Magical community in the Great War
The Great War obviously highlights some challenging interactions between the magical and non-magical communities. Members of the magical community volunteered for the War, but were also subject to conscription orders in the same way. Over the course of the War, it became clear that there needed to be some exemptions, as well as care not to waste years of highly complex magical education by sending someone into the trenches to become infantry fodder. In practice, where someone with magical ability got assigned varied a great deal depending on their specific circumstances, influence, and what was needed at the time. By the middle of the War (around 1916), it was deeemed a bad idea to have both the Lord of the local land and their Heir both serving in combat positions at the same time. A later problem, discovered only after the War, was the degree to which fighting in the trenches was deeply destructive to many men's landsense, a problem the Council is still working to fix as they move into the late 1930s. The Hare and the Oak focuses on aspects of this in particular. Men who served are entitled to the same sorts of pension payments and support as non-magical veterans, but because of the magical aspects, some of them can be more complex or less useful to access. Women and those who did not qualify for enlistment for whatever reason also had a variety of roles to play. Carry On touches on some of the implications for Healers (and the upcoming Mistress of Birds talks more about the dangers here.) Bound For Perdition looks at some of the research and development work during the War. Kate Davies talks in Wards of the Roses about the simultaneous greater options for her work during the War, and the way opportunities became more limited when the men returned.
ExamplesRufus Pride served in the trenches, starting late in the War after his three older brothers had all been killed. (He had not had a complete apprenticeship - just enough to stop being a danger to himself. But his magic saved his life at one point, as well as some of those around him.) Geoffrey Carillon initially served in the trenches, before moving into Intelligence work in 1916, shortly before the death of his parents. He did recover his landsense (see Lord Geoffrey Carillon arc for more details on the relevant books here.) Thomas Benton served alongside him, both in the trenches and in the Intelligence work. Ibis Ward was involved in Intelligence work in Egypt. Giles Lefton was blinded by gas in late 1915, serving in the trenches. In Carry On, it becomes clear that the current approaches are not working well. Roland Gospatrick is pressured into helping with recruitment (despite his own injuries). His father, Arthur Gospatrick, is the Major-General helping coordinate between the magical and non-magical fighting forces, and he can bring to bear some pressure to use those with magical skills more sensibly in combat. Elen Morris served as a nurse in a clearing hospital until she was injured. Isembard Fortier and Alexander Landry fought together (discussed in Eclipse, Tea and Meetings, and Best Foot Forward among other places). They were involved in small-group attacks, infiltration, sabotage, and sometimes assassination. Golshan Soltani and Seth Wain were in the trenches, with Golshan getting pulled out on occasion for specific missions that required a combination of his fighting and magical skills. Casting Nasturtiums is about Golshan's injuries and recovery, among other topics. Reggie Hollis serves in the trenches, and is invalided out. He's then assigned to help Lynet Alder in a building full of research on magical efforts to help in the fighting.
Who didn't serveIt's also worth noting which characters didn't have military service during the Great War.
- Richard Edgarton took on additional duties with the Guard - his heir was a minor.
- Cyrus Smythe-Clive did logistics work in London (since he could not go overseas due to Council obligations.)
- Galen Amberly and Martin Taylor did not turn 18 until after Armstice Day.
- Cadmus Michaels was too old to be conscripted until April of 1918, and was guardian for a minor ward (his nephew). He did Intelligence related administrative work.
- Gabriel Edgarton had a bad injury just after he turned 18, and was still recovering at Armstice Day. (His injury would turn out to preclude active physical service, but by November it wasn't clear how much he might eventually heal further.)
- Robin Aelfdane was unable to do military service due to his reactions to iron nearby. (He did office work in London to support the war effort.)
- Alysoun Edgarton assisted with some analysis work as her health allowed.
- Rhoe Belisama was obviously at the Temple of Healing.
- Lizzie Penhallow helped run a hospital.
- Pross Gates assisted with some Intelligence work (her late husband did more.)
- Kate Davies took on additional duties with the Guard, including protective magic work.
- Laura Penhallow was dealing with her own illness.
- Vivian Porter assisted with analysis work.
- Thesan Wain was teaching.
- Beatrice Stafford wasn't ever going to be asked (but she helped take on more for the family as the men served.)