Mount and Blade: an immutable force

, | Game diaries

If you give a peasant a loaf of bread, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach a peasant to fight, he’ll beat the hell out of the brigands that harass his village every week and take their bread instead. We’ve been asked by the village elder of Sarimish to instruct his villagers in the noble, timeless art of bandit slaughter. Judging from the trail of bodies we left in our wake traveling here from Jelkala, we are more than qualified to serve as instructors, but we need to make a supply run first.

After the jump, the juggernaut steams ahead.

Considering that I’m still trolling around the kingdom wearing little more than a suit of furs and a pilfered hat, some proper armor will be required for the next stage of character development. As more and more dangerous quests become available and feasible to complete, so too must I ensure that my equipment is keeping pace. The great equalizer in battles where the player is outclassed will be a suit of armor, with its damage reducing potential allowing for the player to survive blows and make the occasional mistake. I promptly spend the money I’ve acquired looting bandit strongholds and performing small tasks for local lords on a rather nice leather armor set and some mail boots, which go nicely with the mail coif I appropriated from an unfortunate Rhodok army deserter. This will greatly increase my staying power on the battlefield, which will be especially important as I know how all of these peasant training quests turn out in the end.

On our way back to Sarimish to begin our lessons, I stop by the town of Emer, which is right along the way, in order to try to pick up some more noble souls to sacri… fight nobly on the front lines. The town, however, is infested with a band of forest bandits. Given the option to leave the village to its neglected fate or stand and fight, I follow my bloodlust and go hunting. The peasants join in, largely because they are possessed of an overwhelming desire to die in a hilariously futile manner, but they do make an effective distraction for my army regulars to clean up what’s left. Final casualty numbers have seven dead peasants and a couple of my own dead tribesmen to nineteen dead bandits. I’ll take it. The people offer me everything they have in gratitude for saving their town. I’ll take that, too.

We ride on to our destination of Sarimish. In the world of Mount and Blade, training is composed of a period of time in which the villagers are being instructed in how to wield a wide array of items that could charitably be called weapons, and then engaging in a training battle with the peasants that show the most promise. The higher your character’s training skill, the faster peasants will pick up on the training and the less time this particular type of quest will take. Alice is a poor trainer at this point since I’ve been dumping stat points into making archery viable, so this process takes an excruciatingly long three game days and seven separate practice battles against peasants armed with sticks (I use a stick as well, in the interest of being sporting).

After seven of the scrappy farmers have picked up the necessary abilities, we receive word that the bandits are returning to raid the village again. The elder pleads with me to lead his new militia into battle and with the exceptionally convenient timing of this raid, who am I to refuse? My entire army joins the fight for elite medieval justice, as well. This is fortunate, because my militia has the exact same fighting ability as the citizens of Emer, leading to a wholesale slaughter of peasantry while my army and I inflict most of the casualties. Again, I take the victory and everything the peasants have as my just due for depleting the village population by half. I then proceed to recruit another six tribesmen for my army and depart a village hero.

Medieval times aren’t half bad to you when you know how to use a sword. At this rate, I’ll be immeasurably rich in a few months.

Tomorrow: an immovable wall.
(Click here for the previous Mount and Blade entry.)

Otagan, known to some as Jared, hails from the frozen wastelands of North Dakota. He is temporarily based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he works for a major banking institution that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.