The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 26: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 25

"There are four Warlords," Fearghus had told Edward and Edmund,"Each leading an individual force of close to 2000 men. They are young, fierce and eager for blood, and one above all the others is the most dangerous, Subutai the Merciless. Batu and Orda are able commanders, and a threat to us, and Berkai believes he has been granted a holy quest to exterminate all "foreign devils". But Subutai is their leader, and called Genghis reborn by some. It is believed he has led this force into our lands to claim the right of Khan from Chaghatai."

Edward and Edmund had immediately sat down and begun writing orders after hearing the news, sending word to Gawain and his armies in the field, then to nearby cities to send out units that had been prepared originally to finally put paid to Aradai and Chaghatai. Edmund dispatched personal letters to Domnall, Nectan and Aodh and then joined his brother as they once again prepared to ride to war with the Mongols.


Patrick MacDougall frantically made his way through the narrow streets of the slums of Cairo, fear and hope warring within him. When news had reached Cairo that the Mongols had been reinforced in huge numbers, he'd realized that there was a chance the Soothsayer's vision could come true... King Edward could die!

But he had to be certain, so he was returning to demand another vision from the old hag, and nothing would stand in his wa-

He pulled up short, staring in horror at the hag's shack, or rather the remains of it. All that was left was cinders, and upon the burnt remains was nailed a rough notice. He approached warily and read it, groaning in frustration when he discovered that after decades of performing her readings and visions, the Soothsayer had been executed for heresy.

He turned, thrusting the dead woman from his mind and instead thinking of finding a pub and crawling back into a bottle.


"My King!" grinned Gawain, stepping up and hugging his surprised liege. Gawain embraced him tightly, and then pulled back to arms length, clutching Edward by the shoulders as he grinned at him.

"By God it is good to see ye, again!" smiled Gawain, then hugged Edward again as the King stared horrified at Edmund, who shrugged and mouthed,"King Domnall."

Breaking off from Edward, Gawain approached Edmund with a grin, but the younger Canmore Brother stepped quickly to the side and grabbed one hand in a firm shake while clutching Gawain's shoulder, saying,"Good to see ye, Lad," before breaking off and stepping past. Edward hid a smile, and then his face became stern.

"Tell me of these new Mongols, Gawain," he grunted.

"They've learned somewhat from the mistakes of Chaghatai," Gawain replied, instantly becoming as stern and hard as his King. Edmund noted this with interest, the man might have been overly touchy, but once it came to battle he was all business,"There are roughly 8000 men approaching from the East, travelling together in force. Their sheer size means they lose speed, and they cannae all move as one so Batu and Subutai have formed a vanguard, but that vanguard still counts 4000 men."

"Do ye think they will come to us?" asked Edmund,"They must know by now that our forces ride to meet them, and if they ken anything of the layout of this desert they'll ken we mean to use it against them as ye did with Jebe and Bayan at Mongol Bridge."

"Aye, ye must understand the way they think, my Prince," nodded Gawain,"They ken we are here, but they ken that WE ken. If they turn and march South towards Baghdad, it will create the appearance of fear, and that will bring great dishonor on their Warlords, and that will lead to a lack of respect amongst their men, and that could lead to their Warlords being overthrown. "

"Also," added Edward,"They will want to prove their might over their fallen brethren. Jebe and Bayan came at us in force and Gawain wiped them out, now they must prove their manhood and power by doing what Jebe and Bayan could nae, defeat us."

Edmund nodded, he'd thought as much but still found it difficult to believe that any men who could create an army the size of the Mongols could possibly have their strategies and tactics so completely overridden by what was essentially a pissing contest.

For the Scottish were waiting for the Mongols at a bridge much like the one where Jebe and Bayan had been decimated, and it would be certain death for Batu and Subutai if they tried to take it.


"This is suicide," hissed Batu, watching from a distance the barely visible Scottish army moving into position,"We will die in our hundreds on that bridge, Jebe and Bayan died on a bridge much like that."

"The Skot-tish will die in their hundreds," replied Subutai curtly,"In their thousands."

Batu sat nervously, hating the effect the other Warlord had on him. Batu himself was respected and (more importantly) feared for his fearsome nature, but Subutai was something different, a presence that overshadowed and cowed all else. He waited now to hear if Subutai would continue talking. Sometimes he expanded on his orders, other times he merely gave them and expected nothing more than total compliance. The trouble was knowing when it was safe to talk back without creating the impression you were interrupting him.

"Hundreds of Mongols WILL die," Subutai added at last, speaking emotionlessly,"That is their duty and honor, to die for the good of The Horde. We will pile ourselves onto the Skot-tish line until it buckles, and then we will burst through and open the whole of their lands to us. They will kill our men, we will kill their men, and when all is said and done, their men will all lay dead and those of ours who have survived will be the stronger for it."

He fell silent again, but Batu felt his gaze upon him like some dreadful weight, and finally when he could take it no longer he turned to stare at the only man he had feared since Genghis Khan.

"You," Subutai grunted,"Will lead the vanguard onto the bridge."


King Edward rode his horse to the head of his cavalry and looked over his men with a swelling of pride. The Scottish were the hardest and toughest men in the world, and the men of the Scottish army were tougher still. These men, the men who had fought tooth and nail against the Mongols were the toughest of them all, the strongest and bravest men he had ever known.

"Remember ye orders, Lads," he called out,"Yon bastards will come at us hard and try to punch through our lines. We must hold and bring them down slowly."

He turned and looked at his Reserve Commanders, set back from the rest of the army. They were all horsed, ready to ride at a moments notice, and he fixed them with hard glares, remembering the near disaster at Mongol Bridge on Blood River. His voice lowered to a whisper that only they heard,"And if any of ye move before ye are given the official word, ye'll answer to me personally."

"These Trebuchets..." muttered Edmund, riding up beside Edward,"Would it nae make more sense to use our Catapults, they're more accurate and their operators experienced in their use."

"The trebuchets have a longer reach, Edmund," grunted Edward,"We'll need that today, and accuracy will nae be a concern as ye'll soon see."

"THE MONGOLS APPROACH!" cried a scout, and Edward moved forward to join his cavalry, leaving behind Edmund without a word. Edmund moved towards his own Bodyguard, unconcerned by the abrupt departure of his Brother, knowing he had other concerns than a polite farewell. For Edmund's own part, he felt that familiar (and welcome) numbness washing over his body. His thinking would be clear during the battle, without emotional attachment, and he could worry about the death and horror later, when the important work was done.

"The Mongols, my Lord," noted one of his mounted Bodyguard as he arrived, repeating what the Scout had already proclaimed to the Army as a whole. Still, one could see why he had brought it up. Watching the Mongols approach was an.... unforgettable.... experience.

"It is ye army still," Edward noted to Gawain,"Ye have more experience against these men than I, so give ye orders as ye see fit."

Gawain smiled grimly, and then raised his sword,"Archers! Fire!"

The archers - strategically placed on two raised outcroppings overlooking the bridge from two sides - did as ordered, following both the order to fire.... and to use fire.

Batu gritted his teeth as he and his men thundered down the bridge with fiery arrows coming down on them from above, and Skot-tish pikemen waiting braced before them. This WAS suicide, the Skot-tish held the Bridge, they were on an upward slope that negated the Mongol's horse, and they had a high vantage from which to rain down fire and death. But suicide or not, now that he was committed to the charge, Batu's blood was up and he wouldn't have turned aside for anything. Life was never sweeter than when death was looming above you ready to strike.

And then the Mongol's smashed against the Skot-tish line.

"Batu roared with laughter as he cast about with his sword in the crushing melee. The other Mongol horse were ramming into the back of the frontline and the Skot-tish Pikemen were true to their reputation and holding in place, their Pikes impaling horses and the soldiers themselves attacking the Mongols not killed by the charge. It was intense pressure on Batu's frontline, but it must have been even worse on the Skot-tish, and Batu realized that Subutai was right, the Skot-tish could NOT hold against this pressure, eventually the weight would give and then the Mongols would burst through in an unstoppable torrent.

Then the killing would truly begin.


"Shut ye gob, ye jabbering pile of shite!" grunted a Pikeman, and slammed his sword through Batu's throat as the Warlord leaned down to attack a nearby soldier.

"Batu is dead," grunted a Mongol Scout as the cry ran back through the Horde on the bridge.

"Good," laughed Subutai with a short barking sound,"Another rival gone, order the men to prepare. When the moment is ripe we will tear through the Skot-tish."


On the Scottish hill, Gawain watched the Horde pressing mercilessly against the straining, bracing Pikemen. Fiery arrows rained down on the Horde and killed them in their dozens, but there were so many, they just kept coming.

"Time to relieve those Pikemen of their pressure," he grunted,"Trebuchets!"

Edmund turned his head and watched with intellectual curiosity as the new siege equipment only recently developed were put into practise by the Scottish for the first time.

It certainly made a very good first impression on the Mongols.

"Edward was right, accuracy was nae that important," noted Edmund as the Mongol vanguard was wiped out and a gap between the Scottish Pikemen and advancing Mongols was created, relieving pressure on them.

"REFORM!" Gawain roared down to the Pikemen, then smiled,"And good job, lads!"

The archers let loose a cheer from their outcroppings, and Edward, Edmund and Gawain's bodyguard let loose a roar of approval shortly after. The Pikemen grinned amongst themselves as they moved back into position at the end of the bridge, picking pikes back up and bracing as the Mongols on the other side of the bridge prepared a fresh charge.

Gawain grabbed a runner by the shoulder and leaned down to whisper into his ear,"When the Mongols are solidly onto the bridge, I want the Archers and Trebuchet to unleash everything they have. I want Batu's army to join him in hell before he gets lonely, do ye ken?"

The runner nodded and rushed off, and Gawain sat back up, noting with interest King Edward casting an appraising eye over him. What could that mean?

Then all thoughts other than battle fled his mind as the Mongols charged down the bridge once more and the Scottish army unleashed its might on the mindless, seemingly endless Horde.

Mongol Archers who had been steadily marching forward at the rear of the Cavalry towards the bridge wavered and stopped as they watched Batu's entire mounted forces wiped out. Those that weren't obliterated by Trebuchet were burnt to death, or struck by flaming arrow, or crushed by the falling horses of the dead, or made it to the other end of the bridge only to die at the hands of the Skot-tish Pikemen.

The Archers hesitated, and then lowered their heads and pushed forward.

"Why do they keep coming?" growled Gawain in disbelief as he watched the unmounted archers moving onto the bridge and certain death,"I've fought these men in their thousands, I've KILLED these men in their thousands, and I still dinnae ken, why do they keep on coming!?!"

"Because they fear what is behind them more than what is ahead," muttered King Edward, watching as the Mongol archers were slaughtered mercilessly,"They fear Subutai."

Two remaining mounted Mongol Heavy Archers found themselves somehow, someway through the mass of surviving Pikemen at the end of the bridge. Their minds had shut down in horror from the bloodshed and death they had witnessed, and it was only instinct that kept them on their horses as the crazed animals bolted forward towards the Scottish archers, one of whom calmly lifted his bow and fired an arrow into the fleeing Mongol, setting him alight and dropping him in a flaming heap at the feet of his countrymen.

"This Subutai must be quite the monster to drive men forward into this," Gawain noted, staring at the burning Mongol horsemen.

"We'll have our chance to find out soon enough," grunted Edward, pointing over the bridge,"Here he comes now."

Subutai the Merciless had chosen his moment to smash everything left of the Horde Vanguard into the remaining Scottish Pikemen.

90 Scots to hold the line against 2000 Mongols.

"Gawain," snapped Edward,"We must give aid to the Pikemen!"

"Aye," nodded Gawain,"All Cavalry units forward!"

As the Scottish Cavalry began thundering down the slope towards the bridge, the Pikemen found themselves once more straining against the weight of 2000 Mongols. But where before they'd been close to 700 men bracing in place, now they were less than 90 and simply could not hold long enough for the Archers and Trebuchets to hammer at the Mongols on the bridge. Sheer force of numbers swept them aside, and the Horde burst through directly into the Scottish Cavalry, the two forces smashing into each other with terrific force as the Scottish fought desperately to hold the Mongols on the bridge and maintain the efficient killing corridor that had wiped out Batu and his army.

Edmund found himself in the thick of battle, not for the first time, but this was certainly the most intense situation he'd ever become embroiled in. He slashed effectively if roughly at the Mongols about him, still feeling the numb clarity that seemed so different to the wild, sometimes laughing bloodlust of his countrymen. In turn the Mongols swung at them, and his armor turned aside most attacks effectively, but he knew he was cut in multiple places. He felt a moment's amusement, if he survived this battle he'd finally have some scars to match the brutal war wounds that Edward bore without complaint. Then he heard a roar, and twisted his head about to watch in astonishment as a Mongol Horseman rode directly over his countrymen living and dead, sword swinging as he screamed in a fury that seemed to leave those around him struck dumb. He landed his horse between two Scottish cavalrymen, swung his sword to the left and through the armor of the unlucky man even as he blocked the swing of the man on his right. Grabbing the still living opponent by his throat, the Mongol roared and hauled the Scotsman into the air bodily and flung him amongst those on foot amongst the horse, desperately trying not to be trodden underfoot while fighting their enemies.

"That would be Subutai, I take it," Edmund muttered under his breath, and then the flow of battle pulled him away from the Mongol Warlord.


"MONGOL!" roared Gawain, and Subutai twisted his head to stare with a fierce grin as the young Scottish General charged at him,"I KILLED JEBE! I KILLED BAYAN! I KILLED BATU! NOW I WILL KI..."

Subutai lifted his arm and pitched his sword with tremendous force directly at Gawain, and the sword plunged into his neck, lifted him from the horse and sent him crashing into the ground. Subutai threw back his head and roared with laughter, vaulting from his horse and tearing his sword from Gawain's throat as the dying General gurgled and coughed up blood.

"Is this the best the Skot-tish have?" laughed Subutai, slashing down an approaching Scotsman on horse as he galloped by. He looked about, finding himself outside of the main flow of battle at the bridge-end, then twisted about with his sword up as he sensed eyes on him.

"Nae," whispered King Edward Canmore, stepping down from his horse,"Ye've nae faced me yet."


The Scottish Cavalry was beginning to fall back yard by yard as the inexorable weight of the Horde continued to bear down on them. Archers and Trebuchet continued to thunder down on those on the bridge, but more and more were clearing the Bridge and stretching out onto open ground. Mixing with and fighting the Scottish, the Trebuchet were effectively nullified, and the Archers could not open fire without running the risk of killing their own men.

Prince Edmund clutched at his left arm which hung uselessly at his side, his sword long since lost inside the belly of a Mongol. One of his mounted bodyguards was leading his horse away from the battle as Edmund cursed the loss of the bridge. The Mongols were gathering in force on the shore now, and soon they would rush up the slope where only archers and now useless trebuchet remained. The Mongols own archers would easily pick them off, while Mongol Mounted Lancers would run down those that tried to run. He needed to regroup with his men, find Edward and-

Edmund's thoughts cut off and his horse came to a stop, as did that of the man leading it. He sensed the din and roar of the battlefield fading around him as both Scotsman and Mongol saw what he had seen.

King Edward Canmore had engaged in single combat with Subutai the Merciless, dreaded Warlord of the Mongol Horde. Now the survivor sat his horse before the remaining Scottish Cavalry and the gathering Mongol Horde, staring with hard eyes at his enemies.

And Edmund and the gathered men stared in disbelief at the sneering face of Subutai the Merciless.