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The Banner Saga walkthrough: Character Recruitment

Updated on January 27, 2014
The Banner Saga is owned by Stoic. Images used for educational purposes only.
The Banner Saga is owned by Stoic. Images used for educational purposes only.

The Banner Saga is, among other things, a story-driven game. It sports a vast variety of branching possibilities, all of which can determine whether or not you'll get a particular character in your party. They come, they go, they occasionally die. Sometimes they'll stumble onto your path; sometimes they take a little digging to recruit.

This walkthrough covers the recruitment of the various characters in The Banner Saga, as well as the situations in which they may leave your party - sometimes for good. Be warned that it's impossible to end the game with every character, at least as far as I know. (Still under development, after all. If you found other entrance / exit points for these characters, let me know in the comments.)

Rook

Enters the Party: During Chapter Two. He's one of the main characters, y'know.

Leaves the Party: Depending on your choices, Rook may not be available for the final battle. If you don't want him to leave, give the silver arrow to Alette.

Alette

Enters the Party: During Chapter Two. She's Rook's daughter!

Leaves the Party: Like Rook, Alette can potentially leave before the final battle. Don't give her the silver arrow if you want her to stick around.

Iver

Enters the Party: During Chapter Two, when you reach Skogr.

Leaves the Party: Iver will depart temporarily in Frostvellr after fighting Bellower. If you stay in the city for three days he'll rejoin your party; otherwise he'll come back while you're on the road.

Hakon

Enters the Party: During Chapter One.

Leaves the Party: Hakon is the varl protagonist for Chapter Three, and he makes a return in one potential battle in Chapter Five and again in Chapter Seven.

Eyvind

Enters the Party: During Chapter Five.

Leaves the Party: He doesn't! Plot important characters are great.

Oddleif

Enters the Party: During Chapter Two.

Leaves the Party: Oddleif can die in Chapter Six if you recruited Onef but did not recruit Hogun and Mogun, or if Egil is no longer around.

Ludin

Enters the Party: During Chapter One.

Leaves the Party: Ludin is part of the varl caravan, and thus isn't available for Rook's chapters. He becomes a part of the party near the beginning of Chapter Three, and will stay that way unless you knock him out and send him off. You can also lose Ludin by allowing him to lead his men along against the dredge during the battle at Ridgehorn.

Krumr

Enters the Party: During Chapter Four.

Leaves the Party: Krumr wll leave for good if you abandon Einartoft without attacking the Bridge or helping out on that same Bridge. He can also die under certain conditions during the siege of Boersgard.

Egil

Enters the Party: At the beginning of Chapter Two, along with Iver.

Leaves the Party: Egil can die a number of ways if you're not careful:

  • He'll die during the invasion of Skogr in Chapter Two if Alette gets attacked and you don't kill the dredge with an arrow.
  • He'll die during the invasion of Einartoft if you offer to help on the Bridge on the second day but do not participate in an actual fight.
  • He'll die partway through Chapter Six if you recruited Onef. The presence of Hogun and Mogun may offset his death, but I'm not positive.

Poor Egil.

Mogr

Enters the Party: During Chapter One.

Leaves the Party: Mogr is part of the varl contingent, and won't be available to Rook's group for most of the game. He can die during the escape from Ridgehorn if you send him off as part of a diversion.

Eirik

Enters the Party: During Chapter One.

Leaves the Party: Eirik will only join you if you weren't a jerk to him in the first chapter, at which point he'll join Hakon's caravan early in Chapter Three. During that chapter you can also send him back to Strand with some villagers.

Gunnulf

Enters the Party: During Chapter One.

Leaves the Party: Gunnulf can die partway through Chapter Three if you order him to retrieve the gold cart when it falls over the cliff. Make any choice other than saving him and he's dead. Otherwise, he'll join Rook's group partway through Chapter Six.

Yrsa

Enters the Party: During Chapter Three.

Leaves the Party: Yrsa will leave if you beat up Ludin during Chapter Three. She'll also leave if you order her to set the forest on fire and lure dredge into it during an event in Chapter Three.

Bersi

Enters the Party: During Chapter Three.

Leaves the Party: Bersi will leave if you beat up Ludin during Chapter Three.

Hogun and Mogun

Enters the Party: During an event in Chapter Two. If you side with the brothers they'll join your party.

Leaves the Party: Hogun and Mogun can potentially depart a few different ways:

  • If you Rest at Frostvellr on the day you arrive you'll discover there's a riot on the second day. Check it out and Hogun and Mogun will be involved. Refuse to help them and they'll die attacking the gates of the city.
  • If you persist on traversing the Summer Path three times, one of them will die.
  • One of them will also die if you recruited Onef.

(I still need to work on these two. They seem to get murdered rather often.)

Griss

Enters the Party: During Chapter Three. Humiliate him during an event and he'll ask to prove himself to Hakon later. Accept his offer and he'll join up. Even if you reject Griss the first time, you'll receive another chance to recruit him later.

Leaves the Party: As far as I know, Griss is there to stay.

Nid

Enters the Party: During Chapter Six, but only if you encouraged Oddleif to train women as archers earlier in the game.

Leaves the Party: Nid sticks around for the long haul.

Ekkill

Enters the Party: During Chapter Four, but only if you entered Frostvellr and raided his supplies, per Onef's suggestion. Leave after doing so and he'll catch up to you on the road. You can then recruit Ekkill and his men. You have to recruit Onef to get Ekkill.

Leaves the Party: You have a few chances to kill Ekkill during conversations.

Onef

Enters the Party: During Chapter Four, if you entered Frostvellr in Chapter Three.

Leaves the Party: Onef will depart the party in Chapter Six. He'll also take Egil with him. Unless you really like Ekkill - and he is pretty awesome! - I wouldn't recommend picking up Onef. He's a jerk.

Sigbjorn

Enters the Party: During Chapter Six, if you save him during the dredge assault on the longhouse.

Leaves the Party: At the beginning of Chapter Seven. As far as I know there's no way to avoid his departure.

Fasolt

Enters the Party: During Chapter Three. He'll also appear in Chapter Four, and he's available as a party member during the battles of Chapter Five.

Leaves the Party: During Chapter Five. If you try to bring down the Bridge you'll have to kill him; if you leave Einartoft he won't come with you; if you fight on the Bridge for three days he kicks the bucket. Poor Fasolt.

... That said, if you fight two days in Einartoft then try to destroy the Bridge and surrender to the varl, Fasolt will still be in your party in Chapter Six. Huh. I get the feeling this is a glitch, so who knows if it'll remain true past the next patch. Thanks to Joel in the comments for pointing this out. (As of the latest patch, this no longer appears to work. Farewell, sweet Fasolt.)

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      Yuriken 3 years ago

      Had Hogun & Mogun both die at once on the second Summer Path day/war. I won both times (but didn't give chase to fleeing dredge.)

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      ipsen 3 years ago

      onef and ekkill will also catch up to you on the road if you leave frostvellr without entering. onef first with supplies, then ekkill later chasing onef.

    • MattWritesStuff profile image
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      Matt Bird 3 years ago from Canada

      Fair enough. I'd heard they could get killed by him from a few people, but I didn't see it myself. I'll edit it out 'til I get more concrete proof. Thanks.

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      finlay 3 years ago

      Onef only hurt Odd and Rook when he left on my game, and eyvind saved them both. Hogun and Mogun both survived! (egil died early on)

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      Jude 3 years ago

      Onef doesn't necessarily take anybody with him. Hogun, Mogun, Oddleif all survived in my game. Notably I didn't have Egil due to his prior death.

      Also I didn't need to enter Frostvellr for him to join, when I decided to press on from the camp outside the gates he asked to join, and Ekkill follows out to join then.

    • MattWritesStuff profile image
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      Matt Bird 3 years ago from Canada

      I've not found a way to recruit Ekkill without Onef, no. Without Onef you don't learn about the extra supplies, and without the extra supplies you don't get Ekkill on your tail. I had some dramatic difficulties remaining above the starvation point without Ekkill on the team (or without spending virtually every Renown I had on supplies, regardless of the exchange rate). I've never noticed a change in the supplies between chapters, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does.

      As it is, it doesn't really seem possible to beat the game in one go and get all of the achievements. If you want the starvation achievement, Egil will almost certainly have to die.

      And thanks for the note on the patch. It's a shame - Fasolt seems like he would be a great long-term party member. I kinda wonder if he'll pop up in a sequel, as he's not generic enough to be a throwaway member. Not to me, anyway.

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      Yuriken 3 years ago

      Just trying to understand the relationship between some things related to recruitment, death, and achievements.

      Is it possible to kill Onef at the food cart, but still have Ekkill join your party?

      Is it possible to get the no-starvation achievement without recruiting Onef? I am reading about (and saw myself in the first playthrough) significant challenges in the supply curve in chapters 4+...and seems that it's possibly impossible to reach Wyrmtoe without deaths due to starvation, unless you have the extra supplies. It also seems that your supplies with Rook's caravan reset between the end of Chapter 2 and the start of Chapter 4.

      Depending on how this all plays out - it seems that the major problem is Egil, since investing in him means you'll avoid Onef, and killing Onef seems to infer that you'll also lose Ekkill and the extra supplies as well (even if you get to keep one of Mogun/Hogun.)

      They also released a patch today - perhaps that changes some things...

      At least notable is a change in supplies for Chapter 6. However - this note is also relevant to some of the Fasolt discussion:

      "Fixed an error where Fasolt would stay with the party after Einartoft in certain branches."

    • MattWritesStuff profile image
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      Matt Bird 3 years ago from Canada

      Yeah, I've mucked about with all the possibilities. If you approach the supply cart you'll find Onef in charge, and if you attack anyway it's heavily implied that you kill him, same as if you just ambush it outright. Without him there's no mention of extra supplies, and without the supplies vanishing there's no Ekkill. Sadface.

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      Kenny 3 years ago

      I am replaying and am at Chapter 4. Just wanted to say that in my game, Onef did not join my party and thus I didn't get a chance to steal supplies. I was able to recruit him in my first game, where I took the waterway that Egil found into the city. The second time (this time) I went in by ambushing a supply cart. I think maybe Onef was killed at that time.

    • MattWritesStuff profile image
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      Matt Bird 3 years ago from Canada

      Really? Cool. Thanks, I'll give that a try today.

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      Joel 3 years ago

      You can keep Fasolt alive after Einartoft by fighting on the bridge for 2 days, then try to destroy the bridge. Once given an option to surrender or to defend Eyvind, choose to surrender. Rook will then be taken to the King but Iver rescues him which causes them to be banished.