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So I've captured these three lords from the Kingdom of Vaegirs who keep looting my only fief - a situation I'm getting rather frustrated with.

Is there anything I can do with them, except sell them? I'd like them to rot in some prison somewhere. I believe this will also weaken the enemies' army.

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3 Answers 3

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There are several reasons why you'd want to keep the prisoners.

  1. Some lords may give you a quest to bring them a noble of a certain faction. Usually for prisoner exchange. If you have a handy stash of them on hand its much easier.
  2. Like you said, keeping the lords on hand means they can't raid your stuff.
  3. If you manage to capture the marshall of the opposing faction, then it'll be much harder for them to mount a serious assault on something until their king appoints a new marshall, which leads to...
  4. If you capture their king and hold on to him, you can prevent their side from declaring peace if you want a long, drawn out war.
  5. Every once in a while you'll get a ransom offer from the faction to get their lord back, its free gold at that point.
  6. Also, every once in a while when you talk to a lord in your faction, your marshall, or your king they'll offer to buy the prisoner from you for some gold.
  7. As dbemerlin mentioned in his answer, building a jail in your castle/town and putting a prisoner in there drastically lowers their chance to escape. (I believe the default chance is a 50% escape rate every 72 hours for a prisoner in your party, but only 10 or 20% if they're in jail).
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3  
Ransoming kings is the way to go. I got close to 20,000 gold for the King of Rhodoks! –  Fluttershy Jul 13 '12 at 12:42
    
@Fluttershy for sure, but in one of my games I made it a goal to capture the king of every faction and drag them around with my warband like sacks of potatoes, so I turn down the ransom offers there. –  z ' Jul 13 '12 at 12:43
    
@Fluttershy Now that's truly a king's ransom... –  fluffels Jul 13 '12 at 13:22
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@fluffels YYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHH! –  Fluttershy Jul 13 '12 at 13:25

If you have a castle or city, you can garrison them there as prisoners. If i remember correctly it also prevents them from escaping unless the opponent captures this castle.

You still can't do more with them than ransom them or keep them imprisoned forever.

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putting prisoners in the garrison doesn't prevent them from escaping. If you have a jail in the city it lowers their probability but they can still escape. –  z ' Jul 13 '12 at 12:28

If you manage to capture the marshal of the opposing faction, then it'll be much harder for them to mount a serious assault on something until their king appoints a new marshal, which leads to... If you capture their king and hold on to him, you can prevent their side from declaring peace if you want a long, drawn out war.

If you capture the marshal, another will be appointed. More damage is done to his reputation by the fact he led the army into defeat as the lords of the realm start to distrust his ability, this can eventually lead to a series of bad marshals with a series of large scale defeats, effectively crippling their armies.

Capturing the king however does NOT handicap their faction in any way other then less troops, they still hold feasts in the kings court, they still offer peace and they still assign marshals.

Just 2 days ago, I was fighting Swadia in a long drawn out war to assist my idiot allies under Graveth's banner, I captured their king and dumped him in my "kings jail" (I keep the defeated enemy kings in my own jails before I wipe out the faction).

While he was in jail he made peace with my allies, and shortly after proposed peace with me.

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