Twilight has discovered a strange old book purportedly written by Star Swirl the Bearded, and Rainbow Dash discovers a latent spell in it that transports the two ponies to a strange island in the middle of nowhere. With no viable options available to them, Twilight and Rainbow begin to search the island for clues to a way home and the reason behind the odd puzzles and contraptions presented to them.
Aitran is the first story in an MLP crossover series with Myst, although no characters from the latter truly appear. Written by CTVulpin, the fic explores what it's like to have not one, but two characters exploring the iconic island.
There is a third story now finally complete, named Naborale, the analog to Myst III: Exile.
This fanfic provides examples of the following puzzles - er, tropes:
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Nyx is mentioned in Aitran and debuts in Sohndar, while her Myst counterpart Yeesha wasn't even born until Myst III: Exile.
- Adaptation Expansion: Aitran itself has an area that was never in Myst: a living area in the same passage as the tower, where Star Swirl, his family, and his apprentices once lived.
- Sohndar expands even more on the orignal material. With the inclusion of a translation spell, Twilight and Rainbow can actually communicate with the locals. This leads to the characters of Arcem, Whark Bait, and Materi becoming important parts of the plot. Sohndar also introduces Nyx, the daughter of Clover and Star Swirl.
- A God Am I: Aldro believes this about himself in relation to any worlds he's written Links to, despite not having any special abilities beyond Writing. Star Swirl worries that this may be a cultural trait of his species.
- And I Must Scream: Trap Books. They are ordinary Linking Books that have been deliberately modified so that anyone who touches the Linking Panel becomes trapped in the space in between worlds, apparently unable to move and only able to see whatever the linking panel is pointed at, if the book is open. Twilight questions the morality of subjecting Aldro to this punishment, but she goes through with it.
- Cirrus and Archeon arguably had it worse at the start of Aitran. Their books were missing pages, which caused the Linking Panels to be filled with visual and auditory static.
- Apocalypse How: Sohndar takes place on a world quickly counting down to a Class X-4 that Star Swirl is struggling to delay until Twilight and Rainbow can rescue his wife and daughter.
- Born Lucky: Rainbow seems to have a knack for solving certain puzzles on the first try.
- Brick Joke: Rainbow Dash gets involved in the plot of Aitran partly because she was looking for a place to hide after pranking Rarity. In the last chapter of Aitran, we actually get to see the results of that prank.
- The Caligula: Implied to be how Archeon acted in the Forestsea and most of the other worlds. Could possibly apply to Cirrus as well.
- Child Prodigy: Nyx is this, much to the consternation of the older Cirrus and Archeon. She's also subject to the Just a Kid problem associated with this trope, as the Moiety don't hold her in the same regard they do her parents despite Nyx's intelligence and natural talent for Writing.
- Con Man: The way Cirrus makes promises to Twilight comes across like this.
- Determinator: Arcem. While Twilight and Rainbow encounter other guards in Sohndar, none of them prove as persistent and troublesome as Arcem. No matter how often they knock him out, strip him of his gear, or give him the slip Arcem keeps coming back to get in their way. He doesn't even stop trying to fight after falling into the Star Fissure with Twilight.
- Expy: Because no characters from Myst actually appear, most of the fics' cast is comprised of expies or original characters.
- Star Swirl the Bearded is Atrus.
- Aldro from Sohndar is Gehn.
- Star Swirl's apprentices Cirrus and Archeon are Atrus' sons Sirrus and Achenar.
- Nyx is Yeesha.
- Clover is Catherine.
- Fix Fic: One CT Vulpin's stated goals in writing Aitran was "to make Myst... make more logical sense as places where people (or ponies) actually lived in at one point." To that end he added the residential area behind the Aitran library. He also changed or added things to improve the continuity of the lore behind the series. Big changes include:
- Star Swirl the Bearded discovered the Art of Writing on his own and has no direct relation to the D'Ni civilization expy, the Kl'Kai.
- The Red and Blue books are explicitly stated in Aitran to have been actual Linking Books before being modified into traps, and that modification can be reversed.
- Nyx, an expy of Yeesha, is mentioned in Aitran and is a character in Sohndar. Yeesha did not enter the Myst series until the third game.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: With "Sohndar", One Word Titles that are The Place.
- It's All About Me: Cirrus. Everything he's done is for his own benefit.
- One-Word Title: With "Sohndar" as well, as it's The Place where most of the story happens.
- The Place: Aitran and Sohndar are the main locations of their respective stories.
- The Sociopath: Cirrus. Everything he's done is for his own benefit and at the expense of everypony around him.
- Shout-Out: Star Swirl's daughter Nyx is an obvious reference to the main character of Past Sins, but the only thing the characters share are the name, similarly dark colors, and the wearing of vests. The Nyx of Aitran is a unicorn and has a personality that's virtually the opposite of Pen Stroke's Nyx.
- Undying Loyalty: Arcem toward Aldro, full stop. Not even the end of the world shakes his conviction.
- Unrelated in the Adaptation: Unlike their Myst counterparts, Cirrus, Archeon and Aldro have no biological connections to Star Swirl.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: Time works strangely in the various worlds of Aitran. The titular island exists in a state where time hardly seems to pass at all from the perspective of Equestria, and Star-swirl's journal about Baseli mentions that he's able to change the speed of one world's time relative to Aitran, or whichever world he's Writing from. This "cheating" is what allows Star-swirl and his family to still be alive a thousand years after leaving Equestria. Because all the stories thus far have centered around Star-swirl's work, it's safe to assume that Equestria's time moves much faster than any other world we've seen. And yet Twilight and Rainbow managed to "complete" Aitran in the time it took Spike to travel from Ponyville to Canterlot...