During battle and some other, rare circumstances, nobles can be captured alive by their enemies. In most cases, a seriously wounded noble or one surrounded by enemies with no chance of escape, will surrender using an ancient, traditional formula.
Effects of Captivity
Nobles are always captured by other nobles, and once so they will automatically move around with them, with no movement option of their own. Likewise, their available actions are now limited, but not zero. There is still a lot a noble prisoner can do, from messaging to many activities. The most important restriction is travel - and everything that comes with it.
A captured noble can be set free, executed or handed over to some other noble. If a noble who has prisoners is killed, those will be transferred to whoever killed him, or if he did not die in battle they will be set free.
These simple mechanics make all kinds of deals, diplomacy and negotiations possible. Both sides, however, need to establish trust first. For example, executing a noble will kill him, but that is it. As a prisoner, you could bring him to one of his estates and force him to hand it over, as payment for his freedom. Of course, you could still kill him afterwards...
Prisoners can be very valuable, but also a burden. The repercussions are manifold, and giving the matter thought considering all circumstances will almost always be more rewarding than picking one rote reaction for all cases.
During and After Capture
Some things work differently when prisoners are involved:
- The settlement permission to enter a settlement does not apply to prisoners. If a noble is allowed into a settlement, he can also bring any prisoners with him, even if they would be refused entry on their own.
- A captive estate owner can enter settlements owned by him, and doing so will bring his captor into the settlement, even if he would be refused entry otherwise (basically, since he is accompanied by the estate owner, the guards will let him in). Note that even with the prisoner in his control, he cannot force entry into the settlement except by attacking it, he needs the prisoner to conduct the "enter settlement" action.
Some things work the same, though this might seem unexpected at first:
- Captives can still observe events around them, including (limited) scouting.
- Captives can still use messages to talk to their liege, realm-mates or other contacts.
- Soldiers assigned by the prisoner to his captor can be reclaimed normally.
- Trades set up during captivity can also be cancelled normally.
Prisoners can make attempts to escape, but since they are valuable, the chances are not actually that great. A failed attempt will be reported to their captor, who could decide to let consequences follow.