A Brief History
When the Called first began arriving at the Cleft in 2003, those who succeeded in unlocking the secret of Yeesha's journey encountered a number of petroglyphs (drawings done on rock) in the cave beneath the tree. Some of these isolated symbols (such as the Volcano glyph) had clear meanings from the beginning, while others were more obscure. These symbols would soon be seen to have a significance greater than mere decoration.
As the Journey continued, additional glyphs were found in the Age of Teledahn, in the caves beyond the other Journey Doors, and in other locations. However, the motherlode was found in the Age of Eder Kemo: a series of 16 complex drawings, many of which seemed to be telling the story of a mysterious race known as the Bahro. For this reason the paintings became known by the popular term "bahroglyph". It is unclear who first coined this term, or when, but the earliest Internet reference I was able to locate, posted in February of 2004, seemed to indicate that the term was fairly well established at that time.
On May 17, 2004, Futographer, the Grand Master of the Cartographer's Guild, began what was probably the first effort at rigorous scholarly analysis of the Kemo glyphs. He requested input in a thread on the Uru Obsession board, and was quickly joined for a lively debate by a number of other scholars interested in the topic. Domahreh, co-founder of the D'ni Linguistic Fellowship, shortly thereafter established a division of the DLF known as the Bahroglyph Study Group, with a current membership of 26 "choortahn bahro" (students/scholars of the Bahro).
Far from being a dead subject, many new discoveries and interpretations have been made by explorer-scholars since the DRC (D'ni Restoration Council) lost their funding in February 2004, and much effort has been spent on introducing new explorers to this field of research, particularly by Ireenquench and Ti'chelle, who conduct bahroglyph tours. As the DRC revives with new funding, we look forward to the continued growth of this exciting field.
Who Drew the Bahroglyphs?
At first, some scholars simply assumed that the Bahro made these paintings, as the majority of them seemed to be concerned with their history. Others believed that Yeesha was responsible, using the glyphs to illustrate the lessons that she was trying to teach. This point of view began to seem more and more likely as many new glyphs were discovered that had little or no direct bearing on the Bahro themselves, but were largely concerned with the stories of Yeesha and her parents. But there has been no certain evidence for either belief.
On September 4, 2006, Ireenquench reported in a DLF posting that Richard A. Watson, the official D'ni Historian at Cyan, confirmed that the Bahro were responsible for the glyphs during a conversation at the 2006 Mysterium conference. As his pronouncements are generally extremely reliable, we can consider this issue to be closed.
The material in these pages will adhere to the terminology used by the DLF Bahroglyph Study Group, and will use the BSG taxonomy for identifying each scene under discussion. This taxonomy uses a two-letter code to indicate the Age or location in which a scene is found (such as "EK" for "Eder Kemo"), followed by a sequential number corresponding to the order in which the scene is encountered. Please see the Reference and Images pages of the BSG Web site for complete details.
OOC: SPOILER WARNING!
The discussion in these pages contains spoiler information for URU and its expansion packs, all games in the MYST series, and the published MYST novels (Book of Atrus, Book of Ti'ana, and Book of D'ni)! If there are any of these games that you have not played to completion or any of the novels that you have not yet read, proceed at your own risk! No further warning will be given!
Yeesha's Journey Sequence