Mount and Blade – Calradia Guide

Calradia was a very backward land during the time of the Great Wars that ripped the land apart. Infrastructure between the kingdoms, or even their cities and villages, was almost non-existent. While there were a number of people trained in the medical arts illness was rampant, and many people died from the plagues that often killed all but the hardiest of men.

Nothing remained of the Calrad Empire that once kept the land together. Only today do we begin to learn more about those ancient people and how they once managed to unite such a wide diversity of faiths and cultures. Sadly, during this time period, none of the old glory of Calrad remained. Instead petty lords fought each other, plaguing their own people like reavers.

A few positive things can be noted about this time period however. Despite the wars that were waging between the lords a strong merchant class was born from the wars. These independent merchants managed to transport goods, even between besieged cities, often by bribing the besieging armies, or using their political connections with the lords to sell their goods without threat of attack. Mercenaries were also very common in Calradia in this time period, and many of them signed up with both the burghers and the nobility. While working for the nobles was often most profitable it also carried with it the highest risk, so certain groups of mercenaries decided to work together with the merchants to earn an honest living.

Another faction which greatly benefited from Calradia’s strife were the countless bandit bands that plagued the land. In each region a different group dominated the landscape. Among them the most common were mountain and forest bandits, who would plague villages and merchant caravans. In the Kingdom of the Nords the aptly named “raiders” were the common plague, but unlike the other groups of bandits they were known for being far more bloody, often times butchering entire settlements at a whim. I recommend reading “Raiders from the North” by my colleague Ser Robert Smith to learn more of these strange people.

The desert and steppes were haunted by horse bandits, who used spears and bows to chase down travellers, though they too often raided smaller, unprotected settlements whom the lords abandoned.

It would be incorrect to say that the continuous wars in Calradia did not bring around a certain benefit, as many weapons have been rapidly developed in the ever changing conditions of war. Medicine also progressed, as there was never a shortage of those wounded and in need of help. However, the cost of this so-called progress was much too high. The only reason the peasants did not revolt against their masters was that they were often too tired and distraught to oppose them.

The citizenry of Calradia may be divided into three general classes. The common classes, freemen and in some cases serfs, formed the majority. The commoners of rank, made up of landowning freemen, merchants, and craftsmen, were the second largest group. The nobility, while being the fewest, held the majority of power. The peasantry and cities paid fealty to the aristocracy, who then, by noblesse oblige, had to provide the king with arms and men. It is interesting to note that all the kingdoms, in times of war, would elect marshals to lead their military campaigns. Who was chosen as the marshal depended on who held the most sway with the king. It was a highly corrupt and suspicious system, where a chosen marshal might have gotten no support from the other lords if they disliked him. The king, while holding a major city and numerous castles, would rarely take direct control of a military campaign.

The most corrupt among the Calradian kings would be King Halraus, who would often claim any castle or city that one of his lords conquered, then began a feast to celebrate his victories. As time passed however the situation worsened. One excerpt by Artimenner, a scholar of the time, noted that “(King) Harlaus was becoming senile with age, and his kingdom fell into chaos and anarchy, as the lesser lords used their king’s weak mind to manipulate him to their benefit”. This ended in a number of disastrous campaigns against the Kingdom of Rhodoks, where the overly confident Swadian nobility would often underestimate the strength of the Rhodok spear line.

Swadia was not the only kingdom to fall under the sway of corruption, but it is the most notable. Other kingdoms were just as easily swayed by the greed of lesser lords, but it is Swadia that numerous times was only saved by the great sacrifice of its peasantry.

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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