The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 2: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 1

Edmund struggled to open his eyes, which felt gummy and heavy. His head was beating like a drum, and his arms felt like they were being held down. With a groan he sat up and tried to support his weight on one arm, only to curse as his hand slid along the silken cushions that the Egyptian nobility seemed to favor sleeping on. The women were all gone, which pleased him; he hated it when they stuck around past their usefulness. He might have been known as Edmund the Chivalrous, but these women were not to be wed and bear children, but merely to be used for their more obvious charms.

"Will this blasted heat never end," roared a familiar voice, and the sheer curtains over the entranceway to his chambers were batted away by Edward, half naked and wildeyed,"Edmund, have ye nae got any women left?"

"I'd say ye've had enough, Edward," chuckled Edmund, holding his head,"In fact I'd say we've all had enough.... I dinnae know how ye convinced me sacking our own city would be a good idea."

"Aye, but twas fun was it not?" laughed Edward,"And the men needed a reward after that cursed sea journey here.... and the women..... by God Edmund, these Egyptian women!"

Together the two brothers stepped out onto the balcony, where a thin sea breeze did something to lessen the impact of the desert heat. Over the ocean and across the continent, and over another ocean and THEN over the length of England, that was their "home" of Scotland. But what had been a drunken boast had become reality, and though Edmund still thought it madness, he couldn't help but admit that Edward had succeeded in the impossible, they'd taken control of the Egyptian city of Alexandria and killed the Egyptian King.... technically making them Kings, according to Edward.

Edmund thought the rest of the Egyptian Royal Family and their armies might have something to say about that, though.

"This Tulun laddie," muttered Edward,"When he saw we'd killed his King, he turned tail and headed into the Desert.... that says something about him, does it not."

"It says he is smart," came a new voice, echoing what had been in Edmund's mind,"He had less than 1000 men and we controlled the walls, he pulled back to gain new men and prepare siege equipment."

The two "Kings" of Egypt turned to stare at Patrick MacDougall, the young Diplomat their father had sent to Egypt to (unsuccessfully) prevent war between the two nations. MacDougall had studied at the same schools as Edmund, though he was younger, and the Prince believed that Father had sent him in the hope of some bond of friendship to be stronger than his bond with his Brother.

"So ye're back, are ye," grunted Edward, who did not like MacDougall,"And what has ye weak jabbering gained for us? Have ye signed another deal on behalf of Father that leaves us little more than servants?"

"I have spoken with Tulun of Taba," replied Patrick, ignoring the insult,"And while he turned down my offers of diplomacy, it did give me a chance to gain valuable insight into the situation of the Egyptians."

"And?" insisted Edward,"I dinnae have time for ye pontificating, MacDougall, give it to me straight!"

"The Egyptians are proud and stubborn, which I'm sure ye are familiar with," grinned MacDougall, and was rewarded with a surprised smile from Edward,"But the food they offered was scarce, their clothes were frayed at the sleeves and their armor - though polished - was battered.... given the late Sultan's eagerness to accept our previous offer of assistance.... I believe the war with the rebels has bankrupted them."

Edward roared with laughter, throwing his arms in the air,"It's almost enough to make one believe there really is a God! We attack at just the moment the Egyptians cannae afford to mount a counter-attack!"

"Don't be so quick to claim divine favor, Edward," warned Edmund,"We're not exactly awash in money ourselves, running this city will cost us; the price of mercenaries given the war between us, Egypt and the rebels is astronomical, and we need to reinforce the troops we brought from Scotland."

A diplomatic cough caught the three men's attention, and they turned to see a messenger standing in the doorway. Edmund raised an eyebrow at the crest the messenger wore, that of a member of the Papacy, and cursed Edward's earlier mention of God, or the lack of one.

Edward took the message from the man without a word, a scowl on his face, and Edmund knew what he was thinking. Their Father was religious, and put great stock in the approval of the Pope, had he requested a favor from the Pope? Was this a demand from God's representative on Earth that they cease their Egyptian adventure and return to the cold, wet highlands of Scotland? Edward read over the note, his scowl changing to a wide-eyed look of wonder before a huge smile lit up his face.

"Servants!" he cried,"Take this messenger and treat him like a King! Feed him, bathe him, and clothe him in the finest silks!"

The messenger raised an eyebrow but did not object as ever present servants materialised seemingly from nowhere to see to his needs. Edmund had to admit that the Egyptians had done a good job of breaking down their countrymen into perfect servants.

"Dinnae be so quick to claim divine favor, Edward!" mocked Edward, mimicking Edmund's earlier words with a high falsetto,"I dinnae remember much of my interminable Bible studies, Brother, but I do remember this.... God helps those who help themselves!"

And he handed the scroll to Edmund and Patrick, who stared in shock at what it read.


Edmund sat on his horse looking at the high walls of Jerusalem nervously. He had seen large cities in the past, his status as a Prince of Scotland and his education had taken him to some of the greatest cities in the world. But Jerusalem was something else, even for someone like himself who took religion as just another duty to be performed on Sundays. The city was history itself, the home of major religions and major conflicts about the same.

He and Edward had set out with the bulk of their army from Alexandria, leaving behind enough men to dissuade any Egyptian army from attempting to retake their Port City in their absence. Edward had insisted they make contact with Tulun of Taba before taking ship to Jerusalem, and they'd engaged in an unsatisfactory skirmish with Tulun's archers, killing a large number of Egyptians but failing to prevent Tulun himself from escaping.

But things were different now, they'd sailed past Gaza and arrived at the walls of Jerusalem, and it was here that their ranks had swelled massively. Religious fanatics from around the world had responded to the Pope's rallying call, and been waiting only for a leader to take them into Jerusalem itself. Other Nations had been raising armies to join the Crusade, but providence had seen to it that only the two Scottish Princes were in place to take control of the religious mercenaries, and they'd spent almost every last florin they'd brought with them to bring the men into their ranks. Edmund had to admit that religion had its uses, for the cost of a small band of Sudanese swordsman he'd purchased shortly after the sack of Alexandria; they'd gained almost 1000 fanatical fighters to help them take Jerusalem.

Edward had changed on their journey, after their victory over Tulun he'd taken to following the advice of a grizzled old Scottish veteran who had fought by their Father's side in his youth, and when they'd been surprised by a large force of Egyptians on their way to their ship, the Veteran's advice had been pivotal in turning the course of battle and gaining them victory. As they'd approached Jerusalem, Edmund had been surprised to hear Edward talking about strategies to take Jerusalem while reducing their own losses, a far cry from his strategy in York and Alexandria, which had been to overwhelm the opposing army and decimate them.

Now Edmund sat his horse with a smallish force of the religious fanatics they'd added to their ranks, staring first at the high stone walls of Jerusalem lined with hundreds upon hundreds of archers, and then down the field before the city, where Edward was leading the bulk of the forces. Edmund's mission here was hardly a glorious one, he was to hold position with his men unless called for, and otherwise simply make sure no surprise reinforcements came to aid the rebels holding Jerusalem.

Edward stared wide-eyed at his men, of such a number that they stretched the entire length of Jerusalem's city wall. He felt euphoria now before the battle that he usually only felt at its climax, which he put down to being the infectious religious euphoria of the bulk of his new troops. They were itching with excitement, eager to kill heathens, and his original Scottish troops seemed to be getting caught up in the religious fervor too, and Edward knew he had to be careful to ignite that smoldering flame with just the right words. He lifted his sword high, and felt the hairs on the back of his head raise up as the entire force suddenly went quiet, waiting to hear him speak.

"Okay lads!" he roared,"Let's get the bastards!"