Isaac Cipher

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LIAB Text 40.jpg
Race: Men
Faction: Magic Kingdom, Barbarian
Class: Caster (Thinkamancer)
Rank and Titles: Mastermind, Headmaster, Master of Thinkamancy and Lookamancy, Adept of Foolamancy
Level: 11



I once dreamed that I was following my own Grandiocosmic String to its source, pulling myself downward, hand-over-hand. I was heading toward a place of ultimate meaning, perhaps Ark itself. But then my hand grabbed onto the part of the string responsible for creating the dream, and I woke. I wish I hadn't grabbed it so hard.

Isaac is 21,500 turns old.

Isaac served three different sides over a long career. Popped in Scytale, he was eventually traded in a diplomatic agreement with Viagara Falls. After more than 5000 turns there, he was captured by the Republic Domain, turned, and resided there until his release when the side suddenly expired 7,600 turns ago.

Although he was always a competent and reliable Thinkamancer, it was only as a barbarian caster that he discovered an interest in the fundamentals of magic and the exploration of his discipline. He was accepted early into the Great Minds that Think Alike, who appreciated his calm and polite demeanor as much as his intellect.

As he turned his studies to other forms of Eyemancy, Isaac made some deeply disturbing observations and discoveries. In particular he discovered important implications about Charlie's attunement to the Arkendish. These revelations began to turn the Great Minds away from the petty gossip of the Magic Kingdom and toward the exploration of broader questions about their world.

Isaac often hires out to sides all over Erfworld, but prefers short contracts. By means of his long lifetime of active casting, he recently achieved the rarely reached level of 11. Although this makes him the highest Headmaster in the Magic Kingdom, Isaac leads only when necessary. His mind is usually elsewhere.

Proposed Canon

He suspected it might be a law of Erfworld, but there was not enough evidence.

Strengths: Curiosity, Generosity, Inventiveness, Building Scientific Instruments

Weaknesses: Loneliness, Focus, Courage of Convictions, Dolled Senses

First Appearance: TBFGK 140

Isaac Cipher is a Headmaster among the Thinkamancers.LIAB Text 40

First seen when Parson entered the Magic Kingdom after the Battle for Gobwin Knob, he summoned the Thinkamancers to unravel the Croakamancer-Dirtamancer caster link, saying they'd do it for no charge. Isaac didn't meet Parson again until Parson decided to travel through the Magic Kingdom to Spacerock's portal, and the Great Minds went to meet him. LIAB 58 LIAB 66

Isaac is a rarity among the casters of the Magic Kingdom, not content with debating and arguing over theories and hypotheses on the nature of magic and Erf, but actively working to discern reliable and consistent facts. Isaac created of a number of devices to aid thinkamancers in better accessing nodes of amplification or attuning to the frequencies of certain G-String vibrations (all of which resemble children's playground equipment from our world). LIAB Text 40

Isaac is friendly with the Predictamancers, which has led to a degree of fatalism in his world view. LIAB Epilogue 04

Isaac admires Parson's curiosity, and likes him on a personal level. Hvs.tCF 60

He linked with Ace Hardware to create a miniature secret camera for Parson Gotti.Hvs.tCF 1

Parson asked Isaac to find out what Sizemore, Maggie and Ace Hardware did to the Tower of Spacerock (Jed) while unraveling their link. Hvs.tCF 57 Isaac, Roger, and Pamelor performed the unraveling. Hvs.tCF 59

At Parson's request, Isaac and the other Great Minds took the unprecedented step of meeting with the Baddie Countess Bunny in the Temple of the Thinkamancers and offering her a pardon if she helped them fight Charlie. Hvs.tCF 67

Parson thinks Isaac knows more about Magic than anyone else he's ever met, including Janis and Charlie. However, thanks to Maggie, he also knows Isaac isn't sharing most of what he knows with him. Hvs.tCF 87

Isaac and 17 other Great Minds monitored the events leading up to the attack by the free casters on Parson, Wanda and other Gobwin Knob units near Charlescomm's portal. They cast the collide-o-scope spell when it seemed Parson might enter a random portal, though it failed to prevent him from doing so. Hvs.tCF 139 Eventually, in the aftermath of Parson's escape, the Great Minds collectively decided they had to allow Wanda to be executed, despite having promised Gobwin Knob that they would save her. They also decided to string-cut Ivan Poe and Claud Gauntlet after they turned to Charlescomm at the end of 95 AW. Hvs.tCF 227 It was this action, Hvs.tCF 210 which led Charlie to blow up the Thinkamancer's Temple in 96 AW.


Entity refered by fans as "Deiform Isaac"
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Isaac and the strings of 16 other Thinkamancers were in Isaac's head space when Charlie destroyed the Temple of the Thinkamancers (which Isaac and the Thinkamancers were physically occupying) in the Battle of the Magic Kingdom Hvs.tCF 243. The croaking of the Great Minds disrupted their trance fusion, and damaged and entangled their strings in a way that may prevent Wanda from decrypting any of them except Isaac. Hvs.tCF 288 In addition to becoming temporarily insane, Isaac's body developed ashen skin as a result of this traumatic experience. Even before Isaac's insanity was cured by having his string removed from his body, it wasn't really accurate to say the entity occupying Isaac's body was really Isaac. When Parson later tried to contact Isaac mentally, he saw a nightmarish and ghostly form that responded with a single word "Deiform", a term which Parson understands to mean GodlikeHvs.tCF 247.

Deiform entity refers to themselve in plural pronouns (outside of a quote from Kafka on Hvs.tCF 254) and was able to save Wanda's life by remotely slicing the G-Strings of Tondelayo and six of her fellow Archons,Hvs.tCF 264, which only a State 7 trance fusion could doHvs.tCF 208. Therefore, they seem to be more of a trance fusion in Isaac's body than his own person.

The Trance-fusion entity then manipulated the decrypted Ivan Poe to use the last of his juice to break the bedrock cap left under the Dirtamansion after Wanda's escape. They reached a contract-like agreement with Ivan with unknown terms (other than not harming Wanda Firebaugh) as he temporarily surrendered himself to become part of something bigger.Hvs.tCF 265

The entity was referred as Big Think by Ivan. The established link with him was explained as State 8.1 and strings and fragments enjoined serially as a single non-sentential form, operating as an un-Decidable problem in a volatile state. In dirtament terms Ivan was the moon in the sky, circling the Big Think. It was revealed to Ivan that Big Think would not survive the natural Dirtamancy reset at the start of its next turn or rather decay due to burning out the juice even before that. But after learning more of Charlie's Tower from Ivan, Big Think did consider the possibility that at least part of it might survive if Isaac could connect with the Arkendish, and use it to "sort out his yarn problem". It was motioned to elevate trance fusion to State 8.2 by including Claud Gauntlet to make a Dollamancy armor out of bedrock.Hvs.tCF 267 When it learned it could not make armor out of bedrock it decided to turn the Charlescomm (city) portal column into a sentient golem, which took the name of Shirley. Big Think then ended its mental link with Ivan Poe and Claude Gauntlet, but retained the ability to awaken Portal golems, which it used to awaken the Towers in numerous cities, including Jillian's capital city of ICFYS.Hvs.tCF 289

See also: Quotes: Isaac Cipher (Deiform)

Barbarian Golem

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Big Think used the knowledge of Golems it had gained from Claud Gauntlet and Ivan PoeHvs.tCF 274 to transform the Action Figure Charlie was using Hvs.tCF 275 into a barbarian twine Golem, and then connect Isaac's string (which is, in Thinkamancy terms, Isaac's mind and soul) to the tiny string of this golem. In this way, Big Think removed Isaac from his own former body, which would certainly croak at the start of the next turn. However, this would only allow Isaac to survive the death of his body if there was some way the Golem could be given the element of Life. Isaac suspected that Maxwell might have found a way to give Golems Life, so he bargained with Wanda for information about Maxwell's golems. Hvs.tCF 279 But Wanda's description of Maxwell's golems persuaded Isaac that Maxwell had not succeeded in creating Life. But then, as she walked towards Spacerock's portal, Wanda revealed that, unlike Maxwell, she could command Life, (presumably by using the Arkenpliers) and could therefore allow Isaac to continue to live. Hvs.tCF 287


Should he ever link up with a Carnymancer, they will create devices capable of automatically switching Thinkamancers between nodes at precisely calibrated frequencies to achieve Thinkamancy that, while not as versatile, will actually rival the Arkendish in power (like a Ferris Wheel or a Roller Coaster).

Isaac may hope that he or one of the other Great Minds that Think Alike can replace Charlie as the attuned holder of the Arkendish, if Parson succeeds in defeating Charlie. If he did manage to attune to the Arkendish, his advanced knowledge of Eyemancy might allow him to use it in ways that Charlie, a Carnymancer, cannot.

Because Collide-o-scope is in part a foolamancy spell, casting it may help give Isaac the insight he needs to become a Master foolamancer.

Real World References

His name coupled with his tendencies as a natural philosopher are a reference to Isaac Newton. Some of his suspicions about the laws of Erfworld include that there is "A counter-force for every force, a reaction to every action. Opposite, and perhaps equal." which is one way of specifying the real world (Isaac Newton's) Third Law of Motion.

His appearance is a reference to Carl Sagan. His desire for the Arkendish as a tool of observation may also reference the use of radio telescopes in astronomy. His expertise in Lookamancy may be a reference to Newton's work on optics, or Sagan's work on the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (via dish-shaped radio telescopes).

Both Carl Sagan and Isaac Newton were teachers, and one of the titles for the person in charge of a school is Headmaster.

Before he tells Parson his name, Parson calls him Mr. Rogers which he does somewhat resemble (albeit a younger Fred Rogers).

Isaac was popped in Scytale. A scytale is a tool used to perform a transposition cipher. It's a cylinder with a strip of parchment wound around it on which is written a message. The ancient Greeks, and the Spartans in particular, are said to have used this cipher to communicate during military campaigns. The recipient uses a cylinder of the same diameter as the one on which the message was written to read the message. It has the advantage of being fast and not prone to mistakes—a necessary property when on the battlefield. It can, however, be easily broken. Since the strip of parchment hints strongly at the method, the cipher text would have to be transferred to something less suggestive, somewhat reducing the advantage noted.

Viagara Falls is a reference to both the drug, Viagra, and Niagara Falls. His 'diplomatic trade' could be a reference to the fact that one portion of Niagara Falls lies in Canada and the other lies in the United States.

The Republic Domain is a reference to the term "public domain" which refers to the idea that intellectual property rights can expire. Given that the Republic Domain was his third side where his ideas were allowed to spread, therefore they were no longer exclusive, this is appropriate. It should also be noted that all examples of the formulae of Newtonian Physics are considered to be public domain.

Republic Domain may also be a reference to the Dominican Republic, a nation in the Caribbean, officially named República Dominicana in its official language of Spanish.

ISAAC(acronym for indirection, shift, accumulate, add, and count) is a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator and a stream cipher designed by Robert J. Jenkins Jr. in 1996.

When Isaac used Lookamancy to see through a wall, beams shot out of his eyes like Superman's power of x-ray vision.LIAB 112

All the spoken lines by the so-called Deiform entity are actually verbatim quotes of Franz Kafka.

The action figure signamancy is a reference to The Binding of Isaac video game series. As well as in the name, since it is, in a way, the binding of Isaac himself.