The Let's Play Archive

Medieval II: Total War - A Scotsman In Egypt

by Jerusalem

Part 9: A Scotsman In Egypt - Chapter 8

Gille Calline the Balleol stood at the edge of the world, looking out over the ocean that disappeared into the sky far in the Horizon. He was a Diplomat, and his education had taken him from inauspicious beginnings in a small Scottish village to places most of the World's people would never know of, let alone see. He'd stood atop the pyramids; travelled down the Nile; sailed the ocean; crossed deserts; been entertained by pagans and heathens in their cities; slept with exotic women and drank bizarre alcohol that would spin the head of the toughest old Scot.

But now here he stood looking out over the Edge of the World, knowing that he had to send word back to his King far back in Egypt. He was to be the bearer of bad tidings, in the midst of such good news. Prince Finguine had married; The Christian Knights of the Templar were travelling to Gaza to set up a Guildhouse there, which was seen as yet further evidence of the high esteem the Church felt for Scotland; Europe was embracing pressed paper, a creation from the Middle East brought to the Continent by Scottish Conquest; and three of Scotland's great rivals to the position of greatest Empire on Earth - France, The Holy Roman Empire, and Poland - had been excommunicated by the Pope.

But Gille Calline had to send word to King Edward that Scotland's ancient rival had not forgotten them. While the sons of Malcolm Canmore had left their ancestral lands behind to conquer Egypt and build an Empire, the sons of William The Conqueror were looking to the North of their country, and the unprotected lands there.

England had laid siege to York.

At Aleppo, north of Gaza, King Edward was as yet unaware of this attack on the first City he'd ever captured, so many years ago. At the moment, his attention was on dealing with the Rebel Captain Khushqadam, who held the small Rebel Outpost that had been abandoned by the Turks several months earlier after an Earthquake. His Highlanders roared and jeered at the Rebel Archers as they peered over the flimsy looking wooden walls, screaming insults as the Rebels looked back grimly and silently, knowing Edward's reputation all too well.

The Archers finally gave a reaction when Edward ordered his catapults to fire on the Gate, unleashing a volley of flaming arrows in the hopes of burning it down before it could break down the door. But Edward was no novice, he'd had the catapults treated to resist fire, and the flimsy gate barely stood a chance in the first place, the doors smashing open as Prince Alexander gave the order for the Cavalry to charge through the gates, followed closely by the Infantry.

Captain Khushqadam fell almost immediately, and the Rebels immediately broke, trying desperately to run from the thundering Horses, the roaring Highlanders, the blast of the Catapult, but not a single man escaped the wrath of King Edward The Tyrant.

In the aftermath of the battle, as Edward's commanders saw to their troops and the fortification of the outpost for Scotland's own use, as bodies were dragged into the desert to be burnt, a messenger arrived loyal to Prince Alexander, and bypassed King Edward to give him the news.

The Prince read the message with wide eyes, dismissing the messenger as he grabbed at a wall for balance. What Father had long feared had finally come to pass, the true cost of Edward's Egyptian misadventure, York was under siege by the English.

Captain Mac Dobarchon - named for a relative of his Father's long dead in Egypt - stood in the snow covered streets of York amongst the militia who stood in defence of the town. Outside the gates stood the English, unmounted Knights who would cut through them like butter if they made it through the walls. He called out to his men, all of whom he knew by name, all of whom could be dead by day's end.

"Lad's!" he cried,"Out there are the English.... if they come in, let's give them an old-fashioned Scottish welcome!"

His men roared in approval, as outside the Gates the English began to march forward, carrying no siege equipment, heading straight for the doors to York.

"Is that gate secure?" roared Mac,"Answer me damn you!"

But no reply came, until Mac harshly ordered runners to enter the tower to check the men who were supposed to be guarding the entrance, only for the gates to swing open as the English charged in. The cursed English had a spy inside!

"HOLD THEM AT THE GATE!" roared Mac, gripping his own sword and rushing forward as heavily armored English Knights smashed into his militia.

Mac slashed viciously at the Knights as they pressed against the line he was trying desperately to maintain, knowing that if the English could push past them they'd take York. The English Knights were hard to kill, but they moved sluggishly, allowing his more lightly armored militia to dodge and slash, cutting them down bit by bit. Just as Mac felt himself gaining a wild hope that they just might hold back the tide, a mighty roar rose from the back of the English host, and fresh Knights came charging through their own men, ignoring the Scottish as they charged through and over them, their immense weight inexorably parting the Scots and leaving them clear. They continued down the street as English militia moved in to replace them, attacking the Scottish with a vengeance, Mac cursing as he realized they meant to hold them at the Gate while their Knights took York unopposed.

"After them!" he roared, but his men could not obey, locked in a life or death struggle where they were. Mac roared in fury and cut at the English about him like a man possessed, and suddenly the English were running, charging past them and screaming for help. Mac raised his sword high and screamed for his men to follow him, and they charged down the street after the retreating English, the Captain still hoping they could catch up to the Knights and somehow, some way, wear the English down and hold the Town. But as the English militia ran, Knights charged in to meet the Scottish, blocking them from making it any further towards the City Centre.

Despite himself, Mac felt his heart welling with pride as he fought amongst the English Knights in the streets of York. None of his men had broken, none had hesitated to meet the English despite their superior armor and weapons, and none took a backwards step now. Scots went down, but so did the English and Mac felt a yearning to scream his defiance to the world, to tell the English they'd have to fight for every yard of Scottish ground. But that was his heart, not his mind, the latter telling him that if York fell, Edinburgh was next, and by now the Knights that had pushed past them would have taken the City Centre, would be making it a defensive fortress, would be taking control of important buildings and other defensive positions.

"York has fallen!" roared Mac bitterly,"Away! We return another day; we must go to the aid of Edinburgh!"