Factions and cultural roots in Bannerlord

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Yavor

Recruit
I want to talk about certain aspects of the game, which I personally love, and which I believe are often misunderstood, but work anyway.

Namely the inspiration behind the glorious factions of Bannerlord.

And first thing’s first – let’s start with the Empire. It is needless to say that the Empire represents Byzantium, the whole lot of it. Now I know that some fans wish to believe that the Western Empire is supposed to represent Rome, but I don’t think so, in fact, I do believe, that the Empire in BL represents solely the Byzantine Empire, during the period of early to high period – around 1050 AD. The Western Empire may represent Epirus, but I don’t believe that it represents Rome at all.

Having said that, and hopefully not enraged some of you, dear readers, I continue with Battania. Now it is a well known fact that the Celtic tribes started their migration to the north east, from the hills and plains of Anatolia and the Balkans. There were many representatives of their culture here in the Balkans, and they formed kingdoms like Tylis (modern day Tulovo) and Galatia, which was in Anatolia. It is true also that the Celtic people have close blood with the Dacians and Thracians. And that leads me to my next point Batannians have falxmen. Falxmen! These are not weapons, used in the British Celts, these were exclusively been used by the Thracians, Dacians, and all sort of their tribesmen here. It is a weapon which has its roots since Rome first invaded here in the Balkans. And that is the reason why I believe that Battanians have draw more inspiration from their Balkan Celtic counterparts, and not the British Celts.

Next stop – The Sturgians. They are Kievian Rus, of course, and as we all know, these formed the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire. But not many people know that the Kievians invaded the Balkans around 965-70 AD, so there was actually a Kievian territory here in the Balkans.

And for dessert – The Vlandians. The Vlandians are Normans, according to the DevBlog, so long time ago. However in the early to high medieval period the Normans were all over Europe at that time, so that doesn’t say much. “The Vlandians are mercenaries and warriors from other lands across the sea”, that is what the blog says. So doesn’t that remind anyone of the Latin Empire, from the 4th Crusade, which which was created after the invaders, sieged and looted Constantinople, eventually ruining the Byzantium Empire beyond repair. Don’t tell me that this doesn’t fit perfectly the narrative, here in Bannerlord!

As for the Khuzaits, everyone knows that various Turkic and Mongol tribes invaded Anatolia, as well as the rest of the world. And the Aserai, well Byzantium’s great struggles were exactly with the arabs, where a lot of their armies were engaged. So no surprises here.

And that is all that I wish to say – All of these factions describe the rich colorful palette that is the multicultural heritage of Turkey and the Balkans, which is so diverse and rich that it somehow represents also the whole European scene, but on a smaller scale. And I don’t know about you, but I find this amazing and extremely inspiring!

And I am saying this as a Bulgarian, and I can’t help but feel interconnected with all of this historical symbolism. So well done Taleworlds!

When I see the map of Bannerlord, I see the map of the Balkans and Anatolia, and I very much love it! My respect to the creators of this awesome game and this awesome tale that is Bannerlord.

Whether the Northern Empire has some roots connected to the Bulgarian Tzardom (which was part of the Byzantine Empire at a certain point) I don’t know, I have no idea, but I can hope and I can dream.

So thank you, Taleworlds! You have created a game which will be so very close to my heart, for a long, long time!

I wish you all Happy Holidays and stay safe and healthy!


Kind Regards!
 
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geala

Sergeant at Arms
I don't know what to say without hurting your seemingly strong national or ethnical feelings which may be the cause for some of your interpretations. And actually I'm not that interested at all on what and whom exactly the Calradia factions are based on. I think there are aspects taken from different sources.

You should invest a bit more time in historical studies however. That the Celts originated from the Balkan or Anatolian regions is a strange point of view, where did you get this from? Maybe I misunderstood.

Also there was no "Latin Empire" which invaded and conquered Constantinople in 1204 AD. Normans were not "all over Europe" in the early to high medieval period. So for example isn't it much easier to see the Vlandians just as representatives of the western European feudal military culture of the 11th c. AD?
 
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dannazgu

Sergeant
@Yavor

The Latin Empire was created after the siege and conquest of Constantinople, but I understand what you saying.

The Empire I see it as the fracture of the Byzantium (Trebizond, Nicaea and the Despotate of Epirus)

Sturgians I see them as the Varangians, predecessors of the Rus ( viking that assimilitaed the Rus culture)

Khuzait I see as the first Turkish people that invaded Anatolia ( the Seljuks)

Aserai I see as the Levantine states (Syria, Judea, the Arabs and some part of Egypt and Cyneraica)

The map is clearly based on that region of minor Asia... The island could be the Aegean islands, Cyprus and Rhodes)
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Subforum Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
That the Celts originated from the Balkan or Anatolian regions is a strange point of view, where did you get this from?
I wouldn't like for this to become a heated historical debate (like countless others), as history is not always black and white (more so the longer you go back), but there is no lack of material to support these claims (which doesen't make them 100% truth), only not exactly from the Balkans and Anatolia, but firstly from the Scythian region between the Black Sea and Kaspian lake, then migrated to all the other respective regions from there;
the recent Brittish genetic studies, plus the Declaration of Arbroath, which is a really cool piece of document in itself, but important to this subject, it is a letter where scottish King Robert I himself, along all his barons, claim they are a celtic people originating from Scythia, coming all the way to Scotland, according to all their ancient writings, runes and other scripts they had at their disposal up until that point.

Now please, let this thread remain exchanging of sources, dev blogs, and everyone can interpret Calradia as they wish, if it helps their immersion.
 

Yavor

Recruit
I agree to geala, about the point of view he made, and I have editted the post in that part about the Latin Empire.
I respect dannazgu for expressing his views on the matter, as this was the main point of this post - polite excange of ideas.
And of course, I agree with Piconi, especially in his final words that "everyone can interpret Calradia as they wish".

Thank you for your perpectives, expressed here, and I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
I wouldn't like for this to become a heated historical debate (like countless others), as history is not always black and white (more so the longer you go back), but there is no lack of material to support these claims (which doesen't make them 100% truth), only not exactly from the Balkans and Anatolia, but firstly from the Scythian region between the Black Sea and Kaspian lake, then migrated to all the other respective regions from there;
the recent Brittish genetic studies, plus the Declaration of Arbroath, which is a really cool piece of document in itself, but important to this subject, it is a letter where scottish King Robert I himself, along all his barons, claim they are a celtic people originating from Scythia, coming all the way to Scotland, according to all their ancient writings, runes and other scripts they had at their disposal up until that point.

Now please, let this thread remain exchanging of sources, dev blogs, and everyone can interpret Calradia as they wish, if it helps their immersion.
Oh that's new to me, i find it fascinating that the Scots during the middle ages still had stories and traditions about the origins of their people going as far back as the Scythian-Celts.
 

dannazgu

Sergeant
I agree to geala, about the point of view he made, and I have editted the post in that part about the Latin Empire.
I respect dannazgu for expressing his views on the matter, as this was the main point of this post - polite excange of ideas.
And of course, I agree with Piconi, especially in his final words that "everyone can interpret Calradia as they wish".

Thank you for your perpectives, expressed here, and I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Of course, man... to me makes more sense since TW is on the Eastern side of Europe... the same wya people can disagree when i say the Battanians i see them as Dacians and Thracians or maybe eve the Goths, who knows.

Piconi, brought interesting facts, I love this threa dof history, because we can see some characters on the game is based on many historical figures.

King Derthert is to be seen as King Philippe of France, due his lack of control on his vassals, for example, although Vlandia is based more on Norman culture

The thing is each one can see the culture which fits his taste more, unless TW state facts which is wich... I hope they don't, cause it'd kill imagination

The best of Epic Fantasy/ High Fantasy is to mold on your taste
 

vonbalt

Knight at Arms
WBNWVCM&B
King Derthert is to be seen as King Philippe of France, due his lack of control on his vassals, for example, although Vlandia is based more on Norman culture
King Derthert is one of my favorite characters, i see him basically as "what if you put king Arthur from the myths in a 11th century Norman kingdom", he tries to be courteous and chivalrous like the ideal knight from the late middle ages but most of his vassals are basically still bloodthirsty northmen wanting a strong manly king to lead them to glory and riches like their forefathers.
 
Battania still draws way more from British Isles Celtic cultures than Dacian Celt. Never heard of Dacians with longbows, and their naming scheme does not exactly sound Dacian. Just the presence of falxes and rhomphaia alone doesn't somehow invalidate everything else.

That being said, yes. Battania does have some Dacian inspiration thanks to those weapons.
 

Antaeus

Veteran
The factions are caricatures that draw from large historic regions and times for inspiration. I wouldn't go too far beyond that. Reading anything more into it is probably going to start being an exercise in your own cognitive biases and misconceptions about ethnicity and race.
 
The factions are caricatures that draw from large historic regions and times for inspiration. I wouldn't go too far beyond that. Reading anything more into it is probably going to start being an exercise in your own cognitive biases and misconceptions about ethnicity and race.

Yeah the worldbuilding is extremely vague, it's impossible to infer anything from them beyond "broad stereotype". How OP managed to ascertain that all the factions are from the Balkans and Anatolia is beyond me.
 

geala

Sergeant at Arms
I wouldn't like for this to become a heated historical debate (like countless others), as history is not always black and white (more so the longer you go back), but there is no lack of material to support these claims (which doesen't make them 100% truth), only not exactly from the Balkans and Anatolia, but firstly from the Scythian region between the Black Sea and Kaspian lake, then migrated to all the other respective regions from there;
the recent Brittish genetic studies, plus the Declaration of Arbroath, which is a really cool piece of document in itself, but important to this subject, it is a letter where scottish King Robert I himself, along all his barons, claim they are a celtic people originating from Scythia, coming all the way to Scotland, according to all their ancient writings, runes and other scripts they had at their disposal up until that point.

Now please, let this thread remain exchanging of sources, dev blogs, and everyone can interpret Calradia as they wish, if it helps their immersion.

This is new to me and interesting as genetic studies often can shed another light on questions. To what time are the findings from the Black Sea region dating? Can you cite a publication as example?

As far as I know it is now actually commonly accepted that there was no greater migration into and among Europe after the last waves in the 3rd millennium BC, and that is long time away from a period which you can assign to "Celts". The Celtic cultures mentioned by Greek authors in the middle and west European area clearly all originated from the 2nd millennium BC Bronze Age cultures of the regions, mainly the Urnfield culture (as precursor of the Hallstatt culture which usually is seen as precursor of Celtic culture) and the Knoviz culture. So it makes no sense for me to let the "Celts" origin in the Black Sea region. You could let them originate in East Africa with the same arguments presumably.

Findings from Celtic culture in Anatolia come mostly from the 3rd century BC onwards, as far as I know, after the three tribes later named Galatians had migrated to the area, as a separation from the tribes that invaded the Balkan region. From where did they come? That's not clear but presumably from somewhere in today France/Germany as there are a lot of similarities to Gallic artefacts and habits in their culture.
 
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Piconi

Fashionista
Subforum Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
This is new to me and interesting as genetic studies often can shed another light on questions. To what time are the findings from the Black Sea region dating? Can you cite a publication as example?
That's the thing, no cultural groups, especially as big and influental as celts were back then, can't be tagged with a special haplogroup belonging exclusively to them, so it's really just an additional thing we can read in and each drive our own conclusion.

This is the one i remember (University of Liecester iirc), that suggested that most europeans have paternal heritage that started spreading only during the neolithic period (which wasn't the belief before), and the spread ended right at (and overlaps with) the time we see first evidence of different celtic groups all over Europe, and precisely mapped the spread.
The Study
There are other ones too, even newer, but i couldn't be bothered finding each and every one, sorry.

So that was only by request, and wouldn't want to make this thread into a real historical debate (even if an awesome one), otherwise we would have to move it to one of the Off-topic boards.
 

Gandamula

Sergeant
Having three exactly equal factions is a proof of the developers' laziness. At least it has different colors ...
 
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