Geography of the Edge Chronicles

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The Edge is a fictional cliff where Edge Chronicles, a series of fantasy novels written by Paul Stewart and illustrated by Chris Riddell, is set. It is described as a massive spur jutting out into Open Sky like the prow of a ship, and is divided into several sections. From the base of the Edge to its tip, these are:

The Deepwoods[edit]

The Deepwoods is a forest, both peaceful and deadly, that many woodland creatures call home. It is the largest area of the Edge; a seemingly endless panorama of teeming life in many diverse forms. In the Third Age of Flight, it became home to larger settlements, notably Great Glade and Hive. At the western end of the Deepwoods, beyond the Nightwoods, or Waif Country, is a giant cliff that leads to Riverrise. The legend of Riverrise tells that it is a place at the end of the Deepwoods with water that has healing properties, and is also the place where the Mother Storm, an ancient god-like vortex, first cast her seeds onto the Edge and thus created life. Riverrise is also the place where "chine" can be found, a sand-like substance that can harm gloamglozers.

Riverrise[edit]

Riverrise is where the original seeds of life have said to have flown in from Open Sky. It is here that the three main characters meet, brought together by the Mother Storm and kept immortal until Nate Quarter arrives to release the waters of Riverrise. From Riverrise, all life on The Edge is created.

The Twilight Woods[edit]

The Twilight Woods are a large forest east of the Deepwoods and south of the Edgelands. Surrounded by an eternal twilight glow, those who entered the Twilight Woods gradually lose their memories, senses of self, and minds, but not their lives. The glow of the Twilight Woods results in an eternal living death. Occasionally, someone would find their way out of the Twilight Woods after decades or even centuries of wandering. Such individuals, known as Death-Cheaters, sometimes recovered over time, but most remained insane, unaware, lost, and weak.

The Twilight Woods attract Great Storms, and stormphrax formed there. In the Twilight glow, the stormphrax was gradually ground into phraxdust. Stormchasing voyages brought Knights Academic to the Twilight Woods to retrieve the stormphrax.

It is possible to resist the effects of the Twilight Woods if one kept one's mind constantly focused on one's identity and purpose. When Twig was lost there with the crew of the Stormchaser, this is how he managed to retain his wits long enough to escape. The Twilight Woods also had no effect on shrykes, possibly because their plumage protected them from its effects. But mainly because of the shryke's double-eyelids, which made them immune to the hallucinations.

Screedius Tollinix was the only failed Knight of Sanctaphrax not to get trapped in the Twilight Woods; instead he set up base in the Mire.

The Mire[edit]

The Mire is a large, toxic wasteland between Undertown and the Twilight Woods. It was the dumpsite of Undertown's chemicals and was covered in bleached white mud. Before the construction of the Great Mire Road, the trip across the Mire was treacherous. The toxic blowholes and quickmud captured many an unfortunate soul. Most inhabitants of the Mire were bleached as white as the mud around them. Mire-Clams, mire herons, mire mistwraiths, mire-monsters, mud-demons, muglumps, oozefish and the white ravens. By the time of The Immortals the Mire is a large green plain home to many birds.[1]

Undertown[edit]

Undertown was the bustling main city of the Edge. It was founded on the principle of freedom, intended to be a haven for those seeking escape from the oppressive slavery and danger of the Deepwoods. Attempting to enslave an Undertowner was an action punishable by death.

On the side of Undertown near the Mire, factories and foundries operated. The side nearer the Stone Gardens was called the Western Quays, and is dotted with large, opulent palaces. The Boom-Docks was the part of Undertown where sky ships arrived and departed. In the very center of Undertown was the Anchor Chain.

Many Deepwooders believed Undertown to be a place of harmony and freedom, where the streets were paved with gold and all races were respected. In fact, for many, Undertown was a very difficult place to live. The League of Free Merchants controlled the entire city and would control the sky that sky pirates kept open for free trade, which devolved into a series of underhanded power struggles and sky battles.

The taverns and slums of Undertown were filled with a variety of peoples from all over the Edgeworld. The weak and slow never lasted long in Undertown.

Screetown[edit]

Screetown was the ruins of the section of Undertown near New Sanctaphrax during the Rook trilogy. It was created when diseased chunks of the New Sanctaphrax rock fell and crushed that portion of Undertown, which included the Boom-Docks and the Western Quays. Screetown was infested with Rubble Ghouls and was greatly feared by most inhabitants of the Edge. The only civilized inhabitants of the ruins were the Ghosts of Screetown, which were a band of Undertowners who dwelled in the ruined region of Screetown.[2]

The Stone Gardens[edit]

The Stone Gardens is a region beyond Undertown, close to the farthest tip of the Edge. During the Quint and Twig trilogies, buoyant rocks grew in the Stone Gardens, pushing up rocks above and creating rock stacks. The White Ravens resided there and screeched when it was time to harvest the rocks for use in sky ships.

In the Rook trilogy, Stone-Sickness struck the Edge, and the Stone Gardens no longer produced buoyant rocks.

Sanctaphrax[edit]

An enormous buoyant rock which is the site of the scholarly city of Sanctaphrax, which teaches students a variety of subjects—mainly concerning the weather and how to predict it. There are Colleges of Raintasters, Cloudwatchers, Mistsifters, and so on. Other scholars also come here to pore over the many texts here for study. Very little use is made of the knowledge acquired in Sanctaphrax; it is largely the home of pedants, each of whom attempts to outdo or destroy his fellows. Sanctaphrax is attached to Undertown by a huge metal chain to prevent its floating away.

Loftus Observatory is the tallest tower of Sanctaphrax which houses many weather forecasting instruments including several large telescopes.

The Knights Academy is the school where young scholars are trained to be knight academics. However, there are only thirteen that are chosen to be knight academics at any one time. The rest of the students become academics-at-arms: the guardians of Sanctaphrax who become catapult workers, swordsmen and a host of other positions that are required for the academics-at-arms to guard Sanctaphrax. The school consists of four main classes which teach the students key subjects to being Knight academics. These are: the Hall of Storm Cloud- subject ship building; the Hall of Grey Cloud- subject prowlgrin handling; the Hall of White Cloud- subject Stormchasing, and the Hall of High cloud- subject weather forecasting.

In Midnight Over Sanctaphrax, the chain holding down Sanctaphrax is cut, and the city floats away. It makes a return in "The Immortals", when the city is blown back to the edge and serves as the base for the gloamgloazer's plan. After his demise it is once again converted into a city of peace and learning.

New Sanctaphrax[edit]

Sanctaphrax is replaced by New Sanctaphrax, a second giant rock, which in later books has given in to stone sickness, causing it to sink and almost rot away. It was supported by a forest of support beams, maintained by thousands of slaves. Its only building, as too many buildings could fall off the gradually crumbling rock, is the Tower of Night, originally intended by Vox and Amberfuce to be for everyone, but the sinister Guardians of Night used it as their headquarters instead.

The Sanctaphrax Forest is an enormous ongoing construction of support beams that holds up New Sanctaphrax. The Forest is inhabited by many dangerous creatures.

The Tower of Night, the headquarters of Guardians of Night, is the most powerful fortress in the Edge. Vox Verlix boasted its construction was so strong it could survive cannonballs and hurricanes. The tower is set on fire at the end of the book 'Vox' after being hit by a lightning bolt, shortly before New Sanctaphrax is destroyed by the Black Maelstrom.

Third Age Geography[edit]

During the Third Age of Flight the old cities of Sanctaphrax and Undertown are abandoned, and the technology of phraxflight has led to growth in the civilisation of the Deepwoods. The three greatest cities are Hive, Great Glade (a city which was once the Freeglades, but grew in the 500-year interval after which The Immortals was set), and Riverrise (a city built on the Riverrise mountain discovered in Midnight Over Sanctaphrax)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stewart, Paul. The Immortals
  2. ^ Stewart, Paul. Vox