Heritage Night Recap: First Restoration- Prologue A, Written by Calum, Edited by Malfhok.
As you may or may not remember, the tales of the Prologue era are tales that often do not wish to be told. Tonight, we will see why this is.
I have told of the time when things were simple, when the DRC restored on a timely basis and released new areas as they deemed safe. However, once the gaming corporation UbiSoft got its funds thrown into the mix, things began to become unstable.
Explorers who weren’t authorized began drifting down, feeling called to something they didn’t understand. But things were changing here in the cavern,
During the month of December, 2003, one member of the DRC’s elite restoration staff, Phil “phend” Henderson, had gone “rogue” as it were. Many these days would simply call him a hippie or claim that he had eaten one too many ‘shrooms from Teledahn. But looking back, he seemed to be onto something. Something we still don’t quite understand.
Discussion in the cavern varied during this time from mysterious Bahro stones leading to abandoned docks with Relto pages on them to the “temporary” bridge that had been put up over the break in the City.
Look at it now. A simple little rope bridge. And the DRC called it “temporary” back in 2003. 9 years later, here it still stands.
To jump into our story, Phil Henderson was back. He appeared in a hood. Sharper was there, suggesting that Phil had been looking for him.
It was asked where Phil had been.
“I’ve been Exploring” he said. “So many…”
“So many what?” someone asked.
“Areas of the city.” Phil replied. “So many people… So many minds… So many journeys.”
Many asked Phil about Yeesha.
“Have you seen her?” Phil asked the explorers there.
“Yes.” they said.
Soon enough, though, Sharper asked Phil if he had talked to the DRC about Yeesha. Phil’s reply?
“I love you all.”
Then he went on about finding more “Places.” It was assumed he was talking about neighborhoods, so the answer was, “There are over fifty.”
Phil asked where to go next, and suggestions were made.
Now, let me just say this. As I write, I have a hard time deciphering Phil’s ramblings. I mean, even Sharper was annoyed, “Can you cut the riddles?”
But riddles were all we would get.
Phil soon wandered down to the light garden, to the island where the Islands Relto page often resides.
“Wait.” Phil said. “Will you wait?”
So they waited.
“See the rock?” Phil asked.
“It’s a rock.” Explorer Brian Fioca replied.
“It’s more.” Phil said.
An explorer named Snatcher then commented that the island looked a bit like Myst Or Relto.
“Please,” Sharper scoffed. “It’s a rock.”
“I’ve been where you’ve been.” Phil said. “If you’ve seen her.”
He said that he had completed the circle, and asked if those there had as well. The answer was yes, so Phil turned to Sharper.
“Have you, Douglas?”
“Have I what?” Sharper asked. “Completed the magic journey?”
“You need to.” Phil said. “To complete the circle. Do you understand?”
Sharper relented, agreeing to if Phil would show him how.
So they kept waiting. Sharper got one last jab in though: “Is the magic journey more fun than what we’re doing right now?”
Phil said it was, he said it would give you something, that it would allow you to feel things. Things like the island where the Relto page first appeared.
“Watch the stone.” he said. “And wait.”
A few moments later the page, which had been removed by the DRC, spontaneously reappeared.
From there, this group of explorers went from Hood to Hood and visited Reltos.
A few days later, Phil continued his escapades. He claimed that we were all on a journey, and where we ended up was a part of that journey. Above all, though
It seemed at this point that people’s journeys were causing fractures, divisions, and sides.
Sharper himself was growing increasingly anti-DRC. Michael Engberg was more hopeful about it all, although it worried him to see these sides being made and taken.
An explorer, Tweek, said this on the matter: “The sides choosing thing is annoying me… people are being sneaky trying to get others in trouble.. and being rude and impatient.”
Engberg replied, “Like I have said before, we are all family down here, and even in family you will have people who disagree.”
“Don’t think many people realize that to make this restoration work we must get along.” Tweek said.
“Exactly, I think if we agree that we can disagree, life will go a lot easier.” Engberg said. “I know people are not always going to agree with the DRC, but if you get to know us, and understand us better, I think you will see that we are all not bad.”
Of course, things wouldn’t go that way. Perhaps, had Phil not done what he would soon do… Perhaps, had Phil not been as elusive and mysterious… Perhaps, just maybe, if the DRC wouldn’t have reacted as they did… Things might have gone differently.
Phil and Sharper soon left on the journey, and any qualms the DRC had with them would have to wait until they got back.
Days later, Marie Sutherland made this very amusing comment: “We don’t believe in OSHA down here. We just use cones! :)”
You’d think that this would be an issue, but look at it this way: The DRC was restoring D’ni. What do you think would happen if the world’s governments got ahold of this place? We certainly wouldn’t be able to visit it. In fact, anyone caught down here would most likely be arrested for treason. Or something like that. Without the OSHA down here, we are more free than we are on the surface.
Marie touched briefly on the funding as conversation flowed and mentioned that she was working on the Great Zero and Gahreesen, but the main point that seemed to get lost was this: “it’s been a fairly expensive operation.”
Phil and Sharper returned, and Sharper, believe it or not, seemed to be the very definition of a changed man. He had a Relto book and he had Yeesha’s Journey shirt.
“There is so much more to linking than I ever thought.” Sharper said. “She has power.”
“You mean the linking stones?” an explorer, Dusante, asked.
“All of it.” Sharper replied. “The book. The age. The Stones. The Cloths.” He summarized with this: “The DRC’s Linking books are child’s play.” Sharper began encouraging people to wear Yeesha’s shirt after this.
Days passed. Things escalated. Finally, something tipped the scales.
Phil had climbed up into the Guild Hall, right over the Great King’s tomb. People advised him to climb down from there. He didn’t listen to us.
Maybe… If he had just stayed there…?
When Dr. Watson arrived, he and Phil chatted over the City. Watson near the bridge, Phil on the Hall.
Soon enough, Sharper arrived. He had a bad feeling about Watson’s presence. Things grew wild. Victor Laxman showed up, too.
Eventually, it ended up with Sharper Reltoing off of the bridge and Laxman stealing Phil’s Relto book, forcing Phil through it, and then he and Watson going in after him.
Phil had been kidnapped.
Of course, Watson maintained that they just wanted to talk with Phil and that he was fine, but that didn’t lower the tension any.
Soon enough, Sharper was on a rampage. He and several other explorers tore down the barriers in front of the Kahlo Pub. Shortly thereafter, Sharper invited explorers to his own Neighborhood, where he had cracked open the Egg Room door, proving once and for all that the chamber was safe. It could reliably be used to block KI chatter and was essentially the only place KI chatter could be used without fear of spying.
You have to understand that at the time, the Egg Rooms were sealed shut. Nobody was supposed to get inside.
Of course, the timing of this was perfect.
When the DRC relented and allowed an explorer by the name of Tink to visit Phil in Kirel, which at the time was their private neighborhood, they were holding Phil inside the Egg Room there.
Tink was able to hold a non-monitored conversation with Phil, and brought the log out to prove that Phil was still fine.
All in all, though, things began to ease up for the explorers, but not for Sharper. After a few days of touring the Egg Room, Sharper appeared in the Uru Obsession Hood to tell explorers that the DRC had taken away the Great Tree Pub and his neighborhood, even saying that his KI had been “damaged” and could no longer even make a new Hood.
Sharper was trying to build up support for getting his pub back, but alas, things would soon be going dark.
On December 26th, 2003, Phil, having been released by the DRC, was back on the Guild Hall again. The DRC however, was all over it. They were in the City, pleading for him to come down.
He didn’t listen. This was where his journey lead him.
Explorers didn’t get it. The DRC knew, even Phil knew that the building he was on was not safe. Very unstable.
But you could see him climbing up the side of the building… Everyone kept saying that they should just go up there, saying, “Let us help!”
The DRC couldn’t do anything. The place was that unstable. Not even the Nexus Link worked.
“There is no safe way to get up there.” Laxman said on multiple occasions.
“It’s a part of something.” Phil said. “Part of my journey—part of knowing more”
It pains me to even read my own notes.
There was a rumble. And a noise. And smoke.
Phil’s KI went offline.
The last thing anyone could see on the Age Players list was a single string of two characters: “????????………”
The DRC rushed into action, but Phil was gone. The only thing the DRC ever found was his KI, smashed in the rubble. Everyone assumed he was dead, and rightly so. After all, the whole structure had collapsed.
Months passed in silence. Nobody heard anything from the DRC. Dr. Watson had vanished and the funding had dried up.
Finally, on February 4th, 2004, months after the collapse, an announcement came from Dr. Kodama.
The Restoration was canceled. UbiSoft had pulled their funding. We were lost, scattered, fragmented.
Some of us stayed behind; Sharper was one of them. Some of us didn’t even know that the restoration had been canceled.
More months passed. The Great Zero was restarted many times, but it was not enough. Some of us found our way to the Great Tree Pub, so vastly different now and labeled “Watcher’s”.
Puzzles were solved. Journeys were taken. One in particular, when retold to Cyan, inspired their last game: “Myst V: End of Ages”.
We waited and we gathered. And one day… We had a spark.