Some of you have may think the city of Rivervale is all pie and smiles, the "happiest place in Norrath". Unlike the seedier towns of Freeport and Qeynos, we don't have an issue with corrupt guards, or necromancers and shadowknights waiting to jump you should inadvertently fall into the sewers. And unlike Kelethin, there is no risk of plunging to your death while making the simple run to the bank while you're piss-drunk and/or exhausted from 12-hour camp, just because you didn't bother to look down while running on that imaginary down ramp.
But before you take the plunge to binding and banking in Rivervale there are a few issues you should know about.
1. Increase in vagrant population.
Unfortunately Rivervale is not immune to problems that afflict all major cities of Norrath. I have noticed that on my first steps into the city from Misty Thicket, I am greeted by a pile of corpses and squatters sleeping on the floor, like this human necromancer, Randytrevor who has not left this spot for weeks and has probably spent more time in Riverdale than 99.9% of the halfling population. He sleeps a lot on the floor, but once in a while he arises to de-skin the helpless halfling deputies, reducing them to piles of bones.
Now Randytrevor is actually a nice chap, and he's developed a cult following with the halfling children, who view him as a twisted skeleton version of Santug Glugg, leaving behind valuable shields as gifts for the young'uns who marvel at his cheap parlor tricks. I'm fairly certain Randytrevor can afford a nice hotel room at the inn, or probably buy out most of Rivervale - but hey, everyone has their quirks.
I do worry that vagrancy will lead to a new entitled generation, which will expects handouts. Even the polite greeting "Hail, Pihole" has been replaced with a "SOWplz!" or "Port me!". Luckily I can easily blend in with the horde of AFK zombies that stand near the bank (which I am actually doing right now).
2. Useless deputies.
It's no secret that the Guardians of the Vale are considered the laughingstock of all the guards of Norrath. Just compare them to the guards of just about any city - the Freeport Militia, Corrupt Qeynos Guards, Oggok Bouncers, Neriak Dragoons, heck even Ak'anon watchmen - all of these guards in their plate armor are designed to instill security to those they protect, and fear to those that are KOS. If these faceless guards ever took off their helmets, you'd probably see the scarred up face of a guy/gal named Butch scowling at you, ready to cut off your fingers one at a time. In contrast, our deputies are issued standard uniforms consisting of a cape, puffy white shirt, top hat, leather vest and a mask covering their eyes. C'mon guys, who are you really fooling?
These deputies are always getting food delivered to them on the job too - now I admit that I'm often eating pies while I adventure. But I gather my own ingredients, roll my own dough, and bake my own pie - I don't waste Rivervale taxpayer's money in getting fat. To be fair, Deputy Keld has saved my hide many a time, so he's earned his keep. But the rest of the lot? I saw we fire them all, and hire a Cliff Golem that can see invis, like OverThere - only then will our Wall get some respect.
3. Poor Upper Management.
Like all good out of touch managers, Sheriff Roglio and Mayor Gubbin are perched upstairs with a great window view of the entire city - and if only they bothered to look outside, they could easily see their hapless deputies being picked off one at a time. If management actually came down from their ivory tower once in a while, they could probably tear Randytrevor a new one.
Mayor Gubbin - talk about a well-connected fatcat - he probably blew Rivervale's entire armor budget on himself and Roglio, leaving the deputies to fend for themselves in cloth shirts. But before you start trying to get signatures for your "Recall Mayor Gubbin" campaign, you should know that he is probably one of the most connected politicians in all of Norrath. This ego-maniac even has his own faction, and he must be getting kickbacks from all the guilds - I don't think even Innoruuk or Cazic-Thule are that powerful. He certainly has higher ambitions than Rivervale, so I wouldn't be so quick to cross him. I know I certainly won't be getting my squad ring, after this post.
***UPDATE 6/29/2021*** Looks like Rivervale is cleaning up!
4. Pest control problem.
At least we don't have large diseased rats running throughout the city - but several times now, as an animal-lovin' druid, I have been attacked by this mutt Mangler at the inn, who will attack just about anyone - and the useless deputies will do nothing about it. Seriously, how hard is it to enforce a leash-only pet ordinance in this city? But before you give Mangler a good whipping for obedience training, think twice since he also stumps for Gubbin.
After dealing with this fleabag, I decided I'd better take a dip to cool off and wash away this rabid spit. Big mistake - make sure you've worked on your swimming skill - and Rivervale is not the place to be taking swimming lessons.
5. Lack of qualified barbers and groomers.
You should know, there is only one barber here in Rivervale named Daniel - and he's not really that creative. At least the line today to the shop was fairly short. I'm not really sure what I pay for, yet I keep coming back - he pretty much does the same thing every time, even though I asked him to mix it up a bit with the 'stache.
We really need to hire a groomer from Halas - those barbarians have truly figured it out. Barbarians are easily the hairiest race in Norrath - but look at this guy's chest! Don't even think about getting a wax job like that in Rivervale.
6. The music?
Need I say more? WTFComics was an awesome webcomic back in the day.