The Banner Saga created by Stoic.
Images used for educational purposes only.
Chapter One

Main Walkthrough

Welcome back! After a harrowing introduction to Ubin, Hakon, Ludin and their many buddies, the story suddenly shifts to some new, human protagonists. You've got two caravans to watch over, after a fashion, and this second one is a bit more frail than the first. Will the two ever cross paths...?

Well. No need to worry 'bout that now. You're facing a battle. Off ya go.
  • Starving Dredge
Hey, new characters. How about that. You now have control of Rook and Alette, a pair of human archers, and they're up against a lone dredge. A very simple battle, this - just keep your distance from the thing. Whittle its Armor down with normal attacks at a range, then move in with Rook and use Mark Prey to make both characters attack at once. Repeat until dead. Alette is not good at close encounters, so get in the habit of keeping her - and any other archers you recruit - in the rear lines.

- DECISION. Either you can forget the supplies, gather them before more dredge come, or try to take on more dredge. In all cases you'll simply flee for nearby Skogr, though if you take some time to gather you'll gain 15 Supplies for your efforts.

Iver, one of your most stalwart companions in The Banner Saga.
He'll serve you well throughout the game.

- Rook will parley briefly with Iver, a beefy varl with a greater like of humans than most of his kind. Eventually you'll get the choice to send Alette away with Egil or insist they fight the dredge. If they stick around you'll have some extra help in the next battle. Recommended - both are good characters for a variety of reasons.

- Head for the Houses next. You'll receive notification of the next battle via an 'Assemble Your Heroes' screen; put Iver and Egil up front on the Turn Order so they can run out in front of everyone else and absorb punishment.
  • Dredge Grunt x3
  • Dredge Stoneguard
This is a tough battle, especially if you don't have Alette or Egil along to help.The Dredge Grunts are standard fare; the Stoneguard is both tough to knock down and pretty vicious in handing out damage. The key here is to let Egil and Iver stand up front and absorb most of the damage while Alette and Rook skulk along the edges of battle, hitting with ranged attacks. Let Egil Shield Wall on the first few turns while you wipe out the Grunts, then employ him in whittling away at the Stoneguard's Armor. If you get lucky and the Grunts / Stoneguard ever line up, use Iver's Battering Ram to hit multiple enemies at once. Last, most important for the Stoneguard, use Mark Prey over and over once they're in range of Rook to deal significant amounts of Strength damage to your foes. This will get more and more painful for them as their Armor drops.

This battle is still doable with just Iver and Rook, but it's certainly more difficult. This time you'll want to stay back and draw the Grunts away from the Stoneguard, pegging them constantly with Rook's arrows. Once they get close enough, double team them with Iver and Rook, making constant use of Mark Prey to get in double hits. You can kill two of the Grunts before the Stoneguard saunters up. Keep whittling past this and you shouldn't have too much trouble winning (though Iver will probably get knocked out before the round is over).

Rook, Iver, and company battle the dredge in The Banner Saga.
Let Iver take the lead and support him from the sides.

- IMPORTANT DECISION. After the battle, Iver will decide to check some houses. Rook can keep watch as he does or argue for retreating immediately. If you decide to stand watch, Alette will be attacked; you can either shout at Alette, shoot the dredge with an arrow, or run at it with your axe. If you shout at Alette to run, or if you try to go at it with your axe, Egil will jump in - and get killed while saving Alette. Ouch. Use the arrows and aim for the dredge. Everything will turn out fine.

- After chatting with Iver you can visit the Market. Use the Renown you've just earned to buy an item or two, as well as stock up on supplies. 15 to 18 supplies should do nicely, and if any cheap items are available you may want to snag an accessory to give your heroes an early advantage. Save some Renown for levelling up, though, as your characters really need to get stronger. (Which you may want to do in the Heroes Hall. Just sayin'. Don't forget to allocate those points after Promoting a hero!)

- Click on Iver's face to proceed. After a chat with the chieftain you can make a decision: trust Iver and leave, opt out, or say you can hold out in the Great Hall. They'll go with Iver's plan, regardless of your choice.

- DECISION. Either you disagree with Iver's next suggestion, agree and help him, suggest setting the town on fire as you depart, or ask about leaving the food behind. All of them wind up heading in the same direction, though if you don't dally and agree to help Iver from the onset you'll get an offer from Alette to help. Refusing takes her out of the party - though she'll wind up saving the Chieftain's life, earning your party 30 Renown after the coming fight.

More combat against the dredge in The Banner Saga.
This time Oddleif will provide support.
  • Dredge Grunt x3
  • Dredge Scourge
A tough fight, but you have lots of help. The Scourge is by far the most dangerous of the lot, and can pick off your archers quite easily if it gets in range. Keep them well behind your primary fighters while lobbing attacks at the first few Grunts in line, slowly moving down your right to stay out of the Scourge's fairly small walking range. After wiping out one or two Grunts - preferably with your archers still intact - focus all of your firepower on the Scourge, including Willpower. You want to wipe out its Armor within the first few rounds of attacks. Once that's done, continue the barrage with Strength attacks that will, hopefully, wipe it out rather quickly. Mop up any remaining Grunts.

- After the battle you'll receive a series of prompts. Rook can either help the fighters, try to keep everyone together, or order Iver to help him retake the supply carts which are threatened by the dredge. If you opt to retake the supply carts, you'll have another fight coming - though you'll start out with more supplies, naturally.
  • Dredge Grunt
  • Dredge Scourge
  • Dredge Stoneguard
Two big guys? Oh, what fun. This battle's not as bad as it looks, though, as your team is still bigger than theirs. Pick off the Grunt quickly with your archers, then send Iver to distract the Scourge while everyone else whittles down the Stoneguard. Its attacks aren't quite as bad as those of the Scourge. Once it's gone, continue the gang warfare against the Scourge.

- DECISION. After the battle the caravan will get underway. Shortly after it begins, you'll notice the caravan is stretched out. You can stop early, slow the pace, continue a steady pace, or rally everyone with a speech. A slower pace loses time; a steady pace loses you some people; rallying earns you 5 Renown.

- Iver will discuss leadership roles with Rook. What a happy fella.

A godstone in The Banner Saga.
These sites are places of worship.
- DECISION. If you wish you can stop to inspect the godstone of Hridvaldyr. If you do, a young girl will dash up and give you an item, a Bjarken Rune.

- Assuming you stop in camp, you can speak to Egil. He has a few things to say about himself.

- DECISION. Several men will appear, offering their services and the promise of animals. You can allow them to join you, ask why they're out here, or refuse them - and make sure they don't follow. If you agree to bring them on they will prove trustworthy, earning you 12 Fighters, 5 Renown, and 18 Supplies

- DECISION. Soon on the path one of the men will get into a drunken brawl. This man will serve as a point of contention several times on your way. You have several chances to give him the boot; it's probably wise to get rid of him early.

- You'll soon come to a small village on the way to distant Frostvellr. Here you can check a Map to see where you're headed, as well as the usual town stuff. If you've been making good decisions up to this point you should have enough Renown to afford at least a few new items for your heroes, which I highly recommend - though don't overspend. You need to keep Renown back for Promotions, as well.

- IMPORTANT DECISION. When you leave the village you'll get into a bit of a kurfuffle with some locals who want to abandon the town. You can try to convince the town leader to leave; you can exhort him to let his town decide; you can stay out of it; and you can say nothing. Ultimately you can get involved by siding with the villagers or the brothers, or stay out of it entirely; the next battle is determined by what you choose. If you leave the brothers to their fate you'll receive 50 Supplies and 15 Renown.

The world map of The Banner Saga.
Part of it, anyway.
  • Raiders
  • Thrashers
  • Backbiters
  • Archers
Not as bad as fighting dredge, but bad enough. You'll have Hogun and Mogun join your team in this scrap, though you'll also have to fight two Raiders who are basically stronger versions of your new companions. You also face a Backbiter, who has a charging attack that will do extra damage on his way past, and Archers who can be a nuisance from a distance. Nevertheless, this isn't a terribly difficult fight. Have your ranged support move back while the fighters gang up on the two Raiders before they can unleash their multi-hit attacks on your party. Take out the Backbiter next before he can use his dashing strike, then wipe out the Raiders last. Keep the Raiders apart with your numbers, as they get a bit of a bonus if they're fighting adjacent to one another.

If you win you'll gain the allegiance of Hogun and Mogun, as well as 165 Clansmen, 22 Fighters, 10 Renown, and 30 Supplies. If you lose, the twins will be killed.

- After the fight, Alette will ask if Rook is now chieftain. This will lead to a somewhat intense conversation about having to kill people. Yikes. Note that though Alette will kill humans and varl if commanded to in battle, she won't be happy about it. (And you'll lose out on an achievement. Tisk.) Commit her to shooting dredge if you don't want to ruin her childhood.

- DECISION. You'll now be in camp, and can speak to Oddleif. If you provide her with comforting answers - mainly pertaining to her being a 'strong' woman - you'll gain 5 Renown. Woo.

- DECISION. The next time you're on the road, some of your fighters will recognize the terrain and decide to leave and warn their kin of the incoming dredge. Eight of them will leave regardless of your choice, though if you see them off with a few Supplies you'll earn 5 Renown.

- DECISION. The caravan's drunk will act up before you reach Frostvellr. The first time you can choose to enforce sobriety or mete out justice. In the second he'll raise an alarm about incoming dredge; if you take him seriously you'll just waste your time. Punish his butt and you won't lose him from your caravan.

Frostvellr, a city under siege. More or less.
Your story can go a loooot of different ways here.

You'll arrive at the city to find that no one's being let inside. Great. You can either approach the gate or Rest, which opens up a few new options. If you choose to stick it out for the long haul, the chapter will end; if you simply choose to Rest there will be an upsurge of activity at the gate which you can check out the next day, potentially leading to another battle. There are multiple ways to get through this area:
  • IMPORTANT DECISION. If you check out the riot and you have Hogun and Mogun in your party the two brothers will join in the pandemonium. If you don't help them attack the gate they will get themselves killed. Sigh.
  • If you decide to handle things on your own from the start you have two options: either ask around for info or get Iver to try and push the gate open. In the latter case, Iver will succeed - and you'll have to battle the guards rushing out from within the city. See below for details.
  • If you refuse to try and open the gates, Oddleif will suggest checking out the Rest House. Here you can tend to the wounded, settle in and wait, rest a day, or leave. If you tend to the wounded you'll learn of a food cart that can get back into the city; you can opt to ambush this food cart, if you wish, and use it to get in. You can also approach the cart and speak to its leader, Onef, who will let you in voluntarily - or viciously guard the cart against you. See below for details.
  • If you have Egil in your party and ask around, by contrast, he'll find a water passage he thinks you could squeeze through. See below for details.

  • Raider Shieldsmen
  • Backbiters
  • Raiders
  • Archers
Ouch. This is a difficult fight. (Alette won't be happy 'bout it, either.) The Raider Shieldsmen are fantastic at bolstering the defences of their fellow fighters, and they'll do it constantly by remaining all bunched up. The Backbiters are painful if you let them linger on the edges for too long, and the Raider... well, he's a background concern, really. Edge your troops forward just enough that one or two enemies are tempted to come at you from their little huddle, then start wiping them out, Iver and Egil in the front. Archers take sides. If the Backbiters start to swoop around your group, back away a bit and pick them off with arrows until they come close enough to start doing damage. Don't attack enemies that are fortifying each other - go for the lone wolves that get too close to your lines instead.

  • Archers
  • Raiders
  • Backbiters
This fight's not too bad, though the Backbiters can be a real pain if you give them space to use their ability. Assuming you have him, send Egil out front and Stone Wall the majority of the hits while your ranged characters sit back and pick away at Armor scores. Get Iver in place to do pretty much the same, as well as contribute to any Mark Prey attacks open to Rook. Given the low Armor scores, this is a good battle for promoting your characters - though mind that Alette will be upset if she's forced to so much as hurt any humans. (Tough to deal with this child.)

- This will, regretfully, get you into another fight. Oh well, Renown is cool, right?
  • Backbiters
  • Archers
  • Raiders
Not that different from the previous fight, though now your group is surrounded. This actually makes it a bit easier. Group everyone up so the Backbiters can't chip away at your group so easily, then proceed accordingly. The Backbiters do the most damage, so they should take priority on your kill list.

  • Raiders
  • Backbiters
The big difference here is your company. If you choose this path, you don't have Iver on your team. Potential ouch? Quite potential. This battle is difficult, as you have three lightly-Armored archers and one defensively-minded (but small) character against six antagonists. Send Egil out front and have him Stone Wall constantly while your archers pick away at Armor and Strength scores alike. Don't kill enemies, just whittle them down until they aren't strong enough to get through your defenses. Backbiters take precedence in this, as they're far more dangerous than the Raiders.

- Afterward, regardless of your approach, you'll learn more about Frostvellr from Ekkill, a rather questionable fellow. You can opt to join him, raid Frostvellr on your own, or abandon the city completely. If you remain on in Frostvellr you'll have some more to do at the beginning of the fourth chapter, with greater chances of gain - and loss.

Chapter Three

Main Walkthrough