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Temple island
Type Island
Written by Gehn
Inhabitants Rivenese
Locations of interest
Flora Tall trees, grass, flowers, forming tropical jungles
Fauna Ytram, Wahrks, Sunners, Beetles, several species of fish.
Game information
Journal- Riven (game)/Atrus' journal
First appearance Riven (game)

Riven is the fifth Age created by Gehn. He considered it to be his first stable age, but like all of his other Ages, it eventually began to deteriorate as a result of Gehn's poor grasp of the Art. This age was the home of Catherine.


Once a single island, Riven became a cluster of five islands as a result of the Age's instability. Four of the five are connected using flexible magnetic levitation vehicles ('trams'); steam pipes also distribute energy between them. The fifth island, on which stood an enormous tree, has long since moved away from the others.

Gehn wrote in the Age all the materials necessary to the craft of making books (and probably every other Age he ever wrote).[1] This included the aforementioned giant tree (for paper), and a species of scarab beetle (for ink).

Gehn noted that the element of "five" was to be found everywhere in he world (eg. its separation to five islands, a piece of wood forming a five-rayed "star" at its center). He believed that this reflected the D'ni preoccupation with the number, as he used pre-existing writings to compose the Age. He further considered it to be evidence that Riven (as every other Age) was indeed created by these writings, rather than being a pre-existing Age to which the writings linked to.[2]

History Edit

Named the Fifth Age by Gehn, he wrote the Age's book by composing fragments of text written by D'ni Masters.[2] It was probably Gehn’s best age, as far as size, technology, and stability went. Even still, Gehn's scarcity of words resulted to several inherent flaws, as all his ages did, and was in a steady state of decline.[3]

To prevent Gehn from continuing his disastrous activities and systematic destruction of his Ages, Atrus trapped Gehn there for 33 years, destroying all linking books, trapping Gehn from ever accessing D'ni. During their confrontation, Catherine (with the assistance of Anna, who probably helped her by avoiding contradictions) wrote alterations in the Riven Descriptive Book. Her bizarre, intuitive rule-breaking style caused Rivenese daggers mysteriously appear around the island and open lava fissures; including the enigmatic Star Fissure.[4]

Atrus attempted to make some corrections to the Descriptive Book, slowing down its collapse, but the instability remained.[3] Atrus built a crystal viewer in Rime to have glimpses to Riven and determine the status of Gehn.[5]

During this part of history, the island split into five. Gehn restricted four of those to himself and to his personnel. The villagers were limited to one island. He stripped them of their former beauty and riddled them with his self-absorbed closely guarded constructions. The Moiety rarely visit them.[1] Gehn used bridges to connect his islands, but later moved to single-seat “mag-lev” trams.[6] Gehn used one island to make books and revive the Art. On another he built a temple that provides power throughout the age. On a third he constructed a scale topographical map of Riven, and the smallest he used as a prison. Gehn’s prison was actually where Riven’s great tree was once located. It had once towered over the island, but Gehn cut it down when Atrus trapped him, and built a prison out of the stump.

Atrus first traveled to Riven in Myst: The Book of Atrus, where he met and fell in love with Katran a Riven native, later known as Catherine. It is where he came to know Catherine and where Atrus and Catherine were supposed to get married.

Riven’s inhabitants split into two factions: those who followed Gehn and those who rebelled against them. Atrus wrote improvements into Riven, but he could only slow the imminent decay. The final collapse happened when a mysterious friend of Atrus trapped Gehn and freed Atrus’s wife Catherine. After all the people had been moved to Tay, the stranger opened the Star Fissure, which called Atrus, but triggered Riven’s end.

The Riven book can be seen at the beginning of Myst III: Exile in Atrus' study. The gateway image in the linking panel appears as though the entire age has fallen to utter chaos after the opening of the Star Fissure.


In the course of 30 years, tectonic plate shifting split the island of Riven into five distinct pieces, about a half a mile apart. Gehn claimed them (except the Jungle Island) as his exclusive domain, with his ministers and personal militia allowed on them.[1]

Temple IslandEdit

Also known as: Dome Island or Allatwan.

This island is named after the temple to Gehn on its east side. It is consisted of two smaller isles. The Riven link-in point is on this island, and it is dominated by the Great Golden Dome, which redirects energy to Gehn's Fire Marble Domes, the Star Fissure, and the Beetle Room with prayers to Gehn. The other isle contains the Temple. Gehn would transmit images and messages from a chamber on this island. Upon entering the temple for the first time, you will catch a fleeting glimpse of his image.

Jungle IslandEdit

Also known as: Village Island.

Here is the only surviving village, where the vast majority of the surviving Rivenese population is concentrated. Access to all other islands (with the exception of Temple island, for ceremonial purposes) was forbidden to the Rivenese by Gehn. The island contains a lagoon, with an underground railway, a school, as well as the Wahrk gallows where Gehn punished disloyal Rivenese by feeding them to the Wahrks of the lake. The village has been changed dramatically since the time Katran left, with Gehn's influence visible everywhere.[1]

There is also a network of caves which the Moiety used as their hideout, and later was the hiding place for the linking book to Tay.[1]

Another feature of the island is its jungle, whose many trees have been cut down to be converted into paper for Gehn's books at Boiler Island.

This particular island is also called "Riven" proper, after the breaking of the land.[1]

Crater IslandEdit

Also known as: Boiler or Book Assembly Island.

A boiler for making paper and books is found here, as well as Gehn's original headquarters. The island is a dormant volcanic crater with a large lake inside of it. In the middle of the lake is a pump with a turn-lever on it that powers a few of the island's devices. One of the devices was a trap that Gehn used to capture ytram, whose bodily liquids were used for poison darts. Trees cut down on Jungle Island are placed in a mine cart that is shipped all the way to Boiler Island, where they are dumped down onto a slide that leads to a crushing device that turns the wood into shavings, which are then placed in the boiler, which is heated to remove the fibers from the wood. After this, it can be pressed into paper.

Plateau IslandEdit

Also known as: Garden, Map, Matrix, Spike, or Survey Island.

This Island has a wide plateau with a miniature map of the Riven islands. Gehn used this island to study the deterioration of the Riven Age. It likely also served a ceremonial role, as Gehn surrounded the island with Wahrk tusks.

Prison IslandEdit

Once holding the massive Great Tree of Riven, before Gehn cut it down for his Books. The Prison Island had drifted far away to the north-east from the other islands and was only reachable through Gehn's 233rd Age. In fact, it's so far away, it can't even be seen from the other four islands. The Moiety had no information about what there was on the island.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Catherine's Riven Journal
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gehn's First Journal
  3. 3.0 3.1 Atrus's Riven Journal
  5. realMyst
  6. Richard Watson (RAWA)'s page explaining the loss of the east path

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