Enigma is an "official" (though not canonical) name for the mysterious entity which briefly before university student Agatha Clay on a street in Beetleburg. The name is what she is given on her card in The Works Strategy Card Game, and it remained apt at least until Van Rijn used for her: The Muse of Time.
Though so far seen in person only for one (or two) pages, this first appearance is the pivotal point in Agatha's life and the true beginning of her story — resulting in Agatha losing her precious locket, and her spark finally being released.
Physical Appearance Edit
In this first appearance, the entity has a feminine mouth and lower face but no visible nose. Long, thick, beaded strands (possibly wires) with curled ends fall like hair from under the beekeeper-like hood which shrouds the upper face; due to the shadow, its pupilless eyes, barely visible beneath, appear to glow.
It points with a mechanical claw-like hand from the thick robe draping its left shoulder and arm. We see very similar claws later: In Theopholous DuMedd's (fictional, though possibly prescient) story "The Dragon from Mars" has one; one in Lady Vrin's (presumed factual, if incomplete) story of the Other War; Maxim's artificial/gloved hand is not dissimilar; and one is worn by a Wulfenbach . It is also very similar to Von Pinn overall - the shape of the face, the claws, and the dissimilar eyes.It speaks the words "[l]ike that?!" in a voice which resembles the mechanical voices of Tinka or Anevka Sturmvoraus when distressed; i.e., with square bits coming off the largely rectangular speech balloon.
The picture in The Works is colored in monochromatic blue, similar to the Bangladesh DuPree reports in her phenomena log (but perhaps even more so as some "flash-concurrent" frames are colored — it may just be an inaccuracy in the color saturation of that page), as would be expected from the similar thick-framed angular shape and electric discharge sound of the portals. The Enigma stands against a background virtually identical to that behind (individuals who appear to be) Agatha Heterodyne, Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, Moloch von Zinzer and an unnamed Geisterdame in DuPree's observations.
The picture in Van Rijin's notebook is almost identical to the being's first appearance, however, the metallic strands emerging from under the hat are now clearly snakes. One is depicted with an open mouth, snapping at the viewer, and the sketch is captioned both "Mechanical snakes- Medusa?" and "Very Angry."
Though somewhat threatening in appearance, the comment "Like that?!" can be interpreted as the Enigma simply responding to some "off camera" prompting, or it may have been the end of a question of its own. (e.g. "You wish to return to being like... that?!") The leading theory of the Enigma's identity posits her to be some aspect of the Other, and there is some resemblance to the personality of Lucrezia Mongfish which now possesses the body of Anevka Sturmvoraus, but in the end there is simply too little data to definitely rule out anyone, including the Muse Otilia or even Agatha Heterodyne herself, let alone yet-to-be-revealed characters.
The Muse of Time Edit
Though he did not build or create it, as was the case with the Storm King's Muses, it is eventually revealed that the master-Spark Van Rijn had a life-long with the Enigma and in his notes gave it the name the Muse of Time. This connection is first made with a in his infamous and much-traveled notebook, which has a picture of the Enigma drawn from memory, depicting it very much as Agatha encountered it. It should be noted that with the addition of pages of outside content to the notebook by unknown individuals, it's possible it was not Van Rijn who wrote up this particular description. (Thanks to the mention of time travel as well as pie-eating, a possible alternate author is Agatha's ancestor Robur Heterodyne.)
Later, when Agatha gains entrance to Van Rijn's Hermitorium workshop concealed within the Immortal Library of the Grand Architect beneath Paris, she finds what is evidently the man's mummified corpse, along with a barely-surviving female entity he managed to trap inside a translucent pear-shaped device. Agatha this latter individual, who, in the process of making a short triumphant speech and disappearing, is revealed to be a part-organic part-mechanical construct who bears almost no resemblance to the "original" Enigma. An examination of the notes that Van Rijn left behind at the scene that he had relatively brief but inspiring encounters with the Enigma all through his life, prompted in some fashion by his use of "blasphemous energies". This culminated in an aged Van Rijn finally capturing the Entity in an obviously failed attempt to extend his own lifespan.The notes further state that the Enigma never appeared in the same guise twice, and evidently had an erratic relationship with linear time as Van Rijn experienced it, possibly appearing in differnt aspects as its emotions changed. (The sketch in the infamous notebook is identical to being's first apearance and noted to be very angry.) Or alternately, Van Rijn was having conversations with a series of completely different individuals who passed themselves off as the same person.
As noted, the Enigma has her own card in The Works, where she is given the label Mysterious Entity, and has the power of causing all of the cards in play to rotate, which is a very large change to the game board.
- Her Undying Majesty may be a clank.
- You Know, Her also has beads in her hair, full lips, pupilless eyes... but also a nose.
- Loremistress Milvistle is also mysterious.
- The Other could be its true form.
- The Dreen are beings with an unusual relationship with time, and also conical hats.
- ↑ At least when shown in black and white. When the scene was re-posted in shaded color, the Enigma now featured a nose-shaped protuberance in the appropriate location, but still no visible nostrils.
- ↑ In the print novel Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess, Vrin names the owner of this claw as "The Lady of the Sharp Crystal", a particularly fearsome aspect of The Other.