MYST - Chapter 2 - The Library - Part 1
From the game: MYST
Tags: MYST Library
Added: 6 years ago
Myst is a graphic adventure puzzle video game designed and directed by the brothers Robyn and Rand Miller. It was developed by Cyan (now Cyan Worlds) and published by Broderbund. The Millers began working on Myst in 1991 and released it for the Mac OS computer on September 24, 1993; it was developer Cyan's largest project to date. Remakes and ports of the game have been released for Sega Saturn, PlayStation, 3DO, Microsoft Windows, Atari Jaguar CD, CD-i, AmigaOS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS.
Myst puts the player in the role of the Stranger, who uses a special book to travel to the island of Myst. There, the player uses other special books written by an artisan and explorer named Atrus to travel to several worlds known as "Ages". Clues found in each of these Ages help to reveal the back-story of the game's characters. The game has several endings, depending on the course of action the player takes.
Upon release, Myst was a surprise hit, with critics lauding the ability of the game to immerse players in the fictional world. The game was the best-selling PC game until The Sims exceeded its sales in 2002. Myst helped drive adoption of the then-nascent CD-ROM format. Myst?'?s success spawned four direct video game sequels as well as several spin-off games and novels.
The gameplay of Myst consists of a first-person journey through an interactive world. The player moves the character by clicking on locations shown on the screen; the scene then crossfades into another frame, and the player can continue to explore. Players can interact with specific objects on some screens by clicking or dragging them. To assist in rapidly crossing areas already explored, Myst has an optional "Zip" feature. When a lightning bolt cursor appears, players can click and skip several frames to another location. While this provides a rapid method of travel, it can also cause players to miss important items and clues. Some items can be carried by the player and read, including journal pages which provide backstory. Players can only carry a single page at a time, and pages return to their original locations when dropped.
To complete the game, the player must explore the seemingly deserted island of Myst. There the player discovers and follows clues to be transported via "linking books" to several "Ages", each of which is a self-contained mini-world. Each of the Ages—named Selenitic, Stoneship, Mechanical, and Channelwood—requires the user to solve a series of logical, interrelated puzzles to complete its exploration. Objects and information discovered in one Age may be required to solve puzzles in another Age, or to complete the game's primary puzzle on Myst. For example, in order to activate a switch, players must first open a safe and use the matches found within to start a boiler.
Apart from its predominantly nonverbal storytelling, Myst'?s gameplay is unusual among adventuring computer games in several ways. The player is provided with very little backstory at the beginning of the game, and no obvious goals or objectives are laid out. This means that players must simply begin to explore. There are no obvious enemies, no physical violence, and no threat of "dying" at any point, although it is possible to reach a few "losing" endings. There is no time limit to complete the game. The game unfolds at its own pace and is solved through a combination of patience, observation, and logical thinking.
Players assume the role of an unnamed person known as the Stranger, who stumbles across an unusual book titled "Myst". The Stranger reads the book and discovers a detailed description of an island world called Myst. Placing his hand on the last page, the Stranger is whisked away to the world described, and is left with no choice but to explore the island. Myst contains a library where two additional books can be found, colored red and blue. These books are traps that hold Sirrus and Achenar, the sons of Atrus, who once lived on Myst island with his wife Catherine. Atrus writes special "linking books" that transport people to the worlds, or "Ages", that the books describe. From the panels of their books, Sirrus and Achenar both tell the Stranger that Atrus is dead, Sirrus hypothesizing that he must have died since he hasn't returned from looking for evidence against them, while Achenar claims Sirrus murdered him. Both plead for the Stranger to help them escape. However, the books are missing several pages, so the sons' messages are at first unclear, and riddled with static.
As the Stranger continues to explore the island, more books linking to more Ages are discovered hidden behind complex mechanisms and puzzles. The Stranger must visit each Age, find the red and blue pages hidden there, and return to Myst Island. These pages can then be placed in the corresponding books. As the Stranger adds more pages to these books, the brothers can speak more clearly. Each brother maintains that the other brother cannot be trusted. After collecting four pages, the brothers can talk clearly enough to tell the Stranger where the fifth page is hidden. If the Stranger gives either brother their fifth page, they will be free. The Stranger is left with a choice to help Sirrus, Achenar, or neither.
Both brothers beg the Stranger not to touch the green book that is stored in the same location as their last pages. They claim that it is a book like their own that will trap the Stranger. In truth, it leads to D'ni, where Atrus is imprisoned. When the book is opened, Atrus asks the Stranger to bring him a final page that is hidden on Myst Island; without it, he cannot bring his sons to justice. The game has several endings, depending on the player's actions. Giving either Sirrus or Achenar the final page of their book causes the Stranger to switch places with the son, leaving the player trapped inside the Prison book. Linking to D'ni without the page Atrus asks for leaves the Stranger and Atrus trapped on D'ni. Linking to D'ni with the page allows Atrus to complete his Myst book and return to the island. Upon returning to the library, the player finds the red and blue books gone, and burn marks on the shelves where they used to be.
The Library on Myst was where Atrus originally kept his linking books and journals. Unfortunately, due to Sirrus and Achenar's destructive tendencies and history, the majority of them were burned. Only four journals and one special book of codes remained.
The walls of the Library have two niches where Atrus deliberately placed the red and blue trap books to imprison any greedy explorers who might come to Myst Island. These two books in actuality lead to the Prison Ages of Spire and Haven, and they are also the books that Sirrus and Achenar eventually used, leaving them trapped until the Stranger came.
The library is built in front of the highest hill of the island, on top of which sits the Tower. Behind the bookshelves, there is a corridor that leads to the Myst tower, built inside the hill. The tunnel is opened and closed by touching one of two paintings on the wall of the Library that showed either an open door or an open corridor. A map of the island in the library was also used as a panel to rotate the tower above. Only by rotating the tower could one uncover the clues needed to unlock the four remaining linking books in their Places of Protection. When one linked back to Myst from another age, they found themselves in the Library, staring up at the ceiling above.
In modern times the library's doors to the Myst tower have been blocked along with the door to the outside.In Yeesha's path of the shell, explorers link into the fireplace and proceed out. Along with the sealed doors, the door paintings do not work. Neither does the map of the island. The map shows the red lines for each Place of protection, but is not usable.
These are reproductions of Atrus' journals from the Myst computer game. You find the journals on Myst Island, on a bookshelf in the library.
ATRUS' CHANNELWOOD JOURNAL
- - 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 have never 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 to 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 grand trees. It is very interesting watching these people carry out 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 he 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 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 believes in the truth of the story as if he had been there. And the tree-dwellers worship him, and apparently all humans, as if he[crossed out] 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 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.
[Dark 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.
[Dark 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.
[Dark 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 boys 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 any fears about leaving them in Channelwood again, and for a little longer time.
[Violet 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.
[Blue-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, for I do not know how long it will be until I visit this age again.
[Sketch of windmill]
[Sketch of hut]
ATRUS' MECHANICAL AGE JOURNAL
- - Before arriving in this age, I was determined that it would be a journey to a world very different from my previous adventures, and it was.
The 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 it was rumored 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.
[Drawing of fortress layout]
- - 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 their own.
[Drawing of stairway]
- - 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 blue 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 to come soon, and I trust the fortress will provide
[Drawing of Mechanical Age from above]
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.
[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.
ATRUS' SELENITIC AGE JOURNAL
- - 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 have 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 above the western horizon.
Though 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 short 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 from the chasm can be harnessed.
[Drawing 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 cave 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 text] - - I began today on the bridge and although the [. . .]
[. . .] the magnetic idea will work well and I have decided [. . .]
Three meters is not enough support for the beams although [. . .]
[. . .] amazingly strong [. . .]
[Drawing of spaceship]
[. . .] has to be one of my most prized inventions. I am extremely [. . .]
[. . .] could never have imagined it to come together [. . .]
- - I doubt [. . .]
[. . .] could possibly work with fourteen instead of eight [. . .]
[. . .] completely fatigued. I am so happy to have completed [. . .]
[. . .] 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 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.
[Drawing of keyboard with numbered keys]
[Contour map of island]
ATRUS' STONESHIP AGE JOURNAL
- - 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 new 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.
[Drawing of boat]
I was experimenting with The Art - testing the limits of the rules as 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 from 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 the solar system of this age.
[Drawing of submersible lamp]
- - 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 travel to discover its source - if they have the means.
[Drawing of lighthouse]
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. The 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.
[Drawing of light atop lighthouse]
- - 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 have ever written. I think
[Drawing of Stoneship Age from above]
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 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.
[Drawings of constellations]