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The Beast King is a background character in the Cradle series, at least up through book ten. He is a Herald keeping the vicious gold dragons out of the Wasteland. He is associated with Sacred Beasts and with Ziel and Northstrider


The Beast King sat on a log, tearing a hunk of meat between his teeth, grease sliding down his unkempt beard. A campfire crackled in front of him, casting long shadows. He showed no surprise at Ziel’s appearance. (-Ghostwater chapter 14)

The Beast King (Herald) is centuries old. We know little about him, but when he was a crippled boy he befriended some ancient sacred beasts. They helped him advance, and eventually he made it to Herald. He is untidy, with a beard and silver eyes. Sacred beasts inhabit his camp, including the Vastwood Mammoth.

Dragon Hunter

Cradle interpretive map.png

The Beast King is a Herald who guards the Wasteland and the eastern border of the Blackflame Empire from encroaching dragons. His driving impetus seems to be his hatred of gold dragons.

“He's been a legend for centuries. A crippled boy who befriended some ancient sacred beasts and eventually rose to the level of a Herald. He's one of the guardians who stands in the Wasteland between Akura territory and the land of the dragons, protecting human civilization. Or so they say. Without him and others like him, the Blackflame Empire would be a war-torn desert.” (Ghostwater, ch 11)

With the Beast, the Wasteland provides a necessary buffer zone between the relatively small and weak Blackflame Empire and the Monarch Seshethkunaaz, a dragon-boy whose realm covers most of the Eastern half of the Ashwind Continent. See map.

Associate Dragon Hunters

Dragon hunters — The Monarch Northstrider, the Herald Beast King, and Akura Fury, also a Herald ( until…)

“You should know, there’s been a feud between my family and the gold dragons for generations. Uncle Fury especially. He’s considered just behind Northstrider and the Beast King as a great enemy of dragon-kind.” (Mercy in Uncrowned, ch 8)


The Beast King considers Sacred Beasts his family. The Vastwood Mammoth. A bunch of talking dogs. Etc. etc.

The Beast King is associated with Ziel, aka Ziel of the Wasteland. Ziel came to the King for healing after the Stormcallers -- a Dreadgod cult -- slaughtered his disciples and splintered his spirit, some years before the series began. The Herald was able to alleviate Ziel’s suffering to some extent. Ziel helps the King keep dragons out of the Wasteland.

The Beast King is on good terms with the Monarch Northstrider. It was the Herald who recommended Ziel to Northstrider for the Uncrowned King Tournament (see Underlord)