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 "A gah-lah bala to you too, laddie."

A Scotsman In Egypt is an epic Let's Play of Medieval II: Total War written by Something Awful forum member Jerusalem, and according to the Let's Play Archive it "sets the gold standard for narrative LPs."

The year is 1080. Europe is slowly emerging from the grip of the Dark Ages, but two Scottish princes are only just emerging from the grips of their hangovers. Edward and Edmund Canmore have awoken to find themselves leading an army to Egypt in an act of drunken daring, and follow through on the idea, seizing the city of Alexandria, waging war on the armies of Egypt, and setting the stage to rewrite history, one angry, drunken, kilt-wearing brawl at a time.

The story of A Scotsman in Egypt covers nearly two centuries of war and intrigue surrounding the Canmore clan (Starting with Edward and Edmund, but then moving to their sons Domnall, Nectan, and Aodh, and ending with Adam Canmore's son Kirk and Aodh's daughter Joan Canmore) as they fight their way across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, using guile, trickery, assassins, massive armies, copious amounts of alcohol and sheer Scottish stubbornness to forge the mightiest empire in history, while defeating the ambitions of rival empires, intrigue within their own ranks, and the invading hordes of the Mongols and Timurids.

Also has a prequel, in the form of An Egyptian In Scotland, a Rome: Total Realism LP that tells how the Ptolemic Empire were the ancestors of the Scots in A Scotsman In Egypt, and how Edward and Edmund were fulfilling the ancient promise that the Ptolemics would return.


Tropes used in A Scotsman in Egypt include:

 "Have ye worked out the point of the tale I told ye yet, mighty Warlord? Even when it seems impossible.... Scotland always overcomes."

  • Alternate History: While the most obvious part is how two drunken Scots rewrote history by storming Alexandria, An Egyptian In Scotland posits that the Scots are actually descendants of the Ptolemic Empire, displaced by war and forced to settle in Briton, which helps to explain the Canmore crest inside Egypt's pyramids.
  • Artifact Title: The conquering campaign of Egypt is is the beginning of the Scottish Empire, but it doesn't really have that much bearing on the later parts of the story. Also, technically speaking, it's two Scotsmen in Egypt.
  • Badass: Angus the Mauler takes the cake. "ELEPHAAAANTS!"
  • Badass Army: The Scottish, who utterly curb-stomp many of the foes they go to battle with, though part of this is down to the competence of the LPer and AI, or lack thereof in the AI's case. The Milanese are this in their first fight with the Scottish, but become pushovers afterwards.
  • Badass Boast: The Scots have an endless supply of foul-mouthed taunts detailing the gruesome ends of their enemies. Sometimes, their enemies even have a counter to them.
    • When the Sicilians lay siege to Cairo, Edward, Edmund, and Nectan Canmore roll out a series of increasingly insulting tunts, until Edward finally gets pissed off that the Sicilians are still around, at which point:

 "ENOUGH! YE ARE STILL HERE? THEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! TOMORROW I LED MY MEN OUT OF THE WALLS INTO YE MIDST! I WILL RIDE THROUGH YE AS IF YE WERE WATER! I WILL CUT YE DOWN AS IF YE WERE WHEAT AND I A SCYTHE! I WILL BRING DEATH AND HELL WITH ME, MY BROTHER AND NEPHEW AT MY SIDE, MY MEN BEHIND ME, SCOTLAND WILL RIDE OVER YE AND YE'LL DIE! AYE, AND THEN YE'LL RUN, AND I WILL CHASE YE, AND EVEN IF YE FLED OVER THE OCEANS I WOULD COME FOR YE, AND YE'D HIDE BEHIND YE WALLS AND I WILL STILL COME, AND KILL YE, YE WIVES, YE CHILDREN, YE ANIMALS, AND I'D TEAR DOWN YE HOMES, AND BURN THE TREES AND GRASS AND SALT THE EARTH, AND STILL MY FURY WILL NAE BE QUENCHED! YE WILL HAVE UNLEASHED DEATH ON YE AND EVERYTHING YE LOVE, AND THE FAULT WILL BE ALL YE OWN!"

"NOW. GET. OUT. OF. MY. EMPIRE!"

 Colison: (smiling) That? That, my friend, is progress.

    • The death of Duke Puccio. "Milan surrenders." (Domnall cuts his head off.) "Scotland accepts."
  • Book Ends: The story opens with Edward and Edmund piss-drunk, cursing their father, and leading an army on a drunken lark to conquer Egypt. The story ends with Kirk Canmore, Angus the Mauler, Edward of Shetland, and Edmund Besat getting piss-drunk, cursing Aodh Canmore, and leading an army on a drunken lark to America.
  • Combat by Champion: King Istok of Hungary challenges King Domnall of Scotland to this, after the Scottish annex the Papal States.
    • Harry the Merciless, last king of England, tries to stave off the Scottish horde storming his city by telling them they're being thrown away in battle by their rulers, that they don't need to shed each others' blood, and then challenging Hew Mar, the general of the Scottish force, to combat by champion. One Scotsman replies by telling him that he's English, which is all the reason a Scotsman needs to kill him, and then lops off his head with a claymore.
  • Decapitation Presentation: When Edward kills the leader of the Mongols he presents the man's head, and then chucks it aside, calling it "shit."
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Angus the Mauler. Being punched in the face by Domnall makes him want to follow the man even through the gates of Hell.
  • Determinator: the hat of the Scots.
    • The Russians as well, as shown in their first battle with Angus the Mauler's troops.
  • Disaster Dominoes: For Spain, starting with Nevin of Shetland's infiltration of Zaragoza and ending with King Mallobo giving himself a heart attack from paranoia that a Scottish assassin is in the room.
  • Downer Ending: Domnall is slain by King Istok, Scotland suffers under the ravages of the Black Death, Poland, Hungary, and Portugal take chunks out of Scottish territory, and the Timurids invade. Man, that's depressing. And then subverted, because its all a massive Batman Gambit to get the Timurids to walk into an ambush involving 15,000 Scots.
  • The Dreaded: They call Domnall "The Merciless" for a reason.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Aodh experiences prophetic dreams. Partially justified, in meta terms, as the LP itself shows Aodh picking up this character trait on his unit card.
  • Facing The Swords One Liner: A Scottish general gets one at Nicea, "BASTARDS! COME AND TAKE ME THEN! I'LL HAVE A PITCHFORK WAITING FOR YE ARSE IN HELL!"
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In a way. What the occasional character sheet screenshots show sometimes seems to contradict what happened in-story. There's the fact that the story starts in 1080, with Edward and Edmund in their mid-twenties. They're still around to fight in the Mongol Invasions, which begin in 1220. [1]
  • Gray and Grey Morality: Though the Scots have the sympathetic viewpoint and generally are heroes, at the same time the enemies they're fighting against get their own sympathetic moments as well, and in the case of the Scottish war on the Danes, the Scots actually come off as the villains. The Scots themselves are also pretty merciless, and in some cases commit shockingly brutal acts - usually against enemies like the Mongols or Timurids.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Edward and Domnall Canmore do not angst much. But when they do angst - usually when a close family member dies - they angst hard, usually locking themselves in the royal chambers for days or weeks.
  • Hold the Line: the Scottish troops under Gawain, fighting the Mongol hordes using a combination of pikes, archers, catapaults, and a narrow bridge to trap them in a meatgrinder. Later followed up by King Edward and Edmund Canmore doing the same thing to destroy an even larger Mongol army.
    • Later, the Hungarians try to pull this same trick on the Scots. It fails, hard.
  • HSQ: The Timurids bring nine thousand troops into Scotland, totally dwarfing any army that could be assembled against them. Except the fifteen thousand Scots waiting for them.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Nevin of Shetland, while on a mission for the Scottish crown, fell ill of plague and was cared for by a friendly farmer and her family. He finds out that while delirious from the plague, he spoke secrets that the family overheard, and subsequently had to kill them all. Naturally, he is deeply wracked by guilt as a result of this.
    • There's also Aodh forging the documents necessary to start a war with Denmark, just because he felt Domnall was losing respect. Thousands of innocent soldiers die, and their King commits suicide as a last-ditch effort to end the war, which doesn't work.
  • Impeded Messenger: Several messengers get delayed over the course of the series, including a few who "lose" their messages. This becomes a plot point later on when Aodh reveals to Domnall that Denmark had delayed a number of Papal messengers, which delayed a warning of impending excommunication, triggering a Roaring Rampage of Revenge by Domnall against Denmark.
  • Impossible Thief: The Scottish spies in general, but Eoin Makartane takes the cake, managing to escape from a sealed, windowless room after the guards watched him walk in there and locked it behind him, and then managed to snatch Aodh Canmore's personal orders to him from his locked office without the guards ever seeing him or even unlocking the door. Of course, given that the whole thing may have been a setup...
  • Incendiary Exponent: "ELEPHAAAANTS!"
  • I Shall Taunt You: King Istok of Hungary uses this against Domnall. It doesn't work against Domnall, though it hacks off his officers rather well.
  • Jerkass: The Scots seem like this at times.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Prince Gawain
    • And almost every villain
    • That's not an exaggeration.
  • Kissing Cousins: Aed Canmore marries his cousin Muriel. It causes a bit of a stir, but in fact, they're only related due to the vast family that the Canmore Clan has become through political marriages and adoptions, so not even by blood. And they end up Happily Married.
  • Last Stand: The siege of Rennes for the Scottish, and Antwerp for the English.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Edward and Edmund take advantage of the Mongol leaders' tendency to do this. They confront the Mongols at a bridge that had been carefully prepared as a killzone, and the Mongol leaders' vicious pride and rage caused them to lead a charge straight across into the Scottish pikes, archers, and catapaults.
  • Low Fantasy: Though the majority of the story is set in a fairly realistic medieval world, the presence of Aodh's prophetic visions and the fortune teller in Egypt who manages to perfectly recite, word for word, the plot of a group of conspirators who had planned to assassinate Edward and Edmund decades earlier indicates some low-key supernatural elements.
  • Moral Dissonance: Justified and repeatedly lampshaded. A lot of time is spent explaining how Aodh reconciles his religious piety and love for his family with being Scotland's Spymaster.
  • Oh Crap: A common response when the Scots show up to kick someone's ass.

 "Are they wearing.... kilts?" asked Knud in disbelief,"The Scottish are here?"

"The Scottish are here," nodded the man beside him,"You know what this means, Captain?"

"Oh yes," nodded Knud grimly,"We're fucked, aren't we?"

  • One World SCOTTISH Order
  • One Steve Limit: Averted (there are like half a dozen Anguses running around in this story) and Played for Laughs at one point, where a captain calls out his Second's name to warn him as he is about to be stabbed by an enemy, who is then distracted as it turns out he and the Second are both named Donald. Then they have a short conversation before going back to killing each other.
  • Professional Killer: The various assassins commanded by the Scots.
  • Reality Ensues: In Chap 52, Cassandra, Robert the Elder of Edinburgh's former mistress, tries to talk Robert the Younger into murdering Adam Canmore's family and friend, by blackmailing Robert Senior's memory. Not only does would it ensure her future power, but it would bind him to her forever. He stares at her for a second before hysterically choking her to death with his bare hands.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: A particularly arrogant and annoying Scottish diplomat ends up being assigned to the ass-end of nowhere on the west coast of Africa.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Edmund and Edward Canmore, setting up a great dynamic between the two brothers.
    • Aodh and Domnall Canmore, too. The former is the calculating chessmaster, while the latter is the aggressive, brutal warrior.
    • Hew Mar and Angus the Mauler as well.
  • The Remnant: One chapter features a large battle between Scottish troops and a force of former English soldiers united under an English general, many years after England itself was formally destroyed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Domnall Canmore engages in one of these against the Danes, and by association, Venice for aiding the Danes.
    • And Milan. And Sicily. And Spain. In short, you go to war with Scotland, Scotland kicks your ass.
  • Running Gag: Domnall is nae Edward Canmore.
    • Also Hew Mar always quoting the...questionable advise of his father at every oppurtunity. Played with when falling back to his father's advise supposedly ends up getting him captured ("Fuck you, father!") and later he realizes in the Final Battle that the only thing he doesn't have advice from his father to fall back on is...fighting elephants ("HOW THE HELL DO YOU FIGHT ELEPHANTS!?! YE NAE TOLD ME THAT, FATHER!")
    • "A gah-lah bala to you too, laddie."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: When a Pope hostile to Scotland gets elected, the Scots buy his favor. Literally. With a giant sack of florins.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: The last king of England tries to convince the Scots that their king thinks of them as disposable, and they should rebel. They say "You're English. That's all we need to know to kill you."
  • Sophisticated As Hell: Most of the Scots, but Edward is king of this.

 Edward stared wide-eyed at his men, of such a number that they stretched the entire length of Jerusalem's city wall. He felt euphoria now before the battle that he usually only felt at its climax, which he put down to being the infectious religious euphoria of the bulk of his new troops. They were itching with excitement, eager to kill heathens, and his original Scottish troops seemed to be getting caught up in the religious fervor too, and Edward knew he had to be careful to ignite that smoldering flame with just the right words. He lifted his sword high, and felt the hairs on the back of his head raise up as the entire force suddenly went quiet, waiting to hear him speak.

"Okay lads!" he roared,"Let's get the bastards!"

  • Smug Snake: Duke Puccio of Milan. Also a Depraved Homosexual.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: The stock in trade of Scotland's spies and assassins.
  • Talkative Loon: Prince Augustine, the last prince of England, is "quite mad."
  • Thanatos Gambit: Fearghus Campbell manages to assassinate the Milanese spymaster after he dies this way. He knows the man will become bolder and more aggressive after Campbell dies, so he set up an assassin as an informant for the Milanese, and once said assassin got in his good graces he killed him. The best part is that Campbell actually sent the enemy spymaster a letter telling him he was never as good as he thought he was as the signal to kill him.
  • Those Two Guys: Hew Mar and Angus the Mauler. King Istok even refers to them as Domnall's lap dog and his hound dog, respectively.
    • Earlier in the story, Rory and Angus, who are cousins in King Edward's army
  • Trust Password: "[I am] Scotland's greatest friend and servant".
  • Unreliable Narrator: James Bunnok, as well as the main narrator.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Micheil flies into one during the Battle of Nicea, after Dougall is killed. This turns into a subversion, as it gets him killed as well.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The Scottish earn this reputation throughout Europe. To the Scottish, the Timurids and Mongols best manage this.
  • Victory Is Boring: Midway through the story, Scotland has defeated everyone who challenged them, and Domnall starts to relax. His authority begins to erode as a result, with the world in general and the citizens of Scotland in particular viewing him as less of a powerful ruler and more of an eccentric king. Aodh arranges for the war with Denmark to break this.
  • World of Ham
  • Worthy Opponent: Thomas Weste, a very skilled English cavalry general who managed to keep his master's fragmenting empire together as the Scots endeavored to rip it apart, simultaneously holding off the full brunt of the entire Holy Roman Empire and Scottish Armies. Eventually, he was killed when his short-tempered King forced him to defend an indefensible position, with even the Scotsmen who defeated him noting his great skill and chivalry after his death.
  • Zerg Rush: A common Scottish tactic when dealing with higher-quality enemy troops is to throw hordes of angry Scotsmen at them. Most notable during the war with Spain, where a small force of elite Spanish knights goes up against a massive force of Scottish militia and gets buried under their numbers. Also notable in the post-battle casualty reports; the Scots usually lose equal or greater numbers of men than their enemies, but they have plenty more where they came from. Also acknowledged in-story, where one Scotsman notes that the only thing Scots do better than fighting is making more Scotsmen.
    • When the Spanish king and his generals are discussing how to defeat Scotland, Mallabo points out that the Scots always move their armies in large numbers specifically to dominate the enemy in terms of manpower.

Notes

  1. This latter part can be attributed to the odd way aging and the passage of time is handled in Medieval II, where characters only age one year every other turn, and every turn involves two years passing. Thus, a character whose age is listed as forty would have been born a hundred and sixty years earlier in game-time.
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