Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Robert the Bruce

A short distance from Stirling Castle lies another battlefield where Robert the Bruce (a noble with a competing claim to the throne) challenged the English. He had gained the throne under Edward I and once he was in a position to do so he rebelled against Edward II.
The two sides were lined up on opposite sides of the field. The Bruce was riding backwards and forwards in front of his men giving them a stirring speech of encouragement. On the far side, one of the English knights thought deeply on the fact that the Scots' leader was seperated from his men by some distance and decided to win glory for himself and England (and save them from spending longer than absolutely necessary out in the cold) by charging the Bruce. Now, Rob could have ordered a couple of his men to slaughter the errant fool but he knew that battles are as often won on morale as they are on skill or numbers. So, instead, he turned to face the knight.

The Englidh knight was galloping forward with the sun glinting off his full plate mail, his horse is armoured like a large muscled tank, and he's got a lance with reach +1. Rob on the other hand has his plaid (warm but less weapon turning) and his Scottish axe. So, he picks up his little Scottish pony under one arm and his axe in the other and runs forward [our guide was more than willing to point out that the highland Scots don't so much have horses as small tubby ponies that crop on whatever happens to be available and manage not to sound asthmatic at high altitudes]. The two figures drew ever closer when, suddenly, the Bruce let out a loud warcry and in a move worthy of high cinematic action he leapt from his horse onto that of the English knight sweeping his axe as he did so. Robert landed on the horse and the Englishman's head landed on the ground.

Unsurprisingly, the Scots win again.


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