Yeesha in Myst V: End of Ages
|Name in D'ni||yESa|
Yeesha is Atrus and Catherine's third child, born after Atrus finished writing Releeshahn in approximately 9471 DE (1815 CE), and nicknamed "desert bird" by her parents. Her name is also the D'ni word for "laughter".
Yeesha was born soon after Atrus finished writing Releeshahn, an Age where the survivors of the fall of D'ni could rebuild their civilization anew. She was raised in Tomahna by her parents.
When she was 9, her parents took her to Serenia—which Catherine had written many years before—as part of her lessons in regestoy. While she was there, she learned much about the Serenians' history, culture, and their connection to Dream. After completing her education there, she was granted a memory necklace by the Protectors who safeguarded Serenia's spiritual center. This necklace was able to play back audio and visual memories tied to specific locations or objects.
At the same time as her education on Serenia was progressing, Atrus and Catherine attempted to reconnect with their estranged sons, Sirrus and Achenar, who had been trapped in Prison Ages for 18 years. Sirrus, in a bid to learn how regestoy for himself and eventually rule over the D'ni, captured Yeesha after escaping his prison. Achenar and the Stranger managed to foil his plan, however, and Yeesha returned to her family unharmed.
Departure from Tomahna
As a young woman, Yeesha left her home and traveled to the Cleft, and later into D'ni itself. Her isolation underground eventually caused her to hallucinate, and she began talking to various animals and objects out of her desperation for companionship. One day she found an old D'ni named Calam in the library on Ae'gura. He had been in the Guild of Writers, and they soon became friends.
Although their clashing views caused them to argue often—Calam being more traditional while Yeesha questioned the D'ni way constantly—he taught her everything the D'ni knew about regestoy. But Yeesha, being inquisitive as she was, began to ask deep questions about D'ni and Age-writing to which Calam did not know the answers. Together, they searched for those answers, and discovered the bahro and the Tablet along the way. Upon making this discovery, Yeesha was convinced that Calam was the Grower, a powerful figure whose coming was prophesied long before D'ni fell. Her dreams were shattered, however, when Calam was murdered by an unknown assailant, whom Yeesha later killed in revenge.
Freeing the bahro
Eventually, Yeesha met the bahro themselves, and learned even further with them. She learned of their seemingly magical powers, which she tried to duplicate, and she learned of their burden and long suffering at the hands of the D'ni. When explorers from the surface began to venture into D'ni in late 2003 CE, she taught them about the bahro and what they could to do help free them. She took it upon herself to become the Grower and took possession of the Tablet, but she soon succumbed to the allure of its power. The Tablet, somehow sensing her corrupted desires, stopped responding to her. Yeesha despaired, realizing that she had failed her only chance to free the bahro from its influence.
According to her personal journal, she had a dream one night that she was walking through a cave holding the seed of D'ni itself. There were two holes in the cave: one on the floor, where she could see the D'ni cavern, and one on the ceiling, where she could see the stars. The voice of Yahvo asked her in which hole would she plant the seed. Not knowing the answer, she asked him for advice. He responded that she shouldn't place it in the bottom hole, because that was the easy way of the past, and she shouldn't throw it up into the top hole, because that was for another to do. Waking up from the dream, Yeesha realized its meaning: that she needed the help of another to fulfill the prophecy and free the bahro. She needed another person to move the Tablet for her.
After her failures in 2003 and 2004 CE, she called upon the assistance of Dr. Richard A. Watson in 2005 CE to help her release the bahro from their enslavement to the Tablet. By so doing, she was finally able to complete the task that had been laid before her many years previously, and returned to Releeshahn with her father.
Bahro civil war
In 2007 CE, the DRC and many other explorers began to return to the D'ni cavern, only to find themselves caught in the middle of a civil war between two factions of bahro. One faction, bitter and angry over their millennia of mistreatment by the D'ni, sought to rid the cavern of anyone who might try to rebuild it. The other faction wished to move beyond their past enslavement, and it was with this faction that Yeesha aligned herself. In September of 2007, she appeared to explorers in K'veer and told them that she would draw the aggressive bahro away from the cavern and from Releeshahn by drawing the attention of their leader. She claimed to have something that belonged to him, and she used this to make good on her vow.
A prophet called The Watcher wrote of someone called the "desert bird" in his prophetic work Words. He called this desert bird "The Grower", and this person would have the ability to control time and space, link without Books, and grow the new Tree of D'ni. Yeesha has spoken of and illustrated her ability to write things that had previously been thought impossible, and which align closely with The Watcher's prophecies. She is able to link to other Ages with a specificity that is unmatched in D'ni history, gaining access to many "instances" of an Age that are virtually identical. She used this ability to give each explorer their own instance of Relto, as well as their own private "copies" of many Ages made available by the DRC. Despite being distinct versions of the same Age, every instance still shares a common thread, and events continue to unfold in every instance just as they do in the "prime" version. The Relto Books that she gives to new explorers are also capable of traveling through the link with their owner—unlike traditional D'ni Books. Pictographic symbols can also be used to modify the Age's appearance, despite explorers not having access to its Descriptive Book.
To prove her mastery of time, Yeesha used her linking abilities to visit a different instance of Kadish Tolesa and convinced its owner, former Guild Master Kadish, not to let himself die inside his treasure vault.
Yeesha has also demonstrated the ability to link without using a Linking Book. No one is quite sure how she is capable of doing this, but many believe that it is an ability she learned from the bahro.