Cylden was the undesired result of an affair between Darth Nelvos and Cynthia Restal, a bounty hunter operating from Nar Shaddaa. Upon first learning she was with child, Cynthia planned to have the inconvenience removed but her break-up with her lover Nelvos had her change her mind. A child, she thought, might provide some leverage over the Darth in the future. Cylden was born and for a couple of years Cynthia managed to stay at home and 'play mother'. During that time, she reluctantly declined various bounties but eventually she caved and arranged for Cylden's temporary stay with friends. When Cynthia failed to return, Cylden's caretakers waited for several weeks before dropping him off at the orphanage.
Five years later, just before his eight' birthday Cylden overheard a plan to escape the orphanage. He confronted the group of conspirators and convinced them to include him in their plans. When they joined the Black Krayt Gang, Cylden was allowed to join as well. They taught him to beg and pickpocket and although he was considered too young to share in the gang's profits, he tried hard to become a valuable member of his new 'family'.
Several incidents with heavy crates being moved by nine year old Cylden lead to a suspicion that the child might be force sensitive and Drowan, the gang's leader, smells profit. He contacts the Sith and arranges for a transfer for a significant reward.
Bryce, an older mercenary, warns Cylden. He advises the child to run but Cylden is reluctant. Bryce then shares what he knows of Korriban and the cruel ways of the Sith. Cylden changes his mind and flees, but not before filling his pockets with the gang's credits.
He takes the first shuttle offworld and soon disembarks on Hutta.