The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 19: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 18

"Baghdad!" chuckled Pope Stephanus to himself as he sat at his desk. The meeting with Gille Calline The Balleol last night.... oh what a divine comedy! God himself had seen fit to break the usually reserved Scotsman down, and the result was that the Papacy now held control over one of the great Cities of the Holy Land!

"Your Holiness?" asked a voice, and Stephanus peered up with surprise at a messenger that had entered unheard. He stifled a feeling of irritation at the disturbance of his revelry, he was after all The Pope, and meant to be above such petty emotions. He couldn't help but note a certain satisfaction, however, at the slightly awestruck look on the messenger's face, and he soon learned why,"Your Holiness, I come bearing a message regarding Baghdad... but you have all ready been appraised of the situation?"

"Hmmm, no," grunted Stephanus,"Give me the message."

He took the envelope from the messenger and broke the seal, reading through the contents with widening eyes, whispering passages of the text out loud in his astonishment and growing horror,".... unstoppable force..... laying waste..... rape camps..... slaughter of children.... Genghis Khan.... Baghdad..... BAGHDAD!"

"BAGHDAD!" he roared, leaping to his feet, his face turning red, the messenger stumbling back in shock,"BAGHDAD! SCOTLAND! THE BALLEOL! BAGH-"

"Your Holiness?" gasped the messenger, staring in horror at the red-faced Holy Father, clutching at his neck and make choking, gasping sounds. The Pope collapsed down behind his desk, and the messenger crawled desperately over to it and looked over the top, cringing as he asked,"Your.... Holiness?"


"We have an opportunity here, Edward," Edmund warned as they sat in the King's cabin, sailing along the coast towards Gaza. The Moorish Campaign had ended before it could begin, as Edmund had taken everything he knew about the Mongol Horde to Edward and convinced him of the wisdom in fortifying their Eastern Cities against a possible invasion. The handover of Baghdad to the Pope had been designed to put a buffer between them and the Mongols, as well as force the Pope to act (once removed) in their defence should the Horde come, but that would not be enough to stop them if Fearghus Campbell's assessment of their strength was accurate.

"The new Pope is likely to reconcile us, if historical precedent is anything to go by," grunted Edward, who was still angry that they'd not only abandoned the Moorish Campaign, but their skirmishes with the Sicilian army.

"I mean our opportunity to cast a vote for the new Pope," replied Edmund,"Our man in the College of Cardinals will vote as we instruct him, which provides us with a chance to gain the immediate favor of the new Pope."

"I know where this is going, Edmund," growled Edward,"Ye want me to order a vote for that Sicilian bastard, Lorenzo."

"Thanks to Sicily's work in the last Crusade, they've replaced us as Church favorites," warned Edmund,"While we are excommunicated, they enjoy the favor of the Church even as they attack us. If we support Lorenzo, he will look favorably at us and instruct the Sicilian King to concentrate on less formidable foes, such as Milan."

"Sicily laid siege to Cairo," hissed Edward,"I'll nae vote to make their man the most powerful person on the planet. We'll vote for Ansehelm from the Holy Roman Empire, they are our allies and better suited to the position of Pope."

"Fine," sighed Edmund, seeing he would make no progress,"But I want ye to know, Edward, this is a mistake."


"Ahhhh, Blessed be," grinned Pope Tomascius,"The Divine arm of God protects Sicily, woe be unto her enemies."

"Yes, Your Holiness," smiled Prince Uberto The Crusader, who had been taught religion by Tomascius when he was but a Priest named Lorenzo. Now he stood in the private chambers of The Holy Father, the Christ on Earth, supposedly the conduit between man and God.... and a Sicilian through and though,"And the Scottish....?"

"The Scottish!" cried Tomascius, spinning about and raising an arm high. Uberto was used to such theatrics; Priest Lorenzo had been well known in Sicily for his dramatic sermonizing and passionate vitriol against those he perceived as acting against God and the Church,"THE SCOTTISH! The flames of eternal damnation are too good for them! Those ignorant, kilt wearing savages sit in the hallowed halls of Jerusalem, Gaza and Damascus! They hold the lands where Moses led his people to freedom! They have attacked the good Catholic nations of England, Denmark and God's beloved Sicily! And they had the temerity to order their Cardinal to vote against me!?!? SCOTLAND IS A BLIGHT ON THIS EARTH! SCOTLAND ARE THE ENEMIES OF GOD! SCOTLAND'S RECONCILIATION SHALL NOT LAST! THEY SHALL FALL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF GOD THROUGH HIS FAVORED NATION OF SICILY! SCOTLAND IS.... SCOTLAND IS......"

"Your Holiness?" asked Uberto, had words failed Tomascius? If so, it was a first for.....

"NO!" cried Uberto, staring in shock at the Pope as he crumpled to the floor clutching at his throat, his face turning black,"YOUR HOLINESS! YOUR HOLINESS!?!?!"


King Edward struggled to suppress a look of satisfaction as the Danish Princess, Cecile, curtsied out of his court with a completely open look of naked gratitude on her face. She had come begging for peace and an end to the war the Danish had started when they'd mistaken York for easy pickings and faced one of the most humiliating defeats in their known history. Edward, who was not keen to see Scotland facing Denmark, England, Sicily AND the Mongol Horde all at once had been happy to agree, though he'd made a point of appearing to consider the proposal carefully. He'd signed off on a trade deal with Spain earlier which had taken up a considerable portion of his day, and with this peace deal agreed between Denmark and Scotland, his day was done.

He left the Court, accompanied by servants, guards and advisors, listening with one ear to their incessant buzzing as he longed to get out of the city and back onto the field. The Royal Family had grown to a sufficient size now that he could leave others to run the cities while he conquered on the field. He refused to become like his Father had been, trapped in the Capital and fighting paper wars on maps. He had forged a Kingdom in his own right, and meant to fight for every yard of it, and to fight to gain every new yard he could.

He entered his chambers and blinked in surprise. Edmund was standing there waiting for him, but Edmund was.... young! Younger than he'd been when they'd gotten drunk and travelled to Egypt over four decades ago!

"Edmund?" he asked, shocked.

"Aye?" asked Edmund, turning in his chair beside the man Edward had mistaken for his brother, still looking strong and vital but with the gray hair and lined face that he had grown into.

"Aodh?" asked Edward, a grin crossing his face as he realized his mistake,"Lad, ye've grown into the spitting image of ye Father!"

"Dinnae insult the poor lad," laughed Edmund, as Aodh tried - and failed - to hide a pleased grin,"17 years of age, and a man now."

Edward clapped Aodh cheerfully on the shoulder, wondering if the lad had ever gotten over the naiveté that had seen Nectan and Domnall mock him so mercilessly. If the similarities to his Father were not just physical, then surely he had.

"Edward, the election of the new Pope..." started Edmund.

"I told ye all ready, Edmund," grunted Edward,"I'll nae allow our Cardinal to vote for a Sicilian. Aside from the fact the bastards brought war to us, ye know I am a true believer in the Faith, and I cannae vote for a man to be Christ on Earth when I believe he'll burn in hell when he dies."

"I would nae dream of trying to convince ye otherwise, Edward," Edmund acquiesced, then smiled up at Aodh, who seemed perplexed and concerned over the decidedly disrespectful way his Father and Uncle were talking off the Pope,"But ye are a realist even if ye are as stubborn now as ye were when ye were Aodh's age and we were killing English."

"So ye have a plan then, do ye?" asked Edward, his frown turning into a grin,"What have ye come up with this time, ye crafty bastard?"

"Oh this plan is nae exactly what ye would call subtle," grinned Edmund.


He had been known as Lorenzo - a common name in Sicily, and a cause of confusion when the former Pope had been a Cardinal as well - but now he was Pope Alferius. He sat in one of the many richly appointed offices that were now his by right of the vote of the College of Cardinals, and the power at his disposal was.... unimaginable.

"Your Holiness," said a Sentry quietly and respectfully,"A diplomat from the Scottish Empire requests an audience."

"Send him in, please," smiled Alferius, looking forward to this. The Scots had been mad enough to have their Cardinal vote against his predecessor, and then him! Now would come the grovelling, as their barely reconciled Empire desperately tried to keep clear of excommunication once more. Well, Alferius had plans for them, and he didn't think the Scots were going to like any of them. Now that he was Pope, there was no force short of God that could prevent him from having his own way, and HE was the one who decided what God "thought".

The doors closed behind the Scottish Diplomat as he entered, and Alferius recognised Gille Calline The Balleol, a well known and well liked Diplomat who had dined with and maintained good relationships with Pope Stephanus. What he didn't recognize was the fixed expression of determination on the Diplomat's face, or the large sack he carried with him. Gille strode purposefully across the length of the office to the massive desk behind which sat the Pope, cursing himself for not standing earlier and now placing himself in a weak looking position. But he needn't have bothered, the normally subtle and careful Gille was acting under Prince Edmund's orders today, and he was anything but subtle.

"Your Holiness," he grunted, upending the sack he held and pouring a massive pile of florins onto the desk,"You have no problem with the Scottish Empire."

And Alferius, well known for his rather "uncatholic" tastes, stared at the money for only a few seconds before saying,"I have no problem with the Scottish Empire."