Myst Journals of the Ages Transcript v. 1.0

Assembled by Victar, http://members.aol.com/sglkht
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This is a SPOILER-FREE (no game hints or secrets!) transcript of
the text in the four Journals of the Ages in the library on the game
Myst. Though specifically compiled from the version of Myst for
the Sega Saturn, it should be applicable to all versions of Myst, as
far as I know. While this transcript summarizes the illustrations, it
does not duplicate them, and some of the pictures are very
important; so new players will want to flip through the library
books at least once to see the pictures for themselves..

The journals' handwriting is a printed (not cursive, thank goodness)
script distinguished by a noticeable rightward slant, sweeping
flourishes, and short crosses on letters. This is the handwriting of
someone who does not cut corners or grow sloppy when putting
letters on paper. 

This will very probably be the only version of this guide. I'm not
planning any further updates or corrections.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or
otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission.
Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public
display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

***************************************

CHANNELWOOD AGE JOURNAL [green cover with red dot
pattern]

[black ink] - - I have called this age Channelwood and it is a very
different world. Though it is exactly how I imagined it, it is still
amazing to see it with my own eyes. Water covers this age as far as
I can see except for a small rocky island. Elsewhere, there are only
trees, which grow directly out of the water. A myriad of thin
wooden passageways are built just above the water and disappear
into the forest. I assume they were built some time ago for they
appear aged. I am eager to discover more about this land and its
people, but I have arrived here late and I must rest.

- - I was awakened this morning by strange noises coming from a
pathway adjacent to the one on which I had slept. I saw a group of
monkey-like people heading in my direction. They had not seen me
yet. I did not feel threatened by their presence. Their response to
me was one that I would never have expected. After staring at me
for a short time, they fell to their knees and began what appeared to
be some sort of ceremonial worship. I tried too speak to them, but
they did not understand my language. Instead, they indicated
through enthusiastic hand motions that I was to follow them.

As we walked, I began to notice that the waters below us were
changing colors. Slowly, subtly, they would change from deep blue
to muddy orange. Then from muddy orange to beautifully clear. I
was so intrigued by the water I hardly noticed that we had arrived
at a ladder.

Climbing the ladder led us to their village which is about ten
meters above the water and can only be reached by rope ladders
that stretch from the lower paths to the village level approximately
half-way up the ground trees. It is very interesting watching these
people carry on their daily tasks. Even after watching them for
hours, I did not understand exactly what they were doing.

At sunset they motioned for me to follow them. I followed the
creatures to the doorway of an enormous hut. Strangely, once
inside, I found that the hut appeared even larger than it had from
the outside. The walls were garnished with bright metals and in the
center of the hut sat the leader of these people.

At least he appeared to be their leader for he sat a meter off the
floor in a thick throne. Guards surrounded the strong creature who
was dressed in many exotic, colorful fabrics..

Next to the leader sat a very old human, at least to some extent he
appears human. His hair, which was only on his face and head, was
completely gray, almost white, and hung very long around his frail
body. His thin head hung limply by an almost grotesque neck that
could not hold its head up to look at me. But what a surprise, this
creature could speak my language. Shortly thereafter I was given a
bed with some hand motions that looked to be telling me to go to
sleep. I look forward to learning more.

- - As I suspected, the ancient creature is a human. But hee is old
beyond his own reckoning, and seems almost insane. However, the
tree-dwellers almost revere him as a god. They are treating me now
in the same fashion, which makes me feel very uncomfortable.

It is almost impossible to understand this old man. His voice is
feeble but wild. He has adopted much of the language of the tree-
dwellers. He himself told me he had not spoken our own tongue in
ages.

He attempted to explain to me the history of this place. The
following is my best "translation" of what he has told me:

- - Many years ago the humans and the tree-dwellers lived together
in this place, which was then a vast island. They interacted very
little; the humans dwelt on the ground and the tree-dwellers lived
high above the humans.

Occasionally the island was disturbed by mysterious rumblings
which happened randomly (some sort of tectonic or volcanic
action, I suspect.) The sometimes slight, sometimes heavy tremors
would only last a short time. Then they would stop, allowing
everything to return to normal.

One day things changed. The rumbling began and grew quickly to
unprecedented levels. Soon it became apparent that the entire
island was sinking slowly into the ocean around them. Many of the
humans died that day, but not before sacrificing themselves in
order to stop the sinking of the island. The humans who lived
through this catastrophe moved into the trees where they gradually
died out, maybe because they were unequipped for such an
environment, but I am not sure.

This is the story the old man communicated to me, although many
details are very unclear in my mind. I am especially confused as to
how the humans saved the island from completely sinking. In fact I
doubt the accuracy of that part of the story; the island must have
stopped on its own. Yet, the old man believed in the truth of the
story as if he had been there. And the tree-dwellers worship him,
and apparently all humans, as if they were heroes or gods.

The old man ended our conversation today with an event which I
will never forget. He began gripping my  hands tightly, murmuring
something about "rest" and "asleep." He then said, "We had
expected you to come sooner." These actions filled me with a sort
of immediate dread. With much effort, he stood to his feet. I tried
to help but he pushed me away with more force than I imagined his
frail body contained. The tree-dwellers quietly surrounded him
with very solemn faces. They then kneeled before him. He walked
to each one and placed his hand on their heads. All the while, he
murmured words which I did not understand.

Finally, he turned to me and smiled. Then he closed his eyes, and
walked out the door and off of the narrow path high in the trees.
The tree-dwellers were silent. They began a procession down the
nearest rope ladder. As I was descending I saw several of them
pick up the body (he had fallen onto a lower level of walkway) and
carry it away. He was lain down at the dead-end of a short pier-like
structure. With the use of some potion one of the tree creatures lit
the pier on fire and I watched as the flames engulfed him.

As this strange "funeral" proceeded, the waters around the pier
changed to dull green.

- - This morning I awoke finding it hard to even believe the
previous evening's events. The water is a dull green for as far as I
can see now. For some reason, the water no longer shifts color.

As I wander throughout the pathways, the creatures watch me,
curious to see what I will do next. They are constantly offering me
strange objects of affection. I even found food outside the doorway
to the room in which I had slept. This is a unique race of beings. I
hope to learn their language soon so that I may learn more from
them.

[blue ink] - - I have lived on this world for three months off and
on, and the tree-dwellers have shown great hospitality. I am even
beginning to learn bits of their language. I have decided to return
home for an extended stay with my loving wife and my sons, and,
hopefully return with them.  However, I am sure Catherine will
once again refuse. I think this age would be a wonderful experience
for them all, and I at least look forward to how Sirrus and Achenar
will react to its curious inhabitants.

[green ink] - - Catherine is staying behind, as expected. My sons
have returned with me and they enjoy this age very much. They get
along very well with the tree-dwellers and are picking up their
language surprisingly fast. I have no doubt that it will not be too
long until they can speak with the tree-dwellers much better than
myself.

[blue ink] - - I am leaving tomorrow to check on Osmoian Age.
Sirrus has suggested that I allow him and his brother to stay.
Though the idea unsettles me, I know the boy [sic] are growing up
rapidly. The hospitality of these creatures is such that I could think
of no better place to leave them alone for a short while, so I will
consent to their request.

I warned the boys not to take advantage of the respect the tree-
dwellers have for their ideas. They seemed to understand my
warning, and I have faith they will follow it.

[black ink] - - Much to my dismay, upon arriving in Everdunes I
learned that Pran and her people are continuing to be menaced by
the Chochtic. I fear for their survival and plan on returning to her
shortly after checking on Sirrus and Achenar here. (See Everdunes
journal for more information.) After watching Sirrus and Achenar,
I see they are handling things very well, and I think I can put to rest
my fears about leaving them in Channelwood again, and for a little
longer time.

[lilac ink] - - The tree-dwellers seem slightly distressed that I am
leaving but are happy that Sirrus and Achenar are staying behind
again.

[red ink] - - I have been gone for over 3 days and have been to
many different places. I had to tell Sirrus and Achenar about Pran's
death today, and they were visibly shaken, although they only
remembered her from their childhood. Catherine has suggested that
it would be wise for Sirrus and Achenar to leave Channelwood for
a while, and I have to agree. They will be returning with me when I
leave again.

[blue ink] - - I have told my sons that they will be returning with
me in two days. They spent the entire night telling me of an
adventure they experienced in my absence and it was rather
remarkable. It seems they constructed a boat with the creatures and
traveled some ways out into the surrounding waters. I enjoy
hearing them talk excitedly of their adventures and am reminded of
my own adventures as a child.

- - I finally understand why the tree-dwellers have been giving me
their many inks and insisting I write with them. Looking through
some of my past entries I see now that the inks have changed from
the black I thought they were, to various different colors. I have
shown some of the creatures my journal and they laughed and
howled. I did not know they had such a sense of humor. Even now
as I look through this very "colorful" journal, I can not help but
laugh myself.

[light green ink] - - We will be returning tomorrow, so my sons are
with the creatures for the last night here. They have told me they
would like to come to Channelwood again, and also asked if they
can visit some other ages alone. Though I will have to think over
their request, I believe they have proven to me that they are
trustworthy and responsible. Catherine will also have to help me
decide whether they are ready for travel alone. For now I must give
my farewells to the creatures fo I do not know how long it will be
until I visit this age again.

[walkway diagram indicating a bridge]

[apparatus sketch]

[Channelwood hut sketch]

***************************************

STONESHIP AGE JOURNAL [blue-tan cover with leaf pattern]

- - Emmit was the first to live on The Rocks. He named them The
Rocks because that is what they were: a group of sharp rocks
clustered together in the middle of a large sea. This was where
Emmit lived; he enjoyed his life. Emmit would occasionally swim
to nearby rocks, as it was never too far of a distance.

One day another person appeared on The Rocks for no apparent
reason to Emmit. Emmit named this person, Branch. Emmit and
Branch quickly became friends, swimming and hunting for fish
together often. Emmit showed Branch the simple cave in which he
lived on the largest rock. Soon, Branch discovered a place where
he decided to live, also on the same large rock. The sun always
shone brightly in their world, and the water was always dazzlingly
clear, allowing them to see almost to the deep ocean floor which
surrounded them. Though the sun always shone, it was never too
hot for the boys. A light breeze always came from the north and
cooled the area down.

One day while Branch was swimming and having fun in the water
he noticed another boy swimming. Branch brought the new boy to
Emmit to find out what to call the new boy. Emmit said the boy
should be called Will. Will was soon a part of the group and all
three of the boys swam and enjoyed their perfect world.
~ 
At least, that is the story I was told when I arrived today on the
island. Emmit, Branch, and Will were surprised to see me at first
but even before the night ended we were all becoming good
friends.

- - Today the second day on this newly created age a strange thing
happened. It was not strange to me but the three boys did not
understand what was happening. While I was relaxing under a
large tree on one of the smaller rock islands, it began to rain. It was
a nice rain that lasted for about an hour in the morning. I explained
to the boys that the rain was not harmful, yet they obviously still
feared it. Before going to sleep tonight I told the boys I would
leave the following day. I told them that while I was gone, I would
make a surprising change in their world. They didn't understand
(not that I expected them to.)

- - I still do not fully understand what happened today. I was
experimenting with The Art - testing the limits of the rules as

[sketch of a boat]

dictated to me by Father. I attempted to create a boat by writing it
into the world. I thought everything was planned correctly, yet
somehow the boat had become gripped by the rock and broken in
half. Although this test did not turn out as I had hoped, I now have
answers to a few of the questions my father never answered.

As for the boat, I can see the boys enjoy it anyway and with that I
am pleased. They have played on it all day.

Even though the boat cannot move I have enjoyed studying form it.
It is a much sturdier platform than the jagged rocks. In the course
of my observations I have learned some very interesting things
regarding

[sketch of circular object]

the star system of this age.

- - The nights are absolutely beautiful here. I have made note of
and named a number of constellations that pass above me. Also
during the night, I catch glimmers of light from the horizon which I
have not been able to discover if it is created by some natural
phenomenon or by additional people on far off islands or rocks. I
should very much like to discover which. (I rather suspect it is
additional people, which would explain the appearance of Branch
and Will.)

- - The rain today was slightly heavier than usual. Just when the
boys were getting used to the light rains, a small storm arrived.
They were frightened of the heavier rain, not to mention the
thunder and lightning. If rain has never fallen here until recently, as
the boys tell me, I would like to discover why it is falling now.

Regardless, I have decided to return home for a short while. I have
also been thinking of some plans for a lighthouse that I hope to
construct soon. I think that perhaps by shining a bright light toward
the horizon, it might prove my suspicions regarding additional
inhabitants. They would be curious about the light and try to
discover its source - if they have the means.

[sketch of lighthouse top]

I returned with many tools that I will need for construction of the
lighthouse. I have decided that once the lighthouse is completed I
will leave for some time and let the world's own imagination have
control.

- - We have worked three weeks on the lighthouse now, and are
making great progress. Teh rock that we are building on seems to
not be as secure as I would like. I have had to alter my plans
slightly, but those alterations pose no real problem.

[sketch of hemisphere-like object]

- - The boys are quite strong and have been helping me immensely.
I estimate construction will be done within two days.

- - The lighthouse is finished and we are all proud of our creation.
The boys are amazed at the structure wrought from rock with their
own hands. That evening we powered up the generator - much to
the boys' dread at first, and shined a great light to the horizon for
many hours. I stayed the night in the top of the lighthouse and in
the morning awoke to observe the sunrise without my being coated
with the chilly blanket of ocean dew I had become accustomed to.

- - It was Will who first saw the girl. She was swimming not far
from the boat where Will was getting ready to hunt for fish. Then
Will noticed a man not far away from the girl. Emmit was very
pleased to meet the additional neighbors.

I feel pleased to leave this age - I have set in motion events that
have nothing to do with writing or The Art, that will have a more
profound impact on this world than I could ever have written. I
think of it [sic] this age as a gift to myself that  I will wrap up and
open someday in the future, only to discover that it has changed so
much that indeed it is a surprise. Besides I have yet another

[diagram of Stoneship Age island]

new age that awaits me. It seems I'm going to need some way to
travel underwater in this new age, and so much planning is in
order.

- - It has been 10 years since I left this age, which I have since
called The Stoneship Age. Upon returning I can not believe the
changes that have taken place. The original 3 "boys" have grown
into adults, and there are many new faces that I do not recognize.
Branch told me that it has not rained for seven years and the cool
breezes are back again.

They are all very content and have been serving me with new foods
and showing me new materials they have discovered. It even seems
they have found gold somewhere; I see it in many forms around the
island.

My lighthouse has been kept in perfect condition and it looks as if
they have tried their very best to keep it so. Yet I have noted that
the entire rock it was built on has sunk approximately 40 or 50
centimeters.

After a wonderful visit with my old friends, I wonder aloud with
them what things will be like here in another 10 years.

[Constellations: star-anchor diagram]

[star-eye diagram]

[star-snake diagram]

[star-beetle diagram]

[star-cross diagram]

[star-arrow diagram]

[star-bird diagram]

[star-leaf diagram]

***************************************

SELENIC AGE JOURNAL [blue cover with sun symbol]

- - It has been a while since I have heard only silence and I enjoy it
greatly, I think. For some reason, I do not feel altogether welcome
in this new world in which I have arrived. But how could I be
unwelcome in an age with no inhabitants? It is, of course, only in
my head.

This world is very beautiful. (But I think I have yet to ever write in
a journal that an age I h ave linked to is horrid or disgusting.) From
the grassy hill where I am standing, I can see green fields below
along with a few scattered forests. A rather large lake looms some
distance from where I am standing, yet the water's blue can be seen
plainly from here. The air is fresh and the sky is sparkled with
white clouds. It is absolutely breathtaking, and yet, that strange
feeling again.

Perhaps it is the hot breeze that continues to blow from the north.
Hotter than I would have imagined, it almost singes my skin, and I
feel quite uncomfortable when it comes. I will try to ignore it.
Night has almost arrived and the sunset is spectacular. Oranges and
reds have settled about the western horizon.

Thought night has come, the horizon still glows red long past the
sunset. Dark reds flow from the horizon and blend into the black
sky. Again the feeling, and I am beginning to believe it is not all in
my mind. I must sleep now, I will need my strength to explore
more tomorrow.

- - I have had to return home due to a [sic] unpredictable natural
occurrence more frightening than I have ever experienced. I was
awakened by terrible shakings in the ground and explosions on all
sides of me. Gigantic balls of fire were falling from the sky and I
immediately left in fear of my life. I must remember to bring a
Myst linking book with me when I return, in case the one left there
has been destroyed or damaged.

- - I have returned to a different world than the one I left only three
months ago. It has been transformed into a barren, desert land, with
only gigantic craters scattered across the land to provide variety.
Strangely enough, the small grassy hill where I spent my first night
remains exactly the way I found it. Apparently the falling meteors
did not hit this area, leaving an oasis in the midst of this horrible
desolation. The hot wind I remember has turned into a rather
pleasant breeze, which is at least one improvement. I fear it is the
only improvement. The magnificent lake I saw on my first visit is
now completely dried up. However, another lake now exists and
appears to be quite a bit larger. I assume one of the falling meteors
created this lake due to its circular shape and the jutting rock that
grows out of the center of the lake. The rest of this world seems
like desert, although I will verify that statement with closer
inspection.

Though this world has little visual excitement to offer, it offers
much to the ears. Sounds constantly flow through my ears and I
have found where a few of them originate. It seems (as Catherine
says) I do find beauty in everything.

- - Last night I was awakened by a horrible hissing. I was sweating,
and the heat was so intense that I immediately dipped my head in a
nearby stream to cool it down. The hot breezes had returned, along
with a low roar from the ground. I walked a shoot distance to
observe some red flames shooting up from the earth. Suddenly the
ground began to crack and a huge chasm opened. The chasm
continued to grow until it was far too wide to cross. Then the
tumult subsided leaving only a dull roar. I have decided, however, I
can use the chasm to my advantage. Perhaps the heat form the
chasm can be harnessed.

[sketch of chasm]

- - Even as the chasm has ripped into the surface of this world it
has opened up a whole new world to explore. Although
uncomfortably hot, I found it possible to reach a cape in the chasm
that had been created. And have now explored deep into the crust
of this planet. I have found a vast underground cave system that
will take many years to map and explore. I will also look for a safer
way to reach the underground than through the chasm wall.

This age seems to change on its own, so I feel I should leave again
and see if things are different when I return. It is also important
that I check on Sirrus and Achenar and make sure everything is
going along well. When I return, I also hope to bring back some
tools I will need for my plans to explore the underground.

- - The abundance of raw materials here is beginning to amaze me.
I have returned with some of the complex tools I knew I would be
needing. I assumed I would have to return for more basic materials,
however, it seems as though I will be able to find everything I need
here. Of course iron is abundant, but I have also found titanium
occurring naturally. I am all the more excited to begin work.
Everything is set and I look forward to tomorrow. My raw
materials are all here; I think I will be able to have most of my
additions to this age completed within one year. I so love working
with my hands - whether writing or building.

[fading ink] - - I began today on the bridge and

[blank page]

[faded/smeared ink] well and I have decided

[sketch of dish device]

[sketch of dish device and sound waves]

[fading ink] Three meters is not enough support for the beams
although

[faded/smeared ink] is amazingly strong

[sketch of rocketship]

[faded/smeared ink] to be one of my most prized inventions. I am
extremely

[faded/smeared ink] would never have imagined it to come
together

[faded/smeared ink] - - I doubt

[faded/smeared ink] could possible work with fourteen instead of
eight

[faded/smeared ink] completely fatigued. I am so happy to have
completed

[faded/smeared ink] tomorrow.

- - I am leaving today in order to bring back Sirrus and Achenar. I
have left them alone in Channelwood. I believe they will enjoy all
there is to see here. The age seems to have stabilized. I believe the
meteors set off a period of volcanic activity by piercing into the
shallow crust. But the tremors have become few.

- - I have just noticed that a large amount of this journal has
curiously vanished from the very pages on which I wrote has
curiously vanished from the very pages on which I wrote over the
last eighteen months. Fortunately, I have copied many of my
construction notes in another journal. I do not understand the many
mysteries of this world but I trust I will discover logical answers to
my questions. I have a feeling that many of my questions can be
answered in another age to which I hope to travel soon. But for
now I must simply accept this world's mysteries and take pride in
my accomplishments.

[keyboard diagram with five keys highlighted in gold]

[topographical sketch]

***************************************

 MECHANICAL AGE JOURNAL [brown cover with gear
symbol]

- - Before arriving in this age, I was determined that it would be a
journey to a world very different form my previous adventures, and
it was.

They sky here is dark and gray and incessantly displays flashes of
lightning in the distance. I met a very old man with a long beard
and hair that hangs to his waist. He is very feeble and has trouble
even moving. This man has obviously been through very many
things in this strange world, and I have learned many things from
him.

He has told me an interesting story of this world's history. Years
ago, he told me, there was a beautiful city that rose up out of the
water. It housed many people inside its walls and the people had
everything they wished for. The city was surrounded by three high
hills which rose higher than the city.

On the east hill of the city rested a large lookout post. The people
of the city had constructed the post expecting visitors to arrive
from the east. The people had no means of traveling on the water,
which forced them to merely wait for friend or foe.

As time passed, friendly visitors brought rumors of an enemy that
existed beyond the horizon. The people grew fearful, yet nothing
happened. One day the usually sunny sky became as dark as night,
and black ships appeared on the horizon. The lookout post's
attempts at peace were turned away, and the sentries there were
easily overwhelmed. The ships continued to wreak havoc on the
city, apparently destroying everyone and everything. After the
foundations of the city were destroyed, the city sunk deep into the
ocean and only the lookout post remained. The black ships sailed
away.

The man continued to say that eight people had hidden and
managed to survive through the attack. In the nine years since the
attack, two of the survivors had died. He also said that ten years
from the attack the enemy would return to finish the destruction
they had started so long ago.

I have decided, since hearing the man's story, it would be
admirable to save this civilization and stop this enemy's plan of
destruction. I am excited about the adventure that awaits me and an
idea has sparked in my mind to provide the needed defense for
these people.
~
- - I met the remaining survivors today and I have begun work on a
plan for protection.

[apparatus sketch]

- - After a short absence, I have returned to this age with my two
sons. They have, as of yet, traveled rarely with me and they are
understandably excited to be here. They have grown considerably
since Everdunes and it is already obvious to me that they will be a
great help this time, instead of the nuisance they have been in the
past. All three of us, along with four of the healthier survivors,
began construction today. We are building upon the old city's ruins,
which will provide a perfect foundation for our fortress.

- - My sons have been spending much of their spare time on the
south island, where most of my materials are stored. I am very
pleased with their intelligence and their creativity is refreshing to
see, as they work on some small projects of

[descending stairs sketch]

their own.

- - It has been over four months now and construction is going
well. My sons love the world except for its gray sky. They detest
the gray sky and tell me many times they wish the sky here were
like the sky in Myst.

- - The old man I first talked to tells me that the enemy is due in
four months. I feel we will be ready when the time comes. The man
reminds me of Emmit in many ways and I often wonder how
Emmit and his people are doing.

- - It has been six months of work, and we have finally finished the
fortress. It rests between the three hills which are now only islands
due to a rising water level that the people experienced after the
attack.

Inside the fortress I have designed a most intriguing device; it
makes use of a technology called holography I began
experimenting with on my visits to Aspermere. It will be working
in a couple of days after I compensate for some small
miscalculations. This holographic device will enable the survivors
to learn to use the fortress.

- - The enemy is due

[two-page sketch of area]

to come soon, and I trust the fortress will provide sufficient
protection for all of us.
~
- - The black ships have come. Their attack was substantial. Their
weapons have been stopped and it appears they have turned away
in defeat. I could not help but smile as I watched the boats leave.

[sketch of cross and crescent flag with caption "Insignia of Black
Ship"]

- - Last night we had a small celebration and the old survivors
danced their dances of old. My sons did not understand why the
sky had not turned back to its original blue. The old man told them
that the storms would never end until the enemy was destroyed. I
assured my sons that a blue sky was not worth the risk of death and
they seemed to hear me.

I have had a healthy adventure and have begun work on a new
book. Once again, I must leave a familiar age in search of a new
universe I have begun. But first I will have an extended time with
Catherine whom I miss very much. I must also return to the people
of the Tide. I believe in my travels I have found a substance that
will ease the pain of their bone ailments that they have long
endured. I hope to return to Mechanical Age one day and find the
population growing and my fortress still strong. Though the sky
may always be black, I am confident the people here feel a heavier
darkness has been lifted from their shoulders.
~
***************************************

End of Myst Journals of the Ages Transcript