The Nameless One was the first book of the Cade Saga, the eleventh book chronologically, and was published in 2014. It followed the adventures of Cade Quarter, nephew of Nate Quarter and a distant descendant of Rook Barkwater, Twig Verginix, and ultimately Quintinius Verginix.
A number of years after the events of The Immortals, Nate Quarter returned to Great Glade, rekindling the anti-Descender hatred preached by Quove Lentis, the High Professor of Flight. Cade's father and Nate's brother, Thadeus Quarter, has been killed by those loyal to Lentis, and Cade was forced to flee Great Glade or face the same fate. Taking his chances, he became a 'Forlorn Hoper' - leaping onto the hull of a phraxship leaving dock in the desperate hope of sneaking aboard. He managed to get aboard the Xanth Filatine, but was immediately snatched up by flathead goblins in the employ of Drax Adereth, a young crime lord answering to Quove Lentis, and given one week to pay for his passage - or lose a finger.
Cade, while masquerading as a servant, briefly entered the employ of Tillman Spoke, a retired Freeglade Lancer turned Prowlgrin breeder, and met a prowlgrin hatchling who imprinted on him. However, Adereth's cronies soon caught up with him, and he is framed for the theft of a mire-pearl necklace. Adereth himself saved Cade from being sky-fired, and threatened to take several of Cade's fingers. Cade inadvertently revealed the whereabouts of two runaway academics Quove Lentis had tasked Adereth with finding, and Adereth murdered both of them before turning on Cade. Cade, desperate to escape, leaped from the flight platform and landed in an ironwood tree as the Xanth Filatine moved off.
Cade was rescued by Gart Ironside, a former phraxfleet owner brought low by what he called a 'great swindle', and made the decision to settle down in the Farrow Ridges. Ironside provided him with some tools and equipment, and Cade began his new life.
His early attempts at survival were poor; his snare-trap was triggered and destroyed by a mysterious beast, and his shack was torn apart by a storm. He was rescued from the storm by Thorne Lammergyre, a fisher-goblin and ex-soldier, and Celestia Helmstoft, daughter of an academic who lived near the Ridges. After Cade recovered, Thorne and Celestia helped him build a new cabin, and Cade settled down.
Some time passed, and Cade was introduced to Celestia's father, Blatch Helmstoft, who was researching the Farrow Ridges and their indigenous cultures - specifically, the rarely seen 'white trogs' who dwelled within the massive caverns above the waterfalls which feed the lake. Cade accompanied Celestia on a quest to find Shriekroot, a potent healing herb found only at the base of a Bloodoak tree, and the two ended up saving the life of a hammerhead goblin scout named Teeg. After a night in the hammerheads' hive hut, they each returned home, planning to meet at Cade's for breakfast.
However, when Cade returned home, he found an enormous beast hiding under the stilts upon which his cabin was raised - a Nameless One, the same creature which destroyed Cade's trap many weeks earlier. The snare had cut deep into the Nameless One's flesh, and it is only thanks to Celestia - and the freshly harvested Shriekroot - that the beast survived.
As the Nameless One recovered, Cade showed it kindness and fed it, and eventually it is healed enough to walk. It helped Cade clear rocks from a patch of ground he marked out for a vegetable garden, and earned the name 'Tug' in the process. Shortly after, Gart Ironside arrived at Cade's cabin to announce that he was leaving the Farrow Ridges, with a secret item he claims will restore his fortune.
Once Tug had recovered, Cade encountered Celestia and Thorne making their way across the lake in a coracle. It transpired that Celestia's father, Blatch, had ventured into the caverns above the waterfall, and not returned. Cade joined Celestia and Thorne in their rescue mission, and after making their way through several caverns - including one filled with fragile crystals which, unbeknownst to the party, warned the cave-dwelling white trogs that intruders are present - the group ended up stuck in a 'drowning pool'. A boulder sealed the chamber behind them, and the chamber flooded, until Cade found a marking left by Blatch on a stalactite, which - when pushed - drained the pools.
The group ended up deep within the caverns, imprisoned by the white trogs and their queen, who intended to sacrifice them in anger over the theft of a large red jewel from a sacred site in their caves. At the last moment, the foursome were rescued by Gart Ironside, who replaces the stolen jewel, which fills the cave with red light - the 'blood of the spirits', as the trogs know it. It transpired that Ironside had taken the jewel, intending to sell it in Great Glade, but had returned when he saw his friends entering the caves.
During the escape, Cade was stabbed with a poisoned dagger, and nothing Celestia tried saved his life. It is at this moment that Goom, an ancient banderbear from the Riverrise spring, made his appearance. Out of gratitude for Cade's kind treatment of Tug the Nameless One, Goom gaves Cade the last of his water from the Riverrise spring - sacrificing his own eternal life to save the life of Cade.
Cade made his recovery, and was reunited with Celestia, Blatch, and all the rest of his Farrow Ridges friends. Celestia informed him that Thorne had been examining the barkscrolls left to Cade by his father, and wanted to talk to them about the designs - which he says will change the Farrow Ridges forever.
The Nameless One was the first book to be published without a cover by Chris Riddell. It was instead only published as hardcover and paperback in the new edition with Jeff Nentrup's cover illustration.
|Books in the Edge Chronicles series, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell|
Nate Book: The Immortals
Blogs: Weird New Worlds