As your caravan traverses the wide regions of the world of The Banner Saga, your heroes come upon a multitude of events and encounters. Most of them are scripted events, being part of the main story, and always trigger at the exact same locations and conditions. However, the game features a pool of events that may trigger at random parts of your journey and mostly affect the welfare of your caravan:
What follows is a summary and a brief description of the random events that your caravan may encounter in the first part of The Banner Saga. These random events may trigger only during the travels of Rook's caravan, in Chapters 2, 4 and 6.
“Up ahead!” a scout shouts. “Some giant hall, but it’s empty.” You approach the structure but recognize none of the markings. The walls seem unsteady at best. “Finally, sleeping beneath a roof,” you overhear. Several families begin unpacking.
Issue: Whether to spend the night inside this strange building or not.
Trigger conditions: Your caravan must comprise a number of Varl.
Guide: Option 2 is optimal, option 3 losses moral, and option 1 losses both. Option 4 doesn't end the event, but wastes time.
A woman’s stifled screams fail to overly concern anyone; it was only a matter of time before the expectant mother gave birth. The caravan is simply excited by this first sign of new life since the trip began.
A flurry of snowfall seems to come out of nowhere and quickly thickens until you are unable to see the man in front of you. You shout out a complete halt, but the screaming winds drown out the sound. A day passes before the blizzard abates and clansmen start to reappear from the snow drifts."
Issue: How to recover from this unforeseen weather attack.
Ahead, you find what appears to be a good number of peasants surrounded by brigands. One of the armed men looks over his shoulder and says, "Gods be damned, this is all I need. Listen! Don’t interfere and one of these supply wagons is yours.” While remaining silent, the peasants plead to you with their eyes.
Issue: Brigands ask you to stand aside and get a share of the loot.
The sounds of a skirmish alert you to a varl surrounded by half a dozen armed fighters. One man spots you and shouts, “Leave us to our business! This varl killed my father without reason!” The varl is about to respond when a man attacks. The giant swats the blade aside and silently watches for the next assault.
Harsh words from one mother to another draw the attention of the entire caravan. “My daughter marries Ragni, or no one! That reed-thin tramp you call a daughter won’t provide sons!” The insulted mother bares her teeth, ready to attack.
Issue: How to deal with this sensitive matter. This event plays out in two parts.
A well-tended farm with plenty of livestock draws the caravan’s attention. Upon your arrival, the farmer and his workers stand defensively within plain sight, crude weapons at the ready. Their crossed arms make their thoughts clear without a word.
Issue: Do you lay hands on this farmer's property?
Possible outcomes: -5 Morale / -10 Morale, +36 Supplies
Trigger conditions: --
As you're nodding off to sleep, shouts of “Fire!” pull you back to attention. Flames quickly consume a supply wagon and a few tents. A woman cries out, “My boy!” and points to a burning tent closest to the outlying varl. Two of the giants are motionless, staring at the spreading fire with terror in their eyes.
Guide: Option 1 is the worst. Option 4 saves all supplies, but costs 5 moral. To save the boy, pick option 2 to save 25 supply at the cost of 5 morale.
“Stop!” a resolute voice calls from somewhere in front of you. The surrounding terrain comes alive with armed fighters surrounding the caravan. “No need for bloodshed,” the leader says. “Leave a couple wagons and pretend you never even stopped here.”
Issue: What do you do?
Possible outcomes: +5 Morale / -20 Supplies / FIGHT
Trigger conditions: If Krumr is with your caravan, you can entirely avoid the fight.
A scout returns with a nearly-frozen child. “I almost stepped on her in the snow. Looks like she must’ve been running from something,” he says. Patches of blue mottle her pale skin, but her chest rises and falls ever so slightly. "Even just carrying her along could kill her in a state like this," says a woman. "We could be in danger here," points out another.
Issue: What do you do with this strange child? This is one of the most intricate random events, playing out in three parts.
Possible outcomes (1st part): +5 Morale, +1 Day / -5 Morale / +1 Day
No encouragement or tales of glory will lift the spirits of the caravan. “In the North, we have times like this,” says one of the varl. The other giants grin, raising tankards and horns of mead. “Skal!” they shout and make short work of their drinks, explaining that each person takes a drink when someone tells a story that is more miserable than the last. Others join them for the second round and mead is passed your way.
Trigger conditions: Your caravan's morale must have dropped below Normal, at least once.
Guide: Either chose option 3 for +30 moral, or option 2 to save 10 supplies.
“Someone’s been nicking extra goods from the supplies,” a concerned woman tells you. “Counted these myself yesterday, no mistake. This keeps up, we’ll all be starving before long.”
Issue: What do you do about these missing supplies? This is one of the most intricate random events, playing out in three parts. You lose 5, 15 and 20 Supplies for each of the three "parts" of this random event.
Guide: In parts 1 and 2, make decisions that don't alert your clansmen to the issue. In part 3, select text option 4 (Using the brother as bait)
A gaunt man and woman approach the caravan, hands held high. “A word, friends,” the man says. “We are poor farmers, down on our luck...“ The woman hits him and says, “We’re outlaws, plain and simple. Ten of us and we’ll help you in a fight for some food up front.”
Issue: What do you do with these outwardly honest outlaws? This event plays out in up to two parts.
Possible outcomes (2nd part): -10 Fighters, -15 Supplies (What do you know... They were outlaws after all!)
Trigger conditions: --
The caravan consists of more clansmen than you ever expected. Accusations of stolen chickens, missing heirlooms, and concerns over daughters’ virtues are the sorts of things you hear relentlessly. Even fighters complain of spreading too thin to protect everyone.
Issue: As a leader of this caravan, you are required to address this issue.
Trigger conditions: The Clansmen in your caravan must exceed a certain number.
While walking, the words of a mother’s song reach you. It’s soothing, nuanced, and about your current journey. When she finishes, a man begins a tale of his own in verse. The woman quickly responds with another poem and the entire caravan slows to listen to the entertaining competition.
Issue: What do you do about this sudden uplift of spirits?
An old man sits astride an overgrown portion of the trail. “You lost?” you ask. He adjusts the leather strap on his head, and says, “No. Are you?” He jumps up and shuffles toward the caravan, his tattered clothes revealing no weapons.
Issue: What do you do with this strange fellow? This event plays out in up to two parts.
Possible outcomes (1st part): None / 5 Morale
Possible outcomes (2nd part): +20 Supplies
Trigger conditions: --
A group of men with broad shoulders and thick cloaks approach the caravan. “They might be outlaws!” you hear nearby and the idea quickly ripples through the clansmen.
Issue: How do you deal with these rough looking men?
You notice most of the varl pacing while others sleep. Their brief conversations with each other and other clansmen grow shorter and sharper. “Go away!” roars one varl at a young girl asking him too many questions. All the clansmen stop and stare.
Issue: What do you do about this strange behavior from the Varls of your caravan?
Possible outcomes: -5 Morale / +10 Morale
Trigger conditions: The Varl in your caravan must exceed a certain number.
Some clansmen have discovered a large patch of wild fruit. When you approach, you see some people have begun to sample them. A mother frets about whether they’re safe after overhearing one of the children say that it tastes funny. Others start gathering by the basketful.
A trail of blood leads to a clearing where you find a large, wounded varl. He is gnawing on his shield, swearing at no one in particular, and occasionally slamming his cudgel on the ground. If not for the heavy bleeding, you’d leave this one alone without a second thought.
Issue: How do you deal with this giant-in-distress?