Mount & Blade 2

A minor faction revamp – the North (1/3?)


Outsiders to the broader region of Calradia, the Nords hail from the windswept archipelago of Jumne (sometimes just called Nordland) to the far north. As expert mariners, they have had contact with the Empire for centuries – the Calradian chroniclers frequently exchange angry letters contesting whether the Valandians are the descendants of the Nords or a different overseas tribe – and the Imperial diplomatic and intelligence apparatus has worked tirelessly to prevent a high-cost, low-gain conflict – small-scale nuisance raids notwithstanding.

However, as the major clans are centralizing power, the population grows and trade is disrupted, the flow of unwanted younger sons (and the occasional daughter with no prospect of a dowry) seeking a better fortune in Calradia or the small Nord enclaves further afield has become a torrent. In Calradia, they are a common sight among noble retinues, especially across Vlandia. They have an even greater presence in Sturgia, where they facilitated the rise of statehood and still serve as the muscle of the reigning boyars, especially the mercenary companies such as the Skoderbrotva. Quite unlike their flexible Sturgian thralls, the Nords are stern traditionalists, which helps them maintain a strong brand. In turn, their perception of Calradians as the inferior other lets them sleep at night after burning down entire cities.


The Nords are a more institutionalized form of the current ‘Brotva troops meant to scratch people’s Viking itch, up to and including shieldmaidens and the set-up for Warband’s full-scale kingdom (…spoilers, by the way). They provide some of the better heavy/super-heavy infantry, approaching the quality of Imperial Athanatoi.


From notables in ports of western Sturgia or northern Vlandia. Can be found among Sea Raiders – the rest are varied local scum. Are conjured out of thin air by NPC Nord lords, including leaders of Nord clans of Sturgia, or newly-arrived invaders from Junme.

Material culture

Sturgians use a smattering of Viking equipment with Uralic and Turkic influences, like the significant presence of lamellar. Vlandians, as Norman derivatives, use very heavily evolved Viking equipment. Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult to scratch together authentic Viking garb.


5% for each troop to spawn in battle as female

  • T2 Nord Adventurer – fresh off the boat with an axe and a roundshield

  • T4 Nord Warrior – primary upgrade path. Better axe, better shield, a spear, 50% chance of light javelin pack

  • T4 Nord Mariner – secondary, dead-end upgrade path. The Nords may be focused on melee infantry, but when fighting on ships the need for ranged fire is obvious. Nordic Shortbow, two Western Quivers, standard sword, decent armor

  • T6 Nord Huscarl – the tanky end-game option. Huge shield, heavy mail, a unique 1.5H axe, a heavy melee spear and a powerful throwing spear (single-shot superjavelin)

  • T6 Nord Ulfhednar – the damage-dealer end-game option. Bloodthristy, shield-biting weirdoes with a reputation to uphold? Yes. Suicidal? No! They wear the wolven head helmet, but the rest of their armor is only slightly lighter than you’d expect for the tier, and they use a shield. Their primary weapons are a 2H axe and a bundle of heavy javelins, which should coax the current AI to use a shield while closing range; in an ideal world, they’d also have a 1H sword that would allow them to revert to fighting with a shield when of the defensive.

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Long before the ancestors of the Calradoi and the Sturgs moved into their present demesnes, the Vakken ruled Calradia’s north. Their appearance is a startling mixture of the narrow-eyed steppe nomads and the fair-haired plainsmen, as they predate both. Unlike their urbane, mercantile and militant neighbors, or even the Battanians, the Vakken remain a mere tribal confederation. While some have assimilated into the Sturgians, the bulk – as well as some Sturgian runaways and malcontents – have withdrawn deeper into the near-impassable forests north of Sibir.

Vakken villages are scattered, small, hard to find, and they migrate every few years as the fertility of soil from the felled and burnt trees is exhausted. They have a manifold advantage in agricultural productivity over sedentary Sturgian serfs, but they have nearly no industry.

Sturgian boyars also quickly came up with the idea of taxing the Vakken, at one squirrel pelt per household – the pelts are as good as liquid cash in Sturgia. With Sturgia’s own fur-trapping industry no longer meeting demand, the greed of the boyars is increasingly insatiable – attempts to collect the tax twice are not uncommon, as is brutal retaliation for any attempts at resistance. Needless to say, the Vakken do not easily forgive entire villages of burnt-out huts and raped women, but their hatred is always personal. They are a wild card: with a few Vakken mercenaries ennobled by the Sturgians and the occasional alliance on one side, and rumors of outright infiltration by Battanians on the other, their role in the growing conflicts remains to be seen.


Where do the Vaegir Marksmen come from? This is a beefed-up version of the Forest People that is in-line with the available lore.


Vakken recruits can be acquired from their unmapped villages

Material culture

While even Sturgians struggle with matching the industrial and artisanal capabilities of the cultures further south, the decentralized and deeply agrarian subsistence economy of the Vakken prevents them from native production of sophisticated wargear. All Vakken troops are fairly deficient in metalwork and armor; for lower tiers, the various crude equipment is poached from the existing inventory of Battanians, Khuzaits and Sturgians, while the more elite troops procure Sturgian armor as-is.


  • T2 Vakken Hunter – the basic farmer recruit shows up dressed in roughhide, with no armor to speak of, and using the basic weapons they’re familiar with – the longbow, and the hunting spear, which is a short but deadly affair with a crossguard to keep the wounded animal (be it a bear or a destrier) away from the user

  • T4 Vakken Pathfinder – with primarily leather or padded armor and minimal additions of mail, the Pathfinder brings to battle a second quiver, a better bow, and replaces the spear with the Vakken Bill, a short 2H polearm used to cut brush or people and doubling as a staff, that uses the “war razor” tip – a possible relative of Khuzait glaives, and inspiration for Sturgian sovnyas

  • T6 Vakken Lesovik – the more disconnected Sturgian peasants and the Vakken become, the more numerous are instances where the Sturgians mistake them for shapeshifting trickster forest spirits of myth; as this makes them avoid their assumed domain and leave votive offerings, the bemused Vakken feel no need to disabuse them of this notion. Veteran fighters and trackers, the so-called Lesoviks are moderately armored, and approach the archery skills, if not the equipment, of Battanian nobility

  • T4 Vakken Tribal Warrior – tribal warriors are professional combatants outfitted as light javelineer infantry, with Sturgian backswords and large wicker shields

  • T6 Vakken Shaman – the most influential individuals in traditional Vakken society, relying on wisdom from within and without this world; due to their extensive contact with Sturgians, they equip themselves as Druzhinnik knock-offs, even though Khuzait tastes also have an effect on their panoply, most notably their sabers. They also, rather than use lances, carry a pair of large throwing spears.

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As the Empire expanded outside its ancestral heartland, it assimilated countless tribes, many of them gaining Imperial citizenship through military service, and migrating inwards towards the capital of Baravenos. Alongside Valandian warlords, there came another tribe from the foothills around Rhotae, and thus naming themselves Rhots.

As Osric carved out his own kingdom, the Rhots found new employment – as mercenaries (e.g. Company of the Golden Boar), as itinerant craftsmen, or as hunters. They have been able to retain their ancient tribal identity despite the trials and migrations.

However, in the leaner years, the Calradian peasantry of Vlandian lords perceives the Rhots as work-shy, parasitical vagabonds, a typical response of an agricultural society to someone who doesn’t partake in this labor-consuming activity. The Vlandian lords find Rhots difficult to tax, impossible to put in bondage, and very combative when pressed thanks to string tribal bonds.


The Vlandians are OP – they combine Swadian cavalry, Rhodock shooters, and a very powerful culture bonus. This is a soft nerf – the elite ranged troops are still there (with even a T6 option), as is a Swadia-like bargain-bin crossbowman branch that starts one tier higher (at T3). Antecedents of Rhodock Sergeants are a bonus.


Look for notables in south Vlandia that offer Rhot Woodsmen instead of Vlandians

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Material culture

While using mostly Vlandian equipment, they also use some of the more generic Imperial chainmail, and their T6 melee infantry has an affinity for Imperial nasalhelms. There’s also a selection of Aserai equipment in play, including scarves, shields (as stand-ins for the Italian ratella), and potentially kaskara blades for their own custom swords (…or I just unlock a lot of them in smithing). It remains to be seen if more messer-style weapons can be made from available scimitar parts.


  • T2 Rhot Woodsman – clad in Imperial-style long gambeson and wearing a characteristic headscarf, the basic recruit brings along their hunting crossbow and their falchion

  • T4 Rhot Arbalester – progressive upgrade towards better crossbow, better armor, Large Bag of Bolt and a generic arming sword or light waraxe. They all have shields, although it’s a mixture of the signature pavise tower shields, and tall heater shields.

  • T6 Rhot Sniper – best crossbow, full mail, all-pavise shields, Rhot longswords

  • T4 Rhot Vanguard – light melee trooper leading into the alternative branch, based primarily around using the lightweight, narrow Rhot longsword and a Southern Roundshield or the Iron Shield (the one used by your brother) to quickly descend upon the enemy and hack them to shreds; a stack of franciscka throwing axes provide them with a secondary ranged capability

  • T6 Rhot Guardian – heavy infantry hiding behind reinforced pavise shields, lashing out with spears, voulges, javelins and tapered thamaskene arming swords ideally suited for stabbing someone in the gut in the true gladius fashion


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