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#1 Travis_Knowledge

Travis_Knowledge
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Posted 14 May 2007 - 06:04 PM

Spelunx:
A Book of Commentary by Atrus:
Book 3 of 3:

Notes: Although I put the author as “Atrus”, this commentary was actually written by Travis_Knowledge. I put book 3 first because I am still awaiting the coming of Manhole and Cosmic Osmo on GameTap; until then, I can only pray that they take my idea and add it to their game list. In the Myst universe, however, this commentary was written by Atrus.

Although I am saddened to leave the Ages of Manhole and Osmoian, my journeys there ending, sadly, at last, I must link to my fourth Age: the first being Inception, which was destroyed by my father, Gehn. It took much work to write this Age, as it is complex in nature; I hope I did not make it too intricate, which would leave it unstable. This is the error my father made; if there is too much description, it will “overload” the book and the Age will die. This Age almost took me longer than my first two in my “trilogy”, but since it is one world and not a cluster like Osmoian or a hub Age like Manhole, it took a bit less time. I hope to make Manhole, Osmoian, and the new Age, which I have called “Spelunx” into lesson Ages for my coming son or daughter; Catherine tells me and Anna that she is pregnant with our first child. If it is boy, I believe I shall name him “Sirrus”, where if it is a girl, I shall name her “Yeesha”. Both are D’ni words: Sirrus means intelligent, where Yeesha means creative. However, I have already begun on ideas for a lesson Age which I believed I shall title “J’nanin”, meaning learning.

I cannot dwell on the future of my Ages and family, however. I must link to the Age. I wear a maintainer suit from D’ni in case the Age is dangerous.

* * * * * * * * * *
I believe wholeheartedly this Age can support my future child’s education; it is both beautiful and has great intellectual value. I write this from Spelunx, as it is so amazing I feel as if I cannot return to Myst. Manhole was mainly designed for play, while Osmoian was designed for adventure. This Age, on a third hand, is pure, yet cleverly hidden learning. When I linked, I landed outside a building that read “Spelunx”. I immediately noticed the jungle around me, which I had purposefully designed to have no life; such could be dangerous if evolution was allowed to happen. I also noticed the left side of the sky was night, and the other was day. The sun (although I am sure this is an optical illusion) appeared to have a human face on its surface. Perhaps Catherine has been writing in this book as well, slightly transforming it into one of her “impossible” Ages, such as the Torus Age I linked to on Riven. If so, I must thank her. If she has indeed done work, it has left a definite positive impact.

I finally got over my joy of the beauty of the Age and entered the building. The walls were decorated with paintings of a calm countryside, and I felt relaxed, as a baby being swayed in a cradle. At the end of the hall was an elevator; when I entered and pushed down the lever, the elevator descended and through the window I saw what I believed to be the edge of the world; that is, the world below the hallway and the outdoor field seemed to suddenly stop. I also saw some lights in cages on the way down; I counted two. I do not remember writing that in, and I am overjoyed that the Art is still coming up with surprises. Perhaps the fact that this was built by people rather than written in is the key.

When I reached the bottom, I found myself in a large underground cave system. I found that the rocks that made it up were crystalline, yet resisted my taking of a chip from it, despite the fact that I was using a nara pick. I could unfortunately receive no other effects from it. The path ahead of me split into a fork. I took the left and found myself looking at a door. I opened it and entered the first official room of Spelunx. Immediately in front of me was, from left to right, a terrarium on a desk, a shelf with a series of niches in it and several small blocks (above of which was a clock that looked like the sun), and a model of a cliff with a person dressed in ancient D’ni clothes and a toaster at the bottom. I approached the first object and began to toy with a device on its topless roof; I learned quickly it was a furnace-like device. I turned it on to the maximum—43 degrees—and then picked up a small pellet that was next to the tank, which I tasted and learned it was a salty food. I dropped this into the tank and watched a small green lizard emerge from the house that was in the tank and eat the pellet. Delighted, I continued feeding it until I had no more pellets. It seemed to have a limitless appetite; it almost seemed it had not been fed in days. I left the tank and moved to the next device. It was simple: D’ni words had been written on the blocks and could be placed in the shelf’s niches to make sentences. I figured I could use this to teach my future child about the D’ni language without having to go to D’ni unsafely to retrieve a copy of the rehevkor. There were two windows on the device: one to the left and one to the right that, when touched, would release a figure of a D’ni soldier and a cat, respectively. I was delighted by this device as well. I moved to the next device. When I touched the toaster at the bottom, the man-figure at the top dropped a slice of bread. I could move the toaster left and right to bounce the toast back up to the man; every time it hit the toaster, it became more and more browned. When the toasted bread hit the man-figure, he apparently ate it. When five “points” were scored, a piece of toasted bread with a number on it would appear. It managed to score five of these main points (that is, the number five was displayed on the toast at the top), I lost the game by bouncing it out of bounds. I was amused and turned to the left.

Here was what looked like a house cut-away diagram. At the top “floor” of this model was a model bird, a toaster, and an orange fruit (I believe it was a tangerine; Anna often bought those from the traders when we lived in the Cleft). Also was a small machine, which I believe inhabitants from D’ni called an “x-ray”. I found I could move and, most shockingly, it revealed what was behind the wall! I moved it over the toaster, revealing its inner mechanisms; when moved over the bird, it revealed bones, despite the fact it was just a plastic model; and when I moved it over the tangerine, it revealed its center. I found various things in the wall behind the wall as well; notably a scribble reading “Osmo Lives!” (which I found curious; Cosmic Osmo was one of the inhabitants of the Osmoian Age, whom I named it after) and a photo of my island home on Myst! I thought about this, but perhaps the x-ray also had telescopic abilities? Perhaps it saw through the wall and through space, and the planet that had my home was in its way? I realize I sound odd, but it’s a possibility. I touched the bird while bending down and it made a squaking sound. I laughed at this, since it sounded funny.

That last sentence makes me feel like a young boy again, doing my experiments on the volcano near the Cleft. It also reminds me of my cat, Flame, and my days with Anna…and, unfortunately, my father Gehn. But that is in the past…Gehn is trapped on Riven and presumed deceased. I do not weep for my father.

I also, before examining the world further, activated the toaster, which produced a slice of toasted bread. Being hungry I ate this, but I found it dry. The second shelf was odd. Two heads carved from wood emerged from the blackness of the shelf. When I moved my hand over them, their mouths opened. I found this slightly disturbing, but I assumed my child would find it comedic nonetheless.

The bottom shelf had a small door, which I found I could crawl through. Inside was a desert environment with the occasional rock here and there. There were two buttons with pictures of ants with male and female names. I pressed one of the buttons and, sure enough, an ant emerged from an anthill. It walked around for a short time before picking up a rock. It wandered some more with the rock in its jaws and desposited it in the anthill. Apparently, I could use this to teach my child about animal behavior…provided I did not grow fat and could not enter the door! I left the building and saw ahead of me a calendar with the D’ni months on it. It currently read “leefo” and it made me wonder if the inhabitants of this Age (there must be; I did not write this building!) were D’ni.

I examined the device that was left of the calendar. I found I could use the dials on it to adjust mile distance and kilometer distance. There was also a set of binoculars that I could peer into. I saw only the jungle of Spelunx, but when I pressed the button at the bottom of the viewer, it triggered a flash of lightning and a timer to count. Then, after about 4 seconds on the timer, I heard a boom of thunder. I had set the device to one mile. Wonderful! This device could measure lightning! A perfect learning device!

As I turned to leave I saw two cutaways of the wall. I touched these and saw them turn to a hologram. I could scroll through this hologram and saw many odd things—all of which would amuse my child.

I returned to the caves and, after some wandering, came across a second room. This was simply a stone chamber with a ladder leading up. Two torches emerged from the wall. I climbed up the ladder and found myself, despite the fact I had only climbed a few feet up, in outer space. It was an odd impossibility. To the left was a telescope and to the right was a control panel. Before checking out either of these, however, I found myself gazing up at the night sky. Comets flew past the observatory regularily and I found not just technological beauty, but true beauty. I also found I could breathe easily. I assumed this Age’s atmosphere was far different than any I found so far.

I then decided to examine the telescope. The rim read “P. Seudo Scope”, the name of which made me laugh. I wondered what the “P” stood for. I could see only stars, and I was reminded of the Fissure and of traveling the universe in the Osmobile in the Osmoian Age.

Seeing nothing, I went to the control panel and found yellow dots on a coordinate grid. There were also buttons that allowed me to control the yellow box that I found could surround the dots. I changed the coordinates and the viewer read “Tomahna”. I looked into the P. Seudo Scope and gazed upon the world that had the Cleft…and D’ni. I was amazed.

I played with the coordinates, viewing an Age called Saturn, an Age called Jupiter, and the Osmoian Age (which I saw when I saw the Osmobile; if only Cosmic Osmo were here now!), and an Age called Io. I left the observatory via the ladder, and, as I prepared to explore the third hallway I had seen, I saw a lever on the side of the torch. I pushed it and saw a laser beam descend from a small cannon in the ceiling and form a square at the base of the ladder. A trapdoor opened and I saw the ladder descended further.

I climbed down and saw a bookshelf ahead of me. Perhaps there were more Ages available? No—instead, I saw that they were only journals—including the blank one I am writing in now. The second book told the story of a young lad (whose body resembled an elephant) who inhabited an Age called “Yoyon”. He lived as a blacksmith, I read, under the arrival of Count Alexander. The count told the lad (whose name was Seudo) of the coming of the Great Games, a competition, the winner of which would become the new king. Alexander told Seudo to forge a toaster for the Great Games, which he later used during the competition. Apparently, what I observed in the first room—the game where the player must bounce toasted bread with a toaster—was the competition. Alexander almost won, but Seudo fell off the competition cliff, and Alexander saved him. Unfortunately, as he did so, he lost the game. While another person went on to rule the Age, Alexander (who was revealed to be a bear-like creature named Spelunx) was given from the former king a linking book to the Age I stand in now, Spelunx. Apparently, I simply wrote a link to this world, which proves once and for all my father was wrong and a D’ni writer does not write Ages into existence; that is, the Age already exists somewhere in the universe and we are simply making a link. But my father was mad, hence his odd theories.

The journal went on to describe how Seudo and Spelunx, after constructing the building here, had written an Age called Planet X, which they would use to continue their writing skills. I was saddened I would not see Spelunx or Seudo, as they apparently have not returned from Planet X. Since this Age does not belong to me after all, I will stay here a while longer and not use it to teach my child unless I somehow gain the permission of Seudo or Spelunx to stay here. I doubt I will meet these two odd characters; I could not find the linking book to Planet X. I assumed it (the book) was lost or destroyed somehow, possibly by its owners.

I read the third book, which was labeled “The Spelunx Builder” but I could find no writing on it, except for a label that said “These pages left intentionally (almost) blank”. I was puzzled, but read the fourth book, which described the Ages I saw in the P. Seudo Scope (they left Osmoian out). Apparently, the “P” in P. Seudo Scope stand for “ponder”, in reference to the fact that Seudo and Spelunx pondered the stars.

In the bottom shelf, I found a magnet (which I could switch on and off to attract a bell lying on the floor) and a linking book back to Myst. Originally, this book had been written into the jungle surrounding the building, but I assume Seudo and Spelunx simply found it and kept it in their library. It makes it far more convenient for myself, however. I ripped a page out of my new journal and linked back to Myst, using the paper as a note to Catherine and Anna that I am staying at Spelunx for the night. I will explore more tomorrow.

* * * * * * * * * * *
I am finished with today’s explorations and plan to spend another night at Spelunx. Catherine objected, but I managed to convince her to understand. Anna wishes to see Spelunx sometime in the near future, and I will gladly let her visit. Perhaps I can get Catherine to come as well.

I explored the room I slept in for a little bit; it was the room I was in last entry. I easily found I could turn out the lights eminated from the lamp on the table to my right. Also on the table were four drawers; the top two released two D’ni dancing figures that played a song. The bottom two had rubber balls inside that I found were very easy to bounce. There was also a painting above a desk that contained a figure of Mr. Seudo that I could manipulate to move through the painted environment.

On the left was a table with a painting above it, that, when touched, would show the Osmoian star system. I also found a drinking mug with a drink in it. I sipped this and, finding it bitter, dropped it. It shattered on the floor. Ignoring this, thinking that I could simply clean it up later. There were three drawers on this desk on either side; on the right, the top drawer had a button inside. I pressed it and suddenly a new mug appeared! The remains of the old one vanished. I was astonished, but assumed that it was a simple matter of atomic fusion; that is, the fusion and transmution of atoms from the air into a solid object. Quite a simple process to explain, but not to carry out. The two inhabitants must be years into the future; perhaps moreso than D’ni!

The second drawer had a button inside that, when pressed, would show a picture of the word Spelunx on the Osmoian system screen.

The bottom drawer had a small device inside similar to the rocketship I have on Myst (note to self: use rocketship to store Selenitic book when finished). I did not know what this could be.

The left drawers were sealed shut, but when I touched them, they receded, revealing a large control panel. I saw that the buttons, which were below a large screen, were similar to the buttons on recording devices I have used to record observations: play, record, stop, and delete, as well as buttons for the colors of blue, red, yellow, green, brown, black, purple, and cyan, which were next to buttons with different sized dots. There were also five squard cards at the bottom which had the D’ni numerals for 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 and also said “RAM”. This, I believed, was a storage device that could be used it a computer. I pressed the play button after inserting the one labeled “1” and saw the screen draw a picture of Mr. Seudo after I pressed play. I inserted the card labeled “5” and it drew a picture of the word “Spelunx”, similar to the screen above.

I decided to store a drawing on the card labeled “50”. Using the color and dot buttons (the latter was revealed to be pen size) to draw on the screen, I left behind a picture of Myst, complete with the label.

I left the room and decided to go down the third hallway I had seen. This led to a door with teacups on it. I opened it and found myself in an almost scary dark room. A tea kettle sat in the middle, and I saw it had a door. I opened this and stepped in. Or out, I should say. Although there was no passage from the back of the tea kettle to the outside of the building (I was underground anyway, so how could I be outside?). I was in a dark forest, with trees far taller than the synthetic tree (note to self: use synthetic tree as place of protection for Channelwood book when complete) on Myst. They stretched at least 3 miles up! In front of me was a lamp that was not lit, yet mysteriously became lit when I touched it. In front of me also was a tree stump and three leaves. However, on closer examination, I discovered the leaves were metal! I brushed them aside to reveal a button under each one.

When I pressed these buttons, more lights came on in the forest. I walked towards the first light and found myself near a far shorter tree. There was a door in this one next to a sign labeled “the Pigtoad Tree”. This name made me fear that there was some horrible pig/amphibian hybrid inside, but I conquered my fears and entered. Here was a panel similar to the one in the desk, but with a man dressed in middle-class D’ni robes and no discs or drawing buttons. When I pressed play, the man began to dance while basic D’ni music played. It was a basic form of computer animation. To the left of the panel was a switch. When I pressed it, the panel rotated, revealing another animation program similar to the one I had just seen. I found that it was a music program. It played the same music that it had played when the man danced. I found I could switch around the panels that showed what notes it was playing and found it played the same thing while the man danced on the other side of the panel. When I turned to leave, I saw a rubber pig on the floor; not small enough to swallow, but not large enough to restrict play with it. There were also two pig heads with accessories that could be added to them.

I left the house and moved on to the second light. This one was another simple animation program of Mr. Seudo. I pressed play and he danced, but sadly there was nothing more; no things one could use to edit.

At the third light I found an intriguing device. It looked like a slot machine from D’ni in the days before casinos were outlawed by the Guild of Maintainers, but the slots were large and above each other in a column. Wires led from it to a clay jar filled with earth. I discovered I could move the slots easily and found what I believe could create a tree. The top slot appeared to control branches (which I set for three branches). The middle could control leaves (which I set for purple, to make it more exotic). The last could control fruit, which I set for Mr. Seudo heads (to add to exoticism; the other fruits were apples and tangerines, which I found plain).

I returned to the library where my sleeping gear and maintainer suit were. I wrote up this entry and now I rest. Tomorrow I will complete my observations and return to Myst.

(Theories: The forest inside the tea kettle is what I believe to be a tesseract; that is, a pocket universe contained within an object. I think it is the only possibility. If so, I don’t think that this building was made by hands; I think it was written in. Perhaps Spelunx or Seudo wrote this in from the linking book they received or used my Myst book and secretely edited my copy of the Spelunx book. If the latter is true, I feel perhaps I should put protection in my library on Myst, perhaps prison books. I will sleep on it)

* * * * * * * * * * *
I woke up late; at least, that is what I believe. I returned to the room with the lizard today to feed him, to make sure he wasn’t starved and I saw I only had an hour left on Spelunx, as Catherine had set a time for me to return to Myst. I realized I would have to cut my explorations short, but I can always return to this Age. I write this entry from the family room on Myst.

I dropped a pellet (the pellets had mysteriously returned) into the tank to feed to the lizard, but apparently, its nervous system is different than other lizards I have seen on other Ages, as it was obese and could not leave its home. Instead, I was surprised when a brown worm emerged from the sand and consumed the pellet. I placed another pellet in and watched in delight as the worm again came to feed. It is unlike any worm I have seen; only a few inches long with no segmented and sharp teeth and small eyes. It appears to be able to live for a long time without food. As I turned to leave the room, I heard piano music play from an unknown location. I was worried, but returned to the tea kettle to observe the tesseract. After taking soil samples, I decided to check on the tree grower.

What I found was a tree with about five branches, each split into three sub-branches. I also saw it had many purple leaves and Seudo-creature heads coming from the branches—just as I had designed it in the hybrid machine.

I also took wood pulp from one of the natural trees and from the hybrid. I decided to taste one of the Seudo heads, despite appearances. It was surprisingly delicious! I had been expected a meaty flavor, but I tasted a flavor similar to that of a pear! I will take two home: one for Catherine and one for Anna. If Catherine does not eat it (which I can easily see her doing) then I will eat it. I can always get more.

I returned to the library to get my equipment and pack up when I noticed two holographic pictures on the wall, right and left of the shelf. On the left was a picture of Alexander Spelunx. When I touched it, I saw his mouth move and he said “Yes, *ahem*, welcome to Spelunx”. I was a bit appaled at this short and kind of ignorant message, but I then proceeded to touch the picture on the right, which was of Seudo. Instead of a message, the picture pointed a finger at the bookshelf, which receded in a method similar to the passage to the tower in my library on Myst. I stepped inside the revealed passage, which revealed a cave. There was a tray with eight small stones and a monitor screen, the bottom half of which was black. There was a slider on the side and two very small screens that read “Speed MPH” and “Speed KPH”. I dropped a rock into the cave below and saw that the machine was registering the stone’s speed. Then, as it hit the black part of the screen (as it was represented as a dot on it), a picture showing sound waves shot back up.

I played with the slider, discovering it controlled the black part of the screen, which I believe was water.

I left the room and brought up the shelf by pressing the image of Seudo. After placing all my things in my backpack, I grabbed my Myst book and linked away. I hope to return to Spelunx one day, as I hope to return to Manhole and Osmoian. But know I must attend to my dear wife Catherine; her labor pains for the baby are beginning.

Addendum:
The birth was successful and I am blessed with my first son, who I will name Sirrus. If I have another son, I will name him Achenar.

But even though my son is but one day old, I must begin on the teaching Ages. Manhole, Osmoian, and Spelunx are now in the family room, locked away in the bookshelf. I have placed the commentary books in the library, and this book will join them. I have also put in the library Catherine and Anna’s journals, which I have named the Book of Atrus and the Book of Ti’ana, respectively.

I must complete the Selentic and Channelwood books and begin J’nanin, which I believe will serve as my “main” lesson Age. Manhole, Osmoian, and Spelunx are all inhabited and I believe that they shall not be proper Ages; I fear my son may not be able to learn properly among people. I have not met Seudo or Spelunx and perhaps they are hostile, but perhaps I can still use Spelunx, as long as the two men remain on Planet X. I hope to find the Book of Yoyon as well.

I take this moment to plan the four Ages of J’nanin. I have only come up the names: Voltaic, Amateria, Edanna, and Narayan. I hope to have Narayan as an inhabited world, as to teach my son about the balance of life.

I apologize to the reader of this journal for the many personal notes I laid out across the expanse of this book. Feel free to use any of the linking books on the Island of Myst, including the ones I have just described in my last books of commentary!

-Atrus

#2 Travis_Knowledge

Travis_Knowledge
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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:53 PM

The Manhole story will be coming soon as it is installed in my computer and I am working on the commentary book. Osmo will take a while (I will name it the Age of Osmoian, in reference to the inside joke in the Channelwood journal) as I can't find a copy. Any help finding one will be thankful!

I take this moment to apologize; Spelunx, Manhole, and Osmo are not Myst related. They are intended for young children. They do not belong here. And yet, I feel compelled to make them into Ages. I think of Cyan as Atrus, making worlds and experiences...some of which should be written about.




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