Girl Genius

The Muses

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The Muses were a set of nine clanks created over 200 years ago by legendary master spark, Van Rijn, for The Storm King.

Hiding in plain sightEdit

To avoid damage and misuse by overly-curious sparks the muses needed to hide. Two, Tinka and Moxana, hid undisguised in plain sight by connecting themselves with traveling shows, most recently Master Payne's Circus of Adventure. One, Otilia hid involuntarily in the body of the construct Von Pinn aboard Castle Wulfenbach guiding and protecting the children, most notably Gil and Tarvek. More recently, in Volume X, the Van Rijn body of Otilia hidden in the subterranean Heterodyne lair of Lucrezia Monfish Heterodyne made her appearance. It is now in need of serious repair, both physical and psychological. The mind inside the body is that of much vaster Castle Heterodyne.

Desperation due to the condition of his sister prompted Tarvek to commandeer Tinka from the circus three years ago. The muses were an irresistible lure to other Sparks, who wished to disassemble them in order to find out how they worked. Since Van Rijn was exceptionally Sparky, this has not met with much success. However, an imperfect but impressive copy of Tinka was built by Tarvek Sturmvoraus. When the circus stopped in Sturmhalten, Tinka went and brought back Moxana and Van Rijn's notes to Tarvek.

Comparison to the classical musesEdit

The picture on the west inner tympanum of Tarsus Hall[1] of Transylvania Polygnostic makes them look as if they were intended to mimic the classical muses in form and function. Tinka is obviously the "Muse of dance and movement." Tarvek who studied the muses extensively has called the winged muse Otilia the "Muse of Protection", and Moxana the "Muse of Mystery". These do not have obvious classical equivalents.

Van Rijn's notes imply that the Enigma is one of the Muses, although it's unclear if or when he created her.

Outside World Edit

Although writers accounted the Muses in Greek mythology as anywhere from one (Mousa) to three (Memory, Practice and Song) to four (Heart-delighting, Song, Beginning and Meditation) to seven to nine [2], eventually Hesiod, naming them, settled the count of nine Muses adopted by later Europan cultures. They were:

Name Muse Of...
Calliope epic or heroic poetry
Clio history
Erato love or erotic poetry, lyrics, and marriage songs
Euterpe music and lyric poetry
Melpomene tragedy
Polyhymnia sacred poetry, sacred hymn and eloquence

as well as agriculture and pantomime.

Terpsichore choral song and dance
Thalia comedy and bucolic poetry
Urania astronomy

(The above information is excerpted from Wikipedia. See that article for more detail.)

Muses in Europa Edit

In the Foglio world[3] they are:

Foglio Name Muse of ... Attributes
Otilia Protection Wings, bow and arrows
Artimo Book
Orotine T-square and protractor
Contasia Musical instruments
Mawu White coat with dark trim, dark hair
Moxana Mystery Game board and fortuneteller setup
Tinka Dance Dancewear and dance poses
Liza Dark coat with white trim, white hair
Prende Gold armillary sphere[4]

Names of all nine muses and their likenesses appear on a Foglio sketch for the card game Pairs. The cards are 1) La Clef du Roi (A key over a book) 2) Orotine 3) Mawu 4) Artimo 5) Tinka 6) Otilia 7) Contasia 8) Liza 9) Moxana 10) Prende.

Mawu and Lisa (or Liza) are the names of a Dahomean creator goddess and god. They are associated with the sun and moon, and are sometimes described as a single hyphenated and hermaphroditic being.

Prende is the Albanian goddess of love, sharing Friday as a sacred day with Aphrodite and Venus.

Notes added to Van Rijn's notebook appear to identify the Enigma as the Muse of Time, but said notes were apparently not written by Van Rijn. Nothing resembling the Enigma appears in the panorama of the muses. Further notes found in the Hermitorium state that Van Rijn did not build the creature he calls the Muse of Time, contrarily to the other Muses. Instead he captured her in an attempt to learn the secret of eternal life, and she has stayed a prisoner for several centuries. It's therefore unlikely that the Muse of Time is part of the set of nine, as those were created by Van Rijn for the Storm King. However there are also hints that Prende may be the Muse of Time, given the story of "Prende's Lantern."

Muses on Murals Edit

Mouse over the a muse for her name. Clicking on a muse will link to her page if she has one.

About this image

The nine muses and a Heterodyne.


  1. See the mural of The Muses at TPU
  3. [Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess novel preview]
  4. Prende has also been linked with a device called a Chronometric Lantern; whether this is the official name for her sphere remains unknown.

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