“You said you were no stranger to scrolls,” I said. “To some, Master,” she said. “I did not mean to be arrogant. If I have not been pleasing, lash me.” “Have you read,” I asked, “the Manuals of the Pens of Mira, Leonora’s Compendium, the Songs of Dina, or Hargon’s The Nature and Arts of the Female Slave?” “No, Master,” she said, eagerly. Such texts, and numerous others, like them, are sometimes utilized in a girl’s training, particularly by professional slavers. Sometimes they are read aloud in training sessions by a scribe, a whip master in attendance. Most girls are eager to acquire such knowledge. Indeed, they often ply one another for secrets of love, makeup, costuming, perfuming, dance, and such, as each wishes to be as perfect for her master as it lies within her power to be. Also, of course, such diligence is prudential on her part. She will be lashed if she is not pleasing. Also, her very life, literally, is in his hands. Perhaps a word is in order pertaining to the Songs of Dina. Some free women claim that this book, which is supposedly written by Dina, “a slave,” which continues to appear in various editions and revisions, because of its intelligence and sensitivity, is actually, and must have been, written by a free woman. I suspect, on the other hand, that it is truly by a slave, as is claimed on the title page.
(Magicians of Gor, page 193)
She had made an acceptable beginning in learning the arts of the slave girl. These arts, it might be mentioned, are intricate and diverse, and are complex and rich in many modes and dimensions. Most obviously they are domestic, sexual and psychological. Too, they are culinary, kinetic, cosmetic and artistic. Like the painter and the musician the slave girl need never stop growing in her art, which is the creation of beauty and joy for herself and her master. (Slave Girl of Gor, page 163)
Her lessons became somewhat more troubling later. For example, she was taught, in theory at least, how to bathe a man, the oils, the strigil, the sponges, the deferences, the touchings, the beggings, the handling of the towels, the words to be spoken at different times, the final grateful prostration of herself following the honor of having been permitted to bathe him, and such. A block of wood served as a surrogate for the male figure. But, even so, she felt herself frightened, and aroused, tenderly and gently ministering to it, following the instructions of her instructrices.
"You will be better at bathing a man than cooking for him," observed one of the instructrices, wryly.
She also learned how to brush clothing, and clean, soften and polish leather.
The duties she was taught were common to most women of her sort, of whatever variety, but tended to be especially associated with such as served in the towers, in the high cities, in the cylinder cities.
Needless to say there were many other sorts of duties, too, in which women such as she were expected to be proficient, duties, and services, in which, indeed, they were expected to excel. Indeed, these other duties, at least for such as she, were duties commonly regarded as far more interesting and important than less exotic, homelier labors, such as cooking and laundering. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 7, pages 104-105)
It is common for slave girls to assist and serve free men in their bath, washing them, applying oils, cleaning them, toweling them, applying lotions, kissing them intimately, serving their pleasure, and such. Ellen had been taught the bathing of free men in her training. It is one of many things in which female slaves are expected to be proficient. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 696)
"You will go to the designated pool with this group," he said, gesturing. "Oils, sponges, rags, will be at the pool, and lotions. Pebbles will do for scrapers. Stand there." (Place: outside of Brundisium) (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 680)
It was there she saw the first of several small, sunken, shallow, walled pools, each a yard or so deep. Most of these were in the vicinity of the stream, some on one side and some on the other, and some were actually open to the stream, and fed by its water. Others were not now in obvious contact with the stream but were nearby,… (Place: outside the city of Brundisium) (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 686)
What startled Ellen was the large number of these pools. Surely there were at least thirty or forty of them, some on one side of the stream, some on the other. In several of them, sporting delightedly, some in the water, some splashing about, some assiduously washing, some attending to their hair, were groups of slave girls, ten in each group. (Place: outside the city of Brundisium) (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 686)
To the right of the stream was an empty cisternlike, low, walled enclosure, a constructed pool, of some twenty feet in diameter. In this pool none were bathing. Near to it, on towels spread on the grass, were vessels, presumably of cheap oils and lotions. Too, on them, toward the edges, were a number of sponges and rags. Some small heaps of pebbles, doubtless from the stream, lay here and there near the towels. (Place: outside of Brundisium) (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 688)
In a few moments she feared they must leave the water, to apply the cleansing oils, thence to scrape them from the body, with the strigil-like pebbles, after which they would reenter the water to rinse once more. After that they would emerge and dry themselves with the towels, and then apply the soothing and fragrant lotions. Then they would be conducted whence masters might wish, perhaps to chains and stakes, or even, as they were in the vicinity of Brundisium, perhaps to exhibition cages. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 21, page 693)
The slave is not a wife, but a property, and, accordingly, as she is not an autonomous, independent contractee but a valued possession, she commonly finds herself an object of jealous regard on the part of the master. She is not respected, but, rather, sheltered, safeguarded and treasured. Masters, as with other valuable possessions, tend to take a detailed personal interest in their slaves, sometimes washing them, as one might a dog, combing their hair for the pleasure they derive from this activity, dressing them for their pleasure, having them display their beauty in a variety of aspects and attitudes upon command, and so on. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 18, page 550)
Interestingly, masters often comb the hair of their slaves, grooming them. Masters seem to enjoy this, and the slaves, too, tend to relish it, the intimacy and such, though the slave understands that she is being groomed, as her master's animal, much as might be a kaiila or pet sleen. Sometimes masters wash their slaves, as well, much as a dog might be washed on Earth. This is sometimes done before slave exhibitions, or competitions. Sometimes it is done for the simple pleasure of it. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 24, pages 775-776)
She had been taught how to kneel, and move, and lie down, and remove her clothing, and
present herself for binding, and enter and leave rooms, and greet masters, many such things. She had also learned various forms of deference and obeisance. She could now dress and undress a man. She could do it with her teeth, with her hands tied behind her. She had been taught uses for various aspects of her body, for example, her tongue and hair. She had learned how to move on all fours, and fetch a whip in her teeth. She had learned how to beg to be beaten, but she trusted earnestly that she would be spared that for which she was trained to beg. She could now lick and kiss a whip in such a way that it would drive a man wild. She had learned how to put chains on herself from which, once closed, she could not free herself. She had learned how, kneeling before a man, to take food from his hand. She had learned how to eat from pans on the floor, forbidden to use her hands. She was taught how to lie provocatively on furs, on the floor, at the foot of a master's couch, chained there by the neck to the slave ring. She was taught how to beg prettily to be permitted to ascend the couch itself, to serve. She was taught, even, how to bring sandals to a man, head down, on all fours, carrying them in her teeth. She had learned which sandal was to be placed first on which foot, and in what order they were to be tied, and the kisses, expressing her gratitude that she was permitted to perform this service. (Prize of Gor, Chapter 8, pages 115 – 116)
The smallest tasks in your life, how you clean your Master's leather, how you set out his clothes, how you cook, and sew, how you shop, how you clean and launder, even the tiniest and most servile tasks, all such things, will become sexual, all will become expressions of your femaleness, fitting and joyful manifestations of your worthless but helplessly proffered, gladly tendered love and service, that of only an insignificant slave." -Mercenaries of Gor
Cernus turned to Caprus, who stood near him. "Is she trained?" he asked.
"No," said Caprus. "She is Red Silk but she knows almost nothing."
"Slave," said Cernus.
"Yes, Master," said Elizabeth.
"Stand straight and place your hands behind your head, head back."
She did so.
"Turn slowly," ordered Cernus.
When Elizabeth had done so once, she remained standing before him, as he had commanded.
Cernus turned to Caprus. "Was she touched by the leather?" he inquired.
"The Physician Flaminius conducted the test," reported Caprus. "She was superb."
"Excellent," said Cernus. "You may lower your arms," he said to the girl.
She did so, and stood there, standing before him, her head down.
"Let her be fully trained," said Cernus to Caprus.
"Fully?" asked Caprus.
"Yes," said Cernus, "fully."
Elizabeth looked at him, startled.
I had not counted on this, nor had Elizabeth. On the other hand, there seemed to be little that could be done about it. The training, exhaustive and detailed, I knew would take months. On the other hand it would be done presumably in the House of Cernus. Further, such training, though spread over a period of months, normally consumes only about five of the Gorean hours daily, that the girls have time to rest, to absorb their lessons, to recreate themselves in the pools and gardens of the house. During this time, since Elizabeth was nominally of the staff of Caprus, we could surely find time to be about our work, for which purpose we had arranged to enter the House of Cernus.
-Assassins of Gor, page 47
"If you like me," she asked, "will you buy me?"
"Perhaps," I said, "I do not know."
"I think," she said, "that I would like you for my master."
"Oh," I said.
"So I will try to please you," she said, "that you will buy me."
"You are not now in the purple booth," I said.
She laughed. The allusion was to certain practices having to do with the merchandising of Red Silk Girls, in private sales for individual and important clients of the House. At certain times of the year several such booths are set up within the courtyard of a slaver's house; in each, unclothed, chained by the left ankle to a ring, on furs, is a choice Red Silk Girl; prospective buyers, usually accompanied by a member of the Caste of Physicians, in the presence of the slaver's agent, examine various girls; when particular interest is indicated in one, the Physician and the slaver's agent withdraw; when, after this, the girl is not purchased, or at least seriously bid upon, she is beaten severely or, perhaps worse, is touched for a full Ehn by the slave goad; if, after two or three such opportunities, the girl is not sold, she is given further training; if after this she is still not sold she is usually returned to the iron pens whence, with other girls, considered to be of inferior value, she will be sold at a price in one of the smaller markets, perhaps even in a minor city. Most girls, it might be mentioned, even extremely choice specimens, are never in the booths; generally the slaver has a chance at a higher price when there are many buyer bidding against one another in the heat of an auction.
-Assassins of Gor, page 56
The knock came again.
"Who is it?" I called.
"Ho-Tu, Master Keeper," came the response, muffled, scarcely audible, behind the heavy beams of the door.
I gave Elizabeth a swift kiss and then jerked the' slave livery to her waist and turned her about, putting her on her side at the foot of the couch, facing away from the door. She lay there on the stones, half-stripped, turned away, bound hand and foot, her throat fastened to the slave ring by the heavy collar and chain. Drawing her knees up and almost touching her chin to her chest she managed to look about as abject and abused as a poor wench might. Satisfied, I went to the door and removed the two heavy beams, opening it.
Ho-Tu was a short, corpulent man, broad-shouldered, stripped to the waist. He had quick black eyes set in a shaven head, the threads of a mustache dangled at the sides of his mouth. About his neck he wore a rude ornament, a loose iron chain bearing, also in iron, a medallion, the crest of the House of Cernus. He had a broad leather belt, with four buckles. To this belt there hung the sheath of a hook knife, which was buckled in the sheath, the strap passing over the hilt.
Also, clipped to the belt, was a slave whistle, used in issuing signals, summoning slaves, and so on. On the other side of the belt, there hung a slave goad, rather like the tarn goad, except that it is designed to be used as an instrument for the control of human beings rather than tarns.
It was, like the tarn goad, developed jointly by the Caste of Physicians and that of the Builders, the Physicians contributing knowledge of the pain fibers of human beings, the networks of nerve endings, and the Builders contributing certain principles and techniques developed in the construction and manufacture of energy bulbs. Unlike the tarn goad which has a simple on-off switch in the handle, the slave goad works with both a switch and a dial, and the intensity of the charge administered can be varied from an infliction which is only distinctly unpleasant to one which is instantly lethal.
The slave goad, unknown in most Gorean cities, is
almost never used except by professional slavers, probably because of the great expense involved; the tarn goad, by contrast, is a simple instrument. Both goads, interestingly, emit a shower of yellow sparks when touched to an object, a phenomenon which, associated with the pain involved, surely plays its role in producing aversion to the goad, both in tarns and men.
-Assassin of Gor, Page 84
At that moment a bar, struck in a certain pattern by an iron hammer somewhere in the house, rang out, the sound taken up by other bars, also struck, on various floors of the House of Cernus. The day, I had discovered, was divided by such signals. There is method in the house of a slaver.
Ho-Tu smiled. "Cernus," said he, "requests your presence at table."
I observed the two men, collared slaves, squaring off against one another in the sand. Both were stripped to the waist. The hair of both was bound back with a band of cloth. Each carried, sheathed, a hook knife. The edges of the sheath were coated with a bluish pigment.
"These men are the champions among male slaves at hook knife," said Cernus. He scarcely glanced up from the game board at which he sat across from Caprus, of the Caste of Scribes, Chief Accountant of the House.
I heard the crack of a whip and the command "Fight!" and saw the two men begin to close with one another.
I glanced at the game board. Cernus had paid me little attention, being absorbed in the game. I had not seen the opening. Judging from the pieces and positions it appeared to be late in the middle game. Cernus was well in command of the board. I assumed he must be skilled at this sport.
A blue line appeared across the chest of one of the slaves fighting between the tables, on a square of sand some twelve feet in dimension. The line was adjudicated as a point. The two men then returned to opposite corners of the ring and crouched down, waiting for the command to fight again.
Without being asked I had taken a position at the table of Cernus himself. No one had objected, at least explicitly, though I did sense some disgruntlement at my action It had been expected, I gathered, that I would sit at one of the two long side tables, and perhaps even below the bowls of red and yellow salt which divided these tables. The table of Cernus itself, of course, was regarded as being above the bowls. Ho-Tu sat beside me, on my left.
There was a shout from the men-at-arms and members of the House who sat at the tables as the second slave, he who had scored the first point, managed to leave a long streak of blue down the inside of the right arm of the first slave. "Point!" called the man-at-arms, he with the whip, and the two slaves separated again, each going to their comers and crouching there in the sand, breathing heavily. The man whose arm had been marked was forced then to carry the sheathed hook knife in his left hand. I heard the odds changing rapidly at the tables as the men of the house of Cernus revised their betting.
I heard Cernus announce "Capture of Home Stone," and turned to see Caprus sit back in defeat, staring at the board. Cernus began to arrange the pieces once more on the board.
You could have been a Player," said Caprus.
Cernus laughed with pleasure, turning the board. "Take yellow," he offered.
Caprus shrugged and pushed Ubar's Spearman to Ubar Four.
Cereus looked at me eagerly. "Do you play?" he asked.
"No," I said.
He turned again to regard the board. He pushed his Ubara's Initiate's Spearman to Ubara's Initiate's Spearman Four. The Torian Defense.
There was a cry and I looked again to the square of sand and the first slave, with the hook knife in his left hand, had plunged across the sand, taking a stroke across the chest, to strike his own blue line blow at his opponent.
"Point for both," announced the man-at-arms.
The food at the table of Cernus was good, but it was plain, rather severe, like the master of the House. I had tarsk meat and yellow bread with honey, Gorean peas and a tankard of diluted Ka-la-na, warm water mixed with wine.
Ho-Tu, I noted, but did not speak to him of it, drank only water and, with a horn spoon, ate only a grain porridge mixed with bosk milk.
At the wall on my right there were fifteen slave rings. To each, on furs, there was chained, by the left ankle, a bare-breasted girl about whose waist there was knotted a scarlet cord, in which was thrust a long, narrow rectangle of red
silk. About their throats were matching red-enameled collars. Their lips were rouged and they wore eye-shadow. Some glistening red substance had been sprinkled on their hair. Following the meal, I understood, in the House of Cernus, is a time for the pleasure and recreation of the men. There are games and sports, and wagers and song. Paga and Ka-la-na are then, when Cernus would leave, brought forth.
"A kill!" cried the man-at-arms with the whip. I saw that the second slave, who was doubtless the better man at the sport, had slipped behind the first and, holding his head back with a powerful forearm, had decisively drawn his sheathed hook knife across the throat of the first man.
The first man seemed numb, the heavy blue streak on his throat, and slipped to his knees. Two men-at-arms rushed forward and put him in shackles. For some reason, the man with the whip took the slave's hook knife, unsheathed it, and drew it across the slave's chest, leaving there a smear of blood. It was not a serious wound. It seemed pointless to me. The slave who had lost was then led away in his shackles.
The victor, on the other hand, turned about and raised his hands. He was greeted with cheers and was immediately taken to the table on my left, where he was seated at the far end of the table, before a plate heaped with meat, which he began to devour, holding it in his hands, eyes wild, almost lost in the food, to the amusement of the watching men. I gathered the feed troughs in the pens of the male slaves seldom contained viands so choice.
Now that the sport was done some Musicians filed in, taking up positions to one side.
-Assassin of Gor, Page 86-87
Now that the sport was done some Musicians filed in, taking up positions to one side. There was a czehar player, two players of the kalika, four flutists and a pair of kaska drummers.
The meal was served by slave girls in white tunics, each wearing a white-enameled collar. These would be girls in training, some of them perhaps White Silk Girls, being accustomed to the routines and techniques of serving at table.
One of them carried a large pitcher of the diluted Ka-la-na wine and stepped behind us, climbing the two steps to the broad wooden dais on which our tables were set. She bent
over my left shoulder woodenly, her body stiff. "Wine, Master?'' she asked.
"She-sleen," hissed Ho-Tu. "How is it that you first serve wine to a strange man at the table of your master.
"Forgive Lana," said she, tears springing to her eyes.
"You belong in the iron pens," said Ho-Tu.
"He frightens me," she wept. "He is of the black caste."
"Serve him wine," said he, "or you will be stripped and thrown into a pen of male slaves."
The girl turned and withdrew, then approached again, climbing the stairs, delicately, as though timidly, head down. Then she leaned forward, bending her knees slightly, her body graceful, and spoke, her voice a whisper in my ear, an invitation, "Wine, Master?" as though offering not wine, but herself.
In a large house, with various slave girls, it is thought only an act of courtesy on the part of a host to permit a guest the use of one of the girls for the evening. Each of the girls considered eligible for this service, at one time or another during the evening, will approach the guest and offer him wine. His choice is indicated by the one from whom he accepts wine.
I looked at the girl. Her eyes met mine, softly. Her lips were slightly parted. "Wine, Master?" she asked.
"Yes," I said, "I will have wine."
She poured the diluted wine into my cup, bowed her head and with a shy smile, backed gracefully down the stairs behind me, then turned and hurried away. . "Of course," said Ho-Tu, "you may not have her tonight, for she is White Silk."
"I understand," I said.
The Musicians had now begun to play. I have always enjoyed the melodies of Gor, though they tend on the whole to a certain wild, barbaric quality. Elizabeth, I knew, would have enjoyed them as well. I smiled to myself. Poor Elizabeth, I thought. She would be hungry tonight and in the morning would have to go to the feed troughs in the quarters of the female staff slaves, probably for water and a porridge of grain and vegetables.
When I had left the compartment, Ho-Tu preceding me down the hall, I had turned and blown her a kiss. She had been quite angry, kneeling there bound hand and foot, fastened to the slave ring by chain and collar, while I trotted off to have dinner with the master of the house. She would probably be quite difficult to get on with in the morning, which time it would be, I supposed, before I would return to the compartment. It is not pleasant to be bound all night.
Indeed, such is a common and severe punishment for female slaves on Gor. It is less common to bind a girl during the day because then there is much work to be done. I resolved that most of my problems in this matter might be solved if I simply refused to release Elizabeth until she had given her word, which she takes quite seriously, to be at least civil.
But Elizabeth, rightly or wrongly, was banished from my mind for the moment because I heard, from a side door, the rustle of slave bells, and was pleased to note that seven girls hurried in, using the short, running steps of the slave girl, arms to the side, palms out, head to the left, eyes averted, and knelt between the tables, before the men, head down in the position of Pleasure Slaves.
"Capture of Home Stone," announced Cernus, moving his First Tarnsman to Ubara's Builder One, where Caprus had, at that point in the game, been attempting to protect his Home Stone. The Home Stone, incidentally, is not officially a piece of the game, as it cannot capture, though it can move one square at a time; further, it might be of interest to note that it is not on the board at the beginning of play, but must be placed on the board on or before the seventh move, which placement counts as one move.
Cernus arose and stretched, leaving Caprus to gather up the pieces.
"Let paga and Ka-la-na be served," said Cernus, to a cheer, and turned and left the table, disappearing through a side door, the same through which the shackled slave had been led. Caprus, soon after, carrying the game pieces and board, left also, but he made his exit through a door other than that which had been used by the slave and his guards, and Cernus.
Now the girls in white tunics began to serve the strong beverages of Gor, and the festivities of the evening began. The Musicians began to play, and the girls in Pleasure Silk,
hands over their heads, lifted themselves slowly to the melody, their bodies responding to it as though to the touch of a man.
"These girls are not much good yet," said Ho-Tu. "They are only in the fourth month of their training. It is good for them to get the practice, hearing and seeing men respond to them. That is the way to learn what truly pleases men. In the end, I say, it is men who teach women to dance."
I myself would have spoken more highly of the girls than had Ho-Tu, who was perhaps overly negative in his evaluation, but it was true that there were differences between these girls and more experienced girls. The true dancing girl, who has a great aptitude for such matters, and years of experience, is a marvel to behold, for she seems always different, subtle and surprising. Some of these girls, interestingly, are not even particularly beautiful, though in the dance they become so.
I expect a great deal has to do with the girl's sensitivity to her audience, with her experience in playing to, and interacting with, different audiences, teasing and delighting them in different ways, making them think they will be disappointed, or that she is poor, and then suddenly, by contrast, startling them, astonishing them and driving them wild with the madness of their desire for her. Such a girl, after a dance, may snatch up dozens of gold pieces from the sand, putting them in her silk, scurrying back to her master.
Suddenly the girls stopped dancing, and the Musicians stopped playing; even those at the table stopped laughing and talking. There was a long, incredibly weird, horrifying scream, coming from far away, and yet seeming to penetrate the very stones of the hall where we enjoyed ourselves. "Play," ordered Ho-Tu, to the Musicians.
Obediently the music began again, and again the girls moved to the music, though I could see they did so poorly now, and were frightened.
Some of the men laughed. The slave who had won at hook knife had turned white, sitting far below the salt.
"What was that?" I asked Ho-Tu.
"The slave who lost at hook knife," said Ho-Tu, pushing a large spoonful of porridge into his mouth.
"What happened to him?" I asked.
"He was fed to the beast," said Ho-Tu.
"What beast?" I asked.
"I do not know," said Ho-Tu, "I have never seen it."
-Assassins of Gor, page 88-91
"How many slaves?" asked one of the men-at-arms.
"Ten," said the man with the Thief's scar.
I then watched while ten cylindrical tubes, apparently of transparent plastic, were removed from the ship. Each was marked and sealed, but in each, at two points, there were valve openings, through which in flight I supposed two tubes might pass, one perhaps for oxygen and another gas used to sedate the occupant, and one to draw the carbon dioxide from the cylinder.
The valves were now open, permitting a bit of air to enter and leave the cylinders. Each cylinder contained a beautiful girl, unclothed and unconscious. About the left ankle of each there was locked a steel identification band. They were doubtless girls kidnapped on Earth, brought to Gor to be slaves.
With a wrench device each of the cylinders was opened and its occupant drawn forth by the hair and placed on the rocky shelf. The cylinders were then returned to the ship. One of the girls began to stir uneasily, perhaps sensing the difference in temperature and air.
The man with the Thief's scar again emerged from the ship, this time with a syringe. He injected a tiny bit of serum into each girl, entering the needle in the girl's back, on the left side between the hip and backbone, passing the needle each time into a small vial he held in his left hand.
The girl who had been stirring uneasily rolled about once, tossing her head to one side, as though in fever, and then her movements subsided and she lay quietly, sedated.
"They will not awaken now," said the man with the Thief's scar, "for better than an Aim."
One of the men-at-arms laughed. "When they do," he said, "they will find themselves in the slave kennels." Several of the others laughed.
Tamar Luminos wrote:Cernus turned to Caprus. "Was she touched by the leather?" he inquired.
"The Physician Flaminius conducted the test," reported Caprus. "She was superb."
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