Banderbears were enormous, hairy, tusked beasts similar to but larger than real-life bears. Despite their ferocious appearance and tremendous strength, banderbears were shy, timid, noble, and gentle creatures, and they possessed great intelligence. It was stated in Beyond the Deepwoods that banderbears' eyes view the world larger than it actually is.
Banderbears were extremely solitary, because large banderbear congregations tended to attract predators. Most banderbears wandered through the Deepwoods alone, foraging and gathering, and did not come together except during their Great Convocation. Nevertheless, banderbears frequently communicated with others of their kind via loud, yodeling songs. Banderbears listening to another banderbear's song learned all about the other banderbear's life and experiences, and became acquainted.
Banderbears also had their own sophisticated language. A complex combination of grunts, yodels, howls, and body language, the Banderbear language was distinct, and could be learned by other creatures. Banderbears were also expert foragers with a sharp sense of smell, which enabled them to distinguish edible fruits from the deadly ones. Every night a banderbear would create a nest on the forest floor, constructed from soft mosses and grasses, often protected by tough materials such as a ring of thorns.
Interactions with other creatures of the Edge
The vast majority of banderbears lived in the Deepwoods, but a few, like many other beings, journeyed to Undertown in search of a better life. Though the solitary existence banderbears experienced in the Deepwoods was impossible in the bustling city of Undertown, a banderbear's strength provided for it numerous work opportunities. Most commonly, such banderbears would take up work on sky ships. Sky Pirates valued banderbears for their strength, skill, and loyalty.
Role in The Edge Chronicles
Banderbears in the Quint Trilogy
Quint met the albino banderbear, Hubble, during the events of Clash of the Sky Galleons. Hubble originally assisted Thaw Daggerslash aboard the Mireraider. Later on, Hubble signed on as part of Quint's crew when he became the Sky Pirate, Captain Cloud Wolf.
Banderbears in the Twig Trilogy
Twig met many banderbears during his adventures around the Edge. He met a banderbear in his travels during Beyond the Deepwoods, and cured it of a toothache. From that day forth, he wore the rotten tooth around his neck as a lucky charm. The banderbear helped Twig to find food, and the two became close friends. They traveled together for a long time, until the banderbear was devoured by a pack of wig-wigs.
Later on, when Twig reunited with his father, he met Hubble, now fully grown and extremely powerful. Hubble accompanied Twig and Cloud Wolf on their stormchasing voyage. He saved Cloud Wolf by disarming Mugbutt and killing the mutinous quartermaster, Slyvo Spleethe. Hubble suffered severe internal injuries in his parawing descent, but did not notice them because he landed in the Twilight Woods, where it is impossible to die. These injuries did not affect him until he traveled into the Mire, at which point they finally took their toll. He died a painful death at Twig's side.
When Twig became captain of the Edgedancer, he replaced Hubble with Goom, an adolescent banderbear for sale in Flabsweat's pet shop. Goom accompanied Twig into Open Sky during Twig's search for his missing father, but when the Edgedancer exploded, Goom was blown far out into the Deepwoods, where he was captured, taken to the Great Shryke Slave Market, and entered in the Wig-Wig Arena. Twig found him just in time and managed to release him. When Twig and Cowlquape Sky-Fired themselves back to Undertown, Goom remained at Riverrise along with Maugin and Woodfish. However, Twig did not return to Riverrise until after his and Rook's attack on the Tower of Night fifty years later, but Goom kept having dreams that he was getting called to the great conviction of bandebears so he departed one morning then was never sighted again.
Banderbears in the Rook Trilogy
Rook's involvement with banderbears began at a very early age. As a baby, he and his parents, Shem and Keris left the Free Glades to visit the relatives of Keris' mother, Sinew Tatum. Along the way, however, slavers attacked them, killed Rook's parents, and left him stranded in the Deepwoods. A banderbear found him and saved his life, caring for him until Varis Lodd discovered him and took him to The Great Storm Chamber Library.
Although Rook was not to know for many years that he had been saved by a banderbear, he always nurtured a love and a fascination for the creatures. One of his favorite treatises in the Great Storm Chamber library was Varis Lodd's study of banderbears, and he always wanted to study them as well, and also witness their legendary convocation. When he became a Librarian Knight, this dream became a reality.
During a mission at Foundry Glade, Rook rescued a banderbear named Wuralo, and took a poison arrow for her. After recovering from the poison, he set off on his treatise voyage. On his journey, he met and befriended a banderbear named Wumeru, whom he followed in secret to the banderbears' convocation. It was at the banderbears' sacred convocation that Rook met Twig, by then an old man. Twig told Rook the story of his failed attempts to reach Riverrise, and lamented over the loss of his friend, Cowlquape. Rook told Twig that Cowlquape lived on, as a prisoner in the Tower of Night, and Twig decided to launch a rescue mission with the last sky ship remaining that was in any condition to fly, the Skyraider. For a crew, Twig picked a group of banderbears at the convocation: Wuralo, Rummel, Weeg, Meeru, Loom, Molleen, and Wumeru.
During the attack, Rummel, Meeru, and Loom were killed, but the other four stayed with the Librarians. Later on, during the great pilgrimage to the Free Glades, Molleen wandered off into the Twilight Woods and was lost, but Weeg, Wuralo, and Wumeru survived the journey back to the Free Glades. After this journey, they left to resume the life they once had, but returned during the massive battle with Hemuel Spume and the Goblin Nations.
Banderbears in The Immortals
During the events of The Immortals, Nate Quarter befriended a banderbear named Weelum. Weelum accompanied Nate and his friends in their journey across the Edge. Weelum also became very close with the Sky Pirate, Squall Razortooth .
Banderbears in the Cade Saga
Cade was rescued by the banderbear Goom, who had, since having been left at riverrise by Twig, survived because of the power of the water of riverrise. Goom made the long journey through the Deepwoods to protect Cade, a descendant of his friend and master, Twig. After saving Cade with his last water, the banderbear left to die in the Deepwoods.