Many of the horrors brought about while the Krey struggled to survive the Kistor Badlands have been lost to fable. Among them is the curse brought by the outsiders. Beings that manifested only during the most severe storms spread a disease that changed people into vicious rat-like beings able to revert to their human form to hide among the populace. With the ability to spread this disease, these Ratlings were hunted down and destroyed. Yet, they somehow made it from the badlands into the cradle. Colonies of them remain hidden in the cities, friends and neighbors with a vicious secret they desperately want to spread but must keep quiet to avoid drawing the attention of the Hegemony.