Locusani...

Lost Souls...


Of What's Left to Say...

This page details my thoughts on stuff that has been left unsaid. Was Saavedro really in exile for twenty years, or did he, in his insanity, miscalculate? How does Narayan work, and what sort of rituals do they have? Was it possible that, with a little work, Saavedro could have cheated the shields and gotten into Narayan without a second person's help? And why in the worlds would Atrus want to build a big ice shield in Narayan, anyway? This is, in effect, a speculation page - you'll find all of my solutions to these burning questions and much more on this page. 

Etymology Through the Ages (Of Exile)

 "Tomahna! Edanna! Amateria, Voltaic, Narayan! J'nanin, locusani degraca sul de yamani..."

 

We all know this familiar refrain - but while we may know the lyrics to the song, and while some (including me) may even know how to translate the Narani lyrics, not many know the etymology of the names of Exile's ages. Well, we're just going to have to fix that, aren't we? And since we've already covered Narayan in the sections above, I'm just going to skip right to the hub age of J'nanin.

According to Ye Olde Wikipedia, J'nanin comes from the ancient Sanskrit word Jnana, which means knowledge or philosophy. In Buddhism, it is pure awareness that is free from conceptual thinking. It contrasts with Vijnana, or divided knowledge. In Hinduism, it is known as true knowledge - the knowledge that you are connected with Brahman, or the Ultimate Reality. The word J'nanin itself is Narani for "Place of Learning" - interesting connection, and very fitting for a lesson age, wouldn't you say so?

Next up - Edanna. Edanna's name most likely is derived from the name of the mythical (or real, depending on what you believe) Garden of Eden. You know, the Biblical garden of Eden? Adam and Eve, the snake, the Tree of Knowledge, that story? You don't? Well, shame on you. Go find and read it if you don't know it. (Sugary Snicket Productions does not endorse any specific religion, fandom, thoughts, or creed... Now get back in line. Big Brother is watching.)

Obvious? Yes. Next is Amateria, and its name is a little more interesting to contemplate... It is possibly a combination of latin a-, meaning "without" and materia, meaning... well, "material". But "Without Material" doesn't make much sense, unless you mean the anti-gravity properties of that blue mineral. Another possible explanation is that it was named after the Japanese goddess of the sun, Amaterasu. I won't go into her story, but this may well explain the perpetual sunset and Japanese feel of this age. Both explanations may be true, for all we know...

Finally, we turn to Voltaic: the age of energy. Voltaic, believe it or not, is an actual word meaning "of or relating to electricity" or "producing electrical energy from a chemical reaction." In fact, this last thing is how a battery works. A battery is a type of voltaic cell.

There, that covers the ages. Of course, there are other things - Saavedro's name, for example - to examine the etymology of, but that's an entirely different story...

The Etymology of Saavedro's Name

After a long and tiring search by my good friend Mystie of the Narayani Collective has found the answer to what Saavedro's name means. On the subject, Mystie has this to say:

"A long time ago, when first looking for info about [Saavedro], [...] I had stumbled upon a Myst
page about him that mentioned something about his name being somehow connected to pine
cones (or a scientific name for pine cones). Later I wanted to link [to this page], but never found
it again. So I searched and searched, [...] found out about that city called Saavedro, found out
that there were families called Saavedra... and also, along the way, that it had been the name of
Miguel de Cervantes! But no clue of an origin or a meaning... until this ancestry.com article."

According to said article, the name Saavedro (or more appropriately, Saavedra) comes from two words - the Gothic (no, not that Gothic) word saa, meaning 'hall' (From Gothic sals, meaning 'main house'); and the Latin word vedro (From Latin vetus, meaning old). Mystie's rough translation was "Of the old main house", but as the two words that make up Saavedro's name are very plainly 'hall' and 'old', a more appropriate translation would be "Of the old hall" or "Of the ancient/ancestral hall". Very fitting for a guy whose entire culture runs on ancient tradition!

Narayan

Narayan is a complex, yet beautiful, age: strange and alien, yet friendly and somewhat familiar at the same time. In such an age, you have to wonder how it works - I mean, the people live on giant, floating trees for crying out loud! Well, it obviously works - otherwise there'd be no people living on it. But how does it work? To figure that out, we first have to look at the age overall.

If there are two things that are absolutely needed to support life AT ALL, it's oxygen and water. Now, Narayan obviously has oxygen - you managed to survive there long enough to finish the game, after all. As for water, Narayan's surface is totally covered with the stuff - oceans and yet more oceans. According to Wikipedia, the etymology of Narayan comes from Narayana - an old Sanskrit name for the Hindu god, Vishnu. Because Vishnu is connected with water, he as Narayana is often depicted as standing or sitting on top of a vast ocean. So, Narayan's a pretty fitting name for a world covered in water, isn't it?

Well, duh! you may be saying. Everyone knows that Narayan's a water world, Sugary, so why are you talking about it?

Well, the Lattice trees, being trees and therefore being plants, need water to grow. The roots of these trees, which you can't see below the clouds, extend into the ocean, therefore providing not only water for the tree, but water for the Narayani living on the tree - they probably tap into the roots and use them the way we use indoor plumbing. Narayan also has several rifts in its ocean floor where the heat from the inside of the planet turns the water that flows into them into steam. This steam helps new puffer spores, which comprise part of a whole lattice tree, to find their way into the air for the first time.

Now, lattice trees are not true 'trees' at all, but the result of a symbiosis between two plants - the aforementioned puffer spores and lattice vines. Lattice vines are very resilient and flexible, but they can't grow underwater. They need the sun to help them make food, seeing as they're plants and they go through photosynthesis. Similarly, puffer spores, being light and hollow, need the vines' weight to hold them near the ocean, otherwise they would float up too high on the steam from the rifts and burst in the upper atmosphere.

Here's where the Narayani themselves come in. By using these two plants to build their homes, they create some very intriguingly beautiful natural architecture. There's a very important ritual to how they do this, though, one that's detailed in Saavedro's journal if you bothered to read it through. First, they have to create a niche for the spore in the area where they want the spore to be. After making this, they go catch a puffer spore. This is not easy, however - the spores are out in the air, and the prospective catcher is standing on solid... er, tree. So, they have to call it closer by playing music for it on a special flute. I have no idea how this works, but my theory is that puffer spores are somehow receptive to sound waves, like those from the special flute, and therefore want to move nearer to the sound. (Hey, Narayan isn't Earth - why not have a plant that responds to music?) However it works, the spore eventually gets close enough to be netted and dragged over to the niche, where it gets woven into the vines and can get bigger.

From here, the Narayani can do one of two things - either let it grow or make a room out of it. Because the spores are hollow, they'll collapse without being supported, so if a Narayani wants to make a new room for his house, he'd have to wait until it's bigger and then later enter, weave in an underlying structure, and cut out the doorway. The Narayani also further take care of the tree by trimming the vines as needed and grafting new vines onto the old - thus Saavedro's great knowledge of plants and grafting in general. So, basically, the Narayani are all horticulturists, landscapers, and arbologists; all rolled into one. This delicate balance between the people and the plants helps Narayan itself survive.

Age of Balance, indeed.

Narayan's Sky

Yes, we all know that Narayan has a sky pinker than Barbie eating shrimp with a flamingo. But why? you ask. Why, out of all the colors in the universe, is Narayan's sky bright coral pink?

Well, why is our sky blue? The answer is not, as you might think, the sun's rays reflecting off of the ocean. Light itself is made up of all colors in the rainbow, and water droplets in the air reflect this light. However, they only reflect blue light, which gives our sky its lovely light blue color.

Narayan has this same principle. But because it's a totally different world than ours, it has totally different properties to its water. For instance, Narayani water freezes so solid that no amount of bashing can break it, which is why the ice shield works so well. The water droplets in Narayan's air reflect only red light, which tints the sky - you guessed it - coral pink.

There's another reason for the pink sky as well. You should know that a purple object, for instance, reflects purple light and absorbs everything else. This is the reason why plants are green - the chlorophyll in their cells hate green light... but they adore red and ultraviolet light. Therefore, Narayan's pink sky gives the lattice trees the optimal light conditions to grow. In fact, putting them in a higher wavelength of light might even kill the plant, seeing as it originates from a world where it grows in the lowest wavelength of light that we can see.

The Nutty case of the Nutcase

It's come to my attention that we don't quite know what's wrong with Saavedro. Now, we all know there's something seriously wrong with his mind - but what? What's up with his mind, that is to say, if a psychiatrist took a look at our dear hammer-nutty friend, what would he diagnose him with?

Well, let's look at this a little bit. Here we have a guy who has lived through a war, been trapped away from his family, tortured, and basically has nothing to hang on to anymore. He's very jittery and nervous when you meet him in Exile, and he's also got quite a bit of a temper going on. Not only that, but he speaks of nightmares of being trapped and trouble sleeping, issues remembering what happened only a day ago, and (at least in Locusani) hears things. A quick search on Mayoclinic.com on the various symptoms indicates some form of anxiety disorder - most likely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. In other words, poor old Saavy's shell-shocked.

PTSD often occurs due to severe psychological - and sometimes physical - trauma, such as sexual assault, witnessing a murder, natural disasters, and even... war or torture (Bingo). At this time, nobody's quite sure why people get PTSD, but most agree it's a mix of your genes, your temperament, your life experiences, and chemical changes within the brain. Sufferers may see reminders of it everywhere or have horrifying dreams or flashbacks to the traumatic event, or they might just have upsetting memories that they attempt to block out. Usually an experience that causes PTSD is life-threatening and horrifying, intense, or long-lasting. For Saavedro, it was all three.

PTSD can also cause other mental problems, such as Depression or eating disorders. While Saav probably had a hard enough time getting anything to eat, let alone have an eating disorder, it's entirely possible that he also had Depression. Looking at Saavedro's symptoms again, we see obvious irritability, a feeling of hopelessness, sleeping issues, random crying spells (at least in Locusani), restlessness (the guy seems to fidget all the time!), feelings of worthlessness, and even (at least in Locusani) thoughts of suicide. While everyone has an idea of what Depression is, few know what it's really about. True Depression can't easily be snapped out of. Several things can cause it, such as a terminal illness, certain (generally negative) personality traits like low self-esteem or pessimism, and even - guess what? - stressful life events (And Bingo was his name-o). Not only can this condition be life-threatening, it can also take a serious toll on the quality of life of the sufferer, sometimes leading to substance abuse, suicide, or - get this - anxiety.

As for what exactly triggered PTSD  and depression in dear old Saavy, it may have been his experiences with war that did it. It could also have been Sirrus and Achenar's brutal treatment of him after he was kidnapped and tied up. He may have tried to forget about it, but the reminders of it seemed to be everywhere, thus making him a very jittery and frightened person. Also, Saavedro didn't have anyone else but himself to turn to, thus only making the problem worse, as he had no idea what was wrong and couldn't prevent it. The stress of both this and survival really began to get to him, eventually causing him to break down when he could no longer deal with it. This, coupled with his severe anxiety over the welfare of his family, probably drove him into Depression. It's even possible that poor old Saavedro developed a chronic mental illness over his exile.

Looking at his symptoms later on,  this indeed seems to be the case. Saavedro doesn't seem to even take notice of his appearance, let alone of his temper. He often gets very violent with others, yelling and even hurting them. Not only that, but his mental Fog seems to render the poor guy out cold for long periods of time, and (at least in Locusani) he hears and at least believes that he's seeing things. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that the poor guy's got a serious case of Schizophrenia.

Now, Schizophrenia is in no way the same as having Split Personality Disorder, which Saavedro, although a serious nutcase, certainly does not have. This disorder can be relatively mild, allowing a person to at least function in daily life, or quite severe, requiring hospitalization. Sufferers often have issues with relationships due to not being able to read social cues. They may feel unmotivated, have memory issues, or appear to be emotionless. Speech and movement issues may be present. They usually hallucinate in some way, usually by hearing voices, which may tell the sufferer how to act. In Saavedro's case (at least in Locusani), this means the Voice of Doubt/The Squee, who often gives him 'advice' and acts as a companion - his only companion. Sufferers of Schizophrenia may also have delusions, that is, beliefs that really don't have any basis in reality. For Saavedro, this means his belief that Atrus is the one who orchestrated the entire Narayani civil war because he secretly hated Narayan. This, of course, is not true, but Saavedro is so far gone at that point that it appears true to him. Things that can cause this life-damaging mental disease include virus exposure or malnutrition while in the womb, a family history of Schizophrenia, and (you're not going to believe this) stressful life circumstances.

Poor Saavedro. Not only is the guy constantly sad and scared, but he's also got a chronic mental illness? For his sake, I hope they've got some danged good therapists in Narayan.

Twenty Years? ORLY?

"Twenty years, Atrus. Twenty long years alone. They tied me to a post. They burned their Myst linking books in front of me. They took everything I had! My wife! My two baby girls! And then, when I finally made it back to Narayan and I saw... I s... It would have been better if I had died."

 

Saavedro's sanity is not at all stable in Myst III: Exile. He's nuttier than a jar of peanut butter. He's lost his fire marbles. He's a few pages short of a linking book... whatever you want to call it, it's the same thing. In such a shattered state of mind, he'd probably be more concerned with surviving the next day than the amount of time he's been trapped, and so he'd probably make a very rough estimate.

He also had no way of knowing the passage of time, save for day and night changes. Seasonal changes might have been helpful - but J'nanin and its ages are mainly tropical, and like the majority of Africa, they probably had only two seasons - rainy and dry - and so there's no way of knowing the time through that reason. Basically, poor old Saavedro was up Buck creek without a paddle.

The above quote, taken from his second small imager speech, details not only the damage done by Sirrus and Achenar, but also states that Saavedro knows exactly how long he was trapped for ("Twenty long years!"). This creates some incongruity for several reasons. Outside of the Myst Universe, we all were told that Exile took place ten years after Riven, and Riven about eight months after Myst. And now, we have to flash back to Myst to see how long it was before you entered the equation. (Yes, I know the 'you' in Myst is not really you - it's some random stranger from the 1800's. Technically, I shouldn't even be saying 'you' - but I don't subscribe to the canon as Myst Online and Uru have rewritten it to be, so those who are sticklers for timeline accuracy can stuff it, as far as I'm concerned.) 

Atrus was, as you should know, trapped in K'veer by his sons. The period of time he was trapped is not known, but it couldn't have been more than a few months at the most - 1/4-D'ni writers have to eat, too, and there's no food in K'veer. Atrus probably would have starved and died there if you hadn't come along. We don't know how long it would take someone of 100% D'ni breeding to starve, but it would take a generic Earth human about 1-2 months, and after that, they're dead. Seeing as Atrus is mostly generic Earth human, I'd give him right around that same amount of time before he bites it. Now, Atrus looks pretty healthy in Myst, so he couldn't have been there too long. Therefore, I'd place his time trapped there at right around two weeks at the most - any longer, and the guy wouldn't be able to lift his pen.

So, we'll say you come to Myst Island a few weeks after Atrus is initially trapped. Give or take a few days, Atrus would still be alive - dang hungry, but alive.

Now, Saavedro was obviously exiled sometime before Atrus was - About ten years before. Now, it seems rather unfeasible (though very Atrus-like) for Atrus to have simply over-looked all the bad stuff his sons were doing for a whole decade... But hey, that's Atrus for you. Atrus was probably so busy that he had no idea of what was going on.

According to chronological records, you were on Myst Island for at least eight months before you took on Riven. After that, you went home for ten years, then returned for the events of Exile. Which means that, thus far, Saavedro has been trapped for two decades and eight months. Read, a little more than 20 years.

Now, Saavedro's not stupid - far from it. He knows math, obviously, and he's gotta be pretty smart to solve Atrus' mind-benders. (*cough*Amateria*cough*...) It would only take a little mathematical logic, and perhaps a little research in Atrus' journals, to find out how long he's been exiled. As a matter of fact, that's probably exactly what happened - Saavedro originally didn't know how long he'd been trapped until he found the Tomahna linking book, read Atrus' journals, and did the math. As for the months, he probably either rounded them or didn't particularly care about them - seeing as 20 years is a lot longer than eight months - what difference did half a year make to him? He was too vengeful and crazed at this point to care.

Of course, there's always the argument that Saavedro exaggerated to make Atrus feel even worse about what happened; or that he never knew at all and simply guessed, but these, while feasible, seem a little unlikely.

Of Shields of Ice...

Yes, we all know that there's two huge ice shields in the part of Narayan that we get to explore. But do you know why? No? I thought so.

As far as I know, Atrus has nothing on the shield in his in-game journal, so the only real resource we have for this is Saavedro, and he's not exactly the most stable guy in Myst III: Exile. Therefore, the following theory might have some dings in it.

According to Saavedro, Atrus installed the ice shields as a puzzle for his sons to solve. The idea was that all their previous lessons were to culminate in Narayan, where they would have to turn on the power, open the inner shield to get the symbols for the outer shield, open the outer shield, and somehow get to the gondola that would take them to Narayan. My theory is that the lattice vine grill that we see in Myst III: Exile was previously a door, but the lattice has overgrown and broken the hinges from twenty years of not being tended. There would also be someone camping out in the metal bunker upstairs, which is actually some sort of control room, who could turn off the power, reset the puzzle, and melt either the inner shield, the outer shield, or both if the need arose. These controls, however, have also been destroyed by years of not being used. In fact, after Sirrus and Achenar solved it and opened the outer shield, the guy in the bunker probably melted the inner shield so the boys could leave.

Well, that solves the mystery of how people got into Narayan... How did Saavedro get out of it?

Now, after Sirrus and Achenar started the War and took the stuff they wanted from Narayan, they obviously wanted to get out of there with nobody following them. So, they hopped in the gondola and rode it to the area with the shields. There's only one gondola there, and it's on another tree-village, so Saav probably rode another gondola over there (which probably burned in the fires and tumult during the War) and then used some sort of  switch, a la the Riven Maglevs, to call it back. If there was another gondola in his village, the boys probably took that one, which then forced Saavedro to go to the next village and take that one. Either way, the outer shield was already down when he got there - perhaps even when the boys already got there, seeing as the guy in the control room had probably abandoned his post to help his family in his burning village. Heck, he may have seen the boys coming, thought that they were trying to escape, opened both shields, and gotten killed by them (remember, they didn't want witnesses). Regardless of the guy's fate, Saavedro made it there and inside, probably in time to see the brothers shut off the power and link. In fact, the shield guy probably was killed - Achenar killed him and broke the controls somehow while Sirrus shut off the power. The inner shield may even have frozen behind Saavedro as he entered, but he was unconcerned by this, as he thought that the shield guy was still there. He saw the brothers link and followed, which put him in J'nanin and in a lot of trouble.

This isn't quite how it happens in Locusani... but hey - my story, my rules. If I want to cut all this stuff out and leave it wide open for interpretation, then so be it. I am Writer, hear me roar!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot...

 

WARNING! MYST III: EXILE ENDGAME SPOILERS BELOW! READ ONLY IF YOU'VE FINISHED MYST III: EXILE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, are all the people who haven't played gone? Good.

As you should know if you did the bad endings of Myst III: Exile, Saavedro will kill you if you do anything other than either A) trap him or B) do what he wants. In one particular ending, he hits you with Releeshahn, presumably killing you.

Several people over at Mystcommunity find this unfeasible. Some argue that his age (mid-forties to early fifties) would be a factor, but seeing as forty to fifty is middle age, Saav would still be fairly healthy. Rather, he'd probably be stronger - he'd have to be in order to survive on J'nanin and it's ages. The puzzles take some brainpower to solve, not to mention all the different survival challenges and the creativity needed to solve those problems - and running around hunting and resetting puzzles and hitting stuff doesn't exactly make you weak physically.

Saavedro also has a lot of anger, fear, and confusion at the time he hits you, so adrenaline may also boost his strength due to the Fight-Or-Flight Response. Say you see a spider, and you're terrified of spiders. Your first instinct is to run away screaming, but if there isn't anywhere for you to run to, your body prepares to fight. This is what causes that wonderful adrenaline high that you get when you're on a roller coaster.

Now, Saavedro's already worked up at the end of Exile. He's excited that he's close to his home; indeed, that it's even alive at all. He's got some fear, though, because he knows that you might still double-cross him, and he's still pretty mad at you for not being Atrus. If you go out to the gondola, he becomes even more frightened and angry - you're trying to stand up to him, and he's in a cornered position by the gondola. Fight-Or-Flight kicks in: Saav's breathing and heart rate speeds up to provide his muscles with more oxygen, his pupils dialate to help him see danger better, his muscles tense for him to run, and adrenaline begins to pump through his body. He's both scared and angry that you won't do what he wants, and since there's nowhere for him to run to, he's going to strike out at you. If you keep going in and out, this only makes his fear and anger worse, and his stress levels skyrocket until he finally cannot take it anymore and snaps you like a twig, fueled by fear and anger.

So, the real argument is not "could Saavedro kill you?" - it's "could Saavedro kill you with a book?"

The human brain and head is fragile, and a hard hit in the right place, like the relatively fragile-walled temples, could indeed potentially kill a person. That is, after all, what Saavedro made his hammer for - killing stuff and to use as an all-purpose tool (Though it would also seem that he made a spear - there's a spear-like object near his hammock in his room). But could a book really kill you?

Well, let's look at Releeshahn. It's hard, flat, and, I'm guessing, relatively heavy. It has locks on it - Nara locks, according to the note on Atrus' desk in Tomahna. Nara is a special D'ni compound, several times stronger and harder than steel. It is also very heavy and doesn't break easily - in fact, if you watch through the elevator window on J'nanin at the beginning of the game, you can see (amongst other things) Saavedro attempting to open Releeshahn by trying to pry the covers apart. He gets annoyed and shakes the book because the Nara padlocks are too strong for him to break.

Now, back to the heaviness of Nara in question. It's heavy because it's really, really dense - it's basically super-compounded rock. It's so dense that the D'ni had to apply it in large sheets with machines when they needed it, or else spray it on in a liquid form and wait for it to dry. I'm willing to bet that something so dense would be quite deadly if it hit you at a high speed and with a lot of force.

So, the answer is yes: Through a combination of Saavedro's physical strength, his stress levels, and the hardness of the Nara padlocks, he could indeed really kill you with a book. And I'm also willing to bet that if Saavedro had a Nara hammer, both you and Atrus would be pretty much screwed... ;)

The Chime Journals

One fine day on the Internet, just as the brink of the new Millennium was dawning and some time after Riven had been released, a Programmer learned of a new Myst game, one that would blow everyone's socks off and include some very dark elements.

The Programmer worked long and hard, and He eventually posted the official Myst III: Exile website. And He saw that it was Good.

Then He translated this site into other languages and posted those, and He saw that it was Good.

One day, the Programmer turned to the Netizens and He said unto them: "I bring thee a site for the Myst fans. I have hidden fragments of journals and notes around the site." And He left them to their quest.

Several Myst fans found the journals. They read them, intrigued. Some were simple journals that had flash animations and played a page-turning sound effect and were dated with ludicrously multi-digited numbers. And these they dubbed the Turning-Page Journals.

Then they found four other notes, seeming to be written by a desperate soul or indeed by Atrus himself. These journals had flash animations and got increasingly darker and played a chiming sound effect. And these they dubbed the Chime Journals...

 

The Chime Journals, along with their counterpart, the Turning-Page Journals, were a marketing ploy designed to further bring Myst III: Exile into the public eye. It became a source of great speculation for many years and was thought to be some sort of riddle that would give plot clues for Exile. These journals are, sadly, no longer online, but the text of the Turning-Page Journals is still available, as are the text and images of the Chime Journals.

The Turning-Page Journals were more than likely a way to garner interest for the game. These journals were organized in 'books' hidden around the pages of the Myst III: Exile website and played a page-turning sound effect when one turned the pages in it. It is not known, even now in 2008, who wrote these journals. It is even thought that the writers are in J'nanin somewhere, perhaps looking for Saavedro, but according to the way the journals have been written, it would seem that Saavedro was looking for them...

The Chime Journals seem to tell a little bit of the history of Saavedro, although his identity was obviously not known at the time they were around. Some people even thought the writer to be Atrus, because of the way the writer referred to his wife in the first journal. These journals would open in another window titled "A Special Message", along with playing a chiming sound in the background and having the images change when you moused over certain parts of them. They seem to show a certain progression of insanity, as evidence in the images and text show

I have posted images to the Chime Journals below, along with my commentaries on them. Unfortunately, the originals, plus sound and flash animation, are no longer up, so I have also added information on what the images did when moused over.

 

 

 

Journal One

 

This Journal would lighten the inside of the ink well when it was moused over. Notice how even and well- indented the paragraphs are. The letters are similar in size and not at all shaky. Notice also the similarity to Saavedro's slanted handwriting, though it's obviously not the same font. In this one, the writer sounds optimistic, judging by how he assumes that there's "A reason for everything" and he "Has only to look" to understand the age he's found himself in. In contrast, he also feels rushed and urged, which pairs up very nicely with Saavedro's rushed link to J'nanin to try and get Sirrus and Achenar to help. The writer also refers to a mysterious 'He'; probably Atrus, and he also mentions that his wife is in danger... a reference to Tamra and the Narayani civil war, perhaps?

 

 

 

Journal Two 

 

In this Journal, the liquids in the vials would lighten when moused over. Notice how the letters are larger than the ones in the previous Journal. Notice also that some are slightly bolder than others. The indenting here is getting more shaky, and some of the sentences are slanting outside of the lines. The writer is obviously struggling with something, saying that he "doesn't know how much longer he can take this." He's apparently beginning to hear things as well, and he's starting to think of the mysterious 'He' as having some form of power over him. Also note that his writing gets more shaky and rushed near the last paragraph or so, when he's talking about the chasm gantries. It's very obvious that this journal was written in Voltaic - what other age in Exile has a waterfall and chasms in it?

 

  

 

Journal Three

 

How dramatic this entry is! This journal has ink splattered all over it, as you can see, and when moused over, the ink turned blood red. This entry is very shaky and almost illegible in places. The writer is really beginning to lose it, or so it would seem. The sentences fall out of line and the paragraphs are helter-skelter. The letters are warped in places, shaky, and rushed. He seems obsessed with finding the last piece to something, some sort of puzzle or riddle. He's apparently also having a hard time getting anything to eat, as he writes that "the animals elude all my traps". This is a huge change from the optimistic writer in the first journal - here, he is frightened, angry, confused, and probably on the very edge of sanity. The 'He' that was previously mentioned now takes on a terrifyingly evil light, and the writer believes that if he doesn't escape soon, he's going to die. Either the guy is having a major panic attack, or he's losing it. Also notice how the final line of the journal is identical to the first line of the previous journal. Hmm...

 

 

 

 Journal Four

 

Now, if this journal isn't Saavedro's doing, I don't know what is. The tone is very similar to his journal in the game, and it finally reveals that the writer of the previous ones has also got to be Saavedro. The heart graphic in this Journal would turn red and get slightly bigger when moused over. Note that the graphic's metallic tendrils seem to emulate lattice vines, embracing the heart the way that real lattice vines grip the spores (Yes, adept readers, this is indeed where I got the idea for the heart-shaped pendant that Saavedro makes for Tamra when he proposes to her in chapter one of Locusani). This Journal seems to be a threat - obviously one directed towards Atrus. Notice how the writing is now suddenly smoother, well-indented, and even again. It's also not slanted anymore, which means that Saavedro took more time writing this journal, making it very clear and deliberate. The letters are of even proportion. It's all too clear to see what Saavedro intends - and this was far before the game even came out; indeed, far before we even knew Saavedro's name.

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