Mount and Blade – Calradia Guide

The situation within towns might be considered much more civilized, since the burghers held far more influence and power than the village farmers. The merchants were one of the most influential social and economic groups during the Great Wars. Even before that time it became apparent that taxing every single person within a town created too much chaos and confusion and oftentimes taxation would become too strict. The idea of merchant guilds was born. It was an association of tradesmen, led by a guildmaster, which would control trade within the town and negotiate with the lord any taxation and levies.

A merchants guild had a charter that its members had to follow. Failure to do so might have resulted in serious fines and even imprisonment. What is interesting to note is that nobles very rarely engaged in the affairs of the town itself. The head of the merchants guild would act as the mayor of the town, thus deciding, in a way, on its internal laws, economy, and even security. This did not include the standing army that a lord would often garrison in a town to keep his land safe. Instead a guildmaster could organise a night watch to guard the streets from bandits and thieves.

However in the period of the Great Wars the heavy taxation, influx of refugees, and often poor overall economic situation did not allow for such luxuries, and a town would only be protected by soldiers rather than policemen. This meant that a lord, in practice, held much tighter control over the events within a town, and could easily threaten a merchants guild, if he chose to do so.

While in the later medieval period there were payments collected for traveling through secure and protected roads or paths, during the Great Wars there were no such roads or security. Merchant caravans would hire mercenaries or rent soldiers from their lord to travel with. This did not stop bandits or enemy lords from attacking such caravans, in search of easy spoils.

However, this did permit unrestricted trade between kingdoms, since there were no guards or laws to stop a merchant from trading with his kingdom’s enemies.

Small villages also formed around castles. These would usually be the families of the soldiers stationed in the castle, but also traders and merchants who could greatly benefit from the castle’s protection.

Levies and Armies

During the Medieval Period aside from taxation towns and villages would often have to also provide levies to their lord, when such were needed. Normally a levy would only be raised after the harvests were done so as not to hinder crop production. In the period of the Great Wars the need of levies was substituted by a need of money and professional soldiers. Due to the period of intense and brutal wars that followed many people preferred the life of a soldier over that of a peasant or burgher. In turn, lords gladly accepted new manpower into their armies.

The reason for this militarism is clear: the lack of security, combined by banditry and constant enemy invasion, would often mean that from one month to the next your household and belongings might have been destroyed or plundered. By joining a lord’s army you would have the relative security of pay, food, and training.

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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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