The Arkendish can do many things, most of them connected to Thinkamancy. Charlie is a Carnymancer by trade, but has wielded the full powers of a Thinkamancer with the Arkendish's help. Together, Charlie and the Arkendish are capable of:
- Grants access to channels (non less than 117 at some point), including extrauniverse ones.
- Handling an unlimited number of Thinkagrams, and extend some of his abilities to his personal Archons in his tower. Any commander in the world can get those Archons' attention by concentrating hard enough, for long enough. This could take hours or even days, but Charlescomm would establish contact eventually. This allows him to hire out to any side or barbarian in the world. He also seems to be able to bypass the rule that prisoners cannot receive Thinkagrams.
- Charlie can intercept, jam, or even corrupt Thinkagrams and by extension the Eyebooks and even natural Thinkamancy like ruler orders. Hvs.tCF 59 suggests that he cannot read the details of a caster link directly, but he can do so through any other Thinkamancers trying to read it. However, this requires much of his attention. As such, he usually has Comm Tower's mindstream machinery record all the world's thinkamancy transmissions for later perusal.
- It grants the power to cast spells or even caster links over great range, though while the caster link is active, the Arkendish cannot be used for communication.LIAB Text 18 He can use the Archons as relays for this purpose.
- Can use something similar to but distinct from Predictamancy by evaluating collective intuition and morale.
- Can read people on a Thinkamancy level and work them over (by tuning to their Thinkamancy channels).
- Listening to natural allies' channels grants Charlie some sort of an affinity for them, enables him to know their desires, and in some cases, even persuade them to betray their former masters. He is suspected to be responsible for preventing Gobwin Knob from finding any gobwins. This is further supported by the Western Giants betrayal of Jitterati, the High Elves turning and burning the Olive Garden, and the turning of the Hobgobwins from Gobwin Knob to Charlescomm.
- Recording the channels and thus being able to review any and all "tapped" Thinkagrams at later time (requires shocked connection).
- Being able to listen to multiple channels at the same time, such as both sides of the Thinkagram (requires shocked connection).
- Provides Charlie with a multitude of "faces", allowing Charlie to use different personalities and Signamancy that resonate with his current audience, building rapport.
- Charlie is able to provide a +5 bonus to any fight that he is directing LIAB Text 56
Functions of the Arkendish that are available to Charlie depend from several things (the next list might be incomplete):
- The current size of the Arkendish;
- How exactly Charlie is in contact with it (physical touch, shocked connection, unshocked connection).
- How far he is from it (the farther — the worse connection is).
The 'dish can be resized just like the ArkenpliersLIAB Text 29 or any other artifact/magic item. To achieve the most efficiency, most of the time it's kept largest and mounted on the top of the Charlescomm Comm Tower.Hvs.tCF 86 Charlie used Ivan Poe's help to install it there, have it wired to connect through the tower to his command stations and have Shockmancy power those wires up, along with other custom changes to the tower.Erf-b3-p150
Being in contact with the Arkendish is shortened to "being ondish".
Being ondish through the unshocked connection is the worst experience for Charlie, as it doesn't seem to allow any multitasking, he has described it as "unsustainable conditions" and making him lose his sanity.Erf-b3-p150
Access to "extrauniverse" Thinkamancy channels (satellite television?) could explain Charlie's knowledge of Stupidworld technology and slang.
The signature unit of the Dish seems to be the Archons, flying female knight-class units with an array of powers. Charlie can pop one archon every turn or three archons every two turns with a turnamancer. Whether this capability is granted by the Dish is unknown. Most other cities cannot pop archons at all and those that can take multiple turns.
Charlie is noticeably inconsiderate to other peoples' need for sleep, even with his own allies. It might enable him to function with considerably less sleep than normal people need.
The Mathamancy Bracer is far more powerful than an ordinary Mathamancer, and Charlie somehow knew this. It is possible that the Arkendish allows him to remotely observe the functioning of magic items.
Extreme speculation: Mind control/influence, especially when directly communicating. (Maggie is very worried when Parson asks her to contact Charlie.)Erf-b1-p088
More extreme speculation: given that it can grant Thinkamancy to a caster of a different discipline, it might even be capable of enabling a four discipline link.
Real World References
The Arkendish resembles the antenna used for satellite television.
Charlie and his Archons are more than likely a reference to the American T.V. Show "Charlie's angels"
It was pointed out that Dish Network formed by Charles W. "Charlie" Ergen provides satellite television service in the United States.
The fact that the arkendish can be used to poke around in peoples' minds may be a reference to tin foil hats. In science fiction and some conspiracy theories, tin foil hats would block out telepathy underneath a similar principle to blocking out radio waves.