The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 52: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 51


The world was at peace again, though an uneasy, troubled peace. Scotland lay still, a slumbering giant that the rest of the world tiptoed about carefully, none wishing to suffer the same fate as Spain. The Pope spoke himself hoarse warning of the dangers of heresy, while the Holy Roman Empire struggled with an empire made smaller now made smaller by a split in its lands. For the first time in centuries, there were mutterings of having two Emperors again. Portugal found their once deadly enemies the Spanish gone from the world, replaced by the Scottish who had never made any aggressive move towards them. There were dark mutterings of the foolishness of Portugal's past aggressive diplomacy with the Superpower, and many nights found the Portuguese looking worriedly across their borders for an enemy that might come at any time. Denmark and Hungary both troubled themselves with internal matters, as their Catholic populations expressed anger over the ex-communication of their Kings. Venice sat surrounded and wary, clutching tightly to what small land it had left, while the once mighty Byzantine Empire looked out at a world it once ruled and wondered how it had all come to this. In the cold north-east, Poland sat confident and secure, the only world power left that could consider itself safe from Scotland. The alliance with Scotland they had brokered with the legendary Gille Calline the Balleol had served them far better than it had The Holy Roman Empire, and Spain had proven the cost of breaking such an Alliance. When Poland thought of the future now, it thought of a time when the world was divided along South-Western Scottish and North-Eastern Polish lines.

And what was left of the Russians fought amongst themselves for scraps of a once mighty Empire.

In Scotland, King Domnall and his son-in-law rode out of their newly conquered Spanish territories and came to Toulouse. There, Domnall visited with his cousin Adam and was introduced to the newest male Canmore, Kirk, delighting in the birth of a possible male heir even as he marveled at the changes to Adam himself.

In Genoa, Aodh Canmore continued his tutelage under Nevin of Shetland, learning still more about the art of Spycraft and the surprising revelation that a world at peace could be more dangerous than a world at war.

In Alexandria, Aed Canmore and Muriel Canmore found life at Court finally returning to a semblance of normality as the shock of their marriage finally wore off. The two had struggled at first with their own concerns over their marriage, was it one of convenience or love? But time together as man and wife had finally seen them embrace the marriage fully, and Aed had finally discovered what it was like to have a woman he could feel love for, while Muriel delighted in being with a man who recognized her as more than breeding stock.

And in Yerevan.... the Court sat empty.

North of Yerevan, an alien army moved armed to the teeth with impunity through the Polish territories. Riding at its head was a horrified Scottish Noble, Roy Macgoulchane, whose life had become a nightmare with one person looming large over every action he took.

Angus the Mauler.

"You paid HOW MUCH!?!" he demanded in a harsh whisper, eyes wide as Angus rode at his side, puffed up with pride and determination.

"15,000 florins," chuckled Angus,"Cheap at half the price, Macgoulchane!"

"15,000.... 15,000!" gaped Roy,"Ye dinnae HAVE 15,000 florins! Ye gave them a promissory note I assume, what happens when they demand the money, Angus!?!"

"I dinnae have 15,000 florins now, Macgoulchane," smiled Angus cruelly,"Money will nae be an issue soon enough, believe me."

"15,000 florins for military access to Polish lands," sighed Roy, shaking his head in dismay,"And for what? Some mad dream of military glory against an Empire that does nae exist any more!"

Angus let the corner of one lip lift in a half-sneer, half-smirk and gave no reply, and continued to lead his army towards Novgorod.

Towards Russia.


In Novgorod, Voislav Miloslavov stood staring at the corpse of the man he'd considered a father - Chernek Malov.

Malov had been the last of the noble blood of the Tsars, bastard though he had been, and the last chance for Russia to reunite under one banner once more. Now he lay dead, having apparently choked on his own tongue in his sleep, but Miloslavov did not believe it. The Danish and the Polish had both been eying their borders since the rebellions had done away with the sons of the late Tsar, who had been too distracted by their own power plays to prevent their overthrow. Malov had put together a massive army of mostly woodsmen and other peasants and taken Novgorod in the hopes of starting the Empire anew. Russians had killed other Russians in bloody warfare, but Malov had been successful, and restored pride to a proud people.

And now he was dead.

"What now, my Lord?" asked the elderly servant who had found Malov dead,"With Master Malov dead...."

"Now we continue on in his name," grunted Miloslavov,"Malov fought for Russia and gave it hope, and I will not let Russia's hope die with Malov. I swear this, I will fight to my last breath, till the last drop of blood is gone from my veins, to recreate the Russian Empire."

The servant bowed as Miloslavov strode from the room, knowing that despite Miloslav's youth, the man's word was his bond. As long as he lived, he would not let Novgorod fall.


Cassandra was not pleased.

She'd never expected that Adam would ever sire a child with his wife, even in his youth his seed had struck her as weak, and there had long been rumors about his own father being lame of loin. But it had happened, and she'd instantly recognized that the fool would be so love-struck with his wife for providing him with a child, so peacock-strutting proud of his own "potency" that he would do the unthinkable and forget about her for a time.

What she hadn't expected was that he would continue to be lovestruck with his wife and new son and continue to neglect her.

Her own standing in the Court had quickly deteriorated when the various Ladies and Noblewomen in Toulouse had realized she no longer had either Adam's ear or the ability to dictate laws and policy. She still had her own knowledge about the scandalous interior workings of the nobility to grant her some standing, but nothing like she'd enjoyed when Adam's decades-long obsession with her had been strong. What made it worse was Mor's reaction; for the entire length of her marriage to Adam, Mor had known who Cassandra was and had to deal with the humiliation of watching the adulteress gather power within the Courts of her various homes. She'd never confronted Cassandra, had seemed almost terrified of her in fact, but that had all changed when she'd become pregnant. She hadn't become arrogant or confrontational, her reaction had been worse.

She seemed to have forgotten that Cassandra even existed.

After the birth she had presented Kirk to the Court, much to the delight of the other Noblewomen and Ladies. Cassandra had been there, and Mor had passed right by her without saying a word. Not deliberately, but because it seemed Cassandra was something in her past now, something beneath her notice. Cassandra had been almost amused at the time, sure that Adam would return to her bed, but when the months had passed, and then a year, and then more time... when the King of Scotland came to Winter at Toulouse and was greeted by the beaming Adam and Mor and their now crawling, gurgling child, she'd realized that Adam had forgotten her.

Her greatest humiliation had come a week earlier, when she had arranged for herself to be in Adam's bedchamber a week after Mor had traveled north to Paris to visit with her sisters. Adam had arrived in his chambers and she had finally learned why he was still known as Adam the Cruel. He'd stared at her nude body, the body that had once driven him wild with lust, and he'd sneered and told her that if he'd wanted to bed a whore, there were far younger, prettier women he could have.

Now she sat in her own chambers, staring at herself in the mirror as she noticed lines she'd never noticed before and wondered how long it would be until the first grays started to appear in her hair. She was still a great beauty, but that beauty would not last forever, and with Adam apparently gone for her life, she'd finally realized how tenuous her power was.

So now she would find power in another way... she would take it, and get her revenge on Adam Canmore at the same time.


"Lord Miloslavov!" came the cry as Voislav sat tugging at the thin pheasant that made up his paltry meal. His realm of influence stretched only as far as the walls of Novgorod, and the few farms that traded with them asked exorbitant prices for vegetables. Food was scarce now as Voislav had ordered that they stockpile much of what they had for the impending Winter, and unlike the Tsars of the past, he meant to lead by example by restricting his own diet.

"What is it?" he demanded, furious that his meagre meal had been interrupted.

"An army is riding towards the walls, my Lord!" gasped the messenger, out of breath from running the length of the city,"An army of Scots!"

"The Scottish, HERE!?" he gaped,"How did they move through Polish territory without causing a war? How many are there?"

"We believe almost 1400," gasped the messenger,"The night makes it difficult to count."

"We have 1700," sneered Voislav,"No matter then how they came to stand before our walls, they will die at them. Novgorod is ours, it shall not fall."


The Scottish stretched out through the night outside the walls of Novgorod, 13038 strong.

And 40 Mongols.

Roy Macgoulchane grimaced as he stared at the Mongol mercenaries, yet another of the little surprises Angus had sprung on him. They'd encountered a mercenary band on their march towards Novgorod and Angus had spoken at length with the mercenary captain, apparently coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. They'd parted ways, but been joined by a small band of the mercenaries while the others headed West, and Roy had been horrified to discover they were Mongols, survivors of the Great Desert Wars of Edward and Domnall Canmore who had found a new life selling their skills to the highest bidder. Others amongst the men had obviously been disturbed by the presence of the Mongols, but their near obsessive devotion to Angus kept them quiet. Roy was a different matter however and had demanded to know what the men of the desert could possibly offer to aid their attack on the walls of Novgorod, and Angus had simply sneered and told him he would soon find out.

The Russians who rushed to the walls to stand in defense were not armored or finely armed. They were woodsmen and peasants, armed with pitchforks, spears and rough swords and cudgels. But they were resolute, proud and determined to defend their city from the invading force, crying out their defiance as arrows were fired from the towers towards the waiting Scotsmen. Angus sneered, delighted to finally be ready to fight against the men whose sheer indomitableness he had grown up hearing tales of. He ordered arrows to be lit and fired at the walls, and they rose high and then arced down towards the walls, slapping mostly usefully against the high walls.

"Fire the catapult on the gates!" he ordered, and a burning ball of fire shot almost instantly forward. The Russians cried out in alarm and flaming arrows fired from the towers towards the source of the attack, setting the first of the two catapults alight as the Scotsmen manning them cursed and stepped back. Roy frowned and turned to look at Angus, who was staring with rapt attention at the walls, muttering something under his breath. Roy leaned forward and heard the words," a real fight...." and groaned inwardly. Angus was mad, so determined for a battle like those he had heard of in song that he did not seem to realize this battle was NOT going their way. The Russians were burning their artillery; they had more men; they held the walls; and even if the gates breached, there would be hundreds of Russians ready to stand in defense of the breach.

"Oh ye of little faith, Macgoulchane," chuckled Angus sourly all of a sudden, and Roy bit back a wince as he realized that Angus had been entirely aware of his gaze all along,"Ye did nae ken why we needed the Mongols? Well.... NOW!"

The Mongols rushed forward pushing the carts they had dragged on the march with them, one that had until now been covered up. Pulling the sheet from it, the Mongols stepped back and allowed one man to rush up and press a lit torch against strings hanging from multiple tubes set inside the cart and then.... then a shocked Roy Macgoulchane watched the walls of Novgorod fall within moments.

"What heathen sorcery is this!?!" gasped Roy in horror as he watched Russians falling to their deaths or being crushed under the tons of rubble that had been their walls.

"Not sorcery, Macgoulchane!" laughed Angus, and now more than ever Roy was convinced of the man's insanity,"SCIENCE! EDMUND CANMORE WOULD BE PROUD! EDWARD CANMORE WOULD BE HARD! ANGUS THE MAULER WILL CONQUER! FORWARD! FORWARD! INTO THE CITY! CONQUER IN THE NAME OF SCOTLAND!"

The men roared in delight and were unleashed by Angus' command, tearing forward towards the smashed remains of the walls and the shell-shocked Russians who had survived the destruction.

Voislav Miloslavov cursed as news reached him off the destruction of the walls. The Scottish had used some strange magic to bring down the walls, or so the superstitious men under his command believed.

"Have the men retreat up the main street," he ordered,"Narrow the path the Scottish must take to get to them, tie them down in street fighting!"

"My Lord," noted his Second as the messenger rushed to give the order,"The Scottish will simply send men around the streets and our own men will end up encircled."

"I hope that their arrogance will see them committed to trying to break through our own men," Voislav explained bitterly,"Our men are true Russians, they will not retreat, and that will drive the Scottish insane, they have never met foes who did not break and run before.... and for the first to ever do so to be woodsmen without armor.... the insult to their manhood will be too much."

His Second nodded and Voislav frowned. He knew his men would not run, but he also knew that they were superstitious and the "magic" that had brought down the walls might see their morale shattered, affecting their fighting efficiency. He pondered the real possibility that the Scottish General would realize his strategy and bring his Cavalry to flank them.

"He must," grunted Voislav to himself,"I must show the men that that the Scottish are only human."

The fighting in down Novgorod's main street was intense and fierce. As Voislav had feared, his men were not fighting effectively in groups, their superstitious fear seeing each man struggling desperately for his own individual survival. But despite their fractured defense, none broke or ran as the Scottish crashed against them again and again, and the Scottish were becoming visibly frustrated as their opponents reached the point where most men broke but continued to stand.

The Russians battered and flung themselves against the Scottish despite the poor quality of their weapons and lack of armor, and the Scottish cut them down easily. But despite received wounds that should have been lethal, many of the Russians simply rose again, grabbed whatever weapon they could and continued to fight. The Scottish found themselves fighting against men missing limbs, men drenched in their own blood or with vicious cuts exposed on their faces and necks.

"DIE!" screamed one Scotsman, plunging his sword into the head of the bearded Russian swinging a cudgel at him... and to his horror, the Russian tore his head away from the blade and kept coming, his brain exposed momentarily before blood filled the hole in his head. The Scotsman smashed him in the face, knocking the man onto his ass, and he breathed a sigh of relief and stepped over his foe to attack the next one. Behind him, unseen, the Russian staggered to his feet and swung blindly at the next Scotsman, who dodged the blow and stared in horror.... did the Russians even feel pain?

"Our men have been bogged down in street fighting," Roy grunted as word reached him of the crowded fighting inside the city,"The Russians refuse to die, they continue fighting despite lethal wounds."

"So the legends are true," smirked Angus, as always his prematurely lined face making a smile look like a sneer,"The Russians do not feel the cold, they do not feel pain, and they do not surrender... finally, Macgoulchane, FINALLY A TRUE CHALLENGE TO SCOTLAND!"

"Ye're mad, Angus," snapped Roy,"Our men are DYING in there!"

"Then let us ride to their aid," chuckled Angus,"We shall outflank them using their own city streets and come at them from behind, and crush them between us."

Roy nodded, finally some sense from the man! They needed to take the city relatively intact if they wanted to sack it to cover the cost of the military access Poland had granted them, and Roy was terrified that Angus' own desire to kill Russians would see him bankrupt Yerevan and other Scottish Desert Cities within his realm of Governance. God alone knew how much he'd offered the mercenaries.

Roy ordered his own men to follow him, then set off after Angus as he rode through the breach into Novgorod, to finally personally kill Russians for himself.

Inside the great city square, word reached Voislav that the Scottish General was leading his men into the city.

"Quickly, pull back a force of Woodsmen into the square!" he ordered,"And pull back our cavalry so they cannot be seen!"

"My Lord, you mean to sacrifice our men to lure the Scottish into a trap?" asked the man.

"I mean to show our men that the Scottish are flesh and blood," replied Voislav angrily,"And the only way to do it is with the blood of our own countrymen.... now give the order!"

His Second nodded and saluted, sending a messenger to pull back the Woodsmen at the rear of the street fighting, wondering what his General was planning. Malov would not have sacrificed his own men... would he?

Angus roared with laughter as he cut down the Russians around him who he had not ridden down with his horse. He had led his Cavalry, Macgoulchane's Bodyguard and a group of Armenian cavalrymen down side streets and into the City's great square, crashing into a group of startled Woodsmen. The fabled Russian hardiness did not seem to extend to surviving being charged and stampeded by scores of horses charging at full tilt, the men he'd ridden down lay still and dead, while the men he cut down appeared to stay down. He actually felt disappointment, maybe the Russians were not as hardy as he'd been lead to bel-

"SCOTSMAN!" roared a voice, and Angus' head twisted as he found himself staring across the Square at one of the few armored Russians - was this their General?


"Aye, now there's a true Russian," grinned Angus in delight, and Roy stared at him in horror. He couldn't possibly intend t-

"FOR SCOTLAND!" roared Angus and spurred his horse forward, and the Russian did the same. Before the startled eyes of the Scottish Cavalry and the surviving Russian woodsman in the square, the two Generals rode across the square and directly into each other, their horses smashing together and the two men slamming against the other, Angus tipping Voislav off of his saddle and sending them both crashing into the cobbles.

"Nae," whispered Roy in horror and prepared to kick his horse into action, but a hand restrained him. He turned and found himself facing Dauid, the Knight-Commander who had assisted him to achieve his victory at Trebizond and thus complete his first command for Angus.

"This is what the man has wanted since the sun boiled his brains and his injuries turned him bitter," Dauid said,"He wants to be a man of legend like Edward Canmore, and he grew up on tales of the strength and resolve of Russians, if ye interfered now, he would kill ye for it."

Roy turned and stared around him, unable to believe that the battle within the square itself seemed to have stopped. Scotsman and Russian alike had stopped fighting and stood - some besides each other - watching as their two Generals fought on the ground as their horses stumbled away, dazed by their collision.

"SHOW ME WHAT RUSSIAN METTLE IS!" demanded Angus as he smashed Voislav into the ground, tearing the man's helm off and slamming a gauntleted fist into his face. The Russian exposed smashed teeth in a snarl, then tossed Angus off of him and onto his belly before leaping onto his back and smashing the man's helm directly into the ground. Angus slammed back with his elbow into Voislav's side, knocking him off of him, then hauled himself to his feet and tore his own helm off, exposing a freshly broken nose spouting blood.

"I thought ye Russians were supposed to be tough!" laughed Angus, eyes rolling wildly,"Show me! SHOW ME!"

"RARRRGH!" roared Voislav and launched himself at Angus, smashing against him and slamming his fist into the Scottish General's side where his armor connected and exposed flesh. The Russian was powerful, and his blows seemed to lift Angus off of his feet even as they drove the air out of his lungs. He tried to pull free, but Voislav grabbed him around the neck, holding him in tight as he struck again and again, then physically tossed Angus through the air onto his back.

"RUSSIA!" roared Voislav, leaping at Angus who raised a leg and smashed him in the belly, the Russian's armor protecting him from being winded but sending a shockwave through his body and putting him off balance. Angus slammed both arms up against Voislav's side and knocked him to the ground on his side, then grabbed at his neck, throttling the Russian as he sucked in air himself. Voislav tried desperately to breath as the Scotsman throttled him, then flailed wildly with his arms at Angus' exposed side where he had all ready repeatedly struck him. Angus cried out in pain and his hands loosened around Voislav's neck, and the Russian smashed him aside and pushed past the pain off his oxygen starved lungs to leap on top of the Scotsman. He smashed Angus in the face with one mailed fist, then again and again, flattening his nose, swelling shut one eye, breaking off many of the Scotsman's crooked and yellowing teeth.

"NOVGOROD FOR RUSSIA!" roared Voislav as he laid into Angus' face again and again, even as his panicked mind desperately thanked God. His gamble had paid off, by killing the Scotsman with his own two hands in front of his men - as well as the surviving Woodsmen he had used as bait - he would show them the Scottish were human, he would give his men resolve and they would start working cohesively, they would push the Scottish down the street and outside of the city, and Novgorod would remain theirs,"NOVGOROD FOR RUS-"

Angus sat up suddenly as Voislav's exhausted arms slowed in their pummeling, and he sunk his teeth deep into the Russian's throat and then.... tore. Voislav felt a sickening ripping even as he heard it, and as he stared with dismay into Angus' eyes he had time to come to a final realization, something that Roy Macgoulchane had known since he was a boy.

The Scotsman was completely insane.

There was silence in the courtyard for what felt like an eternity after Voislav Miloslavov's body slumped backwards off of Angus. The Scotsman knelt over his fallen foe, his mouth dripping with blood as he spat out the remains of the Russian's throat, and then slowly he lifted himself to his feet, standing between the Russian Cavalry and his own Scotsmen.

"Angus..." whispered Roy, his horror palpable now as he stared at the insane animal before him, a man who could not possibly have a soul. If he had doubted it before he did not now, Angus the Mauler was not a man, he was a Demon.

"This. city. is. SCOTLAND'S!" roared Angus suddenly, and lifted his hand to point at the horrified Russian Woodsmen,"I BRING YE DEATH!"

It happened in an instant, the Russians own superstitions and fears finally overrode their pride and stubbornness. They broke into gibbering panic and ran, chased by Armenians as Dauid charged his Knights past Angus and into the knot of horrified Russian Cavalrymen. Roy heard wailing and cries of terror escalating as the Russians reached their comrades still locked down in fighting with Scotsmen in the streets and told them garbled, panicked versions of the horror that Angus had just performed. He slowly rode his horse forward till it stood beside Angus, who stood panting roughly, wide eyes and grinning more widely than Roy could ever remember.

"Was this worth it, Angus?" he asked,"All this death.... this thing you have done?"

"Worth it, Macgoulchane?" replied Angus, staring up at Roy with wide eyes sparkling with excitement and delight,"I have never felt so alive...... I cannae wait for the next battle, there is still a force of Russians in control of Riga to the West, we can be there within a month an-"

"Ye cannae be serious," moaned Roy in despair,"Ye have fulfilled ye dream, ye have fought and defeated the Russians... ye have had ye ultimate grand fight! Winter will be here in a matter of weeks, and a Russian Winter is something even the hardiest of Scotsmen will balk it.... ye will at least let us Winter here in Novgorod, by which point ye will have surely seen sense."

And in reply, Angus simply threw back his head and let loose with loud peals of mad laughter that echoed down the city streets.

Angus the Mauler was completely insane, and he had only just begun.