Mercenaries are hired, often very powerful soldiers that can be paid to fight by your side. They are easily found in taverns, but they can also be acquired by attacking caravans and then convincing the surviving caravan guards to join you. You can also rescue them from parties that have destroyed caravans.
If recruited from taverns, they will demand an initial fee which is based on the type of mercenaries and number available. The more mercenaries you find at once, the better deal they will offer. If you do not have enough money for the whole group, they will allow you to hire only as many of them as you can currently afford.
Faction parties will regularly attack any caravans that belong to their enemies, so it is quite common to find a faction party carrying a few Caravan Guards. Mercenaries should be used sparingly to supplement an army intent on besieging a town or castle, or to fill in the roles of a particular unit a faction is lacking in. Their higher upkeep costs make them unattractive to most adventurers or captains, but as expendable soldiers they are abundant and put up a reasonable fight.
In With Fire & Sword, mercenaries are much more common in war parties other than the player's compared to the first games. Mercenaries are still hired the same way.
Note that female troops are not technically mercenaries, as they are not paid mercenary wages (which makes them significantly cheaper). However, for the sake of convenience, they are classified as mercenaries here.
Females are much harder to come by than their male counterparts, and can only be hired by recruiting formerly captive women into your party.
There are several mercenary types:
|Townsman • Farmer||Peasant Woman • Refugee|
|Caravan Guard • Mercenary Crossbowman||Huntress|
|Mercenary Horseman • Mercenary Swordsman||Camp Defender|
|Mercenary Cavalry • Hired Blade||Sword Sister|