The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 1: A Scotsman In Egypt - Introduction

Come gather around, and hear my tale, for it is both an inspirational account of man's ability to survive and even excel in alien surroundings.... and a warning of the horrors that a man's inability to admit defeat can bring to the innocent.

In the year of our Lord, 1080, England was ruled by the mighty William The Conqueror. But in the North, Malcolm III ruled Scotland and pressed his people's position by irritating the English King, knowing that his attention was more wont to stray to France, and that if suitably prodded, Scotland could gain much from England in their effort to do away with the distraction.

But the King's sons had other ideas.

Edward - eldest but young still - was a bloody-minded fighter who was quick to anger and famously impatient. His younger brother Edmund was smarter, but cursed with a reputation as an academic and weakling. Both Princes of Scotland sat together in Edward's room one fateful night, both heavily drunk and complaining about what had earlier been their reason for victory drinks. They'd taken the rebel town of York on the ever-shifting border with England, and the Council of Nobles had eagerly rewarded them for their work with donations of money. But the earlier heady celebrations of a triumphant return home from a hard-fought victory (Edmund's first firsthand experience with war) had turned melancholy, as they discussed the "mission" they'd been given.

"We're Princesh of Shcotlan," snapped Edward angrily,"Nae bloody erran boysh!"

"Who th... who the heh are they tell ush what tah do!" agreed Edmund, then raised himself up high and lifted an arm imperiously, squeaking in a falsetto,"Aye, be gooh ladsh now, an fetch us a Yorksh!"

Edward stared wide-eyed at Edmund, then burst into laughter. He thumped the table and wiped tears from his eyes as Edmund slumped back into his seat, head buzzing and a wide grin on his face.

"Da... Dadsh losht it," grunted Edward finally, after gaining control of himself,"Finksh hesh sho sma... sho smart, playsh all the anglesh, buh wha he don.... wha he dinnae geh.... wha it ish....."

"ECSHACTLY!" cried Edmund, standing up.

"YESH!" roared Edward, leaping up himself and staggering backward as he almost lost his footing.

"We... We shoul be Kingsh!" proclaimed Edmund.

"Huh?" muttered Edward, struggling to get his treacherous fingers to wrap around the mug's handle,"Nae, I'm older I getsh tah be King firsh."

"Thatsh nae fair," sulked Edmund, dropping back down into his seat.

"Oh come on.... fine, we'll both be Kingsh then," grunted Edward, then paused to think for a moment,".....Kingsh of where?"


The next day, Edmund woke with a groan, clutching at his sore head. He sat up in his bunk and swung his feet around to the floor, then hauled himself up with a belch. He swayed and cursed whatever ale they'd drunk last night, so potent that even now it seemed that the floor was rocking and rolling like a... like a.... like a boat!

Staggering out of the cabin with a sick feeling in his stomach, he stared in horror at the sea surrounding him, and the coast far to his left. He clutched the rail to keep his balance, and felt his belly roll once more as he looked back to his right and saw another Scottish ship sailing parallel to them, and just like his own, that ship's decks were lined with soldiers!

"King Edmund!" laughed his brother's voice, and he twisted about to see Edward staggering towards him with a drink in one hand - probably more ale - and a sloppy grin on his unshaven face.

"King? Edward, what the hell is going on!?!" he cried, clutching at his head as a bolt of pain shot through it.

"We're on our way, Edmund!" laughed Edward, apparently no worse the wear for a night's drinking,"Ye came up with the plan last night! We're going to make our own Kingdom, we grabbed our forces from the battle of York, made up some crap about a secret mission to get a couple of boats, and we left Father behind to deal with the nobles and England and arranged marriages and all his own crap.... we're going to be Kings!"

"Kings? King's of where!?!" spluttered Edmund, aghast.

"I asked the same question last night, and ye said ye knew a place from your books where the Kings have slaves and are treated like Gods, and ye can drink what ye want when ye want, and all the lasses wander about with their kit off" grinned Edward,".....we're going to be the new Kings of Egypt!"

Edmund doubled over the ship's railing and let the contents of his stomach loose.


The single Scottish ship pulled into the port of Alexandria with a shudder, and Edward was the first to storm off with a nervous Edmund in tow. He'd been in a horrific mood ever since they'd lost their second ship to a Rebel boat further back along the coast. Most of the men had been saved, and they'd escaped capture or worse at the hands of the rebels, but Edmund was concerned that Edward had settled into one of his infamous bad tempers. As they'd travelled on towards Egypt, Edmund had spent much of the time convincing his Brother of the folly of taking on one of the mightiest nations in the world with less than 2000 men, and seemed to be getting through to him. He had been sure that once they landed, Edward would spend some time whoring through Alexandria, drink himself into a stupor, get into a fight and then travel over to the Italian Peninsular with him and write to Father asking for forgiveness. But ever since the naval battle, Edward hadn't responded to any talk on the matter.

Alexandria was a good sized city, close to the ocean as well as the Nile River, giving a green look to Egypt not familiar to Edmund from his studies. To his great surprise, he saw a familiar face standing on the dock smiling at him, it couldn't be.... but it was!

"Hello Edmund, Edward," Patrick greeted them with a warm smile,"On behalf of Sultan Al-Mustansir, King of Egypt, I welcome ye to Alexandria."

"Ye.... ye welcome us?" asked Edward, perplexed.

"Aye, I arrived a week ago to sign an agreement between Egypt and Scotland to end the threat of Moorish rebels to the West. I explained all about how King Malcolm was so committed to ending Rebel influence that he was sending 2000 of his best troops, along with his own two sons, to lend aid."

"He..... he told the Sultan we were coming....?" hissed Edward, and Edmund felt his heart sink as his brother's face turned black with rage.

"Aye," replied MacDougall uneasily, having obviously not foreseen this reaction.

"He twists everything, he..... he...." gasped Edward, straining for breath,"We were going to be Kings.... he cannae.... he cannae just.... he......"

"Now Prince Edward, be reasonab...." started MacDougall.


"Wha..." gasped MacDougall as Edmund felt numbness washing over him, and soldiers on the docks recovered from a moment of shock to react with the precision drilled into them in the military,"Nae, nae! Ye cannae do this! We have a deal with these peop...."

"FUCK YOUR DEAL!" roared Edward, startling MacDougall with his vehemence,"FORWARD! TO THE GATES! KILL THE FUCKING EGYPTIANS! KILL THEM!"

Soldiers began marching at the order, ignoring MacDougall's frantic protests even as they buckled on armor, pulled themselves up onto horses and looked across the dusty plain separating the port and Alexandria's gates.

Inside Alexandria itself, Sultan Al-Mustansir stared with wide eyes from his balcony at the force marching towards the city, obviously preparing for battle.

"Seal the gates, man the walls with archers!" he hissed,"Send birds to Tulun of Taba and let him know the Scots have broken their pact! If we can hold the walls, he can have 1000 men here within a week! I'll have the Scottish Princes' heads sent to their Father for this treachery!"

At the port, McDougall rushed to Edmund's side as the younger son calmly strapped on his armor.

"Ye have to do something, this is madness! Edward will never take the walls and we have nae provisions, reinforcements will come up within a week and wipe us all out!"

Edmund turned a look on MacDougall that chilled his soul, as he saw for the first time that Edmund appeared not only resigned to this course of action, but almost indifferent to its consequences. As if reading his mind, Edmund spoke,"I have worried myself to death on this trip, agonising over the consequences of a night of drunken boasts spoken in jest gone too far.... now there is nothing that can be done about it, all there is, is to make the best of a bad situation."

Stalking over to a wicker cage of birds offloaded from the ship, Edmund coolly reached in and pulled out a dove, then flung it into the air. MacDougall watched perplexed, then heard a massive cheer go up from the Scottish troops. Turning, he saw to his shock the gates of Alexandria standing wide open.

"My studies... and my Father, taught me always to be prepared for any eventuality," hissed Edmund,"I had a spy leave the ship days earlier and make his own way into Alexandria, he has opened the gates."

MacDougall stared with wide eyes as Edmund mounted his horse and joined his waiting bodyguard, then rode with them towards the city as Edward poured his men through the open gates.

"The Sultan has a garrison of less than 200 men," he gasped,"The mad fools are going to kill the King of Egypt and bring ruin upon us all!"

And for now, that is my story. Return to me again, and I shall tell you more of the two Scottish Princes - one bloody-minded and quick to temper, the other intelligent and coldly calculating - who attempted to remake themselves as Kings of Egypt.