|“||Shickel: The gifts are different for each of us, but the curse is the same.
Glokta: You can’t stop eating.
An Eater is a person with the ability to absorb magical power by eating human flesh. It was forbidden by Euz, the God-like vanquisher of Demons, in his Second Law: "It is forbidden to eat the flesh of men". However, Glustrod his own youngest son first secretly broke this law. And now Khalul, the apprentice of Euz' eldest son Juvens, openly breaks it.
At the dawn of the Old Time, after Euz had vanquished the Demons, he placed just two strictures on his sons, the second of which was "It is forbidden to eat the flesh of men". However, Glustrod, the youngest son of Euz, studied forbidden sciences and he made contact with Demons on The Other Side. The Demons urged him to eat the flesh of men, and steal their power, in his fight with his brother Juvens.
Later, the death of Juvens caused a schism amongst his twelve apprentices, the Order of Magi. Bayaz and most of the Magi blamed Kanedias for their masters death, and made war on the Master Maker. However, Khalul held Bayaz himself responsible and swore vengeance, but he stood alone against many. So he made his great sacrifice, and with his first apprentice Mamun broke The Second Law and ate the flesh of men; thus becoming Eaters.
Now, Khalul scours the South for those with any promise. Faster and faster he makes more Eaters; Yulwei believes that he may have as many as two hundred. Bayaz himself is not above his apprentices being "partial to a bite or two".
A lot of the detail of Eaters is left vague in the series. To become an Eater, it seems you needs some kind of innate ability, since "The priesthood scour the South for those with any promise". Possibly it is the same innate ability one needs to study to become a Magi.
After eating your first victim, changes come over you, and you can never go back. You are compelled to continue to consume human flesh in order to live, almost like a drug addiction.
When you first become an Eater, you have relatively weak magical powers, but by continuing to eat flesh the strength of your powers increase. Seemingly an Eater is able to consume an entire corpse in just one sitting. Many of the Eaters seem to feel both blessed with power but cursed to never stop eating flesh, and feel relieved to die and end their curse.
The gifts are different for each Eater. All have strength, speed, and endurance beyond the limits of the human. However, some can shapeshift, some can create illusions, and others can use High Art like the Order of the Magi.
|Name||Master||Activity at start of series|
|Khalul||Khalul||Openly dominates the Gurkish Empire|
|Mamun||Khalul||Khalul's first apprentice and trusted ally|
|Shickel||Khalul||Khalul's ally sent to Dagoska to spy on The Union|
|Ishri||Khalul||Khalul's ally, works widely in Styria and The North|
|The Twins||Khalul||Khalul's trusted allies|
|Hundred Words||Khalul||Khalul has over over 100 Eaters|
|Yoru Sulfur||Bayaz||Bayaz' trusted ally and an Eater|
|Shenkt||Shenkt||An assassin in Styria and an Eater|
|Tolomei||Kanedias||The daughter of Kanedias and seemingly an Eater|
- Is Bayaz an Eater himself? He is seen eating some quite raw meat in his encounter with Calder near the end of The Heroes. At least two of his apprentices are Eaters, and Bayaz demonstrated by using the Seed that he will do anything to achieve victory, even using Mamun's own quote against him: "God smiles on results."