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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. Their fur appeared green because of the so-called sytil moss. It was stated in Beyond the Deepwoods that banderbears' eyes viewed the world larger than it actually was.

Social Behaviors

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 belived that when they died, they would meet their ancestors in Open Sky for the Final Convocation.

Banderbears were expert foragers with a sharp sense of smell, which enabled them to distinguish edible fruits from the deadly ones. Not physically able to climb trees[1], 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[3].

Language

Banderbears also had their own sophisticated language. Although relatively simple, only composed of three guttural sounds in the back of the throat, "wuh", "waah" and "wurgh!" combined with different gestures and movements such as the tilting of the head, the position of the ears and the swipe of an arm could mean different things.

A complex combination of grunts, yodels, howls, and body language, the Banderbear language was distinct and poetic, and could be learned by other creatures.

Meaning Banderbear
Friends "Fr-uh-nz", paired with a gentle pat on the friend's head[4]
Twig "T-wuh-g"[4]
The keeper of light has escaped lightly from the heavy fall. Tapping a tusk with the third claw of the right paw[5]
The glass eye's heart is cold towards Weelum. Growl of "Wuh-waah", accompanied by tapping the side with a paw, then thumping the chest[6]
What path would you have us take? "Wuh-wuh", raising one paw to forehead, holding out the open palm of the other paw to the other
The moon climbs in the treetops, the banderbear walks beneath. "Wuh-wuh", looking up, touching shoulder and head lightly, the describing a circle in the air with a raised paw[1]
Jump, then pull on the cord, to float like a leaf on the wind. "Wuh-wuh, wurgh", fluttering left paw[1]
The ways of the pirates of the sky are strange indeed. "Wuh, wuh", long sweep of an arm [1]
Weelum owes pirate of the sky his life; Squall Razortooth is friend to the banderbears forever "Wuh-waah" growl
Courage, Nate, keeper of the light, Weelum shall walk at your side. "Wuh-wurruh-wuh"[7]
We spoke to many but found no answers. "Wuh-wuh", shaking head, claws of left paw touching the chest and fluttering away [8]
Morning: Now the bringer of warmth has climbed the highest tree See image gallery
Night: Time of the silence of eyes See image gallery
Watcher in the time of silence of the eyes greets he who is the keeper of the light "Wuh-wuh" growl, tusks bared, one claw raised, "Wuh", clenched fist touching the tip of the chin[2]
The forest distances grow small with your friendship Smile, touch forehead, spread arms wide, fingers outstretched, "Wurgh!" [2]
Our songs have become one at last. "Wuh-wuh", interlacing claws at chest, "Wuh-waah-wuh!" [3]
We should sleep here tonight. "Wuh-wurra-wuh"[3]
Danger "Wuh-wuh", raising a paw, bringing it slashing down through the air[3]
Wig-wig "Wig-wig"!
Having been busy "Wuh-wuh", rolling paws over and over
May Nate's gift bring life to the great skybird "Wuh-wuh"
My heart is filled with joy at our reunion "Wuh-wuh wurra wuh!", gently touching claws to chest, extending them towards other person
He won't set foot in the city. He says it smells of death... "Wuh-wargh! Wuh-wargh!", paws flying in all directions[9]
I am hungry, but step lightly for the air trembles (Beware, there is danger close by). "Wuh-wurreh-wum", head down, jaw jutting[10]
It is late, the moon is a scythe, not a shield (I am anxious about proceeding further in the darkness). "Weg-wuh-wurr" growl, one shoulder higher than the other, ears flat against the head[10]
She with chipped tusk who walks in moonlight. "Wumeru"[10]
The oaksap is sweet, the sun warms my body. "Wuh-wurrah-wugh" grunt, sweeping an arm through the air[10]
The pinenuts are good, my nose is fat. "Wuh-wuh-wullow", cupping hands together[10]
Where are you? "Wuh-wurrah"[10]
I come, the full moon shines brightly, it is time at last. "Wuh-wuh. Wurruhma!"[10]
Make haste...The Valley of a Thousand Echoes awaits... "Worrah, worrah...whoo"[11]
I woke alone. You abandoned me. "Wuh-wuh", holding open hand to chest[11]
Your parting words were silent, I followed you here. "Wurrah-wuh" sigh, touching ear, pointing to the ground[11]
No further! It is forbidden for you to follow my path! "Wuh-wuh!", lunge forwards, swipe at the air with bared fangs[11]
Who dares to steal the echoes of our valley and trespass on our sacred convocation? "Wuh-wug-wurrugh?"[11]
I come as a friend. I mean no harm. "Wuh. Wuh-woor", touching heart lightly[11]
My friend of the forest trail has brought only shame upon our companionship. "Wuh-wurroo. Wuh"[11]
STOP! "WUH!"[11]
Who speaks? "Wuh?"[11]
I, Wuralo, who suffered much in the Foundry Glade. I know this one. He saved my life. "Wuh-wuh. Wurra-woogh-weerlah", grunt, touching first the shoulder, then the chest [11]
My heart cries for mercy. Spare him. I thought he fell to the poison-sticks. But he lives. "Wura-wuh-wurl! Wuh-wuh. Weera-weeg."[11]
I was indeed struck, yet my heart beat on. I carry the scar. "Wurra-woor-wuh"[11]
It is true. You bear the mark of the poison-sticks. "Wuh-wuh. Wurrh!"[11]
I have loved banderbears from my first breath and will defend them to my last. I gladly risked my life in the Foundry Glade! ""Wuh-wurrel-lurragoom"[11]
Believe me, I am a true friend of the banderbears! "Wuh-wulla"[11]
I sense he speaks the truth. He is a friend of banderbears. "Wurra-looma-weera-wuh" [11]
Friends until the last shadow of that final night. "Wuh-wulla, wegeeral."[11]
Gala, oldest of old and wisest of the wise, has spoken. This is good enough for me. We welcome you. You shall be Uralowa - he who took the poison-stick. "Wuragaluh-weer! Wuh-wurra-lowagh"[11]
You are special. No others have witnessed our Great Convocation - save for one... "Wurrah-woor. Wuh-wuh."[11]
I shall go with you, Captain Twig, friend of banderbears. "Wuh-wurra Tw-uh-ug-wuh"[12]
Welcome! Friend! "Wuh-wuh"[12]
I, Weeg, shall also go with you. I have served upon a sky pirate ship long ago, in the old days of which you speak. "Wuh. Weega. Wuh-wuh", pointing to the skies, touching scar and and raising head, "Wurrah-wuh!"[12]

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 Convocation of Banderbears so he departed one morning then was never sighted again.

Banderbears in the Rook Trilogy

Wumeru

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 for hundreds of years 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 captain, Twig. After saving Cade with his last water the banderbear left to die in the Deepwoods.

List of Banderbears

Behind the Scenes

Banderbear Time Lapse

Banderbear Time Lapse

Chris Riddell draws a banderbear

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Beyond the Deepwoods, Chapter 8: The Banderbear]]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Last of the Sky Pirates, Chapter 15: Wumeru
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 The Last of the Sky pirates, Chapter 16: The Great Convocation
  4. 4.0 4.1 Beyond the Deepwoods, Chapter 8: The Banderbear
  5. The Immortals, Chapter 36
  6. The Immortals, Chapter 38
  7. The Immortals, Chapter 46
  8. The Immortals, Chapter 66
  9. The Immortals, Chapter 85
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 The Last of the Sky Pirates, Chapter 15: Wumeru
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 The Last of the Sky Pirates, Chapter 16: The Great Convocation
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Last of the Sky Pirates, Chapter 18: Skyraider