The Great Game–Prologue

21 Feb

The writer is a condescending asshole.  You might have noticed <wink>.  Suggestions for how it can be made worse (i.e. more condescending) would be very welcome.


Published in The Times, London, 1831

Dear Sir

As a retired military officer and sorcerer in the Royal Sorcerers Corps, I am writing to express my grave concern – nay, dismay – over the decision to appoint Lady Gwendolyn Crichton as Royal Sorceress. It is not one, I feel, that is in the best interests of the British Empire.

No one can deny that Lady Gwendolyn has shown the pluck and determination expected of a British woman in a sticky situation. Her heroism towards the end of the Swing played a strong role in ending the rebellion before there was further loss of life. However, the fact remains that she is profoundly unsuited to any position of authority. Among other things, her upbringing has left her naive in the ways of the world; the sheltered upbringing of a lady of her station does not cover the areas that any sorcerer would need to know.

Furthermore, although there are no detailed reports, there are disturbing rumours from her childhood that suggest unpleasant thoughts about her conduct. I shall say no more about those!

Even if she was physically and mentally capable of holding her own, she is only sixteen years old [ED – Lady Gwendolyn is seventeen as of writing.] There is no way that she can command the respect and admiration that Master Thomas commanded from the sorcerers who served under him. It runs against the grain for any man to take orders from a woman, even those women who are born into positions of power. And the sorcerers of the RSC will have no doubt that Lady Gwendolyn is far less knowledgeable – let alone experienced – than themselves. At best, Lady Gwendolyn will be repeatedly embarrassed by her elders; at worst, she will have to dress up as a man and lead the RSC onto the battlefield, no fit place for a woman! I submit to you that forcing an young girl to undergo this humiliation is cruel and unnecessary.

Nor is there any reason to allow an accident of birth to dictate the holder of the post of Royal Sorcerer. Master Thomas’s true genius lay in his organisation skills; he, more than anyone else, shaped both the Corps and the Royal College. There is no true requirement for a Master Magician to hold the post; the old belief that the holder should be the most powerful and capable magician in service has been discredited. Do we really expect a General to be physically stronger than a Sergeant?

In this era of instability, with the very strong possibility of yet another war with France, the last thing we need is uncertainty in the ranks of the Royal Sorcerers Corps. I therefore call upon the government to reconsider its position and find a more suitable person to serve as Royal Sorcerer.


Col. Sebastian. (Blazer; 2nd Warwickshire Yeomanry Regiment. Ret. 1830.)

6 Responses to “The Great Game–Prologue”

  1. mark February 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    A subtle dig to the effect that her proper place is barefoot and pregnant. And she should be doing her duty squirting out more useful male sorcerers. The farms where one of the creepiest things in the first book. Just because she shut them down doesn’t mean they haven’t warped the thinking of an entire generation. Kind of like how prison guards can come to dehumanize prisoners.

  2. Tamara March 8, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    I’ve just read The Royal Sorceress and was looking when I can expect to read this one…Well Looks like I’ll have to wait a while… Anyway I looked Bookworm better.

    You asked how to make this letter worse. As far as I remember only a few people know what has happened…The writer of the letter definitly wasn’t one of them… He wouldn’t write anything like “Her heroism towards the end of the Swing played a strong role in ending the rebellion before there was further loss of life.” … He wouldn’t want to see her as a hero. It’s more likely that he would call her a lucky sidekick. A girl that survived because nobody saw a threat in her…

    Well it’s up to you 🙂

  3. Tamara March 8, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Sigh…sorry for the typos..
    it’s not looked’s liked

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