Age 233 was a harsh and desolate Age, the first that Gehn was able to write while trapped on Riven.


After many failed attempts on writing a workable Linking Book, Gehn eventually succeeded in modifying the Fire Marbles to generate enough power to hold a Descriptive Book in a stable matrix. He proceeded to repair outer wear to be able to work there, and redesign his goggles.[1]

Gehn brought a team of Rivenese workers to build his office there. Because of the toxic nature of the environment, work was very difficult and they suffered from blindness.[2]

The next year he worked on Riven in order to construct a series of Link sites for each island. The Survey Guild completed the site location for each island according to his exact specifications, and begun installing the domes around the link sites. That way Riven would have access to his new office.[1]


233 OSTbooklet

Landscape as seen from Gehn's office (from the Riven: The Soundtrack booklet).

The age features many odd looking rock formations that appear very out of place. It is presumed that the water levels in the age used to be higher, and, as they receded, they left the original rock formations in place at the old waterline while new formations were formed beneath.

Rainfall to the region is very sparse, forcing Gehn to put a giant dish on the top of his base in the age to collect what little rain fell.[3] In his quarters, Gehn has five linking books, one to each island on Riven, sitting in devices that powered them; that room had a trap triggering a cage once anyone linked-in there.

There is also a desk with a beetle-shaped inkwell, his personal pen on a pen-rest, and a glass jar with the special ingredient that activates the ink.[4]

In his living area, there are, among other things, a cannen and a maral-obe which were the only means that Gehn could entertain himself with, a message left for him by Keta, a D'ni timepiece given to him by Aitrus, and his journal, which contains many insights about his personal life.

Gehn was not sure how stable this Age was. His examinations of the Age had proven inconclusive.[1]


Notes & trivia[]

  • Nothing is known about the flora or fauna of the Age; while it seems desolate, Gehn arms himself with his heek gun while exploring outside, such as when the player first links to his room. This seems to suggest that Gehn either knew, or was not sure whether there was some dangerous wildlife outside, and had to take a weapon with him as a precaution.
  • In early notes of the game, Catherine was supposed to be imprisoned in a separate Age, but the idea was dropped in the grounds that there were no Ages linking from or to Riven: both Gehn's and Moiety hideouts were underground and the Stranger was supposed to find the entrance to Gehn's quarters; in that stage, Gehn would be just on the verge of creating his first Linking Book but hadn't yet succeeded. The newer concept that Gehn succeeded, offered the plot element that he was able to "teleport" to any of the islands of Riven through Age 233.[5]
  • The leather bed cover in Gehn's bedroom is said to be textured by Richard Vander Wende after scanning his own hand, heavily retouched. It was supposed to show that Rivenese leather material is unique.[6] However Richard A. Watson gives a different story, saying that Tony Davidson modelled Gehn's bed, while Josh Staub used Vander Wende's hand scan to texture Gehn's chair instead (not seen in the finished game).[7]
  • The sound of the moving cage was created by Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori by mixing various sound effects, including: chain on pulleys, winch, submarine hatch, nail scratching a gong, a twisted scream.[8] The sound for the stove was a mix of metal plates scraping, squeaking of rusted handles, gas hissing and some sounds recorded straight from Kilauea, Hawaii.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gehn's Work Journal
  2. Riven: The Soundtrack booklet; possible translation from D'ni language found here.
  3. From Myst to Riven, p. 34
  4. From Myst to Riven, p. 17
  5. From Myst to Riven, p. 34
  6. From Myst to Riven, p. 63
  7. https://mrillustrated.com/not-appearing-in-riven/
  8. From Myst to Riven, p. 100
  9. From Myst to Riven, p. 103