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"All that the humans knew was that something terrible had happened to the khepri of the eastern continent, some horrendous vortex that had sucked up millions, leaving only a tiny handful able to flee"
—Description of the ravening in Perdido Street Station

The Ravening was an event of unknown nature that struck Bered Kai Nev around 1689, long after Bered Kai Nev's discovery by New Crobuzon merchant-explorer Seemly around 1079. The event lasted at least 25 years, during which ships from Bered Kai Nev would arrive at various Rohagi ports.

Nature of the Ravening[]

Despite the efforts of contemporary New Crobuzon authorities, the exact nature of the Ravening could not be communicated due to language barriers, and the original refugees refused to discuss the subject with their descendants.

Impact on khepri[]

As a result of the event, thousands of Khepri fled to Rohagi during what is known as the Tragic Crossing. The Khepri broodmothers who survived the journey chose to forget ten thousand years of Khepri history for reasons unknown.

In khepri culture, their new residence in New Crobuzon was the end of their previous cycle of history, and the beginning of what they termed the "City Cycle".


  • While some sources, such as Dragon Magazine, issue 352, refer to the Ravening as a plague, the exact nature is never clarified in the novels.


  • That the Khepri felt the need to discard centuries of their history could indicate the Ravening was some kind of ritual gone wrong, or else had origins tied closely to the way the empires of Bered Kai Nev operated.