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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Okay.. something occurred to me.

We know that Ri'neref wrote the age of D'ni.. the people of D'ni broke away from Garternay when it collapsed, and the bulk of its people became the Terahnee. Ri'neref's followers splintered off and became the D'ni.

This throws a LOT of questions in my mind, suddenly:

WHERE is the actual D'ni descriptive book? Is it in Terahnee? Was it destroyed when Garternay fell?

... because My thinking is that IF the D'ni descriptive book was destroyed in Garternay that would ONLY eliminate the link between Garternay and D'ni which is no longer needed because Garternay is gone. Those already living in D'ni would be perfectly safe within it, even if its descriptive book were destroyed.

But that begs more questions. IF the D'ni descriptive book is destroyed, but you are IN D'ni... certainly D'ni would continue to exist. BUT:

Can you create a linking book back to D'ni if there's no extant D'ni descriptive book?
Can you just create a linking book to the Age you are in, even if it has NO descriptive book of its own?
Or,
Can you write a new DESCRIPTIVE book, specifically for the Age you live in, if your Age doesn't currently have one?

--It seems like that last one should at least be POSSIBLE. If the 'original' D'ni linking book actually was destroyed-- and if the descriptive book actually is REQUIRED to link back to D'ni.. surely there should be SOME method of replacing it???

Also...

Can you bring a descriptive book INTO the Age it describes?
Could the D'ni descriptive book be therefore safely locked away, IN D'ni?

One quick question:

Does a descriptive book have its own linking panel?

---THIS one, I would assume 'yes'. Once you write an Age, you can make a linking book.. BUT you'd need to be IN that Age to make a linking book to it. Which means, you'd have to GET to that Age the first time. The descriptive book is probably the only access at that point.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:03 pm 
The D'ni descriptive book could be anywhere. There is no source which tells us, or even gives us a hint.

The descriptive book can be destroyed without affecting the Age, in theory. All it does is sever the link.

All linking books to an Age cease to function when the descriptive book is destroyed.

You can't get to a new Age without a descriptive book having been written, or someone from that Age wrote a descriptive for your Age and linked there with a linking book.
You can't write a descriptive book to a specific Age. It'll be otherwise identical, but not your Age.

It is very likely that the D'ni descriptive book was taken somewhere to be protected. Descriptive books cannot be replaced.

Yes, you can.
Yes.

Yes. The book you use to get to Riven is its descriptive book.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:13 pm 
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I once asked RAWA this very question. He said that the Descriptive book for our Age, (I think he called it the Book of Earth) is here, on earth.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:08 am 
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I think it's mentioned somewhere in the Book of Ti'ana that the D'ni had possession of the Book of Earth.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:12 am 
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Hmm, my kind of topic. :D In response to your question about the Book of Earth (or D'ni), I remember a line in the Book of Ti'ana in which someone mentions having personally seen and read the descriptive book, meaning it is kept safe somewhere within reach. Contact with Garternay was not severed when Ri'neref and the rest moved out, and I believe there is a date corresponding to when that world became too unstable to visit any longer. This would have given the D'ni plenty of time to safeguard Ri'neref's book on its own age. Sorry I don't have more precise details, but I'll look them up and update this post.

Edit 1 - Destruction of Garternay was in 2646 DE, or 5010 BC. Hinash was king. Not sure of the source of this, got it from an old timeline of D'ni I stored away.

Edit 2 - The quote will take me forever to find, but I've been meaning to read Ti'ana recently, so when I find it, I'll post an update.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:47 am 
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If there is a book of Earth/D'ni located in an area that a writer could still access, imagine if they changed the writing in it. I guess they could change anywhere on the planet, not just the area in and above D'ni?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:28 am 
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Interesting....

To me, this is HUGE! If there is but ONE book of the Age of D'ni aka Earth, what that means is that the whole of the Art could be destroyed by simply finding that book and burning it. Because anyone who writes new Ages, or hopes to link OUT of D'ni, would know if they ever touched another book, they could never return to Earth, nor to D'ni!!!

MOST of the other Ages would be lost to them., as well.. unless they planned to take a big gunny-sack full of all manner of linking books with them, to whatever Age they were resettling to.

That's a pretty significant circumstance.

Edit to add.. well, I imagine the Bahro have the power to link without books. IF heaven forbid, something happened to the D'ni book, some of the Bahro could be persuaded to provide Bahro stones that linked into D'ni.

I did wonder about something else, too... how LIKELY is this scenario?

A D'ni author creates a new world... he enters this Age, bearing a D'ni linking book under his arm, so he can quickly return home. The Age is uninhabited; sadly, even a quick view of it proves to the author that it is useless for his purposes. So, he opens his handy-dandy D'ni linking book and links back home... leaving his D'ni book on the ground in this useless Age. Then he burns his new descriptive book, and starts again.

I would bet this same scenario happened thousands of times, if not millions of times. Suggesting there might be millions of abandoned Ages that have a working D'ni linking book just laying somewhere.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:55 am 
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My linking theory is a bit rusty. I used to consider myself a bit of a self taught expert, but that was a long time ago.

For future reference, check this out :http://www.guildofgreeters.com/images/stories/pdf/linkingexplained.doc
It's an old document, but it has pretty much every official thing we have on linking. I won't answer all your questions, but it will at least get you up to speed with those of us who have been around forever.

I believe that if somebody were to alter the Book of Earth, what would happen would depend on what was changed.

Subtle, unobserved changes can be made to an age without disturbing the link. Of course, those changes can lead to catastrophic results (see Riven) but the link remains established on the same Age.

However, if you were to do something more drastic the link will shift to a world that better represents the new description. There's an example I think in the Book of Atrus.

Of course, destroying the DB would destroy the link. I'm trying to think of an example but I can't come up with one.



As for your other scenario.

1) Every Age had to be approved by the Guild of Maintainers prior to anybody linking to it. They had special suits that they used to test an age. One was used by Atrus in the Book of D'ni, and we see them all over Gahreesen in Uru. I honestly don't know what the Maintainers did with books that were deemed unstable or dangerous.

2) Creating an age was something of a rite of passage for a D'ni. The secretes of creating an Age were closely guarded secret. It required years and years of study before a person was even allowed to attempt to write a Age. These ages were highly valued and protected from all possible harm.

It may be that an age could fall into disuse, but I find it highly unlikely that any D'ni would deliberately destroy a Descriptive book. I base this on the above two points plus everything else we know about their society and culture.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:51 am 
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HarveyMidnight wrote:
To me, this is HUGE! If there is but ONE book of the Age of D'ni aka Earth, what that means is that the whole of the Art could be destroyed by simply finding that book and burning it. Because anyone who writes new Ages, or hopes to link OUT of D'ni, would know if they ever touched another book, they could never return to Earth, nor to D'ni!!!
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but...

You don't have to have a descriptive book for the age you are in to write and link to another age. Those links depend solely on the new descriptive book just written. Same is true for other existing ages for which a descriptive book already exists. The fact that a descriptive book was written and used to get to D'ni/Earth has no impact on those ages or the ability to link between here and there.

Think of it as forward and backward travel on the "tree of possibility". If the book for D'ni was destroyed it only affects those links based on that book to get to D'ni from Garterney or other ages older than D'ni. The book of D'ni forms the connection between D'ni and ages lower on the tree. Any age written "higher on the tree" continues to function independently. The book of D'ni affects backward travel. The other books affect forward travel.

As mentioned by others, the descriptive books have these effects regardless of where on the tree of possibility they have been moved from their original location. If all descriptive books were destroyed, the tree continues to exist... you just can't move between the branches. Each branch has as its foundation a descriptive book. That branch is affected only by that one descriptive book and each branch and book are independent of the other branches and books.

I am assuming that all of the ages we have been visiting are rooted in D'ni. That is they were actually written from D'ni and were not carried forward from an older age. I'm not certain of the impact to linking when the age in question is actually on a branch independent from D'ni.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:11 pm 
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dtierce wrote:
HarveyMidnight wrote:
To me, this is HUGE! If there is but ONE book of the Age of D'ni aka Earth, what that means is that the whole of the Art could be destroyed by simply finding that book and burning it. Because anyone who writes new Ages, or hopes to link OUT of D'ni, would know if they ever touched another book, they could never return to Earth, nor to D'ni!!!
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but...

You don't have to have a descriptive book for the age you are in to write and link to another age. Those links depend solely on the new descriptive book just written. Same is true for other existing ages for which a descriptive book already exists. The fact that a descriptive book was written and used to get to D'ni/Earth has no impact on those ages or the ability to link between here and there..... If all descriptive books were destroyed, the tree continues to exist


NO, you're correct.. that's what I was implying. People could still write and visit other Ages-- but anyone who left the D'ni Age could never return to it, because ALL linking books to anyplace in D'ni would cease to function.

Even just going to Relto to change your shirt means, bam, you'll never see D'ni, nor New Orleans, nor New York, nor even Ottumwa, Iowa, ever again. Sorry.

I guess I'm misspeaking by saying the Art would be 'destroyed' -- -but it seems to me, this would really diminish the desire of a LOT of people to create and explore new Ages, if one had to abandon one's home forever, in order to do so.

Still; yeah, it's true, there are those who WOULD still do it. And there are certainly other inhabited Ages that still possess the Art.. Releeshan, Devokan, possibly Tay... ... but you'd be locked out of those, too, if you didn't bring the right linking books WITH you when you left D'ni--- Cuz you can't go back and get them.

With no descriptive book providing that 'backward travel', D'ni could no longer be a part of the INTERACTION of the Ages.... because anyone who leaves D'ni can never come back, and and there's no longer any way in. Explorers can't even come back to tell their friends & family that their new Age was safe and they linked in successfully.


Edit to add-- and what if this happened without WARNING? Imagine the shock of going to check your pellets, reltoing out, trying to get to Tokotah from Nexus and the link just doesn't work. Hope you brought a sack lunch. ALL you have now is the linking books in your Relto library--- can't even go back and warn others that this is happening. YOW!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Kohdi wrote:
In response to your question about the Book of Earth (or D'ni), I remember a line in the Book of Ti'ana in which someone mentions having personally seen and read the descriptive book, meaning it is kept safe somewhere within reach.

Edit 2 - The quote will take me forever to find


[spoiler=Page 309 in The Myst Reader] Aitrus and Telanis are discussing a recent visit by guildsmen to the Great Shaft and the possibility of finding people on the surface.
Aitrus says, "Ja'ir was wondering aloud whether there was anyone up there on the surface anyway."
"Why?"
Aitrus paused, trying to recall the conversation. "Master Kedri was of the opinion that there would be. His view was that the climatic conditions are ideal for the development of an indigenous species."
"And on what did he base this claim?"
"It seems that all four of them have seen copies of the Book."
"The Book of Earth," Telanis said, nodding thoughtfully.[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:37 pm 
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I never read any of the books, but it seems like there are always going to be problems that can never be explained no matter what path you use to explain things, if you think too deep about it:

The Problem of Time:

A descriptive book is supposed to describe an age right? But no world is static, does that mean the writing in a descriptive book is constantly changing on its own to line up with changes in the world that happen by means natural events or people? If the text doesn't ever change on its own, that means that either:

1: A book should always link you to the same point in time, so if you used the same book twice, you would literally link into yourself from last time, just like it puts you in the same physical location. However we know that this isn't true and that a book's link "time travels" at the same rate of time that goes by in the age you are in.

2: Could a book's data be encompassing of not just an age's current state, but how the age is for all of time itself? If this is the case though, how does the link know what point of time to link you to? Is it like some programming equivalent of when Uru's coding checks the time on the server to determine what time it is in say Gira's or Negilahn's shorter day-span world?

In other words, even though the writing in the book would stay constant, it somehow references the time of the age you are in itself.

But I find it hard to believe a book could include all that ever was and all that will be of an age, how would it know ahead of time what changes a person will cause to an age? The mere writing of a link to a world that let's you enter it would change its very timeline once the book is used.

Plus, it seems like it would take billions of years of writing to include that much data of every little change through time of a world, even if it's buried in other lines and the writer doesn't understand how to interpret what effects through time all the writing has.

I guess I'll go with the idea that the writing does change in subtle ways as things change in the age, making a descriptive book itself always evolving with the flow, so that its link is technically always changing, if you think of time as a dimension/direction.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:50 am 
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Seems we might have found a hole in the linking theory here.... If all Linking Books are destroyed when the Descriptive Book is destroyed then that would imply that an Age is CREATED by the book and therefore destroyed when the book is destroyed. We know this isn't the case..... So why do the Linking Books fail to work?

And just for arguments sake say the Book of Earth was destroyed, could new Linking Books to D'ni be written? Surely there must be a way. Garternay never had a Desciptive Book (or whichever Age the Art was first developed on) and it was possible to link back to there. The likelihood of writing a Descriptive Book to a specific Age instance is infinitesimally small so it's unlikely that someone wrote a Garternay book to tie the Linking Books to (unless the person who first developed the Art had Yeesha/Bahro powers).

I guess we'll never have a cannon answer to it (unless RAWA stops in to say hello).

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:26 am 
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For Ehren & Numinous...

I always assumed that writing the descriptive book does NOT, of course, create the Age. What it does, essentially, is create a stable wormhole that connects to that Age, which already existed before you began writing.

This is a very general, "nutshell" description of writing an Age:

You write a description of an Age you want to use or visit, in a special book using special ink. There are an infinite number of alternate realities that exist constantly; we live in one of them, but there are infinite others. By sheer "coincidence"( for lack of a better word) there are lots of universes out there with places that MATCH what you described. Because with infinite universes that means anything that is possible, will happen and has happened.. so, by "coincidence" there's a place, somewhere.. actually a LOT of places, that match what you described, exactly. The power of the ART, causes a wormhole to be established between the book, and one of those places that exactly matches what you wrote.

So, really & truly.. the book is only a means to LINK to an Age that already exists.. life still goes on there, changes happen and they don't affect the book. Writing the book is like putting in a combination. Once the door is open, it stays open.

BUT.. if you're careful, you can make changes to the Age by making changes in the descriptive book. But that can have messy side effects.

The linking books are EASY to make... they are directly connected to the Descriptive book; you just have stand somewhere in that Age, with a blank book, and write in some kind of reference back to the descriptive book. Bam, you've made a linking book that will link to that spot. (At least I THINK that's how it works.. it's all shrouded in mystery.) It's also worth noting.. you have to actually be IN an Age, to make a linking book TO that Age.


But... when the descriptive book is burned, that 'stable wormhole' closes. Because of that, the linking books all cease to function, too.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:20 am 
On the time traveling problem...

It is my understanding that no matter what happens in an Age, the link will not migrate. The only way to 'update' the link, so to speak, is to change the text dramatically.

Saveedro wrote:
The doors the books open don't close behind you.


I once read an explanation of the linking book issue somewhere. It went something like this: All linking books written in an Age are 'connected' to the descriptive book for that Age. If the book is updated, and the link migrates, all linking books follow. It is logical to assume, then, that if the descriptive book is damaged in such a way so as to render it useless, all linking books for that Age cease to function as well.


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