In the mists of times past, the regions between the Great Ocean and The Grey Mountains were secured by Gilles le Breton, and Bretonnia was founded. Now ruled by the mighty warrior-king Louen Leoncoeur, Bretonnia is administered across a number of dukedoms. Bretonnian society revolves around a deeply ingrained code of chivalry, and her people offer fealty to their Goddess, The Lady of The Lake. It is said that a Knight who distinguishes himself through honourable deeds may earn her blessing.
It is also an archaic, feudal society, where the peasantry till the soil in return for the protection of the nobles, thereby funding Bretonnia’s military. Each stratum of society has its vows and responsibilities. The Peasant’s Duty is to sacrifice nine-tenths of his earnings to his liege; in this way, the various knightly orders are kept in the manner to which they are accustomed. And while a younger Knight Errant may appear brash and dismissive to the serfs, he soon learns to adopt a more solemn and honourable bearing, befitting his sacred role as a protector of the realm.
These orders form the heart of Bretonnia’s armies, and rise in seniority from the Knights Errant, to the Knights of The Realm, the Questing Knights, the Pegasus Knights and the Grail Knights themselves – revered as living saints and often accompanied in battle by mobs of zealous Battle Pilgrims. The rest of the army is composed of levy bowmen, men-at-arms, mounted yeomen and huge, peasant-manned field trebuchets.
Bretonnia may be resistant to change, but the changing face of The Old World will not let them sit idle. To the east, the wild woodlands of Athel Loren are awakening. Vile Greenskins infest the nearby Grey Mountains, offering a palpable nearby threat. And Bretonnia’s northern coast is vulnerable to the seaborne menace from the ice-rimed marches of Norsca. Can the noble knights of Bretonnia rise to meet such recklessly destructive challenges?
The Kingdom of Chivalry
A Bretonnia campaign offers a uniquely different experience to the other playable races of Total War: WARHAMMER. Much of your success is built around how chivalrous your actions are – it’s a factor which can have a major effect on your kingdom, both internally and externally.
Your level of chivalry is tracked via a meter at the top of the campaign interface. As you perform certain actions, such as winning heroic victories in battle and completing quest chains, your chivalry rises, bringing with it benefits such as higher control (keeping your peasant population content and pliant), bonus unit experience and a reduction in corruption. Other actions, such as warring with other Bretonnian factions and sacking settlements, can reduce your chivalry. Low chivalry levels bring negative factors to your campaign, such as reduced Control and army Leadership. In extremis, this can contribute to rebellions across your provinces.
Maintaining a high level of chivalry is also important for your overall campaign success. As your campaign progresses and your chivalry reaches a certain threshold, you’ll be presented with a dilemma that leads to The Errantry War – a climactic endgame battle built around Bretonnian lore.
And of course, the legendary Green Knight will never appear for an unchivalrous leader…