It has all come down to this. In game time, it has been a mere five months since I arrived in Calradia. Since then, I have made a name for myself in this world. Now a faction is welcoming me in, not through its own choice but rather through the actions of a rogue lord who got a little too bloodthirsty one day. This marriage takes place under the dark cloud of impending war, this time one that promises to take a great many lives more than the last and which will be unmatched in its savagery.
After the jump: today, though, is my wedding day
It’s actually a very straightforward affair. As soon as another feast arises, Fraichin and I go there, and we speak our vows before all present. Presiding over the ceremony itself is the man I have greatly disappointed: King Graveth. This must be like a slap in the face to him. Another one, that is.
After all, I am the person he would have gladly inducted into Rhodok nobility mere months ago had I but said the word. Now, he barely wants to acknowledge that I exist and would trust me about as far as he could throw me. Yet, here he is, forced by one of his vassals into inducting a subversive mercenary into his stable of retainers. That’s too bad. Really, it is.
My reputation may be ruined, but it doesn’t matter. Now I am directly married into nobility. I can pursue this as far as I want from here. Much like earlier in this series, the world is once again my oyster, except in this case I have influence in the very affairs of the Kingdom. I can work with other lords to improve our standing and influence within the kingdom. Fraichin and I collectively hold only the small, backwater town of Epeshe, but with a little work we would be able to gain additional territory and glory.
Going forward, the skies are now the limit. With enough influence, overthrowing King Graveth himself is possible. In the world there is a man named Lord Kastor of Veluca who styles himself the proper leader of the Rhodoks. I could always fight a civil war on his behalf to place him on the throne, a puppet who dances to my tune, and from there the Kingdom would effectively be mine.
Maybe I’m not content with that and want my own Kingdom. Once I have some territory in my name, I could revolt against everyone and form my own entity as Queen. I’d need some retainers were I to ever attempt something like this, but it can most certainly be done.
Maybe greater satisfaction can be derived from playing lords off one another and simply gaining influence within the realm’s current power structure. Aiding in the conquest of neighboring areas would allow the Rhodoks to eventually gain a stranglehold on Calradia, although the perils of trying to manage an empire that is too large may prove too much for poor, old Graveth.
This is the part of Mount and Blade that everyone plays to try to reach. For some, becoming a lord is the end of the game. Character building is largely complete at this point, and with leveling requirements as high as they are in the high teens and low twenties, further gains are extremely rare. However, for others, this is only the beginning. I have no fiefs directly to my name, only those from my marriage to Fraichin, so I could start collecting my own. This accumulation is a game in and of itself, as the king determines who receives any land conquered by his subjects, so the more influential lords can gain a larger piece of the pie.
For now, though, I will be setting the game aside. This was an interesting journey, especially considering it let me highlight a style of play I’m not accustomed to. Although much of the detail is lost in its conversion to text, I still had a lot of fun playing as a dishonorable female horse archer, and I hope that any of you who read this far have either gotten some enjoyment out of it or have considered giving this game a shot. If you find the idea of a wide-open medieval world that you can explore, exploit and conquer at will to be fascinating, you owe it to yourself to give Warband a try.
One day, Countess Dunois will continue her fight with a legion of knights at her side. When that day comes, the Sarranids will wish they had never been born.
In the meantime, I have won. Just as I had planned.
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.