Gristle, a slaughterer, in his early teens

Slaughterers were a race of humanoids with red, spiky hair and blood-red skin. Chiefly found in Deepwoods villages, they were noted for their expertise in butchery, and their main source of income was the trading of meat and fur with other inhabitants of the Edge.


Slaughterers had spiky red hair and red skin. Their skin colour came from prolonged exposure to smoke from redoak chippings. They were naturally nocturnal, waking up at sundown and having lunch in the middle of the night, though slaughterers living in cities like Undertown were generally forced to adapt to diurnality.



Slaughterers throwing a feast.


The Slaughterers tended hammelhorns and tilder and used them for food, their milk as beverage and their wool and leather for clothing. The Slaughterers were well known and respected for their leather-working skills and traded with other Deepwoods folks like the woodtrolls and even the sky pirates. Their work included cloddertrog whips, woodtroll aprons, goblin helmets, waistcoats, sky-pirate breastplates and amulets.

Social standing

Many other deepwoods people did not know that the smoke affected the skin colour of the slaughterers and despised the Slaughterers for their ferocious appearance. It was believed that blood from the butchery had entered their pores and coloured their whole body. No other deepwoods folk wanted to be associated with them and they were called ' the bottom of the pot '. Slaughterers were however very open and welcoming, offering everyone a place in their middle. Touching one's forehead and then touching another person's forehead made them 'brothers'.


Whereas woodtrolls constructed their cabins out of buoyant lufwood, slaughterer's built their homes out of the denser timber of the leadwood tree[1].


The slaughterers were a peaceful folk that loved feasting. Whenever something could be celebrated, a large fire was lit in the middle of the village and woodale, hammelhorn steaks and tilder sausages were served. Slaughterer's were cheerful and loved to dance and sing for example this simple canon:

Welcome back lost slaughterer
Welcome like a stranger
Welcome back from the deep deep woods
Welcome back from danger[2]


Like many other Deepwoods folks, the slaughterers believed in the power of amulets. They also feared the Gloamglozer. They had a healthy respect for the dangers of the Deepwoods and preferred the life in a safe community.

Role in the Edge Chronicles

Role in the Twig Trilogy

When Twig had lost the path in Beyond the Deepwoods and was wandering through the woods, he rescued Gristle Tatum from a hover worm. He was welcomed to participate in the slaughterer village feast and was given a hammelhorn waistcoat by Ma-Tatum. He was made Gristle's honorable brother. Twig left the village when the Gloamglozer, appearing as a slaughterer, told him he was not welcome because he was different. In Stormchaser, a slaughterer named Tarp Hammelherd joined the crew of the Edgedancer. After the events of Midnight Over Sanctaphrax Twig found the village again and stayed there, marrying Sinew Tatum.

Role in The Slaughterer's Quest

Keris Verginix, Twig's daughter and half-slaughterer, grew up in a slaughterer village. She left in search of her father and spent the rest of her life in the Free Glades, marrying Shem Barkwater and giving birth to Rook.

Role in the Rook Trilogy

In The Last of the Sky Pirates, Rook met the slaughterers from the Slaughterers' Camp who herded their tilder with skycraft. He was rescued by Knuckle from being devoured by logworms on the Silver Pastures. Another slaughterer, Brisket, taught sail-setting to the young librarian-knight apprentices. Knuckle became one of Rook's closest friends and accompanied him to the Foundry Glades where they wanted to free banderbears that were kept as slaves. In Vox, an old slaughterer was sold alongside Rook on the Slave Market of Undertown. In Freeglader, Rook met many slaughterers in the Freeglade Lancers, the most prominent of them being Ligger.

Notable Slaughterers

Notable Individuals with Slaughterer Blood


  1. Beyond the Deepwoods, Chapter 3: The Slaughterers
  2. Beyond the Deepwoods, p. 64