September 4th, 2003

Initially I had missed the message that had been sitting in my inbox. The message in question happened to be from Jeff Zandi who, despite the wishes of the DRC, was inviting me to The Cleft. Not as a guided tour like my previous visit, but full on access to the D’ni cavern as one of “the Called”.
It took a while to get everything organized with him before finally receiving directions today.

In anticipation I had already made the journey from England to the U.S. and was staying in a hotel in Carlsbad whilst awaiting the final pieces to fall into place as it were. I busied myself with packing items I felt I would need in a large backpack as I got antsy waiting for Zandi to get back to me.
At 11:45am local time, I finally received the directions I had been waiting for.

Transportation took me so far, the rest of the way I would have to walk and with the heat reaching around 85 degrees Fahrenheit I was certainly feeling it. I am not used to the temperatures that America has and I had already completely drained one bottle of water before the landscape started to take on a hint of familiarity from my previous visit. As if to signal I was on the right track I spied the volcano upon the horizon.
As it began to loom ever closer I reached a barbed wire fence that stretched off to either side of me. In front of me, next to a large sign that had fallen over was a gate which I proceeded to climb over.
To the right of the volcano I could make out something glinting in the sun, as I shielded my eyes I could see it was the infamous Airstream trailer that belonged to Jeff Zandi.
The heat was pressing on me, whilst I had come prepared I had foolishly forgotten a hat which would have been greatly appreciated. Still I pressed on slowly making my way over to the trailer where, to my surprise, sat Jeff himself.

Surprisingly he had little to say to me, but welcomed me to The Cleft and commented on me feeling “Called”. He proceeded to tell me that “she’s left a message for you in the Cleft. Listen to it well. Follow her. Find the journeys. And then, enter the tree.”

“She” being Yeesha? I guess so, from the talk I had picked up prior to my departure to this area I had learned that Yeesha, daughter of Atrus was now a factor in the cavern.

I rounded the trailer and passed the windmill before descending, thankfully, into the Cleft itself. The change in temperature wasn’t huge but it was enough to be soothing. I sat on a rocky ledge in the shade relaxing for a while, unlike my previous visit to the area which was constrained by time, I now had the luxury of being able to drink it all in. A hole in the earth, but home to Ti’ana and Atrus, I could see where they lived and slept, the area in which Atrus’ mother Keta was buried, the small blue flowers that grew above the grave…
I longed to ascend the volcano and climb down into the tunnels, to walk that long journey to the Cavern, a pilgrimage as it were, but first a message awaited me.

When I first climbed down into the Cleft there were wooden bridges criss-crossing the span, one of which lead across to an open door. As I made my way across the rope snapped and I tumbled to the floor below almost breaking my leg. As I looked around I noticed it wasn’t the only bridge that had collapsed from age. I walked over to another one and tested my weight against it, it seemed stable so I proceeded to climb up it like it was a ladder. On the ledge above were two “rooms” carved into the rock, they appeared to be bedrooms. The smaller one I surmised as being Atrus’ upon a time as I exited I noticed a curious tapestry on the wall made of burlap with a spiral hand symbol at the center.

The second room I believe belonged to Ti’ana as it was larger that the previous, on the bed was a letter authored by Atrus himself with comments in the margins in someone else’s hand writing in red ink which I am assuming to be by Yeesha

Our Dearest Yeesha,

Last night your mother had a dream…

We know that some futures are not cast by writer or Maker, but the dream tells that D’ni will grow again some day. New seekers of D’ni will flow in from the desert feeling called to something they do not understand.

But the dream tells of a desert bird with the power to weave this new D’ni’s future.
We fear this power – it changes people.

Yeesha, our desert bird, your search seems to take you further and further from us. I hope what you find will bring you closer.

– Your father, Atrus

Comments in the red ink;

I will use them to bring me the least
Impossible
Now his burden is mine.
What I have found must be returned

The least? What could that mean? What has she found?

Perhaps her message would hold answers for me. I made my way across the span and into the room on the opposite side of the Cleft from the bedrooms, it appeared to be some sort of workshop. In front of me was a strange looking device with four symbols surrounding a button, pressing the button didn’t seem to do anything. As I cast my eyes around the room I noticed a carving on the wall that used the same symbols as the device only one was different. I returned to the device and changed the symbol to match that of the carving, but still the button would not do anything. I rifled through the various papers that littered the workshop in the hopes of finding information of use but there was nothing. I decided to move to the next room down a short flight of steps which turned out to be the kitchen. The door in this room was closed, and pressing the button next to it to open it wouldn’t work. Turning my attention to the left I noticed a pole going up through the roof that was locked into place. Of course! Power, there needs to be power…the windmill…

I unlocked the pole and headed back outside and up to the surface and into that blistering heat once more. The windmill was stuck, I put all my weight behind the lever and finally it gave way and started to move. Now it was time to see if I was right.

Back in the workroom the button on the device was now lit up, so I pressed it for a third time and it activated. It appears to be a holographic imaging device, no doubt of D’ni design. A lady appeared of curious appearance, her head partly shaved with dreadlocks and tattoos covering her face.

Shorah. Rekooahn treCleft preniv legloen b’rem… Oh yes, not in D’ni, they won’t understand.

Once again, the stream in the Cleft has begun to flow. It was dry for so long. The water is flowing in from the desert. The storm is coming.

Have you heard of the City? The deep City, the ancient Uru? Where there was power to write worlds? For thousands of years, the City lived; lived beneath the surface, keeper of the secret, keeper of the power, keeper of the Ages. Always keeping. The City grew proud, and then it died.

The water flows where it wills. It seeks its own path uncontrolled except that it flows downward, always downward.

D’ni, the City of Ages, of other worlds, died. But now it breathes again, it awaits. Some will seek that destination, but you should seek the Journey. It’s as a fine tapestry, complex beyond comprehension, but now torn. We will show you remnants; pieces of the tapestry. Pieces of the Journey. Find the remnants, these Journeys. Seven. Seven in each Age, seven here in the desert. Consider it a quest. No, a request.

Worship.

The water flows downward, and there it pools and collects, and finally, it reaches the roots. And the tree begins to grow again.

I am Yeesha. My parents brought me to this place. We will bring you.

I had to replay the message multiple times in order to make sure I got it transcribed properly, even now I’m unsure if I got the D’ni portions of her speech correct but for now it will suffice. As she spoke, another tapestry appeared in the workshop, one of these “Journeys” she was speaking of?
I lay my hand upon the cloth within the workshop, part of the hand began to glow and it elicited a frightful sound. What on earth are these things?

My search for the “Journey Cloths” took me back up into the heat and so I headed back over to Jeff to see if he had any thoughts on the message or the cloths themselves, as I did so I discovered another one of the cloths on the back of his Airstream. Despite his sparse use of words he was most helpful in pointing the way at times. My search too me out into the desert area surrounding the volcano and I wandered I discovered some large sheets of metal protruding from the ground, on closer inspection they appeared to be remnants of the telescope that once sat above the Fissure on Riven according to Catherine’s journals. Across the way I could spy some large bones, upon which was another cloth. Then bones as it turns out (from looking at the formation of the skull and tusks) is that of a Wahrk, which leads me to wonder what other relics from that infamous Age has fallen through to Earth to be left here gathering in the dirt unloved. If I had my way I’d be carting them off to somewhere safe. It seems likely that the Fissure on Riven eventually lead to this location, perhaps the Myst Book as well? If only Atrus knew…

It has taken me a couple of hours but finally I located all seven of the Journey Cloths within this area. Recalling Zandi’s initial greeting I returned to the bottom of the Cleft to where a tree sat, upon this tree carved in stone was another spiral hand symbol. Following the same process applied to the cloths I placed my hand upon the stone where like the cloths it started to glow and let out that sound which whilst still concerned me was becoming familiar.
The stone slid downwards revealing a ladder that descended down into a darkened tunnel. The tunnel was short and lead to a small cave that was covered in strange pictoglyphs of symbols with D’ni lettering, figures, and spirals all of which gave off a blue glow when passed by. At the center of the cave was a small rock pedestal which housed a small Linking Book. A Relto Book judging from the Linking panel…my Relto Book?

I attached the book to my belt with the clip on the back of it and took another look around the cave before Linking out.

It’s been a long day, I will have to chronicle the pictographs when I return here, but for now I need to rest.

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