The "Mercenary Captain" virtue says "You lead a small company of mercenaries (5 to 10), for hire to the highest bidder. You are much like a knight-errant, only without the prestige."
Does this imply that as a knight you can have a retinue of similar size without spending extra points?
Or would you charge extra virtue for a knight's squire, page, a few spearmen (or archers if 14th C) etc?
My understanding is that if showing up for feudal service, the knight likely has some kind of armed retinue.
I would not expect a knight-errant to have that, but any other kind of knight, probably.
My thought was 'Knight' pretty much requires a page/squire to help with extra horses, dealing with all the kit etc. If they don't have them in the field, e.g. they've been killed, it's a problem that needs resolving.
A larger retinue, say a bunch of spearmen, I thought would be extra. Except the 'Mercenary Captain' virtue seems to imply otherwise when it says 'like a knight-errant'
Rules for this you find in Lords of Men (LoM) p.11 Military:
Simple knights are accompanied only by one or two servants. Wealthy lords have tails of between eight and ten knights during peacetime, sometimes accompanied by other mounted warriors and infantrymen.
So a "simple" household knight will only have his "one or two servants" to accompany him. However, a landed knight (see ArM5 p.44 Landed Noble) might have to provide at least a full "lance" of soldiers to his liege in war time.
That makes sense. Thanks.
So if you want armed retinue, beyond squire/page, there are two options that you could take additional to 'Knight'.
Major Virtue: Landed Noble - gets you armed retinue, multiple 'lances' if also 'Wealthy', plus all the other 'Landed' benefits.
Minor Virtue: Mercenary Captain - just a small armed retinue, and you need to find employment, useful for younger sons and whatnot.
And as a Mercenary Captain, you have to pay and feed your men from your military activities.