascendant Lucrezia, he allies with "her ladyship," claiming to believe that Agatha is gone for good, while simultaneously inquiring into the secrets of the Holy Machine.[7] Lady Vrin appears to remain skeptical of her rival, Tarvek.

Tarvek, of course, prefers to play his cards close to his chest. [8] Agatha places her trust in Tarvek, asking for his help. Using the dingbots' music to break her free of Lucrezia's control, Agatha builds a holoprojector to inform the Baron that the Other is in her head. However, this doesn't fit with Tarvek's plans and he betrays her at the last minute.[9] He disables Agatha's Dingbots and is at the very least aware of the sabotage of Agatha's projector. Although he disclaims editing the message so that it sounds like Agatha is instead accusing the Baron of being the Other, the fact that Lucrezia was unaware of the machine's purpose makes his assertion somewhat suspect. [10]

Tarvek also let slip to the Other that he wants to reestablish the rule of the Storm King without her involvement. Evidently Tarvek cuts some sort of deal with Lucrezia at this point, but the details remain unknown.

Anevka and Lord Selnikov organize the people of Sturmhalten to storm the castle, but Lucrezia and Tarvek shut her down. Tarvek reveals the spark–infecting slaver wasp to the Geisterdamen, apparently to gain their trust and respect. The Wulfenbach assault arrives. Agatha's projector (activated by Dingbot Prime) puts Agatha back in control for a while, leading Vrin to beat Tarvek half to death before Agatha can stop her (and try to give him a few whacks herself). Eventually Lucrezia regains control and shoots Tarvek in the back.

Unknown to Lucrezia, the stolen Wulfenbach handgun that she uses to shoot Tarvek is non-lethal. Wulfenbach troops transport the wounded Tarvek to Great Hospital in Mechanicsburg. Meanwhile, a singer who looks a great deal like Tarvek performs the role of Andronicus Valois in the The Storm King (Opera) in Vienna.

In Mechanicsburg Edit

Violetta springs Tarvek from Wulfenbach custody at the Hospital by dosing him with Moveit #6. With the town in general chaos and the pair being chased by Wulfenbach forces, they duck into Castle Heterodyne for "safety" (which is rather like jumping into a bonfire to dry your clothes).

After Agatha rescues him from a devil dog, Tarvek attempts to give her political manipulation advice, but Agatha has other motivations and would prefer if he and Gil both left her castle. However, Tarvek's wounds overcome him and Agatha sets out to find Gil when her medical skills prove inadequate to the task.

Upon Agatha's and Gil's return, we find that, despite Gil's earlier prediction of Chromatic Death, the disease is actually Hogfarb's Resplendent Immolation and that Tarvek is, in fact, the prettiest frog in this entire pond. The plan to save him from it is problematic, however, as it would involve killing him first, and therefore make him ineligible to become king according to the rules of succession. The Castle gives two theories as to how he got infected: the Ghostmaker mice and Vipsania Heterodyne's Cabinet Of Contagion.

Despite an ongoing series of complications and distractions, Agatha is eventually able to cure Tarvek (and, by that point, Gil and herself as well.) He commits himself to helping her repair the Castle and is forced to deal with Zola Malfeazium (again and again and again) and the re-possession of Agatha by Lucrezia Mongfish, helps Agatha reinstall the Castle's mentality , argues with Gil (again and again and again, including during their joint fight with Captain Vole,) and finally, in a case of mistaken identity, gets kidnapped by Sanaa and Othar Tryggvassen and taken to Castle Wulfenbach.

On board the Baron-free Castle, his intellect is quickly recognized, and when Gil returns as well, he finds Tarvek running the show , albeit at gunpoint. When the supposedly dead (and presumably Other-controlled) Klaus reappears, Gil covertly dispatches Tarvek, Othar and Vole back to the surface, where is it revealed that Tarvek somehow found the time to subvert the Baron's Vespiary Squad and convince them to defect to him. The fleeing Squad's airship is shot down by the Baron's forces, leading Tarvek on an increasingly-desperate attempt to save what remnants of their resources that he can. At least he gets a chance to kiss Agatha when it's all over.

He then goes on to do what he can to get the Castle fully functional and help Agatha break the Siege of Mechanicsburg. Following said breaking, he is hit with a poisoned dagger thrown by Martellus von Blitzengaard during the latter's kidnapping of Agatha from the Red Cathedral. At nearly the same moment, Klaus deploys his Take-Five bomb, leaving Tarvek also trapped in a time-frozen Mechanicsburg.

Post-Timeskip Edit

Two and a half years pass before now-Baron Gil is able to tunnel (both physically and temporally) into Tarvek's location, extract him from the time-field and cure him of the poisoning. Almost immediately afterwards, a sleeping Tarvek is snatched away by a raiding party from the Immortal Library, led by the the Lord High Conservator himself. Their escape-airship is hijacked by a team of Smoke Knights (including Mister Obsidian) in the employ of Tarvek's Grandmother, leading to the deaths of all the Library personnel and Tarvek being dragged, very unwillingly, to Paris.

Once there, he has a (perhaps surprisingly) civil discussion with Grandmother, and is sent off to attend Tweedle's upcoming masquerade ball incognito. He identifies the party-crashing Queen of the Dawn as Zola, maintains his cover even after Agatha arrives on the scene, and is a witness when the revived Andronicus Valois also emerges from beneath the city and is confronted for the last time by his former ally Simon Voltaire.Tarvek's unsurprising reaction to this last event is to discreetly extract Valois's tag-along, the Muse Prende, from the immediate battle-zone. He then helps Colette survive her ascension to Sparkhood and, following her father's death, becoming the new super-powered Master of Paris.

During the (final and complete) death of Valois and the defeat of the various Paris-based minions of the Other, Agatha becomes aware that Tarvek is on the scene. Before the two of them can actually meet, however, Mr. Obsidian ominously re-appears behind Tarvek, and the latter man drops completely out of sight; to the point even Colette cannot track him down.

What Kind of MadboyEdit

Analysis Edit

An analysis of Tarvek's actions indicates several things:

1. He's consistent. He knows who he is, what he wants to do, and doesn't let circumstances rule him.

2. A determination to free Europe from both Lucrezia's and Wulfenbach's control.

3. A determination to set himself up as a benevolent Storm King, with the apparent motive to bring stability, justice, and common weal to Europa. Everything he does shows this motive in one way or another.

4. A less than subtle hate for everything Lucrezia, including his own father's execrable actions in Lucrezia's service.

5. A less than subtle hate for his family's Macchiavellian ways. He hates using people, even as he uses them to bring about his goals.

6. A strong belief in right and wrong. However, because of the intrigues he was born into, while it is manifested in consistently doing what he believes is the right thing, his methods are often less than honorable.

7. He genuinely cares about people and their welfare. If he becomes the new Storm King, one gets the impression that his first actions will be to consolidate control, then to do a thorough housecleaning of Europa, starting with his own evil family and going through the noble houses, placing persons of good character into positions of power.

8. He's a genius at using the existing political systems to bring about his goals.

9. He is both enemy and friend to Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, having been betrayed as a child by Wulfenbach on Castle Wulfenbach, but doesn't let this prevent him from doing what needs to be done.


An unrepentant schemer but he gave his own explanation for his behavior when Agatha was taken over by her mother.

Tarvek and AgathaEdit


The mere prospect of sex…

In spite of his less-than-stellar record of plotting and scheming, Agatha still considers him to be a friend and a "perfectly good suitor ". Just how far her feelings go is unclear, though Gil seems to think her worries about hurting Tarvek have made her "sloppy and helpless ". Her reaction to being called on this is also telling. For his part, Tarvek considers her to be his future bride. She is the Heterodyne Girl, after all.

Tarvek's SparkEdit

Tarvek is perhaps the most gifted builder of anthropoid clanks alive today. That he was able to largely reverse engineer Tinka, a Van Rijn Muse, while only moderately damaging her is a testament to his skills -- historically, even the finest sparks have only succeeded in destroying van Rijn's Muses when they've tried to study them. We have not seen him use other spark disciplines, though he does know his stimulants.

Creations Edit

  • Anevka's clank body, based on a Van Rijn muse.
  • Assists with the construction of (and sabotages) Agatha's holographic recorder/projector.
  • A device which simultaneously disabled all the Dingbots that Prime had constructed in Sturmhalten.
  • Assisted in the repair of Castle Heterodyne.

Physical Abilities Edit

He is a bit heavier then he should be but in shape. As stated before he has had similar training as Violetta, a Smoke Knight, and is proficient enough in their martial arts to spar with Gil . He actually appears faster than Violetta. He can even handle a few Wulfenbach stealth troops without major difficulty .

Questions and theories Edit

  • What happened in Paris that made Tarvek and Gil hate each other so much?
Answered: It happened before Paris on Castle Wulfenbach. Events in Paris merely exacerbated the situation.
  • If Tarvek is in on the plot to install Zola "Heterodyne" in Mechanicsburg, and he has now decided that Agatha is his "intended bride", what does this mean for Zola?
Answered: Tarvek has emphatically announced that Zola was never part of any plan of his. And in the somewhat-unlikely event that the two of them ever meet again, he'll probably try to kill her .
Answered: As of this page , we found out that the Prince fled into Castle Heterodyne to flee Wulfenbach troops. According to this page , he slipped in through the Phosphorous Gate by using a stealth cloak
  • How seriously are we supposed to take the repeated jokes about Tarvek's concern with fashion? (There's already a page about this.)

See alsoEdit

Outside WorldEdit

According to Professoressa Foglio during the 30 May, 2013, Reddit Ask-Me-Anything session, Tarvek's name was created by her and therefore has no specific linguistic sourcing. [11]


  1. A deduction which can be drawn from multiple assertions by multiple characters: Tarvek's excited utterance that "Wulfenbach is a usurper "; Gil's expository revelation that "Wulfenbach was always a minor house," and the fact that while numerous disorganized assassins have come after Klaus during his illness, the Storm King conspiracy left him alone, seem to combine to prove the point.
  2. "Let me be the first of many to offer my services."
  3. Reddit Ask-Me-Anything, 30 May 2013:
    'PKSchefflera: Tarvek says Von Pinn was the only caretaker who showed him love or kindness. Who took care of him when he was at Sturmhalten? Did he have nannies?'
    'Phil: Yes, he had nannies. Not good ones.'
  4. Tarvek: Isn't she Marvelous?!
  5. Tarvek expresses shock and anger at Anevka’s abrupt end of Aaronev’s work (and life): Anevka, What the Hell—?
  6. Agatha’s response. “Besides — Master Payne believes they were more than just clanks.”
  7. Lucrezia: I do so mistrust it when “impossible” is one's initial reaction to an idea.
  8. "This will work —won't it?"
  9. "I knew I couldn't trust you!"
  10. Tarvek: "She...she wanted it found after we left Sturmhalten ; she wanted keep you and the Baron from talking."
  11. Reddit Ask-Me-Anything - Kaja: I made it up!

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