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Story and Background:
Mount&Blade takes place in the land of Calradia, where war has broken out between five militarized factions: the Swadians, the Rhodoks, the Vaegirs, the Khergits, and the Nords.
The historical backstory revealed in-game tells that the Kingdom of Swadia had previously encompassed much of Calradia although the other factions were fully independent and had never actually been ruled directly by the Swadian king. Swadia itself was effectively the successor to the old Calradian Empire which had centred on Suno and had been overthrown by the combined assault of their subject tribes (the Swadians, Rhodoks and Vaegirs). A generation or so prior to the game's start, the Khergit horse tribes emerged and occupied the southern steppes.
The character Artimenner reveals that the Rhodoks overthrew their monarchy some time ago but attempts to replace it with a republican form of government failed when various Rhodok tribal chieftains starting styling themselves as nobles. As a compromise between the aristocratic ambitions of the chieftains and the republican leanings of the tribesmen, an elective monarchy was established. Artimenner insists that, though, this presents a mere facade of liberty behind which an old-fashioned feudal set-up lurks.
It is also revealed in-game, by the characters Matheld and Alayen, that the Nords, who inhabit a northern coastal strip which was originally given to them by the Calradian emperors, have been calling upon their kin in Nordland for military support and manpower while the Vaegirs, who originate beyond the mountains that form Calradia's eastern boundary, have similarly been calling upon their kin in the old transmontane Vaegir homeland. Despite this, Swadia is still the strongest single faction at the beginning of Mount & Blade; its central location, however, means that it borders all four other factions and usually becomes engaged in wars on two or more fronts from the start.
The currency used in game is known as the Denar.
Download Mount and Blade Demo: http://store.steampowered.com/app/22110/