The Stravaganti are people who can "stravagate", travel between two worlds, England and Talia, using talismans. Stravaganti is the plural form of the term; Stravagante refers to the singular form.[1]


Stravagation is the act of travelling between the contemporary 21st century world of Lucien Mulholland, Georgia O'Grady, Sky Meadows and other teenagers from London, England that is analogous to the audience's world, to an alternate world known as Talia, which resembles 16th century Renaissance Italy. Though the time difference between the worlds is roughly several centuries, more localized instability caused from travelling between the worlds can shift the time differences between the two for an indeterminate number of years, such as the shift caused when Falco di Chimici was deliberated translated into 21st century England. Another major disruption between the two worlds occurs when Charlie and Isabel Evans stravagate to Talia using parts of the same talisman; when they attempt to return to their own world, they initially arrive in Elizabethan England, during the time period that Dr. William Dethridge originally came from, before managing to return to 21st century England again[2].

William Dethridge, the first Stravagante, made his first journey to another dimension by chance, as the result of an alchemical accident affecting the rules of time and space. This happened in 1552, when Dethridge was officially teaching mathematics at Oxford University but spending a great deal of time on his private study of alchemy. The copper dish which he was holding in his hand while trying to commute base matter into gold, became his talisman enabling him to travel between the two worlds and was a reliable key to that travel for nearly a quarter of a century. But although Dethridge always arrived back from his journeys to Talia in his own time, the gateway he had accidentally opened was very unstable. Since his first journey, other Stravaganti, from the Talian side, have found themselves arriving in much later periods than Dethridge's Elizabethan England. Rodolfo left the notebook talisman in the twentieth century for example. All talismans work in both directions but must come originally from the opposite dimension to the traveller's. When in Talia, Lucien speaks and understands the Talian language, although he doesn't know Italian in his own world. Dethridge's language sounds old-fashioned to him, and only him, because they are both English, born about 450 years apart.
A Note on Stravagation[3]

The act of Stravagation is relatively simple, but requires a talisman. The practitioner needs only to hold onto the talisman and lose consciousness. Loss of consciousness can be a natural process, such as falling asleep, or can be facilitated by meditation or sleeping draughts, or induced through any means that may render a person unconscious, such as striking a person in the head. However, the simplicity of Stravagation means that even completely inexperienced and unintended people can stravagate between worlds, including Filippo di Chimici and Charlie Evans.


The talisman

Talisman of the first five Stravaganti

Talismans are objects required for a Stravagante to move between worlds. The object must originate from the world that the person did not come from. Though Stravagantes tend to use one talisman, they can exchange their talisman for another, so long as the object used comes from the other world.

Though Talian talismans initially appeared to be limited to allowing the Stravagante to travel only to the city where the talisman originated, Dr. Dethridge managed to resolve the issue in City of Ships. As Dr. Dethridge proposes, if the Stravagante focuses on a specific location and says the name of the location in Talia they intend to visit before stravagating, they can arrive in any city-state in Talia using their original talisman. However, if the Stravagante does not focus on a location, they will stravagate to their default location according to where the talisman originated from. It is unknown if English talismans are capable of doing the same.

Copper dish

The copper dish

  • William Dethridge - Dr. Dethridge's talisman is a copper dish, which brought him to Bellona during his first stravagation. He still has the copper dish after permanently translating to Talia and he regards it as his most valuable material possession[4]. The copper dish, as the original instrument of stravagation, is the only talisman that is able to stravagate both to Talia and England[5]. As he acquired trusted students, Dr. Dethridge gave them talismans from the world he came from.
  • Lucien Mulholland - Lucien's initial talisman is a marbled notebook that Rodolfo acquires from his brother Egidio's shop and leaves in Islington, where the book is found by Lucien's father and given to Lucien, who uses it to travel to Bellezza. Following Lucien's translation to Talia, Rodolfo gives him a new talisman that allows him to travel back to his original world, a white rose that is preserved in resin. During City of Swords, Luciano also performs an unprecedented double stravagation using two talimans in order to reach the di Chimici army camp outside of Fortezza. To stravagate to different location in Fortezza, Luciano uses a red glass gem from Fabio's workshop as a talisman to stravagate from London to Fortezza.[6]
  • Rodolfo Rossi - Rodolfo's talisman is a silver ring, which can bring him to London.[4] It was given to him by Dr. Dethridge.
  • Georgia O'Grady - Georgia's talisman is a flying horse ornament brought to London by Paolo Montalbano, which allows her to travel to Remora. Though her stepbrother breaks it, it is repaired and still able to bring Georgia to Talia.
  • Falco di Chimici - Falco's first talisman is a silver eyebrow ring Georgia wears to Talia. To ensure he cannot be brought back to Talia, Georgia destroys the ring. After Falco is translated, Georgia gives him one of Merla's feathers as a talisman that allows him to travel to Remora, though Falco later exchanges the feather for a quill pen from Brother Sulien that allows Falco to go to Giglia.
  • Sky Meadows - Sky's talisman, a blue glass perfume bottle with a silver fleur-de-lys stopper, was brought to London by Brother Sulien and allows Sky to travel to Giglia.
  • Brother Sulien - Sulien's talisman is a silver cross, which can bring him to London. Presumbly given to him by Dr. Dethridge.[2]
  • Matt Wood - Matt's talisman, a leather-bound spell-book, is found in Mortimer Goldsmith's antique shop and was brought to England by Professor Constantin. It brings Matt to Padavia.
  • Isabel Evans - Isabel's talisman, a red velvet bag of silver tesserae, was brought to London by Flavia and allows Isabel to travel to Classe in her first stravagation. Because the talisman is composed of many loose mosaic tiles, Isabel later discovers she only needs one tile to travel to Talia.
Laura's talisman

Laura's talisman

  • Laura Reid - Laura's talisman is silver paper-knife, the type of knife that is usually used to open letters, and brings her to Fortezza. The talisman was made and brought to England by Fabio della Spada and is found by Laura in Mortimer Goldsmith's antiques shop.
  • Alice Greaves - In Alice's single stravagation to Giglia, she uses a sketch of Georgia made by Giuditta Miele. She never uses it again and frames it to put on her wall. She later sells the sketch to Mortimer Goldsmith.[6]

The bookmark talisman

  • Filippo di Chimici - When Filippo stravagates to London, the Stravaganti believe that he has somehow used Matt's talisman to do so. It is later revealed that Filippo traveled between worlds using the bookmark that Matt had placed in the book, making the bookmark a talisman.
  • Charlie Evans - Charlie, in his accidental stravagation to Classe, uses Isabel's bag of silver tesserae, though one tile falls out of the bag before he completes the stravagation, allowing Isabel to use the remaining tile to stravagate and rescue her brother. However, multiple people using the same talisman simultaneously has a destablizing effect on the gateway between worlds, which causes Isabel and Charlie (when using the tesserae at the same time) to stravagate to 15th century instead of the 21st century when they attempt to return to England. To rescue Charlie, Isabel reuses Matt's bookmark as a talisman for Charlie to return to their world.[2]
  • Mortimer Goldsmith - After Mortimer acquires Alice's sketch of Georgia, he accidentally stravagates to Giuditta Miele's studio in Giglia[6].
Portrait of luciano

Vicky's talisman

  • Vicky Mulholland - In order to attend Luciano's wedding, Dr. Dethridge crafts a special talisman for Vicky that she is not likely to give up in order to prevent another accidental stravagation after the incident with Mortimer Goldsmith. The talisman is a miniature portrait of Luciano set in a frame of silver and pearls.[6]
  • Ludo Vivoide - In order to save Ludo from dying of an infected wound, Laura brings a silver charm bracelet from Mortimer's antique shop for him to use as a talisman.[6]

The Stravaganti from London mentioned in the Guide to Talia, 1580 have been assigned talismans.

  • Ross - wooden carving of mermaid, Moresco
  • Julia - silver candlestick, Bellona
  • Sean - piece of lava rock, Cittanuova
  • Emily - telescope, Montemurato
  • Rory - flute, described as a 16th century style flute[7], Volana
  • Caitlin - silver dragon-ring, Romula



Lucien's translation

When Stravaganti travel to the world they do not normally reside, they lack shadows and exist as a shade of themselves while their actual bodies are unconscious in the world they traveled from. A person's stravagated form is not completely invulnerable to harm. While Lucien and Matt discover that they are unaffected by their physical ailments in Talia as they were in England, Sky, Nick, and Isabel learn that physical injuries, like sword wounds, tattoos, and bruises from concussions, will carry over into their original world.

In rare cases, if a person's body dies while they are stravagating, they will gain a shadow in the world they have stravagated to and become a permanent resident of that world. There have only been four cases of translation thus far: William Dethridge, Lucien Mulholland, Falco di Chimici and Ludo Vivoide. It is uncertain if a translated Stravagante can translate again into their original world.

Other AbilitiesEdit

Stravaganti can move things with their minds; with five of them they moved the contents of an entire swamp by suspending it in the air and walking it over to the nearby by Padavia to dropped it over the city and douse a fire[8]. They also appear to be able to form a connection to maintain awareness of where another Stravaganti is, allowing them to coordinate their abilities from a distance. The technique is referred to as a "Circle of Minds."

Another of their abilities appears to be casting glamours, such that one individual will resemble another. Rodolfo demonstrates the power in order to make Matt appear convincingly like Luciano[8], despite the difference in their size and build. A number of the Stravaganti are also capable of communicating with mirrors to other members of their group. Because Rodolfo has been teaching this skill to Arianna and Dr. Dethridge mentions how he has been doing the same with his wife Leonora[8], it is implied that the ability does not require the practitioner to be a Stravagante. Several Stravaganti have also been seen to be practiced in the interpretation of Corteo cards.

Known StravagantiEdit

These are the known Stravaganti, with their corresponding Talian city (whether that is where they are from or where they stravagate to). It is alluded to that there are more than Stravaganti in the ones listed in the Guide to Talia[6].

Note: Some of these Stravaganti have yet to appear in the books, and are listed in Mary Hoffman's Guide To Talia, but their names may be subject to change (like Flavia, before City of Ships, was listed as "Loredanna" - though still a merchant trader).

From TaliaEdit

From EnglandEdit

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. City of Masks "Who do you mean?" asked Lucien. "Other Stravagantes?" "Stravaganti," corrected Rodolfo.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 City of Ships
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Stravagated in City of Masks
  5. City of Secrets, Dr. Dethridge uses the dish to stravagate to England with Luciano in order to help Matt
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 City of Swords
  7. Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles - Questions for Mary Hoffman said the talisman for Volana was a flute. Would that be a flute a [sic] they are now or a recorder type instrument?
    Hoffman: Well, I don't know if the book featuring Volana will ever be written but it would be a 16th century Italian type flute.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Stravagated in City of Secrets
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 They have now travelled from both directions so he can be classifed as both "From Talia" and "From England"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Stravagated in City of Stars
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Stravagated in City of Flowers
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 We know they are Stravaganti from A Guide to Talia