Think about it. Most of the main and supporting characters get married and start having kids really early. This is because fourthlings need to leave enough time to see their kids grow up before they die. Quint is in his thirties in the Twig trilogy, but is presented as much older; this troper would never have guessed he was so young before she saw the timeline. Then there's Rook's portrait in The Immortals: it was painted 'early in the Third Age of Flight' and Rook was in his thirties when the Third Age began, but he's gone mostly grey. Of course, there are a lot of old professors running (hobbling?) around, which leads to my next WMG...
Exposure to stormphrax increases a fourthling's lifespan.
How many old fourthlings do we see who aren't sky scholars? Stormphrax is kept in the heart of Sanctaphrax, and its life-lengthening effects filter through the whole of the rock, thereby affecting everyone who lives on it. It's more prominent in fourthlings because they don't live as long (see above WMG). It also explains how Twig lived so long: he was actually in
the Twilight Woods in the middle of a Great Storm, and was exposed to stormphrax again when he brought Screed Toe-Taker's chest back to Sanctaphrax, the concentrated dose doing the same thing as smaller exposure over a longer period of time. It also explains how come there were still so many old professors in the Rook era - most of the earth scholars were once sky scholars. And Philius Embertine of the Quint trilogy was, I believe, one of the oldest characters in the whole series; he went on two
successful stormchasing voyages.
- It comes from the Twilight Woods, and considering they will keep you alive (in a way) forever, I'd say this was quite plausible.
- seconded. not to mention the healing water of riverise, which is seeded by a different storm, but the principles are probably related there's bound to be some kind of connection.
Keris lied to everyone in the Free Glades about when her father left.
This could explain the two contradictory accounts of just when
Twig left Keris to return to searching for his crew. In reality, he left when Keris was three years old, as in The Slaughterer's Quest, but when Keris reached the Free Glades, she found people practically hero worshipping her father and didn't want to make anyone think badly of him by revealing the Parental Abandonment
- To those unfamiliar with the contradicting accounts, there is the one above and in "Freeglader", Tem Barkwater tells Rook that Twig (paraphrasing here) "did a good job raising her (Keris)" before leaving to search for his crew.
Alternatively, she saw Maris and Quint leaving Twig in the Deepwoods and didn't want her grandmother to know Twig had done the same to his child. Or possibly both.
At least part of the Gloamglozer's curse was that heirs of the Verginix line would never grow up with their parents.
We're never really told what the curse laid on Quint is
and the Gloamglozer seems like a character who would want to make Quint as miserable as possible. After Quint, the Verginix line rarely has a parent and child together for long - Quint abandons Twig in the Deepwoods, Twig leaves Keris in the Slaughterer village when she's a toddler to search for his crew, Keris is killed by slavers and Rook is taken in by the Librarians...
Granted, Rook apparently doesn't die while his children are young - the portrait of him in The Immortals
shows him as middle-aged - but perhaps the curse was fading after three generations. It seems to pop up again every so often, too - Nate's father dies before he reaches adulthood, too.
- The Curse would have been Confuddled; Rook is Rook BARKWATER. the verginix line continued, but the curse went the way most curses do and stopped when the surname changed. Nate was just unlucky.
- Or, since there doesn't seem to be that kind of magic in the Edge Chronicles, the Gloamgloazer was actively trying to influence them the whole time to bring about tragedy; He wouldn't dare show his face to Quint after what happened last time he did, so he settled for leading him into abandoning Twig. Next generation he tried to lure Twig to his death. It backfired when the Catterbird saved him, so the Gloamgloazer just fell back on trying to engineer tragedies from afar. He missed Rook because he thought he'd succeeded in killing off the Verginix line entirely when Keris died; Rook as a baby was helpless in the middle of the Deepwoods, and once again was only saved by another creature intervening. Sometime between Freeglader and the Immortals the Gloamgloazer finally worked out what was going on and meddled with Nate, before backing off when he found Sanctaphrax. Alternatively, The Gloamgloazer thought Rook dead when he nearly went over the edge in Freeglader. There was that Big Lipped Alligator Moment of the Gloamgloazer seemingly appearing and mocking him in the mist before he went.
- Another angle that crops up on this sometimes is an effect of the curse being that the Verginix line is doomed to have single children, although in fairness, parental abandonment would certainly tend to result in this by default. This troper knows at least one fellow fan who would have liked to see the one child thing persist all the way to Nate, and he be the first to have a "normal" family life after the Gloamglozer was destroyed.
The edge Chronicles takes place in the same world as Netstorm
both story's have bottomless skyies, flying ships, floating rocks, and the Mc.guffin, stormphrax and Storm Crystals, do have a lot of interesting propriety in common.
- one: one stormphrax explodes if crushed anytime other then twilight, explaing where the Nimbians get gunpowder for there cannons.
- two: in the third age, stormphrax is used to power devices, again something the Nimbians have down to a literal science.
- Third: Harvesting storm crystals in netstorm is mostly done by artificial machines like Golems, such creatures would be immune to Twlight (assuming the effect of the twlight wood is cuased by the stormphrax it self) or very fast units that don't have to stand the effect for long.
The edge is the biggest island in the Netstorm world as such it's strong enough to sit low in netstorm skys world, just above the furys, so rather then have guesser thrown upward, they get the storm crystals as they go 'sideways'. There so low in fact, that no else wants to risk exploring so there have been left alone. The techniques used to build ships are the same used by Nimbians, and the existence of trees like the ironbark explains how the wind units (being made of wood0 can do what they do.