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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:32 pm 
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General spoilers for the Myst saga below, in particular the game Riven.

I recently got to thinkin' about poor old Gehn, that troublemaker, and his post-Riven fate.

I personally believe that Atrus eventually released Gehn, and allowed him to live out his final days in Releeshahn. Gehn believed he was bound for greatness-- that he was a deity, and was going to restore the D'ni "empire" into the multiverse-- he also believed Atrus was a failure. The fact that Atrus not only succeeded where he failed & gave the D'ni survivors a new home and Age, but also that Atrus fathered Yeesha, the 'Grower'--- I think there'd be no better rehabilitation for Gehn than for him to live with the 'TRUE' D'ni people whom he looked up to, and who regard Atrus as their savior... a situation which would pleae Gehn, but at the same time humble him at every turn, and remind him every day of how much he'd got wrong.

But before that.. there is a continuity issue with the 'trap book' or prison Age linking book that was given to the Stranger, by Atrus at the beginning of Riven. We know trap books are no longer canon.. due to the fact that Achenar and Sirrus were revealed to be in prison Ages.

So, I think it's likely Gehn was sent to a prison Age. These are my musings about that:

These are relevant facts about linking books:
*You have to be IN an Age to write a linking book to that Age.
*You have to use a set of characters, called 'Gahrohevtee', that describe your location.
** the book then links back to that location.
**A real-time image of that location is shown on the right page in a 'linking panel'.

What we know about the linking book that was seen in Riven, is:
*It had a linking panel that looked like a familiar room in K'veer, an island in D'ni.
*Gehn inspected the Gahrohevtee and seemed convinced that it was a valid linking book to D'ni.
** It was not a linking book to D'ni, it was a "one man prison" or prison Age.

The simple conclusion is that Atrus found a spot that looked like K'veer in an uninhabited Age, and wrote a linking book. But is it that simple?

But this is the situation-- once Atrus realized Gehn had captured Catherine, he became insanely busy writing in the Riven descriptive book, to keep the Age stable. Several times, he mentioned to the Stranger, that any pause or delay in his work could doom the Age and Catherine.But, at some point he had to have gotten hold of a prison Age.


So where did this prison Age come from? I find it hard to believe Atrus would doom his father to an UNstable Age, written in haste ... but at the same time, where'd he find the time to carefully write a stable Age? Might he have found an older Age written in the past by a D'ni writer? I don't think so: old as those Ages were, many of them were becoming unstable.. some of them might be occupied... Atrus might actually feel such an Age was TOO comfortable for his criminal-minded father. But worst of all, Atrus would have to inspect such an Age for MILES to make sure there wasn't a linking book back to D'ni waiting somewhere for Gehn to find.

There really wasn't the time Atrus needed to write a NEW Age from the ground up, nor to inspect an existing Age. So... this is what occurred to me.

A passage in Myst: The Book of Atrus describes the moment Atrus got to write his FIRST Age, the Age of 'Inception'. He was living, at the time, with his father on K'veer. Gehn selected 5 'practice Ages' that Atrus had written into notebooks; 5 he felt had some value. Atrus got to choose his favorite to write into a Kortee'nea, or blank book, to be made a real Age.

I am betting that-- years later, as Atrus was laboring to keep Riven stable, and he knew he'd need a prison Age for Gehn--- he remembered that somewhere in K'veer, handy to his location, were at least 5 practice Ages in notebooks he had written himself... at great length and with great care, years ago. ONE of them, Inception, had been at least briefly tested and appeared safe & stable.

So this is my theory.. faced with little time, needing a new Age, Atrus hunted up the notebook for his old Age of Inception-- based on the Cleft, but instead of being a crack in the desert at the base of a volcano it was a crack in a fertile plane at the base of a mountain. It was fertile, seemed largely uninhabited, and stable. He took the notebook and copied it out a second time.

This Age, of course, would not be the SAME Inception.. not the same Age. It would, however, be a near-identical 'doppleganger' of his first Age, an 'Inception II'. As he wrote, it amused Atrus, just a bit, to think that Gehn would be forced to find comfort in a world that resembled a childhood home that Gehn had despised.

Atrus would make a few cosmetic changes, before copying the text in earnest ... he smoothed out the 'Cleft' to add natural rooms that Gehn could use-- made sure fertile plants and a freshwater spring were nearby.... perhaps he added small mammals and birds Gehn could trap for meat.... (Yeah.. this time he DID write birds!!!!) and last but not least, Atrus added a cave at the base of a mountain. Why a cave? To mimick the look of D'ni! Atrus quickly linked in and went into that cave with paints and tools, and made a facade of K'veer within -- a familiar D'ni room, to fool Gehn's eye on the linking panel. Then he carefully wrote a linking book for this cave, adding gahrohevtee in such a way that wouldn't "tip his hand" and reveal it linked to a cave rather than an island.

I like to think Atrus named this new Age 'Deception'.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:32 pm 
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Aha! Another of your theories! I like this one. Nothing glaringly wrong, and it gives a nicer fate for Inception.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:14 pm 
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I like your theory Harvey, but it hits a few obstacles:

1. Atrus couldn't reach any room in K'veer from the basement he was sealed in by Gehn. He tried and caused a cave in that sealed him in the room till Catherine freed him. He later got stuck there by his sons. But at no time in established canon was K'veer's basement accessible to the outside without a linking book till Book of D'ni. So there would be no way for him to find one of his 5 notebooks.

2. We have to assume that if he did manage to somehow get a hand on one of his notebooks, he wrote a descriptive book to the age, than once there constructed an entire room to look like K'veer's basement, wrote a linking book to that area, all while still trying to keep Riven Stable. Doesn't all that defeat the notion you already mentioned that he kept insisting to the Stranger he couldn't step away from trying to keep Riven's writing stable?

Isn't it a more likely scenario that at some point between the time of Book of Atrus, and the events of Myst and Riven, Atrus wrote an age similar to that of D'ni? That just like he had done with the Cleft and Inception, he had been inspired by D'ni's ruined beauty and wanted to recapture that in his own linking book? So he wrote an age at some point that was in a cavern, and spent time, while raising his sons, to build this underground cavern to be a facsimile of D'ni? Just like his daugher would later write Relto to be like Myst Island. Or how centuries prior Kadish wrote Ahnonay to be like Garternay's past, present and future? (Though for obviously different reasons.) Then after he was freed by the Stranger and came up with his plan to capture Gehn and free Catherine, he altered the descriptive book he'd written years prior to be that one man prison he needed?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Interesting theory. Actually it probably isn't that hard to fake a linking book's destination, because (as far as I understand it) linking books are written by describing the destination. That way it wouldn't make any noticeable difference if you wrote the book in the fake age rather than the actual room in K'veer.
That makes me wonder though what Atrus was talking about regarding the "formula" he remembered and that only people "familiar with the code" could distinguish a regular and prison book. Then again, the formula was for the non-canon "trap" books, which seemed to be modified linking books rather than new ones written from scratch.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:25 pm 
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ChloeRhodes wrote:
I like your theory Harvey, but it hits a few obstacles:

1. Atrus couldn't reach any room in K'veer from the basement he was sealed in by Gehn....


The only way I can think of to get around it, is..... We can assume Atrus gained access to a source of blank books in D'ni, after escaping from Riven-- otherwise, he'd have never been able to write the Mechanical, Selenitic, Stoneship, Channelwood, etc Ages... Perhaps he at least got access to some nearby room or 'nook' where Gehn was storing blank books. His old notebooks may have been stored there, too.

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2. We have to assume that if he did manage to somehow get a hand on one of his notebooks, he wrote a descriptive book to the age, than once there constructed an entire room to look like K'veer's basement, wrote a linking book to that area, all while still trying to keep Riven Stable. Doesn't all that defeat the notion you already mentioned that he kept insisting to the Stranger he couldn't step away from trying to keep Riven's writing stable?


A prison Age was still a necessity, tho... he had to do something.

Sure, he'd still have to budget his time & keep Riven a priority, but the principle is this: by using his old notebook, the more difficult work of composing an entire description was already done, so he'd be free from the need to really work at building a new Age from the ground up. Which would still be tough to manage alongside his work on Riven.. but easier than the alternatives.
Quote:

Isn't it a more likely scenario that at some point between the time of Book of Atrus, and the events of Myst and Riven, Atrus wrote an age similar to that of D'ni? That just like he had done with the Cleft and Inception, he had been inspired by D'ni's ruined beauty and wanted to recapture that in his own linking book? So he wrote an age at some point that was in a cavern, and spent time, while raising his sons, to build this underground cavern to be a facsimile of D'ni? Just like his daugher would later write Relto to be like Myst Island. Or how centuries prior Kadish wrote Ahnonay to be like Garternay's past, present and future? (Though for obviously different reasons.) Then after he was freed by the Stranger and came up with his plan to capture Gehn and free Catherine, he altered the descriptive book he'd written years prior to be that one man prison he needed?


That is also a good theory. I don't know that it's more likely, tho... . Seems an awfully fortunate coincidence he'd write an Age that was a replica of D'ni-- only to find out later, he needed an Age that was a replica of D'ni.

In the cases of Yeesha writing Relto, and Kadish writing Ahnonay.. those original Ages were already unstable & couldn't be visited... those replicas were made in memory of the lost originals. Likewise with the Cleft-- Gehn prevented Atrus from returning to the Cleft, and he missed it. But Atrus is seen in K'veer at the end of Myst and the beginning of Riven, and it seems to me he frequently used that room in K'veer as his 'office'-- since he still had access to the 'real' room, I can't imagine why he'd create a nostalgic replica of it.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:59 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote:
ChloeRhodes wrote:
I like your theory Harvey, but it hits a few obstacles:

1. Atrus couldn't reach any room in K'veer from the basement he was sealed in by Gehn....


The only way I can think of to get around it, is..... We can assume Atrus gained access to a source of blank books in D'ni, after escaping from Riven-- otherwise, he'd have never been able to write the Mechanical, Selenitic, Stoneship, Channelwood, etc Ages... Perhaps he at least got access to some nearby room or 'nook' where Gehn was storing blank books. His old notebooks may have been stored there, too.



According to the BoA, Atrus and Catherine moved all of Gehn's books from Riven to Myst and that is what he used to write his ages.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:05 pm 
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HarveyMidnight wrote:
But Atrus is seen in K'veer at the end of Myst and the beginning of Riven, and it seems to me he frequently used that room in K'veer as his 'office'-- since he still had access to the 'real' room, I can't imagine why he'd create a nostalgic replica of it.

I don't believe this could be the case. Atrus purposely didn't visit D'ni for fear that Gehn wasn't truly trapped, and he could access D'ni. He wanted to keep Gehn out of Myst, so he couldn't leave his linking book behind, which meant he never went there. The reason Atrus was there at the end of Myst is that his sons tricked him there, and trapped him. At the start of Riven, he's still there because he has to hold Riven together to save Katran. So, I think it is quite possible that Atrus would make a copy of D'ni so he could still visit.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:55 pm 
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While Atrus didn't want to leave K'veer during Riven, he did leave for a short time at the end of Myst, to dispense of the books that held his son. Regardless of the mechanism of the prison/trap books in your headcanon, the library was where he had kept two of them -- why not a third? Atrus already knew by the end of Myst that he'd be gearing up to challenge Gehn, so it would make sense that, if he had another prison book prepared, he would grab it then. We only see two in Myst, but who's to say those were the only two?

Myst 4 elaborates that one fake age had been written to resemble a world to be plundered, and one written to resemble a world to be conquered, to catch different types of potential thieves... perhaps he also created a D'ni-looking one in advance for similar reasons.

That said, I don't dispute the possibility that his notebooks could have been in that room in K'veer. The idea of using Inception as the basis for a trap is a clever one, too.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:03 pm 
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Couldn't any age be instantly made into a prison age if the escape route was gone? Ie Atrus could have gone to a preexisting age and destroyed the linking book as he left ( linking out while holding it over a lava pit or large pail of acid).

Not saying its what happened, but if there was a place that had a room that could fake KVeer easily, its all he'd have to do.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:18 pm 
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A different (and darker) hypothesis assumes Riven (the game) was sugarcoating the events. Those were desperate times, you see.

There was no Prison Age, the Linking Book the Stranger was given was a real Book to K’veer. The Stranger’s actual role was to convince Gehn to come alone. Possibly to jam his rifle, too.

When Gehn linked in, they bludgeoned him. Or maybe even shot him.

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