Catherine is Atrus' wife. She is a native of Riven and a former student of Gehn. Her name was actually Katran, emphasis on the second syllable (Ka-tran). She worked with Anna to write the Age of Myst and to trap Gehn on Riven.

Her Ages always exhibit symbiosis more dramatically than of Atrus.[1] Catherine proves to be a genius in stretching and bending the laws of the Art to their limit, creating dream-like Ages, such as Torus, and Serenia.


Catherine's early life is realitively unknown. As a child Katran always felt out of place and couldn't relate to her people and was misunderstood. Childhood friends included Eti.[2] She, along with her cousins Carel and Erlar, save Atrus from drowning when he links to Riven for the first time. When he first sees her, she is described as having green eyes, a "delicate beauty to her face," a band pattern of pale and tanned skin on her arms "as if she had at some point placed strips of cloth about them," wearing a simple dark green dress, white feathers braided into her hair, and wearing a wide choker. She later reveals to Atrus that the choker hides the symbol of Gehn that he branded into her skin, as well as on the skin of ten other islanders that form his perversion of the Guild of Writers.


She is soon betrothed to Gehn to help him fulfill his plan of restoring D'ni and ruling the Ages he creates. He chooses her because he believes that he would be able to control her easier than Atrus, whom he already decided was impossible to work with, even though he needed his son's talent. Also, he notes that Catherine, unlike the other Guild members, had started to understand what it was that Gehn was having them copy into the Books. Using this knowledge, she writes an unnamed Age herself. At first, she was frightened by the fact that she could Write because she believed that by doing so, she was just a mere figment of Gehn's imagination. She gives Atrus her Book to read and he admits that while it was beautiful to read, it would never work as it was full of contradictions and broke the laws of the Art, as well as the belief that non-D'ni cannot Write. While she insists that she goes there, Atrus refuses to believe it until she makes him link there.

On Myst[]

At first Catherine with Atrus and Anna lived happily on Myst Island. They married and had two sons, Sirrus and Achenar. She fondly remembered them sitting over the reflection pool in full happiness.[3]

Anna died accidentally while visiting one of her Ages. Catherine felt deep regrets about her death, and didn't write ever since. Consumed in sorrow, she failed to see that her little sons needed her most.[3]

Catherine seldomly followed Atrus to his travels, and when they took a long absence in Channelwood she insisted that it was time to return.[4] When Sirrus and Achenar have been missing for days in Mechanical, she stayed back in Myst worrying sick until Atrus returned with them.[5] But she was persuaded to visit Rime, with the hope to view Riven in Atrus's new invention, the crystal viewer. She encouraged Atrus to uncover the combination that would show Riven, consuming herself with the set-up of the geodes and the crystals. They were able to succeed in both orienting the crystals, and finally to have glimpses of Riven.[6]

Atrus leaves a letter for her directing her to their forechamber Imager, with a message that their sons have been destroying Atrus's work. The player usually reads this message near the beginning of the game.[7]

Return to Riven[]

When she linked to Riven she found an unrecognisable environment, other than the air. Right afterwards, she was trapped in the cage, and was hit with a dart. As she was drugged, a Rivenese man wearing D'ni dress (Gehn's Guard) came to her to capture her. He claimed that she had no Linking Book in her belongings. However she was rescued by the Moiety during one of their sorties.[8][2]

Her people were somehow nonchalant and indifferent, not asking how she had been. She longed to see her Father and Enant who were still on the surface but Eti was worried whenever she mentioned them. Because of the awkwardness of how her people treated her, Katran was once more distant and an outcast. At least Nelah was still close.

At first she was devastated to see that Atrus was not there, but when she realized that Gehn would be looking for them, she was thankful that she was fooled and Atrus not.

She was invited to a gathering in a dimly lit and crowded cave; Katran was seated at the front as they told the story of the battle between Atrus, Katran and Gehn at the edge of the fissure, but exaggerated into mythical proportions. Catherine felt unable to stop it and break the foundation of their hope and courage against Gehn. She also learned that she was considered a messianic figure, who would save the Rivenese from the upcoming destruction.

Weeks after her arrival to Riven, and having heard reports about the present state of the island, she ventured to the surface with two rebels. After travelling through a complex series of doors and passages, before the last of the doors, Catherine was given a weapon and a mask; reluctantly, as she thought that she'd induce terror to her relatives that still live on the surface. They swam and emerged under a rocky overhang.

The two men were silent, communicating only with hand signals. The three went to the top of the plateau and scouted at the edge of a thick and overgrown area of the forest. From their vantage point at the edge she saw that Riven was split into five islands; she could see the three of them, as the Prison Island, that once contained the Great Tree, had split to a greater distance. She was devastated. When she returned, the Moiety talked about her bravery during her excursion.

Eventually she learned that Gehn is making and writing Books, but so far, he had not been able to produce a fully functional book.

She found the Star Fissure. The Moiety had acquired the combination to its viewport as they had planned to open it. She instructed them to stay away from it, fearing that opening it with the decayed state of the islands, it would be disastrous. She considered that its mysterious existence was because the Maker wished it, and she wondered whether there was a reason behind it, and the Myst linking book.

Seeing that Gehn was using the Rivenese superstition against them, especially his symbolic use of the wahrk, Catherine tried to dissuade the Moiety that symbols contain power. Even while she was their "goddess", she found a wall to their beliefs, and some younger members doubted that she is indeed Catherine.

She managed to have some communication with the surface villagers although they always flee from her and at first she was discouraged. Nonetheless she managed to hear some of the villagers' beliefs regarding Gehn, and also learned that Gehn managed to link to Age 233, powering his books by technological means.

Catherine was given a burnt book, one of Gahn's failed experiments to write, which the Moiety had salvaged but considered useless. Catherine found it unsuitable and begun modifying it. She required from a group of Moiety to discover the combination that operate his domes in order to use the book. The Moiety managed to steal a Riven linking book from Gehn, and acquire the comibnation to the domes, but not the way to power them. She considered the endeavour very perilous as they would soon be discovered, so she decided to fix the Linking panel by another means: book-powering crystals which she wrote into the Moiety Age.

Once the Moietior-Esk, who were on the lookout, gave word that Gehn powered to use the domes, Catherine had just long enough access to one of them. Holding a stolen linking book back to Riven, she linked to the Moiety Age to locate the substance. She refined or adapted it to form book windows, that would heal the books. Thus she was able to link back to Riven, with more book windows. Soon Catherine managed to fulfil the "prophecies" and all the Moiety were led to the new Age.

The Moiety now were safe and comforted, but Catherine still worried about the linking book left behind, and she planned to destroy it, even if that meant destroying their only link to Riven. She decided to link back and scout whether their activities aroused Gehn's suspicions.[2]

Capture and rescue[]

Riven PrisonObservation

Observing Cathrine's Prison Island quarters from Gehn's Survey Room.

One night Catherine went to the village attempting to persuade the people to join her. She was captured by Gehn's men, and two were killed in the process. She was taken to Prison Island and interrogated by Gehn who attempted to understand the reason for her arrival. Catherine defiantly responded to her only in Rivenese language. Nonetheless Gehn discerned that she was there by accident and had no linking book with her.[8]

When the Stranger came to Riven to rescue her, from her prison, she told Nelah to give him his Prison Book and left for him her journal, along with a note. She claimed that she knew a way to signal Atrus from Riven, and that Gehn kept the combination to her cell somewhere in his quarters.[9]

In D'ni[]

Knowing that their sons were responsible for much pain and destruction, she stood by Atrus's decision to keep them imprisoned, and they both left them all these years.[3]

Seeing Atrus's dilemmas while writing Releeshahn, she attempted at various times to help him. She made one of her rare travels back to Myst and salvaged the Age of J'nanin. She showed it to Atrus, making him realize that he shouldn't decide the fate of the D'ni people, but rather create a set of balanced systems to allow them to thrive on themselves.[1]

In Tomahna[]

Catherine welcomes the Stranger to Tomahna while bouncing her baby daughter Yeesha on her knee. She and Atrus try to put out the fire caused by Saavedro. She is also seen in several endings of the game.[10]

Although Atrus had abandoned his plans to teach their sons the Art, she easily convinced him to teach Yeesha.[3]

She visited Serenia with Atrus and Yeesha and stayed for a week. She attended the ceremony celebrating her mastery of Serenian customs.[11]

The couple were able to see their imprisoned sons through the crystal viewer was not enough. She proposed to write secure linking chambers with solid walls into existence and "insert" to the Prison Ages. It took her months to convince Atrus that this way they would both visit their sons and leaving a linking book to Tomahna securely behind.[3]

Before the linking chamber in Tomahna was built, one day, without Atrus's knowledge, she linked to Haven. Troubled for seeing Achenar again after all these years, and the explanations she owed to him, she felt that she didn't know what to tell him.[3]

Atrus was not pleased learning it, and for weeks Catherines didn't find the courage to link again. At her behest, Atrus put extra pressure on the Guild of Stone Masons to finish the Chamber, next to their new bedroom.[3]

Eventually the couple began talking to their sons again. She was hurt to see that Atrus can't relate to Achenar and Catherine tried to keep things from fraying. As for Sirrus, Atrus was unwilling to trust him. Catherine sought for a way to resolve this and make Atrus see her perspective. She believed that their sons adored Yeesha, and through her there would be hope for their family.[3]

She disagreed and argued often with Atrus, but they were careful not to be in front of Yeesha. Nonetheless, while she was seated at the patio table of Catherine's study, she asked Catherine if they still argued.[3]

She decided to visit Tay and decide what to do next.[3]

She passed away long before the rediscovery of D'ni.


  • In early designs of Riven, Catherine was supposed to be imprisoned in a cage in another Age, rather than the islet of Riven. In order to help her, the Stranger was supposed to slide through the bars an "Equiquay book"; Catherine then tells them that another Equiquay book will be found by someone. In the end of the game, Catherine would jump into the Fissure to reach D'ni.[12]
  • In Riven: The Sequel to Myst, Catherine is portrayed by actress Sheila Goold; however her voice is dubbed by turkish-american actress Rengin Altay. Altay would later voice adult Yeesha in later games.
  • Robyn Miller, who composed the music for Riven, made an atonal blend of organic sounds as a musical them of Catherine. This way, it "says so much, but expresses nothing overtly".[13]
  • Outside the scope of the games, Cyan (through Richard A. Watson) has maintained that Catherine wrote a number of personal journals which were used as historical source for the life and times of Atrus. The Myst Books are supposedly based on "Catherine's journals"; the visual elements of the Myst games are also said to be based on descriptions from the journals.[14][15]