I did not journey to England to witness his execution. Does that make me a coward, knowing all-too well that I never truly believed in either the man himself or the cause for which he fought until now? It is possible. But it is what it is. The past cannot be changed or rectified. I will just have to do the best I can with what I have left to me.
Admittedly, what I have left to me does not amount to much. I have a distressed and desperate nation that has lost its leader. I have a small band of noblemen who do not trust me and who’m I no longer trust either. I have a kingdom at my feet that is in need of someone to stand up and take charge and I have plenty of reasons to do so. Mind you, I also have plenty of reasons to do the opposite. I still hold my powerful position within the nobility of Scotland. I still have my title as Robert, the eighth earl of Bruce and I still have my land. My greatest asset is that King Edward I has indeed granted me the crown. I am now the King of Scotland.
But there is one thorn that has been deeply imbedded in my side – a thorn that I do not for the life of me know how to remove, a thorn that slowly seems to be spreading poison through my body. I betrayed Scotland’s last hope for freedom to obtain this power. I led him directly into the path of Scotland's own nobility - unscrupulous men who saw fit to take him from his country and his people by handing him over to the English, ruining my efforts to offer him the hand of help in the process. I did it unknowingly and had I known what would befall him at the hands of the English, I would not have done so. But lead him to the nobles I did, under the guidance of my father – a man who deserves not a shred of respect from me. However, I must confess that without his skillful if heartless intervention, I would not have been made King, so I suppose that – inadvertently I am sure, he has given me the chance to set things right for Scotland, for Wallace and our people. And set things right I must. And indeed there is a great deal to be put right. I now have the task of doing precisely what Wallace told me that I should have done a long time ago. I now have the task of leading my people to freedom.
It is a tall order to say the very least. There is a lot to be done. Those men who raised the sword at Stirling Bridge and the men who bled the ground red at Falkirk fought for William Wallace with belief in their hearts. I know not yet whether they will do the same for me. But as King of the Scots, it is my duty to try. And try I will, after working out precisely what it is I will do. But it has been a long struggle. Many people have died for freedom and many more men will die still.
To truly bring every part of this battle for freedom together in one coherent form, I must look back on all that has happened before. Some events I have only heard of, and there were some events to which I was a primary witness and protagonist.
My story – the story that is intertwined with the life and story of William Wallace, begins in the year 1286, the year that marked the death of Alexander the third and the death of everything that both the nobles and commoners knew. I had no conception then, that Alexander III’s death would bring about a chain of events that would bring about the end to innocence and peace within Scotland. But it did, in a dramatic fashion.