Their units consist of 1 Caravan Master and a random number of Caravan Guards. Every time you talk to the caravan, their face looks different, even if it is the lone caravan master you are speaking to.
The quest demands that you escort the caravan to a town chosen by the guild master. The guild master says that it must reach the town within 15 days, but you don't actually have any time limit.
You can't escort more than 1 caravan at a time, the guild masters won't give you such a quest if it already is in progress. So if you are tired of the merchant caravan quest, accept one, and make them wait somewhere secure, like next to a town. now the guild masters are open for new quests. When the quest is completed, you get + 1 in relation with the town you accepted the quest, a small monetary reward, and some experience. Should the caravan be destroyed, the relation will deteriorate with -3 points instead.
You can tell the caravan master or the leading caravan guard (if the caravan master is dead), that they should follow you, or wait. The caravan acts as neutral, meaning that it won't aid you if you attack someone or if someone attacks you.
If the caravan are being attacked, you can help it out. Sometimes, if the caravan was facing overwhelming odds, you will get an increase in relation with someone called commoners. This increase counts for every merchant caravan, meaning that the next time it happens with a different caravan, it will be added on to the amount of relationship you already have with the commoners. Relation with commoners is not known to have any value.
With Fire & SwordEdit
In Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword, the player can initiate caravans by speaking to the mayor in towns and fortresses, earning profit by purchasing a caravan of goods for low prices and selling for higher prices in other towns. This can be an effective way of earning thalers, particularly early in the game before the player aligns with a nation. When speaking with the mayor, the player chooses which available goods to transport, the number of those goods (in groups of 5, 10, 15, or 20), and the destination. Then, the player selects the size of the guard which will accompany the caravan master on the journey. If all of a caravan's guards are killed, the caravan is destroyed and all goods are lost. Once those selections are made, the caravan will make the journey on its own to the destination.
The trade skill influences the amount of information the mayor offers regarding prices. For each point in trade, the mayor will tell the player the price for the selected good in one other town.
Tips for maximizing caravan profitsEdit
Following the steps below can ensure high profits from organizing and escorting caravans.
- Gather a sizeable party: Gather a party of between 20 and 30 soldiers before you begin caravaning. This will greatly reduce or even eliminate the chances your caravan will be attacked by brigands, looters, deserters, or raiders, as they will run from your party.
- Choose the largest possible caravan: Speak to the mayor in a town and discuss trade, then ask about sending a caravan. View each of the options and keep in mind which goods offer the largest caravans. Great caravans of 20 goods earn more profit per trip than small caravans, so it's always best to take the largest caravans possible.
- Assess prices: Without agreeing to send a caravan, back out of the mayor's menu and go to the marketplace. Select "assess local prices." After a short wait (depending on your trade skill), you will receive information regarding where goods will sell for the highest prices.
- Return to the Mayor: Now return to the mayor and choose the goods that will offer the largest caravan. Select the destination that offers the highest prices for that good.
- Choose Two Guards: There is no reason to pay for guards beyond two because you will be accompanying your caravan to its destination.
- Make the Journey: Back on the world map, right click on the caravan and choose "accompany." Your party will automatically follow your caravan to its destination.
A short example will illustrate the above process. In Reval, the player speaks to the mayor and finds out that he can send caravans of Smoked Fish or Linen. Clicking on each of those options reveals that a great caravan (20) of Smoked Fish can be organized, as opposed to a small caravan (5) of Linen. The player then exits the mayor menu and goes to the marketplace to assess local prices. From that, he learns that selling Smoked Fish in Kiev would earn a profit of 99 thalers per item. The player returns to the mayor, selects a great caravan of Smoked Fish, hires two guards, and then accompanies the caravan all the way to Kiev. Once he reaches Kiev, the player starts the process over again to send another caravan for high profits.