Ratakka have little interest in hygiene or cleanliness and are therefore considered unpleasant company by most.
Amid the darkest years of the Evernight, concealed within the inky depths of Umbra, the Ratakka emerged. Born to a barren and inhospitable cradle, a single, pulsating beacon of life beckoned the creatures from the southernmost reaches of Umbra. Beneath a crescent of fiery peaks known as the Devil’s Crown, a labyrinth of caves bore soil impregnated with volcanic ash, forming a wretched biome of peculiar flora and fungi that sustained bats, sprites and other small creatures. The Ratakka forged flourishing settlements along the molten rivers that twisted through the caverns, harvesting the plants and learning to trap smaller creatures to feast upon. This collection of communities was called Ratakkav.
Despite the sweltering heat radiating off the lava, the Ratakka were a close knit species, choosing to live in crowded confines, treasuring kinship above all. Yet despite their tenacity, illness ravaged them often, spreading with lethal quickness due to the close quarters they maintained. Often, a simple virus would claim countless lives. But with every wave of sickness the remaining Ratakka were fortified, developing unrivaled immune systems. No longer afflicted by rot and decay, they came to revere a long-deceased Lumivorve carcass as a gift.
Though the Ratakka thrived, the Caves of the Rattakhan was a treacherous realm, those who dared to tread the land would find the promise of death an ever-present companion. Grazing the Veil with even the most mundane of tasks, the Ratakka cultivated a fascination with death and came to worship it their anointed God of Plague. In their artistic and ceremonial expressions, the God of Plague appeared as a decaying rat. They believed themselves to be blessed by their God, untouched by the diseased air within their caves whilst others who dared enter would quickly succumb to the putrid fumes. As the Ratakka emerged from their caves, they carried the plague with them, tainting all who encountered them within a day’s time of their departure.
Branded as harbingers of a Plague God, the Ratakka were unwelcome upon the Mainland and unable to settle above ground for millenia. Yet, it was the Doru that would become a plague even the Rattakhan could not reject. The Battle of Kurai, oft remembered for the collapse of the Underland Empire, wreaked havoc upon the tectonic plates of Lyra, eliciting a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions within the Devil’s Crown. Innumerable Ratakka perished, and those who escaped bore witness to the Rattakhan as it was engulfed in molten fury. Those few survivors were stranded above ground for years while their way of life was incinerated beneath them.
Though rebuilt in time, Rattakhan would never return to its former glory, leaving a deep-seated hatred for the Doru engraved upon the hearts of every Ratakka from birth until their blessed death. Outcasts themselves, the Nai were the first of the Mainlanders without repulsion for the Ratakka, and invited them to join their settlements. In the face of this previously unknown kindness, the Ratakka swore fealty to the Nai, but they were deceived. In return for their loyalty, the Nai used the Ratakka as test subjects for the first Kaos tattoos. These primordial tattoos gave rise to legions of Ratakka warriors, each endowed with a singular, potent spell that often proved fatal to both caster and target.
The Ratakka kamikaze ranks wreaked havoc during the War of Shadows, but their own losses were monumental. But the Ratakka were resilience manifested in fur, teeth and claws. As the shadows of time enveloped the Nai, fading them from nearly all existence, the Ratakka endured. Some returned to the charred remains of Rattakhan, finding solace in the ashes of their ancestral home, while others sought refuge in Ebonstone, dwelling within modest abodes that housed their extensive families. In the fullness of time, these Ratakka found their fates entwined with the Royal Court of Shadows, relegated to the humble station of serfdom, their days consumed by toil and labor…
But not all.
Amongst the Ratakka of Ebonstone, an elite cadre were welcomed into the Royal Court of Shadows itself and were granted positions of power over the very soil their kind had been born beneath. Yet, in spite of their elevated status, the Ratakka retained their indifference to matters of hygiene and cleanliness, often deemed undesirable companions by those of more fastidious nature. Nonetheless, their remarkable strength, disproportionate to their stature, and their unwavering courage rendered any disparagement ill-advised, if not outright perilous.