House Rat occupies the lowest rung in society. There are comparatively few of them (certainly less than 10,000) and they mostly live in the Shambles, though a few were elevated to noble rank by Empress Tristane and a few others are scholars at the Castalia. They have yet to have any position of power chosen from their numbers, though they do have a Reverend Father of their Order, Velten du Champe. They do work that many people aren't willing to take, and aren't well-trusted, partly because they still speak their own language amongst themselves and are suspected (probably falsely) of being able to change shape. It is uncertain at this point whether their House will be inserted into the rotation of emperors or patriarchs. Some members of the House advocate the establishment of their own kingdom, requesting that the Empire set aside some land for them where they can make their own society, though others are reluctant to leave the city and take up professions they have never practiced, such as farming. Still others recognize that, as a tiny minority in the Empire it is unlikely that they will ever be permitted to hold high positions of power the way the system currently operates, and advocate for a more republican form of government.