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.
Properly the term 'Age' doesn't refer to the island or limited space the player (or any visitor) has access to, but to the whole universe to which that place belongs.
However, most individual Ages were christened according to the characteristics of the islands visited. The word usually refers to the place or island taken into consideration. For example when talking about the peoples of Stoneship, Atrus mostly referred to those he met, or those who existed in the location(s) he visited, not all the inhabitans of the planet, or the universe that planet belonged in, as those where outside of the scope of his 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. 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.
Related sites Edit
- Cyan's information on the D'ni (old)
- D'ni Desk Reference- among others, hosts a very comprehensive list of Ages