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Fanfic: A Scotsman In Egypt
"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 for A Scotsman In Egypt:

  • A Father to His Men: King Edward.
  • 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.
  • An Aesop: played with in-story:
    "Have ye worked out the point of the tale I told ye yet, mighty Warlord? Even when it seems impossible.... Scotland always overcomes."
  • And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Kirk Canmore starting a conquest of the Aztecs.
  • Arc Words: "Domnall is nae Edward Canmore."
  • 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.
  • Arrows on Fire: The Scots use them to great effect, especially when unshielded rams and siege towers are involved.
  • Ass in Ambassador: Gordon of Edinburgh is short-tempered, arrogant, and religiously intolerant.
  • Badass: Pretty much every Scot is one, but 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!"
  • Badass Grandpa: Edward. He manages to defeat Subatai in single combat. He's pushing seventy, and Subatai is only twenty-six.
  • Batman Gambit: Aohd's final gambit is to keep Kirk, Angus and a few others cooped up in Russia, specifically forbidding them to go to war to expand Scotland's borders until they get fed up and go anyway, discovering and dominating a foreign civilization (the Aztecs), just like Edward and Edmund did.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Unlike every other battle resulting in the death of a general, Prince Alexander's death in battle is represented by a series of increasingly darkened screenshots, the last one being completely black. Nor does he get the usual "A Noble Death" message telling you of a general's death.
    • Domnall gets one too... or so it seems.
  • Battle in the Rain: The start of the showdown between the Scottish and Timurid armies.
  • The Berserker: Both Edward and Domnall have elements of this.
    • Angus trhe Mauler is definitely this.
  • Bilingual Bonus: One short sequence, set in Rome, has the characters speak entirely in Latin.
  • Black Screen of Death: Deaths in battle are represented by the character surrounded by enemies and slowly fading to black, ending on a completely black screen.
  • Blood Knight: Angus the Mauler.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The classic Scottish hat, well-worn from beginning to end.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • Frequently. When Duncan Colison kills Farquar, he pulls a Prototype Handgun out. Farquar goes "And what in the devil is that, then?" before Colison shoots him.
    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.
  • The Caligula: King Nene the Lewd, last king of Sicily, definitely qualifies. After being unexpectedly ascended to king, he becomes apathetic and delusional. His behavior ruins his country. He indulges in all forms of debauchery, sleeps entire days away, and starts having trouble telling the difference between dreams and reality. He also becomes incredibly paranoid, believing that Venice is plotting against him, having anyone who says otherwise executed as a spy. His campaign against Venice is an utter joke, and results in him losing his African and island holdings to Spain and Scotland. Nene's strategy comes more from astrologers than generals. After he gets lynched by Venetian soldiers, Sicily is finally put out of its misery, and its pieces end up absorbed by Spain, Venice, and Scotland.
  • 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.
  • Cruel Mercy: King Domnall lets Doge Tusco live... as the leader of a tiny, broken Venice.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: You'd be amazed how often this happens. Usually with someone who isn't Scotland on the receiving end.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Edmund
    • Duke Puccio as well.
  • 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.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: See Do Wrong, Right. A city guard is perfectly willing to excuse a noble dragging a whore's body, as it's not the first time a man has gotten carried away with a whore.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Duke Puccio of Milan. He even says Lie Back and Think of England to a handsome English ambassador.
  • 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. There is, but he dies just before he finds him.
  • 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.
  • Do Wrong, Right: A city guard stops Robert the Younger as he's dragging the body of Cassandra to dispose of it... and tells him he's headed the wrong way, he wants to dump her in the river, not the city walls, and even helps him carry the corpse, no questions asked.
  • 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.
  • The Empire: Scotland.
  • Eye Scream: Jebe the Tyrant takes a flaming arrow to the eye.
  • 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!"
  • Funetik Aksent: The Scots, of course. The Mongols pronounce the name as Skot-tish.
  • Game Breaker: the Scot's Highlanders are pretty much unstoppable. Later on they get [bombards and a hwacha, and are even more unstoppable.
  • 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. note 
    • Gameplay and Story Integration: The character traits given in-game are built upon in the dialogue, as are random events (the pope recalling an excommunication against Scotland after a diplomat delivers an enormous bag of money to the pope in person, assassins getting to look absolutely badass instead of merely reporting success).
  • Gender-Blender Name: Averted: although two male characters are named Maria, it can be used as a male name.
  • 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.
  • The Horde: The Mongols, of course.
    • The Scots themselves often come across as this to their enemies.
  • Husky Russkie: The people of Russia are known for their toughness, as the Scots find out the hard way.
  • 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.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Everyone thinks this of Domnall.
  • 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
    • Almost every villain
  • 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.
  • Klingon Promotion: Assassins apparently follow this logic, as Duncan Colison replaces Farkar as the Scots' best assassin.
  • 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.
  • Man Bites Man: Angus the Mauler kills Voislav Miloslavov by biting his throat out.
  • Master Actor: Gille Calline the Balleol
  • Meaningful Name: Everyone is afraid of Fearghus Campbell.
  • 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 third Spymaster.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: The Russian troops are incredibly tough. During the Scottish campaign against Novgorod, they find out that the Russians can shrug off wounds that would normally be fatal. Too bad Angus is stronger.
  • Non-Action Guy: Prince David is a sickly man who fears the sight of blood.
  • The Not So Harmless Punishment: Nevin "punishes" his half brother Rory by having him married to Princess Deredere. This may not seem like much of a punishment, except for the fact that Deredere is a total shrew.
  • 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?"
  • Old Soldier: Rory and Angus become two of these after a while.
  • One World SCOTTISH Order: The end goal of the Scottish throughout the story.
  • 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.
  • The Pope: A number of popes play major roles in the story.
  • 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. 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:
    • Edward and Edmund Canmore, respectively, setting up a great dynamic between the two brothers.
    • Aodh and Domnall Canmore. The former is the calculating chessmaster, while the latter is the aggressive, brutal warrior.
    • Hew Mar and Angus the Mauler as well.
    • Among the Scottish diplomats, Gordon of Edinburgh and Gille Calline the Balleol, respectively.
  • 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.
  • Rising Empire: Scotland
  • 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 advice of his father at every oppurtunity. Played with when falling back to his father's advice 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."
    • "Like, like a boat!"
  • 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."
  • Smug Snake: Duke Puccio of Milan.
    • Cassandra also qualifies.
  • 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!"
  • The Spymaster: Fearghus Campbell.
  • Starter Villain: Egypt
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The stock in trade of Scotland's spies and assassins.
  • A Storm Is Coming: At one point, a huge storm sweeps across the Atlantic. This foreshadows King Mallobo's campaign against the Scottish Empire.
  • Superweapon Surprise: a minor version: the Mongols were not expecting the Scots to use bombards, nor were the Russians expecting themto use a hwacha from a mercenary mongol unit.
  • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: King Istok gives one to Domnall Canmore after the Papal States become a de facto vassal of Scotland.
    • Aodh Canmore gives one to a Papal Inquisitor who put him on trial inside an Egyptian pyramid where he had just buried his brother Nectan.
  • 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
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Gawain dies when the enemy general throws his sword into his neck.
  • Tranquil Fury: Domnall displays a terrifying example of this in his dealings with Councilor Tusco.
  • 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.
  • That Man Is Dead:
He watched the death of Domnall Canmore. And he watched the birth of King Domnall, true heir of Edward Canmore.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The Scottish earn this reputation throughout Europe. To the Scottish, the Timurids and Mongols best manage this.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Quite a few examples. Aradai, a rather brutal Mongol general, has a pretty spectacular one when the Scots defeat his army in open desert, after a series of crushing defeats which led to the deaths of most of the Mongol horde. He devolves into a screaming animal and begins slaughtering his own men.
  • 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: What with the Badass Boasts and roaring enthusiam of the Scottish and their enemies, this is hardly surprising.
  • 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.

Tropes for An Egyptian In Scotland:

  • Alternate History: Of course!
  • Ancestral Armour: Philopater Ptolemy offers expertly crafted armour made before the fall of Egypt in return for the head of Ivomagus.
  • Ancient Grome: On account of the game being played with the famous Europa Barbarorum mod, the Egyptians look like this. Note that this is more historically accurate than the vanilla depiction.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Heruben is named "King of Britannia".
  • Badass: Just like the Scots, the Ptolemy's have their fair share.
    • Heruben, after he takes a level in badass.
    • Khu Eng The Deceiving. The most badass spy the Egyptians have.
  • Badass Army: The Ptolemics. They initially struggle against the native Britons in unfamiliar territory, only winning by the skin of their teeth due to clever tactics, but they slowly grow out of it. In their first real battle against the Brits, they absolutely slaughter them.
  • Badass Boast:
    Heruben: We've told them to submit. We've told them that if our armies entered their lands, the consequences would be dire for them. Have they any response to that?
    Messenger: Their written response was one word, my lord: "If".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Ptolemics secure the entire British isles as their new kingdom, but King Heruben is killed in the final battle with Vortigern. The Ptolemy name is eventually lost to history, but the bloodline survives and spreads throughout Britain. A millennia later, the descendants of the Ptolemy return to their ancestral homeland... with a vengeance.
    Narration: Before leaving the sands of Egypt, Heruben Ptolemy had uttered the words "we will return". Fourteen centuries later, his oath was finally fulfilled when his descendants, unbeknownst to them, once more occupied the complete ancestral lands of the Egyptian Empire. And they finalized their return, their fulfillment of the Pharaoh's oath, with the following words:
    Angus The Mauler: "A gah-lah bala to you too, laddie. Jerusalem is Scotland's!".
  • Brave Scot: The native Caledonian highlanders are tough bastards.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ivomagus, a seemingly throwaway scout, is let free by the Ptolemy. In a way similar to Saving Private Ryan, Ivomagus returns as a general and is responsible for the death of Auletes and several Ptolemic warriors.
  • Cool Horse: Sort of. For the final battle, Vortigern rides in a chariot made from the skull of a slain Ptolemic war elephant.
  • The Dreaded: The Gaelic general Vortigern.
  • Defiant to the End: an Egyptian general, captured for information, not only says nothing, but his last insult is to fart at the enemy.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Meryre Ptolemy. Dies in Alexandria's city square, allegedly bristling with arrows and wounds, clutching the spines of two Seleucids in his hands.
    • Heruben. Having killed the enemy general, waits until the enemy have deserted to collapse, revealing he'"d been holding his own guts in with his shield.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Euergetes, after he is captured by the Britons.
  • A Father to His Men: Heruben.
  • Fiery Redhead: Many of the native Britons. A Ptolemic general even comments on it.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Ptolemic empire is destroyed by the Seleucids, forcing a mass exodus of Egyptian survivors. They land in the British isles, and the first few chapters is this.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Ptolemics are Fighting for a Homeland, while the native Britons are fighting to defend their homeland from the "invaders". They both want the same bit of real-estate, and have legitimate reasons for fighting. That said, the Ptolemics have their share of bastards, and the Britons commit some shockingly brutal atrocities.
  • Growing the Beard: invoked Literally. Heruben grows a beard over the first British winter, and is more badass from then on in.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The Gaelic general Glasobrin. He gets rolled over by an Egyptian war chariot.
  • The Hero Dies: Heruben.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Meryre Ptolemy and the Alexandria garrison, who hold off the Seleucid hordes long enough to buy time for the Egyptian Pharaoh and his followers.
  • Historical In-Joke: Quite a few.
    • The Ptolemics want to call the new country "Eng's Land", after their greatest spy, Khu Eng. Khu responds by saying "Eng-land is a stupid name for a country".
    • Arrhidaeos invents the hinged phalanx.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: By the time of A Scotsman in Egypt, the story of Heruben has been corrupted almost beyond recognition.
  • Lighter and Softer: Still rather violent and brutal, but not as much so as A Scotsman in Egypt.
  • Mighty Glacier: Ptolemic phalanxes. Heavily armed and armored, but slow and inflexible. The more mobile Britons often take advantage of this.
  • Rain of Arrows: Acestes uses Machamoi archers to deadly effect.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Heruben, against Vortigern. Heruben gets to defeat him in the end.
    • Ivomagus against Auletes.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: He's called "Euergetes the Profane" for a good reason, you know.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Auletes enjoys killing Britons a little too much. Not to mention his first line:
    Auletes: I don't know about you, Sekoundos, but I'm looking forward to the next generation of my line having red hair.
  • Starfish Language: Gaelic. Just look at it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Auletes Ptolemy.
  • True Companions: The Ptolemic refugees. All they have in the world is each other, after all.
  • War Is Hell: Heruben's experiences in Britannia change him quite a lot.


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alternative title(s): A Scotsman In Egypt
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