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Weren't there more MYST books? other than the one Stranger found

#1 User is offline   tbr 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 10:12 AM

So, if Atrus and Catherine went to explore lots and lots of ages, they must have had Myst linking books with them to be able to get back. Weren't these still around when they got trapped by their sons? If the Myst book that the Stranger found was indeed the only one, then what on earth happened to the others? Shouldn't they have been fairly confident that someone, at some point, in some of all those ages, should find one of the books, link to Myst and do what the Stranger eventually did?
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#2 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 10:55 AM

It's a good point, but I think that they rarely left a book behind randomly. They would link away so that the book dropped into irretrievable places like lakes, cliffs, and abysses. You have to remember that when Atrus linked away from Riven (in the Book of Ti'ana and the intro of Myst) that he had dropped in the Fissure with the expectation that it would be destroyed, and he did the same tactic, albeit with more success in Haven and Spire.

As for any books that got left behind in trusted populated Ages, like Channelwood and Narayan... well... Sirrus and Achenar took care of any people in those. I think it's very unlikely that any help would have come from anywhere besides the book that the Stranger found.
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#3 User is offline   Kaelri 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 10:55 AM

That's an interesting question. Once Atrus and Catherine were exiled from Myst, the fates of all Myst linking books (other than the one lost in the Fissure) were basically in the hands of Sirrus and Achenar.

On the one hand, I'm sure that they wouldn't have wanted their "subjects" able to follow them back to Myst, their safe haven. And since Myst's link-in site had no physical barrier (such as the cage on Riven), the single best way to protect Myst would have been to burn the linking book every time they returned from a conquered Age.

However, we also know that neither brother was able to Write. So a book-burning policy would only last as long as Atrus's stock of reserve books held out. Now, being fairly poor long-term planners, they might have done this anyway. But a more sustainable policy would have been to construct places of protection on the Ages, as Atrus had on Selenitic and Mechanical. And we know, from their accomplishments on Spire and Haven, that the brothers were competent as masons, carpenters, machinists, and even electricians.

So if I had to guess, I'd say that it's definitely possible that Myst linking books still exist in some of the Ages whose descriptive books were burned. They may, however, be secured within places of protection. And there is no guarantee that a) such Ages are still inhabited, if they ever were, b) that one of their inhabitants could bypass the book's protection, or c) that such a person would be willing or able to assist Atrus. They may even have been as angry, bitter or vengeful as Saavedro was. So I certainly don't think Atrus and Catherine could have been "fairly confident" in being rescued.

On the bright side, this means I may one day get my Everdunes game/novel after all. :P

EDIT: Outflanked by LT, as per tradition. :P
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#4 User is offline   tbr 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 11:21 AM

But Atrus seems very confident indeed that the Stranger must have found the book that fell through the Star fissure, rather than some of these other potential books (or, he's willing to gamble on other peoples' lives at the end of Riven).

Atrus and Catherine made friends on many of the ages and helped the inhabitants out, didn't they? The brothers may then have plundered many of these ages, and may even have tried to put the blame on Atrus, but reasonably someone should have expected that not everything was right, with Atrus and Catherine suddenly sending their sons to plunder, themselves never showing up again.

How ever much you try, you will always leave one linking book behind, right? But I can think of one way they could solve this without running out of Myst books too quickly. Imagine that you have ten ages, each with a linking book to Myst. Put linking books for age two to ten in your bag, then use the linking book to age one. Find the Myst book of that age, and put it in your bag, then link to age two. Grab age two's Myst book and link to age three, etc. Eventually you'll have a chain of linked ages, all eventually leading to age ten, where, of course, you link out while holding the book over fire. Now you have nine fresh Myst books and made it impossible for the inhabitants of these ages ever to contact you again.

While this minimizes the immediate loss of Myst books (as you wouldn't need to burn one for every age), it still doesn't make it possible to come and go at will.

EDIT: How many ages are we talking about here anyway? And why did they burn those descriptive books? :P That doesn't destroy the age does it, only makes all the linking books to that age unusable? You could still link out, but never get back again. Right?

EDIT 2: Is it possible that the brothers knew how to write Linking books, but not descriptive books? What do we know about linking books, how much work is it to write one? I mean it is, after all, a book presumably full with text, so it's nothing you just sit down and do in a few minutes.
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#5 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 12:02 PM

The method for retrieving Myst books that you said is very interesting, but I don't think Atrus would have done it. Not only is he very capable of writing a new linking book for the Age whenever he needs one, but that plan also includes Linking ten different Ages together with Books that the inhabitants could find. If someone from Age 2 found the book for 3 and Linked through, he would never be able to get back. Forget about people getting to Myst, the idea of trapping a random guy on an Age not his own wouldn't have been a good one for Atrus.

Sirrus and Achenar burned the linking books, I believe, just to spite their father. They didn't really care about the fates of the people on the Ages, especially after they had plundered them.

I don't think the brothers knew anything about writing, even linking books. If Atrus had taught them that, it would follow that he also taught them how to write descriptive books.
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#6 User is offline   tbr 

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 12:18 PM

View PostLostthyme, on Jan 8 2011, 07:02 PM, said:

The method for retrieving Myst books that you said is very interesting, but I don't think Atrus would have done it. Not only is he very capable of writing a new linking book for the Age whenever he needs one, but that plan also includes Linking ten different Ages together with Books that the inhabitants could find. If someone from Age 2 found the book for 3 and Linked through, he would never be able to get back. Forget about people getting to Myst, the idea of trapping a random guy on an Age not his own wouldn't have been a good one for Atrus.

Sirrus and Achenar burned the linking books, I believe, just to spite their father. They didn't really care about the fates of the people on the Ages, especially after they had plundered them.

I don't think the brothers knew anything about writing, even linking books. If Atrus had taught them that, it would follow that he also taught them how to write descriptive books.


I meant to say that it could be a method for the brothers to retrieve the Myst linking books without destroying all of them. They hardly cared if someone was stranded on an age they didn't belong to.

Another thing they could have done is to use an uninhabited age as an "airlock"; bring the descriptive book of "Airlock Age" with you, together with a linking book to the same place. Keep one page constantly ripped out from the descriptive book, so that the linking book cannot be used by anyone who might pilfer it. Insert the page in the right place when you needed to use the linking book, bring the descriptive book with you to Airlock Age, then rip the page out again as soon as you've gone through. The linking book left behind should now be useless, and you can link on to eg Myst.

There's no evidence whatsoever that they ever did this though.
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#7 User is offline   Mystress 

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:46 PM

Would it have mattered if they kept disposing of these linking books? I thought that as long as the descriptive book was safe you could write as many linking books as you needed, and use them to solidify the link. Sort of like having one central server for a site, and then a bunch of computers being able to access it through the hyperlink.
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#8 User is offline   AaronAKAAtrus 

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:19 PM

View Posttbr, on Jan 8 2011, 01:18 PM, said:

View PostLostthyme, on Jan 8 2011, 07:02 PM, said:

The method for retrieving Myst books that you said is very interesting, but I don't think Atrus would have done it. Not only is he very capable of writing a new linking book for the Age whenever he needs one, but that plan also includes Linking ten different Ages together with Books that the inhabitants could find. If someone from Age 2 found the book for 3 and Linked through, he would never be able to get back. Forget about people getting to Myst, the idea of trapping a random guy on an Age not his own wouldn't have been a good one for Atrus.

Sirrus and Achenar burned the linking books, I believe, just to spite their father. They didn't really care about the fates of the people on the Ages, especially after they had plundered them.

I don't think the brothers knew anything about writing, even linking books. If Atrus had taught them that, it would follow that he also taught them how to write descriptive books.


I meant to say that it could be a method for the brothers to retrieve the Myst linking books without destroying all of them. They hardly cared if someone was stranded on an age they didn't belong to.

Another thing they could have done is to use an uninhabited age as an "airlock"; bring the descriptive book of "Airlock Age" with you, together with a linking book to the same place. Keep one page constantly ripped out from the descriptive book, so that the linking book cannot be used by anyone who might pilfer it. Insert the page in the right place when you needed to use the linking book, bring the descriptive book with you to Airlock Age, then rip the page out again as soon as you've gone through. The linking book left behind should now be useless, and you can link on to eg Myst.

There's no evidence whatsoever that they ever did this though.

1. How would this help them get Myst books?
2. If the page moved out of place during link... i don't want to think about it :P
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#9 User is offline   tbr 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:47 AM

View PostAaronAKAAtrus, on Jan 10 2011, 03:19 AM, said:

View Posttbr, on Jan 8 2011, 01:18 PM, said:

View PostLostthyme, on Jan 8 2011, 07:02 PM, said:

The method for retrieving Myst books that you said is very interesting, but I don't think Atrus would have done it. Not only is he very capable of writing a new linking book for the Age whenever he needs one, but that plan also includes Linking ten different Ages together with Books that the inhabitants could find. If someone from Age 2 found the book for 3 and Linked through, he would never be able to get back. Forget about people getting to Myst, the idea of trapping a random guy on an Age not his own wouldn't have been a good one for Atrus.

Sirrus and Achenar burned the linking books, I believe, just to spite their father. They didn't really care about the fates of the people on the Ages, especially after they had plundered them.

I don't think the brothers knew anything about writing, even linking books. If Atrus had taught them that, it would follow that he also taught them how to write descriptive books.


I meant to say that it could be a method for the brothers to retrieve the Myst linking books without destroying all of them. They hardly cared if someone was stranded on an age they didn't belong to.

Another thing they could have done is to use an uninhabited age as an "airlock"; bring the descriptive book of "Airlock Age" with you, together with a linking book to the same place. Keep one page constantly ripped out from the descriptive book, so that the linking book cannot be used by anyone who might pilfer it. Insert the page in the right place when you needed to use the linking book, bring the descriptive book with you to Airlock Age, then rip the page out again as soon as you've gone through. The linking book left behind should now be useless, and you can link on to eg Myst.

There's no evidence whatsoever that they ever did this though.

1. How would this help them get Myst books?
2. If the page moved out of place during link... i don't want to think about it :P


1. It wouldn't, but it would allow them to move in and out of ages without having to destroy books every time, yet avoid that uninvited guests started to show up on Myst.
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#10 User is offline   Kaelri 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:24 AM

Quote

But Atrus seems very confident indeed that the Stranger must have found the book that fell through the Star fissure, rather than some of these other potential books (or, he's willing to gamble on other peoples' lives at the end of Riven).

While there's no proof of this, I think it's fair to assume that Atrus and the Stranger have spoken during the time between Myst and Riven. If nothing else, Atrus would have deduced the Stranger's origin by his language, which is presumably neither D'ni nor one of his Ages' native tongues, but the only other language Atrus knows: English.

View PostFrom Jan 8 2011, 12:21 PM:

Is it possible that the brothers knew how to write Linking books, but not descriptive books?

No. It is established that neither brother had the ability to Write at all. A linking book does require less time and effort than a descriptive book, but still employs roughly the same set of skills.

tbr said:

How many ages are we talking about here anyway? And why did they burn those descriptive books?

A firm number has never been established, but we know of at least 23 named Ages that Atrus wrote during his time on Myst, not including the prison Ages, and at least eight of them were inhabited: Channelwood, Everdunes, Mechanical, Narayan, Stoneship, Terrel, the Tide, and Whiterock. I'd say that even these are enough for Sirrus and Achenar to build a small empire from the library on Myst, and we have always assumed that others exist.

As for why they burned them, we don't really know. It could have been, as LT suggested, out of spite. They may have simply disposed of each Age after it had been bled dry of its value. They may have been trying to destroy the evidence of their actions. Or, it may have been their solution to a widespread revolt or breach of security by their subjects.

...I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me before, but I would assume that each Age's Myst book was simply destroyed as the same time as its descriptive book, to ensure that the link was severed on both ends. (To destroy the link from Myst to Age, but not Age to Myst, would be exceedingly stupid, unless they failed to realize that the Ages would continue to exist.)
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#11 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:40 PM

View PostKaelri, on Jan 10 2011, 10:24 AM, said:

Quote

But Atrus seems very confident indeed that the Stranger must have found the book that fell through the Star fissure, rather than some of these other potential books (or, he's willing to gamble on other peoples' lives at the end of Riven).

While there's no proof of this, I think it's fair to assume that Atrus and the Stranger have spoken during the time between Myst and Riven. If nothing else, Atrus would have deduced the Stranger's origin by his language, which is presumably neither D'ni nor one of his Ages' native tongues, but the only other language Atrus knows: English.

The thing is, Atrus didn't know that the Fissure lead to Earth (presumably, at least). He'd have to guess that (perhaps from knowing that there shouldn't be any other books leading to Myst from Earth... except that if there was a D'ni book or something... so the only possible book would be the unknown-final-destination Fissure book).

Perhaps also the books are slightly different - different series of blank books used. Maybe a linking panel that looks different, slightly different color, different handwriting, etc. - and the Stranger noticed one of these differences (and told it to Atrus, who could then narrow down the list of which Myst books it might be - together with the English language and an Age that didn't fit any of the Ages he wrote books to, that might be enough for him to at least attempt it.
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#12 User is offline   Almaron 

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:17 PM

I'm a bit confused here; I don't quite understand the original question. The book that the Stranger has is the original Descriptive Book, a result of it being lost in Riven and falling through the Star Fissure, all the others are Linking Books that are placed only in the Ages of Myst, to allow a safe return.

In most cases, only one Myst Linking Book would be needed for each Age - Atrus linked in to each after he created the link, observed the age, then found a safe place to leave the Myst book before using it. Later, he adds various structures to the age, and places the Linking Book in there. It could also be assumed that, like his father, he carried a spare Linking Book with him (and in fact, we know he did; this is the book he has in K'veer).

From what we have seen of Atrus' ages, he placed some form of locking mechanism in each age that stored the Linking Book; presumably to not only keep it safe, but to ensure that nobody used it without him knowing. As an added precaution, he made Spire and Haven; the only two ages where he destroyed the Linking Books, and placed these on display in the Library. If someone had figured out how the Linking Books work and made it to Myst, they would be drawn to these books first and trapped.

Sirrus and Achenar later burnt many ages of Myst to hide the damage they had done to it. In other words, so Atrus couldn't link there and see the death and destruction they had caused (or be informed about it by the inhabitants of the world). Although the links to these ages are lost, the Myst books may be intact there, unless Sirrus and Achenar removed them to prevent another inhabitant following them, as Saavedro did.

As for the ages that survived, it is likely that Atrus removed the Myst books and replaced them with Tomahna linking books, as he did with Narayan. Although the aforementioned locks would keep these books safe, the fact that Sirrus and Achenar specifically targeted ages they could use for their own delight, such as inhabited ages, or worlds with creatures to hunt, it is possible that no ages with sentient species survived their purge, meaning Atrus would have nothing to fear if anybody found a Myst book.

As for the original Myst Book, it would have remained in the hands of the Stranger. It's not too hard to imagine that either Atrus figured out the Stranger was from Earth, or that the Stranger, upon returning to Earth, lingered near the Cleft, and met up with Atrus when he built Tomahna. Whether he returned the book to Atrus, or kept it himself would not matter, as not only would Atrus know that Myst was in safe hands, but he also shifted his surviving books and journals off Myst long before.

EDIT: Atrus would have eventually figured out the exit path of the Star Fissure upon leaving D'ni. When arriving at the Cleft, he would have seen the Wahrk skeleton and the Telescope remnants, put two and two together, and realised that that was where the Stranger came out. He may have also journeyed to the nearby towns in an attempt to find the Stranger; perhaps how the two met again.
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#13 User is offline   Kaelri 

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:47 AM

View PostAlmaron, on 21 January 2011 - 09:17 PM, said:

I'm a bit confused here; I don't quite understand the original question.

The question is simply what you addressed: what is the fate of the other Linking Books leading back to Myst? As I posted earlier, I believe Sirrus and Achenar would have been strongly motivated to sever their links to the lost Ages in both directions. To destroy your link to an Age while leaving the opposite link intact would leave you with the least amount of control over the system. (This was the relationship between, for example, D'ni and Riven.)

Quote

The book that the Stranger has is the original Descriptive Book, a result of it being lost in Riven and falling through the Star Fissure, all the others are Linking Books that are placed only in the Ages of Myst, to allow a safe return.

The climax of the Book of Atrus only describes this book, brought by Catherine to Riven, as "the Myst book" or "the Linking Book," which are sort of contradictory. In the absence of a definitive statement, I would strongly doubt that this is Myst's descriptive book. Atrus brought a large stock of blank linking books to Myst. Being so well-supplied, even if Atrus hadn't written a few spare Myst books himself, it is hard to imagine that neither Catherine nor Anna had the wisdom to do so before the confrontation on Riven. If captured, the descriptive book would have empowered Gehn not only to link to Myst, but also to modify the Age or disable its linking books. A regular LB carries much less risk.

That said, I admit that if the Stranger's Myst book was not the descriptive book, it's something of a mystery where it is now. In addition, the Book of Atrus implies that the descriptive book's link-in point is the dock, not the library, and the Stranger's book is the only Myst book in the games which meets that condition. (This could, of course, be a mere Wingrovism.)

If anyone's got a statement from RAWA or the Millers proving me wrong, please do share.

Update: RAWA confirmed that it was only a linking book that fell into the fissure, not the descriptive book.

Quote

Atrus would have eventually figured out the exit path of the Star Fissure upon leaving D'ni. When arriving at the Cleft, he would have seen the Wahrk skeleton and the Telescope remnants, put two and two together, and realised that that was where the Stranger came out. He may have also journeyed to the nearby towns in an attempt to find the Stranger; perhaps how the two met again.

That's a good point. I wish I'd thought of that. (Though there weren't a whole lot of towns in New Mexico in 1807. ;) )
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