The Let's Play Archive


by M.c.P

Part 14: Entry 14 - Gehn's Workshop

It was time to get into that building, come hell or high water.

Hidden and securely locked on an island full of Bookmaking materials. It had to be Gehn’s personal workshop, with clues to where he is and how I could trap him.

But the door was solid metal, and the glass seemed reinforced somehow. Was there another option?

I started to examine the surrounding area. A wire running to the side caught my interest.

I looked around the side of the building and saw something interesting. A tube running inside. I thought back to my adventure up the drainage pipe. But the wire continued onward.

Following the wire backwards along the walkway led me to a switch that I’d somehow missed the first time through here. From here I could hear a whirring, rattling noise that felt familiar.

I flicked the switch, and the rattling sound stopped. Intriguing.

Another wire continued further down the path, but it soon diverged and looped over the rocks. I thought back to what else was this way, but there was nothing but that frog cave.

It was worth checking though, especially so nearby. The walkway continued into the cave proper, where I could hear the echoes of my footsteps and dripping water from the caves below.

It felt a lot more chilling this time though. Then I realized that something was missing. That rattling and whirring sound I’d heard at the switch... I’d heard it here first. The fact that it was so silent now meant-

The fan was off. The blades stood silent around the entrance of a familiar looking pipe.

It wasn’t the most graceful of break ins. It took me a little bit to haul myself up onto the frog catching device, then pull myself into the vent, legs waving awkwardly.

But I made it into the claustrophobic pipe, with a gentle breeze causing an echo inside.

It was dusty and chilly as I inched forwards on my stomach, but eventually I reached another fan and a grate.

The grate swung open easily. I wasn’t sure how I was going to turn around if this turned out to be a dead end.

Still, there was enough space to get my legs out and drop down to the table, and then to the floor.

Ambient: Dead silence

I was inside. I could see the tram stop door ahead of me, but I was more interested in the desks around the space.

Gehn was evidently behind the frog catching device.

Then used them to distill into… something. Of course, precision glassware on an island that, by all appearances, didn’t have technology far past the Bronze Age before Gehn arrived is certainly a distinct accomplishment.

The drawer here was filled with natural samples as well, carefully arranged.

Another desk was filled with the bookmaking devices.

A magnifying glass for examining a sample of wood, blank books and unbound paper…

A set for lining up pages and a strong looking vice as well. I regretfully don’t know the first thing about book binding, but this looks like it’s related to making books.

And in the middle, a stove. Does it get cold in Riven? The heat of the sun and the trees here didn’t say anything but tropical to me.

I opened up the stove and saw it was a bit more destructive.

Inside was a book, blackened around the edges.

Opening it up showed much of the paper had survived the fire, but the linking panel itself was black and useless.
I thought back to the crisped edges of the linking book to Tay. This was a brother of that rescued book.

One more desk to check, this one with a journal on it. I decided to leave it for last.

The starglobe was compelling, but I couldn’t figure out how it worked. The fruit looked a little browner than the ones at the temple, but they turned out to be fine.

The note though…
This was a confirmation for eye number one, something that Gehn noticed from his spy scope in the lake, just like I did.

The number on the eye was, indeed, a D’ni one. I shook it around a bit but it made no sounds. Presumably fish aren’t very noisy.

Also of note, apparently the locals know how to swim in the magic water around here. Imagine that.

But that was enough poking around. Gehn may return, and the journal may just have the vital clues I need to get to his distant Age. I sat down in the chair and began to read.


Editor’s Note: Gehn’s own handwriting is thankfully quite concise, but for your convenience a full transcript can be found Here

I wonder what kind of dating system Gehn is using. It looks familiar, but it might just be coincidental.
But he’s as concerned about the Star Fissure as Catherine and Atrus are. His observations about the fissure don’t answer many questions though, a fact that likely frustrates him as much as it concerns me. Once again, a warning that if it gets opened, the consequences could be world ending.

‘Early experiments revealed the presence of breathable atmosphere’. If Catherine is right, he threw people in and used the telescope to watch them fall.

The man certainly loves to pat himself on the back.

As I read this I begin to wonder what Atrus and Catherine thought would happen during their escape and subsequent trapping of Gehn.

Even Catherine is sure the Star Fissure is dangerous. But didn’t she and Atrus open it up in the first place? Maybe things wouldn’t have been so bad if it was kept open, but a sucking wound in the very ground leading to a starry expanse doesn’t sound like a good thing to leave alone.

And, for all his delusions Gehn was right. Atrus did not want to kill his father, and Catherine certainly didn’t want to risk her people.

Who’s Keta?

I’d thought I’d seen enough but reading Gehn’s own words about the incredible mastery of the D’ni is a little stomach turning.

And I know next to nothing about this Art, but I can see Gehn is delusional. I remember Atrus frantically writing in the Riven book, the glowing tears on Village Island. The fact the islands used to be a single whole, now split up over half a mile of ocean. If this is stable, I shudder to think how Gehn’s other Ages collapsed.

More of those eye symbols. Apparently they have something to do with colors?

But the next entry really does settle it. Gehn has written another Age and has relocated there. Thankfully this all seems very recent, hopefully he hasn’t gone on to subjugating another inhabited Age while I putzed around Riven.

The domes scattered around the islands, and the giant golden dome on Temple Island, are important in making the Linking Books work. The Moiety didn’t give me a spare crystal frame, so I think I need to operate Gehn’s machinery if I want to get after him.

Gehn was even nice enough to write the code down for me. Your subjects may not read English, but I certainly can.
It’s just… I can’t read D’ni. I don’t recognize these symbols.
This could be a problem.

The Black Moiety at least were effective in vexing their oppressor. I wonder if this coincided with Catherine’s return.

Apparently Gehn has been smoking frogs.
Well, it certainly confirms my suspicion that the frogs are brightly colored because they’re toxic. Fortunately for me, it’s only an intense soporific rather than a deadly neurotoxin.

The vials on that desk with the preserved frogs might just be samples of that ‘particularly pleasant extract’. I think I’ll pass.

The extent to which Gehn is unaware of the power brewing underneath his nose is amusing.

But he knows his son quite well.
Gehn didn’t understand why the water here does what it does either. It’s a good theory but he clearly doesn’t have the tools to prove it, only catalog its effects. Regardless the untreated water doesn’t sound very healthy to drink.

This, however, is distressing. Gehn captured one of Catherine’s crystal panels. Fortunately his delusions prevented him from realizing it was Catherine’s own creation, but if Gehn has Catherine captured…

It didn’t’ bear thinking about.

That was it. Gehn was on his newly written Age, with the Linking books locked into spinning domes powered by the giant dome on Temple Island.

But that means two obstacles are in my way.

The domes are passcode locked. I’ve found the code, but it’s in D’ni numbers, and not just in the 1-10 form I’ve already figured out.

I think the sliders here can go from 1 to 25, so that’s a start. But how do I figure it out from there?

But that’s not the worst part. This giant dome, with its pipes and contraptions, is apparently responsible for making Gehn’s linking books operate. I’ll be dead in the water if I can’t get it to work.

But what the hell is this thing supposed to be?

This may take some thinking.


It does not appear to be a picture maker, anyway.