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The Calradic Empire, also known as the Calradian Empire, is a collection of three kingdoms in Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord. Since the death of Emperor Arenicos, The Calradic Empire has been embroiled in the Calradic Civil War, engaged between the Western Empire, Northern Empire, and Southern Empire.

History[]

Calradic Empire at its greatest extent.

Calradios the Great[]

The Calradic Empire can trace its beginnings to a warlord named Calradios the Great, who led a band of exiles northwards into the land that would eventually be named Calradia in order to make a new home for themselves through conquest. His descendants, the Calradoi, became one of the many tribes living in the hills bordering the Southern Sea and the Battanian woodlands.

It is believed Calradios or one of his descendents found the first Calradoi settlement of Charasea which would later be known as Charas. From this place of Calradios' landfall, the Calradoi began to form colonies in the lands around them such as Pravend and Ortysia.[1][2] Eventually, the Calradoi moved their capital to Pravend. During this early wave of expansion, the Calradoi subjugated their neighbors and forced them to join a confederation of city-states.

End of the Monarchy[]

The Calradoi were governed by a monarch until its last ruler, the tyrant Cypegos, was slain by Echerion. After this event, the Calradoi were governed by two bodies: an assembly of free citizens who would meet occasionally and a permanent Senate of elders, mostly comprised of the largest landowners. Only when military necessity required it would the Calradoi appoint an emperor to serve as their supreme commander.[3]

Expansion[]

Calradios and his descendants conquered many of the natives and incorporated them into the burgeoning nation under the Dragon Banner, many ancient tribes such as the Palaic, Ialoic[4], Laconians, and Dryatic [5] and assimilated as imperial citizens. The Empire came to stretch all the way from the western coast of Calradia to the Great Grass Sea in the east, the single greatest power on the continent for hundreds of years.

During the years of expansion, emperors were appointed more frequently until they simply remained in office even after the military need was gone. The imperial capital was moved out of Pravend and based where ever the emperor was typically in an army camp. When the free assembly of citizens met with the emperor, the army's veterans could shout down dissenters. The senators grew wealthy and corrupt, moving out into the conquered territories to stake their claim on new landholdings.

The Peak and Decline of the Empire[]

The Empire had a policy of keeping the border tribes in a state of disarray: creating clients and allies in the Nahasa Desert and reducing the power of any ambitious Battanian king or nomadic khan through bribes and assassinations. Despite this, the Calradic Empire still experienced its share of conflict with these foreign states, sending imperial legions and hiring Vlandian mercenaries from overseas to continue its expansion and protect their borders.

However, for sometime before the reign of Emperor Neretzes, the Calradic Empire was in a state of decline. Matters of imperial succession often caused a crisis which had to be resolved on the battlefield. [6]

Nearly a century before the events of Bannerlord, the Vlandian mercenaries who had settled within the Empire's borders declared their independence under King Osrac Iron-arm, seizing control of the capital city of Baravenos and the rest of the Western Coast. Meanwhile, the steppe and desert tribes united into the Khuzait Khanate and the Aserai respectively, with the Khuzaits pushing west into the Empire and taking its eastern provinces.

During the year 1077, the Empire experienced one of its worst defeats in all its history. An alliance of Sturgians, Battanians and Vlandians had declared war against the Empire and its Aserai and Khuzait allies. Under Emperor Neretzes, the army marched into Battanian lands, culminating in the Battle of Pendraic , wherein the imperials were slaughtered by falxmen, Vlandian horsemen, and Sturgian warriors. Neretzes fell in battle as the imperial camp was stormed by the enemy, with the dragon banner lost and only a handful of soldiers escaping to the safety of imperial territory.

Prelude to the Civil War[]

The leader of the Imperial rearguard, Arenicos, was declared the new emperor by the Senate. Arenicos fought in several engagements along the border and restored order to an empire in fear. A charismatic leader known for his opposition to corruption, Arenicos was able inspire the people while placating both populists and the Senate. He spoke widely of a restored empire, but was not forthcoming on the details. During his reign, Arenicos established the Vaegir Guard (Bannerlord) who were loyal only to him and turned a blind eye to cults which made him the object of their worship.

In a controversial move, Arenicos disbanded the Imperial legions, relieving the strained Imperial treasury. Military duties fell to the imperial archons who were charged with maintaining their own retinues.Those legionaries who opposed this call established the Legion of the Betrayed.

Following one successful campaign, he returned to his palace in southern Lycaron to spend time to rest. But as his guards came in to check on him, Arenicos was found dead in his personal chambers. With his death, the Empire collapsed into civil war.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord[]

By the year 1084, the Calradic Empire has descended into a three-way civil war: the Northern Empire, led by Senator Lucon, seeks to reestablish the primacy of the senate in electing an emperor, all the while being opposed by the veteran Garios and Empress Rhagaea. The former seized the Western Empire, desiring to have the imperial military choose the new emperor, while the latter sought to have her daughter Ira succeed her father from the Southern Empire.

Despite the disunity, the Empire's armies continue to be feared. They are masters of combined arms warfare with cataphracts, spear-formations and archers.

Mount & Blade: Warband[]

By the time the Player arrives in Calradia on the 23rd of March in 1257, the Empire is long gone. The varying monarchs of Calradia all lay claim to the throne of the old emperors, based on forgotten dynastic marriages and the Empire's unwritten constitution.

Companions often tell stories of the empire, with Lezalit mentioning how they ruled all of Calradia and beyond while Jeremus talks of how there was no formal imperial line of succession. Bunduk will tell you about how the Empire had tribunes, who were the people's representatives under the emperor.

Economy:[]

  • Different for each of the three factions due to the initial position, the availability of resources (including expensive ones) and their cost, opponents on the borders, the number of villages, castles and cities etc.

Military[]

A force consisting entirely of Imperial soldiers stands a cut above the Empire's neighbors in two things: troop variety and armour. Their troop selection has the most versatile composition, enabling the three different types of ranged support options, two variants of infantry and having access to the most powerful lancer cavalry in the game from their noble troop line. Along with their heavy armour, their troops will have little trouble with contending against their rivals.

Their only true weakness in evenly matched battles is being unprepared for the most specialized opponents, such as Sturgian shield and axe advance, extremely long range Battanian volley fire or becoming encircled and scattered by a horde of Khuzait horsemen. They have somewhat late access to cavalry forces as well, but since imperial villages are numerous, it's still possible to recruit and field their light lancers early on even if the Empire's heartland sees more than its fair share of incursions by both foreign cultures and the ongoing civil war.

Strengths[]

  • Extremely versatile composition of troop tree; one of the only two cultures (Vlandia) that have access to crossbow troops
  • Top-tier units possess excellent armor and survivability
  • Early access to archers
  • Imperial forces are recruited from the large central region of Calradia, enabling their availability to all factions

Weaknesses[]

  • Units require more training and upgrades to specialize fully
  • Early infantry lacks polearms, increasing vulnerability to cavalry 
  • Many troops do not possess full loadout; lack of throwing weapons or extra quiver reduces skirmishing ability
  • Imperial region is surrounded by opposing factions and its villages are often exploited, weakening recruit availability and economy potential

Troop tree[]

Empire.png Calradic Empire Troops
Chevron-1.png Icon troop type infantry.png Recruit
Chevron-2.png Icon troop type infantry.png Infantryman Icon troop type bow.png Archer Icon troop type infantry.png Vigla Recruit
Chevron-3.png Icon troop type infantry.png Trained Infantryman Icon troop type bow.png Trained Archer Icon troop type cavalry big.png Equite
Chevron-4.png Icon troop type infantry.png Veteran Infantryman Icon troop type infantry.png Menavliaton Icon troop type bow.png Veteran Archer Icon troop type bow.png Crossbowman Icon troop type cavalry big.png Heavy Horseman
Chevron-5.png Icon troop type infantry.png Legionary Icon troop type infantry.png Elite Menavliaton Icon troop type bow.png Palatine Guard Icon troop type horse archer big.png Bucellarii Icon troop type bow.png Sergeant Crossbowman Icon troop type cavalry big.png Cataphract
Chevron-6.png   Icon troop type cavalry big.png Elite Cataphract

Trivia[]

  • The Calradic Empire is heavily inspired by the Late Roman Empire/Byzantine Empire. [7] 
  • Like the Battanians, they are not visible on the game map by the time of Warband, 200 years later. All their territory has been conquered in that area. However, as Warband's overworld map is smaller than Bannerlord, the possibility exists that the Empire did manage to keep some of its territory further to the south and east in the non-playable area, as its inspiration the Byzantine empire did in the year 1200.
  • The various imperial clans give the title of Archon to their leader, a title of Greek origin also used in the Byzantine Empire.

References[]

  1. Settlements.xml; game file, entry for "Pravend"
  2. Settlements.xml; game file, entry for "Charas"
  3. https://www.taleworlds.com/en/Games/Bannerlord/Blog/45
  4. Settlements.xml; game file, entry for "Galend"
  5. Settlements.xml; game file, entry for "Diathma" and "Argoron"
  6. https://www.taleworlds.com/en/Games/Bannerlord/Blog/45
  7. https://www.taleworlds.com/en/Games/Bannerlord/Blog/46
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