|The castle of Wesenberg in Livonia|
As a particularly adventurous race, the Scots have had more than their fair share of misfortunes and disasters, even though these have been more than balanced out by their successes around the World.
Disasters often occur when people overstretch themselves or try something outside their experience. This raises the stakes, so when things do go wrong it's a long way down. Embarking on an adventurous course always carries with it the seeds of disaster, and the greater the adventure, the greater the potential for disaster. In 1574 something went terribly wrong for a large number of Scots far from home—a group of several thousand mercenaries in the service of the king of Sweden in what is now the country of Estonia.