- "I tried! Earth and Sky know, I tried, but to what avail? I was a traitor. A spy. A curse on all who came close to me and trusted me. Yet, I did try, you have to believe me..."
- —Xanth Filatine
Xanth Filatine was a fourthling who appeared in all three books of the Rook Saga and The Blooding of Rufus Filatine. His invention of the peaceful use of stormphrax via the phraxchamber led to the Third Age of Flight.
Xanth originally worked as an apprentice to Vox Verlix in the early days of New Sanctaphrax. As Orbix Xaxis began to organize a revolution to overthrow Vox, he convinced Xanth to join his cause with the promise that there would be a great future for him under his leadership. Xanth was easily manipulated by the evil leader of the Guardians of Night and was quick to betray Vox and start his new life as a Guardian.
Role in The Last of the Sky Pirates
Xanth served as the apprentice to Orbix Xaxis for many years, but gradually developed a close friendship with the Guardians' most valuable political prisoner, Cowlquape Pentephraxis, the rightful Most High Academe. Xanth often visited Cowlquape on his dungeon ledge in the Tower of Night, where the elderly academic told him stories of his adventures in the Deepwoods with the great sky pirate, Captain Twig. Xanth longed to see the Deepwoods for himself, and seized the first chance to leave the Tower of Night. When Rook, Magda Burlix, and Stob Lummus were sent out to the Free Glades to become Librarian Knights, Xanth proposed to Orbix Xaxis that he follow them as a spy, rather than capture them in Undertown as Xaxis had proposed. Orbix agreed, and Xanth set off on the biggest journey of his life.
When Xanth arrived at the Free Glades, he pretended to be the only surviving member of a party of Librarian Knights elect that had been killed near the Silver Pastures. Parsimmon, the High Master of Lake Landing accepted his story without question, and Xanth began to train alongside Rook, Magda, and Stob. Xanth was usually quiet and withdrawn during his studies, dwelling in his past, but Tweezel, the old spindlebug befriended him, telling him stories of his old master and his daughter, Maris. Unlike the mistrustful Stob, Rook and Magda came to see Xanth as their friend. As he was studying, Xanth reported information on the Librarians Academic to the Guardians of Night, who then used it to alert the Shrykes of the Eastern Roost whenever a party of Librarian Knights Elect was passing through their city in secret. Many unfortunate librarians were slaughtered as a result. Xanth however became regretful and felt guilty about doing so after meeting the kind- spirited Librarian Knights he was betraying.
Xanth also alerted Hemuel Spume to the Librarian Knights' imminent raid on the Foundry Glades, allowing the Foundry master to ambush Rook, Knuckle, and Varis Lodd with an army of Long-Haired Goblins. During the course of this attack, Rook threw himself in front of a banderbear named Wuralo, taking a poisoned dart in the shoulder to save her, and became stricken with a terrible fever. While Rook was recovering, a guilt-wracked Xanth confessed his treachery to his friend, and promptly fled back to the Tower of Night before he could be unmasked.
Later, Rook and Twig attacked the Tower of Night with the Skyraider, and rescued Cowlquape. As Rook attempted to flee, the tether ropes of his skycraft became snagged, and he was stuck. Xanth confronted Rook, armed with a crossbow, but upon realizing the intruder was his old friend from the Free Glades, he missed him intentionally, slicing through the tether ropes instead, allowing Rook to escape. He was left alone and filled with remorse.
Role in Vox
Now that Xanth had experienced the peace and beauty of the Free Glades, he became disillusioned and increasingly appalled at the evil actions of the Guardians of Night. Meanwhile, Mollus Leddix, resentful of Xanth's special treatment from the High Guardian, became suspicious of Xanth and spread rumors of his treachery against the Guardians.
When Magda Burlix was captured by the Guardians in Screetown while she was looking for Rook, who had been shot down in the area, Xanth was responsible for her interrogation. Although she brought back memories of the happiness Xanth had felt in the Free Glades, Xanth showed no outward sign of recognition or mercy, knowing that Orbix Xaxis was watching him- analyzing his every move. Later, however, Xanth attempted to smuggle Magda away from New Sanctaphrax by disguising her with the robes of a Guardian of Night. Once the two of them reached the Slave Trail, they were caught by Leddix, the cage master, and Orbix Xaxis lowered them into the Rock Demons' Ravine. Luckily they escaped along the tunnel constructed by the Guardians, which connected the ravine to the Great Storm Chamber Library. After the two of them had given the Rock-Demons the slip, the beasts entered the Great Storm Chamber Library and devoured the battling Shrykes and Goblins. The Librarians reluctantly let him travel with them to the Free Glades as the Dark Maelstrom destroyed Undertown.
Role in Freeglader
Xanth was mistrusted and despised by the Librarians and the Undertowners. In the Battle of Lufwood Mount, Xanth slew Mother Muleclaw with the sword Rook had been given by Felix Lodd, thus turning the fortune of the Undertowners around. After they arrived at the Free Glades the population of the Glades forced him to face a Reckoning in Waif Glen to decide his fate. Rook and Magda both vowed to speak up for him at the Reckoning; however, Magda was shot down over the Eastern Roost while on patrol and presumed dead, and Rook lost his memory in a Sepia Storm, awakening only with the memory of Xanth's betrayal and lies. This left Xanth with no one to advocate for him. Cowlquape Pentephraxis knew of his good nature, but could not testify because he had only ever known Xanth while he was his own jailer in the Tower of Night.
Before the Reckoning, Xanth was imprisoned in the Gardens of Light, where he developed his friendship with Tweezel the spindlebug. He often discussed his feelings of guilt and remorse with Tweezel, and the old spindlebug assured him that his guilt was proof that he was good. At the Reckoning, Cancaresse the Waif probed the mind of Xanth, and the minds of those who knew him or had suffered as a result of his actions. As Cancaresse noticed, "there was guilt, remorse, hurt and unhappiness... power of his conflicting emotions...". Although there were some who thought good of him, she was about to banish Xanth from the Free Glades, when Magda suddenly appeared at the Reckoning, badly injured yet still loyal, testifying that Xanth had risked his life to save hers. Cancaresse reversed her decision, welcoming Xanth as a Freeglader at last.
Xanth became a Librarian Knight once more. He fought in the War for the Free Glades as a flight marshal, and helped the Librarians to achieve victory.
In his later years, Xanth Filatine became an academic of the Lake Landing Academy, becoming its High Master after Parsimmon's death. Years later, his son, Rufus Filatine, joined the Freeglade Lancers. After the Battle of the Phrax Glade, Rufus brought a Phraxfire Globe to his father, who, after studying the mechanism, designed the first Phraxchamber, ushering in the Third Age of Flight and allowing for the creation of Great Glade and Hive.
Xanth Filatine died many years later, one year after the death of Magda Burlix, leading to the departure of Rook from the Free Glades.