Heroes or companions are unique troops with individual names, stories, skills, attributes, and equipment (all of which can be chosen by you). Like the player character, monarchs and vassals, heroes never die and are only knocked unconscious. You can never station them in garrisons. In all games except for Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, companions cannot be killed.
Every Hero likes one other Hero and hates two others (they will either tell after a battle or during the journey) and also likes/dislikes certain actions. Often, they will talk to you when you are doing something which they do not like, such as failing quests or running low on food.
Warband brought many improvemnts to hero interaction. In the original Mount and Blade, there are a lack of conversation options with the only option of checking their opinion and their story. Warband added options such as the ability to send out heroes to check faction integrity or improve the Player's right to rule.
For more detailed information on ideal parties and keeping your heroes happy, see hero tactics.
Many of them require money (ranging 100 - 500) before they join your party with 5 companions that will join for free. Regardless of recruitment cost, all require the same wages according to their level. Since they do not have a strict level cap, they can eventually exceed the wages of any other troop in the game once leveled high enough.
There are several ways to (temporarily) lose a hero:
- If you voluntarily part ways with a hero (via the dialog option or by not taking them back in after a mission), you can just pick them up again (no recruitment cost). You can ask a Traveller in the tavern for the position of each hero that once was in your group, so it is advisable to recruit them all once and then release them if you cannot use them right away.
- If you are taken prisoner, you have to wait until you are free. When freed, some heroes might be freed with you, but may also be captured and you will need to see a Ransom Broker to get them free for money (in which case they will come to you within 1-2 days) or have to free them like every other prisoner. If one has escaped on their own, were not captured, or released due to a peace treaty, they can be found in taverns as usual.
- If you keep heroes with dislikes against other heroes in the same group, those heroes might eventually leave "to go back home" or "settle down". They can not be found via traveller as they do not respawn right away. Instead, it takes several weeks before they respawn, at which point they can be found again. If you have trouble finding them that might have to do with renown. Some companions which left on their own decision will not reappear until your renown exceeds the renown at the time when they left + 100 (avg.). After that a traveller should know the location.
- If you lend a hero to a lord via the Lend companion quest and that lord acquires a hostile relation with you or swears loyalty to another faction, you won't be able to meet that hero unless several in-game weeks have passed. During that time, you can't find the hero via a traveller. The lost hero will eventually find you on their own.
List of Heroes
There are 16 companions in total in the game. This table show all this list of heroes and includes their likes, dislikes, their recruitment cost and specialized skills.
Robbing refers to pillaging villages as well as robbing caravans, although demanding protection money from caravans and stealing cattle from villages is not objectionable. The 'Skills' column shows each Hero's best skills (usually level 3).
||Yes||Ymira||Marnid, Nizar||Failing Quests, Retreating, Baheshtur as Emissary||300||Power Strike, Weapon Master, Riding|
||No||Lezalit||Jeremus, Klethi||Hunger, Failing Quests, Heavy Casualties, Katrin as Emissary||300||Engineer, Trade, Tactics|
||Yes||Rolf||Katrin, Marnid||Hunger, Not Being Paid, Heavy Casualties, Ymira as Emissary||400||Power Draw, Weapon Master, Horse Archery|
||No||Marnid||Deshavi, Klethi||Hunger, Not Paid, Heavy Casualties, Alayen as Emissary||300||Tracking, Pathfinding, Spotting|
||No||Katrin||Lezalit, Rolf||Robbing Villages, Heavy Casualties, Nizar as Emissary||200||Ironflesh, Weapon Master, Power Strike|
||No||Klethi||Borcha, Rolf||Hunger, Heavy Casualties, Bunduk as Emissary||Free||Pathfinding, Spotting, Tracking|
||Yes||Jeremus||Nizar, Katrin||Robbing Villages, Failing Quests, Rolf as Emissary||Free||Athletics|
||No||Firentis||Artimenner, Matheld||Robbing Villages, Returning Serfs, Klethi as Emissary||Free||Wound Treatment, Trade, First Aid, Surgery|
||No||Bunduk||Firentis, Baheshtur||Hunger, Not Being Paid, Heavy Casualties, Lezalit as Emissary||100||Ironflesh, Trade|
||No||Deshavi||Borcha, Artimenner||Retreating, Marnid as Emissary||200||Power Throw, Path Finding, Spotting|
||Yes||Artimenner||Ymira, Bunduk||Retreating, Borcha as Emissary||400||Power Strike, Weapon Master, Trainer|
||No||Borcha||Alayen, Baheshtur||Robbing Villages or Caravans, Failing Quests, Returning Serfs, Matheld as Emissary||Free||Trade|
||Yes||Nizar||Ymira, Jeremus||Retreating, Firentis as Emissary||500||Weapon Master, Athletics|
||No||Matheld||Firentis, Alayen||Retreating, Jeremus as Emissary||300||Ironflesh, Power Strike, Weapon Master, Athletics|
||Yes||Baheshtur||Deshavi, Bunduk||Retreating, Artimenner as Emissary||300||Athletics, Tactics|
||No||Alayen||Matheld, Lezalit||Robbing Villages, Returning Serfs, Kill instead of mercy in kill local merchant quest, Deshavi as Emissary||Free||Riding, First Aid, Trade|
Heroes have the same leveling process as the player, allowing them to increase in stat proficiencies and weapon skills. You can also change the heroes' equipment for your tactical needs. To manage this, go to the party screen (Hotkey: P) and talk to the hero. Ask to "know about them" or ask to "see their equipment" to change these options, respectively. Stats rely on the heroes' performance in battle/experience and their equipment relies on items in your inventory. Both create a domino effect, requiring one to get the other. For example, an armor that requires 9 strength requires more stats. However, a decent weapon is required get enough experience in battle to get that stat required for the better armor.
In Mount&Blade: Warband, your companions can be made into lords and given towns, villages or castles. However, other vassals may dislike having a commoner holding a fief. Therefore, the best companions to make into a vassal should be noble (you can look more closely at their story: Matheld, Lezalit, Rolf, Alayen, Baheshtur, and Firentis). If a hero is made into a lord and defects from your faction, and said faction is then defeated, they can again be found in taverns and recruited to your party, but will retain their own coat of arms, their title, and the equipment they had as a lord.
Be careful when choosing to appoint a companion as lord, as they replace their body armor with Heraldic Mail with Tabard, shield with Knightly Kite Shield, mount with Courser, and weapons to Arming Sword and Light Lance. They will not replace these items if their current equipment is superior (e.g., if a companion is currently wearing Plate Armor, they will keep it rather than replace it). However, they will always keep the head, hand, and leg armor they currently have equipped.
An incredibly rare occurrence of noble companions is when a lord is indicted of treason while they are a prisoner. If the lord goes into exile instead of joining another faction, he will remain imprisoned by his captors. At this point, freeing the captured lord allows the player to attempt to recruit them into their party as a companion. If the lord accepts the offer, they will join the party like a normal companion. This does not appear to be properly implemented, as several normal party dialogue options do not have lines at all. Equipping them is also slightly bugged; you will have to enter the equipment menu, exit, then enter the equipment menu again to properly show their inventory. It is possible to reinstate them into the nobility by granting them a fief, though their female relatives (wives, daughters) will be stuck in a ransom dialog.
Dislike (Hero) As Emissary
In Warband, you can send heroes to improve your right to rule. However, this can have a negative impact on other heroes. The "dislike as emissary" system is a single loop. Each hero in this list dislikes the person immediately after as emissary.
Alayen → Baheshtur → Ymira → Deshavi → Bunduk → Nizar → Jeremus → Klethi → Marnid → Matheld → Firentis → Rolf → Artimenner → Katrin → Lezalit → Borcha → Alayen
This event only occurs in the Warband.
It is possible to marry a hero, but only for female characters. It requires the following steps:
- Start your own kingdom.
- Appoint a male hero to a vassal.
- After male lord declares to be your most ardent admirer, gain relation.
- Propose and marry.
Court Minister and Emissaries
As a monarch, appointing companions to be your minister is highly recommended, as a prominent citizen is never skilled in politics, and will not give you many options which you can use to manage your realm. All companions have the same capabilities, so choose someone not very useful or someone that constantly deserts your army in your party.
One can train companions to be good emissaries by increasing their Persuasion skill, increasing the chance of success. Ymira could be trained in such a way. When she is in your party, she could be a medic next to Jeremus and Katrin, but she could be sent out as emissary from time to time. Note that kings will very often reject truce or goodwill regardless of Persuasion level, even if the skill is at 10.