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The Descenders Discussion

The Descenders Predictions and Image Analysis
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I know. Saying ''Or they actually come from down there and have spread all over the Edge" was likely to be misinterpreted, sorry. As far as I know, they are 'blown in from beyond the Edge'. And I always imagined that the Mother Storms were forming somewhere above the Edge, in Open Sky.
What I wanted to say is that 'Open Sky' must not only mean everything above. What if the Mother Storms forms not just left of the Edge, but also somewhat on the right height so that some glisters are blown over the Edge towards Riverrise but some part is also blown beyond the Edge. Glisters are especially attracted to cliff-marble, which is extracted from the cliff-quarries. And as you said, they found glisters in the stones. And one of the sketches we found so far contains something about 'glister storms'. So there seem to be quite a lot of the glisters down there. How would so many glisters get down there? Either they are attracted by cliff marble that can possibly be found everywhere down the cliff or something else? Or the angle in which the Mother Storm blows is leads many glisters to be trapped down below the cliff and only very few glisters make it past the cliff and then even fewer past Sanctaphrax?
What makes the cliff-marble so very attractive for them?
The glisters blown on the Edge formed all the amazing fauna over the years. And those below the Edge? These glisters might have formed different life down there (the mushrooms? The flying creatures? Something else?) Or they simply didn't evolve into anything and that's why so many of them are just there, forming the glister storms?
I agree that the crew probably need to be protected from the glisters. But then, why do you put the glister chamber right in the middle of the hammocks?
Alright, I’m a bit late to the discussion but I’m finally going to make my contribution about the nightship and other topics.
1. Celestia is not listed as part of the crew, which is odd because she is pictured in full descent gear with the others in the color picture. Maybe this is a mistake, or maybe she stayed behind on the surface for some reason. Maybe she had to heal someone? I don’t think that someone like Celestia would accept being left behind from danger unless there was a very good reason.
2. The scale of the ship is very odd in comparison to all other types of flying vehicles we have seen so far. The phraxchamber is huge in comparison to the rest of the ship. I think this probably has something to do with the vessel being for descending the cliff, because the other Fourth Age ships we have seen have normal scale phraxchambers. Maybe it has to go so far up and down that it needs extra power from a larger phraxchamber, or maybe the winds are so fierce down there that it needs extra power?
3. I think that DDB’s guess about the glister chamber makes sense, though it might not be right. They probably take rock samples full of glisters to study and use the chamber to store them safely. Gloamglozer, the reason that the chamber is right in the middle of the hammocks might be that the nightship is like a space ship or submarine, every inch of space is very valuable and must be used. Or maybe the glister chamber is so protective that it is isn’t dangerous.
4. We might be able to glean some information from the crewmembers’ fields of study (seen in other images). Demora is part of the School of Stone Studies, which makes sense if they take rock samples. Fenda is a botanist, which makes sense if there are weird organisms to study down there. Grent is from the Loftus Observatory (we don’t know what field of study exactly), so he probably studies weather, which makes sense if there is weird weather like glister storms to study down there. Lastly, Sentafruice is a Raintaster (also just noticed, a BLUE waif, a new kind!). I’m not sure why a Raintaster would come with them down the cliff. I’m also not sure why Cade and Tug would come along other than that they are the main characters. Maybe because they need physical strength on the expedition and Tug is very strong, and he wouldn’t want to go anywhere without Cade?
5. DDB I think your explanation for why Nate has so few descender knots is a good one (I agree that it is probably an old Nate, I was just throwing out potential ideas). The fact that he was down there so long seems to be proof that there are some organisms down there, because otherwise how could Nate have survived? He couldn’t have packed provisions for fourteen years, could he?
6. The tradition of naming things after people from earlier ages continues! I wonder if all New Sanctaphrax vehicles are named after people from Old Sanctaphrax? On that note, I wonder what kind of names the Academy of Flight ships have?
7. I’m interested in what (probably) Nate is holding. It looks kind of like a blueprint but I’m not sure. It might be Cade’s father’s blueprint, if Cade brought them with him to New Sanctaphrax.
So in conclusion I have a lot of questions and no certain answers, and every image we find seems to come up with more questions and no answers.
Very interesting thoughts!
About 4: I guess that Nate wanted to protect Cade and therefor brought him to Sanctaphrax. And we might that assume, knowing the three Immortals' characters, that their descendant Cade would just like Twig refuse to be left behind. I don't think he smuggled himself on that ship, but rather that he insisted on being a part of the mission. And Nate might have given in, it it his nephew after all, and Cade might prove useful. Nate knows what it is like to have no father and no uncle (Quove Lentis!) who helps you.
About 1: I didn't notice that and I hate that you mention it, because I just remembered that [[Alcestia]] dies. I don't really think that is what is going to happen, but it is a possibility we have to consider.
On 6: It is always very interesting to see those names return, but sometimes I wonder. For example, the ''Lucius Verginix''. Lucius died when he was 10? And didn't achieve anything he is worth mentioning for? How did anyone in the Third Age of Flight remember him?
On 7: I guess it is Thadeus's blueprint
On 2: That makes sense. Or it is just one of the first ships of that kind (a prototype, as the picture states, they might have tried to make this very safe, not paying much attention to design) and the other ships with 4th Age Technology were built later?
Maybe Cade brings the new technology to Sanctaphrax (see 7), they build this ship because it makes descending much easier (see 4) and then they improve the design for use above the Edge.
Response to Gloamglozer's response...
4: I think you are completely right in your prediction. I forgot about it before, but the synopsis says that Cade must flee to New Sanctaphrax because of Quove Lentis, so clearly it is for his protection. For the reason he is on the expedition, I think your explanation is the most plausible. Cade is exactly the kind of person who would refuse to be left behind, and I think that smuggling Tug onto the ship would be really hard because he is so big.
6: You bring up an interesting point about Lucius Verginix. Here is my reasoning for why he has a ship named after him. The authors like to reference previous books if they can, and naming ships after previous characters is a good way to do that. It would make more sense for a ship to be named after a famous dead person from the Third Age, maybe a phrax academic who made a great breakthrough, but we don't know any of them, and the authors prefer references to previous books over making sense. The reason that the ship isn't named after a famous former character, for example Quintinius Verginix, is because the authors would like to use such a name for a glorious, important ship, not just a random ship mentioned in one sentence. I wouldn't be surprised if the New Sanctaphrax fleet flagship is named Quintinius Verginix, for example.
2: Like you, I'm not quite sure how Cade's father's blueprints and the New Sanctaphrax ships relate. They might be discovered separately, or the Sanctaphrax ships might be made from Cade's father's blueprints. If the ships are made from the blueprints though, The Descenders might cover a timeline of a long time. It would take a while to figure out his blueprints and then to build the ships. Maybe New Sanctaphrax already has Fourth Age ships, then Cade brings the blueprints, and then they use them to make a really good prototype ship for descending? I don't know. I think we may have reached the end of what we can guess and just have to wait for The Descenders to find out.
I'm not sure if I'm looking at a different image to you, but the nightship in the picture is called the Linius Pallitax, not the Lucius Verginix...
As for the blueprints, I think that nightships were already built before Cade arrived. This is because in the image from below the Edge,
it talks about the nigthships as if there are lots of them, meaning they've probably been around for a while. I could be wrong, of course.
The Descenders
We were taking the name of the Linkius Pallitax and then talked about how naming ships after famous peoplewas a tradition. And then I was wondering because there is a totally important ship that is called Lucihs. Sorry I am on mobile.
You might be right. All the good academics left Great Glade early and might have done the same research Thadues did. Or the book spans a long time. Or they have very good engineers, we shouldn't forget that Thorne built the engine quite fast without actually having any metal or machines or helpers, not even a Smith and the academics of New Sanctaphtax seem to be very skilled.
I guess you already noticed this but I always though the Palace of Phrax was going to be build after Cade left Great Glade, when Quove Lentis power expanded. But this looks very similar, even not exactly the same.
Thanks for pointing that out, I had never noticed.
I'm not sure if you are thinking of a different building in that image, but the one directly to the left of the "iii." symbol is the Hall of Whispers. Maybe it was converted into the Palace of Phrax, but they don't look that similar to me.
But you bring up an interesting question: When does Quove Lentis take over? I would say that he had been taking over quietly for a long time, but the final takeover occurred at the beginning of The Nameless One. At that time he purged out all of his enemies, or forced them to flee. It is hard to say exactly how that went because our narrator, Cade, was just a kid and wasn't very aware of politics. Also, he fled at the very start of the purge and hasn't returned or even heard news of what happened. However, I think that we can be sure that the final takeover has happened by the time of Doombringer. At one point, Tillman Spoke is describing Hive's government to Cade and he remarks "If only Great Glade had followed their example, perhaps it wouldn't now be in thrall to the academics and their merchant cronies!"
In any case, it is very sad to see how bad things have become since the time of the Free Glades.