A vassal is a servant of a ruler, and are usually lords of castles and villages. There are many vassals in the game, each one aligned to a certain faction. The player can become a vassal by swearing an oath to a king or by marrying into the family of one of his vassals.
When swearing an oath to a king, the king will bestow upon the vassal a fief, which will be the current poorest village in the faction's territory. You will also be given the option to choose a Banner, if you don't already have one.
Breaking your oath will result in a large drop of honor and relation, as well as making enemies with all of your previous faction. They can be restored if you want to be friends with them again by allying with another faction, however your honor will stay the same.
The player can create their own kingdom and give vassalage to their companions, thus allowing them to have their own army.
Houses of vassalsEdit
Some vassals are in a family of others. If you intend to make a syndicate of vassals, it is highly recommended to find the oldest vassal and set him as standard, as he will have many sons, nephews, and sons-in-law who are vassals too.
Note that certain members of family are randomized at the beginning of a new game. Only the younger vassals' parents and siblings, and the older vassals' spouse and children are not randomized.
Vassals in the same family will...
- Not try to denounce, indict, or attack each other.
- Ask players for help when one of them is captured.
- Pressure or support romance of player and a lady, if the lady is member of that family.
- Try to denounce other families aggressively.
Romance of vassalsEdit
Male characters may see vassals as rivals. If you have a contender in romance and you don't want to lose, you can:
- Duel with him.
- Damage his renown, or indict treason.
- Gain more renown and become a more competent groom.
Note that above ways will damage your relationship with that vassal, resulting in damage to your kingdom.
Female characters can attempt to marry vassals, but depending upon their personalities, not everyone will be receptive to the idea.
All vassals have different values and personalities, ranging from peaceful inland patrol to restless warmongers.
- Regarding release
If defeated in battle by the player, some lords take being released as honorable act. Others, however, will take it as an offense, stating that "You would rather see me free and humiliated than in chains." You gain relationship bonuses after you release them, and you get your chance to beg them to let you go in the next battle (with a big cost of relationship points). However as mentioned before, some take being released as dishonorable, resulting in a relationship penalty on your next meeting. The best way to find out who hates being released is by checking their character page. The only lords who will take offense to being let off the hook are the sadistic personality types. Also, when capturing a lord, he will make a certain statement such as "grant me the honors of war" or "I yield, call off your dogs". Usually when this remark is "honorable" they will like being released. When they offend you they are likely to hate you for it.
- Regarding war
Some lords hate wars. They stick themselves inside the kingdom, battle with bandits, and do nothing else. If that lord becomes marshall of the kingdom, the campaigns will often be touch-and-go without any progress every time. With aggressive lords, it's the exact opposite. Lords do tend to support their friends, if a lord has many friends within his faction, then his friends will attempt to help defend his fiefs, whereas if a lord is hated, they will not defend him by their own choice.
- Regarding foreigners
The player is always of foreign birth, and this attracts hate from some xenophobic lords. If you try to marry a lady, some lords will say you're foreigner and have no rights to do so. The result is nearly -10 relationship penalty.
Realigning and Joining the PlayerEdit
Sometimes, a vassal will change their alignment if:
- Their kingdom is defeated and they have nowhere to go.
- They think the kingdom is hopeless.
- The player persuades them to realign.
Note that while most vassals think realigning is a dishonorable act, many of them will do so every month or so. Especially when Syndicating of that kingdom is serious. To recruit a lord you need a relation higher than the following number:
15 + campaign difficulty (0 easy, 5 normal, 10 hard) + number of total centers (1 for castle or village, 2 for town) that the faction your recruited lord belongs to owns – your persuasion skill - number of total centers (1 for castle or village, 2 for town) that YOUR faction owns.
If you capture a lord and your relationship is high enough, he can offer to join you when you speak to him as a prisoner (this is called defection). There is a chance that he can bring over his fiefs if he owns castles and/or towns. Lords in the player's kingdom with bad relation with the player, may end up defecting to other kingdoms too, and they can also bring over the fiefs you awarded them to their new kingdom.
There is an option in the camp menu to change this. The option marked with red, if enabled (ON), will deny lords from bringing their -castles/towns- to -your kingdom/other kingdoms-. The option marked with blue, if enabled, will not let lords to defect from their kingdoms. The only way for them to swap kingdom is if the king of their kingdom banishes the lord or if their kingdom is destroyed.