Riven Reference

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This is an index of transcripts of the character speeches in Riven. These are things that Catherine, Atrus, and Gehn say, including many of the endings.

Riven Speech Transcript Index

This is an index of transcripts of all the Journals and notes in Riven.

Riven Journal Index

Scans of the Riven CD Stained Glass Sleeve

Riven CD Covers

Gehn's father. You can see his picture on the wall of Gehn's bedroom in Age 233, next to the picture of Gehn's wife. For more information, please see the entry under Aitrus on Page A of the main Reference.

The Amad were human surface dwellers and Keta's people. Gehn admired their technology. (Gehn's Lab Journal, Riven)

Atrus Atrus
Son of Gehn and grandson of Aitrus. Raised by his grandmother Anna (Ti'ana). At 14 years old, he was claimed by his father and taken down into the ruins of D'ni. Atrus became a very talented writer of Ages.

(see also Atrus' Family Tree)

A device made by Gehn upon which he recorded his performance on the Maral-obe. He kept the cannen in his office on Age 233. You can listen to the music by clicking the button on the top. (RSB)

Catherine is Atrus' English name for his wife, whose Rivenese name is Katran. (BoA 228)

Transcript of Catherine's Riven Journal with her drawings. Katran's Riven Journal

Name given by Cyan to the first Rivenese person you see when you first link into Riven. Cho has his dark side, as you will see if you choose some of the wrong endings in Riven. (Cyan; RIVEN)

For information about what Cho says to you, read what Richard Watson, Cyan's D'ni historian, wrote to the Riven Lyst. Richard's Letter.

Crater Island
Crater Island, also called Book Assembly Island, is the Riven island on which Gehn had his laboratory. You'll find the wood chipper and the pulp boiler here. It was the place where he attempted to make kortee'nea, blank books ready to use for writing links to Ages. It was also the place where he made the distillate for his pipe. (RIVEN)

Gate Room, The
The Gate Room on Temple Island is the one that has the large models of the Beetles on huge wooden pillars. This room gives tribute to The Art, in Gehn's rather twisted fashion. On the floor you can see a view of Gehn's official Crest. (RIVEN)

Gehn's Crest
Gehn's Crest can be seen in many places in the Age of Riven. It is composed of a pentagon, 5 pen nibs, 5 book symbols, 5 small leaves, and the D'ni symbol for the number five in the center. Gehn came to believe that the number five had power attached to it. Pictured on the right is the center section of a wall-hanging found in Gehn's bedroom on his 233rd Age, illustrating his crest, which had been woven into it. (Riven; Gehn's lab journal)

Great Tree, The
One of Riven's most startlingly beautiful features was a monumental tree. (BoA 217, 219) Due to the instability of this Age, the Tree had already developed cracks by the time Atrus first visited Riven. (BoA 237, 239) During the struggle to entrap Gehn on Riven, this tree was struck by lightening. (BoA 277) By the time of Catherine's return to Riven, the land where the Tree had stood had broken away and crept off to a great distance. The Great Tree had been sawn off and converted into a prison. (RIVEN)

Guilds, The Riven Guilds
According to Gehn's Lab journal, he had established five Guilds on Riven. These were the Guilds of Builders, Educators, Maintainers, Surveyors, and Book Makers. (RIVEN)

Heek is a D'ni word by which the Rivenese referred to Gehn's rifle. The word is written on the blackboard in the village school to remind the children what happens to those who displease Gehn. (FMTR 96, RIVEN)

Adapted to look like Amad technology, the imager could be used to record and project a three dimensional holographic message. Gehn used a live projection of himself in an imager installed in the Temple to impress his subjects.

Island Names
There are many names for the Islands in Riven. Some of the names that are mentioned in the game are listed on this page. For more background information, please see this email to the Riven Lyst from Richard Watson.

Jungle Island
The Riven island where the native village is located. The villagers call this island Riven, but also refer to their whole Age as Riven. At the time of Catherine's return, this was the only place left to the natives for their use, but Gehn's presence was felt there, too. It is the only island still covered in forest. The sunner's lagoon is also found here. (RIVEN; Catherine's Journal)

Atrus' wife. A native of Riven. Katran is Catherine's Rivenese name. (BoA 228)

Transcript of Catherine's Riven Journal with her drawings. Katran's Riven Journal

Also known as Leira. She was a surface dweller from Earth who became Gehn's wife. Her people were called the Amad. She died giving birth to their son, Atrus. (BoA 1; Riven) Her picture hangs in a round frame on the wall of Gehn's bedroom on his 233rd Age. A recording of her can be seen in the small imager there.

The text of the inscription on this picture seems to say, "To Gehn my husband and my salvation. I dedicate myself to the love that rescued me."

Here are two letters which Richard Watson has written to the Riven Lyst concerning Keta.
Keta Letter One
Keta Letter Two

The device positioned close to each spinning Fire Marble Dome which is used to spot the D'ni color symbols on the domes, and which can be used to stop the rotation of the domes by clicking on the top button at the time the correct picture is highlighted in the viewer.

Richard Watson has told us that Gehn's wife, whom he called Keta, was also known by the name Leira. Please see the entry under Keta for more information.

Map Room
The Map Room can be found floating on the surface of Totem Lake on the upper level of Plateau (or Survey) Island. This ingenious device is used to calculate the exact locations of all the Fire Marble Domes on each of the five main Riven islands.

The name of the musical instrument which Gehn played. It is in his bedroom on Age 233 next to the picture of his father. A recording of his music can be played on the Cannen in his office. (RSB)

(1) A half; one of two equal parts, an indefinite share or part, in anthropology one of two primary subdivisions in some tribes.

(2) In Riven, the Moiety, or Black Moiety, is the name the rebels chose for themselves. (RIVEN; Catherine's Journal)

Moiety Age
See the entry under Tay.

A friend of Catherine's from her youth on Riven. She is the young native woman who visits you in your cell on Tay.

Numbers, the D'ni number system
There has been a little confusion over the number system. The Official Hint and Solution guides to Riven say that it is a base 5 system. That is somewhat misleading. The characters used to indicate the numbers are made up of 5 symbols that are rotated and combined to make all the other numbers. In that sense it is based on 5.

The "values" of the numbers, however, are calculated in base 25. That means that the values given to the numbers are different from our own system, which is base ten. To illustrate this, if you wrote out the number 11 in base ten, the value would eleven units. If you write the characters for 1 and 1 side by side in D'ni numbers, the value would be 26.

If you would like to see a chart of the D'ni numbers, are interested in information about the D'ni zero, the character with the slash in it from Gehn's timepiece, the two ways to write twenty-five, or read what D'ni historian Richard Watson has written the Riven Lyst on the subject, please see the D'ni Math page. D'ni Math

It is not necessary to understand the number base of the D'ni system to successfully play Riven. If you want to fully understand the nuances of the D'ni universe, understanding the number system will help. For instance, in Gehn's lab journal on Crater Island he refers to the new Age he's finally succeeded in writing. The number of that Age is written with a 9 and an 8, side by side in D'ni characters. Many people call this Gehn's 98th Age. You'll notice that the journal refers to it as the 98rd Age with an "rd" rather than a "th" after the number. That's because, when calculated in base 25 as the D'ni do, it's really the 233rd Age he'd written. This shows us how much effort Gehn has put into trying to successfully write a new Age since he's been trapped on Riven.

Plateau Island
Also called Survey or Spike Island. This was the island with the floating Map Room on the top level in Totem Lake, and the Wahrk Throne Room below the water level. Gehn kept a pet wahrk in Totem Lake.

Plateau Islands
These are the model islands you see from the vantage point under the dagger handle on the top level of Plateau (Spike or Survey) Island. They are the ones that bubble up with water when you press the buttons. They are on Plateau Island itself and represent the five main islands of Riven.

Prison Island
This Riven island is the portion of land where the Great Tree used to be. All that is left is a mammoth stump which Gehn has turned into a prison. The island is such a great distance from the other four main Riven islands that it can't be seen on the horizon. (RIVEN; BoA 217, 219)(see also picture under Great Tree entry)

Rebel Age
See the entry under Tay.

Rebel Hive
This is a picture of what is sometimes called the Rebel Hive. Though it looks somewhat like a giant tree, it is the village of the Moiety in the Age of Tay. For an interior view, please see the picture accompanying the entry for Tay.

Rebel Linking Room
This is the room you find behind the prison opposite the village at the top of the Wahrk Gallows. By solving the puzzle of the circle of stones, you gain access to the linking book to the rebel Age of Tay.

School Room
A small School Room located on an outcropping in the Village Lake on Jungle Island. Gehn had the children of the natives educated here so that they would be suitable subjects under his rulership. The curriculum included mathematics and literacy in the D'ni language. (RIVEN)

Star Fissure
Atrus, in his Riven journal, writes that he thinks the Star Fissure is an anomaly that appears as a rift between two separate systems. It is the Star Fissure that brought the descriptive Book for the Age of Myst to the "mysterious benefactor" (the player).

In the beginning, right after he was marooned on Riven and the Fissure was first created, Gehn had people thrown into the Fissure so he could observe what happened to them. They did not die, but were quickly lost to sight as his telescope wasn't powerful enough to follow them to their destination.

The Fissure created a dangerous rift in the earth which Gehn covered with a large patch of strong metal to stabilize the area. Into this patch he set a glass panel so he could continue to observe the Fissure. (RIVEN; Catherine's journal)

An air-breathing sea creature native to the Age of Riven. It has a body like a cross between a penguin, a pelican, and a plesiosaurus, and a bill with a baleen it uses to strain the plankton that it eats. It gets its name from its habit of sunning itself on rocks. If you are very slow and quiet, when visiting the Sunner's Lagoon on Riven, you can get up quite close to them. (RIVEN)

Sunner's Lagoon
A small lagoon on Jungle Island in Riven where sunners like to sun themselves on a large flat rock.

Sunner's Rock
The large flat rock in the middle of Sunner's Lagoon. Like the Lagoon itself, the rock gets its name because it is a favorite spot of the sunning sea mammals. (RIVEN)

Survey Island
Sometimes called Spike Island, or Plateau Island, this is the island with the floating Map Room on the top level in Totem Lake, and the Wahrk Throne Room below the water level. Gehn kept a pet wahrk in Totem Lake.

The name given to the Age which Catherine wrote for the Moiety using one of Gehn's partially burned, discarded books. (RivenKatran's Riven Journal) The Age is one of great peace and beauty where the people can live without fear. This is a picture of the inside of the village tree or hive. For an external view, please see the entry for Rebel Hive.

Gehn installed a telescope to better view the Star Fissure. It's shaped a bit like an ice cream cone. A locking metal hatch covers a small glass panel set into the metal patch that covers the Fissure. The telescope sits on top of this and looks downward into it. If you open the hatch, you can look down into the starry expanse of the fissure through an eye piece, or view port, on the side of the telescope. (RIVEN)

Temple Island
The island you first link to in Riven. This island contains the Gate Room, the Gold SuperDome and the Temple. The Rivenese villagers called this island Allapo, meaning water pool, but the Moiety called it Allatwan, meaning pool of stars. (Catherine's Riven Journal)

This word means "great tree" in D'ni and is the name for the large trees that grow in the forest on Jungle Island. (FMTR 96, RIVEN)

Totem Lake
This is the name of the lake on the upper lever of Plateau (Spike or Survey) Island. There are wooden totems placed in the lake, symbolic of the wahrk that lives in its waters. The Map Room floats on the surface of this lake, and the Fire Marble Dome for Plateau Island is located here, too.

Trapping Book
In his Riven journal Atrus tells us that years ago, when living in the ruins of D'ni with his father, he came across a formula for creating a Trapping Book. Since Gehn was in the habit of confiscating anything Atrus found, Atrus left it where he'd found it and didn't mention it to Gehn. Years later Atrus experimented with the formula and was able to make trapping books to trap his wicked sons, Sirrus and Achenar, to prevent them from further harming the Ages their father had written. (MYST)

Atrus tells us that by just adding in the right formula to an existing linking book, you can make it into a trapping book. The formula partially severs the link between the Ages. When someone uses the book, they become permanently trapped in the void between the Ages, unless someone else uses the book afterward and displaces the first person back into the place from which the last person linked. Anyone who didn't know the formula would be unable to tell which is a real Linking Book, and which a Trapping Book. (RIVEN; Atrus Journal)

Village Lake
This is the name of the body of water on the edge of which the village is perched. It is a lake, or tidal basin, connected to the sea by a narrow passage. In BoA Atrus describes the tide coming into the basin at night. (BoA 231; RIVEN)

There are two spellings used for this name. One is whark (found in Gehn's journal), and the other is wahrk (used by Catherine in her journal). The wahrk is a large fish with tusks like an elephant. Gehn used these creatures both to frighten and execute the natives. To that end, he kept some of the creatures as pets, but judging from all the tusks Gehn used to decorate with, he must have slaughtered them by the thousands.

Wahrk Gallows
The large teepee looking structure in the village lake. Gehn used this device to feed natives to the wahrk as a form of execution. It was constructed in the lake so that all could witness the executions from the village.

Wahrk Idol
The Wahrk Idol is the structure in the jungle which contains the secret elevator that goes up to the level of the Fire Marble Dome, and down to the mag-lev tram that goes to Plateau Island. It was made to resemble the wahrk in order to frighten the natives away. (RIVEN)

Wahrk Throne Room
This is sometimes called the Survey Room. It is located on the lower level of Plateau (or Survey) Island. There is an impressive staircase that leads to a throne on top of a pinnacle. This chair rotates toward a huge glass window that looks out on the underwater portion of Totem Lake, where Gehn keeps his pet wahrk. The wahrk can be summoned using the red light on the right hand viewer. The left hand viewer can be used to inspect the village, and to spy on the occupant of Prison Island.

Rivenese water has strange properties. It rises in liquid form when warm, shrinks away from heat sources, and isn't completely safe to drink unless boiled well. (BoA 222-3, 229; Cyan) Gehn wrote in his lab journal on Crater Island that he suspected the reason it rose away from heat was that it was densely populated by a bacterium which was killed by prolonged heat, so it fled the heat, causing the water to seem to behave strangely. (Riven) The Rivenese had a powder they used when someone had accidentally swallowed enough unboiled water to give them trouble. (BoA 229)

A large fish indigenous to Riven. This is the spelling used by Gehn in his journals. For more information, please see the entry under the Rivenese spelling, wahrk.

The name of a small Rivenese plant, the yellow berries of which contain a neurotoxin used by the natives for hunting food. (FMTR 96)

A small poisonous frog indigenous to Riven. Gehn makes a distillate from them which he smokes in his pipe. The natives use an extraction for their darts. (Riven)

A to Z guide

Myst, Riven, and all things D'ni are the creation of Cyan Worlds, Inc.

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