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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:10 am 
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Atrus often had natives of his Ages help him (in a friendly non-slave like way) with construction. But it is likely fellow D'ni survivors helped they did with the construction of the sphere they held the Spire and Haven Books.

Ainia I have found this thread most interesting. I don't agree with most of it but still it is interesting. Some of your views on the Bahro are very close to my own, likewise with the Fissure.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:10 pm 
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I believe, in fact, Atrus does mention in one of the books in the Myst library that his sons were helping. I think on the tracks in the Selenitic age. Still, not what one would consider a simple father/son summer project unless they had advanced fabrication tech. After all, Atrus would presumably have to make everything from absolute scratch, he couldn't pop over to the hardware store for a barrel of bolts or a big spool of copper wire.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Sirrus helped Atrus with the mazerunner in Selenitic* and the two brothers helped build the fortress in Mechanical* as well as the buildings in Rime.*

*Myst: The Soundtrack booklet
*Mechanical Journal in Myst/realMYST
*Rime journals in realMYST

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:51 am 
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Shorah everyone!

Some interesting discussion here!

ventris, I have wondered about the same things too. I do know that Atrus's sons helped with some of the work on the Myst-era Ages, but still... Typically, Atrus does not use simple native materials in his Age additions (unaltered rock, rough wooden beams) but uses forged metal, glass, shaped stone, polished wood, all of which requires a great deal of work to create in the first place, let alone build with. I suppose I have a difficult time conceiving of his sons putting decades of work into such things, knowing what we do about their personalities. If some of the Age natives already had this level of cultural sophistication, then it would be much more likely that they had the necessary skills and raw materials (or even prepared materials) at the ready. If not, then Atrus would have had to teach them how to do everything from creating metal alloys to melting and shaping glass to who knows what.

Perhaps the D'ni had techniques for such things far beyond our own abilities? Perhaps construction projects that would be complicated and lengthy for us were simple and short for them? I dunno. But if so, it only piques my curiosity about *how* they did such things.

My thoughts about altering Age Descriptive Books and using the Bahro tend to stem from what we have learned from Yeesha in more recent times and how she is a product of her father in many ways. Watson's Journey (Myst V) begins with Atrus lamenting how he has passed on his "cursed burden" to his "cherished daughter", wondering if it will crush her. Watson's entire journey seems to have been all about discovering the meaning of those words; and interestingly they are not about restoring the Cavern or building a new home in Reeshahn with the surviving D'ni, but about the Bahro enslavement and figuring out whether/how to free them. In using Age inhabitants to assist in his building projects, Atrus shows little reluctance in making ready use of others to further his own agenda (though to his credit he does so less exploitatively than his father), so it's no stretch for me to imagine him doing the same with the Bahro as a race. The lesson about letting other cultures make their own mistakes and find their own way seems something that Atrus either never learned very well or learned only in his elder years. Yeesha finally learns this only after she has lost her "ownership" of the tablet and so can no longer put her enlightenment to good use on the Bahro's behalf. I suspect that her unwillingness to guide or explain more to Watson is a testament to how well she seems to have learned her lesson. She keeps a pointed distance and allows Watson to find *his* own way, hoping that he will learn what she had failed to, before his moment of choice with the Tablet arrives.

I do tend to wonder about things in general in my life on the surface, and so bring this to my Cavern explorations too. I suppose as a young child, I must have been either a curse or a blessing to my schoolteachers, depending on whether they enjoyed an overly inquisitive youngster who tended to ask "why?" and "how?" much of the time. I've always been one for poking things with a stick, trying to figure out how a new thing works, upending rocks to see what might crawl forth, and getting into, under, behind and over the things I find within my vicinity.

Tweek, thanks for your comments! My Hidden History journals are my way of doing the above with the countless questions I find myself asking about the D'ni and their worlds. Some of my earlier entries now look stale to me as I have continued to wonder and sift new questions and look at new possibilities in the days since. Nevertheless, journaling is a useful exercise, for it helps me to sort a question more thoroughly when I have a written and pictorial record of my ruminations. In some ways, the questions are much more interesting than the speculations and answers! But I am sharing all of this here because hearing other explorers' thoughts about such things augments my own ponderings; plus perhaps it inspires a few folks to become more curious about such things too. Puzzling things out in the company of others is what makes Cavern life so much fun!

And I do find the Bahro and Fissure two of the most interesting enigmas out there! It's gratifying to know that you and I are on the same page in that regard. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Shorah again fellow explorers,

This next series were written while I was researching over the summer months for my geology presentation.

===

Thursday 6 Jun 2013

New Mexico when the D’ni Arrived

I have been wondering exactly what it would have been like here on the surface in New Mexico back in the days when the D’ni first arrived in the Cavern. So I have started to research this via the Internet.

The landscape essentially was very similar to what we see here today, with most mountains, rivers and valleys already formed. It still was volcanically active, with the eruptions that created Bandera Crater in the western part of the state in progress. Six thousand years later, the activity which created the nearby McCarty’s Lava Flow would begin, joining the already active volcanism in the eastern part of the state which was creating the Carrizozo lava field.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Bandera crater
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Zuni Bandera field
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Carrizozo lava flow
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The climate was much cooler and wetter, with snow-capped mountains year-round, active rivers and grassy plains. A perfect location for herds of grazing mammals and those who hunted them.

[Reveal] Spoiler: New Mexico flora 10000 YBP
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At 10000 BP, we have the Clovis and Folsom cultures present in eastern/north-eastern New Mexico. Megafauna were plentiful throughout the region. Mastodons, camels, saber-toothed cats, horses… they were all present. And they all disappeared relatively suddenly and rapidly.

Could this disappearance have been connected with the D’ni??

[Reveal] Spoiler: Mammoth hunters
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Rio Grande valley flora and fauna
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Human prehistory timeline
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[Reveal] Spoiler: Human prehistory timeline
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:03 pm 
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Is there any record of early D'ni visiting the surface? Or perhaps even living there? That might explain a few things. Like the rapid advancement of human culture and science after that point. The rapid changes of the flora and fauna like you mentioned. And I'm sure there are other things that changed around that time.

Science tells us the extinction of those early large mammals was a result of climate change and the beginning of the Ice Age, but what if there was more to it? Perhaps the arrival of a more advanced race hunted them to extinction? Or at least helped speed it along? Might some of these creatures have survived otherwise? It's an interesting thought.

I don't know if the timeline is right for this, but could the D'ni be the answer to the evolutionary "missing link"? However, now that I look at that idea, I find it extremely unlikely. Why would the D'ni mix with a race that is (1) a clearly inferior species and (2) are still outsiders? Considering the D'ni extreme xenophobia, I don't find this likely.

However, now another idea comes to mind. What if the D'ni somehow wiped out the surface population, and replaced it with their own (either by intention or not). Perhaps a group that didn't agree with Ri'neref but somehow were forced to go with him, and thus left for the surface. Maybe we are all descendents of the D'ni (or Ronay). It could explain our many similarities. I mean, other that some minor evolutionary differences (like sensitivity to light) we are basically the same. We even have many of the same cultural values. That could also explain why creatures from a completely different universe would have compatible genetic structures, given how many children we've seen and the ease of which they are born.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:17 pm 
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[[Hey Magic88889, you've been reading ahead in my journal!!!]]

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Some of the D'ni who worked on installing the fans to bring air down from the surface did indeed not return to D'ni. It is believed that they lived on the surface with the native peoples.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:21 pm 
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I don't know if this is relevant... but apparently there are more dried lakebeds and salt-flats in the New Mexico/Texas/Arizona region, than in any other part of the world.

We know that changes made in a descriptive book, can sometimes cause changes in the Age.

I have often wondered if it's possible that, as the Cavern was being written into the Book of D'ni,the original water-source for the subterranean lake, was actually the surface.. maybe the area all around the Cavern became arid desert and ALL of these lakes suddenly became dry, because changes to the descriptive-book caused the water to flow downward into the cavern... giving water to the land below, but resulting in a dry, desert environment above.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:27 am 
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I'm not sure what changes you're talking about. Ri'neref wrote the DB for D'ni. That established a link with an already existing world (our world). Writing does not create worlds. Sometimes, it can make small changes to it. But those changes have to be in line with the original paramaters of the age, and not contradict anything that has been observed (as in the quantum physics sense of the word). Contradictory changes will shift the link to a new age, or even possibly sever the link completely resulting in a null book.

So when Ri'neref wrote the age, he likely described the D'ni cavern. Anything else, like the surface conditions, were filled in by the random chaotic nature of the Art.

Plus, what you're describing seems to me to be major changes. Changes that would be observed. Besides, underwater lakes are actually quite common.

Besides, deserts are formed from a variety of factors, which include little or no rainfall: http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Climate_DesertsFormed.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Magic88889 wrote:
I'm not sure what changes you're talking about. Ri'neref wrote the DB for D'ni. That established a link with an already existing world (our world). Writing does not create worlds. Sometimes, it can make small changes to it. But those changes have to be in line with the original paramaters of the age, and not contradict anything that has been observed (as in the quantum physics sense of the word). Contradictory changes will shift the link to a new age, or even possibly sever the link completely resulting in a null book.

So when Ri'neref wrote the age, he likely described the D'ni cavern. Anything else, like the surface conditions, were filled in by the random chaotic nature of the Art.

Plus, what you're describing seems to me to be major changes. Changes that would be observed. Besides, underwater lakes are actually quite common.

Besides, deserts are formed from a variety of factors, which include little or no rainfall: http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Climate_DesertsFormed.html


Yes, I am aware thet Art doesn't create Ages, it only links to existing Ages. But I do think a talented writer could actually make massive, frequent changes to an Age, without 'shifting' the link as you described-- we know for a fact that Atrus was able to continually write and change Riven, in order to keep it stable while Catherine was trapped there.

I don't know that the SIZE of the change is the issue-- I.e. the "small" changes you suggested. I think it has more to do with whether the change is a 'retroactive' one or not.

An example of a retroactive change would be something like, say, if you added a giant tree near your link-in point.. That tree would have had to grow in the PAST, in order to be giant by the present time. This would be a retroactive change, requiring events that have already happened, to "un-happen" or "happen differently"--- I believe it's only this type of change that will cause a link to sever or shift to a new Age... one that incorporates the retroactive nature of your addition.

So long as your changes remain proactive, you can make some pretty major ones within your current Age.

The one incident we know about, with regard to how changing a description affects an Age, is from Gehn's treatment of his "Age 37". He made a MAJOR change to that Age--- -altering the temperature of an entire ocean, which led to the collapse of an ecosystem. Prior to that cataclysm, he was making routine & frequent changes, trying to keep the Age stable.

My supposition has always been that when Gehn made the ocean warm, what he did was cause shifts along a faultline, which opened cracks in the planet's crust.. those cracks initially exposed molten volcanic rock at the ocean's floor--- resulting in Gehn's intended change: warming the ocean.

However, as a consequence those cracks didn't STOP at the ocean floor--- seismic activity continued, eventually causing cracks in the lakebed which was providing the indigenous culture with fresh water and seafood. Those cracks caused the lake to drain into the ocean. This change may also have caused alterations to the weather-patterns in the region as well--- additional water vapor from the warmer ocean collected as clouds, increasing the severity of rainfall & thunderstorms.

Gehn was able to make such a massive change to Age 37 without 'shifting' his link as you described, because this change was "proactive"--- the change began at the present moment of the Age, and changed things going forward. However, when he tried to DELETE those changes--- well, once that event happened and those cracks were formed, removing them would be to cause their formation to "un-happen" -- which is a retroactive change-- something that would have to happen in the Age's PAST. You can't make a change like that in the current Age.

It was THIS change alone, ONLY the retroactive deletion of an existing element, that caused Gehn's descriptive book to be shifted to a new, identical Age.


Bottom line: I sumbit that Ri'neref could easily have made similar changes to the Earth, as Gehn made to Age 37, specifically in the region of Earth that surrounds the volcano-entrance to the Cavern---- in order to provide the Cavern with more water. I think it amounted to little more than altering the depth of the water-table.... which could cause all those lakes in Texas and New Mexico to dry-out, as water seeped downward into the Cavern. This would not be a retroactive change to existing elements-- it would be a proactive change, consistent with known 'natural' occurrences that would create deserts & dried lakes.

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Last edited by HarveyMidnight on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Ri'neref is not trying to change an existing age, he is writing a link to a brand-new location and describing everything he wants in his book. The Art would establish a link to an Earth on the relevant branch of the tree of possibilities that contained everything he wanted.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:52 pm 
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AlanD wrote:
Ri'neref is not trying to change an existing age, he is writing a link to a brand-new location and describing everything he wants in his book. The Art would establish a link to an Earth on the relevant branch of the tree of possibilities that contained everything he wanted.


I don't know as D'ni was 'built in a day'. I certainly think it's POSSIBLE that D'ni as originally written & when Ri'neref first linked in... was a stable Age, suitable enough, but may have required some alterations-- such as more access to water within the cavern.

If such a situation were to arise, Ri'neref may have concluded it was more prudent to 'fix' the Age he'd already written rather than start over. Time was a factor, as Garternay was near a point of collapse.

I'm not saying it DID happen--- just that it could have.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:26 pm 
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The only way to know for sure is to check the time-scale.

Also, Harvey, I love your reasoning there.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:57 am 
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From the official explanation of all things linking:

Quote:
From what we know of D’ni history, it was standard for D’ni writers to complete their works before ever linking to them. Once the Age was written, the maintainers would inspect the book’s description, and travel there, then approve the book. No changes to the book were generally allowed after it had been stamped by the maintainers.

Written contradictions in the Descriptive Books were a cause for great concern for the D’ni. From a young age, Guild students were taught to concern themselves with the details of what is described in a particular Descriptive Book, so as to avoid contradicting those details later on in the Book. Such contradictions could cause severe instabilities in an Age. D’ni culture is fraught with stories of contradictions discovered only after the preliminary scouts from the Maintainers Guild never returned. Such stories were used to impact young writers.

There are innumerable manuscripts that document making changes to Descriptive Books and their associated Ages, once the Ages had been visited. The procedure required meticulous attention to detail and was attempted by only the highest levels of writers. The problem seemed to lie in the synchronization of what was written in the Descriptive Book and what was actually observed on the Age itself. If changes were written into the Book that contradicted previously observed features of the Age, it was possible that the Descriptive Book would divert its link to an Age that more closely resembled the changes described. It would appear that the link to the “pre-diverted” Age would be lost, and it would be impossible to reestablish the original link.



I find it highly unlikely that Ri'neref would have made any changes to any age. D'ni was written specifically by Ri'neref for him and his followers to leave Garternay and found their own society. He was an extremely talented writer (records indicate that he was all set to become Grand Master before his falling out with the Guild of Writers), and I don't see how he would make a simple mistake of not providing enough water for his people to live on.

In fact, when finally lining to D'ni, Ri'neref chose the site for the city for two very specific reasons:
Quote:
First was the line of the Great Zero. It seemed an obvious spot to base the city, with the most important religious structures being directly on the line and the rest of the city surrounding its center. The second factor was a group of waterfalls that flowed from the ceiling of the cavern to an area adjacent to the line of the Great Zero. The fresh flowing water was perfect for drinking.


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