Minkata is a vast, lifeless desert Age. Unbearably hot during the day and frighteningly cold at night, it is an inhospitable Age that few Explorers enjoy visiting.
However, there are some interesting aspects of the Age, most notably the “bone cage” near where one links in to the Age, the carved stone within it, and the many caves, or “kivas” that can be found.
The Guild of Surveyors
The Age, whose name means “heavily scarred,” was originally written by the D’ni Guild of Surveyors to help train their members. The tarp which functions as the roof of the bone cage has a compass painted upon it, the symbol at its center the insignia of the Guild. Throughout the Age flags can be found inscribed with D’ni numbers. These were intended to help trainees discern the longitude and latitude of the Age.
It is unclear if the kivas – the caves found in the Age’s ground – are natural or man made. Either way, they were used by the Guild to store supplies and to take shelter during the Age’s sand storms, which are frequent. Within the kivas can be seen various boxes of supplies that remain since The Fall, as well as the Guild’s insignia carved into the stone floor.
The Bone Cage
The large cage Explorers see when first linking into the Age poses some interesting questions. Most obviously; where did the bones come from? Minkata is such a harsh environment it is hard to believe that any creature could live there.
However, the bones are large and even more of them can be found in the Age’s kivas. Perhaps a large, reptilian species once existed in the Age, having died out before the Surveyors discovered the Age? Or maybe the bones are from creatures of other Ages, but this begs the question of why the Guild would bother bringing them rather than simply using more traditional building materials.
Kivas & Carved Stones
Inside the kivas, along with Guild supplies, can be found large, cracked oval stones. It seems these were placed there by the Bahro loyal to Yeesha for one of her many tasks. The stones are covered in the Writing of the Bahro and thus can be used to Link, although it seems to take one to different versions, or instances, of Minkata rather than a different Age all together. This second instance is Minkata at night, which suggest that the Age’s day/ night cycle is incredibly long.
As such it has been suggested that there is actually only one carved stone in Minkata and that Explorers interact with the same stone at different points in the Age’s timeline.
Once the stone has been interacted with in all designated points of the Age’s timeline, a portal is created next to the stone that sits within the bone cage. Traveling through the portal one is taken to a Bahro cave.
Exactly what message Yeesha was trying to convey with this task is unclear. Perhaps it was to show that very little is truly understood about The Art, or perhaps the true message is still to be revealed.