Optimus Yarnspinner
Optimus Yarnspinner
Optimus with red scales
Physical Information
Life Form: Lindworm
Gender: Male
Scales colour: various
Biographical Information
Home: Lindworm Castle
Family: Dancelot Wordwright
Occupation: Author, poet

Optimus Yarnspinner is a lindworm: the narrator and protagonist of The City of Dreaming Books and its sequels. Of all the instalments of the Zamonia series, Yarnspinner is the credited (in-universe) author for all of them except The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear and Rumo.

Early lifeEdit

Young Optimus Yarnspinner

Young Optimus

Yarnspinner was born and raised in Lindworm Castle; although little is known about his family and upbringing as a whole, childish pranks and other rambunctious activities are mentioned throughout his formative years. As a young lindworm in his twenties, Yarnspinner's scales were a pale yellow colour. He was educated by Dancelot Wordwright, who was an avid reader but not a very prolific writer; but provided Yarnspinner with an immense amount of knowledge about Zamonian literature.

Dancelot's BequestEdit

See The City of Dreaming Books for more information.

Optimus Yarnspinner was in his mid-seventies when Dancelot Wordwright passed away, and he inherited all of Dancelot's possessions. At his deathbed, Dancelot had revealed to Yarnspinner an exceptionally-well-written manuscript sent to him years ago, and Yarnspinner set off to the city of Bookholm in search of its author. There Yarnspinner was kidnapped and banished to the catacombs under the city by evil genius Pfistomel Smyke.

The Catacombs of BookholmEdit

Underground, Yarnspinner was befriended by the Booklings, who lived by reading. After the Booklings' secret civilisation was discovered and raided by Bookhunters, Yarnspinner escaped deeper into the labyrinth and found himself in Shadowhall Castle, the domain of Homuncolossus, who revealed that he was the author of the manuscript that caused Yarnspinner to come to Bookholm, but was captured by Pfistomel Smyke and confined to the catacombs. Having learned the art of inspired writing (known to Lindworms as the Orm) from Homoncolossus, Yarnspinner devised a plan to return to the surface; whereby Yarnspinner and the Shadow King made their way to Smyke's secret laboratory and confronted him, where Homuncolossus intentionally set himself on fire, then trapped himself and Smyke in a cellar, whence the flames consumed almost the entirety of Bookholm. Yarnspinner returned to Lindworm Castle, where he became one of the most highly revered writers in Zamonia.

His scales were a reptilian green at this stage in his life.

Return to BookholmEdit

300 years later, Yarnspinner was a bestselling author; but the power of inspiration, known to Lindworms as the Orm, had deserted him. At this point he was surprised by a letter apparently from himself, and returned to Bookholm to investigate; where his friend Ahmed ben Kibitzer suspected Homuncolossus as the true author. Shortly thereafter, Yarnspinner was introduced to the puppet-theatre newly introduced in Bookholm, and became obsessed with the wish to write an exhaustive book on the subject; which search led him into the catacombs anew. 

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