|Natural Magic, Caster, Caster link, Juice, Scroll, Magic Item, Spell, Grandiocosmic Strings, H-strings, Channels, Nodes, Dictums|
Caster proficiency: Novice – Adept – Master
A Caster link is made when two or more Casters are joined physically and mentally in order to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
The Great Minds that Think Alike categorize seven achievable states of Thinkamancy, with four more states being theoretical. Each state requires the contribution of at least one Thinkamancer. States 2 and 3 (the only states known to non-Thinkamancers) involve a single Thinkamancer and one or two other Casters. State 7 requires at least five Master-class Thinkamancers.Hvs.tCF 139
States 2 and 3 are called a "link"; states 5, 6 and 7 are intentionally nameless but are roughly designated as "trance-fusion".Hvs.tCF 139
A Caster link is a form of thinking alike and is made when two or three Casters (one of them necessarily being a Thinkamancer) are joined physically (via holding hands or by a chain, for instance) and mentally in order to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The linked Casters can perform Spells far more powerful and complex than any single Caster could consider possible. Casters united in this way are said to be linked.
In the most common links, a Thinkamancer joins with one or two other Casters to create a combined consciousness. The process of creating the link can be aided by each Caster recalling how it felt when it first cast a Spell of its Discipline, which is described as warm, comforting, and familiar.Erf-b1-p135 The casters then lose their individuality and revert to representing only their Discipline. It is still possible for a Caster to remember its former existenceErf-b1-p046, but using this knowledge strains and might break the link.Erf-b1-p054 The link is fragile, and can be broken by merely calling one of the Casters by its name, so the linked Casters are referred to by their Disciplines instead (i.e. Thinkamancer, Dirtamancer, Lookamancer, etc.).
It is rare, but possible, for a single caster to become master-class in more than one discipline. Isaac for example, is a master of Thinkamancy and Lookamancy, and an adept at Foolamancy. It is possible for such a caster to contribute one of their additional disciplines to a link. However, in the first such link shown, an additional Thinkamancer was needed to facilitate the link, despite Isaac being a master class Thinkamancer himself, suggesting there are still limitations.Erf-b3-p1
Thinkamancers cannot normally linkup with non-casters, but can do so with non-casters that have been artificially imbued with the caster special, such as via the Dismiss Perfect Warlord scroll.Erf-b3-p283
Casters that can sense disciplines that were used in a magic item, such as Dollamancer and their touch senses, may not sense the discipline if it was applied in a link-up.Erf-b3-p187 Linked disciplines are interwoven enough that it might not be apparent, which ones were used on an item at all.
Breaking the link can result in damage to the minds of the Casters, but this is similar to the backlash of other Thinkamancy Spells, so a good Thinkamancer can protect herself (or himself) from the damage by forcing the other Casters to bear the brunt.Erf-b1-p084. Such backlash can lead to severe trauma, including temporary catatonia, insanity, or death. Erf-b1-p077
A two Caster link may be dissolved by the Thinkamancer that began the link without harming either Caster. A three Caster link cannot be safely broken without the help of other Thinkamancers. Thinkamancers assist in the breaking of a link by lightly pinching the backs of the linked caster's necks, acting as "conductors". While they unravel the link, it is possible for them to examine the linked casters' thoughts, and get the gist of their combined understanding.
- Main article: Thinking alike
Higher-order links (thinking alike states above state 3) are kept secret from non-Thinkamancers, and are practiced only inside the Temple of the Thinkamancers by the Great Minds that Think Alike. The most frequent uses of these states are intelligence gathering, rapid analysis and decision-making. The highest achievable states (states 5, 6 and 7) are known as trance-fusion.
When the Temple is destroyed, the resulting Deiform being refers to the link between itself and the Dirtamancer Ivan Poe as "state 8.1", implying that the Deiform entity itself may be a state 8 link.Erf-b3-p267
To discuss the power of speculative link-ups, please visit Speculative Link-ups.
Since the Arkendish can provide unmatched Thinkamancy to a caster of a different discipline, effectively making 1 caster count as 2, it might be possible to use the Arkendish for a 4 discipline linkup. It is notable that Charlie and Olive performed caster links intended to learn how to emulate other disciplines with Flower Power, including disciplines other than Thinkamancy and Carnymancy.