Atrus

Atrus
Atrus-exile.jpg
Race ¾ Human, ¼ D'ni
Name in D'ni Atrus
Personal details
Born 9411 DE
Father Gehn
Mother Keta
Spouse Catherine
Children Achenar, Sirrus, Yeesha
Portrayed by Rand Miller

Atrus (born 9411 DE) is the son of Gehn – a survivor of the D'ni race – and Keta, a human from Earth's surface. It is not presently known whether he is still alive; the most recent record of his life is from 9660 DE (2005 CE).

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Atrus was born on Earth in the Cleft. His mother died during childbirth, and his father abandoned him to be raised by Ti'ana, Atrus' grandmother. She named him after her deceased husband, Aitrus.

Atrus' childhood was spent in the Cleft, at the base of a volcano, performing various scientific experiments and observations, most of them of a geological nature. They were not always successful, however; an attempt to improve the soil of their garden resulted in him being poisoned by an unidentified chemical that he had introduced. Although Atrus recovered, his pet cat Flame was not so fortunate. When he was 14, he tried to use a steam vent in the volcano's caldera to charge a home-made battery of D'ni design, providing his home with electricity. His efforts resulted in an explosion which collapsed the steam vent he had been using, and disrupted a portion of the volcano's floor.

Shortly after this failed experiment, his father returned to retrieve him from his grandmother's care, insisting that Atrus learn about the D'ni and come to live with him in the Cavern. Over Ti'ana's protestations, Gehn took Atrus with him when he left. The two returned to the home that Gehn had established on the island of K'veer, and it was there that Atrus began to learn about regestoy, the ancient D'ni craft of linking to other worlds, or Ages.

Rebellion against Gehn[edit]

Over time, Atrus began to realize that his father was mad with delusions of grandeur. Gehn believed that, as the sole survivor of the cataclysm that had destroyed D'ni, it was his duty to rebuild their empire and re-establish their dominion over thousands of Ages. He saw himself as a god who created everything in the Ages he wrote, including their inhabitants. Atrus refused to accept this belief, and questioned his father's destructive, hodge-podge method of writing Ages. At one point he attempted to escape back to the Cleft, but he was caught and imprisoned in a room at the base of K'veer. Gehn locked him in with the Descriptive Book for the Age of Riven, hoping — without actually saying so — that he would be able to repair it. In an effort to escape his prison, Atrus managed to collapse the alcove around the only door out.

Having nowhere else to go, Atrus linked to Riven. While examining the odd, almost gravity-defying behavior of the Age's water in a pool, he nearly drowned before being rescued by several of the Rivenese natives. As he recovered in their village, he met and developed a fondness for Katran, though he called her Catherine instead. Together, the developed a plan to put an end to Gehn's mad attempts to rebuild D'ni by stabilizing Riven and imprisoning him there forever. Catherine provided the Age of Myst, which she claimed to have written, as a sanctuary for the two.

Atrus was captured during his attempt to enact their plan to imprison Gehn by burning all of the outbound Linking Books in the Age. Catherine rescued him, using special changes she had written into Riven's Descriptive Book as a distraction as well as a means of escape. After Catherine returned to Myst using a Linking Book which she had brought, Atrus followed her, dropping the Book into the Star Fissure as he left. This Book, as Atrus later wrote in his journal, "continued falling into that starry expanse of which [he] had only a fleeting glimpse."

At home on Myst[edit]

Atrus and Catherine married and lived on Myst with Ti'ana, who had been secretly helping Catherine behind the scenes throughout their efforts to imprison Gehn. Together they had two sons, Achenar and Sirrus. Troubled by the prospect of an unknown person obtaining the Myst Book that he dropped into the Star Fissure, Atrus invested a great deal of energy in securing his growing library of Ages on Myst. He built new structures to house his Books, and wrote a pair of prison Ages to ensnare greedy individuals.

When his grandmother died after visiting one of Catherine's Ages, he buried himself in his writing and experiments to distract himself from his grief. This led him to grow distant from his wife and sons. He and Catherine, both deeply impacted by Ti'ana's death, ultimately failed to see the seeds of greed and madness growing in their sons until it was too late. Atrus returned to Myst one day to find Catherine missing, with Sirrus and Achenar claiming that she had linked to K'veer. Knowing that Catherine would only travel to K'veer if it was an emergency, he quickly followed after his wife, only to find himself trapped there alone due to his sons sabotaging his link back to Myst. Catherine, having been tricked into traveling to K'veer by her sons before Atrus' return to Myst, was trapped on Riven and captured by Gehn.

Encounter with the stranger[edit]

After spending several months trapped in K'veer, Atrus received an unexpected visitor: a stranger who found the lost Myst Linking Book. This stranger brought with them the missing page from Atrus' own Myst Linking Book, finally freeing Atrus from his entrapment on K'veer. He returned to Myst only briefly, in order to burn the Linking Books to his sons' prison Ages. A short time later, he summoned his new friend to help rescue Catherine from Riven, trap Gehn in a new prison Age one and for all, and return the stranger to their home. Thanks to the stranger's success, Atrus was reunited with his wife, and they both returned to Myst together. Because the stranger had reopened the Star Fissure in order to signal to Atrus that Catherine was safe, Riven was irreparably damaged, and during its final collapse the stranger used the Star Fissure to follow the path of the Myst Linking Book back to their home.

Leading the First Restoration[edit]

After they were reunited, Atrus and Catherine built a new home on Chroma'agana and began to plan the rebuilding of D'ni. With the help of the natives of Averone, Atrus was finally able to break out of the room in K'veer and venture back into the Cavern. Together, they worked to uncover and categorize any Ages they could find, and systematically searched them for survivors of D'ni's destruction. In all, they found over a thousand D'ni who had escaped the destruction.

A few months into the restoration effort, a team working in the Guild Hall uncovered an unknown chamber beneath the cafeteria, which turned out to be the Tomb of the Great King. Inside, they found many ancient Ages and books, the most prominent of which was Terahnee. Atrus led an expedition to the Age, along with Catherine and several D'ni and Averonese companions. They discovered that the Terahnee were the D'ni's cousins, separated over 10,000 years ago during the destruction of their original home world, Garternay. As a result of this discovery, Atrus began to consider abandoning the Cavern and resettling the survivors in the rediscovered Age. The decision was reversed, however, when he and his companions learned that the Age was built and operated on the backs of a massive slave population known as the relyimah. Matters were further worsened when a plague broke out among the Terahnee, inadvertently carried to the Age by the D'ni explorers, who were immune. With the sudden death of many of their owners, the relyimah rose up to claim their freedom, and Atrus found himself thrust into the middle of their struggle. He and a former slave named Ymur butted heads during a meeting of relyimah leaders. Ymur desired vengeance against the Terahnee and their servants, the P'aarli, while Atrus and the other leaders counseled for peace.

The conflict escalated in intensity until finally Ymur decided to lead his followers in an assault on the relyimah council who supported Atrus' position. The approaching civil war was averted, however, when a young relyimah who had survived the plague assassinated Ymur on the eve of the first battle. The act was seen as a fulfillment of a relyimah prophecy, and the boy's sacrifice united the relyimah under the leadership of the council. In a ceremony several days later, the relyimah renamed the Age "Devokahn", and Atrus and his team returned to D'ni, sealing the Linking Books connecting the two worlds in stone anew.

After returning to the Cavern, Atrus decided that the D'ni needed a new start, unencumbered by the weight of their civilization's past. To that end, on Leefo 1 9469 DE, he set about writing a new Age: Releeshahn. At first he struggled with its development, daunted by the task of making a new home for his people. Catherine came to his aid by giving him a Linking Book to J'nanin, a lesson Age he had written to teach his sons the Art, and which had survived the destruction of the library on Myst. Finally, after a year of work, the Age was completed and the D'ni resettled.

Life in Tomahna[edit]

Atrus did not join his people on Releeshahn. Instead, he and Catherine moved to a new home in the New Mexico desert, which they called Tomahna. There, they had a new daughter, Yeesha. A little while later, he found several items in his office in different places than where he had left them, and began to worry that someone was breaking into their home. He commissioned observation cameras and nara padlocks from Guild Master Tamon on Releeshahn. Catherine thought him somewhat paranoid, but he ultimately had good reason to be. A few months after Yeesha's birth, Atrus invited his old friend, the stranger, to visit. He hoped to show them Releeshahn and introduce them to the D'ni. Just as they were about to depart, however, the Book was stolen by Saavedro, who set fire to Atrus' office during his escape. He had been imprisoned on J'nanin decades ago by Sirrus and Achenar, and used the Tomahna Linking Book left behind by Atrus during his search for inspiration when writing Releeshahn to steal the Age as a bartering tool. Saavedro hoped to convince Atrus to rewrite his home world of Narayan, which he feared was ruined by Sirrus and Achenar. Unfortunately for Saavedro's plan, Atrus was unable to follow him. Instead, the stranger was the only one close enough to the J'nanin Book to use it before it was consumed by the office fire. After reuniting Saavedro with his people, the stranger returned the Releeshahn Book to Atrus.

The next decade or so passed uneventfully for Atrus. He and Catherine spent much of their time doting on their daughter and teaching her about the D'ni and the Art. However, he and Catherine began to wonder if their sons had perhaps been imprisoned long enough. With Catherine's help, Atrus wrote secure linking chambers into the sons' prison Ages of Spire and Haven, drawing on his experiences with Stoneship and Catherine's natural talent for bending the Art to its limits. They met with Sirrus and Achenar, hoping to see if they had been reformed by their imprisonment, and eventually introduce them to Yeesha. Unable to make a decision, however, Atrus once again called on the stranger for help. He had intended to use the latest version of his crystal viewer to observe his sons with the stranger from afar, but this plan was foiled when the viewer's audio component blew out. Atrus returned to the Cleft for tools and parts, asking the stranger to look after Yeesha since Catherine was visiting her people on Tay at the time. After traveling to Rime to retrieve its crystal viewer, he was trapped there by an electromagnetic storm. During his absence, Sirrus escaped from Spire and attempted to abduct and essentially possess his sister as a way to learn the Art from his father. He was ultimately stopped by the stranger, with Achenar's help, but both brothers died as a result.

Later years[edit]

Years later, with Catherine dead and Yeesha gone, Atrus began to despair. In his old age, he began to take interest in the ancient D'ni prophecies that seemed to describe his life, which he had rejected as meaningless for so long. He eventually abandoned Tomahna and moved to Releeshahn. Atrus lamented that the burden of restoring and caring for D'ni had been passed to his daughter, whom he had not seen since she left to uncover her destiny as a teenager. He was finally reunited with her in 9660 DE, after Dr. Watson, a former DRC member, freed the bahro from their long enslavement by the D'ni.

While Atrus was quite old by this time – 250 years – his age is not beyond the average for a member of the D'ni race. His life expectancy is unknown, however, due to his mixed race heritage. There is currently no record of whether Atrus is still alive as of 2016 CE, but neither is there any record of his death.

Appearances[edit]

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