|Male thralls are chained for the night in the bosk shed; bond-maids are kept in the hall, for the pleasure of the free men. Marauders of Gor, page
Thrall punishments are very severe, if a thrall does not die from a punishment, he can only then be stronger for it.
The status of the thrall, correspondingly, however, such as it was, declined; he was now regarded as much in the same category with the urts
that one clubs in the Sa-Tarna sheds, or are pursued by small pet sleen, kept there for that purpose, or with the tiny, six-toed rock tharlarion of
southern Torvaldsland, favored for their legs and tails, which are speared by children. If the thrall had been nothing in Torvaldsland before, he
was now less than nothing; his status was now, in effect, that of the southern, male work slave, found often in the quarries and mines, and,
chained, on the great farms. He, a despised animal, must obey instantly and perfectly, or be subject to immediate slaughter. Marauders of Gor,
We were quite close to them; neither of them saw us. Thyri, in the afternoon, had made many trips to the sul patch. This, however, was the first
time she had encountered the young man. Earlier he had been working with other thralls at the shore, with parsit nets. Marauders of Gor, page
Then, with the brazenness of a bond-maid, she, Thyri, who had been the fine young lady of Kassau, threw her kirtle up over her hips and,
leaning forward, spit furiously at the thrall. He leaped toward her but Ottar was even quicker. He struck Wulfstan, the thrall, Tarsk, behind the
back of his neck with the handle of his ax. Wulfstan fell stunned. In an instant Ottar had bound the young man’s hands before his body. He then
jerked him to his knees by the iron collar.
“You have seen what your ax can do to posts,” said he to me, “now let us see what it can do to the body of a man.” He then threw the young
thrall to his feet, holding him by the collar, his back to me. The spine, of course, would be immediately severed; moreover, part of the ax will, if
the blow be powerful, emerge from the abdomen. It takes, however, more than one blow to cut a body, that of a man, in two. To strike more
than twice, however, is regarded as clumsiness. The young man stood, numbly, caught. Thyri, her kirtle down, shrank back, her hand before her
“You have seen,” said Ottar, to the Forkbeard, “that he has been bold with a bond-maid, the property of free men.”
“Thralls and bond-maids, sometimes,” said I, “banter.” “He would have put his hands upon her,” said Ottar. That seemed true, and was surely
more serious. Bond-maids were, after all, the property of free men. It was not permitted for a thrall to touch them.
“Would you have touched her?” asked the Forkbeard.
“Yes, my Jarl,” whispered the young man.
“You see!” cried Ottar. “Let Red Hair strike!”
I smiled. “Let llim be whipped instead,” I said.
“No!” cried Ottar.
“Let it be as Red Hair suggests,” said the Forkbeard. He then looked at the thrall. “Run to the whipping post,;’ he said. “Beg the first free man
who passes to beat you.”
Yes, my Jarl,” he said.
He would be stripped and bound, wrists over his head, to the post at the bosk shed
“Fifty strokes,” said the Forkbeard.
“Yes, my Jarl,” said the young man
“The lash,” said the Forkbeard, “will be the snake.”
His punishment would be heavy indeed. The snake is a single-bladed whip, weighted, of braided leather, eight feet long and about a half an inch
to an inch thick. It is capable of lifting the flesh from a man’s back. Sometimes it is set with tiny particles of metal. It was not impossible that he
would die under its blows. The snake is to be distinguished from the much more common Gorean slave whip, with its five broad striking surfaces.
The latter whip, commonly used on females, punishes terribly; it has, however, the advantage of not marking the victim. No one is much
concerned, of course, with whether or not a thrall is marked. A girl with an unmarked back, commonly, will bring a much higher price than a
comparable wench, if her back be muchly scarred. Men commonly relish a smooth female, except for the brand scar. In Turia and Ar, it might be
mentioned it is not uncommon for a female slave to be depilated.
The young thrall looked at me. It was to me that he owed his life.
“Thank you, my Jarl,” he said. Then he turned and, wrists still bound before his body, as Ottar had fastened them, ran toward the bosk shed.
“Go, Ottar, to the forge shed,” said the Forkbeard, grinning. Tell Gautrek to pass by the bosk shed.”
Ottar grinned. “Good,” he said. Gautrek was the smith: I did not envy the young man.
“And Ottar,” said the Forkbeard, “see that the thrall returns to his work in the morning.”
“I shall,” said Ottar, and turned toward the forge shed.
Marauders of Gor, page 104-105
“Thank you, my Jarl,” said the boy. The boy, unlike the adult male thralls, was not chained at night in the bosk shed, Ivar was fond of him. He
slept, chained, in the kitchen. Marauder of Gor, page 132
It seems that at one time thralls were sacrificed like bosks and verr by the rune-priests. Lucky for them now, it seems they are unworthy of sacrifice.
We saw thralls, too, in the crowd, and rune-priests, with long hair, in white robes, a spiral ring of gold on their left arms, about their waist a bag
of omens chips, pieces of wood soaked in the blood of the sacrificial bosk, slain to open the thing; these chips are thrown like dice, sometimes
several times, and are then read by the priests; the thing-temple, in which the ring of the temple is kept, is made of wood; nearby, in a grove,
hung from poles, were bodies of six verr; in past days, it is my understanding, there might have been decided, however, a generation ago, by
one of the rare meetings of the high council of rune-priests, attended by the high rune-priests of each district, that thralls should no longer be
sacrificed; this was not defended, however, on grounds of the advance of civilization, or such, but rather on the grounds that thralls, like urts
and tiny six-toed tharlarion, were not objects worthy of sacrifice; there had been a famine and many thralls had been sacrificed; in spite of this
the famine had not abated for more than four growing seasons; this period, too, incidentally, was noted for the large number of raids to the
south, often involving entire fleets from Torvaldsland; it had been further speculated that the gods had no need of thralls, or, if they did, they
might supply this need themselves, or make this need known through suitable signs; no signs, however, luckily for thralls, were forthcoming;
this was taken as a vindication of the judgment of the high council of rune-priests; after the council, the status of rune-priests had risen in
Torvaldsland; this may also have had something to do with the fact that the famine, finally, after four seasons, abated; the status of the thrall,
correspondingly, however, such as it was, declined; he was now regarded as much in the same category with the urts that one clubs in the Sa-
Tarna sheds, or are pursued by small pet sleen, kept there for that purpose, or with the tiny, six-toed rock tharlarion of southern Torvaldsland,
favored for their legs and tails, which are speared by children. If the thrall had been nothing in Torvaldsland before, he was now less than
nothing; his status was now, in effect, that of the southern, male work slave, found often in the quarries and mines, and, chained, on the great
farms. He, a despised animal, must obey instantly and perfectly, or be subject to immediate slaughter. The Forkbeard had bought one thrall with
him, the young man, Tarsk, who, even now, followed in the retinue of the Forkbeard; it was thought that if the Forkbeard should purchase a
crate of sleen fur or a chest of bog iron the young man, on his shoulders, might then bear it back to our tent, pitched among other tents, at the
thing; bog iron, incidentally, is inferior to the iron of the south; the steel and iron of the weapons of the men of Torvaldsland, interestingly, is
almost uniformly of southern origin; the iron extracted from bog ore is extensively used, however, for agricultural implements. Marauders of Gor,
The young thrall pours dirt over his own head understanding he is beneath the dirt under his Jarl's boots fearing to be killed for picking up an axe, even
if it was to defend the people of his Jarl, no thrall is permitted to touch weapons, nor the war arrow, he is however freed, which is an exception.
And among them stood, too, thralls. Their heads were not lower than those with whom they stood. Among them was the lad called Tarsk,
formerly Wulfstan of Kassau, to whom Thyri had once been given for the night. In the night of the at-tack he, at the Forkbeard’s encampment
near the thing field, with an ax, had slain a Kur. I remembered finding the carcass of the animal beneath the fallen, half-burned canvas of the
Forkbeard’s tent. Thralls are not permitted to touch the war arrow, but they are permitted to kneel to those who have. Wulfstan had handed
the Forkbeard the ax, disarming himself, and had then knelt before him, putting his head to his feet. Thralls may be slain for so much as touching
a weapon. He had taken dirt from beneath the feet of the Forkbeard and, kneeling, had poured it on his head. “Rise, Thrall,” had said the
Forkbeard. The young man had then stood, and straightly, head high, before the Forkbeard. The Forkbeard threw him back the ax. “Carry it,”
said the Forkbeard. Marauders of Gor, page 238
Yes, thralls do get reward at times, and in the form of a warm bond-maid too! We can see that though bond-maids are haughty with thralls,
they should thread carefully and show a modicum of respect.
“My Jarl,” said Thyri.
“Yes,” said the Forkbeard.
“Should this thrall,” she asked, indicating Tarsk, once Wulfstan of Kassau, “be permitted to look upon the beauty of the bond-maids?”
“What do you mean?” asked Ivar Forkbeard.
“He is, after all,” said Thyri, “only a thrall.”
I wondered that she would deny the young man this pleasure. I recalled that she had said she hated him. I, personally, had no objection to his
presence in the shed. Thralls, I expected, had few pleasures. It might have been more than a year since he had been permitted a female.
The young man looked upon the proud Thyri with great bitterness.
She lifted her head, and laughed.
“I think,” said Ivar Forkbeard, “that I will send him back to the tent.”
“Excellent,” she said. She smiled at the thrall.
“Chain!” said the Forkbeard. One of his men took from over his shoulder a looped chain. At each end it terminated in a manacle. It had been
held, looped, by these manacles being locked into one another. He removed it from his shoulder and opened the manacles. The chain itself was
about a yard long. He handed it to the Forkbeard.
The young man would go chained to the tent.
“Wrist,” said the Forkbeard.
The young man extended his wrists. Thyri watched, delighted.
The Forkbeard closed the manacle about the young man’s left wrist.
Then the Forkbeard took Thyri’s right wrist and closed it in the other fetter.
“My Jarl!” she cried.
“She is yours until morning,” the Forkbeard told the young thrall. “Use her behind the tent.”
“My thanks, my Jarl!” he cried.
“My Jarl!” wept Thyri.
Tarsk seized the length of chain in his right fist, about a foot from her fetter. He jerked it. The fetter was large on her wrist, but she could not
slip it. She was held. She looked at him with horror. “Hurry, Bond-maid!” he cried. He turned about, dragging her by the right wrist, and, almost
running, pulled her, stumbling, crying out, after him.
The Forkbeard, and I, and his men, laughed. We had not been much pleased at the insolence of the bond-maid with respect to the young thrall;
once, we recalled, her taunting of him had almost cost him his life; I had intervened, and he had only been whipped instead; I had little doubt
that Wulfstan of Kassau, the thrall, Tarsk, had many scores to settle with the pretty little she-sleen, once a fine young lady of Kassau; too, I
recalled, she had once refused his suit, he supposedly not being good enough for her. “I hope,” said the Forkbeard, “he will not make her
scream all night behind the tent. I wish to obtain a good night’s rest.”
“It would be a shame,” said I, “to interfere with his pleasure.”
“If necessary,” said the Forkbeard, “I will simply have him gag her with her own kirtle.”
“Excellent,” I said. Marauders of Gor, page 159-160
In this strange and exceptional case, I think mainly because the war is against Kurii, the thralls are armed and given the chance to fight the horrid
Svein Blue Tooth was at the pens, leading the attack that had broken the rally. The rally had been led by the Kur who had been foremost in the
attack on his hall. This Kur, it seemed, had disappeared, scattering with the others. The Blue Tooth stepped over the body of a fallen Kur. He
gestured to the chained male slaves. “Free them,” he said, “and give them weapons. There is yet work to do.” Eagerly the slaves, when their
manacles had been struck away, picked up weapons and sought Kurii. Marauders of Gor, page 252
When the Forkbeard himself rose, of course, the camp became quite active, and the slaves were put about many menial labors; the thrall,
Tarsk, was unchained from Thyri, and set about the sawing of wood; Thyri herself, her kirtle thrown to her, was ordered to pound grain to make
flour; she could not even look Tarsk in the face, I noted; she looked down, shyly; from her cries the night before I knew that she had, behind the
tent, yielded to him; the other girls much teased her for yielding to a thrall; “I would have been beaten had I not yielded,” she said in defense;
then she looked down once more, and smiled; she did not seem discontent.
I saw her, late in the afternoon, unbidden, secretly bringing him water at his work.
“Thank you, bond-maid,” said he.
She put down her head.
“You are pretty, bond-maid,” he said.
“Thank you, my Jarl,” she said.
He looked after her, as she sped away. He grinned. He then, whistling, worked with gusto. He did not then seem to me unlike a free man.
Marauders of Gor, page 192-193
|It is interesting to see that though thralls may not touch bond-maids, however, they are often ordered to
manhandle them in different ways as we see throughout the quotes here.
Male thralls turned the spits over the long fire; female thralls, bond-maids, served the tables. The girls,
though collared in the manner of Torvaldsland, and serving men, were fully clothed. Their kirtles of white
wool, smudged and stained with grease, fell to their ankles; they hurried about; they were barefoot; their
arms, too, were bare; their hair was tied with strings behind their heads, to keep it free from sparks; their
faces were, on the whole, dirty, smudged with dirt and grease; they were worked hard; Bera, I noted, kept
much of an eye upon them; one girl, seized by a warrior, her waist held, his other hand sliding upward from
her ankle beneath the single garment permitted her, the long, stained woollen kirtle, making her cry out
with pleasure, dared to thrust her lips eagerly, furtively, to his; but she was seen by Bera; orders were
given; by male thralls she was bound and, weeping, thrust to the kitchen, there to be stripped and beaten;
I presumed that if Bera were not present the feast might have taken a different turn; her frigid, cold
presence was, doubtless, not much welcomed by the men. But she was the woman of Svein Blue Tooth. I
supposed, in time, normally, she would retire, doubtless taking Svein Blue Tooth with her.
Marauders, page 195-196
“It will be done,” said the official. He signaled two burly thralls, each of whom seized her by one arm.
“Deliver her to the tent of Thorgeir of Ax Glacier,” he told them. “Tell him that she is a gift to him from Tarl
The girl was turned about, each of the thralls holding one of her arms. She looked once over her shoulder.
Then, between the thralls, moaning, crying out, stumbling, a gift being delivered, she was thrust toward the
tent of he who was known at the thing as Thorgeir of Ax Glacier. Marauders of Gor, page 167-168
As far I have seen, all thralls wear tunics of white. I have noticed that though bond-maids do take liberties,
thralls very rarely do. There is a marked difference in the treatment between the two.
Men in the fields wore short tunics of white wool; some carried hoes; their hair was close cropped; about
their throats had been hammered bands of black iron, with a welded ring attached. They did not leave the
fields; such a departure, without permission, might mean their death; they were thralls. Marauders of Gor
I saw people running down the sloping green land, toward the water. Several came from within the
palisade. Among them, white kirtled, collared, excited, ran bond-maids. These, upon the arrival of their
master, are permitted to greet him. The men of the north enjoy the bright eyes, the leaping bodies, the
squealing, the greetings of their bond-maids. In the fields I saw an overseer, clad in scarlet, with a gesture
of his hand, releasing the thralls. Then, they, too, ran down towards the water. Marauders of Gor, page 82
|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
|All rights reserved.