The Cleft is a small crack in the ground on the surface of Earth about a mile below a volcano.

The crack was some 80x15ft. Around it was a wall of stone some 5-6ft high.[1]

It was used as Anna's home in the desert.


After the Fall of D'ni, Anna and little Gehn made the cleft her home. She survived thanks to the small pool which helped her grow a garden.

Her son Gehn abandoned her, but then returned seeking help for his sick pregnant wife. Baby Atrus was born in the Cleft but Keta died at childbirth. Gehn dug a shallow grave for her at one end of garden at the bottom of the Cleft, beneath a narrow outcrop. Careless in his bitterness, he defiled the plants and her precious pool by digging and cleaning himself.[1] Anna and the child survived thanks to her growing herbs and creating artifacts and trading them with caravans from the south.[2]

After the destruction of Riven, debris like a Wahrk and the Temple Island telescope fell in the area near the Cleft, apparently falling tere through the Star Fissure.[3] It is therefore possible that the Stranger too returned to Earth by falling somewhere near that area.

Near the general loation of the Cleft Atrus built Tomahna.[4] Apparently he visited and used the spaces of the Cleft, as he had left some tools there.[5]

Yeesha also made the Cleft her home at some point. The Rivenese remains were still found in the area in the present day, even signs of Anna and Atrus having been living there.

Elias Zandi acquired the land around the Cleft, which in 1996 passed to his son Jeff Zandi.[6]

Yeesha's Journey[]

In Uru, Explorers begin the game in The Cleft. While large and mostly barren, (s)he can find Zandi outside his trailer, reading a book and listening to the radio. Zandi acts as a guide and offers the player hints about their next destination.

The Cleft contains small living areas powered by the windmill next to the Cleft as well as a Journey Door. Inside the living quarters, The Explorer finds a projector with a recording of Yeesha, explaining the Journey Cloths and asking the player to find them. After finding all seven of the Journey Cloths, (s)he can open the Journey Door, which leads to a cavern containing the Relto linking book.

After an Explorer finds and returns all four Bahro Pillars, a Star Fissure opens in Relto, leading him/her back to The Cleft. After returning to the projector and inputting the correct code, another projection of Yeesha appears and she offers a linking book to The Explorer. Upon touching it, (s)he is teleported to a rainy version of The Cleft, where Yeesha is waiting. She explains that only she has the power to make it rain in the desert and leaves the player. Upon returning to the raining desert, The Explorer witnesses several Bahro entering the nearby volcano. The Explorer can then return to Relto, where a new linking book allows them to return to either version of The Cleft.


One entered the cleft by a rope bridge. Overlooking the bottom was a kind of balcony or higher level with a rail. Narrow steps led to a stone lintel leading to an interior room and a small inner chamber. At the bottom there was a small water pool, precious to Anna, as it was necessary for the survival of her garden.[1]

Journey Cloth Locations[]

  • Behind the New Mexico sign near the start
  • Behind Zandi's RV
  • By the Wahrk skeleton near the Riven remnants
  • In a small room inside the cleft
  • On the side of a bucket that can be lowered inside the cleft
  • Pointed out by Yeesha in the projector room
  • On the side of the open projector room door (close it first)


Notes & Trivia[]

  • There is a notable discrepancy concerning the location of the Cleft between the novels and Uru. While in Uru (and according to canon) the Cleft is in New Mexico, the first time it was mentioned, in Book of Atrus and Book of Ti'ana, there was a strong implication that the Cleft was somewhere in Middle East. This made some people to believe that Uru presents a retconned idea than what was originally described in the books.
  • Richard A. Watson explained that the Cleft was always supposed to be in New Mexico, but during the writing of the novels the writers decided that the location of the Cleft should not be "revealed" as of yet (for some vague reason that is not explained clearly). While Watson suggested that the location should remain vague and nondescript, the writers preferred to make the story more interesting by adding some (misleading) details, hinting to the East.[7]