Hired forces are predefined armies which may be temporarily controlled by hiring them with Gold. Hired forces cannot be used to raid. There are two types of hired forces, each one with its own tab in the Military menu.
Mercenaries are armies that can be hired by rulers for 3 years. The gold cost is paid upon hiring the Mercenaries and there is no additional cost associated with hiring them, but at the end of the 3 years, they will leave if their contract is not extended. Extending a contract for 3 years has the same cost as initially hiring the army.
Each culture generates between one and three mercenary companies depending on the number of counties of that culture, with each additional company being bigger and more expensive than the previous one. They will pick a county of their culture as their headquarters and will be available to be hired by anyone with capital within diplomatic range of that county. Range between Mercenary armies come with one or more specific men-at-arms regiments and will also contain a number of knights. Mercenary regiments reinforce 3 times faster than regular regiments.
Rulers are allowed to go into debt up to 2 years in order to hire mercenaries.
|Mercenary company||Levies||Regiments||Knights||Cultural regiment chance|
Mercenary armies select a name based on their culture, as shown in the table below.
|Default||Culture adjective Band of location|
|Akan group||Ashanti Band, Company of the Volta, Followers of Akwei|
|Bedouin||Wanderers, Company of location|
|Mashriqi||Sarkans of location, Company of the Oasis, Desert Brethren|
|Egyptian||Host of the Nile, Keepers of the Lighthouse|
|Maghrebi||Union of Swords, Army of the Senator|
|Andalusian||Almogavars of location, Mawali Band, Treasurers of location|
|Baltic group||Baltic Band, Riders of the Coast, Company of the Deeplands|
|Butr||Army of the Crossing, location Band, Riders of the Mountains|
|Baranis||Followers from location, Company of location|
|Burman group||Arakan Band, Company of the Valley|
|Burmese||Company of the Irrawaddy, Burmese Host|
|Mon||Sadhuim Company, Mon Host|
|Byzantine group||Manglabites, Ten Thousand|
|Greek||Varangian Guard, Herules, Hoplites of location|
|Georgian||Veterans of Chaldia|
|Central African group||Sahelian Band, Company of the Chad, Company of the Gambra, Followers of Bayajida, Followers of Sundiata|
|Welsh||Lawgoch's Followers, Band of the Horn|
|Breton||Company of Bretons|
|Cornish||Bodyguards of Gwendolen|
|Saxon||Teutonic Brotherhood, Saxon Steelbearers, Hansa Guard, Sons of Widukind|
|Franconian||Great Company, Franconian Company, Thuringian Blades, Rhenish Band, New Franks|
|Swabian||Swabian Band, Alsace Fighters, Alemannic Sellswords, Helvetic Guard|
|Bavarian||Bavarian Band, Austrian Company, Tyrol Warriors, Styrian Panthers|
|Dutch||Company of the Brabançon Wolf, Flemish Band, Company of the False-Earl|
|German||Great Company, Veterans of the Marches, Swiss Guard|
|Dravidian group||Velaikkarar of location, Company of the Tiger, Tungabhadra Gang, Dreamers of the Jog, Company of the Ghats, Guards of Rama Setu, Terrors of Tamilakam, Company of the Koyil|
|Ethiopian||Ge'ezan Company, Tigrayit Band|
|Nubian||Noba Company, Kushite Band, Company of Meroe|
|Welayta||Company of the Leopard, Gondershe Band, Guardians of Almnara|
|Daju||Army of the Crossing, Beja Place Band, Riders of the Mountains|
|East Slavic||Kievan Band, Varangian Host, Raiders of Caspia, Company of Rus, Followers of Oleg|
|French||Tard-Venus de location, Band of location, Routiers of location, location Band|
|Norman||Band of the Black Monk, Iron Arm's Company, Normans of Drengot|
|Occitan||Routiers of the Archpriest, Host of the Viscount, Marchers of Wasconia|
|Irish||Band of Kerns, Madhmann's Company, Company of Shield and Scian|
|Iberian group||Almogavars of location, Almogavars of location|
|Castilian||Slaughterers, Band of the Brigand Emperor|
|Catalan||Great Catalan Company|
|Galician||Slaughterers, Band of the Brigand Emperor|
|Asturleonese||Slaughterers, Band of the Brigand Emperor|
|Aragonese||Slaughterers, Band of the Brigand Emperor|
|Indo-Aryan group||Tigers of location, Apabhranśa Band|
|Bengali||Company of the Delta, Bengal Host|
|Oriya||Oryia Band, Company of Odisha|
|Hindustani||Company of Many Colors, Hindustani Band, Company of the Ganges|
|Gujarati||Company of the Great Rann, Band of the Nilgai, Company of the Stone Anchor|
|Punjabi||Company of the Punjab, Host of Sangala|
|Rajput||Rajaputra Band, Company of the Exile, Followers of the Priest King|
|Sindhi||Company of the Dead Men, Harappan Band|
|Marathi||Company of Four Kings, Servants of the Vatandar, Badami Companions|
|Kashmiri||Company of Kashmir, Host of Kashmir|
|Sinhala||Company of the Staff, Rice Grain Band|
|Iranian||Ghilman, Warriors of Zaranj, location Cataphracts|
|Persian||Band of Medes, Immortals of location|
|Sogdian||Company of Sogdiana, Sogdian Warriors|
|Tocharian||Band of Tókharoi|
|Kurdish||Band of Sermaj|
|Afghan||Khorasani Band, Company of Shahids|
|Baloch||Company of Makran, Westwards Band|
|Daylamite||Daylamite Company, Band of Sermaj|
|Khwarezmian||Company of Khwarezm, Khwarezmian Warriors|
|Tajik||Company of Bukhara, Dehqan Warriors|
|Latin group||Company of the Bull|
|Italian||Company of the Star, Black Band, Italian Condottiere Band|
|Cisalpine||Company of Saint George, Company of the Star, Company of the Hat, Company of the Rose, Cisalpine Condottiere Band|
|Sicilian||Sicilian Condottiere Band, Sicilian Band|
|Magyar group||Band of the Fields, Band of the Arrow Rain, Company of the Saint|
|Mongolic group||Location Horde, Army Under the Sky, Riders of Mongol location, True Khan's Faithful, Company of the Yurt, Steppe Dancer's Band, Chastisement of location, Band of the Father, Company of the Goad|
|North Germanic group||Thinglith, Army of Kylfingar, Company of Jarl Landless, Huscarls of the Sea, Band of Firesmoke, Queen's Hird|
|Norwegian||Birchers of location|
|Danish||Border Reaver's Band|
|Sahelian group||Sahelian Band, Company of Awkar, Followers of Kayamagha|
|Senegambian group||Sahelian Band, Company of the Gambra, Followers of Sundiata|
|Somali||Company of the Leopard, Gondershe Band, Guardians of Almnara|
|Beja||Army of the Crossing, Beja Place Band, Riders of the Mountains|
|Afar||Company of the Leopard, Gondershe Band, Guardians of Almnara|
|South Slavic group||Stratioti of location, Wayfarers of location, Band of location Stratioti|
|Bosnian||Bitter-Winter Band, Knéževi of the Road, Forest Wolves|
|Vlach||Sheperds of the Romans|
|Bulgarian||Company of the Skull Cup, Brothers of Bayan|
|Turkic group||Location Horde, Army Under the Sky, Turkic Riders of location, True Khan's Faithful, Company of the Yurt, Steppe Dancer's Band, Chastisement of location, Band of the Father, Company of the Goad|
|West African||Sahelian Band, Company of the Gambra, Followers of Sundiata|
|English||White Company, Hawkwood's Band|
|Anglo-Saxon||Retinue of Hengist, Wake's Guard, Band of Horsa|
|Scots||Border Reivers, Warband of the Great Hall, Company of the King's Son|
|West Slavic group||Companions of the Woods|
|Pomeranian||Oder Free Company, Company of the Dog|
|Czech||Free Lances of Brandýs, Army of the Ore, Company of the Cruel Hand|
|Polish||Drużynan Host, Free Company of the Pospolite|
|Polabian||Band of the Fallen Knez, Company of the Stout Horse|
|Slovien||Freelances of Velehrad, Army of Morava Bend, Company of the Faithbearers|
|Yoruba group||Yoruba Band, Company of the Niger, Followers of Oduduwa|
Holy orders are independent military organizations that work to defend and expand the influence of their faith. Each holy order has a Duke rank title.
Rulers can create a holy order via the Found Holy Order decision. The decision costs and then requires the ruler making the decision to choose an owned castle or city holding as the order's headquarters. The designated headquarters title is leased and may be revoked at any time by the title holder and revoking a grandmaster's last lease will destroy the holy order. When a holy order is created the ruler who created it will become its Patron and the order's grandmaster will belong to its faith and culture.
Rulers of a holy order's faith may hire them if they are at war with a faith considered Hostile or Evil, regardless of casus belli. A ruler may only have one holy order hired at a time. Hiring holy orders costs Piety unless the ruler is the order's Patron, scaling on the maximum amount of Levies and Regiments the holy order has. Holy orders remain hired for as long as their employer is at war with someone of another faith.
Holy orders have 500 Levies, 2 Knights and 2 Regiments. Each Holding they own provides an additional Regiment and 200 Levies and every two Holdings they own provide an additional Knight. Their Men-at-Arms do not gain bonuses from the buildings in its Holdings, but rather from their employer's buildings.
The first king or emperor upwards in the liege hierarchy of the holy order's headquarters is their patron. It is possible for a holy order to have no patron if no such ruler exists.
Patrons of a holy order may hire them at no cost, as long as they belong to the same faith. They may also take any leased holdings from the order. A Ruler that is a Patron of a holy order may get events that allows them to grant holdings to the new holy order. If a Patron takes a loan from the order and does not repay it, the Order may choose a holding it wants (usually a city) and demand that it be leased to them.
If a holy order is hired by another character, its Patron can repay their employer the Piety hiring cost to hire the holy order. This option is not available in multiplayer if the holy order is hired by another human player.
When you raise a holy order, they spawn at the oldest existing army assembly point in your realm.
It is often advantageous to establish a holy order or become one's Patron as soon as possible if you border hostile or evil religions. It acts as a free army in holy wars unless rented by another ruler. They can grow quite large on their own with no oversight by the player, sometimes snowballing into a 5-6k heavy infantry stack by 1044.
Although you have to be at war with a hostile or evil ruler to raise them, they can fight armies of your faith in other wars. One strategy is to maintain one province minors of a hostile or evil religion on your border, so you can declare a holy war against a weak ruler at will. In a war against a ruler of your faith, you can declare a holy war against the one province minor, raise the holy order, and use them in the war against your stronger opponent.
All members of a holy order, including its grandmaster, gain the Order Member trait. Rulers may also use the Ask to Take Vows interaction to send courtiers to a holy order, as long as the following conditions are met:
- Has none of the following traits:
- Order Member
- Is not your Court Chaplain.
- The faith has a holy order whose leader is not a rival of the ruler
- Is adult
- Is not imprisoned
- The faith's View on Gender doctrine allows the prospective member's gender to serve as commanders or knights
- Has a martial education
Note that sending characters to a holy order is available even if the faith doesn't have the Monasticism Tenet.
If a holy order's headquarters is lost, the holy order will select a new owned holding to fulfil the role, with a preference for holdings within the current patron's realm. However, if the holy order loses its last holding, it will be disbanded.