Saavedro was a scholar and educator from the Age of Narayan. He had a wife Tamra and two daughters. Saavedro aspired to be an Elder, but was neither an isolationist nor tradition-bound. He was a freethinker, a "dreamer-teacher".
His world was chosen by Atrus to teach his sons, Sirrus and Achenar about the writing of Ages. One day Atrus came to their village as a friend, claiming to come from a faraway place. He wanted to learn about the Lattice Tree and see and help with their endless labors. He stayed for 2 months while Saavedro showed to him their customs, worked together and harvested puffer spores and showed him the Weave. Atrus discussed if his sons could come to complete their studies by examining it and its people; Saavedro agreed to tutor the boys, not knowing the torments that awaited him. Saavedro took them and began teaching them how to care for the Tree and encourage it to grow.
5 years later the boys returned grown up promising to "fix" their world so that they won't have to work for their whole lives. Saavedro was the "good ambassador" between Atrus and Narayan, and helped introduce them to his society and apparently Saavedro initially believed the promises.
Saavedro was shocked when Sirrus and Achenar spoke against the old traditions and instigated a rebellion. Tamra didn't like the rising tempers and wanted to take the children home. She told Saavedro to talk to the young and calm them down, but he felt unable to, as their speeches were very convincing. Being their ambassador, he was caught in the middle of the conflict, standing apart but seemingly neutral.
The rebellion brought imbalance to the Age, as the young neglected caring for the Tree. Saavedro was dismayed at how blind he was to their lies and realizing that they didn't understand their traditions. He was angry to himself for not stopping them when he should have. As the word started collapsing, Saavedro told Tamra to go to the reef with their two girls and hide. She gave him her necklace to remember her and Saavedro promised her that everything will be right.
The evil brothers left to J'nanin leaving its Linking Book behind. Saavedro was stunned by their behavior and found the book to follow them and beg them to keep their promises. The brothers lured him inside a tusk where they waited for him. They beat him severely and tied him up to a reflection pole. They explained that they didn't intend or know how to fix Narayan, but only to salvage what was worth taking from his world that was "easy pickings". Lighting a bonfire, they linked away, leaving behind the Myst linking book to burn in it. In his agony, Saavedro helplessly saw his only chance of escape burning slowly. Saavedro was left alone to die, with venomous snakes, but he somehow survived.
Trapped on J'nanin for years, he hoped that Tamra had survived and were tending the ailing Lattice roots. Being a scholar, he found out the purpose of J'nanin and Atrus's hidden Ages of Edanna, Voltaic and Amateria, intended to explain to his sons the many factors in writing an Age. He spent some months solving the puzzles hoping to gain access to the machine that kept the Narayan Linking Book. When he finally linked back to Narayan, he only found himself in the linking chamber inside a strange ice-shield barrier. He did not know the first tenet that served as the code to turn the shield off. Seeing Narayan through the shield with drifting Tree fragments, he was convinced that the Tree had died and that nobody could be alive outside.
He returned to J'nanin and "the fog" first ate his mind and engulfed him. Out of loneliness, painful memories and despair, the fog rushed in his head. When it was thick enough, he could lose himself there, forget everything and be safe. He had forgotten even who he was. There were moments when he could not see or remember his wife. He slowly went mad during his 20 years of Exile.
In what he thought as a vision, while he was lying in the reeds near the tusk, he saw Atrus appear mysteriously on the cliff holding a book. He thought it was Death who came for him. He attempted to shout to him but he couldn't speak. Before he could anything else, Atrus disappeared. After an indefinite amount of time, he found the book atop the cliff. The fog swallowed him but he did not let it and sensed an unexplained fear for the book. He then remembered who he was. He then started to write a journal in an attempt to dispel the fog and recollect his life.
Despite his fear, he used the book Atrus left behind. The fog didn't find him this time. He found himself In Atrus's home in Tomahna with the purpose of killing him and his family. Seeing however that he was alone and everything was silent, he started searching every room and cabinet. He found his journals and pored over them to find out where they were, as well as a linking book back to J'nanin. Memories flooded his head too fast, filling him with despair and he wanted to lose himself back to the fog, but hatred kept him relatively sane.
He also made a discovery: reading his Releeshahn journal and his project to give "new life" to the D'ni, Saavedro mistakenly thought that Atrus could revive dead worlds with the Art. His plans changed, and instead of killing him, he intended to lure him and force him to repair his world; he decided to steal the Descriptive Book to Releeshahn until Atrus would repair Narayan for its return.
He visited Tomahna several times without being seen. He was angered to see that Atrus was happy with his home and family and envisioned new Ages while forgetting Saavedro's people. He wanted to make the whole family pay and suffer, but eventually found no sign of the brothers. Nonetheless he proceeded to avenge the dead of his world.
For the following months he traveled to the Lesson Ages and made changes, in order to use them to trap Atrus. He altered the course by tampering with the lesson devices, wiped out Atrus's old imager recordings to his sons and inserted his own, painted 3 murals in each age, scattered various pages of his journal to reveal the havoc wreaked in Narayan by the brothers.
He attempted to damage the orbiter of Amateria, but as it appeared to be indestructible, he tried to damage other devices, instead. He also destroyed the Narayan poem Atrus wrote in the columns, using sap and floating stone from Amateria that attracts and repels other stone.
During one of his forays, he was in the Sun Room of Tomahna when he heard Catherine's footsteps down the hall talking with someone. For a moment she reminded him of Tamra and remembering they all were dead, he felt the fog toward him, but resisted it and waded through the haze. He ran to the study and escaped back to J'nanin, thinking to bring a book from one of the other Ages with him.
He attempted to produce a carnivorous hybrid in Edanna, but the plant life is more tenacious than the plants on Narayan, less susceptible to grafts. He considered mixing in species from the swamp.
Then he read in Atrus's journals that he brought the D'ni back and gave them a new world. His ultimate plan was to bring Atrus to Narayan, hoping that he would repair the Age.
He spent weeks polishing a cavern wall and make drawings of the history of Narayan's destruction and make Atrus feel the pain he suffered. He was afraid to sleep as he feared he might never wake up. The final painting was at Voltaic.
In order to force Atrus to retake the courses to the end, he reprogrammed his scanning device to accept new symbols, alterations of the original ones. He erased part of each of the symbols in each Age so that Atrus had to see them to operate the mechanism. To reprogram it, Saavedro scavenged parts from the elevator of the Observatory. The gears were now operated by hand.
When everything was ready, Saavedro linked to Tomahna's library, threw a Fire Marble and in the havoc he stole the description book of Releeshahn, leaving the J'nanin book behind. However, it is not Atrus who follows Saavedro back, but The Stranger. Believing it to still be Atrus, Saavedro lures The Stranger into his trap.
After solving all of the 'lessons' on the instruction Ages, The Stranger gains access to Narayan. Once there Saavedro realizes that it was not Atrus. Nonetheless he told him that they are both trapped there with no way back so all that the Stranger had to do was to try to open the ice shield; Saavedro threatened him that if he tries to go back to Tomahna, he will follow him.
The Stranger was able to turn off the ice shields, and the outer one that Saavedro was unable to. It was then that Saavedro realised that the Lattice Tree had not been destroyed; only that he had been unable to get to it. Saavedro soon realises that the router switch's double-lock system can't allow for both shields and needs the Stranger to lower the outer shield while he is in the glide ship, promising to give Releeshahn.
The Stranger knew that Saavedro was full of hatred so he shuts off the power, automatically activating both shields and trapping Saavedro between them. Saavedro in his despair gives him Releeshahn through a vine trellis begging for mercy. When the Stranger restores power, the shield melts and Saavedro rides the Ship peaceably and returns to his people.
Notes & Trivia
- Saavedro is played by Brad Dourif. He is the antagonist of Myst III: Exile, although he is not a pure villain.
- His name derives from the full name of Miguel Cervantes.
- There are several alternative interactions with Saavedro in the final part of the game:
- If the player links back to Tomahna while Saavedro is not trapped, he shows up while Atrus and Catherine talk to the player, attacking them.
- While Saavedro is on the platform, the player can approach him 2 times and hear his warnings. If no reaction is taken, Saavedro attacks the player with his hammer. Similarly, Saavedro attacks the player directly if the player approaches him for a 3rd time.
- If the player directly obeys Saavedro and opens the outer shield, fueled by his hatred and mistrust, Saavedro tosses the Releeshahn book into the sea, and rides happily the Glide Ship to his settlement.
- When Saavedro is trapped, the following can happen:
- If the player opens the inner shield by turning the power back on, Saavedro enters the chamber and angrily climbs the stair to the roof to whack the player.
- If the player goes to the roof and opens the outer shield by turning the power switch back on, Saavedro again tosses the Releeshahn book and leaves.
- If the player has already taken the linking book to Tomahna from the lower room, he can just link back leaving Saavedro alone. Atrus then gives a bitter-sweet speech, wondering if he would act the same.