The Kingdom of Scotland, perpetual thorn in the English side (or brave bonnie Scots minding their own business up North), has had a relative straight-forward history. Alliance with France and war with England has been the standard for several centuries. For a brief period half a century ago the two countries were friendly, but after the Flood and the Second Civil War the country has been divided. Technically the whole country is now part of the Archipelago of Albion and ruled by King Matthew; a situation accepted with ill grace by the Lowlanders but openly despised by the Highlanders.

Scotland lost much less land to the Flood than the rest of Albion, leaving the majority of the Highlands (and indeed much of the Lowlands) untouched. This has resulted in much immigration from northern England, although the Highlands are still entirely Scottish.

The Lowlands

Since the Flood, population pressure in the north of England has forced many people north into the Scottish Lowlands. The poor in particular have been forced to relocate in droves, and towns and villages have sprung up in even the most isolated areas. These are mainly rural settlements, although there are still a significant (and growing) number of sizeable towns.

Cities of Note

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow survived the flood virtually untouched, which the Scottish people attribute to their forethought and superior building techniques. However, to any half-intelligent observer it is quite obvious that the cities were magically moved inland - although any claims of Magic use is hotly contested by the Puritan Scots.

However, after the second civil war and the subsequent annexation by the Archipelago of Albion, many northern English moved up into the lowlands of Scotland to take advantage of the more sparsely-populated land. Indeed, by 1619 the number of native Scots and English in the lowlands were roughly equal. Edinburgh is still capital of Scotland, although only regional capital, and Englishmen have bought up much of the higher-class properties in the city.

The Island of Glasgow is mostly populated by Scots. Despite (or because of) a significant English presence the city is prone to unrest; the Dragoons have been called in numerous times to quell riots in the streets by ‘loyal’ Scots. Land north of Glasgow is still predominantly Scottish, with virtually no English presence north of Sterlingshire and Dundee Island. These two areas and the Isle of Fife are still predominantly Scottish but with some English presence.

Relations with England

The Lowland Scots have borne the English invasion with ill grace, as is to be expected; however, this is mostly limited to insults and ostracisation and rarely turns violent. This has led to a prevalence of villages with either a mostly Scottish or mostly English feel - some situated in spitting distance from each other. However, around the south and east coast there is a larger degree of integration. Edinburgh also has become a lot more open to the English, although there are definite English and Scottish areas of the city, and there are areas where Englishmen are not advised to walk at night.


The majority of the Lowlands have split ideas about magic - most towns and villages populated by Englishmen are quite open to magic and many have local Witches, whereas the more Scottish areas still distrust most magic-users, Witches in particular (who they see as indistinguishable from Sorcerers, dealing with Devils for their power). However, in both Edinburgh and Glasgow the traditional Scottish Puritan mistrust of magic has been put aside. The two cities are home to large numbers of magicians, although witches are less tolerated in Glasgow.


Similar to Magic, Religion is split in the Lowlands. In areas dominated by the English the religion is primarily Anglican, with occasional Jews. In Scottish areas the religion is generally Presbyterian or Puritan, although some Scottish villages are starting to fall under the influence of the Anglican church. Generally Magic and Anglicanism are considered by the Scots to be closely linked, and so towns which start to accept magic tend to become more open to the Church as well.

The Highlands

The Highlands are under control of the various Highland Clans. No one clan is seen as pre-eminent, and inter-Clan conflict is frequent. However, in recent years the internecine conflict has died down as the Clans have rallied behind Robert MacKenzie, a pretender to the throne of Scotland. His link to the Royal line is tenuous at best, however he is respected by most Highlanders as a charismatic and effective leader.

Cities of Note

The most notable city in Scotland is Iverness, now considered by the Highland Scots to now be the capital of Scotland, with Edinburgh firmly under the control of the English. Like Edinburgh and Glasgow, Inverness has been virtually untouched by the flood. The Highlanders have always pushed to have Inverness declared capital, but independently declaring the city Capital is a bold new step. The King's representative in Glasgow, one Stuart Elliot, has repeatedly attempted to bring the matter to the King's attention; however, King Matthew's advisors have convinced him that the Highlands are barely worth caring about.

The settlement of Iverlochy has grown extraordinarily quickly in recent times and is now an important port city. The Castle which overlooks the harbour is home to the head of the Cameron Clan, and there are rumours that they have been improving the fortifications. With difficult terrain and a long, thin channel to traverse from the sea, the city is very easy to defend - although this also makes it very easy to blockade.

Relations with England

The Highlanders generally despise the English, with some areas more moderate in their hatred - even occasional outbreaks of simple strong dislike. Because of this, English in the Highlands are virtually unknown. The Clans will happily kill an Englishman on sight.


Magic is generally strongly distrusted in the Highlands, especially Witches and Sorcerers (who are generally burnt at the stake if discovered). However, a grudging acceptance of Alchemy has shown itself in many areas. These individuals tend to be shunned, and live alone near the outskirts of towns and villages. They are mostly tolerated for the useful concoctions they produce - potions that imbue the drinker with the strength of ten men, or allow them to take hideous wounds and still keep fighting. Conjurers and Inventors are seen as almost as bad as witches, and Theurges are generally considered to be Sorcerers with particularly bad taste.


The Highlands are completely Protestant - mostly Presbyterian, but with a noticeably amount of Puritanism. The Church is particularly decentralized, with the Priestly mantle passed down from parent to child, or an apprentice taken from the same village. Many Scots see the English as decadent and soft, the Anglican church a tool to oppress the poor.

The Borders

Whereas the Borders used to refer to the border between England and Scotland, its meaning has changed in recent years. These days the islands around Fife and Stirling are considered to be the Borders, and are home to Englishmen, Lowlanders and even some Highlanders. Tensions are often high between the three, but a certain solidarity has grown - only the most hardy souls can cope with life on the Borders, with the ever-present threat of Reivers, and both sides respect the strength of the other.

Border Reivers

The tradition of raiding back and forth across the borders of England and Scotland fell into disuse after the start of the first Civil War. The Scots army marching south wiped out many of the more well-known Reiver families, and with the English influx the borders were less clear. Some Reiver families upped and moved wholesale to the Highlands, whereas some adapted themselves to modern times, becoming highwaymen, thieves, muggers and even some honest men.

However, with the Borders shifting north and the disaffection of the Highlanders, Reivers have sprung up along the new Borders. However, there are few English Reivers going north and many Scottish Reivers raiding to the south. And with the flooding, raiders can no longer ride across the border to steal cattle - instead, they sail longships and steal anything that is not tied down. The residents of coastal towns live in fear of the Reivers, but the fishing industry is vital to the islands.

Longships are much simpler to make than the larger ships used by the English. The low draft allows them to make beach landings, the wide hulls give stability in the often stormy waters and they are light enough to be carried inland - particularly useful to hide them when English ships are in the area. A longship is within the resources of a well-off Reiver family, particularly those who have been raiding the English border for years. However, the proliferation of these raiding ships has led some to conjecture that the Highland Clans are supporting them - a prospect which does not seem unlikely.

Recently the Reivers have become much more bold. Raids against the mainland, once almost unheard of, have become more common. Raids which previously would have carried off valuables and food are now burning fishing boats, witches and even whole villages. The most daring raid to date was Dunbar, just twenty-five miles east of Edinburgh, left razed to the ground. One longship was caught and destroyed, but at least one other escaped to safety.

Scots in England

There are many Scots in southern Albion, whether trading, preaching, living or inventing, they're there. The influx of Scottish talent is welcomed in the rest of Albion, as it has helped bring advancement in the various areas. Many Scots are also making their way into the noble classes, with Queen Elizabeth II having accepted the Scots claims to their hereditary titles when Scotland became part of Albion. However, since they were required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Monarch, almost all of these are Lowlanders.

Many subjects of the southern Archipelago see the Scots nobles as less civilized, and most have had difficulty integrating into Oxford Society. However in recent years many Scots have become accepted into the inner circles of Court.

Playing a Scot

Playing a Scot is an easy way to add just a little extra flavour to your character but allows you the same options as any other player. It must be noted however that some of the nobility and court have not warmed to the Scots and their presence at court. A Lowland noble has many of the same opportunities as a true Englishman; however, a Highland noble is more likely to be shunned and derided by mainstream Court society.

scotland.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/04 10:50 by helen