The Icebrood Saga content

Ryland Steelcatcher

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Spoiler alert: The following text contains spoilers relating to The Icebrood Saga.

I didn't find my purpose—I made it.

Ryland Steelcatcher

Ryland Steelcatcher is a centurion of the Blood Legion, leader of the Steel Warband and a tribune of the Dominion. He is also the cub of Rytlock Brimstone and Crecia Stoneglow. Charismatic, cunning and ambitious, he is attempting to step out of his famous parents' shadow and earn recognition on his own terms.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ryland Steelcatcher was born as the cub of Crecia Stoneglow and Rytlock Brimstone, being the latter's eldest son.[1] After Ryland had been weaned, his dam left him to be raised in the Blood Legion's fahrar. He did not meet his sire Rytlock much due to Rytlock being abroad on missions, and the two became distant.[2] Blood Legion cubs would dare each other to take a shard from the biggest sleeping elemental they could find in Shiverpeaks Pass, and Ryland managed to obtain the shard.[3]

The fahrar's primus used to beat the Blood Legion cubs with a rod to toughen them up; however, Ryland stood up to the primus one day and made him stop the beatings, earning the name Steelcatcher that he would use upon joining the Steel warband.[4] Out of all the cubs, only Cinder Steeltemper was brave enough to stop Ryland from beating the primus to death.[5] Ryland and Cinder grew close over time, and they eventually began a relationship. Ryland made a small braid of his lover's fur to carry with him.[6]

While growing up, Ryland caught the attention of Imperator Bangar Ruinbringer who took Ryland under his wing and became a father figure to Ryland in Rytlock's absence.[7] Ryland formed the Steel Warband with Cinder, Vishen Steelshot, and Ranoah Grindsteel. Cinder met with the ex-Renegade Nicabar Steelweaver some time after the Ooze Pit Trials and recruited him to the warband with a tribune's blessing.[8][9] Upon graduating from the fahrar, the warband got a homeguard posting against their expectations.[10]

As the years passed, Ryland showed his talents as a soldier and gained fame within the Blood Legion as the reputation of the Steel Warband grew. However, some Blood Legion soldiers pondered whether Ryland would ultimately turn out to be a reliable individual like his dam or a loose cannon like his sire.[11]

The Icebrood Saga[edit]

Once news spread of the Pact's victory against Kralkatorrik and Aurene's ascension as a new Elder Dragon in 1332 AE, Crecia convinced Bangar to sign a truce with an atoning Flame Legion splinter group led by Efram Greetsglory. Deciding to host an All-Legion Rally to commemorate the occasion, Bangar had invitations sent to his fellow Imperators as well as other notable Tyrian figures such as General Almorra Soulkeeper of the Vigil, the Pact Commander and members of Dragon's Watch who had contributed to Kralkatorrik's demise. The Blood Imperator ostensibly framed the invitations to be for a celebration of Kralkatorrik's death while using the opportunity to have the High Legions gather in one place so he could host a political rally and promote his views of charr unity under strong leadership in the changed world.

To cement the Blood Legion's symbolic strength in the opening ceremony, Bangar had Ryland, who had recently been promoted as centurion, deliver a killing blow to a Branded devourer in ritualistic combat. As the fight was about to conclude, more Branded erupted from the ground much to the audience's surprise, and the guests had to defend themselves from the sudden attack. Rytlock, the Commander and their ally Braham Eirsson subtly helped Ryland by using nearby harpoons to hold down the Branded broodmother so Ryland could deliver the killing blow. Before the centurion could do so, however, Aurene flew by the arena and Branded the devourer broodmother in her wake, startling and angering Bangar and many other charr who viewed the inteference of the Elder Dragon as the Pact Commander flaunting their power in front of everyone.

As the opening ceremony concluded, Ryland met with the trio who had helped him during the battle with the broodmother. Rytlock tried to reach out to his son by suggesting how Ryland could improve his attacks, to which the young centurion responded coolly. Ryland got along better with Braham, however, and offered himself as a guide to the norn during their tour of Grothmar Valley.

The pair visited many locations in the valley with Ryland offering Braham as much ale to drink as the norn desired. During their tour Ryland told Braham about his parents and charr customs of raising cubs. He also suggested that Braham did not have to be held back by his mother's legacy and could choose another name for himself besides Eirsson. When the centurion learned about Braham's bad blood with his former norn guild, he reminded Braham that the guild was the norn's warband and that Braham should not sever ties with them. He also told Braham that everyone in the valley had heard about Braham using his fire-enchanted bow to break the Fang of the Serpent and his failed mission to assault Jormag.

During the later stages of the tour, the pair confronted angry charr who kept calling Braham names. Ryland escalated the situation by telling the offending charr that Braham was strong enough to take them on, and Braham himself ended up involved in the brawl to defend his honor. The brawlers were arrested and taken to the Brig to cool off, and Ryland spoke on Braham's behalf so the Blood Legion would not press charges on him for disturbing the peace. The charr let Braham to stay in the cell to sleep off the effects of alcohol while Ryland departed from the Brig.[12] Unbeknownst to Braham, however, Ryland did not leave empty-handed: he had confiscated Braham's bow, his true target, in order to deliver it to Bangar for the next stage of the Blood Imperator's plan.[13]

Before leaving to rendezvous with Bangar, Ryland reached out to the Renegades who had arrived in the valley. He ordered them to kidnap the Commander's asuran companion Gorrik, who Bangar believed might have useful intel on Aurene's strengths and weaknesses, and dispose of him once the asura was of no more use to them.[14]

Ryland and Bangar slipped out of the Blood Keep while being joined by several dozen heavily armed warbands from the Renegades and all the four legions whom the Blood Imperator's agents had rallied behind him during the festival. They headed for the Shiverpeaks Pass where they used Iron Legion explosives to blow up the bridge behind them to prevent anyone from following them. Before heading farther north in the blizzard, Bangar addressed the assembled warbands while holding Braham's bow in his claws and announced his plan in clear terms: the charr would even the odds against Aurene by getting their own Elder Dragon—Jormag. Committed to the cause, Ryland stood beside Bangar during the speech and motioned the crowd to cheer at the Blood Imperator in support.

The charr army ventured into Bjora Marches where several charr were affected by Jormag's whispers via the dragon champion Drakkar. Not wanting to risk losing his army to the Ice Dragon, Bangar resolved to take Ryland with him as the pair traveled to Drakkar to kill the champion and silence the whispers. Although they were being tracked by Crecia and Rytlock who tried to catch up with them unseen, the charr army managed to keep their distance.[15][16]

Bangar and Ryland tracked down Drakkar to an icy cave south of Drakkar Lake in 1333 AE just in time to witness the Pact Commander and Braham, who had been reunited with Crecia and Rytlock, being close to succumbing to the power that had been controlling Drakkar all along: the Whisper of Jormag, a piece of the Elder Dragon. Bangar rallied the nearly defeated heroes and told them to stand up as they faced the Whisper together. Using Braham's bow, the Blood Imperator ultimately vanquished the weakened Whisper and gloated his victory to the party. When the party confronted Bangar about the theft of the bow and that he tried to claim credit for the kill, Bangar revealed his aspirations to become Jormag's champion while he intended to use Drakkar's death as proof that he alone could control the Ice Dragon. Rytlock tried to convince Ryland to stop following Bangar, but Ryland remained loyal to his imperator and responded by asking where Rytlock's loyalties lay as a member of the Blood Legion.

When the Commander tried to persuade Bangar to stop his mission as Jormag could not be controlled, the Blood Imperator responded by shooting the Commander with the enchanted bow while stating that a confrontation between them would always end this way. Before the Blood Imperator could finish off the Commander with another arrow, the enraged Braham accessed his totem ability to Become the Wolf and attacked the two charr. Ryland stepped in the way to face Braham's wolf form, only to be wounded by the transformed norn.

As Crecia and Rytlock lifted the wounded Commander with the intention to retreat, Bangar and Ryland left the cave as well. Their new mission was to return to charr lands to convince the High Legions of the Blood Imperator's power. In the battle's aftermath, Ryland thought that Braham had turned out to be more determined than he had given the norn credit for.[17]

After the battle, Ryland assisted Bangar in rallying charr to his cause of becoming Jormag's champion and making charr the supreme race on Tyria. As a reward for his loyalty, Ryland was promoted to tribune. The cross-legion charr followers of Bangar became known as the Dominion, winning several victories against the High Legions, while Crecia led a rebel Blood Legion faction against her former imperator. As the threat of the Dominion grew, the High Legions began working together on a larger scale, naming themselves the United Legions as they opposed Bangar's ambitions. The Blood Imperator and his Dominion forces attacked Drizzlewood Coast, driving out and massacring the native denizens there while establishing several fortifications to repel any would-be assailants.[18] The United Legions followed the Dominion to the region, however, making their base in the Umbral Grotto in hopes of catching Bangar before he succeeded in his goals.

Several battles ensued in which the United Legions lost so much ground that their camp ended up as the front line of the war for Drizzlewood Coast. Instead of crushing the resistance, Ryland offered the legions a parley of his own accord, with his terms being that the United Legions would announce their surrender and declare their support of Bangar's campaign publicly. Soon after, the Commander arrived at the parley, attempting to persuade Ryland to let the legions deal with Bangar without Ryland getting involved. However, Logan Thackeray and Lady Kasmeer Meade arrived to offer their support to the legions, causing Ryland to declare that the imperators' alliances were clearly askew and rescinded his offer of peace.

Aiding the United Legions in their war, the Pact Commander managed to slowly turn the tide. With the Commander's help, the legions located the Steel Warband's base, capturing Cinder to use as a bargaining chip. The rest of Ryland's warbandmates were killed soon after in a battle for control of the Wolf's Crossing Bridge.

Upon learning of his warband's fate and that the United Legions were willing to enter a new parley, Ryland arrived at his warband's former base to meet with the legion leadership and the Pact Commander's party. Ryland attempted to negotiate for Cinder to be turned over to him in exchange for the Dominion giving ground to the legions and potentially even defecting to United Legions.

Crecia, who was leading the negotiations on behalf of the United Legions, considered her son's proposal, angering Imperator Smodur the Unflinching who had shown no quarter to traitors and defectors before. Choosing to resolve the parley swiftly, Smodur stabbed Cinder in the neck, killing her. Angered at his lover's death, Ryland attacked Smodur in rage, only to be blocked by a fire shield conjured by Crecia who needed the Iron Imperator alive.

Furious and hurt by his dam's choice, Ryland fled to the Wolf's Crossing Bridge, where a now-corrupted Varinia Stormsounder was waiting to ambush the group pursuing Ryland. The former Minister of Morale revealed that many Dominion soldiers had been corrupted into the Frost Legion who had then killed the United Legions' sentries to take back the bridge during the meeting between Ryland and the United Legions leadership. Although Varinia was ultimately killed in the ensuing clash, Ryland had vanished from sight, and fierce shellings from Dominion artillery forced the Commander's party to retreat back to the former Steel Warband hideout to plan their next move.

For several weeks, Ryland remained unseen by Imperator Malice Swordshadow's agents in the Dominion but soon attacked Smodur in revenge in a hidden alcove which the United Legions had been using as their forward base in their push north. Although the legions and the Commander thwarted the joint assault of the Dominion and Sons of Svanir, Ryland managed to kill Smodur before fleeing.

While the United Legions regrouped their forces and assaulted Bangar's base at the Frost Citadel, Bangar began a ritual to empower himself with the energy of the trapped four Great Spirits of the Wild in preparation for using this power to control Jormag. Upon the Commander's party arriving in the grand chamber in the heart of the citadel and breaking Bangar's connection to the Spirits, Ryland arrived and leapt at Bangar, removing Eir's bow from him and voicing his dissatisfaction at the Blood Imperator using yet another leverage against Jormag instead of staying true to his word. Ryland trapped Bangar in a shield of corrupted Spirit energy while redirecting the Spirits' energy to Jormag much to the Blood Imperator's surprise. While the two charr brawled, the Commander freed the Great Spirits from the totems which the Sons of Svanir had helped Bangar trap them in.

Jormag and their new champion, Ryland.

As the shield broke, the Commander and their allies helped Ryland battle Bangar. Despite the party's efforts, they were too late to stop what had been set in motion: empowered by the Great Spirits' energy, Jormag awoke and trapped the Commander and their allies in shards of ice. After the Ice Dragon had turned the surprised Bangar into their Voice rather than their leading champion, Ryland stepped forward and spoke to Jormag. Gazing at the tribune, the Ice Dragon declared that Ryland had inherited both rage and discipline from his parents, and that they knew what the tribune had wanted all along. The emboldened Ryland asked to become Jormag's champion and the Ice Dragon accepted the request, corrupting Ryland into a creature of frost and ice with only Eir Stegalkin's bow remaining untouched. Jormag then disappeared into the Mists along with Ryland and conversed with him at length during their travels while recognizing Ryland's skills as a strategist.[19]

Some time later, Ryland made contact with the asuran Arcane Council in Rata Sum, asking them for an alliance against their mutual enemy Primordus, who was beginning to stir. Wishing to get rid of the Fire Dragon who had once driven the asura from their ancient home in the Depths of Tyria, the Arcane Council accepted the offer and soon after, the Commander and Braham arrived to talk with Taimi. Braham attempted to take his mother's bow back but Ryland refused as he did not want to hand over a weapon that could harm Jormag, instead telling the group that they should see Taimi.

Upon arriving at the Advanced Metamystics Lab where Taimi had set up shop, Ryland taunted Rytlock much to the latter's frustration. He soon turned his focus on Taimi, however, and inquired where, exactly, they could expect the destroyers to surface. Taimi responded that Primordus's minions were appearing in a very wide variety of places, from northern Ascalon to the Deldrimor Front to the western Maguuma Jungle. Destroyers then appeared at Rata Sum's docks and the group ran to the besieged location to assist Gorrik and the Arcane Council.

Reaching the docks, Ryland summoned a number of Frost Legion to aid him and, after a fierce battle, drove off the destroyers. He asked if he could leave a contingent of Frost Legion in the city should the asura come under attack from destroyers again, but the council politely turned him down. Using his authority as the champion of Jormag, Ryland promised that the Ice Dragon would see the asura's ancient homeland returned to them in exchange for their assistance once Primordus had been slain.

Later on, Ryland appeared in Watchful Source, a sylvari village, where he assisted Caithe and the Commander in battling destroyers. While working alongside the pair, he attempted to manipulate them in order to test their character. Ryland debated with the pair about the differences between Aurene and Jormag's approaches on saving the world and how Jormag's way was superior to Aurene's. When the Commander pointed out that Ryland had already betrayed Bangar and could thus betray his current allies in the future, Ryland responded that Bangar was a relic who did not view the world with as much clarity as Ryland and the two other champions did. After slaying the Destroyer of the Crystal Fields, the leader of the destroyers, he left through a portal while stating that Tyria would need more than Aurene's healing once Primordus awoke.

In another meeting with the Arcane Council, Ryland learned about Primordus's newfound power of empowering himself with his the damage his destroyers were causing. Realizing that Primordus's power was to surpass Jormag unless the destroyers were stopped, he decided to perform an experiment to test out his theory.[20]

Ryland sent icebrood to corrupt Lake Doric and transform the citizens there into Frozen in order to preserve them in Jormag's ice and leaving them invulnerable to destroyers' fire. Crecia, Logan, Rytlock and the Commander drove off the icebrood, however, though not without hundreds of civilians being Frozen. After the party had slain Bors of the Ice Gavel who had been leading the assault, Ryland appeared to tell them how his experiment with the Frozen had been a success and how the affected citizens would wake far in the future in a new world where Ryland would lead them. When the party voiced out their protests, Ryland pointed out that the Frozen were a means to deny the destroyers more victims and thus weaken Primordus for the coming clash between the Elder Dragons.

With the test in Lake Doric a success, Ryland targeted Snowden Drifts next where his forces assaulted the local denizens and turned them into Frozen. Ryland himself headed to the Owl Lodge and used an enchanted totem to draw in Owl who had been avoiding Jormag since Braham had awakened her in the Frost Citadel assault. Ryland attempted to corrupt Owl while reminding her that she had promised herself to Jormag once; trick or not, the Ice Dragon would see the deal through even if Ryland would have to use force.

Braham, Kasmeer and the Commander arrived on the scene soon after in the company of a Claw of Koda to stop him, however. While Braham channelled magic to rescue Owl, the Commander, Kasmeer, and the Claw injured Ryland, causing the energy to be released upon Owl and leading to her death. Acknowledging his defeat and retreating via a portal, Ryland pointed out that Jormag could still use the magic of the Lost Spirits of Ox, Eagle and Wolverine to empower themselves even though it would take longer. As the champion of Jormag, he would ensure that the Ice Dragon became strong enough to face Primordus head on and win, and welcomed the party to witness the new world that would come after Jormag's triumph.

Locations[edit]

Kryta
Maguuma Jungle
Shiverpeak Mountains

Story involvement[edit]

The Icebrood Saga[edit]

Combat abilities[edit]

Abilities (since One Charr, One Dragon, One Champion)
Effects

DefianceDefiance bar teal.png

Skills
  • Frostbite Fangs
  • Frostbite Slash
  • Frostsaw
  • Rimestrike
Abilities (Dragon Response Mission: Snowden Drifts)
Effects

DefianceDefiance bar teal.png

Skills

Related achievements[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

Trivia[edit]

See also[edit]

Associated items

References[edit]

  1. ^ Requiem: Rytlock
  2. ^ Deeper and Deeper
    <Character name>: What's he like? Any advice?
    Rytlock Brimstone: Don't know him. Not as well as I should. Sorry.
  3. ^ Shard of Elemental Ice
  4. ^ Revels & Rivals
    Braham Eirsson: Why they call you Steelcatcher?
    Ryland Steelcatcher: I'm from the Steel warband. Back in the fahrar, our primus used to beat us with a rod to toughen us up. Until one day he didn't.
  5. ^ Broken Rod (Cinder Steeltemper's Footsteps)
  6. ^ Frayed Braid of Charr Fur
  7. ^ Bad Blood
    Rytlock Brimstone: Not if it turns. Let me look into it. I care about our people. Our future.
    Bangar Ruinbringer: So much you never show your face. [...]
    Bangar Ruinbringer: Sentimentality. For a second, I forgot what you really are.
    Rytlock Brimstone: Your tribune!
    Bangar Ruinbringer: My disappointment. Good thing your cub had me for a "father."
  8. ^ Charred Slip of Paper
  9. ^ Forging Steel
    Nicabar Steelweaver:: I used to run with the Renegades. Hated humans with a burning passion; would've been proud to die for the cause. [...]
    Nicabar Steelweaver: Is it that obvious? After my time with the Renegades, I had the desire to create something for once. [...]
    Nicabar Steelweaver: I was lost for a while; felt like I had no purpose. Until I met Cinder, who brought me into Steel.
  10. ^ Homeguard Service Ring
  11. ^ Iron Legion Camp ambient dialogue
  12. ^ Bad Blood
    <Character name>: Hey, you didn't start any fights. That I know of.
    Braham Eirsson: But I finished one. It's okay, I'm okay. Ryland told them what happened. I was just gonna sleep it off...
  13. ^ A Race to Arms
    Marjory Delaqua: Commander! We found your signal fire. Where's Bangar?
    Rytlock Brimstone: Took his followers deeper into the Shiverpeaks.
    Rytlock Brimstone: With your bow.
    Braham Eirsson: What? No... Ryland tricked me?
    Rytlock Brimstone: He's not himself. He's being played. Just like the rest of them.
  14. ^ Deeper and Deeper
    Idesta Wildsaw: Thought you were supposed to be leading the expedition with Imperator Ruinbringer.
    <Character name>: Expedition... Who told you that?
    Idesta Wildsaw: You did.
    Veteran Ulixes Swiftreaver: (laughter)
    <Character name>: Something funny?
    Veteran Ulixes Swiftreaver: Sorry. Forgot you drank that norn under the table. No wonder he doesn't remember.
    Idesta Wildsaw: Everything is in place. The others are already headed to the rendezvous point, but you should hurry.
    Idesta Wildsaw: Ruinbringer won't wait, not even for you. We'll take care of the asura.
  15. ^ Lost Spirits Found
    Crecia Stoneglow: Commander, it's Crecia. We're still on Bangar's trail. He's got some distance on us.
    <Character name>: You said you were close before. What's going on?
    Rytlock Brimstone: My thought exactly. I don't like this, Cre. We pick up the pace, they pick up the pace.
    Crecia Stoneglow: Might've caught our scent on the wind.
    Rytlock Brimstone: No, it's blowing the wrong way. Something else is going on.
  16. ^ The Hunt Begins
    <Character name>: Crecia, what's going on? Did Rytlock call earlier?
    Rytlock Brimstone: Sure as hell tried. Bangar and Ryland split off from the army. They're going straight for Drakkar!
  17. ^ Confrontation
  18. ^ Goro's Journal
  19. ^ Confer with Bangar dialogue
  20. ^ Jormag's World
  21. ^ Talk:Prologue: Bound by Blood
  22. ^ Shadow in the Ice