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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:21 pm 
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This is just a question about the lore/canon. If I damage a descriptive book or linking book, can it be repaired so that it takes one back to the same age and place? How much damage could be done? How would one repair the book? Would one end up just linking to a different, but similar age if the damage had been too bad, the way Gehn's change in the Book of Atrus to a descriptive book made the book link to a different version of the same world that Gehn and Atrus had never visited?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:37 am 
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Shorah b'shem Jmp12,

This is a classic question without a simple answer. :)

The most authoritative voice in past conversations about this has been RAWA, so you might find reading The Watson Letters (starting at about page eight) will help answer your questions.

My own thoughts/understanding of the matter:

Damage to a descriptive book can be repaired to a point. In the course of Riven events, Atrus was working feverishly to fix/stabilize the Age before it tore itself asunder (and killed Katran/Catherine and the Rivenese) and so needed the assistance of the Stranger in dealing with Gehn. A big part of Atrus's worry surely must have been inadvertently altering the Age to the point where the Book would then link to a similar but separate Age. If that had happened, he would have lost Katran forever.

Regarding linking books, in the events of Myst the two brothers drop hints that they had damaged Atrus's linking book to Myst Island such that he would be unable to return home there. In a Channelwood imager (IIRC), Sirrus leaves Achenar instructions to surreptitiously remove a single page from Atrus's book, and to be careful that Atrus sees and suspects nothing. In the events leading up to the Stranger arriving on Myst Island, it appears that Atrus had done the same thing to the two linking books to the "prison Ages" where his sons were trapped--removing pages from each book and scattering them across the Ages of Selenitic, Mechanical, Channelwood and Stoneship. Within the historic recreation we experience (i.e., the Myst gameplay), we are able to restore the linking books's functionality by adding the missing pages back into the books. I believe RAWA classifies this specific form of fixing linking books as a simplification of the reality in order to create a playable historic recreation (game). (But I could be mistaken, I haven't re-read The Watson Letters in a while and you may find something a bit different upon reading them.)

In practical terms, assuming one has the proper materials and know-how, it's far easier to simply Write a new linking book since it is a very simple affair and countless linking books can be created that will function perfectly well so long as the descriptive book remains intact.

With a descriptive book, if a damaged book cannot be repaired/stabilized, then access to the Age is lost forever (at least via the D'ni linking methodology... if we take the Bahro into consideration, it is an entirely different matter!).

Hope this helps. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Thanks Ainia! Your reply is definitely helpful! :D

I had also never heard of that compilation of RAWA's writings before, it sounds like an incredibly interesting read, and I definitely look forward to it!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:11 am 
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Presumably, the burned Tay book that Katran salvaged was the descriptive book. In that case, it took large amounts of power (or a weird crystal) to get it to work, and only after lots of modification to the text itself.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:27 pm 
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Twitch wrote:
In that case, it took large amounts of power (or a weird crystal) to get it to work, and only after lots of modification to the text itself.


That was because it was made using Gehn's flawed process, which required all books to be powered, not because of the book being burned. Catherine's modification to the text was to ensure a supply of certain resources in the Age, the focus crystal being among those.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:28 pm 
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So, question then, does that mean linking can be accomplished in other odd ways?

Also, cause I always wondered, are the Bahro stones made of the same material as what Gehn/Catherine used to power Books?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:35 pm 
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Another question raised by Riven books needing power is whether ‘normal’ D’ni Books need some kind of power. Perhaps, being made with the correct materials, they’re self-powered.

Bahro stones (and Bahro skin) would suggest that Linking media can indeed come in many forms, though for Descriptive media there’s likely far less choice.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:42 am 
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AdamJohnso wrote:
That was because it was made using Gehn's flawed process, which required all books to be powered, not because of the book being burned. Catherine's modification to the text was to ensure a supply of certain resources in the Age, the focus crystal being among those.


Her Riven journal states that she was modifying the burnt book BEFORE inventing/dreaming up the substance needed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:18 pm 
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And her journal also states that she used one of Gehn's domes to power the defective book for the first time ;). Perhaps you should reread it?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:11 pm 
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I did reread it. Catherine was making modifications to fix Gehn's garbage before she had an understanding of how Gehn rigged his books together to get them to work, implying that her end goal was to make a stable book that could be linked to normally. Since Catherine isn't holding the crystal at the end of Riven, it stands to reason that she was successful in her modifications and that they were able to write a normal linking book once she was rescued again. Therefore, the only reason the crystal was needed for the Tay descriptive book was that it was burnt; the text had already been fixed.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:07 pm 
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First of all, are you referring to the book Catherine and Atrus use to link away? That was a book to Myst - made by Atrus, so it should never have needed a crystal in the first place. You are also forgetting the two linking books to Riven in Tay, the one in the linking cave opposite the Hive, and the one Nelah presents you with, both of which are unburnt but have crystals.

Thus, you must conclude that the crystals are there to replace the fire marble domes.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:16 pm 
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Catherine arrives to the fissure and hands Atrus a book with no crystal, which MUST be Tay. He places it in his bag and pulls out the escape book, which is presumably a link to K'veer judging by the color of the panel.

You're probably right about the crystals/domes being used to overcome things like ink composition and paper composition, both which would only be exacerbated by burning. But the fact remains that the Tay descriptive book is defective, yet normal links to Tay work just fine without any of the books being powered/stabilized.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:12 am 
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Ainia wrote:
Within the historic recreation we experience (i.e., the Myst gameplay), we are able to restore the linking books's functionality by adding the missing pages back into the books. I believe RAWA classifies this specific form of fixing linking books as a simplification of the reality in order to create a playable historic recreation (game). (But I could be mistaken, I haven't re-read The Watson Letters in a while and you may find something a bit different upon reading them.)


Actually, I think RAWA has stated 'trap books' are no longer considered canon at all; the current Uru canon is that the Myst games are 'historical fiction' based on the writings of Atrus, Catherine, Gehn, and Yeesha, but aren't a direct retelling-- some things were fictionalized in order to make gameplay more exciting--- the 'real story' is that Sirrus and Achenar linked into Prison-Ages designed to be traps-- enticing images on the linking panel made the Ages look ripe for plunder, but they were uninhabited and didn't contain any linking books back out-- Sirrus and Achenar trapped themselves, and they wouldn't have the ability to speak to anyone in Myst.


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...it's far easier to simply Write a new linking book since it is a very simple affair and countless linking books can be created that will function perfectly well so long as the descriptive book remains intact.

With a descriptive book, if a damaged book cannot be repaired/stabilized, then access to the Age is lost forever...


Yes... And I've always believed when you put these two facts together, you come up with a clear inference that linking books won't function, and you just can't link into an Age that has no intact descriptive book--- whether said descriptive book was destroyed OR one was never written. ....sooo....

... long story short, the Art could NOT have originate in Garternay, because there would have to be a fuctioning Garternay descriptive book in order to allow linking into Garternay... and we know for a fact that the Ronay could not have written a descriptive book for their own Age-- that's nigh impossible considering the randomness of Age creation. Which means someone outside Gartnernay must have written a Garternay descriptive book, and brought the Art there.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:41 am 
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Twitch wrote:
Catherine arrives to the fissure and hands Atrus a book with no crystal, which MUST be Tay. He places it in his bag and pulls out the escape book, which is presumably a link to K'veer judging by the color of the panel.

No, actually - it's the trap book you used on Gehn that Catherine gives to Atrus. Remember that she took it from you?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:57 am 
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It has to be Tay. There's no other way they would have gotten Tay off of Riven. She probably left Gehn's trap book on Tay during the collapse; the Tay book is the only thing she absolutely needed to take with her when she left.

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