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I know you can get them from razing villages, or by buying them. But what do you do with them?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Cattle has two main uses. One of which may be more useful than others.

  • They can provide food for your army
  • They can often be used in quests from Village Elders, or your Marshal (if you are following them)

If you purchase some cattle, you can interact with them on the world map. You will be given two options: Butcher or Move the Herd (I don't remember the exact wording, but these are close).

By choosing to butcher the cattle, you will receive meat in your inventory which will provide food for your party until it is consumed, or spoiled. It's not the cheapest way to get food, but it can help if the town has nothing else.

By choosing to move the herd, you can corral them to another city, or to your Marshal's Army, should the Marshal (or Village Elder) ask for cattle. This will increase your reputation with whomever requested the cattle.

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Note that the cost of cattle can vary wildly. Between villages, I've seen the price range from 22 up to 1500 denars per cow. After you buy cattle, the price will increase dramatically in that village; so try to never buy from the same village twice. – AndrewNordFace Jun 8 '13 at 2:09

One of the quests that you can get from a village is to bring them cattle. In addition to increasing the village's loyalty, I believe this also has an effect on its prosperity. When you have cattle they appear as a separate entity on the map. You drive the herd by moving your party towards it. The cattle will move generally away from your party (this takes some trial and error) until in range of the village, and then disappear. You can also overtake the herd, which will give you the option to stop them or drive them forward.

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