Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is one of the deepest sandbox RPG’s out there. Playing exactly like you want is one of the big selling points of this game. But as Bannerlord is still in Early Access, some features aren’t really explained very well. One of those features is creating your own Bannerlord Kingdom. In this article we dive into how you go about starting your own Faction and being an actual ‘bannerlord’.
Complete Nerezet’s Folly
Starting your own Kingdom in Bannerlord is tied to the main quest line of the game. As soon as you start a new character, you are tasked with investigating a historical battle nicknamed Nerezet’s Folly. As the specific quest entry in your quest log explains, you will have to talk to 10 nobles.
Which ones, you ask? Well that’s both very easy and quite hard. Throughout the world of Calradia, nobles that have something to do with Nerezet’s Folly will have a blue exclamation point next to their names. These nobles may not necessarily further the quest line though. After you’ve introduced yourself to these specific nobles, there is one dialogue option highlighted in yellow. The nobleman or noblewomen will either tell you about the battle or reveil who could tell you about it.
Locating the mentioned nobles can be done as follows: by pressing ‘N’ you open the in-game encyclopedia, where you can type in the name of the noble you’re looking for. In the top right corner of that screen you’ll find where that person has last been seen. Travel to their last-known location and work your way through the 10 nobles. A quick tip: while getting into wars with Factions is usually a profitable endeavor, being at war with a faction while you’re trying to finish this quest isn’t advisable. Tracking down nobles is hard enough. Interviewing them about some battle while they hate your guts is even harder.
Meeting with Istiana and Arzagos
!Minor spoilers for the main quest line below!
After finishing the first part of this quest, you’ll have to talk to two characters: Istiana and Arzagos, located in Epicrotea and Marunath respectively. They can be found in the taverns of said cities and will give you their account of the political situation of Calradia.
This will leave you with four choices, two of which will give you the ability to create your own Kingdom. Basically you have to choose whether you join the Empire or fight for independence. Whichever side you choose, you have to decide if you do that by joining an existing Faction of either side, or by creating your own Kingdom and help them. Beware though, you will need to own a few settlements for a Kingdom under your rule to emerge. It is usually best to join a Faction for a while to comfortably gain strength and amass some fiefs. Leaving a Faction will piss them off though, so you might plunge into a war right away.
Managing your Kingdom
And that’s how you do it. Realistically, you could blast through these quests within the first few hours of a new playthrough. That isn’t the best way to a Kingdom in Bannerlord though. The hardest part is conquering a castle with at least two accompanying settlements. And even if you manage to amass a few fiefdoms, you aren’t an experienced ruler just yet. Your party size is still tiny, making defending against enemy attacks very difficult. Your cash flow also won’t allow for huge garrisons in your castles, making them even more vulnerable.
So we would advise you to piggy-back along with a Faction of your choice for a while. And that is what you’ll naturally do, as the Neretzes’ Folly quest could take a long time if you’re playing casually and dipping your toes in all the other mechanics Bannerlord has to offer. Be patient, and you’ll see that setting up a Kingdom slow and steady will make it last for generations. Erecting your own flag immediately will likely topple your Empire before it’s name is even recorded in Calradia’s encyclopedia.
Screenshots and Images courtesy of @TaleWorlds Entertainment