The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 71: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 70

James Bunnok stepped out of his tent already immaculately dressed, stretching first with one arm and then the other, transferring what he was holding in his armpit from one to the other. He was enjoying the feel of the sun on his body despite the cool mountain air putting a bite into the weather. The Timurid camp was all ready up and moving, in fact with an army this size there were always at least a few hundred people moving about, eating or running training drills at any time, day or night. Despite the large size of the canyon where the Horde had settled, they were still in the mountains and cramped together far more than was comfortable. The Timurids were used to wide open plains, not sheer climbing mountain walls, and tempers were beginning to fray as they felt themselves getting closer to leaving the mountains and into the open desert. It took an accomplished General to instill confidence in the men, and the Timurids had several in Timur, Husayn, Miran, and Umar Shaykh. It did not hurt that each of their Warlords were terrifying in their own way, whether it was Husayn's constant rage, Umar's cruel (though inventive, Bunnok had to admit) punishments, Miran's bloodlust or Timur's terrifying combination of religious fervor and complete lack of even the concept of mercy.

The "Khan" and his Khanzada, however, were a different matter entirely.

As Bunnok watched, amused, he saw Horkhudagh step out of his tent and step directly into the path of a group of Timurid soldiers.

"Watch your step!" snapped Horkhudagh, exactly the wrong thing to do as the lead soldier grabbed him roughly and shook him bodily.

"ME!? You watch YOUR step, you pile of dung!" snapped the soldier angrily.

"Do you know who I a-" started Horkhudagh, again exactly the wrong thing to do.

"You're a pile of dung hiding behind an inherited title, worm!" snarled the Timurid, knocking Horkhudagh to the ground, the frightened "Khan" staring with wide eyes up at his attacker,"You may rule back home at Timur-i-Lenk's pleasure, but here in the field a man lives or dies on his own merits!"

Bunnok stood watching with delighted interest, marveling once more at the strange way that the Timurids ran their society. Timur-i-Lenk was technically speaking only an Emir, and should have been socially and power-wise beneath the Khans, but everyone knew who truly ruled the Persians. The Khans themselves served merely as figureheads, but privileged ones who enjoyed every luxury and benefit of rule with none of the concerns.

"I shoul... I should...." gaped Horkhudagh angrily, then his eyes widened as he looked behind the soldiers,"DO SOMETHING!"

"And what should I do?" grunted Timur the Pious, who had emerged from his own tent attracted by the noise,"Unman you by fighting your battles for you?"

The soldiers laughed as Timur approached and stared with disgust down at "his" Khan. Technically speaking again, Horkhudagh was supposed to be leading this invasion of the lands of the Scottish with Timur serving as his top General. Once more, the reality was that Horkhudagh was a figurehead, but here there were no privileges to be had.

"Stand up, do not cower like a pig in the dirt," grunted Timur contemptuously, and Bunnok hid a delighted grin. To a Muslim, a pig was a foul creature, Timur had just insulted Horkhudagh dearly, and the Khan obviously knew it, scrambling to his feet and retreating in fear back to his tent.

"Pathetic," grunted the soldier who had cowered Horkhudagh,"I should g-"

He was cut off by Timur's hand wrapping around his throat and squeezing, the soldier dropping to his knees as his wide eyes stared in terror up at the Warlord.

"There is no God but God, and only God is great," Timur whispered harshly,"Do not fall into sin and think you more than you are, understand?"

The soldier nodded, face red now as he struggled for breath, and finally Timur relented, dropping the man in a heap on the ground before turning his back to him and approaching Bunnok, who was no longer bothering to hide his grin.

"This amuses you?" grunted Timur, walking past Bunnok who immediately fell into step beside him, noting Timur's eyes darting down to the "package" tucked into Bunnok's armpit.

"I am in a good mood, we're nearly through the mountains," chuckled Bunnok,"I look forward to seeing the cities of Scotland again.... in flames."

"What do you intend to do with that bird?" Timur demanded, eying the pigeon Bunnok was holding,"Is it the same as the one that brought you the message from your Spyring two days ago?"

"It is and I intend to return a message," nodded Bunnok, stopping and kneeling down, placing the bird onto the ground but keeping it in his hands.

"I will see the message," grunted Timur,"Before you send it."

"The message is in a cypher," replied Bunnok smoothly, as if he had anticipated this demand,"And I will nae teach ye the cypher because then ye'll start thinking I'm expendable when the fact is ye need me."

Timur stared down at Bunnok with his dark, piercing eyes, eyes that had reduced strong men to blubbering messes. But Bunnok simply stared blankly back up at him, and finally Timur broke the stare, asking another question instead,"Why are you sending the reply now when you recieved the message two days ago?"

"So my Spyring does nae ken how close we are," smiled Bunnok,"I would nae give away our position even to men I trust... and speaking of trust, Timur, given how far ye've committed yeself now, do ye nae think it is about time to decide if ye trust me or nae."

"I trust no one," grunted Timur back,"Let them prove themselves again and again, a man need only betray you once."

"That philosophy means ye'll have few friends," sighed Bunnok, releasing the pigeon into the air and watched it move instantly Southwest towards Tbilisi. He looked up at Timur and grinned,"But ye'll live a long time, smart lad."


It was early evening when Timur returned to camp, in a foul mood, demanding that Bunnok be brought to him immediately.

When they'd first camped down in this canyon, a series of men - each one a score strong - had been moved to strategic locations to watch over the camp and lookout for any sign of ambush or another marching army. In addition, scouts had been sent out in all directions (including back the path they had come) to watch for anything unexpected. Early in the afternoon, all the scouts had returned but one, Timur's personally chosen Scout who had been sent Southwest to the very edge of the mountains a day's ride away. Timur had demanded Bunnok explain what could have prevented an experienced and highly talented Scout from returning, and been displeased by Bunnok's suggestion that a small outlaw band might have taken the man.

Finally Timur had taken his personal bodyguard Southwest to see if they could find the man either alive and returning late or dead, and had found the latter. After several hours ride, they'd discovered the Scout lying dead at the bottom of a small ravine, his head broken open on a rock. Timur's Bodyguard - experienced Scouts and Trackers in their own right - had reviewed the ground and suggested that somehow the man had tripped and fallen.

Timur did not believe it.

All the way on his ride back he'd seethed over the death, angry because it meant they would either have to push on ahead without anything but Bunnok's word on what lay ahead, or wait another two days while another Scout was sent out.

Now back in the camp, Timur demanded to see Bunnok, wanting to take out his frustration on the man, and was infuriated when he discovered that the man was not in the camp at all!

"You let him leave the camp!?!" growled Timur in disbelief.

"He was accompanied by our Warlords," the nervous Timurid currently facing Timur's wrath hastily explained,"Apparently there was something of great importance to show them, he seemed greatly excited by it."

"All of the Warlords?" growled Timur.

"All but Hor... all but the Khan," the soldier replied,"He was not asked, but they did take Khanzada Ambaghai."

"Is this some trap?" whispered Timur angrily to himself,"Has Bunnok played me for a fo-"

"THERE YOU ARE!" laughed the Scotsman's voice, and Timur twisted in his saddle grabbing at the hilt of his sword, furious that the Spy had managed to come up on all of them apparently unawares.

"Where have you been!?!" demanded Timur angrily,"And where have you taken my Warlords?"

"I could ask YE much the same question," chuckled Bunnok, the laughter dying on his lips when Timur pulled his blade and pressed the tip against the Spy's throat, all in the blink of an eye.

"I asked you a question, Spy," hissed Timur,"You will answer me now."

"I have been preparing your Warlords to rain death down upon the men of Scotland," Bunnok said coldly, ice dripping from every word as he glared angrily up at Timur,"An urgent message reached me by pigeon after you went foolishly off after your missing Scout, it must have been sent a day after the previous I had only replied to this morning. We have a chance to strike an incredible blow to Scotland before the war even begins!"

Timur frowned, but his blade never left Bunnok's throat.

"Explain," he growled.

"We must go alone so I can show ye," insisted Bunnok,"We cannae risk alerting them too soon. I left ye Warlords watching, but we cannae make plans without ye."

"You would have me go alone with you into the night?" he growled,"I don't know how you convinced my Warlords to go with you, or let you leave them once you'd taken them wherever it was you went... but if you think I will just walk along into the night an-"

"Aodh Canmore," Bunnok interrupted, and Timur lowered the sword, surprised.

"The Scottish King is touring the outer edges of what is left of his Empire," Bunnok whispered, and Timur saw again the feverish look in his eyes, the desire for revenge,"Seeking to stabilize territory as he rebuilds his armies to launch a counter offensive against Hungary, then Poland.... and he and a small army of 1000 are marching around the mountain pass between Tbilisi and Yerevan, making a show of force for outlaw bands in the desert."

"We should march the men now," gasped a new voice, and Timur and Bunnok both turned to stare in irritation at Khan Horkhudagh,"Ride the men directly int-"

"Shut up, you oaf," growled Timur,"Ride my men where? All we know is that Canmore is somewhere near, I need to see his army for myself, to plan my strategy. Just because we outnumber him 9 to 1 does not mean we throw ourselves recklessly against them. Bunnok, you will take me to my Warlords, to what I assume is a vantage point from where I can see Canmore's army."

"If you insist," grinned Bunnok,"I live to serve."


At first they moved in silence alone down the mountain path, Timur stretching his ears out for signs of anyone who might be lying in ambush. Despite his agreement to come with Bunnok, he'd made sure to make a silent sign when the Spy wasn't looking, telling his guards to ghost along FAR back so that Bunnok wouldn't be aware of them. If this was an ambush, then Timur meant to turn it back on Bunnok.... but the man's eyes, a man's eyes didn't lie, and whenever Timur saw the feverish desire for revenge in Bunnok's eyes, his natural suspicion was allayed.

"There is a natural viewing point I discovered when I first went East," Bunnok said, breaking the silence,"I took ye Warlords there, and was delighted to find Aodh's army within viewing distance. From what I could see, they are mainly infantry with few horses and only a few units of archery... but ye Warlords insisted ye be there to settle on a plan of attack to bring back to the Army. They have likely been arguing over the best strategy to use all this time, it was what they were arguing about when I left."

Timur nodded, but his ears were straining further, wondering if Bunnok was talking to cover up an approaching ambush. When he did not speak, Bunnok fell back into silence, but finally he spoke again, surprising Timur with the subject.

"It will be a long trip," he said,"And there is a story I think ye need to hear, one that may hammer home something ye must ken about Scotland... would ye hear it?"

"I would always hear your tales," replied Timur, who saw no harm in hearing a story if Bunnok meant him no harm.... and if he did, then Bunnok telling a story might fool him into thinking that Timur was letting his guard down.

"Ahh good," smiled Bunnok,"Then it is time ye heard the tale of...."

The Siege Of Milan

Edinburgh had been Scotland's first Capital, then Cairo had taken its place under Edward Canmore. Now Rome held that distinction, but no matter what city held the status of Capital, Rory of Shetland had always believed that the true gem of the Scottish Empire was Milan.

Since King Domnall had removed Puccio's head and made the city his own, money had flowed into and out of Milan in greater numbers than in its entire history. The Great Chapel had been built in honor of God but also as a testament to the greatness of the City, and for quite some time the current King - then Prince Aodh Canmore - had divided his time between Milan and Genoa.

And now it was going to fall.

Rory of Shetland had married into the Royal Family shortly after the fall of the Sicilian Empire, to a woman of noble birth but crass, common habits. She made his life a misery, but she gave him two children, and his new position of authority allowed him a lifestyle beyond even his own privileged upbringing. He had courted Deredere not because she was a beauty or a wonderful personality, but because she was a Princess, and represented power. His proposals to the King had been either ignored or politely rebuffed until after the fall of the Sicilians when he'd been surprised to granted the privilege of taking Deredere's hand in marriage. From that point on, everything in his life EXCEPT for his wife had been a blessing, and he could not even bring himself to despite the woman, because for all her faults, she did bear him two children, sons who made him proud every day of his life - Edward and Algune. As the years had progressed he'd become aware that a man called Nevin who often shadowed Prince Aodh had taken an interest in his boys, and discovered that the man was some kind of agent operating for Aodh's interests, a man that Aodh called "Scotland's greatest friend". There had been something familiar about the man, but for whatever reason whenever it came into Rory's mind to ask him if they had met before, the man would disappear in the disconcerting way he had of doing.

Now, Rory stood on the walls of the city he'd come to view as his own, Milan, and looked out at the seiging army from the Holy Roman Empire that had come to take away everything he had, and thought to himself that marrying into the Royal Family meant you took not only the advantages of Royal Life, but the responsibilities as well. The Roman Captain - Ansehelm - had bought almost 1000 men against Rory's 200, Milan's garrison having been stripped down over the months to reinforce the cities falling victim to the plague, a fate that so far Milan had not yet been affected by.


Bunnok pulled his horse to a stop near a thin, snaking path that looked more like a crack in the mountainside than a path. Timur's Warlords' horses were all tethered nearby, and Bunnok dismounted and tethered his own besides them, stroking their flanks and smiling before turning to look at Timur,"From here we walk."

Timur frowned, then stepped down from his horse and tethered it, eyes moving over the rockface and noting that his hidden guards would be able to follow from above, but might have some difficulty getting down to support him should this truly be an ambush.

"Fortune favors the bold, mighty Warlord," grinned Bunnok, and moved down the path leaving Timur behind. The Timurid frowned and muttered a light curse, then followed after Bunnok, who took up his tale once more.


Milan's Puccio had once believed that the defenses of the city would hold back an invading army, and even if one broke through the walls somehow they would find themselves trapped in a killing field between the inner and outer walls of the main gate. He'd been disabused of this notion by the Scottish, who had smashed down his towers from afar, battered through the gate, carved through the soldiers and then removed Puccio's head from his shoulders.

Ansehelm meant to do the same to Rory, and the Scottish General could only hope that the improvements made to Milan's walls and towers would prove more effective for the Scottish than they once had against them.

The Scottish had been cheered by the destruction of the Roman's catapults, trebuchets and battering rams, but the walls to either side of their ballista towers had been penetrated and brought crumbling down, leaving two massive breaches to either side of the gate. The Romans began to pull back from their shattered artillery, but Rory knew it was not in retreat, but to return to formation before 1000 Romans rushed the breaches of the wall guarded by only 200 men.

Milan was about to fall.

"HOLD THE LINE! DINNAE LET THEM THROUGH THE BREACH!" roared Rory angrily, cursing that the walls had fallen before the artillery had been destroyed. He watched as his Scottish soldiers held against the sudden onslaught against the breach, and felt a burst of pride that they did not turn and run. He stared up at the sealed gate that was useless now considering the breaches on either side... and then his eyes widened. He was a competent General but not a visionary or inspirational leader of men, but in that moment of deepest need, inspiration struck him and he let out a cry to his mounted Bodyguard that made their eyes widen.

Rory of Shetland was going to try and outflank an army five times his size.

Rory sat in his saddle, staring in shocked disbelief as he watched the Romans flee from the slaughter at the breach, his 200 men having killed a force of almost 500 men. His men let out massive cheers, embracing each other and jumping up and down, but Rory shook his head and called for silence.

"Our work is nae done yet, lads," he called,"We've killed their Captain, slaughtered their men by the hundreds.... but there are more, and they are coming."

The Scottish Infantry watched in horror as the massive siege tower - the wood coated to keep it from catching alight - was pushed forward by close to 200 more Romans, while a good 300 more held back out of range of the ballista towers, waiting for the walls of Milan to be taken and the men manning the towers to be killed so they could charge on the breaches once more.

"We have to get onto the walls!" cried one Scotsman,"Meet them as they step out of that monstrosity!"

"Nae, then they'll just abandon the tower and come through the breach we leave unguarded!" shouted another,"We have to stand here!"

"Then they'll take the walls!" cried the first,"We have t-"

"SILENCE!" roared Rory, shaking his head angrily as he thought about his two sons, close to manhood now, and resigned himself to the idea that he would never see them again.... but if he could take enough of the Romans with him, maybe his sons would live to become the fine men he knew they would be,"This city is my responsibility, and so is its defense! I will ride on these men, and kill as many of them as I can, and seek to drag them back to fight here at the breach.... but whether I live or die, they will ken that this city is Scotland's, and we will nae give it up, nae matter their numbers!"

And he rode into certain death.


"At least he died with honor," grunted Timur, sliding between a particularly thin part of the narrow, winding mountain path they had been on for a good two hours now. He wondered how Ambaghai had gotten his gut through the crack and allowed a smile,"He died a man."

"Ye are missing the point of this story," chuckled Bunnok, breathing heavily from the exertion of moving through the path. Timur was surprised at how easily the man tired, he obviously spent too much time on his horse, if this was an ambush, Timur had no doubt he could kill the man easily... but if it was an ambush, then so could have any of the other Warlords, even fat Ambaghai would have put up a fight. No, this was no ambush, just Bunnok showing off his knowledge, as he was now with his teasing about the "point" of the story,"Rory survived the charge, though many of his men died, and he rode the pursuing Romans back to the breach, they abandoned their Siege Tower in hopes of cutting down the Scottish General.... and though Rory's plan had been a success, they now faced a fresh problem, defending the breach with barely 100 men against 500."

"And did they?" asked Timur.

"They did," grinned Bunnok,"Because the Romans were stupid enough to fall for the same trick twice."


Rory of Shetland watched in disbelief as the Romans ran from the field, and shook his head in wonder.... they hadn't just lived through the battle, they'd won it! As the men cheered, he turned and began to ride his horse back into the city, his only two surviving Bodyguards moving with him, asking where he was going.

"I'm going to see my sons," said Rory, smiling,"I mean to watch them become men, and then I'm going to grow old and spoil my grandchildren."


"So they won a battle they should have lost," grunted Timur,"It happens, these Romans obviously believed they were going to have an easy victory."

"Ye're missing the point again," chuckled Bunnok.

"Which is?"

But instead of answered, Bunnok pushed through a final thin crack and turned to smile at Timur,"We're here."

The Timurid Warlord pushed through and found himself standing on a wide clifftop that was still far above the ground, surrounded on both sides by the sheer walls of the mountains. The clifftop was long as well as wide, and almost 100 yards ahead on a thin patch of tough mountain grass that amazingly enough included a sickly looking tree and a brown, thorny vine running along one side. Timur could see all of this thanks to the torches he and Bunnok were holding, but now they extinguished them so their position would not be given away as they approached the edge. Timur stood still in the moonlit darkness, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dark, taking in the other thing he had noted when they stepped through the crack onto the clifftop.

His fellow Warlords.

All thoughts of an ambush were gone now, his Warlords were close by and had obviously been waiting for his arrival to discuss the strategies they had probably been arguing over ever since Bunnok had left them. Even in the dark he recognized them, Husayn was tall and thin, leaning comfortably against the tree with one arm propped on his hip as he looked over the edge of the cliff; Miran stout and short and squatting on the ground near the bushes, while Umar Shaykh sat propped against the tree, back to Timur, elbow crooked indicating he was probably stroking his goatee as he often did when deep in thought. Ambaghai - of course - lay on his side, his favorite position (thought he was usually on a comfortable cushion, probably bored out of his mind waiting for Timur to arrive and tell him what to do.

"Quiet now," whispered Bunnok,"The army is nae in earshot of course, it's far distant, but there is nae reason to tempt fate.... go take a look over the edge of the cliff, their camp is well lit and ye should get a good idea of their numbers."

Timur moved forward carefully, stepping up beside Husayn and Umar Shaykh, about to turn his head to greet them when his eyes found the Scottish Camp and all thoughts of anything else disappeared.

"No," he whispered, eyes growing wide in horror,"Umar, Husayn, Miran... what is this?"

He reached out and touched Husayn's shoulder, and the man leaned forward, collapsing to the ground in a dead weight, causing Umar to topple over. Timur stood rooted in shock, staring down at the bodies of his two Warlords, and then he realized something he should have noted immediately.... Ambaghai was a heavy breather even when at rest, and yet he'd made no noise. He turned slowly to look down at the fat corpse, and then over at who was squatting only due to a branch that was propping him in place.

"Have ye worked out the point of the tale I told ye yet, mighty Warlord?" asked "James Bunnok", his voice dead, completely lacking in any emotion,"Even when it seems impossible.... Scotland always overcomes."

Instead of turning to look at the Spy who had lead him after all into an ambush - and Timur was in no doubt that somehow his guards had been dealt with - Timur turned to look back out over the cliff's edge, at the far distant army camped out in the lands east of Tbilisi, an army of Scotsmen.... an army so large it dwarfed even the 9000 of the Timurid Horde.

The second to last thing to go through Timur's mind was that everything he knew was a lie, that everything "Bunnok" had told him - the plague, the riots, the rebellions, the Polish, the Hungarians - was likely a lie.

The last thing to go through his mind was the shot from Duncan Colison's handgun.


James Bunnok had been a traitor, a genius and natural spy with delusions of grandeur who had falsely convinced himself that he would be Nevin of Shetland's natural successor. Nevin had indeed considered him, but told Aodh that there was something worrying dancing about behind the man's eyes, hidden so well that even Nevin couldn't be sure what it was, but he suspected lunacy. As such, he'd made Eoin Makartane his successor, and an enraged Bunnok had sword revenge. After incidents with Hungary and Poland had seen him unwelcome anywhere in the known world, he'd gone into the unknown, disappearing into the deserts to the East.

And Duncan Colison had gone after him.

Bunnok had taken the name of another spy - Patrick Boyd - in the lands of Timur, but that hadn't been enough to protect him. Playing Bunnok at his own game, Colison had "become" Bunnok and denounced "Boyd" as a spy to Timur-i-Lenk, the man's lunatic ravings doing him no favors before he was executed.

Colison had continued on as Bunnok, the pursuit of the actual man had only been a sideline to his true mission, one that lasted years and culminated in a moonlit night on a clifftop East of Tbilisi, as he blew out the brains of the only Warlord who could have possibly saved the Timurids from the trap Colison had lead them into. He quickly slid his handgun away, and turned as another man stepped onto the clifftop, another Scotsman who had moved silently in and out of the Timurid camp with none of them any the wiser, communicating only with Colison, the man who had dispatched the "secret" guards that Timur had set to follow him.... a man whom even Colison would dare to match skills with.

Eoin Makartane.

"It is done," Makartane said simply, staring at the dead bodies,"It's time to return to the King, the Horde will discover their Warlords dead within a day, by then it will be too late for them to flee."

"I'll be glad to put James Bunnok to rest finally," grinned Colison, then hunched down over Timur's corpse, patting what was left of his face familiarly,"Ye poor mad fool, ye wanted to conquer Scotland? And then the world? I should have told ye....."

The world WAS Scotland.


Within the Scottish Camp, inside a massive command tent, the Generals of Scotland sat around a heavy wooden table discussing what would be an incredibly dangerous battle even if Duncan Colison was successful in his mission.

And the King of Scotland sat at the head of the table, not speaking, listening silently to each man in turn.

"Even if they fail, we have far more men than them," grunted one General - a brutal man who seemed to live to fight,"We are sure to be victorious."

"They are used to numerical superiority," noted another General - noted for his study of history, particularly his own family's,"But they are also trained in mobile combat, far more than our own troops, even without their Generals we will need to contain their forces."

"I'm concerned about the elephants," added another General,"Our men have been TOLD about them, but being told and actually witnessing the brutes in action is likely to be another matter entirely."

"We need to be waiting at the mountains edge when they emerge," suggested another,"Crush them against the wall, remove their ability to spread ou-"

"And let them blast us with arrows from the safety of the mountain? BAH!" snapped another.

"We could attack the mountain itself with out bombards," suggested another.

"Or maybe we could learn to fly, " grunted another, rolling his eyes,"And drop rocks on them from above?"

The King of Scotland sat silently, listening to each man speak in turn.... and finally Aodh Canmore spoke.

"None of you seem to have considered," he said at last,"That with their Warlords dead and an inexperienced Khan left to lead them, that they might abandon their campaign and retreat back through the mountains into their desert.... and if they do, should we let them go?"

Chaos erupted in the tent as arguments broke out, the King watching it all.... and finally Aodh Canmore called for silence.

"without their Warlords, they will fall into squabbles for dominance," he spoke, his voice instructing, as if he was directing a lesson,"Some will run, others will want to fight, others will want to hole up in the mountains and wait us out... but eventually, a leader will be established amongst them and they will either ride against us or seek to escape... but we will nae see them for at least a week, unless we decide to go into the mountains after them."

The Generals absorbed this in silence, and then finally the brutal General spoke.

"With all due respect, Aodh, ye are a fine tactician and a brilliant man," the General said,"But I would hear from the King."

All eyes turned to the head of the table, including Aodh Canmore's, and now the King was expected to sit in silence no longer. He reached up and stroked his throat thoughtfully, fingers moving over where King Istok's hands had once been wrapped around, threatening to choke the life from him.

"They've come all this way for a fight," Domnall Canmore said with a grin,"They'll come out of the mountains for it, and I say it'd be impolite of us to nae give them one.... prepare the men, lads, we've got nine thousand Timurids to kill."