That is a good example. One of the reasons I think that is so fitting to this game is because of the mechanics already in place: there are already villages with their own industries — dynamic economic elements, moving unites that fight each other, etc. There are even “ruined” areas — presumably where those industries are destroyed, or where battles take place.
A randomly generated story (like in Mount and Blade) would have those opposing factions involving you in larger plots — delivering messages, working in schemes, and aiding settlements in ways that affect their new industries, or prosperity. The developer’s log already shows how friendly and hostile units interact with each other — the key is to find more ways to get the player’s mercenary army invested — and involved — in their goals and aims.
For example, think about how many story elements you could uncover while trying to aid a medium-sized settlement in developing a mine — there would have to be certain terrain elements available, and perhaps a “survey” mission where you escort a team (just like the caravan escorts). Once you complete the escort, you find a potential industry — a dense woodland, tillable soil, or, in our case — an old mine or natural cavern where a mine could be created. Naturally, your next mission is to go in and investigate — who knows what might already dwell there? You could find goblins or orcs living there, or perhaps the mine could be haunted. Once you “clear it out” you have to go somewhere else to get the supplies you need — another delivery mission! — and eventually the city has a mine. In the interim, you might uncover plots to steal or sabotage the mine — perhaps another faction wants the wealth there for themselves? Or they already have some inherited stake or claim? So
once again, the player has to choose a side. One side might hurt your reputation, but be far more profitable. The other might reward you with trade goods that may or may not be easily sold, etc.
This kind of decision-making and slowly-unraveling, randomly-generated story is what keeps a player immersed and invested in a plot, especially if it relates to goals chosen by the player. It adds lots and lots of hours, and works with the game’s current engine, especially utilizing code and content that is already there.
I would like to see something more like that in the current game. Those kinds of missions would keep me more invested and get more people I know following the project.