The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 38: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 37

Crown Prince Tamim hated the letter S.

To his West, the Spanish, to his East, the Sicilians. Two Nations that had between them whittled away the once vast holdings of the Moors and left them with only the Desert City of Algiers and the inhospitable sands to the South. It was the Spanish he feared the most, their warriors were fierce and their armor and weaponry beyond compare. The Sicilians were fierce as well, but their King's latest obsession was with Venice across the sea to the Northeast, with their coastal cities left lightly garrisoned as a result.

If Tamim had his way, he would march his army to Tunis and wipe out the Sicilian Garrison there, but he knew doing so would only satiate a momentary desire for vengeance. After that, the full force of the Sicilians would come down on the Moors, and even if they fought them off, the Spanish would be waiting to crush what was left.

So now he did what he could to safeguard what small portion of land the Moors had left. As the more immediate threat was the Spanish, he had taken his men on manoeuvres to the West to dissuade the Spanish from marching against them.

"My Prince," noted a Commander respectfully,"One of our scouts returns."

Tamim noted the man approaching, riding a camel at full speed, lashing at its side with unmistakable urgency. He frowned, the only reason for such haste was for news of great import, but was it good or bad? He had a feeling he knew.

"Speak," he demanded as the Scout staggered off of his exhausted camel and staggered to his knees before his Prince,"What news from the West?"

"M.. my Prince....," gasped the Scout, breathless and sweating profusely,"For-- for-forgive this... humble.."

"OUT WITH IT!" demanded Tamim.

"It's the... the S.... the S......" moaned the Scout, and for the first time Tamim realized he wasn't simply exhausted but driven near mad with fright. His eyes were bugging out, sweat ran freely down his face and his eyes mouth was constantly working even when he wasn't speaking,"The S....."

"The Spanish? The Sicilians? Who man!?! How many!?!"

"S.... S..... SCOTLAND!" screamed the Scout,"THE DEMONS OF SCOTLAND APPROACH!"

Tamim's eyes widened at the unexpected news, and looked to the West where the Scout had come from, seeing the first signs of a rising dust cloud, lifted by the hooves of hundreds of horses and the feet of hundreds of men. The most dreaded fighters in the world were on the march to do battle with the Moors, and Tamim spoke the words out loud that all the Moors knew.

"We are dead men."

Tamim fought desperately as the unending wave of Scottish rolled over his men. As his most trusted friends and comrades died around him, he saw an armored figure beneath the banner of the Clan Canmore. The man pointed directly at him, and suddenly he was surrounded by Scottish on all sides, dragging him from his horse as he flailed uselessly to try and prevent them. Hitting the ground, he was pinned down as the battle moved on beyond him, and he stared up through squinting eyes and gritted teeth at the armored Scotsman who had ordered his capture, watching as he rode past without a second look.

"Ye just relax now, lad," chuckled one of the men holding him down,"Ye part in this fight is done."

He watched in desperation as the few surviving members of what had been his army were chased down by the Scots, wondering as he did what they were doing here. The last he had heard Scotland was recovering from its expensive war with Milan, how had they moved so many men to Moorish land without creating tensions with the Sicilians?

Tamim was hauled to his feet as the Scottish returned to formation, and he noted a number of the many horsemen rode under banners both Scottish AND their own personal family crests. This was no ordinary army, these were Noblemen that had wiped out his men, which meant that a man of great importance must be leading them. He had heard that King Domnall was locked away in mourning for the death of his twin, Nectan, but it seemed the man thought war and conquest was more important than honoring his brother. That was disgraceful, a man should put the life of his Brother above all other concerns.

The Scottish Noble who had ordered his capture approached, and Tamim fixed a suitable unimpressed scowl onto his face. This man rode under the crest of the Canmores, so it seemed to Tamim that he had been defeated by a truly worthy foe, the King of Scotland. But then the man removed his helm, and Tamim's emotionless mask shattered in shock. Dim memories of a trip to Alexandria twenty years earlier, seeing the same man during a diplomatic meeting between the Moors and Scotland. The man's hair hadn't been so dark then, but the face was the same and the eyes unmistakable, he'd never seen such cold, hard eyes on any man, even his Father.

"Edmund Canmore," he gasped,"What devilry has kept you young and alive? I heard you died facing the Mongols."

The man laughed, though the laughter did not touch his eyes.

"Edmund Canmore?" chuckled Aodh,"Nae, but ye'll soon wish I was. I intend to use ye in a far crueller way than my Father ever would have."


Sultan Jalaf stood on the walls of Algiers and stared at the vast Scottish horde stretching out before the final stronghold of the once mighty Empire of the Moors.

And his Brother.

Aodh Canmore stood behind the kneeling Crown Prince Tamim before the walls, a sword held to the back of Tamim's neck. He had just called up the conditions for Tamim's release, Jalaf would take the men he had left to him (less than 100) and leave Algiers, paying a 10,000 florin ransom for his Brother. They would then be free to disappear into the desert and survive as best they could. The price was clear - Jalaf's Empire for his Brother.

He refused.

"Very well," muttered Aodh carelessly, then shoved his sword through Tamim's neck and out his throat as the Moor stared in horror up at the walls and his older Brother. The last thing he saw before death claimed him was his Brother turning his back and walking away.

"Bombards!" snapped Aodh,"Smash down their gate, the fool's pride has brought him a few extra minutes of life, but I'll nae let him have any more!"

Inside, Sultan Jalaf sat his horse and buckled on his armor, preparing to join his Brother in death.

"Why did you refuse their offer!" gasped the Commander of his Bodyguard and closest adviser,"We could have raised a new army, or found a new desert stronghold far from the Scottish and Spanish and Sicilians-"

"All I have left is my Empire, such as it is," interrupted Jalaf coldly,"I would rather die than live like a bandit in the deserts my Father once ruled over. It was better for Tamim to die than live like that, and better for me to die in glorious battle than alone and unmourned in some desert cave."

"You've killed us all," gasped the Commander, and Jalaf smiled.

"We were dead men the moment the Scottish landed on our shores, the least we can do is die with honor."

Aodh Canmore stared from the balcony of the Algiers Palace across the sea towards unseen Milan, where even now his Brother Domnall mourned the death of his twin, Nectan. He hated to admit it, but his Brother's mourning had given him the chance to make his move against the Moors, which in turn would allow him to take his next step. He heard loud laughter from deeper in the palace and hid a frown, practising again at holding back his emotions as Nevin had taught him. The Nobles he had recruited to his cause at Cairo were for the most part a useless lot, only handy for the mounted Bodyguard that rode with them. Some had potential, he had to admit, but most were young and more used to a life of politics and court intrigue. They had been enjoying the hospitality of his cousin, Aed, but had been quick to latch onto Aodh who was, after all, second in line to the Scottish Throne. So be it, let them think they were using him, he would use them instead. Each of them would get exactly what they wanted, power, but it would be as Governors of the Coast Desert Cities of North Africa.

"What next, my Lord?" asked Nevin, appearing behind Aodh as if from nowhere, speaking as if he had been reading Aodh's mind. For all the Scottish Prince knew, he had been, the man's knowledge sometimes seemed almost supernatural.

"My Father and Uncle Edward's campaign against the Moors was aborted before it began because of the Sicilians," he muttered, leaning over the balcony's stone railing,"Soon after the Mongols came and Scotland became locked in an expensive and brutal war that it won at the cost of my Father's life. Domnall had his revenge on the Mongols, now I shall take mine on Sicily. Let them suffer the same fate as the Moors, and the sooner the better."