- "May you become the weakest link in the Chain of Hunger."
- ―Ancient Lycaonese curse
The Chain of Hunger is an Evil polity occupied by the Ratlings. It’s located in the north-east corner of Calernia, bordering three nations: the Kingdom of the Dead, the Everdark and the Principate of Procer - specifically the principality of Rhenia and Hannoven, which they managed to raze to the ground eight times.
To call the Chain a polity is likely an overstatement. The ratlings occupying these great plains live in the nests infesting mountains. While Akua Sahelian dismisses them as "nothing more than a horde of starving rats, as incapable of villainy as any other animal" they do seem to have some sort of institution for governance. Every spring, large warbands drift south and cross the Three Rivers to assault the northern principalities of Procer.
During her conquest of the continent, the Dread Empress Triumphant killed over nine tenths of their population but they did not offer surrender. As retaliation, she razed everything to the ground and salted the ashes.
Several times during the story, the ratlings are described as hungry or starving. It's likely their society embraces cannibalism and the weakest of the ratlings are eaten though this is speculation.
It is possible the Chain was created following a battle between the ancient Titans and the Drakoi. According to Kreios Maker-Of-Riddles in Colossal I, "He told her of the fall of the Mirror-City, that night, of how the last cries of the children there drew in the hungriest of the drakoi and they Titans fell upon it as it slept after having fed on the dying. How it struggled mightily, flattening hills into plains, and how as it was stripped of power its blood flew and the hunger sunk into the land itself." An ancient Gigantes city lies deep within the Chain in extra chapter Fettered, possibly the ruined Mirror-City itself.
- Word of God in: https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/regard/