What you have to remember. You are mercenaries. Soldiers see you as bandits, but you are soldiers for hire. It makes no sense why a mercenary company would start to randomly raid and pillage a town, unless another kingdom is paying you to.
Not necessarily. While I agree that mercenaries in THIS GAME shouldn’t just go around raiding and pillaging, it did happen in history.
Here’s a piece about a couple real-world mercenary companies. First, concerning the Catalan Grand Company…
“First organized in 1302 by the adventurer Roger de Flor, the Catalan Grand Company was primarily composed of rugged Spanish veterans of the War of the Sicilian Vespers in Italy. Left unemployed at the conflict’s end, De Flor and his mercenaries contracted themselves to the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II, who brought them to the Eastern Mediterranean to fight off invading Ottoman Turks. The 6,500-strong Catalans succeeded in sweeping the Turks away from Constantinople, but their penchant for wanton sacking and looting also drew the ire of the Byzantines. In 1305, De Flor and some 1,300 of his men were ambushed and killed by another group of mercenaries in the Emperor’s employ.
Rather than disband, the surviving Catalans embarked on one of the bloodiest and most bewildering adventures in medieval military history. Following an abortive attempt to establish an outlaw state in Gallipoli, they marched to Greece and found work as muscle for the Duke of Athens. But when a dispute arose over back pay, the Catalans once again went to war with a former employer. After crushing the Greek armies and killing the Duke at 1311’s Battle of Kephissos, they found themselves the de facto lords of the Duchy of Athens. Amazingly, the mercenaries managed to consolidate their power and rule over large swaths of Greece for more than 75 years until an army from Florence finally defeated them in battle. The remnants of the Catalan Grand Company disbanded shortly thereafter.”
And then there’s the White Company:
“The White Company was one of the most infamous of the so-called “free companies”—bands of for-profit soldiers who conducted the lion’s share of warfare in 14th century Italy. The unit first rose to prominence in the 1360s before falling under the command of Sir John Hawkwood, an Englishman who had been knighted for his service in the Hundred Years’ War. With Hawkwood at the helm, the White Company became known as one of the most elite mercenary armies in Italy. Its troops—a cultural hodgepodge of English, German, Breton and Hungarian adventurers—were renowned for their skill with the longbow and the lance, and they terrified opponents with their lighting-quick surprise attacks and willingness to do battle during harsh weather or even at night.
In an era when Italy was splintered between warring city-states and medieval lords, the men of the White Company made a killing auctioning their services off to the highest bidder. Between 1363 and 1388, they fought both for and against the Pope, the city of Milan and the city of Florence, but they were rarely out of the field even during times of peace. In fact, when unemployed, the adventurers often kept their coffers full by launching raids on nearby villages and towns.”
All that said, I don’t think we should go around raiding and pillaging in this game. I think the Devs made it clear they don’t want that. But there IS some historical basis for mercenaries basically acting as bandits, raiders and pillagers in their free time.