Once the tutorial is over and you are told that you are now free to explore Calradia, what now? The only thing guiding you now is a vague quest that can be quite daunting starting out, as the only direction you are given is to talk to nobles about the history of Calradia. Thankfully, the quest turns out to be fairly easy, albeit time consuming. Alongside the “Investigate Neretzes’s Folly” quest, this guide will also take you through the next quest called “Assemble the Dragon Banner” which is required in order to create your own faction. You are still able to join other lords factions before completing these quests.
Investigate ‘Neretzes’s Folly’ (Quest)
Right after you complete the tutorial/training where the friendly neighborhood sword trainer most likely slapped the soul out of you with his sword, your brother will then task you with investigating an artifact. This quest takes place across the entire continent and will take quite a bit of time and effort, but is required in order to advance in the game. This should be among the first things you do in the game while still trying to develop your army and supplies so you won’t be overwhelmed once you’re done and join a Kingdom.
- 25 or more recruits in your party
- Around 3000 denars for training, supplies, and wages.
- Be an Independent Clan (No vassalage or mercenary contracts)
It is highly recommended to have a party of at least 25 units, as this will deter looters and bandits from impeding your progress. You will need to back this sizable party with at least 3000 denars to buy supplies and pay party wages. Obviously you can gather these supplies as you go, so it’s not mandatory to gather everything beforehand.
The quest is considerably more difficult if you are already aligned with any faction. Especially if there is a war between your aligned faction and the lord you must speak to, as you will not get the chance to speak before getting destroyed.
Tracking the Lords with the In-Game Encyclopedia
Here’s a quick list of the characters you can speak to in order to progress with the quest:
After the tutorial mission is completed, you will be dropped off near Lycaron, the capital of the Southern Empire, ruled by Rhagaea. This town belongs to the Southern Empire, so your journey should start there.
Start off by bringing up the in-game encyclopedia. You can bring it up by using the hotkey (default ‘N’) or right-clicking on a town’s name plate.
Your next step is to navigate to any lord as seen on the table above. For this guide, we will choose Rhagaea as she seems to be the closest one to our current position. You can locate Rhagaea by going into the ‘Kingdoms’ tab and selecting the ‘Southern Empire’. Then you will see that Rhagaea is the leader of the Southern Empire and on the right side of the page you can see recent information about her movements, locations and actions.
As a side-note, you can also use the Encyclopedia in the future to find information about enemies, lords and even their families in case you’re looking to get married.
From her encyclopedia page we can see Rhagaea is currently near Tamnuh Castle. We can also discern from her recent events that she is currently on a campaign as she just took another lord as a prisoner. From Rhagaea’s page you can check the Tamnuh Castle encyclopedia page by clicking on the orange name of the Castle on the right side.
From the Castle’s page you can track the location itself by clicking on the ‘Track‘ radio-button under the name. This will mark the location on the map no matter how far you zoom out. In case you wish to un-track a location, you can return to its Encyclopedia page and remove the tracking or simply click on the name within the World map. This will also return the locations state to normal.
Talking to Lords and Armies
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord has a dynamic world where various entities in the field will attack, defend, and conquer new territories. This means that the characters will rarely be static and will be moving around constantly. Therefore, you may find that Rhagaea might not be exactly at Tamnuh Castle, but further south, moving in to assist her vassals against the Aserai armies.
The lords who can advance the quest are marked with a big blue exclamation (!) mark next to them.
Once you have talked to Rhagaea and asked her about the tragedy of the Pendraic, she will not point out the next step of the quest. The quest log will also not provide you with new instructions.
This means your best bet is to take note of your current location and figure out who is a suitable lord within the faction by taking a look at our table shown earlier. In this case you should advance the quest with the Aserai lords using the same method we did for Rhagaea, taking advantage of the Encyclopedia (press ‘N‘ to open it up).
An alternative is to just talk to a random lord nearby and inquire about ‘The Battle of the Pendraic’ and they will point out a random lord (typically their liege) who can advance your quest. In this example lord Pharon suggests you to talk to Lucon, who is the reigning lord of the Northern Empire. You can quickly open that lords Encyclopedia by clicking their colored name within the dialogue prompt.
Lords and ladies who are vital to the quest can be captured by opposing factions or even bandits. In these situations it is best to move on and find the next lord. Each faction has 2 or more lords who can be talked to, in-order to progress the quest, but you only need to talk to 10 lords in total to finish the quest!
An efficient way to complete the quest is to find the lord of the local lands. For example, you talked to Lucon of the Northern Empire, the next few lords should be the Sturgian lords Olek and Godun as they are a little bit north, neighboring the Empire.
If you cannot find the lord at a given location, you may need to look at a nearby army, as the lord you’re looking for might be a part of that army. If you notice they’re a part of someones army, you won’t be able to talk to them yet, as you’re not a part of that faction. However, if they are leading the army, you should be able to talk to them and progress with the quest.
Referring to our table and the in-game Encyclopedia, Olek is our next target, but he is currently in Raganvad’s army, whom we already inquired about Neretzes’s Folly. This means you won’t be able to talk to him yet.
There is currently no easy way to circumvent this. The safest way is to wait until the army disbands. Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord has a mechanic where an army has cohesion that will drop as the days pass, meaning that Olek will be yours to talk to soon enough, if you keep following the army around for a few days. Alternatively you can join the faction the army belongs to in-order to be able to talk to individual lords within the army.
Assemble the Dragon Banner (Quest)
After you have talked to 10 prominent nobles you will be directed to talk to Istiana and Arzagos. Fortunately, both Istiana and Arzagos have fixed locations and will not move regardless of their circumstances. Conveniently, both their locations will be automatically marked on the campaign map, once your new Assemble the Dragon Banner quest starts.
You can easily find your targets within the character tab of their respective towns. You may have to flip through the character pages if there are more than six characters in the town concurrently. This can be done by clicking the small arrow at the top right of your screen. Alternatively you can also walk to their location within the keep.
- Istiana resides in Epicrotea of the Northern Empire
- Arzagos can be found in Marunath of Battania
After questioning them, it turns out that the artifact that you have been asking about is a fragment of a bigger artifact: the Dragon Banner of Calradia. They each know a location of another piece, but are not willing to give it to you unless you agree with their opinion.
Istiana wishes for you to use the Dragon banner to unite and restore the Empire, while Arzagos wishes for the Empire to collapse completely.
To progress the quest, it will require you a bit of deception. You will have to lie to one of them (or both) in order to get the location of the remaining artifacts the easiest way. Not to worry as it does not have any permanent effects on the game. Just tell either Istiana that you will use it to aid the Empire and Arzagos that you will destroy the Empire, regardless of what you wish to use it for.
Once you’ve talked to each Lord, you will notice two new Hideouts marked on your map. They usually will spawn very close to whoever told you the location respectively. Now you will need to go raid those Hideouts and if you win, you will be awarded with a piece of the Dragon Banner.
It is highly recommended that you equip yourself properly with a good weapon (sword + shield) and armor, as well as bringing appropriate back up to aid you. Raw recruits with just clubs and spears may not fare very well against crazed Mountain Bandits or Forest Bandits. We also recommend to save your game before the attacking, as hideouts can be unfair at early game with no proper equipment.
Since you are outnumbered quite severely within the Hideouts, it may be best to bring some heavy infantry to support you. Ideally Tier 3 infantry such as Imperial Trained Infantrymen or their equivalent like Sturgian Soldiers. Cavalry and other heavy horsemen can also work in a pinch.
Hideout battles function a bit differently to field battles. The enemy will not be aware of you and your party will not automatically attack. You will have to order them to follow you (F1 -> F2) or to charge ahead of you (F1 -> F3). If you have ranged units, do not forget to select them and order them to ‘Fire at will’ so they may use their ranged weapons.
In the end of a Hideout raid, you will get to choose whether to do a 1 vs 1 against the bandit leader or have your troops fight with you against their leader and backup. If you have all your troops alive in the end, it might be worthwhile to decline the challenge, but in most cases it is easier to win the challenge as long as you brought a decent weapon and armor.
Once you cleared out both camps you will have all the pieces you need to assemble the esteemed Dragon banner of Calradia. After this, you need to choose which path you wish to follow and go talk to either Istiana or Arzagos. Your next step will be choosing which faction you wish to fight for or if you would rather from your own Kingdom. Check out our other guides if you need help with progressing further in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord or if you are just looking for useful tips and strategies.