Cities and towns now have population. The demographics are not affected by culture at the moment. Settlements of different sizes exist, but the population composition is not affected by technological progress, etc, which will of course be added.
Thievery mission added for heroes. You can send a hero to steal gold from a site. This can result in capture, death or a nice sack of loot! Beware that trying to steal from the same place several times in a row will probably not succeed, and if your hero is caught or spotted it will cause diplomatic tension. Heroes with a high guile rating are much better at thievery – martial prowess, however, is useful if the job is botched and a daring escape is needed.
Work on random events has been done: Sickness event actually kills population now and ends after a while. Your heroes can participate in tournaments – even if it may not result in much. Work is in progress on fleshing out the events and adding more.
Size of the starting army has been reduced. You can still use the cheat menu to gain lots of regiments if you want a huge army to test conquest. But the current starting package is good for testing difficulty and pacing of the early game.
Hero experience gain has been implemented. Level up is only available once enough experience has been earned. A few more masteries are available upon level up depending on hero class and culture.