Stormchaser was the second book in The Edge Chronicles, the fifth book chronologically, and the second book in the Twig trilogy. This book told the story of Twig's role in Cloud Wolf's stormchasing voyage into the Twilight Woods.
Twig accidentally caused severe damage to the sky ship Stormchaser, which he did after a great deal for ironwood with woodtrolls. This forced Cloud Wolf to return to Undertown and arrange a way to repay his debts. Meanwhile, in the city of Sanctaphrax, stormphrax and phraxdust supplies were running low, dangerously increasing the buoyancy of the Sanctaphrax rock and threatening to pollute the Undertown water to undrinkable levels. Against the wishes of the Most High Academe Vilnix Pompolnius, a deal was struck between Cloud Wolf, Mother Horsefeather, and the Professor of Light to erase Cloud Wolf's debts if he can return to Sanctaphrax with a supply of Stormphrax from the approaching Great Storm to save both cities from destruction.
Though Cloud Wolf forbade Twig to set sail with the rest of the crew on this dangerous voyage, he allowed himself to be smuggled onboard the Stormchaser by the mutinous quartermaster, Slyvo Spleethe. Inside the Great Storm, Spleethe and Mugbutt mutinied, threatening to murder Twig if Cloud Wolf refused to comply. Spleethe and Mugbutt were thwarted and killed, but the Stormchaser was being torn to pieces in the storm. The crew abandoned ship in the Twilight Woods, and Cloud Wolf stayed aboard to pursue his quest. After landing, Twig reunited with the crew and the Professor of Light, who suggested the election of a new captain. The Professor of Light then revealed to the crew that Twig was Cloud Wolf's son, and they unanimously named him as their captain.
Many of the crew were badly injured in the landing. Hubble suffered severe internal injuries, and the Professor of Light broke his neck. Although Twig tried to maintain his crew's sanity in the Twilight Woods, Tem Barkwater and Stope Boltjaw were overcome by twilight-madness and wandered away. Twig and the remaining crew then arrived in the Mire, where they hired Screed Toe-Taker as a guide. Along the way, Hubble succumbed to his injuries and died. Screed then murdered Spiker and attacked the Stone Pilot. Twig challenged Screed, managed to kill him, and brought the unconscious Stone Pilot to safety. Twig then realized that Screed was in fact an old Knight Academic who, having crashed his sky ship, the Windcutter, in the Mire, and failing to retrieve stormphrax from the Twilight Woods, resorted to slaughtering Mire travelers and scraping stormphrax crystals from underneath their toenails. The Professor of Light then realized that the secret to safe phraxdust production was to grind the stormphrax crystals in twilight. He then died from his neck injury. Soon after, the Stone Pilot came around, and removed her protective hood for the first time in years, revealing to Twig that she was in fact an un-turned Termagant Trog named Maugin.
Twig and Maugin effected makeshift repairs to the Windcutter, restoring it to a just barely skyworthy state, and managed to sail it back to Undertown. Twig then struck a deal with Mother Horsefeather: in return for the secret for safe phraxdust production, she was to write off Cloud Wolf's debts and construct a new sky ship for Twig, the Edgedancer. Twig then went to Sanctaphrax and alerted the Professor of Darkness that he had returned with a chest of stormphrax. The two of them placed the stormphrax in the Treasury Chamber, stabilizing the floating city. It was then the Professor of Darkness pronounced Twig an honorary Knight Academic.
Now that there was no need for new chain production and stormphrax supplies, the academics of Sanctaphrax turned against Vilnix Pompolnius. Vilnix tried to flee, but was immediately assassinated by the League of Free Merchants.
Twig searched all over Undertown and took on a new crew for the Edgedancer. The crew was, Spooler (Oakelf), Goom (Banderbear), Woodfish (Waterwaif), Tarp (Slaughterer), Bogwitt (Flat Head Goblin), Wingnut Sleet (Fourthling), and Maugin, the stone pilot. Among them,Spooler, Goom and Woodfish were taken by Twig from Flabsweat and Bogwitt was hired after Twig showed him that the Treasury did not have stormphrax. He then fulfilled his promise and told Mother Horsefeather the secret of how to produce phraxdust safely. However, shortly thereafter, he also distributed envelopes all over Undertown which contained stormphrax crystals and instructions for phraxdust production, thus putting an end to the monopoly on the Undertown water market.
After setting sail on the Edgedancer, he was visited by the Caterbird, who told Twig that Cloud Wolf and the Stormchaser were blown out into Open Sky. The book ended with Twig setting off over the Edge to find his father.
|Books in the Edge Chronicles series, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell|
Nate Book: The Immortals
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