Alternate History

War of Scottish Independence (The Once and Never Kings)

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War of Scottish Independence
Battle of Bannockburn - Bruce addresses troops
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, addressing his troops before the Battle of Dumfries.
Date 1296 - 1309
Location Scotland, Northern England, Essex
Result Scots-Wessexian victory
  • Confirmation of Scottish independence
  • Minor territorial changes
  • Establishment of Wessex-Scotland alliance
Flag of Wessex Wessex

Flag of Scotland Scotland

Flag of Jorvik (TONK) Jórvík
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Wessex Edward V

Flag of Wessex Alfred, Duke of Middlesex

Flag of Scotland Robert the Bruce

Flag of Scotland Sir William Wallace

Flag of Scotland Andrew Henry, Earl of Moray

Flag of Jorvik (TONK) Christoper II Longshanks

Flag of Jorvik (TONK) Harald Olafsson, Jarl of Richmond

Flag of Jorvik (TONK) William Henrysson, Jarl of Nottingham

The War of Scottish Independence was a large conflict in mostly northern Albion during the last years of the thirteenth century, and the first decade of the fourteenth century.


The primary cause of the war could be considered the weak rule of John I of Scotland. Eric I, King of Jórvík, saw an oppritunity to expand the power of Jórvík, and began demanding that John I pay tribute to him. His ambitious son, Christopher the Longshanks (named so for his unusual height), continued this practice when he ascended to the throne after Eric's death in 1288. By this time however, the Scottish nobility had grown tired of John, and formed a twelve-man council to rule in the place of John.

This council was openly hostile to Jórvík, and subsequently refused any more tributes. In retaliation, Christopher invaded Scotland in 1296.

The War

It wasn't long into the invasion when the Scottish forces commanded by John I suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Christopher. With that defeat, John was forced to abdicate. From here, it is unknown where he first went, possibly Normandy or Flanders, but he is known to have died a short time later. After his flight, Christipher II proclaimed himself "Lord (not King) of Scotland". Many Jórvíkian lords were invested with lands in Scotland, often pushing out native Scottish lord.

Meanwhile, Wessex was immediately wary of the increase in territory of its largest neighbor. Despite a tempting urge to march into Jórvík while it was consolidating itself, the Wessexian king Edward V instead saw an oppritunity to undermine Jórvíks position in Scotland by covertly supporting rebellious Scottish lords, and there were plenty.

William Wallace

William Wallace gained fame (and notoriety) in 1297 when he kill Sir William Knutsson, Sheriff of Lanark and his garrison, possibly for killing his wife. Whatever the cause, it helped rally support for the Scottish resistance throughout Scotland.

After several more successes against Sheriffs and minor lords, Christopher sent Harald Olafsson, Jarl of Richmond, and the Jarl of Lincoln, north to deal with the "Scottish problem". Once more, he ordered Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick to strike the rebel stronghold of Lanarck whilst Wallace moved to deal with Richmond and Lincoln.

Instead, Bruce defected to the Scottish cause with his vassals, deciding he could not bear his sword against his countrymen.

With his rear free of enemies, Wallace decisively defeated the Jórvíkian army at the Battle of Irvine, resulting in the death of the Jarl of Lincoln, and forcing Olafsson south. Meanwhile, a new Jórvíkian army under the command of William Henrysson, Jarl of Nottingham was approaching on a course for the town of Stirling. Abandoning his pursuit of Richmond, he turned to meet Nottingham at a crucial river in Stirling, knowing that the bridge's narrow width would negate Jórvíks cavalry advantage. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was yet another significant victory, and forced all Jórvíkian troops out of Scotland.

Afterwards, Wallace, along with other lords such as Andrew Henry, Earl of Moray, was made "Guardian of Scotland". His tenure lasted for less than a year (indeed the only evidence of his guardianship is a letter to the merchants of Hamburg and Lübeck, telling them they're free to access all parts of Scotland, as "...Leaders of the Kingdom of Scotland"), as he moved to invade northern England.

Despite serious success in pillaging Northumberland and Cumberland, and a knighting in recognition, in 1305, Wallace again had to move to face another Jórvíkian army, this one commanded by Christopher personally.

Wallace's army was defeated at the Battle of Falkirk, and Wallace himself was captured. After a show trial for treason, William Wallace was executed, his body dismembered, and spread all around Jórvík and Scotland as a warning.

Robert I, King of Scots

Robert the Bruce, who had succeeded Wallace as Guardian, decided to invoke his slim claim to the Scottish throne, seeing an opportunity to use the anger at Wallace's execution to his advantage. Supported by the Bishop of Glasgow, a fervent Scottish nationalist, he was coronated at King Robert I.

Roberts coronation also aided in finally convincing Wessex to openly join the war on the side of the Scots. Two Wessexian armies, one commanded by Edward V, the other by the Duke of Middlesex, advanced into Derbyshire and Essex respectively. Meanwhile, Robert and the Earl of Moray pincered the Jórvíkian armies from the north. After a string of defeats, Chrisopher II sued for peace.


Jórvík was forced to recognize Scottish independence, and dropped all claims to its territory. The war saw the establishment of the Bruce Clan as rulers of Scotland, and they would remain so for the next several hundred years, yet every Scottish monarch since the war is directly descended from Robert I.

The war also forged a long-standing alliance between Wessex and Scotland, further isolating Jórvík and forcing it to look to Dublin or Denmark for alliances.

Overall the war helped shape the geopolitical situation of modern Albion, with Wessex, Scotland, and many of the Irish states looking to surround Jórvík and Dublin, and the latter two forging friendships with those on continental Europe, such as Denmark and, later, Luxembourg

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