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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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Happy Hogmanay everyone!

stnylan: I agree - the campaign continues... ;)

Semi-Lobster: As you'll see, the Irish aren't being terribly co-operative. I hope I don't have to resort to more - er persuasive methods... :mad:

Stroph1: Glad to see you're getting into the Hogmanay spirit there!

Mr T: Thanks for your encouragement. Crichton, of course, like all the Scottish nobility, was well-trained in deciphering this kind of thing. Part of keeping the peasantry happy and all that :).

jwolf and ladyfabia: I didn't realize that Foix was an EEP innovation, although now that I come to think of it, I hadn't ever seen it before. They currently have two provinces in SW France.

Machiavellian: You can say that again! But as Judas Maccabeus points out, there does seem to be a slight inconsistency between the troubles that Nippon and Scotland have to battle through in what were on the face of it very similar political situations.

Well, without further ado, here comes the Hogmanay 2003 Edition of "The Wind in the Heather":

Episode 4: 1449 - 1460
Bad Boy James


James’s main ambition was to seize more English lands, and to this end he kept a close watch on both England and France, as well as strengthening the defences of Edinburgh in case it should have to withstand a siege while the Scottish Army were enjoying themselves somewhere down south. In 1450 France annexed Savoy, while England was preoccupied with domestic problems such as the rebellion led by Jack Cade.

However James was also concerned to make Scotland into a great cultural nation. He continued to encourage innovation in the realm and in 1451 Glasgow University was founded, Scotland’s second university, the first being that of St.Andrews, founded in 1411.



The new university in Glasgow

James’s main threat were not the English, in fact, but the unscrupulous Scottish nobility, who had grown used to wielding more power than was good for them in the absence of a reigning king. John MacDonald of the Isles had been taught a lesson in toeing the line in 1450 but it was the Douglases who posed the main threat, since they had undisguised ambitions to the Scottish throne.

In 1452 William, eighth Earl of Douglas, was invited by James to supper at Stirling Castle. The King’s intention was to persuade the Earl to cease his plotting with John of the Isles and other unwholesome elements, such as the English. When diplomacy failed the King turned to a more direct approach and stabbed the Earl to death.

In case he had not made his point clear enough, he then confiscated all the Douglas lands and razed their castles to the ground. The remnants of the Douglas family fled to Brittany where they continued to plot against James. All this caused great instability in the realm, but at the end of the day the rest of the nobility took the hint and settled down as good loyal citizens.

Meanwhile, James was still looking for a chance to go to war with England, but he faced two problems. Firstly, no-one else was currently abusing the English, so a war was somewhat riskier. Secondly, Scotland no longer had a justifiable cause to go to war against England. Of course, the Scots argued that England’s very existence was a crime against humanity, but unfortunately the international community were not in unanimous agreement. In 1456 he held a council with his trusted advisors, the former Regent Sir William Crichton and Bishop Kennedy of St.Andrews.


James II of Scotland: Well, chaps, we’re well scunnered here and no mistake. How are we going to rid the world of England if we don’t even have a casus belli against them any more. Last time I looked we had two!

Bishop Kennedy: Ah, Your Majesty, how the tides of fortune ebb and flow! Never mind - perhaps the English will declare war on us instead?

Sir William Crichton: Hah! The Sassenachs are scared witless of our invincible army! In three wars they have only beaten us in one single battle. I would not hold my breath waiting for a declaration of war from them, Your Majesty.

James: Then what are we to do?

Bishop Kennedy: If we were allied with France...

James: France? Have you noticed the French going to war against England recently? Those froggies are losing their touch when it comes to England-abuse. We are better to stick with the Irish while Meath remains in English hands.

Crichton: Then there is only one thing for it, Sire! Declare war on England without just cause. Do you imagine that the people of Scotland will revolt against a decision like that?

James: You’re right, Sir William - henceforth you shall be known as “Crichton the right ’un”! Give orders to raise 6,000 extra horse for the Paltry Scottish Army. We are going to war!

So finally in November 1456 James declared war. A small English force in Lincolnshire was quickly defeated and Lincoln was besieged by the Scots. As usual the Irish invaded Meath and laid siege to Dublin, while the English sent small armies to besiege the Scottish towns of Lancaster and York.

In April 1457 Lincoln was captured by the Scots, whereupon the English lifted their sieges and marched south once more. The Scottish Army swept into the Midlands where they defeated the English five times in the space of a month. Two more battles were won in Lincolnshire, before London was besieged in June. The English mounted one half-hearted attempt to break the siege, which was unsuccessful. Meanwhile Scottish reinforcements were riding south from York, defeating another English army in Bristol on the way before they joined the siege of London.

By May 1458 the usual Burgundian expeditionary force had arrived on the scene and were besieging Lancaster, but London fell in October and the Scottish Army quickly rode north and drove out the invaders. At this point Henry VI sent his first ever sensible peace offer. Lincoln would go to the Scots, Dublin to the Irish, and all his gold (84 ducats) would be handed over. James, having had to deal with a corruption problem the previous year, was running out of money, and moreover the French had still failed to take advantage of the war to attack the English themselves. He therefore accepted Henry’s offer and the English said goodbye to two more provinces.

Of course the Scottish Army, not to mention the English peasantry, had been disappointed by the businesslike progress of the war, and the sad lack of Rock Festivals, but the people of Lincoln now settled down to enjoy the pleasures of permanent Scottish occupation, with regular Hogmanay ceilidhs and Barr’s Irn-Bru for all.


Cedric, a Lincolnshire farmer: Well, Will, they do say as we’ve been made part o’ the Kingdom of Scotland now.

Will, another farmer: Well that’s good news, in my book. Better’n bein’ all caught up in them there Wars o’ the Roses an’ such.

Cedric: An’ maybe we can ‘old some Rock Festivals of our own now - you think we’ll be allowed to do that, Will?

Will: Oh I don’t see why not, Cedric. We jus’ need to learn ‘ow to play them outlandish instruments.


A typical outlandish Scottish instrument

In September 1459 France finally went to war against England again. This was a major conflict, setting France, Foix, Castile, Brittany, Luxembourgh and Helvetia against England, Burgundy, the County of Holland and Hannover. Incidentally, the Hundred Years War had officially ended in 1453, but nobody seemed to have noticed that detail.

James decided that it would now be better to be part of the French alliance instead of being allied with Eire, whose chances of abusing England further were somewhat diminished now that they had taken Dublin, especially as they had no navy. He did offer the Irish the chance to be his vassals, however, but they refused, and he began to watch for a chance to dissolve the alliance.

Then in August 1460 tragedy struck. Whilst observing a routine “peace-keeping raid” on an English border castle, James was standing beside a cannon, wondering where on earth it had come from when Scotland were still only at land tech 2. The cannon, presumably realizing what a crass anachronism it was, suddenly blew itself up. The King was killed instantly. The throne passed to his nine year-old son, James III, but it was his wife, Marie of Gueldres, who first took the reins of power.



The tragic death of James II


The British Isles in 1460
 
Last edited:

Machiavellian

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Its time to Liberate the Welsh. Those Irish, I wonder if they will cause problems for you in the future or whether they will join the Scottish cause..
 

stnylan

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colonise those Irish! Enlighten them as to the true spelling of certain alcoholic beverages ;)

Nice to see the progress thus made.
 

unmerged(10971)

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Farquharson said:
Then in August 1460 tragedy struck. Whilst observing a routine “peace-keeping raid” on an English border castle, James was standing beside a cannon, wondering where on earth it had come from when Scotland were still only at land tech 2. The cannon, presumably realizing what a crass anachronism it was, suddenly blew itself up. The King was killed instantly.


The tragic death of James II
If that's not the best scene I've read in an AAR recently, then it's certainly one of the best.

Of course, scenes like this are the normal course of affairs in this AAR. :)
 

unmerged(15337)

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Your account of James's tragic death was very moving. But what does "Ooch ya bizzum" mean? For the benefit of us poor souls who only speak English, that is.

I just finished a Scotland GC recently, and I found it expedient to stay allied to France until England was eliminated. That way I was able to coax and assist the French to take the English provinces in France. Even so, I just barely succeeded (1520) before the English colonial expansion really started to get going.

Those early Scottish events with all the royal intrigue are very interesting. And your interpretations of events are far more imaginative than mine!

Good luck as you continue this wonderful AAR.
 

Semi-Lobster

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Another great update Farquharson! You better take Wales before that event where they change from Celtic culture to Anglo-Saxon comes around.
 

Van Engel

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the cannon explosion was real gold! Great job so far!
 

VPeric

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An another excelent AAR. Too bad your Nippon attempt didn't work, but your more then making up for it now ;).

P.S. After reading Nippon, and now this AAR, I can still say that the Tunisian AAR was the funniest of all of your AARs. Are you losing your touch? :D :D
 

Susanna

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This is a great AAR.

Just out of curiosity, who owns the COT at Flanders in your 1460 screenshot?

Susanna
 

Director

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Just wanted you to know I'm reading faithfully and with great enjoyment.

When I saw the pic, but before I read the expanation, I wondered if perhaps James was the victim of some bad haggis... That truly would create a 'wind' in the heather! :rolleyes: :D
 

Farquharson

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Machiavellian, Semi-Lobster: Regarding the Welsh, I haven't checked recently what culture they are, but they'll be part of Scotland soon, methinks...

Valdemar: New Year's feat? What was it? :p

Machiavellian and stnylan: regarding the Irish, I'm planning some entertainment at their expense, I'm afraid, but exactly what form it will take I don't know yet...:D

JM, jwolf, Van Engel: Glad you liked the account of James's death. Apart from a few details, such as the expletive used, it was of course totally historical!

jwolf: "Ouch you bizzum" but what exactly is a "bizzum"? Hmm - I have to admit I'm not quite sure, but it's not complimentary ;) Regarding France, I make a bit more use of them in the episode after this one. How's that for a teaser! :)

calcsam2: And why should Cornwall be any safer than London... :D

VPeric: You've cut me to the bone! I will just have to try with redoubled effort :( :p

Susanna: That impudent other dark blue is Burgundy (how's that for an oxymoron...)

Director: Thanks. Btw, regarding the title it means absolutely nothing! I jiust thought it sounded nice, and I couldn't think of anything else. Well, if Kenneth Graeme could call a book which has nothing to do with wind or willows "The Wind in the Willows"... :)

Episode 5: 1460 - 1479
The Red Blob Shrinks Some More


In 1460 England was still at war with France, as well as being in the grip of a civil war between the Houses of York and Lancaster. The fact that both York and Lancaster were now part of Scotland did not seem to worry the warring factions. After the Battle of Towton in 1461 the Yorkist claimant to the throne Edward IV was crowned king. The hapless English were then dragged into another war in 1463 when Denmark attacked their Hannoverian allies.


The English fighting each other in the Wars of the Roses

Meanwhile in Scotland the regency of Marie of Gueldres was peaceful, though she did play her part in preparing Scotland for another war against England by undertaking a major reform of the army in 1462. When she died in 1463, the country was left in the hands of Bishop James Kennedy of St.Andrews. The regency of this crotchety old cleric coincided with a wave of obscurantism which swept the country, although Kennedy vehemently denied having anything to do with it. He in turn died in 1465, leaving the young King James, now only fourteen years old, ostensibly in control.

It did not take long for Scotland’s power-hungry nobility to seize this opportunity, and in 1466 a gang of Boyds, Flemings, Kerrs, Hepburns, Lindsays and other names too numerous to mention kidnapped James from his home in Stirling Castle and imprisoned him in Edinburgh Castle for three months. At the end of this time the teenage monarch was brought before parliament to read a prepared statement:


Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock, whispering to the young James: Now remember, Your Majesty, speak up and stick to what’s in the script...

James III, rightful King of Scotland, in rather a high voice: Ahem - ladies and gentlemen... He drops an octave Ladies and gentlemen...

Glances round nervously, looking for the non-existent ladies.

James, whispering to Lord Boyd: Er - I think there might be a mistake here... Shouldn’t this be “Laddies and gentlemen”...?

Lord Boyd, hissing at him: For heavens sake, just get on with it Your Majesty!

James, giving him a scowl: Ahem - Laddies and gentlemen, I have come here today entirely of my own voli-... my own voliti-...

Lord Boyd, whispers: Volition!

James: ...my own volition, to express my heartfelt thanks to the good gentlemen who have come here with me...

Indicates a group of heavily armed thugs standing menacingly around him

James: ... for so kindly providing me with transport and safe passage from the Castle of Stirling three months ago, to the sumptuous and kingly accommodation in which I have been empris-... oops, no, that should be, entertained, I think... during this time.

He shuffles his papers nervously, and drops some on the floor, then continues

James: ...which is why, in conclusion...

Glances unhappily at the dropped pages scattered on the floor

James, whispers to Lord Boyd: I think I missed a bit...

Lord Boyd, whispers back: Just read the conclusion, Your Majesty - that’s the important bit...

James: I have decided to let the good Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock rule the Kingdom of Scotland as Regent for an indeterminate period. I will not try to reign on my own until he agrees that I am old enough to do so.

Lord Boyd, in his sleaziest drawl: Well, thankyou, Your Majesty, I must say I’m flattered by your confidence in me, but I will of course strive to live up to it in the years to come!

Following this piece of blatant manipulation the people began to organize spontaneous open air rock festivals to show their support for the young King and their opposition to Boyd. The Scottish Army had to ride to Lancashire, then Northumberland and later Lincoln, where the peasantry were particularly enthusiastic, in order to restore calm and persuade the populace that the new regent, Lord Boyd, really had the King’s interests at heart. By March 1467 the fun was over, and the Scots were further saddened two months later to hear that France had finally made peace with England extracting from them nothing more than 35 ducats in indemnities.

Lord Boyd was a shrewd diplomat with a fat wallet. When the Scottish-Irish Alliance expired in 1468 he immediately went to Louis XI to ask if he could join the French Alliance. Louis XI, spotting the healthy Scottish treasury, cleverly refused, pointing out that relations between the two countries were currently at a low ebb, but could perhaps be improved.

Boyd’s first bribe, a set of bagpipes decorated with the French King’s coat-of-arms, was a total flop. Next a lute-player was dispatched to the French court, and this had a much more noticeable effect. Finally Lord Boyd sent a keg filled with a strange orange-coloured fizzy drink, which sent the French King wild with delight. This did the trick and the Scots were welcomed into the Alliance with open arms in April 1469. Once in the Alliance they discovered with irritation that the Irish were already there, having had to offer no bribes at all, no doubt due to their slightly less healthy financial situation.

At this point Lord Boyd’s son Thomas, who arguably now wielded even more power than his father, went to Denmark to bring back the Princess Margaret as a bride for the Scottish King. As part of her dowry she brought with her the Orkney and Shetland Islands, which henceforth became part of Scotland. Meanwhile Lord Boyd himself made the mistake of leaving the country to go on an embassy to London. When Thomas arrived in Edinburgh’s port of Leith with James’s bride-to-be, his own wife, who happened also to be the King’s sister, met him on board the ship and warned him that James had announced that he was ruling on his own, without need of a regent. James’s new queen came ashore, but the Boyds fled to Denmark, their lands in Scotland being confiscated soon after.



The people of Shetland celebrate becoming Scottish

Meanwhile, England were still in the throes of domestic strife, with a brief reappearance of the Lancastrian Henry VI from 1470-71, followed by the restoration of the Yorkist Edward IV. Then in November 1472 the English got involved in a war between their Burgundian allies and Bohemia. James, impatient to prove himself, and taking advantage of the holy vibes generated by a Scottish saint’s miraculous vision in which he claimed to have been shown a map of the British Isles with no trace of England left, declared war on his southern neighbour in January 1473.

The rest of the French Alliance, consisting of France, Foix, Castile, Brittany, Helvetia and Eire, unanimously joined in the war, although Castile were somewhat distracted by the fact that Aragon declared war on them a month later when they saw the French Alliance embarking on what looked like being a major conflict far from their lands.

The Scottish Army, suitably reinforced to More-than-Paltry strength, quickly inflicted three defeats on the English in Anglia in February and March and settled down to besiege London, which fell in November. The Scots then defeated another English force in Kent, held a rock festival to celebrate, then rode to Bristol to besiege that city in January 1474. In June the peasants in Lancashire decide to hold a rock festival of their own, but the inferior quality of performance demanded that, once Bristol had been captured in July, the Scottish Army rode north to intervene, to the great relief of local landowners.

Next Portsmouth was besieged and fell in July 1475, whereupon the invincible Scots moved on to Canterbury. At this point Kleves offered to leave the war for the price of 12 ducats, which James gladly paid them, but France were getting into difficulties with a declaration of war from the Palatinat in January 1476. Canterbury fell in April and in May the Scots moved on to Coventry, where the English were attempting to raise a small army. The army was quickly defeated and Coventry captured in November.


James III to his wife: I thought I would just go south to visit the troops, dear - a morale-boosting mission. What do you think?

Queen Margaret: Do they really need their morale boosted darling?

James III: Well, we ought to show our royal appreciation for them, you know. Risking their lives for the defence of the realm and all that.

Queen Margaret: I thought they were invading and conquering England...

James III: Er, yes... But as the best military strategists always say, “Attack is the best form of defence”, right?

Queen Margaret: Well, if you must go, I suppose it can’t do any harm. Do be careful dear, won’t you though? Stay away from cannons - you know what happened to your father...

James III: Oh don’t be silly, love. We don’t have any cannons - we’re only at land tech 3, remember!

Queen Margaret: Oh... Well, that’s all right then, I suppose...

The English now only had control of two of their British provinces, Wales and Cornwall. The Scots chose Cornwall next, and laid siege to Plymouth in December 1476. War exhaustion was beginning to bite by now, however, and the people of London, starting with a rowdy street carnival in Notting Hill, soon moved on to indulge in widespread pillage and mayhem. In August 1477 the people of Coventry started a similar movement, but at this point Edward IV made a generous peace offer. The Bretons received Morbihan, which they had successfully captured, and the Scots received the Midlands, Bristol and Wessex.

This left the Scots to deal with the people of Coventry, but the English to deal with the much bigger problem in London. The Scottish Army was suitably reinforced and then spent the next two years riding up and down the country demonstrating to inept English revellers how it ought to be done. For some reason, the French, evidently craving even more war exhaustion, declared war on Luxembourgh in November 1477, but Scotland managed to wriggle out of this war by paying Luxembourgh 50 ducats the following March. At the same time a White Peace was signed with the Palatinat, so that Scotland was finally at peace once more.



The new look Scotland in 1479, with the hapless English still trying to recapture their capital :rofl:
 
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unmerged(20077)

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Bah - you've gone too far south now. Us Yorkshire folk are now stuck in the same country as them bloody southern gawbies again...
You realise though, you won't be able to wipe England out entirely without taking those red bits of France?
 

Van Engel

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Great AAR always good for you to knock the english around!
 
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The Impaler said:
You realise though, you won't be able to wipe England out entirely without taking those red bits of France?
I think France and friends will take care of them before too long.
 

Farquharson

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Vincent J, Lofman and Van Engel: Thanks for your support! :)

The Impaler: Don’t worry, special cultural re-education courses are being set up at Glasgow University. It will be obligatory for all new citizens of Scotland to attend and learn how tae speak proper, how to organize rock festivals, and how to appreciate good food and drink, like haggis and Irn-Bru. Soon English culture will have disappeared forever! :D
As for the red bits of France - well, Vincent J was quite right - read on...

Episode 6: 1479 - 1488
The King of Nerds


Despite Scotland’s spectacular victory in the last war, James III received little credit for it. In fact his preoccupations with such hobbies as book-binding, astrology and alchemy earned him the reputation of being a total nerd. Popular opinion favoured his two manly brothers, Alexander Duke of Albany and John Earl of Mar. Meanwhile another Douglas, Archibald Earl of Angus, was once again plotting to seize the throne for his family.


James III, or as he was more commonly known, “James the Nerd”

In 1479 James was sitting at home in Stirling Castle, leafing through Alchemy Today, when he stumbled on his horoscope...

Capricorn

This month could prove to be a troubled time for you. If you are a reigning monarch, your position may be in danger. Watch out for close family members around the end of the month, they may be about to turn treacherous. Don’t waste time in indecision - now is a good time for dynamic action.


James wasted no time in indecision. He sprang into dynamic action and arrested the two close family members who seemed most likely to turn treacherous, namely his two brothers. He imprisoned them in Edinburgh Castle, where he himself had spent so many happy days. John fell ill of a fever, and a physician specially chosen for his total ineptitude was sent to his chamber and soon finished him off.

The second brother Alexander was no intellectual giant, but he could put two and two together, and see that his days were numbered. In a spectacular escape by rope down the cliffs of the Castle Rock, he managed to get away to London, where he proclaimed himself King of the Scots. In 1482 he marched north with English support, to be met by his brother and a group of nobles led by Archibald Douglas at Lauder near Edinburgh.



Edinburgh Castle, scene of Alexander’s daring abseiling exploits

After some confused negotiations and the departure of the English, Alexander turned out to have become Regent, and James found himself a prisoner in Edinburgh Castle for the second time in his life. Archibald Douglas, confused as anyone, went off home to do some more plotting.

Despite Alexander’s popularity it had to be admitted that the present situation did not put him in a good light. He was after all holding Scotland’s rightful king prisoner, so he eventually released him and restored him to the throne.

Then in 1483 France’s truce with England expired and Louis XI lost no time in declaring war. A war against England with no drop in stability was a rare luxury for Scotland, and James enthusiastically joined his ally. The Scottish Army only had four English provinces to capture, but the people of Scotland’s three most recently acquired ex-English provinces unfortunately tended to side with England rather a lot during the war, and the Scottish Army spent almost as much time quelling unauthorized rock festivals as much as they did capturing English provinces.

Wales was the first province to be captured, in March 1485, then Cornwall followed in July 1486. London fell in May 1487, but the English King, who was now the Lancastrian Henry VII, refused to hand over Wales and Cornwall. The Scottish Army accordingly marched south and laid siege to Canterbury.

Meanwhile, Archibald Douglas’s latest plot was ready for hatching. He had managed to seize James’s fifteen year-old son, yet another James, and now proclaimed him King James IV, on the grounds that his father was such a total nerd. James III rode out to fight, with a few loyal subjects around him, but in a skirmish at Sauchieburn near Stirling in June 1488 his horse bolted and threw him. Badly injured and taken in by a kindly cottage-woman, he asked for a priest. His hostess went out to look for one.


Cottage-woman, to a passerby: Excuse me, kind sir but Ah’m lookin’ for a priest. Ye wudna hae seen ane?

Stranger: A priest is it? And wit would ye be wantin’ wi’ a priest, dearie?

Cottage-woman: Oh, it’s jist there’s been a wee accident, an’ Ah’ve got the King o’ Scotland lyin’ there in ma hoose a’ defenceless an’ thinkin’ he may be aboot tae meet his Maker, ye ken?

Stranger: Ye don’t say, hen? Hoots, well ye’ve been fair lucky the day - it jist so happens Ah’m a priest masel’.

Cottage-woman: Ocht but the Guid Lord must’ve sent ye jist at the richt moment an a’.

Stranger: Oh aye, nae doot - so whaur is His Majesty then?

Cottage-woman: In ye come, in ye come - there he is, the puir soul. Look Your Majesty, Ah’ve brocht ye a priest!

James: Oh how splendid! Well, Father, I just thought it might be prudent, since I may not recover from these injuries...

Stranger, drawing a dagger: Aye, weel, yer Nerdship, ye may or may no’. But ane thing’s for sure - ye’ll no be recoverin’ frae this yin! * stabs the King to death *

Thus was James IV helped to throne of Scotland, and although Archibald Douglas helped him with his royal responsibilities to begin with, to Douglas’s great annoyance the young king soon proved himself pretty much capable of ruling by himself.

Meanwhile, the very same month as his father’s death, Canterbury had been captured by the victorious Scottish Army, and James found himself in control of all of Great Britain. Henry VII still stubbornly refused to give up Wales and Cornwall, however, so the Scottish Army busied themselves with more unauthorized rock festivals, while the French, who were doing much better in this war, completed the job of capturing England’s French dominions.

Finally, in September 1488, France made peace with the English, stripping them of their three French provinces, while Scotland received nothing. On the face of it this seemed like a cruel blow to the Scots, and a stab in the back from their French allies. However, it was of course exactly what Scotland had done to France in the previous war, and James IV, with a more objective look at the new map of England, realized that he no longer needed France, and that it would only be a short time before the world was rid of England for good.



1489: Scotland hasn’t changed much, but England - oh dear... :D
 
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Semi-Lobster

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Well the war wasn't that great for you but now all of England's French territory is back to the French so all you have to do is finish England off!
There are so many James', it's makign me a bit dizzy. They do seem to die a lot.
Hey do you intend to send Scottish explorers around the world?