Book Transcript by Blueberry Buttface

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 12/29/08 | Printable Version

Document #12
Riven: The Sequel to Myst
Books Transcription Version 1.0
By: Blueberry Buttface
Atrus' Journal
Catherine's Journal
Note in Catherine's Journal
Gehn's Journal
Gehn's Lab Journal
Atrus' Journal

     They held for more than thirty years, but the corrections I made to Riven 
have finally failed - the island has resumed the familiar pattern of decay that 
is the hallmark of my father's work. I must now race to implement this new 
patch before it's too late.
     I only hope that my revised theories are sound.

     Revisions to Riven completed. There are still a number of minor 
adjustments which need to be made, but the basic corrections have been entered 
and should be working.
     Something's not right; I've been monitoring the instruments for several 
hours now, but have thus far observed no change. It's possible that I've made 
an error, though I've checked my entry against my prenotation and can find no 
discrepancy. I've not had a rest in nearly three days, so it may be that I'm 
just not seeing it. If the fault is with my foundational assumptions, 

     Success! It appears that my repairs have been effective after all; the 
Gateway Image has become noticeably cleared and although it is impossible to 
know this with absolute certainty, the island seems to have quieted itself.
     Just a few more weeks of work and I should be free, at last, to go there 
myself and attempt to bring Catherine back. The past eight months have left me 
little time to think, to devise a strategy for getting her out of there. I've 
received no sign from her in all that time. I am afraid that No, I must assume 
that she is all right, lest my fears undermine my efforts to bring her back.

     I did not create the Age of Riven; unlike my father, I have never presumed 
to have such power, and yet, the future of all those who live there has fallen 
into my hands. So far, I've managed to read the page before it turns; the 
island continues to appear stable, and I would like to believe that I have 
saved a dying world, but the theories of one individual cannot support the 
lives of real people indefinitely. I must get everyone off of Riven as soon as 

     The problem now is Gehn. I'll never be able to rescue Catherine and 
relocate the islanders if he is still the man he once was.
     I haven't seen him in over thirty years, but his history forces me to 
assume that he is still a threat. His myopic mission to restore the D'ni 
civilization has left too many innocent cultures dying in its wake, and would 
continue to do so, were he to once again be free of the confines of Riven (or 
"The Fifth Age", as he coldly titled it).
     The universe has been safe from his corruptive influence for the last 33 
years, because no one has been able to leave that Age - the last Linking Book 
out of Riven having been lost in the Star Fissure upon my return to Myst.
     That was my intention: to maroon my father on Riven by removing all the 
existing Links to other worlds. And since the Art of constructing Books had 
long been lost with the fall of the D'ni, he would be trapped there for the 
remainder of his lifetime, and effectively segregated from the countless other 
worlds that he would have invaded.
     In effect, that is what we achieved - bu the way it fell, however, was no 
one's ideal; though the sting of the incident has gradually faded from my 
memory, the deep pain of the responsibility for what actually came to be has 
never left me. At the time it all seemed so clear - Gehn's destructive path 
could not be allowed to continue. But it was never my choice that the innocent 
inhabitants of Riven, who had already suffered so much, would be the ones to 
pay for it.

     Enough! To dwell in the past is to die in the present.
     The situation is not the same as it was then. The knowledge I've acquired 
in the years since that time has yet to be applied to this problem...

     I think I have the solution. Why it did not occur to me sooner, I do not 
know - unless the idea of it had been pushed out with the thought of my sons.

A Prison Book -
     Many years ago, during the hunting expedition through the ruins of D'ni, I 
chanced upon a formula for a most unusual type of Book. Unfortunately, due to 
the fact that my father was then in the habit of confiscating my discoveries, I 
was forced to leave it behind. Years later, however, as part of my efforts to 
protect the vulnerable worlds linked to the Books in my library, I was pleased 
to find that I could still recall most of the formula, and with little 
experimentation quickly succeeded in creating one of these devices myself.
     The procedure is actually quite simple: by altering key lines of text but 
slightly, a normal Linking Book's connection can be partially severed, such 
that anyone who attempts to use the Book will be permanently trapped in the 
dark void of the Link - that is, unless someone else then uses the Book, at 
which point that person would become trapped, and the first person displaced 
back into the world.
     The technique can be applied to Books that have already been written, 
changed to the original text being so slight that anyone who is unfamiliar with 
the code will be unable to detect them.
     If indeed my father has not changed, what better bait could there be, than 
a Book that appeared to be a Link back here to D'ni?

     Trouble -
     My nightly analysis of the island's condition has revealed that the 
tremors has begun again. The pattern, however, is new; the disturbances are the 
result of the changes I have made.
     This did not (at first) concern me, however; tremors of this type were one 
of the possible side effects that I had anticipated during this initial phase 
of the island's readjustment. Still, in order to verify my assumptions, I 
decided to calculate again, incorporating the new data. The results were not 
what I expected.
     The damage to the understructure is more extensive than I'd realized; I 
can no longer go to Riven as planned.
     Catherine forgive me.

     I must act while I still have the time.
     The signs are barely visible, but there's no question that the island's 
deterioration is accelerating. Total collapse is imminent, unless I can keep 
ahead, and that is becoming increasingly difficult to do.

     With every passing moment, I gain a clearer picture of the incredible 
chaos that my father's economy of words has yielded, but it is a dismaying 
process; the complexity of the problem is overwhelming.
     There is no end to this.
     The last few days have all but convinced me that the collapse of Riven is 
inevitable; and that, at best, I can only strive to delay it now, and hope that 
at some point the island will become stable enough to risk a rescue attempt.

     I think I've come up with a way to seduce the tremors!
     It will require my exclusive attention for at least a month or two, so it 
may be necessary to discontinue these journal entries for awhile.

     Something truly miraculous has happened - beyond all conceivable 
probability, someone has finally found my lost MYST Linking Book and freed me 
from this prison!
     I immediately realized that this could be the solution to my dilemma, and 
I believe my mysterious benefactor is willing to assist me. I'm still not sure 
it can work; the logistics of such a scheme are formidable, but the mere fact 
that it may now be possible for me to continue my repairs to Riven and yet 
proceed with my original intent to find Catherine has given me renewed hope.

     The last few days have left me little time to work out the remaining 
problems with sending someone else to Riven. It did occur to me, however, that 
if a way could be found to signal me once Gehn has been captured, it would no 
longer be necessary to take a real Linking Book to Riven, and risk the 
possibility of inadvertently releasing Gehn.
     The deteriorated state of the Gateway Image makes the use of a visual 
signal impossible, but the picture remains a reliable indicator of Riven's 
condition nonetheless; by measuring and interpreting variations in the noise 
patterns, I am still able to observe the basic changes that occur in the Age - 
even though I cannot see them. The problem is that my instruments can only 
detect changes that occur on a fundamental level, and it seems unlikely that an 
individual could effect such an elementary change from within an Age. The idea 
may be foolish.
     Still, there is a known weakness that may be worth investigating an 
anomaly that appears as a rift between two separate systems: the Star Fissure. 
But how - or even if - this fact could be exploited, I cannot say.
     Sending someone to Riven also means that once I received the signal that 
they were ready to return, I would have to leave my writing in order to take a 
real Linking Book there myself. However, provided my father was safely out of 
the way, this should take very little time.
     After that, assuming the island does not incur much damage in my absence, 
it should then be a relatively simple matter to hold it together long enough 
for Catherine to return to Riven and evacuate the remaining islanders.
     Predetermining a signal without knowing the topography of the island may 
prove to be impossible, but I'm afraid there can be only one answer to the 
question of whether or not I should send my friend to Riven with a way out; the 
potential for failure will be greatly diminished if the Prison Book is all that 
is taken there. I'm sure my father is expecting me to bring a Linking Book to 
Riven - may he not be disappointed.

Catherine's Journal

     I linked to Riven a week ago. The smell of the place reawakened me moments 
before I could see something.
     With my sight only partially cleared, I stood motionless, peering ahead 
through a dim veil which was slowly lifting. There was a violent clang and bars 
appeared. I remember breathing slowly and very deeply, tasting the familiar 
Riven air, but not recognizing a thing.
     I must have been hit with the dart right away. I thought it was an insect 
bite at first.
     I'm trying to remember it all, but it's difficult, maybe because of the 
drug. There was a voice. A man I did not recognize stood before me - Rivenese, 
though he was wearing D'ni dress. He seemed to be talking to me, but the poison 
was already taking effect; a shadow crept in and I fell asleep.
     Then there were the many voices, but I understood none of them - like 
hundreds of people whispering. I couldn't wake up.
     No matter... the dream did end.
     And now, to be here with Eti. It's been so many years; I didn't realize 
how much I missed her like a piece of me that I had forgotten I'd lost. She's 
beautiful, and so full of warmth. But the years have also left her with a wound 
which was not there when we were children.
     I do wish she were more interested, it seems like I'm asking all the 
questions. It's awkward, no one asks me where I've been, or what I've been 
doing. This hurts, but I understand it, their beliefs are born out of ignorance 
and oppression. They are a gentle people, but they've had their nest destroyed 
and now they frantically cling to anything that might save them.
     But why have they chosen to cling to me?
     I'm confused. As a child I always felt out of peace here - I never 
belonged. They misunderstood me, and I couldn't relate to them. But now, I'm 
overwhelmed by an intense feeling that I owe everything to them and this place. 
I thought I would never see them again, and yet, I'm here. I've been given this 
second chance. But a second chance at what? Saving them? Fulfilling their 
prophecies? Being their savior?
     The Moiety - Atrus would want me to chronicle all that I've learned. I can 
at least record some of it.

     It seems that when Atrus and I trapped Gehn on Riven many years ago, our 
efforts were witnessed by most of the inhabitants here. Two of the Rivenese 
even witnessed the confrontation with Gehn at the fissure, where I linked back 
to Myst, and where Atrus threw himself into the abyss. Of course, they 
understood little of what they were seeing, but they somehow were able to guess 
that we had won... that Gehn was no god at all, but only a feeble impostor - a 
false god - and that we had trapped him here on Riven.
     I always hoped they would deduce this simple truth. But their further 
conclusions have astonished me.
     - Atrus stripped Gehn of his power, therefore Atrus must be a true god.
     - As a god, he was choosing me, the spiritual misfit from a Rivenese womb, 
to be his wife.
     - I was transcending into deity and would lord over Riven forever.
     Thus, the Moiety, as they call themselves, were born a dissident society - 
sworn enemies of Gehn.

     I did not know of their beliefs regarding Atrus and myself until two days 
ago. Eti was, for some reason, hesitant to tell me. I can't figure out why; I 
know she doesn't believe these things.
     Of course, everyone else assumed that I would be aware of my own god 
status, so they made no effort to inform me. I only realized it at a recent 
gathering to which I was invited. I sat at the front of a dimly lit and crowded 
cave, as they told a mythical story of my own life, acting out the battle 
between Atrus, myself, and Gehn at the edge of the fissure. The events had been
exaggerated into grandiose proportions. It was offensive, but I was unable to 
stop it; I was unable to break the illusion which is the very foundation of 
their hope and purpose, and which has given them courage to band together and 
rebel against Gehn.
     Since then, I've learned of other doctrines and beliefs that have evolved, 
the most disturbing of which is the conviction that once day I would return to 
Riven to free them. Some believe that i will overthrow Gehn. Others believe 
that I will bring them to paradise.

     I don't know how to deal with this. I fight ("it" is stricken) myself. I 
love these people - my only real kindred - but they will not love me as an 
equal, which hurts me. I would rather be their slave than their master.
     Over the years, as Gehn's power has become greater and greater, the 
Moiety's numbers have grown, and they have become more and more adept at hiding 
themselves. They now live in a complex network of caves that he still has not 
     The Moiety, for the most part, have completely severed their relationships 
with any of the Rivenese that chose against joining them. But I hope they've 
not sacrificed vital links in order to remove the cancer. Even Father and 
Ennant are still on the surface in Gehn's domains, and I long to see them, but 
a dimness shrouds Eti's face every time I've mentioned them.

     Since this break took place they have interfered with the surface in 
superficial ways, occasionally sabotaging one of Gehn's constructions, or 
stealing food from the villagers. They wear strange masks and costumes during 
their short forays to the island's surface, and take their regalia very 
seriously, refusing to be seen by anyone outside the Moiety unless they are 
properly attired. They get much pleasure out of this fact that those on the 
surface are frightened by these costumes, calling them evil spirits, or ghosts.

     It was during one of thse expeditions that they fortuitously rescued me 
from one of Gehn's guards when I first appeared on the island. Otherwise, I'm 
sure I would have been delivered to Gehn immediately.

     I've no doubt that he's now searching for me.
     Of course, I am now aware that I was fooled, Atrus is not here. I was, at 
first, devastated by this realisation. Now I am thankful; he would be in 
extreme peril here. Also, there is a quiet, inner voice - an echoing remnant - 
that wants him far away.

     I have just witnessed an Age dying, gasping its last breath.

     Today, I ventured to the surface to see what has become of the island. I 
hoped it would not be as bad as the Moiety had reported. It was worse. They 
have become slowly accustomed to its steady decay, but I was devastated.

     The lips from which the kiss is wrought, 
     his fallen words, will fall cold breath.
     The womb from which the cry released, 
     has suffered hurt; will suffer death.

     To get to the surface, we had to travel through a complex series of doors 
and passages. Before the last of these doors, they offered me a weapon, which I 
accepted, and then a mask.
     I held the mask in my hands for a while, wondering what sort of terror it 
might invoke in the members of my family who still live on the surface. But I 
also knew I must keep my identity hidden from Gehn's ever-vigilant eye, so I 
accepted it as well. Then, together, we swam a short expanse and emerged out of 
the surface of the ocean under a rocky overhang. The harsh sunlight made my 
eyes sting, but the frsh, rich air was exhilerating after these past weeks in 
the dank cave.
     The two men with me were silent, communicating only with hand signals. The 
three of us emerged from our hiding place and made our way to the top of the 
plateau. At the edge of a thick and overgrown area of the forest, they stopped, 
peered through the foliage for a moment, and then turned to me, as if waiting 
my command.
     But could not respond. In fact, I found it difficult to move. I was 
smelling, hearing, and breathing my youth. Thus swept over me in a matter of 
seconds. But in seconds more, all feeling was gone. There was numbness.
     We did not stay long on the surface, but it was long enough to see the 
worst. Riven, which was once one island, has split apart into five distinct 
pieces, about a half a mile apart. Four of these have been claimed by Gehn as 
his exclusive domain. Only his ministers and personal militia are ever allowed 
access to them. From my vantage point at the edge of the forest, I could see 
three of these islands. They are stripped of their former beauty and are 
riddled with Gehn's self-absorbed constructions. The Moiety rarely visit these 
closely-guarded places.
     There is another island which I could not see, as it had evidently crept 
away to a terrific distance. The Moiety are very unclear as to what exists on 
this island excpet for the fact that they know it is where the Great Tree used 
to exist.
     The Forest is located on the island that the surface dwellers and the 
Moiety still refer to as Riven, but they also still refer to the entire world 
as Riven. This island is where the village is (which has changed dramatically). 
It is also the one remaining presence of the people, though Gehn's influence 
can be seen everywhere.

     Of course, I know the reason for the fracturing of the islands... the 
Moiety do no. Gehn wrote this place, and it will die, as all of Gehn's Ages 
eventually die.

     I feel nothing today.
     I am nothing.
     I live in a cave on a dying world inhabited by people that

     They are treating me so strangely. They don't know how to relate to a god. 
I'm still an outcast here. They whisper amongst themselves, talking of my 
bravery during my excursion to the surface - how I walked across the island, 
bold and unafraid.
     They don't know me.
     Even Eti is uncomfortable around me. At times there is no awkwardness, and 
I am only Katran to her. But at other times I am something esle -
     I am afraid - there's such a giant numbness inside me. Today, I do not 
feel closeness with my people. Neither am I offended by their worship of me. I 
do not hate Gehn. I don't feel anything.
     ("I'm not even sure of" is stricken)
     At least Nelah is still close.

     I am boiling, I am

     gehn is making and writing Books!
     I wish they had told me sooner.
     Atrus should have realised this would happen, of course, Gehn would have 
written all of the materials necessary to the D'ni craft of making books into 
this Age, and probably every other Age he every wrote.
     He is attempting to write his way out of here. We did not imprison him, we 
only delayed him. This Age has become his factory, and the people are his 
machines - all laboring in his mad pursuit to become a god. To carry on his 
noble, D'ni cause!
     So far, he has not been able to produce a fully functional book.
     Atrus has never believed in destiny, but I don't know what else to call 
it. It's too perfect. It's too much of a coincidence. They hang on my every 
word, though they do not understand them. I am their hope. And now I have 
     I owe this to them. There is no choice.

     It's been a long time since my last entry.
     It is hard to recognize, but I have found the Star Fissure. It is located 
on the island which the Rivenese call "Allapo," meaning "water pool," but which 
is referred to by the Moiety as "Allatwan," meaning "pool of stars."
     Having once allowed Atrus to escape this Age without leaving an open door 
behind us, it has since been sealed with a skim of heavy iron. A crude 
telescope has been mounted over a locked viewpoint, the combination to which 
was acquired by the Moiety before my arrival.

     In the early days, the Moiety, seeking an escape from Riven, briefly 
pursued the idea of reopening the fissue. They discovered a small mechanical 
stop to prevent the people from hitting the portal window. Ultimately, however, 
they decided against opening it.

     I hate to think what would have happened to them if they had not left it 
alone. I've instructed them to stay away from it. I'm almost certain that, with 
the decayed state of the islands, opening the fissure now would be disastrous.

     I have heard that in the days immediately following Gehn's confinement on 
Riven, he attempted to determine the feasibility of navigating the stars 
beneath the Fissur - for he had seen the Myst Book fall from Atrus' hands into 
that very same space. To this end, he would have people - alleged 
transgressions of the law - thrown into it so that he could observe their fate. 
The telescope which still stands there is one he had built for the callous 

     It is said that they did not die, but what became of them remains a 
mystery; it appears that the limits of Gehn's optics prevented him from 
learning their fate.

     The star field beneath the Fissure is not as it seems; it is a gentle 
space, as hospitable to life as a flowing river. This is how Atrus explained 
it, after he had fallen into it. But much more than that we've never 
understood, and we were never able to conclude upon its origins, but the 
visions tell me that it was born out of the will of the Maker, perhaps for some 
greater purpose that we cannot yet understand.

     I still remember Atrus words from his journal:
     "I realized the moment I fell into the fissue that the book would not be 
destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse..."

     There must be some greater reason behind it.

     I neglected to mention it earlier...
     The unique shape of one of the great daggers which appeared during our 
escape from Riven - the very dagger that stands vertically at one end of the 
Allatwan - has been adopted by the Moiety as the symbol of their cause. It is a 
sacred symbol for them. It is the representation of all of their doctrine, and 
their representation of me. To deface this symbol is sacrilege.
     They have their own mythical explanation regarding its sudden origins; I 
haven't told that I wrote it into this Age, along with all the other daggers.

     It's strange how such a young religion can be so unbending, even to their 
own god. I have tried to dissuade them of the notion that symbols contain so 
much power. The enemy uses this paranoia against them; they are fearful of 
Gehn's symbol, and are terrorised by his symbolic use of the whark.
     But they don't want to hear this from me. Perhaps my attempts have even 
caused some of the younger members of the Moiety to doubt that I am Catherine.

     My rare encounters with those who say they follow Gehn have been 
     I have hoped to have some communication with the surface villagers, but 
they always flee from me.
     But I have heard news of some of the villagers' beliefs regarding Gehn...
     Soon after we trapped gehn on Riven, he claimed that he was responsible 
for the daggers, placing them around the island as a reminder of their failure. 
In the village circles it is told that this was a punitive act performed by 
Gehn to mark the beginning of a period of restitution, at the end of which, if 
they have proven their devotion to him, they will be delivered unto a new and 
better existence.
     I will continue to try to reach them

     The door is open and Gehn is free.

     Gehn has the ability to create working Books. In fact, he had written on 
Age before I arrived, but has kept this accomplishment so well hidden that only 
his closest ministers were aware, until now.
     I'm not sure, perhaps he has written others.
     Other news: a few years ago, before the Moiety were forced into hiding, 
one of them managed to steal what appeared to be a test book that Gehn had 
intended to destroy, it had been partially written, but did not work.

     They didn't tell me about it until now because they thought it was 

     Back then, none of Gehn's Books worked. But instead of correcting the 
problem at its scourse, he blamed it on the "impure" wood of the Riven forest 
and proceeded to engineer a cumbersome mechanical remedy - a complex series of 
domes - to heal his Books' inherent flaws. One of the consequences of this 
crude solution, however, was that the domes demanded huge amounts of energy, 
and the related problems delayed his success for quite some time.
     At last, however, he finished his work and was finally able to link to an 
Age. But he kept his success extremely well hidden.
     However, for some reason or another (belligerent pride?) he has made 
modifications to the domes which make it obvious that he's using the domes to 
breathe life into his half-dead books

     Perhaps he means to lure us into using the Books in the domes. He can't 
believe that we would blindly swallow this suicidal bait?
     But he wouldn't know that we have one of his Books - the stolen, burns 
Book. ("There is a possibility of" is stricken)

     Have read burnt Book. Age it describes would be unsuitable as new home for 
the Moiety; must be modified.
     I will dream.
     Have requested a group to solve combination that will open the domes. Once 
open, we can power the burn book. I do not think Gehn will interfere - he will 
leave the bait.

     Have began writing the Moiety's Age. Now must acquire second Book from 
     There is tension - a strain blurs my vision - and nightmares.
     Nelah and Eti stay close.

     Much has happened. Almost everything is prepared.
     We have stolen another Book. But I'm concerned; Gehn will miss it.
     We have alsot discovered the combinations for entering the domes, but we 
have not discovered the method for powering them.

     By powering our burn Book with Gehn's domes, we will be able to link to 
this Age. But we will only have access to the domes for a short time, before we 
are discovered. Therefore, we can only use the domes once; I must find another 
way to make the books work.
     The gateway images in Gehn's Books and our burnt book all seem to share 
the same sickness: if they are not powered, the images are black. It might be 
possible to clear the vision with only -

     Will write substance into the Moiety Age.

     All is ready. Now all we can do is wait for word from the Moietior-Esk, 
who are on the lookout for Gehn to power and use the domes. When he does that, 
we will have access to one of Gehn's domes just long enough.
     After linking to the Age which I've written, I only have to locate the 
book-window substance and refine or adapt it. Laying this window over the 
gateway image should heal the books and make them work. This will allow me to 
use the second stolen Book, and return to Riven with more of the book-windows. 
We will then no longer have to rely on Gehn's clumsy domes.

     I laugh at these plans - I sound like Atrus.

     I'm risking my life, but I feel no fear - only anxiety. Perhaps it is the 
source of my nightmares: the fissure, like a great wound, is opened; it stains 
the Riven soil with blood. I hold the Moiety knife. The voices grow so loud.

     For their part, the Moiety have complete faith that I will accomplish my 
task and lead them to a better world; it is the fulfillment of their prophecy. 
But they are also fearful and tense.

     I don't know what they will think or do if I fail.

     It is done! It seems too good to be true. I feel like it's all still a 

     We have already evacuated all of the Moiety to this new Age.
     It is beautiful and I am pleased. At last, my people will live in safety 
and comfort. They stand under the bare sky, unafraid, and dazzled by their 
freedom. They are happy.
     They have named it "Tay".

     There's still much to be done. We are not protected yet. The only way to 
completely safeguard the place is to destroy the Book which links to here from 
Riven. But I do not even know how to bring this up to the Moiety; they will be 
extremely reluctant about destroying their only link to Riven.

     I share this hesitation; I would be cutting off my only connection. But 
for their sake, it must be done.
     I am anxious to know if our activities have aroused Gehn's suspicions; if 
so, we must act quickly.

     Even so, I feel that now we are impregnable.
     Tomorrow, I will return to Riven to see Gehn's reaction for myself.

     But tonight, I finally rest.

Note in Catherine's Journal

I write quickly from my prison...
Nelah will return your book which the Moiety intercepted upon your arrival. 
After questioning her, I've concluded that it was written by Atrus for a very 
specific purpose.
Gehn will desire to use it... although he may have suspicions.
If you can find my prison, you will still need the combination to relase me; 
Gehn keeps it in his office. Then, I assume, we're to signal Atrus... I think I 
how it might be done. But don't signal him before I'm released


Gehn's Journal

     I start this latest journal with astounding news - Catherine has returned 
to the Fifth Age! And though it sets my teeth on edge to say it, she has also 
vanished as quickly as she appeared, stolen from me by the rebels. As my guard 
tells it, she linked to the Fissure plateau cage - as I'd guessed - when 
suddenly he was set upon by a band of rebels who darted him and spirited her 
away. I suspect the truth of the matter was that he was so dumbfounded at 
actually witnessing someone link in after all this time that he presented an 
easy target for whichever rebel had happened by at that moment - the damnable 
luck of it! he did get a good enough look at her, though, to verify that it was 
indeed Catherine. he also claims that he inspected all of her person, a fact 
which - if true - makes the question of why she's returned here all the more 
     While I am sick with frustration at having lost the only quarry that cage 
has ever caught, I am also filled with hope - she may yet provide me with a way 
back to D'ni. It is true that I have managed, despite overwhelming odds, to 
break free of the confines of the Fifth Age and resume my mission to save the 
culture from extinction; but I fear that unless I am able to regain access to 
the vast resources that lie in the city's ruins, the task of reconstructing 
that great civilization will be impossible. If Catherine did bring a Linking 
Book with her, then I am halfway there - if not, then she is trapped in the 
Fifth Age and I can assume that my emotionally crippled son will soon be along 
to rescue her. Either way, it is crucial to my plans that I find her soon. her 
presence here now forces me to take the rebels more seriously - I should never 
have permitted them to survive this long.

     Once again the "Great Whark" has demonstrated its usefulness to me. This 
past week the villagers have been most difficult to manage - apparently they 
have learned of Catherine's arrival - and their fear of this mythic beast has 
been all that has kept them in line. Had I known how truly useful these 
prodigious creatures would prove to be, I would have perhaps captured more of 
them while the local population was still plentiful; although, to be sure - if 
these disturbances continue, my current pets will be in no danger of perishing 
for lack of nourishmnent.

     The search for Catherine continues -
I now deeply regret my mistake of having ever taught these primitive people 
anything at all about the Books. It seems that with each passing day I more 
sorely realize the extent to which they were not ready for that knowledge - not 
even in the simplified manner in which I had presented it to them. Their minds, 
adapted only to the exceptionally menial tasks of village life, were incapable 
of comprehending the Art in all its complexity, and thus were unable to extract 
the essential underlying principles that are - ironically - so elegantly 
simple. It is obvious that much of the discord that exists between us stems 
from their failure to grasp the full meaning of the information I gave them. If 
they'd been able to gain even the smallest glimpse of the future I'd planned 
for them, then this conflict would not exist.
     The minds of children are much more malleable. With the proper 
instruction, they have developed a more appropriate posture towards the culture 
that gave them thier lives. At times they take to it almost as if they had a 
bit of D'ni blood in them. Given the natives' inborn limitations, however, I am 
quite careful that none gain level of understanding that would permit them to 
sin against their future the way that Catherine did. How foolish I was, to 
think that she could contain such knowledge responsibly, when it was quite 
clear that my own son could not.
     Atrus - still he remains one of the greatest disappointments of my life. I 
should never have left him with my mother - by the time I'd returned for him, 
he had already been poisoned as to all thoughts of the D'ni. Perhaps it was the 
only way that she could rationalize the fact that she had been responsible for 
the collapse of their civilization. So much destruction, so many lives lost - 
the guilt must have been unbearable. I do have vague recollections of the love 
she had for my father, and for our world... but ultimately, she was an outsider 
who's ignorance of the D'ni became the catalyst for their demise. If I am able 
to rebuild our culture and in the process correct such crucial weaknesses, then 
perhaps what she did was ultimately necessary, in order that a new era of 
prosperity might someday come to pass.

     These last few weeks I have found myself frequently beset by images from 
the past. As I stood in the schoolroom today, I was reminded of my own 
childhood: the years I spent in the Book-Maker's Guild, father's immense pride 
at each of my small accomplishments there. He was an important man in the D'ni 
world - but I can't bear to think of him for long; it's too much, I was too 
young to see such a thing.

     I've got her! Late last night I received word that Catherine was in the 
village attempting to persuade the people to join her. I lost two good men in 
the process, but I would have paid a hundred times that number for such a 
prize. She's been taken to the Prison island, where I've been attempting to 
gain some insight as to the reason for her presence here. I've had to fight the 
all but constant impulse to put her on the gallows; she has adopted the most 
infuriating stance of only answering my questions - when she answers them at 
all - in her native tongue. Even so, she is a poor liar - I am now quite 
certain that her return to Riven was unintentional, and that she brought no 
Linking Book with her. As far as her unwillingness to share with me the 
location of the Moiety... we shall see - without their leader, however, they 
are once again powerless against me.
     If Catherine's coming here was indeed an accident, then Atrus is bound to 
come for her - that is a given. The question I must now consider is - how will 
he do it? It is likely that his hesitation has been due - at least in part - to 
this dilemma. One way or another, though, he'll have to bring a Linking Book to 
get back to D'ni - there is no other way.

     It's late and I cannot sleep. I've lost so much in my life. My people, my 
father, my son, and you my wife - Keta, you were the only true kindness I have 
ever known. Watching you flicker there in the Imager... I sometimes wonder if 
you were real. If I could restore your life with my pen, I would do so in an 
instant, and leave the rest of the world to their own wretched fate.

     Damn these savages! I would be well advised to leave them all in the Fifth 
Age and begin again with a clean sheet of paper!
     A stranger has arrived on Riven - with a Linking Book to D'ni! And once 
again my useless minion was overtaken by the rebels. From what little I could 
decipher from his muddled explanation, it apparently occurred sometime in the 
morning. The cage has been damaged, but it is no matter - everything I need is 
here now. Atrus is certainly behind this, yet how could he be so foolish as to 
send someone here with a Linking Book? Such blatancy is unlike him. Could it be 
that he has had a change of heart? After all these years, is he finally letting 
his poor old father go? No, he's only after one thing - perhaps he should find 
     For now, I need only to wait and observe.

Gehn's Lab Journal

     The latest Ink formulation has proven a failure. Even when writing in my 
most promising Books I obtain only the barest glimmer of a connection. It is 
frustrating to expend so much effort creating a blank Book, only to end up 
destroying it when it doesn't work! There are days when the lab is 
uncomfortably warm from the flames of these failed attempts. The further I 
refine each element - the formulation of the inks and papers, the physical 
dimensions of the Books - the more I realize that the list of potential 
combinations is nearly infinite. It is during moments like these that I 
despair: without access to D'ni, my long term goals may never be accomplished. 
Nevertheless, there are avenues of research which remain to be explored.

     I am discontinuing regular observations of the stars beneath the Fissure. 
Although I've been able to track the dark cloud-like formations that migrate 
through the starfield and have proven that their paths are cyclical, without 
proper instrumentation it is pointless to continue. My general theory 
concerning the nature of the Fissue has remained unaltered since it first 
appeared. It seems that the fabric of this Age has been breached in a way that 
permits matter to be hospitably exchanged between two discreet but overlapping 
spaces - much like a Link, but the apparent physical contradictions surrounding 
this juncture defy logical reason: the great column of wind that was formed 
when the Fissure first appeared suggests a vacuum as one might expect in space, 
yet early experimentations revealed the presence of a breathable atmosphere. 
That Atrus and Catherine threw themselves into the void is further evidence 
that it might be safe to travel, but without knowing its true nature I cannot 
take the risk myself. It is also difficult to say what would happen if I were 
to reopen it after so long - but it is likely that the results would be 
catastrophic, given the changes that have occurred in this Age since that time.

Maintenance on the steam vent caps completed
- 83.2.10
     I am extremely pleased with the continual success of this system: I 
believe the construction to have been true to the D'ni designs of my memory - 
another example of the superiority of the D'ni technology. It's ironic that 
Atrus and Catherine unwittingly provided me with such a convenient source of 
     As with many of my views over the years, my thoughts regarding the origin 
of the Fissure have changed - I have recently begun to wonder whether it was 
actually an unexpected by-product of the changes Catherine and Atrus wrote into 
this Age during their escape. Certainly by casting their Linking Book into the 
void they trapped me here quite effectively, but I do not believe that Atrus 
intended the Book to be lost in this manner: much better to destroy it than to 
risk the possibility of its falling into unknown hands. Also, had they foreseen 
the creation of the Fissure, they would surely have thought that the vacuum it 
created would eventually consume the atmosphere of this planet, a fate which 
Catherine undoubtedly would have deemed unacceptable for her home world. If I 
had not been there to supervise the construction of the seal this is most 
certainly what would have happened, for the villagers were far too frightened 
to even approach the vortex without my urging. I hold onto the belief that it 
was an unintended consequence of their writing for another reason as well: I 
prefer to think that my son had meant for this Age to be merely a prison for 
me, rather than a deah sentence.

     The construction of the imagers has proceeded without fault. It is 
interesting to see how easily I;ve been able to adapt the D'ni technology to 
mimic that of the Amad; in some ways the similarities between the two cultures 
was striking. I wonder if perhaps there had been communication or commerce 
between the two cultures in earlier times; maybe Keta's people were even 
descendants of the D'ni. It pleases me to think so.
     Note: it's possible that if I were somehow able to supply the books with a 
power source of sufficient magnitude, I could suppress the variance enough to 
facilitate a solid link. It is doubtful that the geothermal cap generators 
could provide such an enormous surge - perhaps I could adapt the fire-marbles -
     I have been cataloging the "natural" elements of this Age for nearly 
thirty years now, yet still I continue to find evidence of the D'ni's 
preoccupation with Five. As a boy, it was very clear to me that the number five 
had a special significance to the D'ni society - from the ancient heraldic 
emblems of the ruling elite to the humble homes of the commoners, it was 
ubiqiuitous. It's presence here is obviously a direct reflection of the minds 
that designed the texts that I used to compose this Age - further proof taht 
through their Art the D'ni masters were indeed creating the marvelous worlds 
they wrote, and not, as many have mistakenly thought, merely building links to 
preexisting worlds.
     While most of my constructions have been based on D'ni designs, I see now 
that the ones that I have imbued with the power of Five are clearly the most 
beautiful, the most perfect. And, I believe, the most structurally sound.
     I am still attempting to determine how the D'ni color symbology reflects 
this superior design principle. Although superficially it is based on a six 
color system, I am convinced that there has to be a deeper connection to Five. 
I will continue to investigate.

     I've finally made a breakthrough. I have succeeded in modifying the Fire-
marbles to generate enough power to hold a Descriptive Linking Book in a stable 
matrix: I have linked to a new world! It is a harsh and desolate Age - but is 
nonetheless well suited for my purposes, and so I have designated it my 
'233rd'. By studying it closely I believe I will eventually be able to create a 
more appropriate Age for us to resettle on. For now, I will build an office and 
set up my living quarters there, in order that I may conduct my experiements in 
safety and without distraction.
     I must admit that I am proud of my work - to think, that in such primitive 
conditions I have accomplished in 29 years what it took the original D'ni 
centuries to achieve.

     (Note: repair outer wear for work on this world; the goggles may need to 
be redesigned altogether.)

     I have begun construction on a series of Link sites for each island that 
will connect Riven with my new office on 233. The Survey Guild has finally 
complete the site location for each island - according to my exact 
specifications - and installation of the domes is underway at last.
     Work on the central power source got off to a bit of a bad start I'm 
afraid - but the pace has picked up considerably since then and I anticipate no 
further delays. I'm looking forward to finally having a civilized mode of 
     Due to the rebels' continued disturbances, I've decided to install a coded 
access system into all of the domes - (randomly generated code)

     I caught one of my assistants looking over this journal today; I'm glad 
I've chosen to write it in a language they can not decipher.
     Note: discuss security with each Guild Master - no problems expected from 
the Maintainers, Educators, and Surveyors; question the Bookmakers and Builders 
more closely -

     Today I heard several more reports of 'spirit' sightings by some of the 
villagers. It seems that under Catherine's leadership, the rebels (or 'the 
Black Moiety' as the villagers obstinately insist on referring to them) have 
attained a new level of sophistication in their terror tactics, and have 
renewed their campaign to intimidate the villagers into joining them, playing 
upon their shared superstitions. The villagers are certainly susceptible to 
this form of coercion - especially given of late the rebels' increating acts of 
vandalism and theft.

     The ytram traps have been steadily fruitful this year: apparently the 
breakup of the islands has not adversely affected the subterranean ecosystems. 
Unfortunately, I imagine the rebels are experiencing a similarly generous 
harvest - no shortage of poison for their darts this season. Such morbid issues 
aside, the sudden availability has allowed me to refine a particularly pleasant 
extract for my pipe, one that is smoother than any of the others from recent 

     Chemical analysis of one of the rebel knives has yielded curious results: 
its composition contains elements that are unlike anything I've encountered on 
the islands. It appears they have access to a resource of which I am unaware: 
perhaps a mine, or an uncharted island.
     Note: most of the knives have been found on the south side of the village. 
This is the same area in which there have been reports of people 'mysteriously 
disappearing.' I think a closer inspection of the area is warranted.
     The fact that they leave these distinctive knives as a sign of their 
presence concerns me: they're growing more bold, and seem to no longer fear the 
discovery of their hideout.

     The latest measurements indicate that the recent trend has continued: the 
movement of the islands has slowed tremendously. My previous estimated 
predicted a total collapse in approximately three months, but with the new 
figures I am uncertain. I have nearly finished writing the '234th' Age, and I 
have every faith that it will indeed be a safe place for us to relocate to; yet 
it would be helpful to know what has caused the halt in this Age's breakup. Is 
it possible that it's stable after all? If so, I must discover how this Age 
differs from my less successful attempts - my examinations of the '233rd' Age 
have thus far proven inconclusive.
     Or perhaps someone is repairing the damage to the Fifth Age? If so, it 
would almost certainly be Atrus' doing.
     I have reluctantly decided to abandon my experiments into the behavior of 
the water of this age, as there are more pressing matters on which I must now 
concentrate, leaving me little time for such speculative research. For future 
reference, however, my investigations up to this point have revealed the 
     I believe the remarkable properties of the water to be caused by a life 
form that resides in it - specifically, a type of bacteria. I am imagining a 
motile unicellular organism, but one with structures capable of holding bits of 
water, whose combined effect (via surface tension? a stronger force?) causes 
the composite body of water to mive in response to hear. Prolonged exposure to 
extreme heat - for example, a period of extended boiling - seems to kill the 
bacteria - which would explain its dramatic aversion to heat sources. 
Unfortunately, these theories are still not fully tested, and I remain ignorant 
both of its deeper nature and its possible uses.

     An exciting development: Last night, a squad of Maintainers stumbled upon 
a lone rebel scout and obtained from him a most incredible device - it is a 
crystal taht somehow 'powers' these flawed Linking Books, much as my own system 
does, but with an obvious advantage: it is small and weighs only a few pounds, 
making it completely portable. Catherine must have fabricated the device before 
I capture here, obviously with an explicit D'ni schematic she must have brought 
with her to this Age. If only I'd had access to such a document all these 
years! Regardless, I can now concentrate solely on the writing of Ages, and 
need no longer worry about building elaborate power supplies for each new book 
I write. This is a sobering reminder however that I must continue to seek an 
avenue to D'ni - regaining access to the resources there may be crucial to the 
completion of my mission.

     Last week, while monitoring the situation of the villagers from the scope 
in my survey room, I observed one of the native swim out to a small object that 
appeared to be floating, but anchored, near the entrance to the bay. I ordered 
the object removed from the water for inspection. Several days later, however, 
I was surprised to see another floating there; the missing object had 
apparently, and quite mysteriously, been replaced with a new one overnight. 
I've long been aware of the existence of similar artifacts on the villagers' 
island, but have paid them little notice until now. Tomorrow I shall send 
surveyors to catalog the others.

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