Ryland might be young, but he's no cub. He's a strong leader with a mind for strategy and a good head on his shoulders.
Ryland Steelcatcher was born as the cub of Crecia Stoneglow and Rytlock Brimstone, being the latter's eldest son. 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. 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.
While growing up, Ryland caught the attention of Imperator Bangar Ruinbringer who took him under his wing and became a father figure to Ryland in Rytlock's absence. As years passed, Ryland showed his talents as a soldier and gained fame within the Blood Legion. However, some of Ryland's fellow Blood Legion soldiers pondered whether he would ultimately turn out to be a reliable individual like his dam or a loose cannon like his sire.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 as their new mission was to return to charr lands to convince the High Legions of the Blood Imperator's power.
- Prologue: Bound by Blood
- Episode 2: Shadow in the Ice
- During Deeper and Deeper, the Pact Commander gets to temporarily disguise themselves as Ryland via a mesmer spell.
- Ryland is voiced by Bumper Robinson in Prologue: Bound by Blood, and by Ike Amadi in Shadow in the Ice.
- ^ Deeper and Deeper
- <Character name>: What's he like? Any advice?
- Rytlock Brimstone: Don't know him. Not as well as I should. Sorry.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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."
- ^ Iron Legion Camp ambient dialogue
- ^ 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...
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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!
- ^ Talk:Prologue: Bound by Blood
- ^ Shadow in the Ice