Relto was Written by Yeesha as a gift to her parents Atrus and Catherine. It was meant to resemble the Age of Myst with Yeesha herself commenting that she placed the library in the same location as it would have been on Myst.
It is unknown when in her life Relto was written but it must have been before she started along the path that lead to The Grower. This can be ascertained by the recorded messages she left behind where she demonstrated a loathing towards the Age of Myst and so would be unlikely to create an Age in the image of a place she despised. Indeed it is likely that Relto was Written before she turned sixteen which is when she left Tomahna to head into D'ni.
First mention of Relto came on December third 2002 by Dr. Marie Sutherland after she witnessed some of the 'Uru Explorers' arriving in D'ni via Jeff Zandi. The first few explorers received Relto Books which had a silver medallion on the cover, however later explorers received Books without the medallion the reason for the change is unknown. However the original Books are still out there albeit extremely rare.
The Relto Book itself presented two new concepts that were previously considered impossible when following the D'ni rules of Writing. Firstly the Relto Book follows the owner to the Age when he or she uses it. The Books themselves have a clip on the back that allows the explorer community to attach them to their belts. It is possible this is how the Book is able to follow the owner through as when attached to the belt it falls under the 'one-step' rule of Linking. However if it was that simple it is likely the D'ni would have discovered this method long ago so it is likely that there is other factors that must be considered as well. Secondly the Relto Book allows for the user to Link from within Relto to another point in the same Age. This again was a concept that was unheard of with the D'ni Writing. Thirdly, the Relto Book allows for the concept of Relto Pages which in turn allows for owners of the Age to add or remove items within the Age at will (see: Relto Page section below).
Relto is a small island high up in the clouds, surrounded by smaller spires of rock. At first glance the Age is rather sparse, some small pine trees and scrub grass along with a single small hut structure.
Within the stone hut is an empty wardrobe and two book shelves. One bookshelf contains a couple of journals with Yeesha's notations regarding the various Ages (Gahreesen, Teledahn, etc) along with a blank journal. The other is, at first, mostly empty save for a Linking Book to one of the D'ni neighbourhoods.
Due to Yeesha's superior Writing skills, each person who obtains a Relto Linking Book ends up having their own 'instance' or alternate reality of the Age to call their own.
It is also due to these skills Yeesha has as a Writer that allows the Age to 'evolve' as the explorer who 'owns' the Age progresses along The Journey that Yeesha set up for us to follow. Relto Pages allow for explorers to add and remove certain items and wildlife from Relto. Allowing for a myriad of wildlife to be added as well as structural improvements to the hut and other times.
It is still unknown how exactly Yeesha is able to do this. It is likely she had established the Age and made it stable then added editions (much like Atrus added a boat to Stoneship) afterwards with a mechanism that allows for these Garohertee to be activates or negated at will. One can draw this theory due to the nature behind the Age, it being a gift to Atrus and Yeesha and a homage to Myst. At the time Yeesha wrote this (which I have speculated to be before she turned sixteen) she would not have had the skills which makes the Relto Pages possible. It is likely she added these elements years later after she had obtained The Tablet and lost it again as a reward system for those who decided to follow her path.
Phil Henderson's Relto
Phil Henderson was the first of the DRC members to take The Journey and the first to acquire a Relto Book. After his supposed death, Henderson's Book was taken by his friend Douglas Sharper. Douglas later placed it within the Spyroom a hidden location within Ae'gura. In early 2004 explorers found their way to this Spyroom and through it to Henderson's Relto. Thus far this has been the only example of people linking to someones Relto without their permission.
Henderson's Relto is very similar to the state of Relto once one has walked The Journey. There are, however, several differences. Chief amongst these is that Henderson's Relto is almost in a state of perpetual twilight. If the sun does rise it hasn't been noticed by visitors. The second major difference is that Henderson's Book shelf is full. Whilst this isn't too much of a surprise given his standing with the DRC (they have access to Ages most explorers don't) it also shows he has traveled further along Yeesha's path than anyone else (save perhaps Dr. Richard Watson).
"Prelto" was a name coined by Sophie Thomas to mean Prison Relto. During the aftermath of the death of David Clarke and the fleeing of James Rofen Sophie Thomas obtained a no longer used Relto Book from a former Third Path member. Upon the Age Sophie removed all Linking Books and fortified the hut to serve as a prison room. Later she managed to track James Rofen down and trap him on the Age where he remained until he escaped.
"Prelto" remains abandoned, currently the Linking Book resides in the Third Path Archive.
The Age itself is very similar to variations already seen but with some notable differences. The Age has no trees and no Relto Pages and the sky is constantly grey and overcast. The hut itself has had its windows bricked up and a new secure roof installed. The hut door has been changed out for a heavier locking door with a small sliding opening.
Buteo Reltois - A specie of hawk that is native to Relto. It bears a striking resemblance to the Zone-tailed Hawk found at The Cleft.
Crimson Kadish - Native to the Age of Kadish Tolesa the Crimson Kadish can originally be found fluttering around the Kadish Vault. With the use of one of the Relto Pages the butterfly can be introduced to Relto.
Chirteetahm Kemo - Native to the Age of Eder Kemo the Chirteetahm Kemo (or Fire Organism Kemo as it translates from D'ni) are small fireflies that are attracted to the human body. As they come with you when you take a step forward these organism fall under the 'one step' Linking rule. Because of this it is possible to take them from Eder Kemo and introduce them to the Age of Relto. Tristalk
Pine tree, scrub grass, birds, butterflies, chirteetahm, ivy, other greenery, tosgalh grass, delin tree, er'cana things
Relto Page Additions
Relto Pages are fragments of paper that can be found within multiple Ages and areas of D'ni. These pages can be added to a Relto Book allowing for changes to take place within the Age itself. As such they afford a degree of customization to the Age. Adjusting the Descriptive Book of an Age is generally forbidden as it can result in dangerous changes being added or causing instabilities within that Age. Yeesha has somehow found a way around these problems during her advancement of The Art. The pages commonly depict the change it brings to Relto by pictograph. These changes when added to Relto can be activated and deactivated as one pleases.
The Cleft Linking Book & The Fissure
Gahreesen Linking Book
Teledahn Linking Book
Eder Kemo Linking Book
Eder Gira Linking Book
Kadish Tolesa Linking Book
Nexus Linking Book
Neighbourhood Linking Book
D'ni Linking Book
Watchers Sanctuary Linking Book
Er'cana Linking Book
Ahnonay Cathedral Linking Book
Ahnonay Linking Book
Negilahn Linking Book
Dereno Linking Book
Tetsonot Linking Book
Payiferen Linking Book
Jalak Linking Book
Minkata Linking Book
Myst Linking Book