Josh and Taryn's parents were among the settlers of Kimrin, in 879. In 894, when Josh was 9 and Taryn 8, their parents, who were miners, were among a group that was killed in a cave-in. Having no other family, the children became hill rats, living in the Kimrin Mts. They both became quite proficient at all the skills for survival they needed, including such things as hunting, fishing, gardening, tracking, building temporary shelters, etc. They also began selling pelts and such things to villagers. In 904, a woman they were friends with, named Laura, decided to move to Dragon Wood, to become a hermit. She discovered sunflowers, the seeds (or kernels) of which are edible. Upon a return visit to Kimrin, Laura shared seeds she'd harvested with Josh and Taryn. The two of them would subsequently make occasional trips to visit her, and trade for sunflower seeds, which they'd then sell in Kimrin and Near Port.
In 912, Josh and Taryn met The Chaos, who introduced them (via t-mail) to Arnold Sullenhest. After the Chaos were subsequently imprisoned by Colonel Charles Woodman, Josh and Taryn made plans with Sullenhest, and organized 'rats in Kimrin and Near Port to be prepared to assist the Chaos in escaping. They eventually got their chance to do just that, and the 'rats they'd organized would later help in the Chaos War, at the Battle of Near Port (912). Three hundred 'rats from Kimrin and Near Port were commanded by Taryn, who had been given a temporary commission as sergeant by Poss Primus.
When Tiejo Streetrat founded the Allrat Fellowship after the war, Taryn became its Hill rat Guildmaster. (Josh technically also joined the Fellowship, but being somewhat anti-social, he has rarely played an active role in the organization.)