The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 68: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 67

Two men sat in a tent in high mountains far from human habitation, the heavy cloth of the tent rippling in the icy wind whipping through the high mountain pass. Outside came the faint noise of the wind and the movement of men, but the man sitting comfortably in light clothing seemed not to care, and the man sitting across from him heavily wrapped in furs only had ears for his "guest".

"So tell me what ye want to hear," chuckled the "guest","It's nae as if I have anything better to do while we wait out the storm."

"Tell me again," whispered the man, eyes wide,"Tell me of..."

The Death of Domnall Canmore

A King was dead.

The hands no longer around his throat, the surviving King fell forward on top of his opponent, unwilling to release his grip on his opponent's throat until he was sure it was done. Finally, he released his grip and struggled to his knees, sucking in great lungfuls of air, fighting off the dizziness and blackening of vision as he attempted to regain his senses. He rose from knees to a crouch, hands on thighs, panting deeply before finally lifting to a full standing position and drawing in one final last great lungful of breath.

He stared around him at the gathered soldiers - his own men and the enemy - and finally he spoke, pointing at his enemies and giving the final order of the Battle of Constantinople.

"Kill them all."

And the Hungarians moved quickly to fulfill their King's orders.

The Scottish reacted almost as one, their shock to see their King defeated and dead broken by the sudden rush of the Hungarians. The first line fell immediately but those behind them were all ready bracing, standing defensively to try and hold back the immediate onslaught of baying, laughing Hungarians.

"PULL BACK! PULL BACK! OUT OF THE CITY!" cried Hew, desperate to get his men clear off the Hungarians who - for the moment - had been led near-supernatural strength by bearing witness to the death of Domnall Canmore.

"NAE! STAND AND FIGHT!" roared Angus in a fury, smashing in the face of a Hungarian who came too close,"FOR THE KING!"

"THE KING IS DEAD!" screamed Hew, and Angus twisted to glare at him... and took the hilt of Hew's sword directly in the face, knocking him unconscious. Hew ducked and caught the falling Scottish General, hauling him up over his shoulder - lent strength himself by panic - and ordering the men to beat as orderly a retreat as possible.

"What about the King's body!?!" cried a soldier in dismay, and Hew shook his head sadly.

"It's just a body, worm food now!" he shouted back, grimacing as he saw the Scottish frontline buckling under the pressure of the Hungarians,"What made him is gone, and I'll nae sacrifice men to rescue an empty vessel! BACK!"

Istok rubbed at his neck as he watched the Scottish falling back, and turned to nod as a Commander strode up to give him salute, his eyes filled with awe.

"The survivors are pulling out of the city," he reported,"Shall we give chase?"

"Let them run, the cowards," grunted Istok hoarsely, wincing at the phantom hands around his throat,"It would serve us better for word to spread that their King died at my hands.... besides, where will they run? Kenez has an army of 2000 to the Northwest, few will survive the week, if any."

The Commander nodded and saluted again before rushing off to order the Hungarians to break off their pursuit and secure the city. Istok watched them go, left alone in the square once more, surrounded by corpses, including Domnall Canmore. Sure he was alone and unobserved, Istok dropped to one knee and supported himself with one arm against the cobbled stones of the square. He hacked and coughed violently and once again struggled to fight off the dizziness that threatened to overcome him, then allowed a cruel smile to cross his face as he stared over at Domnall's corpse.

"You were better than I gave you credit for, Domnall," he chuckled, then spat on the face - still locked in a shocked, choked expression - of the Scottish King,"But you weren't good enough.... you weren't Edward Canmore."


"All my life," said the "Host" of the Scottish man in the tent,"I have heard the legend of the Canmores and their prowess as fighters. To think that one of them could be bested in personal combat is... disappointing."

"And yet ye ask me again and again for the story," chuckled the Guest.

"There is an old saying," grunted the Host by way of reply,"A man enjoys his fortunes, but not so much as he enjoys the misfortune of his enemy."

"Then ye will enjoy the next part of the story," chuckled the Guest.

Angus' Revenge

"Will ye nae change ye mind?" Hew asked again, all ready knowing the answer.

Angus simply stared ahead of him, his face fixed with a disturbing, detached rage. Hew shook his head sadly, knowing that Angus knew as well as he that the "revenge" he was planning to take on the Hungarians was little more than a final, suicidal charge, "The Mauler's" way of dealing with his grief.

What really surprised Hew was the number of men who seemed willing to go along with him.

Shaking his head, Hew gave his own men - less than half the survivors who had escaped Constantinople - the order to begin moving out. Iasi was not too far to the North, but the Hungarians were between Hew and the City, and Constantinople between him and Nicaea to the East. His only option was to go West, through the heart of Hungarians territory but back up the path that Domnall had led them down, then take a sharp turn North towards the Polish border, where King Zygmunt would be sure to give them sanctuary.

But as he rode away, Angus spoke, the first words that he had spoken directly to Hew since he'd come to and discovered Hew had carried him out of Constantinople.

"Hew," the permanently sneering, heavily scarred, severely mentally disturbed Scotsman said in a quiet, harsh whisper,"It was.... it was good to be ye friend."

Hew was quiet for a moment, and then he saluted his friend before turning away and riding with his men away from what he knew would be Angus' last battlefield.

Captain Kenez barked out a sharp laugh as he saw the pathetically small number of Scottish soldiers sitting exposed on the bare slops of the hill, across from the ancient standing stones that predated Christianity. Kenez wondered briefly if they might get a chance to capture Angus and sacrifice him inside the stone circle, not to any God, just for the sake of humiliating him.

"Crossbows, move up to range and open fire!" Kenez ordered,"Be wary of the General! The King wants his head to go on a pike beside his Master's!"

His men laughed dutifully as across the long frontline of the Hungarians, crossbowmen rushed forward recklessly, eager to wipe out the Scottish and then get to work on embellishing the tale of their heroics to their wives and mistresses and tavern wenches back home. They moved forward quickly, far too quickly for their own good, just as Angus - who had been lent a chilling clarity by his rage - had hoped.

"Now," he snarled with cold, calculating rage,"FIRE!"

"Didnae expect that, did ye, ye bastards!" grinned Angus, watching as the frontline collapsed into anarchy trying to escape the Bombard and Rocket blasts that had been hidden from view by the Infantry and slope of the hill,"Archers, open fire!"

"DAMMIT! CONCENTRATED FIRE!" roared Kenez, furious that the Scottish had managed to hit them with a surprised blow and take the advantage in the battle,"CROSSBOWS, SLAUGHTER THAT FRONT LINE!"

Reacting to their Captain's command, the Hungarians let loose wave after wave of crossbow bolts across the gap between the two armies, directly into the unarmored Highland Archers. Dozens of men fell with terrifying speed, even as more Bombard blasts rocketed into the Hungarian ranks.


Hundreds of Hungarians ran charging across the gap, and Angus' men turned to stare at him, waiting the command they knew must come. Through his grief and rage, Angus still felt pride to see him men still standing here, refusing to run, refusing to surrender.

"I would give ye brave words, and tell ye that nae situation is unwinnable.... but I will nae lie to ye," Angus said,"We go to our deaths, lads, nothing I can say or do will change that. So all I will say is that every day of my life I have been proud to be a Scotsman, through good times and bad.... now let's show these bastards how a real man dies.... and take as many of them with us as we can!"

His men roared their defiance, and together they ran down slope directly into the oncoming Hungarians.


"Kenez did not get his blood sacrifice, though he did get Angus' head... what was left of it," the Guest finished,"It was nae in a fit condition to go on a pike beside Domnall's, but Istok was pleased enough... especially when he received his next piece of news."

"Ahhh yes," chuckled the Host,"I would hear this tale again, too."

"I thought as much," nodded the Guest,"Ye are a sadist."

"You say that as if it was a bad thing," chuckled the Host,"Now tell me, tell me of..."

The Betrayal of Hew Mar

"A force of 400 Scotsmen have crossed the border, my King," reported the messenger, eyes on the floor to avoid staring at the Polish King's twisted, ripped apart jaw, the result of a near death experience in battle twenty years earlier against the Russians.

"So you spoke the truth," rasped King Zygmunt, turning to stare at the man seated near the window, staring almost bored at the snow-coated rooftops of Prague,"The Scottish have broken their Alliance with us, Domnall must be mad, to think he can do to us what he did to the Venetians and Danes."

James Bunnok nodded, the Scottish spy being careful to keep his face blank. Everyone knew that Zygmunt placed a high value on loyalty and trust, considering it had been a childhood friend who had saved his life by sacrificing his own all those years ago against the Russians. Bunnok had taken a gamble by coming to him with his allegations, counting on Zygmunt's fury and Prague's isolation to allow him to create the conditions necessary to start a way between Scotland and Poland. By the time Zygmunt discovered the truth, Bunnok would be long gone, returned to Constantinople and King Istok, his new Master.

"Prepare my armor," rasped Zygmunt,"We will show Scotland that Poland's lands belong to Poland, not to Scotland."


Hew shook his head in disbelief once more as his men moved into position. They had made it so far, all the way through Hungarian territory to the Polish border, and only a day after crossing it, just as he'd started to relax and think maybe he might survive the nightmare of the past fortnight... the messenger from Zygmunt had come accusing him of breaking their Alliance and promising his destruction.

Reeling from the accusation, Hew has despaired to discover that Zygmunt had all ready marched nearly 2000 men out of Prague directly for their position, and now as the cold winter night darkened, he'd discovered that Zygmunt did not even intend to wait until dawn.

"Charge them," hissed Hew, furious to have had defeat snatched from the jaws of salvation,"My Father told me once that if you're going to go down, go swinging.... CHARGE!"

The initial charge sent a shockwave through the Polish and the Scottish surged through, sending soldiers tumbling and falling out of the way. For one brief, mad moment Hew thought that maybe, just maybe they would survive this after all, and he whispered a silent prayer of thanks to his Father.

And then the Polish they'd charged through came rushing back on all sides of him, and he found himself surrounded.

"Ahhh Father," grunted Hew to himself as his men were brought down all around him,"Fuck you, Father."

"They put up a good fight," rasped Zygmunt as he rode his horse through the corpses. For every man the Polish has killed, the Scottish had killed two, but in the end it had not been enough. He rode his horse to the high stack of corpses - horse and man, Polish and Scottish - where Hew had fallen, where James Bunnok sat looking with amusement down at the prone Scottish General.

He wasn't dead.

"May I kill him?" Bunnok asked Zygmunt with a grin,"Or do you want the pleasure for yourself?"

Zygmunt's eyes danced with amusement as he looked down at the injured, furious Scotsman, who was glaring with hatred at Bunnok, obviously recognizing him.

"No," rasped Zygmunt, his eyes amused,"I have plans for him."


"A fine story," laughed the Host, clapping happily,"Though sometimes I wonder if you embellish your own part in it."

"Certainly not," replied the Guest - James Bunnok,"For one thing, ye'd ken if I lied, and I would nae want that now, would I?"

"Certainly not," chuckled the Host,"But though you do not lie, you do omit. You have told me why you betrayed your Masters to the Hungarians, because you were angry at being passed over for the role you had been groomed for, that of Spymaster.... but you have not told me how you came to come into MY service. You have told me of the death of Domnall Canmore, Angus the Mauler and Hew Mar... but not how Scotland fares under their new King, Aodh Canmore... you have told me that though Scotland remains the most powerful nation on Earth, it is beset on all sides by enemies... but you have not told me who, when, how or why. When will you tell me these things? My patience is not unlimited."

"Tomorrow," smiled Bunnok,"I will tell you on the eve of our passage out of the mountains and into the lands of the Scottish Empire."

"And what will you do when you have no more tales to tell me?" asked the Host.

"By then, you will have met with what is left of the Scottish armies in these lands," chuckled Bunnok,"And I will have a new tale to tell, one you will delight in having told to your allies and your enemies alike."

"Ahhh yes," smiled the Host - Timur the Pious, Warlord of a new "Horde" 9000 strong,"The tale of...."

The Timurid Invasion