Myst Series Synopsis
The following is a brief synopsis of the events which chronicle the story of Atrus and his family, beginning with his grandfather Aitrus in the Book of D'ni, and concluding with the modern re-discovery and restoration of D'ni. Please be aware that there are plot spoilers for most of the games, so read at your own risk.
For a more complete timeline of D'ni history, please see the History section of the Archive.
- 1 Book of Ti'ana
- 2 Book of Atrus
- 3 Between The Book of Atrus and Myst
- 4 Myst
- 5 Riven
- 6 Book of D'ni
- 7 Between The Book of D'ni and Myst III: Exile
- 8 Myst III: Exile
- 9 Myst IV: Revelation
- 10 Between Myst IV and Uru
- 11 Uru: Ages Beyond Myst / Uru Live: Prologue
- 12 Uru: The Path of the Shell
- 13 Myst V: End of Ages
- 14 Myst Online: Uru Live
Book of Ti'ana
An expedition from D'ni is tasked with creating a path to the surface of the Earth. Although the project is eventually canceled, a human named Anna manages to find her way through the abandoned tunnels and into D'ni, where she meets and eventually falls in love with a member of the failed expedition, Aitrus. Together they marry and have a child, Gehn. This does not sit well with members of the D'ni people, including Aitrus' friend Veovis and a bitter former guildsman named A'gaeris.
Through A'gaeris' trickery, Veovis is convicted of murder and stripped of his rank as a Council member. Scorned by his people and unaware of A'Gaeris' involvement, Veovis allies with him to destroy D'ni. Aitrus is killed following the destruction of D'ni in an attempt to stop A'gaeris from harming anyone else. Anna and Gehn escape to the surface and take up residence in the Cleft.
Book of Atrus
Atrus' mother, Keta, dies in childbirth, and his father, Gehn, abandons him with Anna in the Cleft while he returns to D'ni. Anna raises Atrus until Gehn unexpectedly returns to retrieve his son and take him back to D'ni. Unbeknownst to both of them, Anna follows them to D'ni and watches from afar. There, on the island of K'veer, Gehn teaches Atrus the Art of writing Ages. Atrus quickly learns that his father is insane and attempts to escape, but is caught and imprisoned in a room near the base of the island with one of Gehn's "defective" Ages, Riven. Anna finally decides to confront Gehn, but finds Catherine, one of Gehn's students from Riven, in his office instead. Together, they begin to plan a way to trap Gehn.
Atrus eventually travels to Riven and meets Catherine, whom he is surprised to learn can write Ages. She shows him Myst, and claims she wrote it, when in fact Anna had written it for them. Together, Atrus and Catherine plan Gehn's imprisonment on Riven. Although Atrus' plan ultimately fails, Catherine and Anna were able to rescue him with heir plan. Through some anomaly of Catherine's writing, the Star Fissure appears in Riven during their escape, enabling Atrus to link to Myst without leaving the Book on Riven for Gehn to use to follow them. Unfortunately, the Star Fissure does not destroy the Book, and Atrus returns to Myst with the concern that someone may find it one day and destroy everything he accomplished.
Between The Book of Atrus and Myst
Atrus marries Catherine and they have Sirrus and Achenar. At some point in the boys' youth, Anna contracts an illness and dies after visiting one of Catherine's Ages. Atrus buries himself in work to cope with his grandmother's death, leaving his sons to feel ignored and abandoned. Over time, they develop a greed towards all of the Ages that Atrus wrote, and begin to despise their father. Together, they concoct a plan to trap their parents and take over and destroy the Ages of Myst. The plan fails, however, because their greed got the better of them both, and they became trapped in two Prison Books which Atrus had originally written to ensnare greedy explorers who might stumble upon his missing Myst Linking Book.
An unknown stranger from Earth finds the lost Myst Linking Book and uses it. Although the events depicted in the game are exaggerated for gameplay purposes, it seems clear that the stranger was forced to choose between Sirrus and Achenar's freedom, and ultimately decided against both of them, discovering Atrus instead, trapped in K'veer by his sons. Atrus is released from his prison, and destroys the Linking Books to Sirrus and Achenar's Prison Ages.
Atrus requests the assistance of the stranger to rescue his wife from Riven, and capture Gehn once and for all. The stranger is successful, and after re-opening the Star Fissure, is able to reunite Atrus and Catherine, and return home to Earth.
Book of D'ni
Atrus has linked to the Age of Averone to request their assistance in digging him out of his prison on K'veer so that he can access the rest of D'ni once more. Together with his wife and a handful of volunteers from Averone, Atrus begins the task of rebuilding D'ni and looking for survivors of the fall. During the restoration work, an ancient Linking Book to an Age called Terahnee is discovered. There, Atrus meets the D'ni's long-estranged relatives from the collapse of their original mutual homeworld, Garternay.
Plans to relocate to Terahnee rather than restore D'ni come undone when Atrus discovers that the Age is built on the backs of slaves captured from other Ages. In fact, the lives of everyone in Atrus' party are endangered when the Terahnee learn that none of them are of pure D'ni blood.
Suddenly, the Terahnee slaves, servants, and masters begin to fall victim to a deadly disease. It is soon discovered that it was inadvertently brought through to Terahnee from D'ni. In the aftermath of the disease, the slaves of the Terahnee - the Relyimah - rise to power and begin to rebuild Terahnee for themselves, renaming the Age "Devokan," the D'ni word for hope.
Between The Book of D'ni and Myst III: Exile
Atrus concludes that the D'ni should not rebuild the city in the Cavern. Instead, he writes a new Age for them to settle in called Releeshahn (D'ni for "The Whole," a concept Anna had instilled in him as a boy). Atrus does not settle in Releeshahn, however, choosing instead to return to Earth and settle on the surface in a lakeside ranch home called Tomahna. There, he raises his new daughter, Yeesha, with Catherine.
Myst III: Exile
A figure from Atrus' past returns to haunt his present during a visit from Atrus' friend, the stranger. An invitation to visit Releeshahn becomes a mission to save the Book from the clutches of Saavedro, a man who had been cut off from his people 20 years previously by Sirrus and Achenar. The stranger is able to reunite Saavedro with his people, and recover the Releeshahn Book, returning it to Atrus.
Myst IV: Revelation
Atrus and Catherine begin to have second thoughts about leaving their sons trapped in Prison Ages for nearly 20 years. Atrus calls on his friend the stranger to help him determine if either Sirrus or Achenar are worthy of being set free. Unbeknownst to Atrus, however, Sirrus has concocted a plan to free himself, and while Atrus is trapped in Rime by an electromagnetic storm, Sirrus escapes from his prison and kidnaps his little sister, Yeesha, planning to use her to learn the Art from his father.
The stranger is forced to explore both Sirrus and Achenar's Prison Ages looking for clues to Yeesha's location and whether either brother has repented. A final showdown in Serenia - one of Catherine's Ages - results in Sirrus' death while attempting to wrest control of Yeesha's body from her using a modified Serenian tradition for storing the memories of the dead. Achenar and the stranger are able to stop Sirrus from succeeding, but Achenar is forced to sacrifice himself to enable to stranger to prevail.
Between Myst IV and Uru
Yeesha leaves Tomahna for the Cleft, and later D'ni, to find her purpose. She falls into a brief madness out of loneliness, but eventually meets Calam, a former D'ni Guildmaster of Writing. Although they originally fought against each other because of their clashing views on the Art, they eventually began to teach each other their abilities. In time, they discovered the power of the Bahro and the Tablet. Yeesha believes that someday, Calam would be the Grower, but he is murdered by a mysterious individual who is later destroyed by Yeesha. Yeesha later learns from the Bahro themselves, learning of their mysterious ways, inheriting their unusual powers, and sharing their pain of enslavement.
Sometime during these events, Catherine dies of old age, and Atrus sinks into a deep depression. He begins to learn of the prophecies he had so long ignored, and eventually relocates to Releeshahn, abandoning his home in Tomahna to the desert.
Almost 200 years later, John "Fighting Branch" Loftin discovers D'ni. Over the next nine years, he, Dr. Richard A. Watson, and their mutual friend Elias Zandi begin exploring and rebuilding D'ni. Along the way, they discover Catherine's journals, and allow Cyan to use them as the basis for a series of computer games. Elias' son Jeff gets into a philosophical argument with his father regarding the course of the restoration and leaves D'ni.
After Elias dies of a heart attack in 1996, Dr. Watson uses the money willed to the restoration effort to establish the D'ni Restoration Council, and begins the restoration of D'ni in earnest.
In early 2003, Jeff Zandi begins to aid explorers wandering in from the desert in accessing D'ni. He parks his Airstream trailer near the Cleft and directs explorers to a message left there by Yeesha.
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst / Uru Live: Prologue
In late 2003, thousands of explorers descend upon the D'ni Cavern. Yeesha uses many of them to call the Bahro to D'ni, and many more become quickly frustrated with the DRC's delays in opening areas of the island city of Ae'Gura. After an accident in the D'ni Guild Hall kills former restoration engineer Phil Henderson, Dr. Watson leaves D'ni, leaving the DRC without their leader. They flounder and attempt to recover from this blow for two months before finally being forced to withdraw from the Cavern due to a lack of funding.
Uru: The Path of the Shell
Explorers returning to the Cavern individually, without permission from the DRC, learn more of Yeesha's place in the ancient prophecies of The Watcher, a man who foresaw the destruction and rebuilding of D'ni.
Myst V: End of Ages
In 2005, Yeesha calls upon the assistance of a stranger - later revealed to be Dr. Richard Watson, and not to be confused with the stranger who helped Atrus in times past - to aid her in the final release of the Bahro from their enslavement. Dr. Watson is forced to choose whether to give the Tablet - a mysterious device which controls the full power of the Bahro - to Yeesha or Esher - a half-mad D'ni bent on power and vengeance for the destruction of his people. Ultimately, however, he chooses to relinquish control of the Tablet and give it to the Bahro themselves. In doing so, Yeesha is released from her burden, and the Bahro take her and Dr. Watson to Releeshahn, where Yeesha is finally reunited with her father.
Myst Online: Uru Live
In late 2006, the DRC have received new funding from a venture capitalist named Cate Alexander. After a brief build-up period, the DRC officially opens the Cavern to the public once again in early 2007. Over the following months, the DRC continue to release new Ages - as well as old ones - against the backdrop of a growing Bahro civil war, resulting directly from Dr. Watson granting them their freedom two years prior. In September of 2007, Yeesha appeared briefly to tell explorers that she was leaving to try and draw the attention of the Bahro - as well as their war - away from the Cavern. At the same time, Cate Alexander announced that she would no longer be funding the DRC due to an insufficient return on her investment, and the remaining DRC members left the Cavern to search for new sources of funding. On April 10, 2008, the DRC once again closed the Cavern after failing to acquire a new source of funding.