"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking." - Ferdinand Foch, at the Battle of the Marne

The Scots

Starting Roster

Prologue

Here at the edge of the high tower, the wind blew roughly through his hair as Tavish, newly hailed Chieftain of Clan Tavish leaned across the stone battlements to survey his land. Yes, it was his land, now, after his father's death. And he would rule it well, with the help of the gods, along with the people of the highlands and islands of the lands of the Scots. And at last, Tavish thought, it was time to carve his own name in legend.

But he was not a man to neglect his duties. His father had been a great man, well-loved and respected, and Tavish intended to continue that legacy. And he knew a way to make his mark soon, now that war was coming. There was a blood feud that had not been settled. An old enmity between his father and the king of the Norse Gaels, whose people still occupied the contested hills to the south-west, between the lands of the Scots and the western sea that separated the island kingdom of the Irish from the mainland. A people that continued to insult the holy traditions of this sacred land with their new, strange, Christian wiles. With the death of his father, he had inherited that debt of honour, and now sought to settle the blood feud once and for all. The priest had agreed, the gods would guide him to his destiny. Yes, he thought, it is my time at last.

Roster after fighting off Viking raiders, Campaign Season 1

Campaign Season 1

The Scots decide to avenge the blood feud against the Norse Gaels and invade Gododdin. But as they travel south, they first encounter a raiding force of Icelandic Vikings, whose leader is oathsworn to Leif the Lucky.

Raided by Icelandic Vikings

Tavish gathered a small force of picked men, and led them south toward the border with Gododdin. He'd given a rousing speech earlier; his men had waved their swords high and thumped their shields with enthusiam, the rooks disturbed from their nests in the tall trees around joining in the clamour as they took to the air. Raiding was not enough. The revenge of the Scots would take the form of invasion.

But some days along the road south, shortly before they crossed the last river before the border, they heard news of a more pressing concern. A shepherd, whose sheep were grazing the lush grass on cliffs to the west, had seen the square sails of serpent-prowed ships, moving south, close to the coast. These longships had entered a small bay and weighed anchor, and a small force of raiders had left the ships to begin moving inland. On the other side of the river ahead, these men could be no more than a day's journey away.

Tavish knew that the place where the road crossed the river - a wide and shallow ford where the river turned a broad curve toward the sea - would be the ideal place to make a stand, and in due course the battle at the ford was brief and decisive. The raiders were held and seen off, bloodied, back to their ships, and the Scots, undeterred, continued southwards.

The Scots win the Battle at the Ford defending against raiding Icelandic Vikings, gaining 1 CVP and +1 Reputation for defending successfully.

Roster after being repelled from Gododdin, Campaign Season 1

Into the Sacred Ground of the Norse Gaels

It was only a few days after fighting the Vikings that the Scots crossed the border into the lands of the Norse Gaels. Here, near a small church held sacred to his enemy, the two armies met and a battle was fought for possession of the land. The Scots fought hard, but their victory over the Icelanders must have taken a toll from them, for they were defeated by the Norse Gael defenders, to their surprise and disappointment. Bloodied and shamed, they fell back in disarray into their own lands.

The invading Scots lose Sacred Ground against defending Norse Gaels.

As winter approached, Tavish made arrangements for some of the younger men of the clan to be trained in the ways of war. He had not expected this to have been such a challenge, but by the end of winter the men were no more improved than before. There was nothing for it - it was clear the only way they would improve was on the field of battle.

At the end of the Campaign Season, the Scots roll Upgrade Levy on the Fate table. Unfortunately, they do not have sufficient Wealth to support any more Warrior units, so the upgrade is cancelled.

Starting roster, Campaign Season 2

Campaign Season 2

Through the long winter, Tavish took stock of the situation. His attempt to invade the lands of his rival, Leif of the Norse Gaels, had come to nothing, that enemy proving stronger than he had expected. But the Icelandic raiders had been beaten back earlier that year with far less effort, and their Warlord was oathsworn to Lief. He had heard that the Godi of Iceland was a rich man, and another victory over Leif's blood brother would serve as a strike against Leif himself. It was time to raid across the northern sea into Iceland.

Following up their victory against Viking raiders, the Scots decide to hit at the oathsworn of their blood enemy and raid into Iceland at Bulandsness.

Roster after defending against Anglo-Danish raiders, Campaign Season 2

Sending the Anglo-Danes Packing

Tavish McTavish the Laird of the North made preparations for the new season. Planning on a raid on the Viking scum Gunnblasdt the Savage of Iceland, oathsworn to Leif the Lucky, the man responsible for so much woe to the McTavish, Tavish moved his valuables to a secret place of safety. Escorting the baggage Tavish brought his loyal hearthguard, a unit of warriors and his personal Shaman for good luck.

Lying in wait was Alfred Steptoeson, father of the recently departed Aarold. Determined to restore the reputation and coffers of the Anglo Danes by a quick raid in the north he lay in wait with two units of warriors, a unit of hearthguard with Dane axes and a unit of levy bowmen.

Tavish passing on the left of a clearing with a field to his left and small wood to his right noticed that the grain was moving strangely. Alfred crept his archers forward through the cover of the field and when in range loosed a shower of arrows at the Scots warriors, killing one man. Seeing the approaching ambush Tavish drew off his baggage to his right to clear land beyond the wood and positioned his hearthguard and warriors as a screen against the Anglo-Danes.

Unfortunately not all of Tavish's baggage could keep up and the last unit was exposed to the Anglo-Danes. Seeing an opportunity to destroy and plunder, Alfred sent in his hearthguard with Dane axes in a double move to attack the rear baggage unit. The attack was successful but at a cost reducing the hearthguard by half.

With one baggage unit destroyed and the other two units and the warriors fatigued by the experience of seeing the baggage destroyed Tavish called upon his Shaman for help and inspiration. Fortune was on his side and the three fatigued units were close enough to hear the Shaman's words of encouragement and remove the fatigue. Tavish and his baggage continued to move around the wood harassed by Alfred's archers.

Alfred quickly sent his warrior units around the back of the wood to cut off Tavish's escape. Seeing an opportunity to attack another baggage Alfred charged in one of his warrior units. Sadly, great plans don't always go the way they were intended and before the warriors could reach the baggage they encountered the front of Tavish's hearthguard screen. Although outnumbered two to one the battle board was very much in Tavish's favour and the warriors were reduced to one man.

Seeing safety looming near Tavish double-moved his baggage to safety. Still reeling from the near massacre of his warrior unit, the escape of the baggage was the final straw and Alfred, with the remains of his warband, headed home.

The skald of clan Tavish has written this song in honour of his Master's victory.

The Scots gain +1 point of Reputation and 1 CVP for a defensive win. They lost 1 Warrior and recruited 4 new Warriors.

Roster after raiding Iceland, Campaign Season 2

The Raid on Iceland

With arrangements organised at home and his valuables safely hidden, Tavish McTavish the Laird of the North made ready to inflict a small amount of revenge for being beaten the previous season by Leif the Lucky. His plan was simple: he wasn't ready to have another go at Leif, so a quick raid on his oathsworn Gunnblasdt the Savage would send a clear message that in time he would be coming for him.

Moving inland on the frozen wastes of Iceland Tavish's scouts reported a herd of prime highland beef grazing nearby. "Time to bring the herd back home", said Tavish.

The herd was being protected by a unit of Viking warriors and a small unit of berserkers. Tavish had come prepared and had brought his loyal hearthguard and two units of warriors. As always, by Tavish's side was his Shaman Ewan Mea. Much to his surprise Tavish started slowly. It seems that some of his men had been paid off by the coward Gunnblast not to get involved. However, with a few sharp words and the threat of a gruesome curse by Ewan his warriors moved into position. Their task was simple, to wait for Tavish's signal and then take the nearest cattle and get them back to the ships.

Meanwhile Tavish, his loyal hearthguard and Ewan Mea moved towards the farther cattle and the Vikings guarding them. The cattle were tucked in behind an area of rocky ground so the route could not be direct but a bold approach was taken. As the Scots approached, the Vikings were in disarray. Should they stand and fight or run away? With little option available, the Vikings retreated and waited to see what the Scots would do. Tavish made his move and signalled his warband to round up the cattle.

Finally Gunnblast turned up with his reserves. An eight-man unit of hearthguard now stood beside his warriors while his berserkers jumped up and down behind. Gunnblast sent his warriors forward to attack Tavish's valiant hearthguard. The fighting was bloody and even with Gunnblast sacrificing two of his warriors to the gods, but this didn't help the final outcome and the whole unit was destroyed at the cost of but one brave Scot.

"Time to get out of here" said Tavish, and he and his hearthguard headed back to the boats. Gunnblast, furious at the loss of three quarters of his recently acquired cattle, sent his berserkers in pursuit. Tavish, seeing the berserkers charge forward, urged his hearthguard on and turned to face the wild and hairy Vikings single-handedly. Ewan stayed behind, feeling slightly embarrassed that he didn't remove the fatigue from the hearthguard before they set off to the boats, which would have meant that he and Tavish could have got away as well.

Put off by the fact that this wild Scottish Laird didn't wear trousers, and threatening them to show them 'what a real man had underneath' the berserkers failed to kill him and ran away.

"A successful raid, lads", said Tavish. "Aye, and one in the eye to Leif", said Ewan. "Och aye Ewan, he'll be a wee bit more careful next time we come knocking on his door".

The skald of clan Tavish has written another song to celebrate this successful raid.

The Scots gain +1 point of Wealth and 1 CVP for their successful raid.

Roster after defending against Norse Viking raiders, Campaign Season 2

The Battle of the Burn

The Scots, arriving home from their successful raid, were soon raided themselves by Ubbasson the Bastard and his Norwegian Vikings. Tavish McTavish and his warband defended at Battle at the Ford and won.

Tavish McTavish, Laird of the North relaxed in his great hall following a banquet of fine Icelandic beef. His man were enjoying the recent successes and the mead was flowing. Suddenly the doors to his great hall were flung open and one of his scouts ran in.

"Laird, there are more Viking raiders off the coast" he cried. Tavish turned to his Shaman Ewen Mea and cursed "More bloody hairy, stinking Vikings! Will they never learn?"

Early the next morning Tavish and his men, to a man with a thumping head, set off to meet the Vikings. "I know a wee burn not far from the coast where they can only cross at two small fords. We'll meet them there and teach them a proper lesson in Scottish hospitality. The burn will run red with Viking blood by the end of the day," he grinned.

By lunch the vanguard of his warband had arrived and set up. The warriors facing the right hand ford and his hearthguard facing the left. Soon Ubbason The Bastard arrived with his raiding warband. Ubbason placed a small unit of hearthguard to face Tavish's warriors. The Viking hearthguard were supported by his levy archers who were skulking in amongst the boulders set back from the river. Ubbason with his warriors and a small group of Berserkers stood on the opposite side of the left hand ford facing the Scottish hearthguard. Finally Tavish arrived with his levy archers and stood either side of the hearthguard.

The Viking hearthguard advanced into the ford hurling abuse and insults and stood there. The levy advanced out of the boulders and fired a volley of arrows at the scots warriors killing one. At the same time, the Viking warriors also advanced into the ford facing the scots hearthguard.

The scots levy fired a volley of arrows at the Viking warriors but Odin cancelled the shooting and their arrows failed to have any effect.

Ubbason urged his small band of Viking hearthguard forward onto the other side of the burn and charged into the scots warriors. The fight was bloody but short and the scots stood firm wiping out the hearthguard at the cost of two brave warriors.

Inspired by the valiant defence by his warriors Tavish sent is hearthguard forward into the ford throwing javelins into the waiting warriors. Rapidly raising their shields to protect themselves from the javelins the Viking warriors were unprepared for the assault by the scots hearthguard. More blood spilled into the water and all but two of the Vikings were slain. The two Vikings retreated, bloodied and on the verge of exhaustion.

With the hard work done, the scots warriors march towards their Laird away from the Viking archers.

Enraged by the defeat of his warriors Ubbason roared in defiance and charged into the ford supported by his berserkers. He was going to deal with this personally. Sacrificing his three berserkers to Valhalla he furiously swung his sword calling to the gods to bring him victory. Sadly this time they did not hear him and even though he slew four brave Scots he staggered away severely wounded back across the ford towards his longboats. With only two warriors left Tavish sent his remaining four hearthguard into the warriors killing them.

With Ubbason running away as fast as his wounded body could carry him, the remnants of his warband slipped away back to their boats defeated and empty handed.

"That should be the last we see of him" said Ewen. "Aye, I hope so, the boys deserve a good rest" said Tavish.

Tavish McTavish, Laird of the North marched his victorious warband home, leaving a wee burn running red with Viking blood.

The Scots gain +1 CVP and +1 point of Reputation for winning when defending. They lost 1 warrior and 1 hearthguard, and recruited a new unit of 4 warriors. You may wish to read the Scots skald's own version of the Battle of the Burn.

Roster at the end of Campaign Season 2

The Scots roll Revolt! on the Fate Table at the end of the Campaign Season. They lose six Levy and one point of Reputation in finding and dealing with the ringleaders.

Roster after Defend options, Campaign Season 3

Campaign Season 3

The revolt means that the Scots must defend during Campaign Season 3. They gain one point of Wealth from additional trade and recruit an additional four Warriors to their roster. They are left alone by the other powers for this season.