A Wahrk

A Wahrk is a type of giant tusked humpbacked fish-like creature native to Riven. Resembling a shark and a whale, they are efficient and brutal killers that eat humans.


Wahrk skull.

Gehn uses the "Great Whark" as a symbol of his power. It induces superstituous fear to the Rivenese.[1] Gehn has captured some as pets and feeds them with transgressors, usually at the Gallows on Jungle Island. At the later years however the population was greatly diminished.[2]

Wahrk statues with offerings are found in the Temple of the Dome Island, and crude totems are found in the lake of the Plateau Island. In a cave of the Jungle Island there is a crude stone painting with a figure (Gehn) feeding people to the fishes. In the School Room there is a children's toy with two hanged men fed to a Wahrk. In the jungle there is a big wahrk totem which leads to a tram station or to the upper walkways and Gehn's watchtower; it guards the secret entrance from the superstituous villagers who fear the animal.[3]

Wahrk lamp

Gehn's lamp ornamented with Wahrk tusks, showing a combination of D'ni technology and native scenery.

It is no wonder that their population diminished, seeing the constructions from their bones and skulls all around Riven, such as the Wahrk Gallows and jawbones adorning Gehn's throne of his watchtower; and the huge amount of bones (possibly from wahrks) adorning the shores of the artificial lake of the Survey Island.


Wahrk skulls at the top of the Gallows.

Wahrk tusks also ornament Gehn's lamp above his office in the Crater Island.[4]

Being the largest creature on Riven, it is designated number 5 by the Moiety. A wahrk-shaped rock with a wooden eye is located in the Sunner Lagoon.

The sound of a Wahrk hitting the Gallows can be heard. There is also a trapped wahrk in the underground lake of Survey Island; the kinetoscope in the lake doesn't line up with the spinning dome, due to an angry Wahrk ramming into it.

Wahrk bones can be seen in the New Mexico desert, suggesting one of them was sucked into the Star Fissure when Riven was destroyed.

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Trivia & Notes[]

Creatures were designed with a SoftImage software update that made use of wireframe patches instead of polygons, offering more natural and "organic" movement.[5] Richard Vander Wende designed the Wahrks along with strict requirements about their movements; and Patrick Faille animated them after studying videos of whales.[6]


  1. Catherine's Riven Journal
  2. Gehn's Second Journal
  3. From Myst to Riven, p. 84
  4. From Myst to Riven, p. 43
  5. From Myst to Riven, p. 60
  6. From Myst to Riven, p. 87