Filling the shoes of a classic title that Warband has become over the years is no small task, so the developers have turned to one of the most tumultuous periods in human history, to take inspiration from to help them in their task
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is a prequel, lore-wise, to Warband. AS Warband was set in the mid to late medieval era of history, so is Bannerlord set in the last century of the ancient era. The world's most prominent power, the Roman empire, has splintered, and the mass migration of peoples has begun, escaping the hordes of nomadic warlords nipping at their heels, settling new territories, which aren't peaceful in and of themselves either.
Enter, Bannerlord, and the Calradic Empire. The Empire has split after the death of its latest Emperor, and now forms three separate states:
The Northern Empire represents the Western Roman Empire, Surrounded on all sides by enemies in the form of civilized states or encroaching barbarian hordes, it is a state destined to fall, a great machine in a place a blunt tool is needed.
The Southern Empire represents the East Roman Empire, sharing borders with factions that represent Arabs and some Asian tribes, it is the state built upon a dream of the late Emperor, and his descendants.
The Western Empire has no true real-life counterpart, but it encompasses all the opportunistic generals who used a time of unrest to carve out their own domains.
These three are the main driving force of the era, with all others utilizing opportunities created by their splintering and subsequent warfare.
Sturgians represent the Indo-European people who migrated to Europe during the Great migration, the Aserai represent the various Caliphates, after Islam united the Middle East and North Africa, Battania is, quite obviously the Celtic people, with Khuzait representing the various nomadic warlords, and Vlandia being the fledging European kingdoms.