Part 1: Entry 1 - Introduction7.30
On another adventure, and with that a new journal. Atrus was kind enough to let me use a fresh one, though I imagine he anticipated reading it after I got back. Well, if I got back. He has a lot of confidence in me, but I wonder if running around a gaggle of empty Ages has really prepared me for this.
Soundtrack: Atrus' Theme
But I'm getting ahead of myself. I had come to visit Atrus, after a week seeing if I could make any contact with the former residents of Channelwood. He was writing, of course, but when he noticed me he was pretty happy to see me.
"Thank God you've returned! I need your help. There's a great deal of history that you should know, but I'm afraid that I must continue my writing."
He handed me a slim and small journal. I had seen him writing in it on occaision, though I never knew what for. I slipped it into my back pocket
"Here. Most of what you'll need to know is in there. Keep it well-hidden."
The next book, however, I had never seen before.
"For reasons you'll discover, I can't send you to Riven with a way out, but I can give you this. It appears to be a linking book back here to D'ni, but it's actually a one-man prison."
"You'll need it, I'm afraid, to capture Gehn."
Gehn was slightly more familiar as a name. Atrus had mentioned it in passing, some sort of enemy by the tone of his voice.
Atrus flipped to the front of the tome he had been writing in ceaselessly since I first rescued him. The glow from its pages showed it was a linking book, a portal to another world
"Once you've found Catherine, signal me, and I'll come with a linking book to bring us back."
Catherine, Atrus' wife! He certainly talked at length about her when we first met. So this age was where she was trapped?
Atrus seemed to sense my conviction. He held up the book
"There's also a chance, if this all goes well, that I might be able to get you back to the place that you came from."
The linking panel was blurry, quite unlike any I've seen on Myst. It flickered and bursted with static and random images. But it was a chance, however slim, of getting home. I had little information and even less equipment, but the hope and desparation in Atrus' eyes convinced me.
I placed my hand on the panel.
Ambient: Distant Waves
The linking process was painless, as usual. I was briefly worried that the blurry panel would lead to a bad link. I took a moment to look around.
That's when cage bars lifted.
I admit, I became pretty furious at this point. Why had I accepted this ridiculous mission? Why Atrus couldn't take a moment to explain what was going on, what I might expect? I imagined this mysterious Gehn would descend on me, take my things, and have me executed for my associations.
As I fumed, a guard fairly stumbled into view, looking confused. It took him a moment to even notice I was in the cage. Probably not many visitors from this direction.
He tried talking to me. "atemah tagalah" or something. I just stared blankly but it soon became pretty obvious that he was after the... 'trap' linking book I was still clutching in my arms.
I was the one in the cage, I wasn't about to invite a beating. I let him have it.
He looked over the moon after seeing the linking panel on the front. He didn't put his hand on it the panel, but he looked like a promotion was in his future.
At which point he got hit in the neck with something and fell over like a sack of bricks.
The man(?) that came up to remove the body didn't say a word. He picked up the trap book and quickly put it in a pouch. Then, just as quickly, he turned around, pulled the lever to open the cage, did something with a hammer to the lever, and left.
At this point I had mustered up the courage to shout "Hey, that's mine! It's really important!", but my mysterious benefactor had already vanished.
I walked up to the lever and took a look at his handiwork. Some kind of dagger was lodged in the mechanism. A couple test pulls revealed the lever was non-functional. I suppose that's a plus if Atrus comes after me.
I looked back at the little trap I had linked into. A clever system for visitors, no doubt. But that thing next to the cage, was that...?
I had to back up to get a better view, it was more than twice my size. But yes, it was an extra large version of the dagger that masked character just stuck in the lever.
I still have no idea what to make of it. A symbol? Is it Gehn's mark, or someone else? They freed me from that cage, which seems specifically made to trap visitors by linking book.
In any case, I took a look at the strange contraption I was standing next to.
Idly flicking switches served me well enough on Myst, and I wasn't going to drop those habits now. Regretfully, nothing seemed to work.
Peering into the glass at head height didn't reveal much either.
This was a dead end, so I walked past the cage in the direction the masked man went off in. The first thing I saw was the multiple islands. Finally! I was getting tired of Atrus' 'one island' school of design, now at least the endless horizon was a little broken up.
There appears to also be a tram system connecting the islands, which was well enough. I can't swim, and know precious little about sailing. It feels good to know I can get to the next island easily enough.
I did notice a groan coming from below the cliff, though.
Looks like my guard friend was taking a nap. And he's not dead either, which is a bit surprising. Our masked, dagger wielding friend is apparently the humane type.
A lot has gone on in only a couple minutes, and I'm not totally lost. I still have Atrus' Journal in my back pocket. Hopefully it will reveal what's going on here.
Though thinking of his Myst journals, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.