Myst #0, titled Passages, is the prequel of the Book of Black Ships. It was written by Chris Ulm and drawn by Kirk Van Wormer.
The story begins with Atrus writing one of his journals, recollecting his memories with his father Gehn during his childhood. He then proceeds to the main story, a legend of D'ni that he has heard or read, about the story of Varsil, the 'first D'ni Guild Master' who discovered and perfected the Art, and his apprentice Atak. The timeframe is vague but perhaps, despite the name 'D'ni' is used instead of 'Ronay', the story takes place on Garternay, before the Exodus.
Varsil's inventions were admired by the King Clevis. When Varsil created the first Linking book leading to a food Age, the King offered to give Varsil anything he desired. When Varsil asked to marry the daughter of the King who refused to do so, he went mad and vowed to take his revenge using the power of the Art and started destroying his books. In order to prevent this, Atak blinded him.
Contradictions and canonicity
The comic is out of production because it was frowned upon by Cyan, owner of the Myst franchise, as well as by Myst fans, as the comic was not faithful or consistent to the Cyan spirit, and known D'ni history; for example:
- The panel where Atrus is seen writing seems to be based on a screenshot of the room of K'veer, however the narrative says he is in Myst.
- Anna is mentioned by Atrus to be his mother instead of grandmother. However since she 'adopted' him after Gehn abandoned him, it's possible he considered her a maternal figure.
Later published sources by Cyan have contradicted some elements of the comic; for example:
- It is not made clear whether Varsil invented the Art or if he just perfected it, and in what way. According to canon, the D'ni is considered Art a gift from Yahvo, not an invention.
- Guilds and Guild Masters existed even before Earth so there was never a "first D'ni Guild Master".
- No King "Clevis" ever existed according to the later revealed backstory of Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
Most of the above can be explained only if we suppose that the tale took place on Garternay telling us how the Art evolved there, and Clevis could be King of Garternay giving reason to his absence from the list of known Kings). The story however refers to "D'ni" which suggests it took place on Earth; but this contradiction can be reasoned since the word 'Ronay' was not invented (or at least not became known) when the comic was published.