Mount & Blade - Preview @ Jolt
Mount & Blade has been previewed at Jolt:
Once you’ve beaten up your first few peasants, it’s time to head out into the big wide world. Or, in this case, the big wide overhead-viewed world map. When you hit your first settlement, echoes of Pirates can again be felt as you visit the town elder for a quest or hire some local scruffs to join you. Quests range from training up the population of villages so they can defend themselves against bandits, to delivery assignments which will likely take you into a town.
Towns are usually fortified castles that preside over their own area, of which there are five in all. A wider variety of quests can be picked up here, as can more skilled (and more expensive) mercenaries to join your entourage. Visiting the rulers in these places can see them asking you to carry out favours for them, such as assassinating their enemies or more general bounty hunting.