'I will be the daughter of a rich merchant whom you have captured,' she explained. 'Your tarn was killed by my father's men, and you are taking me
back to your city, to be your slave.'
I grudgingly assented to this fabrication, or much of it. It was a plausible story on Gor and would be likely to provoke little sceptism. Indeed, some such
account seemed to be in order. Free women on Gor do not travel attended by only a single warrior, not of their own free will. Tarnsman of Gor, page
I thought that much of the barbarity on Gor might perhaps be traced to this foolish suppression of the fair sex, whose gentleness and intelligence
might have made such a contribution in softening their harsh ways. To be sure, in certain cities, as had been the case in Ko-ro-ba, women were
permitted status within the caste system and had a relatively unrestricted existence.
Indeed, in Ko-ro-ba, a woman might even leave her quarters without first obtaining permission of a male relative or the Free Companion, a freedom
which was unusual on Gor. The women of Ko-ro-ba might even be found sitting unattended in the theatre or at rge reading of epics. Outlaw of Gor,
In the cities of Gor that I knew, with the possible exception of Tharna, women had been most free in Ko-ro-ba, but now Ko-ro-ba was no more. It is
unusual to find a woman unescorted outside the walls of a city, even near the walls. I was startled to see her alone in this wild, deserted place, far
from roads and cities. I decided to wait for her to approach.
I was puzzled.
On Gor a woman normally travels only with a suitable retinue of armed guards. Women, on this barbaric world, are often regarded, unfortunately, as
little more than love prizes, the fruits of conquest and seizure. Too often they are seen less as persons, human beings with rights, individuals worthy
of concern and regard than as potential pleasure slaves, silken, bangled prisoners, possible adornments to the pleasure gardens of their captors.
There is a saying on Gor that the laws of a city extend no further than its walls.
She had not yet seen me. I leaned on my spear and waited.
The harsh, exogamous institution of capture is woven into the very fabric of Gorean life. It is regarded as meritorious to abduct one's women from a
foreign, preferably hostile city. Perhaps this institution, which on the surface seems so deplorable, is profitable from the standpoint of the race,
preventing the gradual inbreeding of otherwise largely isolated, self-sufficient cities. Few seem to object to the institution of capture, not even the
women who might seem to be its victims. On the contrary, incredibly enough, their vanity is terribly outraged if they are not regarded as worth the
risks, usually mutilation and impalement. One cruel courtesan in the great city of Ar, now little more than a toothless, wrinkled hag, boasted that more
than four hundred men had died because of her beauty. Outlaw of Gor, page 50-51
There were some seventy or eighty individuals in the retinue, which was strung out. The length of their line of march was perhaps some forty or fifty
yards, its width some ten yards. Ten men, armed, on each side, flanked the march. These carried the torches. Some five men, armed, preceded the
march, some three followed. Some ten or twelve other armed men, here and there, occupied positions in the march. In the march, too, there occurred
two platforms and, following, toward the rear, one wagon. The platforms were white, and carried on the shoulders of ten men apiece; the wagon was
brown, and was drawn by two large, brown, wide-horned, shaggy, oxlike shambling creatures, conducted by two men. The men who carried the
platforms and those who conducted the shambling oxlike creatures were dressed not dissimilarly from the others, those flanking the march and those
in and about the march. Slavegirl of Gor, page 40
Over the man’s large hand, closing my mouth, making me helpless, I watched the palanquin carrying the women past. On it were five women, girls.
Four of these were bare-armed, but garbed in flowing, classic white. Oddly enough, considering the beauty of their raiment, they were bare-footed.
Thep did not wear veils. They were dark-haired and, to my eye, startlingly beautiful. They wore what appeared to be golden circlets about their neck,
and a golden bracelet on the left wrist. They knelt, or sat, or reclined about the foot of a white, ornate curule chair set on the platform. In this chair, in
graceful lassitude, weary, sat another girl, though one whose features, as she wore sheaths of pinned veils, I could not well remark. I was startled,
discerning the volume and splendor of her robes; they were multicolored and brilliant in their sheens and chromatic textures, and so draped and worn
that, particularly at the hem, the diverse borders of these various garments seemed to compete with one another to win the observer’s accolade as
the finest, the most resplendent, of all. About the robes and over the hood and veils of the garmenting were slung medallions and necklaces of
wrought gold, pendant with gems. On her hands were white gloves, fastened with hooks of gold. Beneath the final hem of the innermost robe I saw
the toes of golden slippers, jeweled, and scarlet-threaded, sparkling in the torchlight. Only in a barbarian world, I thought, could raiment dare be so
lavish, so gorgeous, so rich.
Then the palanquin had passed, and more torches and men. The second palanquin was preciously freighted with chests and boxes, colorful and bound
with brass and chains. Some of these were covered over with rich cloths that sparkled under the torchlight.
I supposed that the procession was a wedding procession, and that the second palanquin carried rich gifts, perhaps the bride’s dowry, or rich gifts to
accompany her, perhaps to be delivered to the groom or his parents.
The wagon which followed late in the procession, that drawn by the conducted shambling, oxlike creatures, carried, I conjectured, the supplies of the
retinue. The journey I gathered was long. The bride and her maids, as I assumed them to be, doubtless had far to travel.
Then the men, the torches, disappeared in the distance, through the trees.
They were gone. Slavegirl of Gor, page 43
I caught the arm of the captain. His face turned white. “Have you raised your arm against me?” I asked.
I released his aim, and he staggered back. Then he slung his shield on his arm, and unsheathed the blade slung at his left hip.
“What is going on!” demanded the woman.
“Be silent, foolish woman,” said the captain.
She cried out with rage. But what did she know of the codes?
I met his attack, turning it, and he fell, shield loose, at my feet. I had not chosen to kill him.
“Aiii!” cried one of the draft slaves.
“Kill him! Kill him!” cried the free woman. The slave girls screamed.
Men shouted with rage.
“Who is next?” I asked.
They looked at one another.
“Help me,” said the captain. Two of the men went to him and lifted him, bleeding, to his feet. He looked at me, held between his men.
I stood ready.
He looked at me, and grinned. “You did not kill me,” he said.
“I am grateful,” he said.
I inclined my head.
“Too,” said he, “I know the skills of my men. They are not poor warriors, you understand.”
“I am sure they are not,” I said.
“I do not choose to spend them,” he said. He looked at me. “You are a tarnsman,” he said.
“Yes,” I said.
“I thought it would be so,” he said. He looked at me. “I give you greetings of the caste of warriors,” he said.
“Tal,” said I.
“Tal,” said he.
“Kill him!” cried the free woman. “Kill him!”
“You have wronged this man,” said the captain. “And he has labored within the permissions of his codes.”
“I order you to kill him!” cried the free woman, pointing to me.
“Will you permit us to pass, Warrior?” asked the captain.
“I am afraid, under the circumstances,” I said, “that are no longer possible.”
He nodded. “Of course not,” he said.
“Kill him!” cried the free woman.
“We are six now who can fight,” said the captain. “It is true that we might kill him. I do not know. But never have I crossed swords with one such as
he. There is a swiftness, a sorcery, a savageness in his steel which in a hundred fights to the death I have never encountered. And yet I now stand
alive beside your chair to explain this to you, who are incapable of understanding it.”
“He is outnumbered,” she pointed out.
“How many will he kill?” asked the captain.
“None, of course!” she cried.
“I have crossed steel with him, Lady,” said the captain. “Do not explain to me the nature of swordplay and odds.” He looked to his men. “Do you wish
to fall upon him, Lads?” he asked, smiling wryly.
“Command us, and we shall attack,” said one of the men.
I thought their discipline good.
The captain shook his head ruefully. “I have crossed steel with him, Lads,” said he. “We shall withdraw.”
“No!” screamed the free woman.
The captain turned, supported by two men.
“Cowards!” she cried.
The captain turned to face her. “I am not a coward, Lady,” said he. “But neither am I a fool.”
“Cowards!” she cried.
“Before I send men against one such as he,” said the officer, “it will be to defend a Home Stone.”
“Coward! Cowards!” she screamed.
“I have crossed steel with him,” said the captain. He then, held between his men, withdrew. More than one of them cast glances at me over their
shoulder. But none, I think, wished to return to do contest.
I resheathed the blade.
“Turn about,” said the free woman to the draft slaves. She would follow the retreating warriors.
“Do not turn about,” I said to them.
They obeyed me. The sedan chair stayed as it was. “Why did you not kill them?” asked one of the draft slaves.
“You were of the warriors?” I asked.
“Yes,” said he.
“It seems not fitting you should be chained to a lady’s chair,” I said.
He grinned, and shrugged.
“Will you not permit me to withdraw, Warrior?” asked the free woman.
“These seem fine fellows,” I said. “Doubtless you have the key to these chains in your possessions.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Give it to her,” said I, indicating one of the slave girls. This was done, and, at my gesture, the girl freed the draft slaves.
They rubbed their wrists, and moved their heads, no longer in the iron circle of the collars.
The sedan chair rested still on their shoulders. They looked at me, well pleased.
“I will let you have the use of one of the girls for a silver tarsk,” said the free woman.
I looked up at her. “It is a bit late for that, my dear Lady Constance,” I said.
“I will sell one of them to you for a golden tarn,” she said.
“That seems a high price to ask for a slave girl,” I said.
She lifted up her veiled head. “You may have the use of one or both for free,” she said.
“Lady Constance is generous,” I said.
She did not lower her head to so much as glance upon me. “I give them to you,” she said.
“Lower the chair,” I said to the draft slaves. The chair was lowered.
“Free them,” I said, indicating the draft slaves.
They stood about her, looking at her. She sat nervously in the chair. “You are free,” she said. “You are free.”
They grinned, and did not move.
“You may go,” she said. “You are free.”
I nodded to them and, together, grinning and striking one another in their pleasure, they withdrew. One remained for a moment. “My thanks, Warrior,”
“It is nothing,” said I, “-Warrior.”
He grinned, and turned, hurrying after the others.
The two slave girls looked at one another.
“Remove your veils,” said the free woman.
The two girls pulled away their veils. Both were pretty.
I smiled at them. They blushed, basking in my smile.
“They are yours, of course, if you wish,” said the free woman, gesturing with her head to the two girls.
One of the girls looked at me, and I nodded.
“No!” cried the free woman. One of the girls had lifted aside the first of the free woman´s veils, and the other had brushed back the first of her hoods.
“No!” cried the free woman. Then, despite her protest, the first girl drew aside the last veil which concealed her features, and the second girl brushed
back the final hood, revealing her hair, which was blond. The free woman’s blue eyes looked at me, frightened. She had been face-stripped. I saw that
she was beautiful.
“Stand,” I said to her.
“I will pay you well to conduct me to safety,” she said. Her lip trembled.
“If the beauty of your body matches that of your face,” I said, “it is the collar for you.”
“It will be the collar for her, Master!” cried one of the slave girls, delightedly:
“Fina!” cried the free woman.
“Forgive me, Mistress!” said the girl.
The two girls lifted aside the free woman’s robes, until she stood displayed before me.
I walked about her. “Yes,” I said, “it is the collar for you, Lady Constance.”
“Daphne! Fina!” cried the free woman. “Protect me!”
“Do you not know enough to kneel before your master, foolish slave?” chided Fina.
Numbly the Lady Constance knelt.
“In my belongings, over there,” I said to one of the girls, she called Daphne, “there is a collar. Bring it.”
“Yes, Master,” she cried happily, running to where I had indicated, a place beside a small tree some fifty yards from the pond. I had made a temporary
camp there, while awaiting the return of the tarn. I scanned the skies. It was not in sight.
“On your hands and knees, head down,” I said to the Lady Constance.
She assumed this posture, her blond hair hanging forward, downward, over her head.
I roughly collared her and she sank moaning to her stomach in the grass.
I then tied the hands of the two slave girls behind their backs and knelt them by the sedan chair. I then took what valuables and moneys there were
in the chair, kept in the cabinets at its sides, and slung them, some scarves and others placed in pouches, about the necks of the two slave girls. I was
surprised. The owner of the chair had been rich indeed. There was a fortune there, and the notes for other fortunes. I would keep none of this. I had
what I wanted. She lay collared in the grass.
“Stand,” I said to the two slave girls.
They stood, obediently. I pointed off, over the grass. The former slaves could be seen in the distance. “Do you see the men?” I asked. “Yes, Master,”
they said. “Here in the wilderness, bound, alone, you will die,” I pointed out. “Yes, Master,” they said, frightened. “Follow the men,” I said to them.
“Beg them to keep you, and the riches you bear.” “We shall, Master,” they said. “I think they will be agreeable,” I conjectured. “Yes, Master,” they
said, looking down. “And that you may appear more worth keeping about, and to facilitate your pursuit of the men,” I said, “I will take the liberty of
shortening your tunics.” “Yes, Master,” they said, pleased. But when I had finished my work they looked at me, frightened. They shrank back. “Hurry
now,” said I, “after the men, before I rape you myself.” They laughed and turned and ran after the men. “Overtake them before dark,” I said, “for
sleen may soon be prowling.” “Yes, Master,” they cried. I laughed, watching them stumble, weighted with riches, after the former draft slaves.
I returned to where the girl lay in the grass. She was on her stomach. Her hands had dug into the dirt. She sensed I stood near her. I stood a bit
behind her and to her left.
“Am I a slave?” she whispered.
“Yes,” I said.
“You can do anything with me you want?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
Her head was to one side. There were tears on her cheek.
“What are you going to do with me, Master?” she asked.
“Whatever pleases me,” I said.
“I ordered my men to kill you,” she said. “Are you going to slay me for that?”
“Of course not,” I said. “That was the act of the Lady Constance. She no longer exists.”
“A slave girl is now in her place,” whispered the girl.
“Yes,” I said.
“It seems I have escaped easily,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “It is only that now you are subject to new risks and penalties, those of a slave girl.”
She clutched the grass. She knew well of what I spoke.
“You may now be slain for as little `s an irritable word, or for being in the least displeasing. Indeed, you may be slain upon the mere whim of a master,
should it please him.”
“Do you understand?” I asked.
“Yes, Master,” she said. Then she looked up at me. “Are you a kind master?” she asked.
“No,” I said.
“I do not know how to be a slave,” she said.
“Men will teach you,” I said.
“I will try to learn swiftly,” she said.
“That is wise,” I said.
“My life will depend on it?” she asked.
“Of course,” I said. I grinned. Gorean men are not patient with their girls.
“This morning,” she said, “I was free.”
“You are now a slave,” I said.
“Yes, Master,” she said.
I looked up at the late afternoon skies. The tarn had not yet returned. Yet A was not displeased.
I looked down at the girl. “Go to my things,” I said. “Spread furs upon the grass.”
“I am a virgin,” she said.
“You are white-silk,” I said.
“Please do not use that vulgar expression of me,” she begged.
“Do not fear,” I said. “It will soon be inappropriate.”
“Show me mercy,” she begged.
“Spread the furs,” I said.
“Please,” she begged.
“I have no slave whip at hand,” I said, “but I trust my belt will serve.”
She leaped to her feet. “I will spread the furs, Master,” she said.
“Then lie on them on your belly,” I said.
“Yes, Master,” she said.
She spread the furs on the grass by the tree, and then lay on them, on her belly.
“Throw your hair forward and over your head,” I said.
She did so. The collar was now clearly visible on her neck. I stood behind her, and dropped my accouterments to the side.
“Why did you make me a slave?” she whispered.
“It pleased me,” I said.
I crouched beside her and took her by the right arm and hair, and turned her to her back on the furs. She was delicately beautiful. She would ravish
“In Torvaldsland,” I said, “it is said the woman of Kassau make superb slaves.” I looked at her. “Is it true?” I asked.
“I do not know, Master,” she said frightened.
“How marvelously beautiful you are,” I said.
“Please be kind to me, Master,” she begged.
“I have not had a woman in four days,” I told her. Then she cried out. Beasts of Gor, page 114 to 120
" If you may pleasure yourself in taverns," she said, "surely so, too, can I."
"Free women," I said, "do not come here. It is too close to the wharves. It is dangerous. This is Gor." Rogue of Gor, page 158
In the center of the road, approaching, between, and with, the lines, drawn by two tharlarion, was an ornately carved, two-wheeled cart. An officer, a
bearded fellow with plumed cap, perhaps the captain of the mercenary company, beside this cart. On a curule chair, fixed on the high cart, under a
silken canopy, proud and graceful, bedecked with finery, garbed in the ornate Robes of Concealment, sat a woman. Chained by the neck to the side of
the cart, clad in rags, was a red youth. Savages of Gor, page 87
|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
|Free Women of Different Cultures