The first installment of Visions of the Past arrived on 17th March. It’s a new type of content, which lies somewhere between the ‘current events’ of old and a mini-episode. The story begins with the 10-man instanced content Forging Steel, where players take on the role of a new recruit in the Steel Warband, serving under the leadership of a familiar face – Ryland Steelcatcher. Aside from spending time with Ryland, we also meet the four other members of the warband: Cinder, Nicabar, Vishen and Ranoah. From their delightful banter and the weapon collections associated with each member, we can glean some juicy info about these characters.
He’s a big shot now that he’s Bangar’s golden cub.– Cinder Steeltemper
There’s a story about the name ‘Steelcatcher’. Back in the fahrar, the primus of the young warband would beat the cubs with a rod, claiming it was to toughen them up. This continued until the day the rod came down and Ryland caught it. The details of what exactly happened are vague, but suffice to say, it was the last day the primus was fit for duty. Ryland almost killed him. With the trust and loyalty of his warband earned, he graduated the fahrar as their legionnaire.
A recent promotion has seen him rise to the rank of centurion. While the members of Steel are still close enough to joke with him about it, they do acknowledge he has changed. Vishen thinks he’s more fun now, while Cinder’s worried about how he’s become less cautious. Perhaps these changes have to do with Ryland’s desire to prove himself as worthy of Bangar’s trust and as a potential tribune.
Ryland sees Bangar Ruinbringer as a mentor, much as his sire and dam once did. Knowing that Rytlock is unfavourable in Bangar’s eyes, Ryland distances himself from Rytlock’s rebellious personality. “I follow orders. That’s what a soldier does.” However, the end of the Darkrime Delves instance showed us that there is a limit to this obedience.
Deadly with her swords, and a little too trigger happy with her flamethrower. She loves a good barbecue if you know what I mean.– Ryland Steelcatcher
Fahrar records mention a cub found in the aftermath of some incident next to the corpses of her presumed parents. This cub with the possibly Flame Legion name, Cinder, was brought to Grothmar and entered into the Blood Legion fahrar, where she ended up in Steel. On the day Ryland went berserk on their abusive primus, Cinder was the one who stopped a beating transgressing to murder.
Today, Cinder is Ryland’s second-in-command. She has a competitive spirit and often makes games of who can get the most kills during missions, with the high stakes of bragging rights and ale. While she’s known for her enthusiastic use of flamethrowers, it should be noted that she perfected a method of tempering primordial slag from destroyer minions to create her swords.
He makes some nervous with his magic—and his renegade past—but you can’t deny the effectiveness of the tonics he brews.– Ryland Steelcatcher
Inspired by stories of charr heroes since he was a cub, Nicabar joined the Renegades to become one himself. However, the reality of sitting in a dank cave, sharpening rusty swords, was a far cry from the tales he’d been told. A turning point came when Nicabar was chased into a cave by a giant devourer, only for it to be lured away by a human, forcing him to question his anti-human beliefs.
In order to redeem himself and become a good soldier, Nicabar made his way to the Ooze Trials as a gladium in Grothmar. He pledged Blood. His performance was noted by Bangar, who covertly arranged for Nicabar to join the Steel warband. Perhaps he thought a former Renegade would be a good influence on Ryland.
Now Nicabar is Steel’s combat medic. As a way of eschewing his destructive past, he wanted to create something for a change. Tonics! From his dilated pupils it could be said that he’s taken to this hobby with gusto. They are rather effective though. He also lugs around a portable anvil to repair armor during missions, because of that one time a bear ate Ryland’s pauldrons…
Vishen Steelshot is the sniper the Ash Legion wishes they had.– Ryland Steelcatcher
Known for her suggestive humour as much as her sniping skills, this libidinous charr can be found perched high with the world in her scope. Vishen is obviously skilled in ascending vertical terrain (read: jumping puzzles), which is a skill shared by her daughter.
An expert sniper, it was no exaggeration when Ryland said Ash Legion had their eye on her. Though Ash has tried to recruit her, the strong attachment Vishen has to her warband made the attempt unsuccessful. As a result, Ash is on the lookout for (or may cause) trouble between the warband members in the hopes of gaining such a valuable asset.
Most charr, if not all, are meat lovers, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone on Vishen’s level of carnivorism. She’s said to have scared Ranoah one Meatoberfest. How that could have happened is left to our imagination.
Vishen’s journal reveals that her rifle incorporates Inquest technology, the shells of which use the mysterious crystals found in Chaos Cavern. We might have learned more if a lewd sketch didn’t cover the rest of the text of her gunsmith’s research.
Careful around the tank over there; it’s her baby. And don’t ask her about it unless you want to sit through an hour-long lecture on every last feature of the thing.– Ryland Steelcatcher
After graduating the fahrar, Ranoah and the rest of Steel were stationed in Grothmar Valley as part of the homeguard. What should have been a boring and perhaps disappointing assignment did have at least one notable event – the haunting of the Doomlore Ruins. At a time when the ruins were still quiet, Ranoah came across a human mask. Her only mistake was touching it. Ghosts awoke all around her. The incident knocked her confidence, and the only place she could feel better was in the motorpool near Blood Keep. A superior noticed her aptitude and recommended her for an assignment with Iron to hone her skills.
Now the verified engineer of the Steel Warband, Ranoah could talk your ears off about the charr tank she’s responsible for: the TT6-B Devourer, which according to her is way better than anything Iron gets to play with. When talking to the new recruits, she admits that her favourite part of being a part of this warband is the access Bangar gives them to the best of charr engineering.
Vishen takes offence to this, leading Ranoah to say she also likes her teammates, especially Vishen. Earlier in this article, I’ve mentioned how Vishen scared Ranoah one Meatoberfest. Well, from Ranoah’s point of view, what was more memorable was enjoying the sight of Vishen’s eyes lighting up as they grilled meat together.
So that’s the Steel Warband! The writing in the Forging Steel instance is some quality stuff, so I highly recommend you go in and check out these characters for yourself, even if 10-man PvE content isn’t usually your thing. The writers did a hell of a job introducing four new characters at once, while still letting each personality shine. Steel may be aligned with our enemy, but I’m really looking forward to meeting them again.