The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 8: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 7

He was King Edward the Tyrant.

That is what they called him now, the man who had come from Scotland looking for glory and raised Scotland to a point where it was recognised as the greatest Empire in the World. He had lead a Crusade and recovered the Holy City of Jerusalem from Heathens, killed Rebels by the thousands and returned Cities into Christian hands for the first time since the days of the Old Testament.

But he bought death and destruction with him, and had wiped out the ancient Empire of Egypt for his own gain. He sacked the cities he captured to meet the cost of the Empire he had created, and he preached with almost fanatical zeal a religion foreign to the majority of the people he now ruled. Only recently he'd sent a Priest to preach in Acre at the Pope's request, impressing the Holy Father once more with his staunch support of Catholicism, even if he did turn a blind eye to Edmund's study of Liber de Compositione Alchemiae.

But King Edward was still, despite all he had gained and all he had grown, the same free spirited Scottish lad he'd been when he first got drunk with his brother Edmund all those years ago and set off on a ship on a mad jaunt. He enjoyed a laugh, a drink, and he still valued his family above all else. His youngest Brother David had recently died in battle, and despite only knowing the lad for a brief time he'd truly felt a connection with him, David had obviously looked up to him and wanted him as a mentor, and Edward blamed himself for bringing him into harms way by taking him to the siege of Baghdad. He and his brothers Edmund and Alexander were all married and all had children - even the supposedly impotent Alexander - but they were all boys, and it was a constant fear of Edward's that if some calamity struck them and killed he, Edmund and Alexander, there would be no one of a suitable age or ability to lead the Empire. He'd thought that David could be that person, and now his adopted "son" Finguine was Heir to the Throne, but Edward's fear had not faded, and after long consideration he'd adopted Feradac of Peeblesshire into the Royal Family, the young man proven in battle and loyal beyond reproach.

Now he was preparing to go to war once more, but he felt a moment's hope that maybe despite this he would not be known as Edward the Tyrant much longer. Only recently he'd signed a Trade Deal with Russia, and much to the delight of the Nobles who advised him he had agreed to a trade deal with the Turks. Edmund had reported to him with a smile that the Turkish Diplomat had been overjoyed, obviously expecting nothing more than the formality of, at best, and a polite refusal. Maybe he would become known as King Edward the Diplomat? Or King Edward the Just? Or even just plain King Edward?

But for now there was battle to engage in, war was a necessity when you ruled the greatest Empire in the world, and he was more dedicated to the extermination of the Rebels now than ever before. They had killed his first adopted son, Mac Dobarchon of Angus, and his youngest Brother, Prince David. After the conquest of Baghdad, he'd barely had time to relax when Prince Alexander had approached him, obviously still distraught over David's death but oddly fixated on Edmund. Edward had only recently learned Edmund was laying siege to Damascus, where Rebels were apparently planning an attack on Acre, and it seemed Alexander was in possession of the same information. Grimfaced and obviously holding back the tears which had flowed freely on the battlefield, where the release of such emotion could be forgiven, Alexander had warned that the Canmore's had lost one son too many already, and no chances should be taken with Edmund, who by all accounts was outnumbered by the Rebels, even if they were mostly poorly equipped rabble.

Edward had faith in Edmund's ability to defeat a few Rebels, but Alexander was insistent that they MUST join Edmund at Damascus, and since they needed to return past Damascus on the road to Gaza anyway, Edward saw no reason not to reunite with their Brother.

Edmund received the message that Edward was returning and maintained his siege longer than normal, welcoming the extra numbers provided. He made his commiserations over David's death, and laughed when Edward told him Prince Finguine remained in Baghdad to act as Governor to a population not exactly pleased to have been "liberated" from Rebels.

"He'll learn Administration and Diplomacy the hard way," chuckled Edmund, as he showed Edward and Alexander his plans to take the city. They were much the same as either Brother would have made, making use of the smaller numbers to divide parts of the Rebel army from the rest and wear them down. With the extra numbers, the plan was only slightly modified; instead they would divide all sections of the Rebel army at once, and wipe them out quickly.

King Edward had brought his catapults from Baghdad, and made use of them here as he blasted at the Gate. Archers on the walls lit their arrows and fired volley after volley at the Catapults, and Edmund ordered two units forward with siege ladders both to draw their fire and clear the walls. The Gate was stout but far from invulnerable, and the constant barrage of heavy rock fired at it smashed through the huge doors as Crusader Knights and Highland Nobles climbed the ladders to do battle with the archers holding the walls on either side of the gate. Rebel Spearmen moved to brace themselves at the entrance, as Edmund sent his Mailed Knights charging in before the Spear could fortify their position.

The Crusader Knights made short work of the Archers on their side of the gate, and rushed through the tower to come to the aid of the Highland Nobles who had found themselves attacked in the rear by Spearmen held in reserve. Edmund had prepared for this eventuality, however, and held his Religious Fanatics in check, and the men charged up their siege ladders screaming in religious ecstasy as they plunged headfirst into the fray. On the ground, the surviving Rebel Cavalry tried to run from the battle as they saw the Scottish overwhelming them like a tide, an unstoppable force that screamed and laughed as it killed. But their attempts to flee were in vain, as the Generals joined the Mailed Knights in bringing down the survivors.

"This is it?" laughed Edward,"These rabble thought to take Acre from Scotland!?! None shall take from us! Scotland is invincible, INVINCIBLE!"

The Knights around him cheered, Edmund grinning as his Brother drank in the atmosphere of victory. Off to his side, Alexander stared at Edward with a blank face, betraying no apparent emotion.

Later that night, as soldiers revelled in the streets and inns and brothels did a roaring trade, Alexander excused himself early from the victory feast. No one questioned it, and if any thought it strange they made no mention, knowing Alexander was still distraught over David's death.

The youngest surviving son of Malcolm Canmore sat at his desk in his quarters, going over the papers sent to him as a member of the Royal Family, as well as those he gained by other means. Edinburgh and York seemed to managing themselves well in the absence of a member of the Royal Family; the Pope had called off his aggressive war with the Moors (the other report noting a call for donations to the Papacy suggested the reasons for the ceasefire may have more to do with Finances than a Divine Message); Venice had been excommunicated again; and the Turks were attempting to open more diplomatic ties with the rest of the world, emboldened by their unexpected trade deal with Scotland.

A cough got Alexander's attention, and he looked up to see two men standing in the entranceway to his chamber. One was the Diplomat, Patrick MacDougall, and the other Robert, the leader of the young Highland Nobles who had travelled to Gaza with him and David.

"What now for us, my Lord?" asked Robert,"We were ready to kill Edmund in the battle, then we learned Prince David had died and we were unsure how to act, and then you came to Damascus and told us to serve Edmund, and we did.... what now? Have we come all this way only to become more military fodder for our Egyptian Kings?"

"I was aggrieved to hear of Prince David's death, my Lord," said Patrick, ignoring Robert's open admission of collusion to commit murder and the contempt with which he used the word Egyptian,"Am I to take it from your part in the battle of Damascus that we are resigned now to accepting the fate dictated to us by King Edward?"

Alexander looked up at both of them, a Nobleman and a Diplomat, both saying the same thing in different ways, both looking to him for orders. He'd been older than David, but it had always been David others looked to for orders, including himself. Now it was his decision to make, and they waited to hear from him.

"Accept our fate?" he asked, then allowed a thin smile that made him look more like his Father than ever before,"Nae, I will return the Crown to the proper Canmore hands if I must strangle the life from Edward the Pretender myself. We will make Scotland itself once more, this I swear."