According to the D'ni cosmology, the Creator Yahvo created the Terokh Jeruth, the Great Tree of Possibilities, which has an infinite number of branches and leaves, each leaf being one Age of the multiverse. Each Age is distinct and unique althrough an Age might resemble another like a parallel universe. However not all worlds of the multiverse are viable nor all can support life.
The forefathers of the D'ni, the Ronay of Garternay, developed what they called The Art (Gestoy), which allowed them to write Descriptive Books, that could create a Link between Ages, allowing people to travel to the Ages described in each Book. And The Art is named as such as it followed basic principles concerning stability, viability and avoidance of contradictions while describing an Age; failure to follow those rules would describe, and link to an unstable or near-death world.
Many Ages, especially those written by Atrus, are written as or with central themes (Haven and Edanna are jungle-based Ages). According to Atrus, these themes give the ages balance, though in creating Releeshahn his intention to create a balance of all plausible themes that facilitate the growth of civilization.
The D'ni word "Age" might refer to the infinite expanse of Time of a Universe, from uttermost past to ultimate future, defining and encompassing therefore all of its existence. Propersly the term "Age" refers to the whole universe in which the useable place belongs.
In practice, the term "Age" loosely refers speficially to the place of the Age taken into consideration, eg. an island, a limited space, or the civilization the visitor has access to. The text of the Myst III: Exile - Prima Official Guide equates the collapse of the Lattice Tree with the destruction of the Age of Narayan; the collapse of the Tree would destroy the Narayani civilization but it is unlikely it would signify the destruction of the planet it was standing on, or the universe it belonged to; therefore the word "Age" here is used more freely, not with its cosmological sense, but as the scope of Atrus's writing or consideration.
Almost all of the Ages featured in the games look like islands, simply because islands (or any limited place) are much easier to design and render for the games. This could be true for the D'ni as well, as describing an isolated, autonomous place like an island (or the Cavern) would be easier than bothering with what would exist beyond. Vast Ages such as Terahnee, Er'cana or Releeshahn, were probably exceptional masterpieces.
Most individual Ages were christened according to the characteristics of the islands visited.
Related sites Edit
- Cyan's information on the D'ni (old)
- D'ni Desk Reference- among others, hosts a very comprehensive list of Ages