The Craven Cannibals Organization in The Garden that Burned | World Anvil

The Craven Cannibals

Brief Overview

The Craven are a group of cannibals so large that they turned an extremist cult into a religion. They believe that eating strong people grants them power, and they worship Dragons.

General Overview

Technically, the Craven doesn't only eat people. They eat any creatures they deem powerful, but because they also eat their own species, they are often labeled as cannibals. The Craven worship dragons and their ability to eat anything and draw power from it. They used to terrorize the northwest coasts of Birtham, but once slavery was made legal again, they began bartering and making deals with differing kingdoms to keep their people safe from the laws while maintaining their cannibalistic lifestyle. They have publicly stated several times that they no longer hunt down townsfolk, but they never said anything about travelers. Rumor has it they'll still stalk an adventurer or two when the opportunity arises.
I was saved before they ate me... Well, at least before they ate all of me. They took my arm.
I can still remember the sensation. They cut at an angle, and they cut at the joint... It's not just a slicing sound. There's this sickening popping noise when they dismember you. The kind of sound that vibrates all throughout your body. The kind of sound that triggers the trauma each time I hear it, echoing through my mind like a waking nightmare...
The above statement was taken from a survivor of Waywin, Odeasus. He recounted his 4 weeks as a captive of the Craven, yet the most disturbing part about his stories is the strict disregard the Craven has for human life.

Divine Origins

It is believed that after Humanity was banished from the Garden of Eden, a man named Ethan Menra returned and pleaded with Evelynn to allow humanity to reenter the Garden. Unfortunately, she refused them, but she was impressed by his bravery, so she told him that if he completed 3 trials she would gift him the power to save his people. What he didn't know was the price that power would cost him...
The first trial was to travel to the westernmost peaks of the Garden and push the Rite of Kin, a giant statue of a dragon, into the sea below. This took several days and tricking a youngling dragon, but he pulled it off and returned to Evelynn.
The second trial required him to eat a poisonous plant. Though this trial took him 3 weeks to recover from, Ethan survived and returned for the final trial.
The third trial required him to defeat a dragon, though because Evelynn didn't specify the nature of the defeat, he chose to beat the dragon with a simple children's game and a set of dice made from bones.
After he returned to Evelynn to reap his rewards she gifted him a strange golden liquid and told him that drinking it was his prize. He guzzled it back and began to transform. He turned into a half dragon resembling a Dragonkin and was granted the ability to eat anything to gain its power, and the gift of flight. Unfortunately, power has a way of turning the sweetest of honey's sour.
Ethan returned to Eden and convinced a small portion of humanity that he was their messiah and that eating thing granted his power. This sparked the initial creation of the Craven religion. He told them of the Great Mother gifting him these powers and abused his newfound status as a cult leader by requesting more and more of his people. Ethan asked so much of them that eventually the cultists ran out of resources to offer. When he realized he'd bled them dry he decided to skip town, but the Craven caught wind of this and a lynch mob formed. In their anger and pain the members of the Craven tore Ethan apart and ate him. This is when they realized the truth. Each member of the Craven who'd eaten Ethan did in fact gain power. So it then became customary that each time a leader o the Craven died the body must be recovered so the next generation of leaders can feast on them, allowing Ethan's stolen power to be passed on through the ages.

The Religion Itself

The Craven believe that if they work hard and reach the top ranks they can ascend to a higher form of evolution. They worship dragons and their abilities, so they wish to become like them. The lower ranking members of the Craven simply believe that eating enough people with power will get them there, but the older members know the truth. That in order to become like the Great Mother, they must first forsake their humanity.
The older members aspire to eat a member of the higher ranks so they can actually gain the power to become what they eat. Once they do that they must make the pilgrimage to the Garden and complete their trials. As they wish to become dragons.
They worship Evelynn, the mother of many, and the fact that she not only became something else entirely, but that she broke away from her deity and carved her own path. Evelynn herself has never declared herself a goddess, but the Craven worship her as one nonetheless. They wish to break away from the The Deorum Pantheon entirely and instead follow Evelynn's path.

Tenets of Faith

Craven Tenets Craven Taboos
1. Eat the strong, rid the world of the weak.
2. We are what we eat.
3. Waste not a quality meal.
4. Power is taken, not given.
5. When chosen by the Great Mother, go swiftly, and with honor.
1. Do not eat children.
2. Do not allow a powerful member to desert the Craven.
3. If you know it, do not share the truth.
4. Do not eat tainted meat.
5. Do not refuse the Great Mother.


Most Craven spend their days working average jobs in a small city carved out of the Odeassa Ranges, however, they meet up each evening in a large dinner hall and feast on what they've found/hunted together. Then, the Scouts and Enferin will leave to find tomorrows main dish. They seek something or someone powerful, and they'll do what they can to lure them into a situation where they are alone outside of town before capturing them to take home, though they buy slaves to feast on if the hunt comes up dry. The Craven is a slave reliant religion, much like the Geodians.

Burial rites

The Craven are very adamant on retrieving the corpses of their loved ones, but it's not to morn them, its to eat them. They believe that their loved one will provide for them one last time before becoming one with them. They will go to incredible lengths to return the bodies of their kin, including endangering their own lives. This is due to the unwavering faith and belief in their religion and the method they chose to handle their dead.


The priesthood of the Craven, if you could call it that, is structured as follows below.


  The Craven Crawlers
The Crawlers were actually given their name by passing travelers and merchants. It was aptly placed due to the way the Craven can move. Due to the mountainous terrain they're raised in, the Craven are very flexible and capable climbers. They crawl and limb across cliff faces and mountain ledges, causing the average citizen to view them as creepy crawlies. They are the general followers of the raven faith, and they know not the secret behind the Great Mother

The Craven Buchirin
Despite how low it is in the Craven hierarchy, the Buchirin are actually a coveted and essential part of the Cravens inner circle. It is incredibly hard to be chosen as a Buchirin and one of the members of the inner circle must elect a candidate. The Domin/Domina themselves will chose the Buchirin, and the Buchirin know the secret of the Great Mother. This allows them to ritualistically prepare the meats.

Craven Scouts
Most would assume the Scouts would be used to scout new lands or riches, but instead these Scouts are responsible for picking out the best possible meats to use for feasts and for their leader. While they do on occasion watch perimeters, the Scouts job is to find the most powerful possible targets that won't bring the attention of the authorities. They are incredibly good with traps and capture maneuvers, but every so often they'll call in the Enferin to complete their catch.

Craven Enferin
The Enferin are capable warriors that have been promoted from the Craven Crawlers. They wear specially fitted armor that is protective, yet flexible. This allows them to creep through the mountains and trees as they normally would. Their masks are handcrafted by each individual Enferin and damaging/breaking these masks will always enrage an Enferin. The masks resemble the type of dragon they'd like to become someday. The Enferin know the truth of the Great Mother.

The Tari'etsu are responsible for enacting Craven rituals, mainly those dedicated to contacting the Great Mother. They are eared far and wide for their ritualistic torture methods and ferocious appetite for flesh. They typically prefer to eat strictly their own kind in order to gain the Great Mothers attention. They know the secret of the Great Mother.

The rules of the Craven, the Domin/Domina takes its name based on gender. The Domin refers to a male leader, whereas the Domina refers to a female leader. These individuals are incredibly powerful and said to have harnessed the power of dragons. They are rumored to be connected to the Great Mother.

Granted Divine Powers

It is rumored that the Domin/Domina of this faith will become part dragon once they finish their pilgrimage to The Garden of Eden. But so few have returned that none can confirm the legitimacy of these rumors.

The power of the strong carries on within us. We are what we eat.

Alternative Names
Creature Eaters, People Eaters
Craven, The Craven
Government System
Economic System
Mixed economy
They function primarily on two different systems of currency. They will accept kye, however, the unfortunate truth is that they prefer to deal in people. Specifically people that they can eat. They typically use slaves, preferring laborers and hunters because they deem strength as power, but they favor adventurers due to the difference in experience and power.

Neighboring Nations
Related Species
Species | Dec 28, 2023

Species | Dec 20, 2023

Geographic Location | Dec 18, 2023

Odeassa Ranges
Geographic Location | Dec 28, 2023

Species | Feb 12, 2024

Organization | Dec 28, 2023

The Garden of Eden
Geographic Location | Mar 26, 2024

Species | Dec 28, 2023

Cover image: by AberrantRealities


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