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Arborinus "Twig" Verginix was a fourthling, the son of Quintinius Verginix and Maris Pallitax. He was the protagonist of the Twig Trilogy.


Role in Beyond the Deepwoods

As a baby, Twig had to be abandoned by his parents in a woodtroll village because he was unwelcome aboard Multinius Gobtrax's sky ship. He was raised by the woodtrolls Tuntum and Spelda Snatchwood until he was thirteen. At that point, Twig's adoptive mother sent him on his way to his Cousin Snetterbark's house in order to escape recruitment by Sky Pirates. Twig strayed from the path, lost his way, and journeyed across the Deepwoods, encountering many creatures, both friendly and hostile. Twig encountered his father when his sky ship, the Stormchaser, crash-landed in the Deepwoods, but when Cloud Wolf realised who Twig was, he was too emotionally tormented by the realisation to face the situation, and left while Twig was sleeping. Twig then wandered into the Edgelands and encountered the Gloamglozer, who tricked him into walking off the Edge itself, but he was rescued by the Caterbird, who reunited him with his father. Twig then signed on as a crew member of his father's sky ship.

Role in Stormchaser

With the Treasury severely depleted and Vilnix Pompolnius bringing Sanctaphrax closer and closer to ruin, the great floating city was in desperate need of new Stormphrax, and Cloud Wolf agreed to go on a Stormchasing voyage with the Professor of Light. Although Cloud Wolf intended to leave Twig behind, Slyvo Spleethe sneaked Twig aboard as part of his plans to mutiny. Cloud Wolf defeated Spleethe, but the crew, along with Twig, were forced to abandon ship and leave Cloud Wolf behind. Twig and the crew landed in the Twilight Woods, but failed to retrieve the Stormphrax. With Cloud Wolf gone, the crew swore loyalty to Twig, and he became their new captain. Twig led them out of the Twilight Woods and hired a guide, Screed Toe-Taker, to help them across the Mire. Screed tried to kill them, but Twig defeated him in combat. He soon discovered that Screed was a former Knight Academic who failed on

Twig, escaping from the trogcombs

a Stormchasing voyage of his own, and was driven insane by his feverish desperation not to let Sanctaphrax down. He posed as a guide to get travellers to come with him, murdered them, cut off their toes, and took Stormphrax particles that built up under their toenails. Over the years, Screed had amassed enough Stormphrax for Twig to use to stabilise the floating city. Twig and Maugin restored Screed's sky ship, the Windcutter, triumphantly returned to Sanctaphrax, and delivered the Stormphrax to the treasury. In honour of this great achievement, the Professor of Darkness pronounced him an honorary Knight Academic. He then assembled a new crew of sky pirates, funded by Mother Horsefeather, who believed that Twig would supply her with the secret of safe phraxdust production. After giving her the secret, he also distributed the information all over Undertown, ending her economic influence and preventing her from cornering the water market. Shortly thereafter, he learned from the Caterbird that his father, Cloud Wolf, was blown out into Open Sky, and set off in his new sky ship, the Edgedancer, with the Caterbird guiding him.

Twig, being knighted by the Professor of Darkness

Role in Midnight Over Sanctaphrax

After travelling for weeks in Open Sky and facing deadly weather patterns, the Caterbird led Twig to his father, who was becalmed inside the Mother Storm. Cloud Wolf warned Twig that the Mother Storm was returning to the Edge, and that Sanctaphrax was blocking her path. If the Mother Storm spent all of her energy to destroy Sanctaphrax, she would never have reach Riverrise to rejuvenate the Edgewater River, and the entire Edge would plunge into darkness. At this point, Cloud Wolf faded away, claimed by the Mother Storm. Then there was a sudden explosion which destroyed Twig's sky ship, sent him and his crew hurtling towards different parts of the Edge, and robbed everyone except Maugin of their memories, since she was protected by her heavy stone pilot suit. The different parts of the Edgedancer fell all over the Edge, destroying buildings both in Sanctaphrax and in Undertown, and even killing three leaguesmen that were indentified as Ulbus Pentephraxis, Simenon Xintax, and Farquhar Armwright. Twig was found in the Stone Gardens by the Professor of Darkness, unware of what was around him. He called for his father, but didn't say anything else since his mind was quite troubled. The Professor of Darkness took him to Sanctaphrax where he eventually recovered and met Cowlquape Pentephraxis. Twig, accompanied by the junior sub-acolyte he had made his apprentice, left on a search that led him to places such as the Great Shryke Slave Market and other parts of the Deepwoods, finding more and more of his crew. Eventually, his journey brought him to Riverrise, where he found Maugin. Maugin reminded him of what Cloud Wolf said, and Twig's memory returned. Twig and Cowlquape Sky-Fired themselves back to Undertown where they attacked the Anchor Chain. Unable to accept what must happen, the Professor of Darkness tried to stop them by pushing Twig off the platform where Sanctaphrax was chained, who hit his head violently as he fell. In a desperate attempt to stop Cowlquape, he bestowed the rank of Most High Academe upon him. The Anchor Chain was severed, the Professor frantically clung to it, and Sanctaphrax drifted up into Open Sky. A new Sanctaphrax Rock started growing in the Stone Gardens, and everyone rushed to anchor it down, so as to build a new city. At this point, Twig left to go find the rest of the crew where he left them at Riverrise, aboard the Skyraider (a ship where he had mutinied against Thunderbolt Vulpoon during the events of this book) as captain, claiming he would follow his heart.

Twig, sailing off to relocate his crew

After the Twig Trilogy

Twig searched for many years, but was unable to find Riverrise again. He and his crew travelled through the Deepwoods, and at one point Twig came down with fever. His crew was desperate and asked a village of slaughterers to take care of him, promising they would be back. It was Sinew Tatum who nursed him, and fell in love with him. Twig eventually married Sinew and exactly one year after his arrival, they had a child, Keris. However, Sinew died when Keris was not even one year old and Twig, feeling the only way to protect Keris was to find his lost crew, Maugin, Goom and Woodfish, left the village two years later.[4] He asked Gristle to look after his daughter while he left the village to find his missing crew. He eventually arrived in the Free Glades, where he learned of Stone-Sickness. The rest of his crew slowly perished for various reasons and once he lost his entire crew, he left his ship, the Skyraider, at Wilderness Lair in the Edgelands and started to live a life among Banderbears.

Twig remained with the Banderbears for several years, until his grandson, Rook, discovered him in the book The Last of the Sky Pirates. The two of them carried out a raid on the Tower of Night to rescue Cowlquape from the clutches of the Guardians of Night. The mission was successful, but Twig was mortally wounded. As his sky ship was destroyed, the Caterbird rescued him, and the pair soared off to Riverrise. Twig saw Maugin waiting for him as he approached Riverrise, but Maugin was suddenly killed by a poisonous dart shot by Golderayce, a waif who had settled in the Garden of Life. Golderayce, who had fallen in love with Maugin in a distance and was possessed with a murderous jealousy, preferred to kill Maugin rather than let her be reunited with Twig, who she came to love with all her heart. Golderayce then turned the Garden of Life into a prison, with the intent to keep Twig there for all eternity.


A seventy-year-old Twig, as he appears during The Last of the Sky Pirates

Distant Future

Twig remained in the Garden of Life, trapped by Golderayce, and kept alive by the water from the Riverrise pool. Many decades later, Rook journeyed to Riverrise, determined to discover what had happened to his grandfather. He arrived, accompanied by another waif, Cancaresse, who died shortly before Rook reached the Garden. Upon his arrival, Golderayce hit Rook with a dart, but Rook remained conscious long enough to fire a crossbow bolt in the direction of the shot. The bolt hit Golderayce in the eye, disfiguring him for life. Golderayce decided that condemning Rook to the same fate as Twig would be a worse punishment than killing him outright, and so Twig's grandson joined him.

Hundreds of years later, Nate Quarter journeyed to Riverrise with the intent to use its waters to heal Eudoxia Prade. Golderayce attacked, but the Caterbird intervened, blowing the poison dart back at Golderayce and killing the centuries-old waif. Nate proceeded to the Garden of Life, healed Eudoxia, and met with Twig and Rook, who were still alive after all those years. After Twig and Rook explained their life stories to Nate, a Great Storm swept through the Garden of Life, claiming Twig and Rook, and causing them to fade away.

Rook, Nate, and Twig, in the Third Age of Flight

Nate and his friends later journeyed to the Edge, to find that the Old Sanctaphrax rock had been blown back and was hovering over the Stone Gardens. At first, the city seemed perfectly preserved and even inhabited by ancient academics, but Nate soon discovered that, in its absence, it had actually become a breeding ground for Gloamglozers, and that the demons had only created an illusion that the city was pristine and inviting. Just when all seemed lost, Twig, along with Quint and Rook, appeared out of the Mother Storm as an echo of his youth, and the three Immortals battled the Gloamglozers. After the battle, Twig, Quint, and Rook transformed into Glisters to begin life anew.


Twig, like Quint and Rook, had a noble heart. He commonly went out of his way to help those in need, and risked his life doing what he knew to be right. Twig didn't easily let go of his things, but did when he cared for someone.[4] He fought against slavery and helped the helpless from their oppressors. He also became known as one of the greatest sky pirates who ever lived, also because he had "The Touch", and had a wild, free spirit. In the Third Age of Flight, Twig's friendship with the banderbears was the subject of the popular song Twig and the Banderbear[5].


  1. The Immortals, Chapter 78
  2. Beyond the Deepwoods, Chapter 3: The Slaughterers
  3. Beyond the Deepwoods, Chapter 10: The Termagant Trogs
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Slaughterer's Quest, Chapter 1: Supper at Dawn
  5. The Descenders, Chapter 6
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