This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline of the Scottish capital since the 12th Century, The last regular British troops left the Castle towards the end of 1998 when they were transferred to northern England, leaving behind an overstrength platoon of Home Service Force troops to garrison the Castle. Well armed with standard British small arms, including a GPMG and a 51mm mortar, and with ample supplies of food and ammunition, the HSF personnel have remained at the Castle, where they have been joined by their family members, and Edinburgh Castle is currently home to just under a hundred and fifty people. The troops remain nominally loyal to HMG, and the Union Flag continues to fly over the City from the Castle’s flag post, signifying that symbolically at least HMG still claims control over the Scottish Capital. The Castle’s garrison is under the command of Major Stewart Anstruther-Jones, a fifty year old HSF reservist with over thirty years of service to the Crown. The British force at Edinburgh Castle has enough fire power to overpower any threat to it from within the city, but lacks a functional radio, so has been out of contact with other British forces in Scotland and northern England for nearly two years.

The Union Flag flying over Edinburgh Castle, May 2000


In late 1998 HMG decided to evacuate the RAF base at Machrihanish on the tip of the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll. A Royal Navy warship picked up a small number of British and American personnel still there and made for Portsmouth, but the ship was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine en route and went down with the loss of all hands. Rumours have persisted ever since that several days before  Machrihanish was evacuated a hyper secret US reconnaissance aircraft code named Aurora made an emergency landing at the base and remains hidden there. In particular, one rumour states that the Aurora’s pilot survived the sinking of the ship and after making it to shore, is living and working on a small farm somewhere on the Kintyre peninsula.

1. Scotland

RGHQ: Cultybraggan, nr Crieff, Tayside

Alternate RGHQ: Kirknewton, nr Edinburgh, Lothian

Counties: Borders, Central Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian, Highland, Lothian, Strathclyde, Tayside

Nuclear Targets: Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Rosyth

The Mainland

Scotland is home to two major power blocs. With its Capital in Perth, Central Scotland is the heartland of the French backed Republic of Scotland, whilst much of the Highlands have banded together to form the Highland Coalition. Both groups have raised armed forces to defend their territory. The Highland Coalition is also allied with HMG’s remaining forces in Scotland, who are located in the area around Inverness, which serves as the Coalition’s capital.  

The Republic of Scotland is governed a seven man National Emergency Committee, which is headed by Alex Stewart, the Member of the Westminster Parliament for Perth and leader of the Scottish National Party before the War. Perth and the town of Stirling provide much of the man-power for the militia groups that are active throughout the Central Belt, and the farms of the area are the main food producing centres for the Republic. Stewart and the National Emergency Committee have established their seat of government in Perth Academy, a pre War High School set in extensive grounds in the Viewlands area of Perth. It is rumoured that the Stone of Destiny was deliberately hidden by Scottish nationalists when the Scottish Crown Jewels were removed from the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle for safekeeping in 1997, and has found its way to Perth, which is close to its original resting place. Also known as the Stone of Destiny, the Stone featured in the Coronation of Scottish Monarchs for centuries until it was seized by Edward I in 1296 and taken to London, where it rested until 1996, when it was returned to Scotland.

While Perth is the Republic’s political capital, its armed forces are headquartered in Stirling, occupying Stirling Castle, which dominates the town of Stirling from its position atop Castle Hill. Both Stirling and Perth are well guarded by Scottish Territorial Army troops who have defected en masse to the Republic of Scotland and are supported by local militias, making the area one of the safest in Scotland.  

Stewart’s ambition is to be leader of an independent post War Scotland and his long term plans involve attempting to expand the area under his control. He has attempted to persuade the Highland Coalition to join his Republic on several occasions, however the Highlanders have so far been unwilling to do so, although Stewart does have a number of supporters throughout the Highlands. He has also been receiving limited aid from the French Government, which has supplied the Scots with some weapons and ammunition. A small number of French Intelligence agents are also based in Perth.

The Highlanders have their Capital in Inverness. The largest town in the Highlands, it remains the region’s main trading hub. A variety of goods and food produce from across the Highlands are traded and bartered in Inverness at weekly markets, and fishing boats from as far away as Orkney and Shetland are frequently found in Inverness harbour. The City’s Raigmore Hospital remains open and is probably the largest functional hospital in Britain outside southern England. The Coalition has raised its own militia force, the Northern Watch, and the heavy concentration of Watch forces in the area, combined with the proximity of HMG’s last remaining forces in Scotland and its remote location has made the city one of the safest places to live in post-war Britain. The second largest town in the Coalition is Fort William, which has electricity supplied by the Lochaber Hydroelectric plant, which was restored to operation in mid 1999. Inverness and Fort William are linked by the Caledonian Canal, a sixty mile long waterway that is patrolled by the Northern Watch.

Elsewhere, much of the country is in varying states of disorder. Edinburgh, Scotland’s pre war Capital, was not directly targeted by the Soviets during the nuclear exchanges, but suffered some loss of life and damage from the strikes on nearby Grangemouth and Rosyth, with fall out drifting over the western suburbs. Large numbers of people fled the City in the last few months of 1997, with many heading for the perceived safety of the largely rural Border regions. Those who remained suffered from starvation, disease, and civil disorder in the months that followed, and Edinburgh’s current population stands at around 50,000 (just over 10% of its pre war population) who have formed a number of different lawful and unlawful groups within the city. Lack of food remains the biggest problem for the people of Edinburgh, with parks, cricket pitches, and football stadia all turned into makeshift farms and violent clashes commonplace over the most meagre of resources. In the north of the City is the Port of Leith, the largest enclosed deep water port in Scotland. The port has sat idle for several years, and has been stripped of any items that are easy to carry away, but much of its heavy machinery remains relatively intact and would not require a great deal of work to be restored to full working order.

To the west of Edinburgh lie the towns of Livingston, Bathgate and Falkirk which were a focal part of Scotland’s “Silicon Glen” before the war, and were home to a number of high technology multinational companies such as Applied Materials, Motorola, NEC, Sun Microsystems, Shin-Etsu, Schlumberger and Seagate Technology. Many of these factories and facilities survived the nuclear attack, however the lack of power, parts, and skilled workers mean that they have sat idle since the start of 1998. Many have been looted, but a significant amount of heavy machinery remains in place that could be of enormous use in any plans to rebuild Scotland. Both Bathgate and Livingston have suffered a substantial amount of disorder however, and authority in both towns currently lies in the hands of a number of local strongmen and criminal gangs who frequently clash with each other.

Lying to the west of Grangemouth, the now near abandoned town of Falkirk suffered heavy loss of life from fallout in the wake of the Grangemouth attack. The majority of survivors evacuated the town and headed for the relative sanctuary of Republic of Scotland controlled territory to the north. Today less than two hundred souls remain in Falkirk eking out a living as best they can. Republic of Scotland troops based in Stirling carry out occasional patrols through Falkirk; the troops generally wear full NBC gear and do not linger long – Falkirk has become a byword for death throughout Central Scotland and patrolling its deserted streets can unsettle even the most experienced of troops.

Glasgow was devastated by the Soviet nuclear attacks, with the death toll exceeding half a million people. A handful of survivor enclaves exist in the City, particularly the East End, which is under the control of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), a loose alliance of different ideologies and former criminal and football hooligan elements who also want to establish a Republic of Scotland, but not the same type as the one that exists in Perth. The full range of left wing and lunatic fringe can be found within the SSP’s ranks, including ultra-Scottish nationalists, Irish nationalists, Jacobite revisionists, communists, anti-monarchists, papists and just plain bigots.

The area around Glasgow is in total anarchy, with many towns under the control of different gangs, whilst much of the Border region to the south of Edinburgh is controlled by a large marauder group known as the Border Reivers. Based in the towns of Hawick Kelso, the Reivers include a number of horse cavalry, also control what trade exists between south east Scotland and north east England, charging merchants for safe passage through their territory. In the south west the area around Dumfries and Lockerbie has remained relatively stable – some refugees did try to enter this area in the aftermath of the nuclear strike on Glasgow, but most were turned back in a series of often deadly clashes with the locals – and some trade is currently taking place with towns in Cumbria, whilst Dumfries has agreed a mutual defence pact with the English town of Carlisle.

Aberdeen and Dundee were also the targets for Soviet nuclear weapons. Known as the oil capital of Europe before the war, Aberdeen was one of the first Cities after London to be hit, whilst Dundee was targeted in the 1998 exchange, and both Cities are now ruined shells inhabited by isolated groups of survivors, criminal gangs, and scavengers (with many groups a mix of all three). Elsewhere in the North East several of the coastal towns north of Aberdeen have banded together to form a loose alliance. These towns still support a small fishing fleet, with many of the trawlers fitted with improvised sails.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral is a large estate house in rural Aberdeenshire that was the traditional summer retreat of the British Royal Family before the war. It is not known if any members of the Royal Family were at Balmoral during the Soviet nuclear strikes on Britain, but it is known that the estate was secured by the Government shortly afterwards and helicopters were seen flying over the area in the last few months of 1997. Speculation about surviving Royals and vast stores of valuables, arms and supplies has been rife in the region since the end of the nuclear exchanges and Balmoral has attracted the attention of numerous bands of marauders, but so far none has returned to boast about what they found. A few marauders who were captured by Republic of Scotland forces reported that Balmoral has been avoided by most marauders groups in the area since the end of 1998.  

A detachment of Republic of Scotland troops were sent to investigate the area in 1999 and came upon the remains of a few dozen long dead marauders in the surrounding countryside before being driven away by a well armed and equipped force from Balmoral. A second scouting team sent to gather further information about Balmoral towards the end of 1999 spent a week reconnoitring the area. Although they never got within the grounds of Balmoral they did observe that the castle and the nearby village of Braemar were occupied by at least a few hundred people and that the area still has an electricity supply. The grounds of Balmoral were also seen to be guarded by operable cameras and remote sensors, while at least a dozen well armed individuals with body armour, communication gear and non-standard issue weapons such as sniper rifles, P90 personal defence weapons, and M4 assault rifles were observed around the grounds, as were several Land Rovers. An additional group of men wearing a combination of civilian and British army clothing and armed with SLR's and pistols were also seen to be resident in Braemar.

The Republic of Scotland leadership believes that a HM Government enclave is occupying Balmoral Castle and its environs, and is protected by what appears to be a unit of British troops, possibly from the Special Forces, who may have been reinforced by a number of militia from the Highland Coalition’s Northern Watch. It is suspected that Balmoral has its own electricity generators and government stashes of supplies and arms of undetermined quantity. Quite what HMG is doing at Balmoral is a mystery though - it is considered unlikely that any surviving members of the Royal Family would be still at Balmoral considering its remote and isolated location from other HM forces, although it is thought possible that the Castle may hold items of considerable value.           

The Scottish Islands

Both the Shetland and Orkney Islands were the target of Soviet conventional air attacks during 1997 aimed at the various oil and gas facilities located on the islands. Shetland was hit particularly hard, with repeated attacks aimed at the Sullom Voe refinery, which remains heavily damaged. An early warning radar station was located at RAF Saxa Vord on the island of Unst, the most northerly of the islands that make up the Shetland group. Whilst the majority of the RAF personnel have been evacuated, a small force of airmen volunteered to stay behind and maintain the radar, which remains functional and is reportedly capable of detecting ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft. Saxa Vord was also the home of a civilian radar site which provided a service to civilian helicopters transiting from Aberdeen/Sumburgh and Unst out to the oil fields.

Both island groups remain under the control of their respective pre war local Governments, and are effectively independent of the Scottish mainland. Law and order is maintained by the remnants of pre war police forces, supported by local volunteers. During and after the nuclear exchanges of 1997 merchant ships off the coast of the British Isles who sent out distress calls were instructed by surviving coast guard personnel to make for the relatively safe anchorage of Scapa Flow in Orkney, a former Royal Navy anchorage that was closed as a Navy base in 1956, and over a dozen abandoned commercial cargo ships and tankers from the British and international merchant fleet are currently anchored there. Most of these ships remain in good condition, although their fuel and useful cargoes has long been removed. The surviving sailors have been integrated into the local population.

Lying off the North West coast, the communities of the Western Isles escaped the devastation caused by the nuclear exchanges, and like the Orkney and Shetland islands they are now independent to all extents and purposes. A healthy inter island trade exists, with a range of commodities being used as barter goods (a number of islands retain working whisky distilleries, most noticeably Islay, which still produces significant amount of scotch). The Inner Hebrides are close enough to the Scottish mainland that they differ only in minor details from the mainland, but the people of the Outer Hebrides are far more independent minded and insular, and strangers can expect to be treated with suspicion. The island of North Uist is home to the remote radar and missile testing base of Benbecula, while a Squadron of RAF F3 Tornado Interceptors were based at RAF Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Outer Hebrides, at the start of the War (Stornoway was already home to an RAF Signals Unit). Like Saxa Vord in the Shetlands, most of the military personnel have been withdrawn from both Stornoway and Benbecula (the Tornados flew to southern England in mid 1998), although small caretaker forces of less than a dozen men volunteered to stay behind at each base. These volunteers have been integrated into the local communities, where they provide a welcome addition to their defence forces. The runaway at Stornoway remains fully operational.

The Honours of Scotland

Consisting of the Crown, the Sceptre, and the Sword of State, the Honours of Scotland were used in the coronations of Scottish monarchs from 1543 until the Act of Union in 1707. As part of HMG’s plans to move items of national importance away from possible nuclear targets, in July 1997 a small detachment of Scots Guards removed the Honours from the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle, where they had been on public display, and secretly took them to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, the home of the MacLeod of Macleod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. The Honours remain hidden at Dunvegan, a fact known to only a handful of individuals in the UK. Also known as the Scottish Crown Jewels, HMG, the Republic of Scotland or any other faction claiming to be the legitimate Government of Scotland would have its cause boosted significantly if it possessed the Honours.