This article is about the Castle prisoner and mole. For other uses, see Professor (disambiguation).
When Agatha arrives in Mechanicsburg, Professor Hristo Tiktoffen is the man of the Sparky prisoners sentenced by the Wulfenbach empire to Castle Heterodyne repair duty. As such, his official include leading and recording said repair efforts, and also keeping track of how many points the prisoners have (and thus how close they are to completing their sentences). He lives with the prisoners inside the Castle, and is presented as being a prisoner himself.
Unofficially, he is quickly revealed to be playing more than one side. Agatha is told that he is Wulfenbach's "inside man" and he shown to also be The Council on their scheme to restore the control of the (or a) Storm King over Europa. In the latter case, his job has been to try to find out how to control the Castle so that the Council's fake Heterodyne heir Zola will appear legitimate, and he expresses vehement disagreement with her announced plan to instead kill the Castle. And then the instant that Agatha gains the upper hand on the impostor, he himself as a loyal servant of the Heterodynes. At this point in the story, his actual loyalties an open question.with
Following Zola's defeat and subsequent escape, he drops out of sight for a time, apart putting in a brief Sanaa is still alive.in a psychological torture chamber, apparently as a captive. He expresses surprise and evidently sincere happiness at seeing that fellow prisoner and chamber-detainee
Elsewhere, Gil and Tarvek finally get a chance to notes, and it is revealed that the Professor has indeed been playing all sides against each other, and if he has loyalty to anyone, it is the Castle itself.
Agatha and Co.'s Castle repairs proceed apace, and as they near completion, Tiktoffen Captain Vole, and word of the Baron's supposed death in the Great Hospital. He murders most of the surviving prisoners, and in a final with Agatha triumphantly confirms that he has indeed been working for himself all along and playing off numerous factions against each other, which is to say, in addition to Wulfenbach and the Knights of Jove:with a squad of bully-boys led by
- the Black Fleet
- the Silent Librarians
- Albia's Intelligence
- the Downunders
- the Sons of Franklin
- the Master of Paris
- and all the Vaticans
all in an effort to become master of a repaired Castle even as the Wulfenbach empire begins to crumble and Europa falls back into chaos. The Castle kills the bully-boys (except Vole, who is busy elsewhere) and Agathathe implanted the Professor has been using to hold the Castle at bay (if not outright control it). Tiktoffen with the Castle, saying that he came to it willingly, and he's the only one truly on its side. The Castle says that it is fond of him in return... and so kills him quickly and relatively humanely; its loyalty is always to its Heterodyne.
The print novel Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle details the first half of Agatha's visit to the Castle, and drops some additional hints regarding Tiktoffen's true loyalty; it is revealed that what might be called "sentient architecture" has been his area of study and expertise long before ever coming to the Castle. Also, presumably thanks to the implant, he is able to casually ignore most of the Castle's random death-traps.