Last Updated: 30-Oct-08 -+- 15, 5th of the 3rd Hand of of the Eighth Month 10,159 Contasta Ar
Oryx con Lara
Mapmaker -=#=---

Owner: #the-Lara-inn (Bondage, Austnet, DALnet, Sorcerynet)
Owner: #Oryx's-Office(Bondage)
Proud Owner: shalhevet{tLi}, tal`elæ{tLi}, tovah{tLi}
Trainees: dahlae{tLi}, jade{tLi}

To a map of Northern Gor
(Gor Ta-Sardar-Var)
To a map of Southern Gor
(Gor Ta-Vask)
To the Greater Laran Unabridged Encyclopædia & Dictionary Of Gor

   A Birth...
   Early training, My last mission
   Captured; a Slave on a Pirate Barc; Escape and a Vision
   Return home; no longer a Warrior
   Old friends; a wonderous meeting: sky{TC}
   Apprenticeship at theChain
   Base treachery: My HomeStone stolen!
   A new jewel and an old man
   jafir{O`O}. Trials waiting to collar sky{TC}. A little hawk
   sarit{O} is MINE!
   Black tragedy; sariti is gone...
   tLi Begins to Function in Earnest
   I Find My Lifelong Love: the Lady Lorelle
   A Strange Summons
   End of an era: My Last Night with Lorelle
[New!] The Hunt to Treve

A Birth...

"BREATHE!" I said stridently, holding My beautiful Lady in the throes of her birth pangs.


She gaped at Me, her lovely face contorted by the all-encompassing agony roiling from Her womb outwards, as She neared Her time. In the fastness of Our rooms above the-Lara-inn, We were alone, just My Lady and Myself, and the as-yet unborn life within Her.

When Lorelle woke me six hours before, Her waters had just broken and the pangs were coming about 5 Ehn (minutes) apart. She could still talk through them, just barely.

"Darling, I'll go get a Greenrobe," I said to My Free Companion of just 10 short, but incredibly sweet months.

"No! ORYX!" she shouted, snatching for My hand. "Don't leave me, whatever you do!"

I smiled at the woman I love more than life itself, and held her hand, shivering a bit at the chill fall winds, laden with freezing rain that had chosen that night to come blowing into the City of Lara off the Thentis range behind Us.

She steadily progressed, the contractions getting stronger and deeper, as I stayed with her, moistening Her soft lips with a square of rep cloth, stroking Her belly as the contractions peaked, then just sitting quietly as She caught Her breath between times.

I said softly, "I adore you, Darling"

Lorelle curled in My arms then uttered a cry.

I looked to the oil-clock on the wall of Our chamber. "How close are they coming?" I gently asked.

She panted, looking daggers at Me. "You expect me to COUNT???"

"Not at all, My Love," I smiled in encouragement.

"...and if you use the word BREATHE to me, I'll kill you"

I chuckled. "That's My job... though sometimes the Lady notices." I whispered... "suck air."

She had to laugh at that, and I wiped her forehead, and caressed her gently, stroking her abdomen along the lines of the muscles. As she relaxed again, I cuddled My lovely lady.

She started to tense as the contraction built again. She moved to kneel; I stroked the muscles in her back, My strong fingers sliding along sore pathways.

She took short concentrated breaths. I reached, stroking deeply. She arched into the high point of the cramp then felt it start to ebb.

I let her lean back against Me, stroking her neck, relieving the tension there, and smiled as she sighed deeply.

"Whew," breathed Lorelle.

We talked quietly of old friends, current plans, and future hopes. Suddenly she tensed again, spitting a brief obscenity under her breath. She whimpered.

I slid My hands down her back, kneading deeply as the muscles tensed. I asked softly, "there?"

Lorelle felt the pressure in her pelvis building, and she nodded.

"Darling, I think I need to push soon."

I nodded, smiling at My brave Lady. "Ok, let Me check after this contraction?"

She nodded assent, then bit her lip, fighting the urge to push.

I said to her, quietly, "See that candle on the other side of the room?"

She nodded slightly.

"Blow it out... or try to"

Lorelle looked up, eyes swimming with tears. Then, as the pang mounted, she puffed hard, trying with all her might to blow the tiny flame out, gasping for cool air. She felt the pressure ease, the pain subside, her eyes pleading with Me.

I kissed her eyes, and, setting her back, donned a pair of clean gloves and gently spread her soft thighs. With the smoothest, gentlest of touches, I felt the effacement of Our womb.

"Ahhh, won't be long now, darling. You're a nice four fingers, or more. Next time, wait till the peak, and let's see what you can do."

Lorelle nodded tiredly, smiling at Me.

I wiped her beautiful face gently with the cool repcloth. Looking into her now-dark blue eyes, I said softly, "Have I told you how much I adore you?"

She leaned against Me, and smiled up at Me. "Once or twice," she said.

I kissed her softly, lovingly, and stroked her neck, along her jaw. As I rubbed her temples, she looked up at Me, feeling the tremors resume.

"Oh gods!" she gasped, as the contraction threatened to overwhelm her.

I smiled and went to between her legs. "OK, just a bit... NOW!! PUSH, My love!!" I shouted.

Lorelle took a deep breath, letting it out slowly, then began to breathe rhythmically as she felt the pressure build. She grit her teeth and pushed hard.

I watched her bear down... her beautiful face turning red with the effort... and...

"Woooo! She's crowning... wow, I can see the head -- red curly hair!"

Lorelle gasped for air as the contraction calmed. I turned the tiny head slightly, checking the position of the umbilical cord.

Lorelle cried out, "Ohhh!!"

"Once more, PUSH HARD..." I commanded My Lady Love, My partner in all.

Lorelle breathed deeply again then bore down, very hard this time. She screamed as she pushed, and I smiled as the little thing emerged. Eeeeaaaassssinnggg the tiny Domme out of her Mother's lovely body, I caught Our daughter as she squirted out, then wrapped her neatly in the warmed repclothes.

Lorelle collapsed, breathing deeply. I noted the healthy pulsing of the umbilical, and she started to breathe on her own. Swabbing her mouth, I gently cleaned out the vernix and some other stuff... and chuckled. "No need for a mere male to spank this lil woman," I said, holding Our daughter as she took her first few breaths under the Triple Moons of the Gorean night.

Placing her on Lorelle's breast, still attached, I said softly, "ok, My Love, once more to do the afterbirth."

Lorelle curled her arms around Our daughter, crying softly and felt the contraction take her, pushing hard.

I neatly caught the afterbirth, gathering it into a clean pot. "Good condition, placenta complete, no signs of deterioration or injury. Observing the lessening of the umbilical pulsing, I tied it off first near Our daughter, then nearer the placenta. With a mirror-bright throwing steel, I sliced her free.

I had to smile in ultimate pride at My women as My Lady gave Our child her first meal.

Lorelle looked down at the little tiny face, still mottled pink and white from her trip, her tiny mouth opening in a huge yawn.

"Yawn nothing -- she's like her Poppa, hungry as a larl," I smiled.

Lorelle chuckled as she began to root, searching for HER nipple.

"Yeah. Figures. My looks, your stomach."

I set the pot aside, and, gently, lovingly, wiped her clean, cleaning up all the mess.

"Help me sit up a little, please, so I can cradle her better."

"Please lift a bit so I can dispose of the cloths underneath you, My darling," I asked.

Lorelle chuckled, and complied. I slipped out the birth-filled cloth, quickly wadded it and tossed it into the pot, and, with strong gentle fingers, helped her up... and kissed her sweet lips.

Then, smiling, I leaned over and gave My daughter her first Poppa kiss, softly kissing her tiny head. Lorelle looked at Me with adoring eyes, feeling the pull of that little mouth on her nipple. I smiled softly at her.

"Hmmm," Lorelle said.

"She's gorgeous, My love... just like her Momma." I looked. "Ariel..."

She looked at Me, and smiled. "Ohhh, yes, how utterly perfect!" She looked down at Our daughter. "Hello, Ariel, welcome to Lara..." Lorelle jumped suddenly as the questing mouth found her goal, and began to suck hard. "She's not so gentle as her poppa."

"Experience, honey, experience."

And We laughed together, scarcely believing where a chance encounter years before had come...

To Top...

Early training, My last mission

It was in 10131 Constanta Ar that I gained approval of My colleagues in the Warriors Guild of the City of Lara. Trained as a tarnsman, My prime responsibility, like those of My wingmates, was to guard the docks and waters about our fair rivertown from the scurrilous raiders of Cos and Port Kur. The Northern city of Lara is, of course, a member of the Salerian Confederation (an alliance of 4 cities - Lara, Ti, Port Olni, Vonda) which was formed to rid the Olni River of pirates and to protect inland shipping.

From the walls of the city I could look out over the Olni dumping into the mighty Vosk river, thence flowing past the city to carry the life blood of Gor -- commerce -- from the mountainous region further to the north out to Thassa, the sea. The calls of the bargemens caste echoed up, as slaves rushed under the lash to load and unload, transship, and warehouse the vast quantity and assortment of goods that moved through the city's docks.

I was a fair tarnsman, but I acquired an odd pastime: as a boy I'd befriended a Scribe, who'd taught Me the wonders of scrolls and language, and I was never without an odd scroll to translate or refurbish as My time permitted.

[Tarns Flight]

It was during one of the interminable wars against the brigands of Port Kar that My life forever changed. Approaching the pirate raiders from out of the sun late one afternoon, a chance spear hurled from below caught My tarn in a vital spot. Not ones to lose an opportunity, we tangled with two of Port Kar's outfliers, knowing we were doomed, but determined to make the best of the chance that the Priest-Kings had tossed our way. Too, I figured that with My tarn's flight tendons cut, I could somehow land on one of the enemy's corpses, thus surviving to fight again.

"Damn ye!," cried the Karran tarnsman, as I viciously slashed at him, slicing his leathers and unseating him. As he screamed and fell, My tarn plunged into his, and despite My steed's injuries, managed to grapple and kill the other. We fell, now flightless, a feathered- and leathern- stone, to fall into the marsh below. I knew no more.

To Top...

Captured; a Slave on a Pirate Barc; Escape and a Vision

It must have been the next morning, or the next after that when I awoke, starving, parched, and in incredible pain from My knee. My noble tarn, who had served Me so well in the air and in battle, had fallen with its full weight on the side of My left leg, tearing the tendons of My knee. I managed to find a stout stick which, with the aid of what remained of My leathers and straps, knitted Myself a crude but workable splint. Another served as a stout cane, and, redonning what weapons I could recover, began to set off towards the city I had attacked just days before.

I approached the city of Port Kar, I became wary for patrols sent out to find downed tarnsmen such as Myself. I approached as stealthily as I could, but--

"Ho there, Salerian dog!"

I slowly turned, ready to fight My way out or die if need be. Facing the speaker, I saw he was taller and broader than I, with two grinning companions. "A fine day to die, Karran urt-spawn!" I spat.

"It speaks! Well, let's not hurt it too bad -- he looks like he'll fetch a fine price on the block!" laughed Karran patrol leader.

I charged... only to catch My game leg in some weeds, and go down heavily. It wasn't too long before I found Myself bound and trussed, and tossed over a thalarian bound for Port Kar's Street of the Ko`lar. I began to struggle against My binds, but suddenly My head exploded in pain, and, to a ringing in My ears, dropped off unconscious.

When I awoke I was in a slavepen, along with some 100 others. I wasn't the only one nursing injuries; it seemed that there had broken out an epidemic of broken limbs lately. I didn't recognize any of My former wing, but a couple of fellows looked vaguely familiar.

"All right, you worthless lot," came a voice from the front. "Anyone who can walk, out here on the double. And, anyone who wants some encouragement to improve their walking skills, we'll help you along just fine." Suddenly we heard the <CRACK> of a slavewhip, and someone up front there squeeled in pain. "Aye, that's it, move along there right smart."

The slaver's handlers came into the pen, six of them, all brandishing slavewhips -- mean looking tongues of leather tipped with cunning pieces of metal. A lick from one of those would last a long time, I thought.

As we wound our way into the sunlight, I was shoved roughly to one side. "Not the block for you, Salerian," I heard the voice of that patrol leader growl. I looked into the gloom as I was shoved and kicked towards a group of chained men. "You've been tried and judged, and sold to make up for your crimes against the free traders of Port Kar. You'll live out the rest of your miserable life an oar-slave on a freebooter's barc!"

"Freebooter?" I said. "Just a nice way of saying filthy Karran Pirate!"

"Mind you keep a civil tongue, slave!" growled the patrol leader, as he brought his slavewhip down on My naked back, then again, and again, and again...

"PULL, ye miserable blighters! O' ye'll g't n' vi'ils t'nite, th' whole lo' o' ye!"

And with that, the Karran Slavemaster cracked his boskwhip over the heads of the straining barc-slaves. One slave looked up at the slavemaster... and grinned.

"Wo' o' YE lookin' at, ye urt-spawn?" the slavemaster bellowed at the slave.

"Oh, nothing much... not even a good meal for a sleen," quipped the slave.

"Why you--" The slavemaster's eyes bulged, his hands grasped reflexively as he lumbered into the mass of the sweating slaves, disrupting their rhythm at the oars. "I've had jus' aboot enuff o' yer lip, ye mangey blighter! Prepare to learn who's yer MASTER!"

Fast, and wary with years of slave-handling skill, the slavemaster swung his boskwhip, aiming for the slave's eyes. But, even faster, the highly-trained slave swung His arm up suddenly: and the chain, loosened throughout the voyage for just this very purpose, was loose! Catching the whip with the end of His chain, the slave yanked sharply, pulling the slavemaster over into His knee. The slavequarters shook with the echo of crunching bone as He drove His work-hardened knee deep into the slavemaster's skull, killing instantly.

"Keep rowing, Men, or they'll suspect up above!" He exhorted His fellow slaves. "We'll not serve another day as slaves in this stinking pit! But, Free Men of the Salerian Confederation We won't be, until We've fought ourselves free! Now, those on the inside, pass the other end of My chain through, and get up. You on the outside, keep pulling as long as you can so they don't catch on."

"Why should we follow You?" asked one of the newly-freed slaves, an especially mean-looking bruiser from Port Olni known only as "Rock". "We don't even know yer true name!" he growled.

The other slave smiled, fixed Rock with His steely-blue eyes, and said the name that hadn't been heard for some seven years. "Call Me Oryx, friend... Oryx of Lara!"

I won't bore the reader with the "impossible" tale of how a group of slaves took over a Karran pirate barc and sailed it out into the open Thassa. We were foolhardy, true, but we were flush from winning our own freedom, and paid scant attention to subtle signs in the weather that, to more skilled sailors, would signal a warning.

We bound the captain and officers well, but were careful not to harm them lest their value as hostages or for resale be depreciated. At first, the only binds available were rough sea-ropes: secure, but would eat the flesh off a man in a week. Then, finding some shore-thistles adrift on the waves, I hit upon a binding method that would be secure yet harmless to the officers' skin. The tiny thistle-hooks would catch on the rough homespun clothes they had, and could not be pulled off save by a ripping motion. Sewing thistle-leaves to one side of a wide leather strap, and swatches of homespun to the other, I'd formulated the bind that I would use in later years on slaves: the OryxBond®!

We originally intended to make for Cos, as they had no particular love for the river pirates at that time and would in any case purchase some skilled but slightly used marine officers. We were about three hours to Klim (West) of the Vosk delta, heading toward Telnus, when a sudden storm came upon us from the throat of the Cosian straits. It was all our scanty skill at seamanship could muster to keep us afloat, much less on some semblance of course. The suddenness and violence of the storm was a rude shock to us who are used to river squalls and a shore being no more than a difficult swim away.

We landed, somehow, on the island of Tyros close by the city of Tentium, nigh onto dawn, having lost a handful of our own number when a towering wave crashed over our puny barc and swallowed our compatriots as a larl an urt. Starving and parched, We beached the remains of the barc and crept outwards from the beach to find succor.

I looked at the group, more like drowned curs than a ready fighing force. I pointed to one lad, scrawny yet wiry, and able to stand on his own feet. "You, Iolair, you're in charge till We get back with something."

Rock glared at Me. "What do you mean, 'We', Laran?"

I had to grin. "Why, you and Myself, Rock. We're the only ones still able to climb and travel... and fight."

He stared at Me, fists clenched. And then released a laugh, slamming Me on My shoulder (and nearly dislocating it to boot!), and pronouncing, "Good plan, Laran."

Rock and I climbed the cliffs there to scout out the land. I managed to pull Myself up over the topmost ridge when, from a distance of about a dozen feet, I spied a young girl looking out to sea. My breath caught in My throat as My eyes travelled over her lovely regal face, soft auburn curls, and just-ripening female body. She was absolutely stunning, and, though I knew I could never let her know that I existed, I knew that My heart was hers. As I watched, spellbound, there arose a sudden fog, or sea-myst... and in a matter of moments, My vision was lost, swallowed by the sea-myst to remain a mystery to Me, certainly for ever more.

"Hey, do you see anything, Oryx?" asked Rock.

I sighed. "Perhaps.. too much..." I answered wistfully.

"But do you see their headquarters?" he asked insistantly.

"Huh? Oh... yes, it's down the beach there," I pointed.

"So how do we avenge our lost brothers, and get a barc to take home?" he asked.

"Well, I have a plan. You see..."

Late that night, after scrounging up some food and crude weapons, we made our way to the cabanas that housed the pirates when they came this far into Thassa. Slowly we came up on their campsite, and listened to the sounds of revelry lasting far into the night. We waited, patiently, till the sounds all but died out. Then we made our way into the encampment, and struck!

We set most of the buildings afire, trapping the Karran pirates inside. Their slaves we freed as we could, but we warned them not to follow us as we couldn't take them on. Then the pirates regrouped, and struck back at us!

Fighting hand-to-hand, we gave ground reluctantly, but steadily. They forced us back, back to the seawall, and then the master stroke of the plan came to fore! Ten compatriots, secreted upon the seawall, poured boiling pitch that we had acquired from the pirates earlier, down upon their self-same heads! Screaming, those who survived tried to escape, but by now it was a complete rout.

I paused to catch My breath after the fighting died down, and suddenly felt a wetness on My forearm. Unfelt, unbeknownst, I had suffered a cruel gash from one of the pirates' barbs, and My arm was laid open! Looking at that gaping wound, I suddenly swooned, and fell senseless to the sand.

[Blue Rose]

I don't know how long I lay there, but it seemed that, out of a dream, that same girl that I'd seen on the heights came to Me, and held My head in her lap, bound My wound, and sung softly to Me as I lay in semi-consciousness. It's not clear what happened... only that when I awoke, My arm was bandaged... and a small blue flower left as a token.

To Top...

Return home; no longer a Warrior

When I at last reached Lara I was muchly grateful, and at least as haggard. Very little of the brash young tarnsman that had set out for battle seven years before remained, except for His spirit, and something Urth barbarians call "grit".

Upon returning to My Castehall, I was greeted with mixed enthusiasm -- I had been missed, but immediately apparant was the tangible souvenir I had brought back from My last battle: a decided limp, a game left leg, rendering Me unfit to continue with the scarlet.

I was ushered into the office of My caste Master, where sat an odd visitor to the demesnes of the Warriors: the caste Master of the Scribes of Lara, My old friend from childhood!

"I had heard you were killed, young Oryx," the Scribe began. "But," chuckling, "it also appears those tales were highly exaggerated." He grew serious, but not darkly so. "Oryx, we have a proposition for you, lad..."

What they proposed was more than I'd dreamed of. Because of My time spent with the pirates I'd learned most of the dialects and speaking mannerisms of our fair planet. My warrior background aside, I had always been skilled in certain arcane arts of the thrown blade or weaponless kill. Few in Lara, much less anywhere else on Gor knew Me... in short, I was to be raised in Caste to the Scribes, there to serve in the "military" wing of the Blue-Robes: the Mapmakers, Explorers... and spies.

To Top...

Training in Ko-ro-ba; My first love; My first defeat

I left on the morn for specialized training in the allied city of Ko-ro-ba, where the Scribes in the Inner Councils would arrange a suitable "cover" for Me to study at their fine military academy. Rebuilt, along with the rest of the City of the Morning, the academy occupied many square pasangs at the outskirts of the city itself. The trip which atarnback would take mere hours lasted well into the following week. Though as healed as it would ever be, My knee did not knit correctly and I could not sit in a tarn's saddle for any length of time. Too, it was desirable that I not arrive directly from Lara, but take a more round-about route thus clouding My origin (and thus purpose) from unfriendly eyes.

Passing from merchant caravan to walking, then joining another caravan, and yet a third, the trip passed with relatively few incidents. Twice the caravan I was with was attacked by brigands bent on robbery or worse, but we managed to fight them off. Though game afoot, I could still handle a sword, and in any case I could not resist the join of battle. I soon arrived in Ko-ro-ba, a wandering ne'er-do-well, but carrying a Scroll of Introduction to the Scribe Castehall in that fair city. My further training began in earnest on the morrow of My arrival. Besides the skills of message passing, and working with the specially-trained vulo (for distant communication), I had to memorize perfectly the formulae for hundreds of inks. These inks, besides providing the grist in a Scribe's mill, all have subtle effects when imbibed or absorbed through a prick in the skin.

They may weaken the resistance so that a captured prisoner begs to tell what he knows about his own army placement, strengths, and weaknesses. They may relieve pain, or cause excruciating waves of suffering to flow over the body; or raise the flesh to a chemically- induced of ecstasy and euphoria. One rare and specialized yellow ink caused boils to erupt over the skin, harmless, but thoroughly nauseous and obnoxious-looking. All told, there are several hundred inks that a Mapmaker must know, all with their own characteristics of adhesion to various materials, all with their own exacting formulae.

The nights in Ko-ro-ba are not without amusement, however. Putting scroll and ink aside, many was the night I would roam the city, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, searching out one more Paga Inn, looking for the redsilked kajira who was just more perfect and alluring than the last. It was on one of these nights of debauchery that a cute kajira I had met in the marketplace suggested I visit the tavern she was owned by, the #FiveBladeInn (Austnet).

She served Me, auburn hair and green eyes flashing, and several goblets of excellent ka-la-na later, I knew My heart was no longer Mine own. She seemed to comply, for although as a whitesilk she could not be alcoved in the Inn, we found ample opportunity for sport in other ways. For two months we were in the bliss that comes of young love, until, in true Gorean fashion, I decided that nothing would do than to own her for My slave. I was deeply and hopelessly in love with the girl, shalana!

I sat in the FiveBladeInn for hours, reviewing the lore that a Scribe is required to know. Occasionally kajirae would be left in the Inn to serve while their Masters had business elsewhere. One such was a pert, red-haired slavegirl her Master had named, aptly enough, flamin.

My reveries, daydreaming about the sweet shalana, were softly intruded upon. I sensed a soft lilting accent and sweet perfume unlike the Ko-ro-ban fare. Looking up, I saw an intense set of blue eyes framed by bright red hair looking at Me.

"A girl was trying to figure out if the handsome young Master was asleep, or drugged, or merely in love," chuckled the slavegirl.

"Mostly the latter," I replied, laughing with her.

"Well, since the object of such a handsome Master's love isn't here -- a girl is alone in the inn with the Master -- perhaps a girl can, in some small way, please the Master?"

I looked at her, and, had she not had a ko`lar about her slim neck, and had I not been totally besotted with sweet shalana, I would have collared the girl on the spot! But, controlling Myself, I asked her to fetch Me some chilled ka-la-na. As I watched her serve, her red hair swirling about her movements, I thought to Myself...

One eve I entered the Inn and took My usual seat in a shadowy corner, My back to the wall, of course, and facing the doors. Whilst waiting for shalana to serve Me ka-la-na, I struck up a conversation with a dark man seated next to Me. He looked at Me strangely.

"Don't you know what this black dagger tatooed on my forehead means, Scribe?" he chuckled.

"Of course, who wouldn't recognize a Black Brother, especially this close," I bantered easily.

"You'll notice that the seats about me are empty... how is it that you have the temerity to sit so close, and converse with me?"

"Well," I recounted, "in most places on Gor, when an assassin walks down a street people slip indoors, or cross the street... anything to avoid contact and distance themselves from the Walking Death. In Lara, we are a bit different. Being a rough rivertown, virtually anyone could be an assassin... so the children come out and trail after the Black Brother, waiting to see who his victim will be and if he'll make a good accounting for himself."

The assassin to My left began to laugh, slapped the table with his gauntleted hand, and extended his right to me. "It's been so long since I met someone who actually wasn't afraid of me, I'd choose you as a friend!"

I smiled, seized his hand, and introduced Myself: "Oryx c'Lara, Mapmaker."

"Ahh, so that's it," he said, smiling returning My grip. "Yer not a wimpy scribe who sits on his arse all day! Pah-Kur, Master Assassin, at your service."

I called out to the kajira, "Shala! Paga for the Assassin, and dump that wine, I'll have paga also!"

She nodded fetchingly, and adroitly reached for a bota. "Girl!" commanded Pah-Kur. "You would serve ME paga from a bota? What are we, in a Tuchuk camp? From a bottle, girl, a bottle!"

Just then a roughly dressed man burst into the inn. He spied the little whitesilk in the middle of the floor, grinned, and grabbed for her. He was going to steal the slave right in front of us!

Calmly, I reached into My robes and in one smooth motion withdrew one of My scribii (pens). In a move too fast to follow I'd thrown the device into the cur's neck, killing instantly. It was only afterwards I noticed that My companion had also loosed a weapon, sinking a quiva deep into the interloper's heart.

He looked at Me. "Well done! I haven't double-teamed like that on a kill in ages!"

I smiled. "Let us retrieve our weapons and have one of the kajiri drag the corpse off to the sleens, eh?"

The tavern owner came rushing down from his office, saw the remains on the floor and the quivering kajira, and looked after the weapons that had so neatly dispatched him. "I'd recognize my Brother Pah's quiva anywhere ... but what is that steel thing in the neck??"

I casually walked over, removed and cleaned My scribus, and smiled at the owner. "Oh, merely a Scribe's pen, good innkeeper. You are familiar with the Urthan saying, The pen is mightier than the sword?

At that, the whole crowd broke into laughter, and the owner smiled. "We must sit and talk, my Brother..."

After several long conversations, and over the course of some weeks, the owner came to trust Me with His Inn and girls on the occasional day when he couldn't open in time. However, when I spoke to him about the purchace of the whitesilk, My hopes were dashed: "She does not wish your collar, Oryx, and that's the sum of it," he said to Me.

I was crushed; I was in shock! This, from the slave who had professed her undying love for Me in the secret fasteness of My student's lodgings? The girl who had pleasured Me as I could only have dreamed, and pledged her loyalty to Me with all the urgency of her hot kajira heart, didn't wish My collar? The Inn owner called Me into His office, where I confronted the girl. Through tear-filled eyes she explained that she wished for someone more experienced in the ways of ownership, and that although she would love to continue our rendezvoux outside of the Inn, within the confines of the Inn she was just another whitesilk, learning, honing her skills against that day when a Master would finally collar her and whisk her away.

For a brief time I continued to habituate the inn, until one black day when, drunk, I challenged another patron for fondling "my" whitesilk. The patron was a rich merchant, an old friend of the owner, who supplied the Inn with drink and supplies, and helped out in other ways behind the scenes. I knew nothing of this, and openly challenged him; he backed off, humiliated, and left hurriedly. The owner, hearing of My rashness, was livid: throwing Me out of his Inn, he warned Me never to set foot in his Inn again, never to go near the whitesilk, and never to speak to him again under pain of arrest and death.

Feeling abandoned, isolated, betrayed... I wandered about Ko-ro-ba, no real destination in mind. I entered a dark alleyway and suddenly spied a small tavern set in a dark spire of a building, much like a jewel in the pommel of a dagger. Glancing in, I chanced to see the swirl of brilliant red hair. "That sweet kajira, flamin, no doubt," I ruminated to Myself. I entered the darkened premeses and took an unobtrusive seat in a corner.

The red-haired beauty looked up, smiled, and came over to Me. "May a girl fetch the handsome Master something to refresh Himself," she asked Me.

I looked at her, and half smiled. "Some chilled ka-la-na... to match a chilled heart."

She looked at Me, soft eyes glowing with concern. "Would Master wish to talk about what is troubling Him?" she asked.

"Nothing too great, sweet flamin. Lost the girl I was in love with... then was tossed out of the only home I've ever known since leaving acadamy. "

She made sympathetic noises, and then looked at Me. "A redsilk learns far more than just to deliver food and drink... and, to deliver in Alcove," she added with a twinkle in her eye. "Perhaps the Master would care for a backrub"

"I don't think so, pretty one. I don't so much ache outside as I do inside."

Crawling up behind Me, she murmered into My ear, "Oh Master, see if you like it for a little bit, in any case"

Now, who can resist such a charming invitation, eh?

She began her skilled smooth strokes over My aching muscles, and, bit by bit I began to relax. I felt her warm breath on My neck, beside My ear as she left soft kajira-kisses in a row, first on one side, then the other.

She murmered, "is Master enjoying this one's massage?" And she moved her hands around My chest, still stroking, and offered Me her lips. I kissed her with all the intensity of the pent-up feelings within Me, long and long, and soon we were lost in each other. And, afterwards, we passed out, cuddled in each other's arms, for the first relaxing sleep I'd had in a month.

When I awoke, she was gone, of course. But she'd left a small token: a piece of her redsilks, the corner of a hem, was bitten off and left neatly tucked between My finger and My Caste signet ring. I sighed, and smiled to Myself.

To Top...

The opening of #tLi; mynx{tLi}

I had begun to regard the #FiveBladeInn as My home, so being banned from there came as somewhat of a shock. Too, My training was finished, and as such I was obliged to leave My student apartments. I felt a bit out of place in Ko-ro-ba, and missed My HomeStone, Lara... so, in brief, I made My way back to the loveliest city on Gor -- in My humble opinion! -- Lara.

Lara is a walled rivertown, similar in many ways to the Urthan St. Louis. She sits at the point where the Olni comes down from its passage past the northern Thentis Mountains, past the cities of Ti, Port Olni, and Vonda. The city surges with life, from the docks and warehouses, up through the markeplaces and specialized bourses for commodity trading, up through the mansions and estates of the rich, the very rich, and the few superlatively wealthy individuals who nevertheless wish to live in the somewhat frontier atmosphere of fair Lara. I, Myself, am merely the fourth son of a modest shopkeeper, so My advancement to Scribes' Blues was certainly an accomplishment.

Using connections I'd made as a warrior, and others I'd garnered in My brief time as a Scribe, I managed to scrape together enough gold to buy a humble Inn, which I named #the-Lara-inn. It was to be a class establishment, only the best meads, wines and paga; only the finest foods; and only the loveliest kajirae. So, having arranged for the first two, I sauntered off to the Street-of-Chains to see about purchasing a tavern girl.

After a few hours of perusal, and nearly giving up hopes of finding a girl to fit My modest requirements, I spied a mouth-wateringly cute girl, waiting on the street-block to be sold as sleen-food! What was wrong with her, I wondered, to force the slavemaster to give such a gorgeous slave up at rock-bottom prices? I accosted the slavemaster, and he laughed sardonically.

"Her? Heh! For all her good looks, she has the temper of a larl in heat, and all the willingness of a tharlorian with gas!"

I came closer to this larl-in-heat, and cupped her dainty jaw in My hand. She shook back her waist-length mahogany locks, glared at Me with depthless pale eyes, and snarled, "What do YOU want, Scribe? You think you can handle ME? Heh! Better run home to Momma before she sees yer missing!"

I smiled. And reached forward, using a technique from weaponless combat that I had been trained so well in... I merely *touched* her, at a nerve-junction... and she was immediately doubled over in a paroxysm of excruciating pain that grew worse as she breathed! Then, rolling her over on her back, I smiled into her eyes, and said gently, "What was that you wanted to say, slut?"

She growled and hissed, unable to speak of course. Writhing on the ground, she continued to glare at Me.

"I'll take her, slavemaster, 30 copper tarnbits, no more."

The slavemaster grinned, getting nearly three times the price he thought he could get for her, and placed the end of her chain in My hand. "I'll throw in a camisk and slavewhip for free, seeing as you are an excellent judge of quality!"

I looked at the whip -- five bladed, as is common... and, as reminded Me of the pain and humiliation I'd suffered in Ko-ro-ba in the name of that configuration. "No... I prefer not to use a five-bladed whip. And this camisk smells like it was last used to wrap sleen-droppings. I'll just take My girl and go."

I looked at her... smiled again, and *touched* her there... another spot... and suddenly the intense pain she felt was transformed.. into sexual ecstasy. She closed her eyes and moaned... and said in a soft voice, "Master... this one begs to release..."

"No, My dear, not quite yet..."

She looked at Me, but was completely in thrall by now... she whimpered, "Master, please, this one begs you to let Your poor slave release!"

I intoned the time-honored slave formula: "Girl, what are you?"

"M..m..master's slave..."

"What is your name?"

"Layil, if it pleases the Handsome Master..." She groaned, needing to release...

"NO! You are whatever I choose you to be!"

"Y..yes, Master... this girl has no name... but needs to release... ohhhh"

"Your name is... " I thought a moment, and smiled. "mynx"

"Mynx! Oh, Master, what a pretty name..." She whimpered piteously, in full distress...

I turned to walk away, then as an afterthought I said to her, "ah, mynxlet, you need something?"

"Master.." she sobbed, "Your mynx begs You to allow her to release!"

"Oh, sure, go ahead girl." I placed My hand on her slaveheat.

She SCREAMED with the intensity of her release, clamping her legs about My hand, writhing, groaning, climaxing again and again, five, ten, 20 times. She whimpered, "Master.. ohhhh..."

"Come, mynx, we have work to do." And, not unsurprisingly, she followed quite docilly after Me.

To Top...

Old friends; a wonderous meeting: sky{TC}

My inn was prospering, with the help of some friends and the power of word-of-mouth. I received a surprising boon one day when, as My tavern girl mynx{tLi} unpacked new crockery and utensils a visitor noticed that I'd neglected to have shelves installed in the servery!

To My great fortune, Kiki, a rather strongly-built female friend of Mine, had her carpentry tools with her. In due course she quickly and efficiently built in a set of shelves just the height for an agile kajira to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and reach the goblets on the top shelf. This would, of course, allow My kajirae to show off their pert slavebutts, lovely legs, and other jewels that normally were hidden under silks...

But alas, I was restless. One kajira does not an inn make! I recalled an invitation from Pah-Kur to visit his #Slaves_Den in Treve. I considered briefly, and set off to see if the Assassin would have a pretty and skilled kajira or two to sell. Accessible only by tarnback, I prevailed on a former fellow-tarnsman of Lara to give Me a ride.

Upon landing I strode into the tavern where the owner's slave was reciting some of the poetry she had written. I looked around for an available kajira to serve Me... and the only one free was an absolutely delicious-looking creature, blonde hair, wearing only body-chains... and a ring in her navel. I asked sky{TC} to bring Me paga, knowing Pah's insistance on always stocking the finest of that heady drink. And watched her serve.


Her every move whispered to Me in the subtle motions of a consummate redsilk, "Take this girl, Master, use this girl..." We talked quietly, oblivious to the others in the tavern, and I discovered that within this lovely and skilled girl's pretty head was a mature and discerning mind.

Rather than merely use her for a night's pleasure, I tucked her into some furs and bundled her back to Lara, to My inn. We were alone there for some days, mynx{tLi} having been sent on a journey to purchace needed wines and supplies. And we talked... and enjoyed each other...

I looked at her sleek form. "Sky, do you feel--"

"oh yes, Master... from the moment a girl kissed You." She considered... "You know, this girl never ever alcoves with a Master when she first meets Him... that is, never until You.."

"A redsilk that doesn't alcove?" I asked incredulously.

"erm... a girl is thought of as odd, You know..."

"Whyever so, My love?" For, even then, I knew in My heart of hearts that I could not live without owning this slave.

"cos a girl is very selective about who she alcoves with..."

"And this time?"

sky smiled. Softly she said, "a girl was very selective..."

To Top...

Apprenticeship at theChain

The slave that I was now hopelessly entranced by told Me of her owners, the Brotherhood of theChain. I had heard of this training Hall, set up so that kajirae could be trained, and learn their trade beyond the personal whims of this or that Master, but I'd never been there. Located in the foothills of the Voltai, theChain is due Rim (East) of Ar. I prevailed on My former comrade the Laran tarnsman to have his great war-tarn fly Me and My new-found love back to her home, so that I could meet the Masters and Mistresses of that noble institution.

Upon arriving, I was somewhat startled, but not really surprised, to discover that My closest friend, Pah-Kur the Assassin, was villified in theChain, and a kill-on-sight order was in effect! I decided that Pah could deal with defending his own honor by himself, and that unless I beheld a direct insult to him I would rely on the adage, discretion is the better part of Honor...

I became a regular fixture in theChain, and gradually the Masters and Mistresses of that Hall began to trust Me, noting that I dealt fairly and gently with the slaves, although My attentions were of course directed in the main towards one in particular.

In due course, I approached one of the owners of the Hall, MilesX, with the request to purchace sky{TC} from theChain. MilesX smiled: "I get at least one offer a week, sometimes three, for that slave."

"But is she for sale?"

"Does she wish to be bought," MilesX countered.

"Yes, most definately. And by Me..."

MilesX suggested I talk it over with another of the Brotherhood, Theron. And, Theron's reaction was this:

"We make it a policy to sell girls of theChain only to Masters who are accepted as part of the Hall. And in sky's case, being that she is a redsilk and a trainer, I believe one would have to be part of the Brotherhood to be eligable to buy her."

"What would one have to do to join the Hall?"

And Theron explained the process to Me, basically one of proving one's loyalty to the Hall, and certain other things that Honor prevents Me from revealing. But he warned Me: it would be a long process, and that many never complete the trials.

"To gain this slave, I would attempt the Trials of Pericles..."

And Theron smiled.

To Top...

Base treachery: My HomeStone stolen!

Part of those "trials" was to shoulder a portion of the work and responsibility of being a Training Master of theChain. Even on a temporary basis, I was expected to spend four days a week in theChain. Of course, being with sky{TC} made it seem like just a few seconds; and the hardest was kissing her before she went off to her kennel while I travelled atarnback, Ror (North-East) to Lara some 400 miles to the north. One dreary day I arrived back in Lara, and went to the kennel where I kept My mynx{tLi} while I was in the south. As soon as I arrived, she rushed, tear-streaked, into My arms, sobbing uncontrollably.

"mynxlet," I murmered, stroking her long disshevelled hair. "What has happened?"

"M.. m.. Master th... th.. they.. ey.. ey..." She was beside herself, sobbing in hysteria!

I did the only thing that a Master could do in this circumstance. I held her, and kissed her deeply and passionately, sucking her tongue into My mouth, drawing on her, stroking her, touching her in those *special* places, till soon she was purring contentedly in My arms, and her shivering was reduced somewhat.

Quietly I said to her, "now, My mynxlet, what has happened?"

She looked at Me, her pale eyes brimming with tears. "Master... someone stole Your homestone!"

I gasped.

"Yes, sweet Master. Just after you left and locked this one into her kennel, Your slavegirl overheard two of her sisters talking about some merchant named Zolrath who broke into the-Lara-inn and claimed the homestone for his own!"

I gritted My teeth and thought back to an odd occurrance the previous week...

"PAGA! HAR-TA, worthless slut!"

I looked up from My accounts and found the source of this loud and raucous shouting. He appeared to be a well-to-do merchant, certainly had the corpulance for it, with rings on his bloated fingers and greasy sweat bringing a sheen to the rolls of pallid flesh under his chins.

I smiled, though; mynx was handling it with her usual aplomb.

"Would the noble Master like His paga heated, or room temperature," she smiled. I failed to see how even the roughest of men could fail to be melted by My mynxlet's smile.

"Room temp, of course, you stupid brainless slut! I can see why your master keeps you around, cause He pities your carelessness and clumsiness. Get on with you, and bring me my paga!"

Whew! I knew mynx well enough by now to tell that the very slight trembling of her lower lip was what in other girls would be torrents of hysterical sobbing. I looked to her to encourage her, and she looked back at Me and smiled.

Paga served and merchant somewhat mollified, he then turned to Me. "I say, old man, but would you know the proprietor of this fine establishment?"

"I am He. Oryx con Lara, at your service. Is there ought I may do for you?"

"Ah! Hit the dog on the head, first time! Zolrath am I, Merchant Extraordinaire, Traveller in Wines and Potables, Spices, Silks, and fine kajirae." He extended the five-lobed mass of blubber he obviously considered a "hand" for Me to ... er.. grasp lightly.

It was not that I cared about hurting him or not; rather, I was concerned that if I exerted too much physical pressure a piece would break off!

"How much for the slave," he asked perfunctorally.

I was a bit startled to say the least. Custom had it that when barganning for a slave, one starts by talking about the weather or some such inconsequentiality, then moves to politics, finds some common ground, and then edges into the business of barganning per se. A good haggle could take days, and use up entire storehouses of ka-la-na and light food as the sides edged about each other, giving a very little, pouncing on concessions, offering bait, etc., etc., etc.

"The slave, the slave, that bitch in heat cowering on the furs! Come on, come on, what will you sell her for?" he prodded, his cloying voice trying to find purchase on My attention.

Clearly, he was expecting Me to be thrown off balance by the urgency of his sudden and repeated request, for Scribes are known for thoroughness of thought, not quickness. However, he had not reckonned with a Warrior-turned-Scribe, and Explorer at that.

"Oh, the dark-haired one with the beautiful pale eyes?" I riposted, nonchalantly, as if it was an everyday occurrence for some fat fool to upset My Inn, then demand to purchace My Office Girl.

"Yes, yes, that one, I don't have much time and I will buy her from you. Say, three golden tarns?" And he laid the yellow coins on the table before him.

mynx, kneeling quietly before Zolrath, eyes down as befits the wonderful slave that she was and is, paled slightly.

"I'm sorry, My merchant friend, but she's not for sale." mynx began to breathe again.

"Oh, come, come, don't play tricksy with Me and try to Cos me down! Here, I'll make it a full ten tarns! Now, take her collar off and let's have done with it!" He leaned forward to grab the girl.

However, quick as he moved for all that lard, I was a wee bit faster, and had mynx by the scruff of her pretty neck, up and on My lap. I added as an afterthought, "lap, My mynxlet."

"Hrmph??" he questioned as his grasping mitten-like paw seized nothing but air. "We have a deal, man, the girl is mine!"

I calmly looked at him, loosening My robes in preparation for what I suspected was an imminent kill. Grinning, I said very quietly, "ahh, you might have a deal, but certainly not with Me! Now, perhaps you should gather any coin you do not wish to leave here -- the paga is five copper bits, by the way -- and make your exit while you still can."

He glared at Me. Sensing that I was perhaps not the Scribe he originally thought, he appeared to regroup within himself. Growling, he said as he rose to leave, "it wasn't worth that!" He spit on the table. "There, that's fair recompense! And as for that slut, she will be mine!"

As he oozed out the door -- no other term properly describes his horrible, flowing lumbering gait -- I mentioned to the Priest-Kings:

Dalenda Zolrath est.

To Top...

A new jewel and an old man

And so it was that My thoughts were wrenched back to the present by the sobbing of My mynxlet.

"M... Master, this one doesn't want to be owned by that... that... tarsk!" she wailed. "Please do something, 'cause whoever owns tLi owns..." She looked down and whispered, "this one."

I looked at the sweet slave, and, feisty though she might be, My heart was torn between pity for her and fury at the knave who'd stolen My homestone. I knew quick decisive action had to be taken, but I was unsure exactly what I could do. I considered hiding the girl in My offices, really a room I'd bought elsewhere in the city, to go over the accounts and meet with merchants quietly away from the Inn. Then it hit Me!

"mynxlet, all is not lost. First, we do something about your ko`lar."

"M...Master? This one's beautiful ko`lar? What's wrong with it?" She looked at me with eyes brimming with tears. "M... Master wouldn't... sell His mynxlet, would He??" she sobbed. She threw herself at My feet, kissing My sandalled toes. "Master, has Your mynxlet displeased You?"

"No, little one, not at all," I reassured her, stroking her soft hair, caressing her sweet neck. "I think that a slight change might be due My mynxlet's ko`lar, to make it prettier, that's all," I smiled. Come with Me, My little one, and we'll take care of that minor chore."

Walking quickly through the streets, leading the lovely but frightened slave, I began to formulate a plan whereby I would be able to both get My homestone back, and have revenge on the urt-slime who stole it. We entered a small jeweler's shop whose owner I knew from My... professional... life.

"Tal, Friend Jeweler! How goes the day? See many spears?"

The jeweler, busy with another customer, looked up Me suddenly. "None this day, Friend," he answered with a surly expression on his face. "But perhaps you'd care to wait in the back room until I have time for such flipperies."

I smiled, and let mynx through the dingy interior of the jewelers shop to the room he pointed to. I sat, and mynx curled up at My feet, calmer now, but still shivering, and looking at Me with liquid eyes, trusting her Master to safeguard her.

After a while, we heard the jeweler wishing his customers good-bye, and the sounds of him closing shop. In a moment he was back with us, he demeanor changed radically.

"Oryx, my old friend! What is so urgent you needed to use the emergency signal?" I chuckled. "Spears, indeed, Ya`akov. Some urt-spawn has stolen My homestone."

Ya`akov went grey! "Is the -- are they safe?"

"Oh, no worry about that. Even if he knew what was there, he wouldn't know what to do with them!" I looked at mynx, puzzled by this exchange. "If you don't know yet, My sweet mynxlet -- " I stroked her soft hair, calming her -- "your Master is not always what He seems." I turned back to the jeweler. "But I do need a favor. The stone in My girl's ko`lar proclaims she's owned by the-Lara-inn. Now, anyone who owns the Inn... owns her. I need a quick change of stone... one, say, that ties her to My office."

"Your office?" he asked incredulously. "What would a lovely kajira like this do in your office?"

"Oh, serve Me blackwine, sit on My knee while I dictated... keep My clients from getting bored while they waited for the Scribe. Any number of things. And, not be owned by that tarskine filth that's squatting in My Inn!"

"Hmm, ok," he agreed, putting a loupe to his eye and examining the stone. "This was a special piece of work, engraving 'tLi' into the stone. I assume you'll want a different color stone?"

I nodded. "Rather than the blue-within-blue of tLi, let's make this blue in onyx black. And, let it show O`O, for Oryx's Office."

I returned with mynx to My office, and noticed the girl fingering her altered ko`lar. "mynx? still worried, little one?"

"Oh no, wonderful Master! This one was just thinking how nicely the pretty stone went with her black silks," she chuckled.

"Silly mynxlet! If that were all we had to be concerned with!"

I busied Myself in the back of the office while she straightened up. After a few minutes of fevered but careful activity, I turned around, and came back to her. She took one look at Me and screamed! "MASTER! One of them is here to STEAL your mynx!"

I chuckled. "Am I that ugly, My mynxlet?"

She quirked a shapely eyebrow. "Master? Is that you? The voice is Yours, but you look -- " she giggled -- "old and used up!"

I took her into My arms and kissed her deeply, letting her feel My Master's passion. I held her firmly to Me, hands wandering skillfully over those spots I knew she responded best with, bruising her lips with the intensity of My kiss. I then pulled back slightly, sucked her soft lower lip into My lips, chewed it lightly... then licked both her lips... and, grasped her long dark hair, pulled her head back, and sucked hard on her throat near the cartoid pulsepoint. She gasped.

"ohhhh Master... it IS You..."

"No doubts, My mynxlet?"

She looked at Me coyly. "Well, this one could stand with some more, uh, proof," she giggled.

"Soon My sweetling. First though I have some work to do. I have to see a tarsk about some ost."

I locked mynx to the office slavebar, for her own protection as well as My own, and, disguised as a wizened riverboat captain, I hobbled down to the-Lara-inn. Entering the familiar door of My own Inn, I saw at once that the place was being run into the ground. Filth everywhere, dirty used and broken crockery strewn about, drunk and comatose Masters flopped over the tables... this was not the classy Inn I'd run!

I made My way to a dark table in the back, and watched the goings on. Zolrath was slumped over a table, out like a light, wheezing fitfully. I was tempted to ease his breathing permanently, but I noticed a few of his buffoons standing about. Even if I succeeded in dispatching the corpulant thief, I'd never recover tLi while they could testify.

"Paga!" I shouted, wondering if there were any kajirae to be had.

"Ahh, shut yer trap, ya old codger!" growled one of the merchant's men. "How yer gonna pay for it, huh?"

I slapped a gold tarn on the table. Disguising My voice, I looked up quereously. "With this, sonny. Plenny more where that came from!"

"Oh ho! And where did an old coot like you get so much gold?"

"That be My secret, youngster!" I shot back.

Their senses aroused, two of them came quickly to My table and seized My arms. I relaxed, not wanting them to feel the steel of My Warrior's muscles underneath the filthy old rags I had on. "Unhand Me, you young whippersnappers!" I struggled weakly.

"Not till you tell us who you killed for this scrim!"

"Hah! Ye'll never--" I grunted as one of them twisted My arm hard behind My back. "OW! Ye'll break it if yer not careful!"

"I'll break more than this, ya old coot, if'n ya don't start singing! Now out with it!"

I moaned, not altogether faked. "All right, I'll tell you! But -- " I gasped -- "release Me first!"

He eased off on My arm, but the other leered into My face. "Ye'll tell us quick, and right proper. Now TALK!"

"It's in the Tahari... there's an oasis, not far from the Kassar camp. There be jools there the size of vulo eggs, just lying there for you to pick up."

"So how come we've never heard of this oasis before, eh?"

"Because, young fool, there also be osts there. Not easy to get in, get the jools, and out before they come out atcha! They as have found it... ended as ost meat." I laughed shrilly, ending with a hacking cough.

"So how did an old creep like you get in-and-out, eh? Tell me that, old man!"

I cackled, smiling up at him with a rheumy eye. Amazing what a little bosk cream can do when skillfully applied! "Ye need the special elixar, youngster! And THAT ye can only get from the Kassar!"

He smiled, and gave My arm an extra jerk before releasing Me. "We'll be in the South in any case, old man. And your story'd better check out! When the new owner of the-Lara-inn comes back, he'll make SURE you sing if it doesn't!"

I grumbled, nursing My bruised arm. Reaching for the gold tarn, My hand was trapped by the hairy mitt of one of the merchant's men. "You did order paga, right, old man?"

To Top...

jafir{O`O}. Trials waiting to collar sky{TC}. A little hawk.

About a week later, I heard that the-Lara-inn had closed. Now, all I had to do was wait out the rest of My plan. I spent the time in My office working on various scrolls I'd contracted for, and enjoying the company of My office girl, mynx.

I looked at the storm clouds boiling over the Thentis Range to "Rim" (East) of the city and thought that it wasn't the best day to be out scrounging the marketplace for some obscure Cosian ink. Lara, as pert of the Salerian Confederation, had been more or less at war with Cos for months, over its obnoxious sponsoring of some groups of river pirates. And the precise shade of pinkish tint that I needed for a particular scroll I'd been comissioned to write was, of course, only available from that island.

"Mynx," I said to My office girl, "I'm going out for a bit. Mind you behave, OK?"

The playful dark-haired slave looked at Me. "Why Master," she simpered, "doesn't this girl always behave her sweet litttle self?"

I looked back at her, letting My eyes sip from her infectious beauty. "When you have a mind to, you do, My mynxlet."

She pouted. "Aww, Master, that's not fair!"

"Fair or not, My girl, that's your Master's will." And with that, I shackled her to the slavebar in My office, gave her a playful Whack! on her shapely rump, and stepped out into the threatening weather.

I walked to the open-air marketplace in the lower section of town, towards the Riverwall, keeping My eyes and ears open as always for sudden attack by the ubiquitous thieves and cutthroats that infested that area. Now, it is said that in the markeplace in Lara one can buy anything on Gor, for a price. And all I wanted was some pinkish tint!

Upon rounding a corner I saw a heap of filthy rags against a collapsed stall, and, seeing it as a most inviting place for city-urts to nest, made a wide detour. As I passed, out of the corner of My eye I saw the rags move! Whirling, I had a scribus in hand and another ready, about to dispatch whoever was going to try and jump Me!

Something in Me held My throw for a moment; and, looking closer, I saw the most wondrous pair of blue eyes!

"Come out, girl, don't be frightened, I won't harm you," I said, secreting My writing tools whence they came.

A low, pitiful whimpering could be heard. I approached warily, and reached into the mass of filth to pull out --

-- a girl!

But not just any girl! This one was short, about four and a half feet tall, with a beautiful rich dark skin color reminiscent of blackwine and creamer. Her bright blue eyes were shocking against that rich dark skin, and as My practised eyes roamed over her scantily-clad body, I knew that this was one girl worth owning!

Her graceful neck was bare, and, looking through what was left of the scraps of her clothing, I saw that she lacked even the "Kef" brand of an owned kajira!

"What is your name, girl?" I asked, gentling My voice as I felt her tremble in My grip.

"a.. a girl is.. is.. c- c- called 'tassa', kind Master. Please don't hurt a girl, she was hi-- hi-- hiding from some horrid men who were going to... going to..." And with that, all semblence of control left the girl as she burst into pitiful tears.

"I won't hurt you girl... but how did you get here?"

"A girl was aboard a small boat, and they said something about selling this one to their cousin.."

"You mean, 'Cosian'?" I asked, stroking her trembling skin.

She moved sinuously under My caresses, her slavebelly warming to the attentions of a Master. Softly she answered, "whatever Master says..."

Now, I knew that Cos isn't known for its slavechains; usually they get the dregs, or what others haven't bid on or want. "Girl, I have a nice warm office; and I think I can change those torn rags for some nice soft silks."

She looked at Me, and gave a shadow of a smile, quickly lowering her eyes. Dropping into a graceful kneel, she lowered her eyes in submission, holding her head high and back straight, letting her lovely breasts peak out accusingly and her firm thighs spread to reveal the luscious pinkness within. She let her small hands rest palms upwards on her graceful thighs.

"Would Master want to own this fairly ordinary slave-slut," she asked tremolously.

"I believe so, girl... hold your hair up."

She gathered mounds of thick, lustrous black-on-black hair, holding it up above her neck.

I brought out an office collar, and placed it on her neck... but didn't fasten it.

"You must choose, girl, if you wish to wear the ko`lar of a lowly scribe's office. It's not an easy lafe, for I'm frequently on the road."

In answer, she softly kissed My sandaled feet, ansd smiled bashfully. She said, in a very low whisper, "this girl would love to be an officegirl for the handsome Master" And with that, she reached up and clicked the collar locked!

"Henceforth, My dusky beauty, you will no longer use the name tassa... rather, you shall be My little sorceress... jafir{O`O}, come! We still have time before the storm to find what I need."

She sighed, a smile playing at her lips. "a girl likes Master's name for her... jafir.. thank you, kind Master-- Master--" She looked at Me, tears misting her bright blue eyes. "a girl doesn't even know Master's name!"

"Oryx, My sweet... you are now owned by Oryx's Office"

"A girl thanks her Owner, Master..." Her voice sank to a mere breath, "Oryx", she breathed, almost worshipping Me.

It was about two months later, after the Inn was declared abandoned and I took it over for the couple of months of taxes owed, when I'd finally cleaned the place up and was beginning to consider opening it to the general public. As I looked up from the dark quiet interior, a dusty figure appeared at the door.

"Dra!" I shouted, overjoyed to see My old friend from the deep South. "What calamity has brought the Chief of the Kassars here to chilly Lara?"

He entered, pulling the leash of a truly exquisite slave, and grumbling under his breath. For him, that meant he was in a good mood. "I got that 'present' you sent me, Oryx. That merchant train fed my kailla for a month! But I still don't understand what posessed them to beg me for that creme that I use for ost bait."

"Oh... let's say, an old man told them something that wasn't exactly accurate." I cackled. "A very old man, that is."

He laughed, knowing of My skill at disguise and dissembling. "Ahh, Oryx, ya s.o.b., you could never just be a plain old warrior, slash and hack, and let the blood flow, eh?"

"Not totally, My old friend. Now, that's one juicy number you have with you! Buy her locally?"

He looked at the slavegirl sitting demurely next to him. She had long lustrous black hair, and what appeared to be a powerful yet absolutely lovely body. "No, I got her on a raid from the filthy Tuchuks. Only the Priest-Kings know where they got her." He jerked the leash. "kasaya, display for the man! Har-ta!"

She arose, and with the fluid grace of a natural dancer, glided to a spot before Me. She slowly turned, her finely-tuned muscles rippling beneath lush feminine flesh, full breasts fully upheld, her golden eyes demurely downcast in respect. I caressed her sweet young face when she finished, and smiled. "My Brother of the South certainly has a lovely prize in you. Those golden eyes... remind Me of the eyes of the hawks I saw floating effortlessly in the desert winds."

She looked to Dra`Van, and quietly asked, "Master, may this one answer the handsome Master?"

"Yes, wench, go ahead."

"O handsome Master, Brother to this one's incomperable and beloved Owner," she began, her voice playing pleasurably on My ears. "When this one was young, her father did call her his little hawk. Perhaps," she paused, and looked at Me briefly, "the Master has much of this one's departed father in Him."

Dra looked at Me in surprise. "That's the most I've ever heard her talk about her past -- you certainly haven't lost your touch with the sluts!" He looked a mynx and jafir playing in the corner, and stroked his chin. "In fact... Oryx, I have business here in the North. Could I kennel her with your girls? Of course, I'd pay you for your expenses and trouble."

I looked at the girl, and saw the hint of a slight smile on her lovely lips. "I think that would be possible, Dra. But, no payment will be necessary, between Brothers."

He looked at Me and smiled. "You wily fox, Oryx! You want to use her yourself, eh?"

"For serving and entertaining here, Brother. You know I'd never touch what is yours."

He laughed. "That you wouldn't, I know. OK, I see your eye for fine slaveflesh hasn't been ruined by all your time in that hole in the Voltai!"

I smiled. "Hall, Brother. TheChain is a Hall, not hole."

He returned My smile, and spat to the slave, "nadu, slut, and you'd BETTER be good while I'm gone!" Handing Me the gorgeous slave's leash he looked at Me. "Hole, My Brother. You'll learn..."

I shrugged and watched as Dra`Van left, then turned to kasaya. "Girl, I don't leash My girls. If I release you, will I have to chase you?"

She looked at Me in surprise. Smiling softly, she said, her voice a whisper of the desert wind over sun-kissed rocks. "Never, O handsome Master." She looked at Me, her golden eyes blinking. "This one would kneel at the handsome Master's feet forever and a day."

I looked at her and smiled. "Well, little hawk, it will be just until your Master returns."

She looked at My feet, and softly whispered, "yes, O handsome Master."

To Top...

sarit{O} is MINE!

Late one evening I was sitting on My furs in theChain, watching the slaves serve and listening to the happy sounds of pleased Masters and Mistresses, waiting for My beloved sky{TC} to arrive. My eyes lit up as she appeared at the entrance... but she was troubled, I could see. She came in and kneeled to one of the Hall's owners, Miles... and no sooner did he look at her, but that he tossed her out of the Hall and locked the door!

I arose, My face flushed with anger... but suddenly realized... he'd thrown the slave out!

Racing outside, I picked her up in My arms, and journeyed quickly to a friend's tavern... where before witnesses, some from theChain, I took advantage of the unique opportunity that had fallen into My hands. Three long months of waiting, of proving Myself, of controlling sky{TC}'s famous and furious temper... of writing an incredibly detailed and beautiful scroll that was to be her purchace price... could be brought to an end if only I could seize the chance that the Priest-Kings had tossed to Me!

I gathered what friends I could find into the tavern in Port-Kar, that same city where I had been sold to slavery on a river-pirate boat.

I looked into her glowing green eyes, and smiled...

    <Oryx> sky, kneel before Me
    <Azgard> Tal
    <Thiman> Tal Azgard
    <Oryx> tal, Az
    sky{TC} kneels in front of Master Oryx
    <Oryx> Azgard, you will witness for theChain?
    Oryx takes out a quiva and approaches the kneeling slave... holds it
        to her neck
    <Azgard> I am not even allowed in the Chain
    Turlon watches Oryx and sky
    sky{TC} lowers her eyes
    <Azgard> I will witness this collaring though
    <Oryx> I now complete an action taken by this slave's former
       owner when he kick-banned her from her home
    Oryx CUTS theChain's golden collar off!!
    *** sky{TC} is now known as sky`
    <Oryx> hmmm.. nicked her
    Turlon 's eyes widen
    Azgard applauds Gorean style
    <Turlon> WOW!
    sky` shakes her head
    <sky`> sheesh Master
    <Oryx> Turlon, I'd be honored if you witnessed also, in your
       own name and in the name of the gorean net
    Turlon nods
    <Oryx> now
    <Turlon> I witness this event
    <Oryx> sky, who are you?
    sky` is Your slave Master Oryx
    <Oryx> what is your name, girl?
    sky` has no name but the one You will give her Master Oryx
    Oryx takes out a brushed steel collar, with His House insignia
        deeply inscribed in glowing blue into an inset black stone
    *** Bandark (...) has joined #Port_Kar
    <katlin{P^K}y`> greetings Master Bandark....
    <Thiman> Tal  Bandark
    sky` smiles ...
    kana{H^O} smiles as she looks to the door... greetings Master Bandark
    <Oryx> I've had this collar prepared for 3 damn months
    <Bandark> Tal and greetings everyone 8)
    <Turlon> Tal Bandark
    <Oryx> tal, Bandark
    <tende{T^C}`> greetings Master Bandark
    <Azgard> Tal Bandark
    <Oryx> Bandark, would you carry something back to Miles?
    <Bandark> sure, Bro
    Oryx hands Bandark a severed collar Z="#######" {TC} #######====E
    <Oryx> that's Miles's
    Bandark takes the collar and nods
    <Oryx> I don't need his gold
    Oryx places His collar on the girl.. still open
    sky` lifts her green eyes to Master Oryx ...
    <Oryx> your choice, girl.. but this collar does NOT unlock
    <Oryx> you may close it, or return it
    sky` nods...then places her hands to her neck and with a *click*
         closes the collar ....fitting snugly around her neck...
    <Oryx> now.. girl
    <Oryx> you will change your name to your REAL name...
    <Oryx> be known throughout Gor and the world as My sarit
    *** sky` is now known as sarit{O}
    Oryx sighs in relief
    Turlon admires sarit{O}'s new ko-lar
    <kana{H^O}> congratulations, Master Oryx, sarit
    sarit{O} smiles ...
    <Azgard> I wish you well all
    Oryx cuts the golden body chain off His sariti
    <Azgard> congrats to all
    Thiman stands to clasp  fore arms  with Oryx   congratulations   !
    sarit{O} smiles sadly
    <Bandark> congrats, Bro, sarit ... may the three moons always shine
         on you
    Oryx hands Bandark the long body chain, still warm from the slave's
    sarit{O} thanks Master Bandark softly
    <Oryx> Return that too... she is no longer a girl of theChain
    <Oryx> You are always welcome in #the-Lara-inn... or just to talk
    Oryx looks at His sariti
    sarit{O} looks at her Master
    Oryx smiles and says quietly, "gawd, you're gorgeous"
    Turlon grins broadly
    sarit{O} touches His face ...
    Oryx holds His arms out for His sariti
    Bandark puts the collar and the chain into his bag
    sarit{O} slips in her Master s arms snuggling finally to his chest
    <sarit{O}> thank you Master Bandark ..for attending ...

To Top...

Black tragedy: sarit is gone...

This is probably the hardest chapter of My tale that I have written, but as I am a Scribe, so must I record both the triumphs and the tragedies. Alas, this day, has befallen upon Me such blackness I barely know how to fight My way up, to breathe, to continue...

The life of a Scribe is fairly simple, save if that Scribe is of the Explorer/Mapmaker subcaste. Our life is one of searching out, of finding, of forging paths where there are none. And, too, our slaves are specially taught. I had taught My sariti the arts of grinding inks, of finding special herbs that made the tinctures, that produced the vibrant colors on My maps and scrolls. And, lovely and willing slave that she was, she learned rapidly, always with a smile, always wanting (and succeeding, oh, succeeding so well!) to please Me, her Master.

She accompanied Me on My foragings, on those trips of exploration that My Caste Hall decreed that I must undertake for the Caste. And so, one late afternoon, I found Myself and My FirstGirl climbing a wild mountain pass in the strange Thentis mountains, but a few tens of pasangs from My Homestone, the lovely city of Lara.

"Master," she said, her sweet soft voice lilting upwards to Me. "Is that not beautiful?" she asked, pointing towards a hidden mountain vista.

I looked out at the secret valley she had noted to Me, and smiled at her. "Yes it is, My precious. But not half as beautiful as the slave who adorns the mountainside."

"Master is too kind," she said, blushing prettily. "A girl is merely a slave, but is happy that her Master is pleased with her."

I reached down to help her up the slope, and, taking My hand, she came up quickly and gracefully, ending up in My arms, fitting there naturally, as we kissed...

We continued further along, through a small copse of mountain forest. Coming to a clearing, and seeing the advanced position of the sun, I said to My sariti, "it is time to make camp, girl. We must prepare for the night."

She smiled, and nodded, her slave bells tinkling merrily as she withdrew the folding tent from My carryall. Having set it up a dozen times already, she quickly attended to that chore, humming a light slavetune, glancing occasionally at Me, half-smiling in the way she had when she was concentrating and yet happy at serving.

Camp set up, she came over to Me where I was working on updating a scroll with the day's journey notes. Her green eyes glinted fetchingly as she asked Me, "Master, may a girl wash her Master's feet?"

I smiled. "Not just yet, sariti. Now that I've entered today's notes on this scroll, I would like to explore that clump of bushes over there. The herbs there look very interesting..."

I rose, and, stroking her soft blonde hair, I walked over to the greenery that had caught My eye. Bending down I smiled, and called to her, "sariti! Look at what I have found!"

Suddenly the peacefulness of the late afternoon was shattered by a sharp scream! "Master! Beside you!"

And before I could turn I saw her leap from her place to that spot next to Me, and give a sudden gasp. She coughed. "It can't... hurt you, My Master...any..."

And, to My everlasting horror, My beloved sariti rolled over, already ashen grey, the limp body of a crushed ost still attached to her sweet flesh. I stared through a veil of tears, as I saw her life slip rapidly away before Me, given freely to save her Master.

Quickly I hurled the offending thing away from her... but, of course, it was too late. She looked up at Me, her green eyes that I had loved so many times, already paling. She whispered, "Remember your sarit, My Master..."

I buried her there, in that mountain copse, and cried, as a Gorean Master will, My grief filling Me and spilling over. Long and long I sat there, a day, three, five, who knew? And, eventually, it was time to go, to finish My assignment and continue... somehow.. somewhere..

To Top...

tLi Begins to Function in Earnest

The best way out of depression and grief is hard work; so I applied Myself to the renewal of My Inn, tLi. I began to spend more time there, and soon collared a lovely girl whom I'd first met in the camp of the Kassars, shada^haar{tLi}. shada^haar was an exotic, high-tempered girl with a natural gift for service, for dancing, and for the seductive arts. However, I was still too raw from My sarit's death to think of collaring shada^haar{tLi} to My personally. One day, we were together in the Inn before business hours.

"Master, does no this one please you?" she asked plaintively.

"Oh, shada^haar, you please Me powerfully..." I replied.

"Would Master wish to... be served?"

"I haven't finished the ka-la-na you served Me just a few minutes ago, little one."

She glided up to Me... looked deeply at Me with her large black eyes... and whispered, "perhaps in another way, My Beloved Master?"

I looked at her... and caressed her soft ebon tresses... and sighed. "You are very, very beautiful, My shada^haar. You are what any master would desire; except, I am still..." I sighed.

She looked down. "This one understands," she whispered, kissing Me gently. "This one will not intrude."

To Top...

I Find My Lifelong Love: the Lady Lorelle

Over the next few weeks the Inn prospered, and My clientelle grew as word of My fine cellar and board got around Gor. Then, one day, an assassin I'd met and befriended on one of My many journeys entered.

"Mortai! How fares the scourge of the Midlands?" I cried, recognizing him at once.

"Fine, you old conniver. How's business?"

"As usual, as usual. What brings you to Lara? Looking to blood a new quiva?" I chuckled.

"No, not this trip, though I've a number of new weapons that haven't been fully..." He paused; then he whispered, in a voice chill as the wind off the Vosk, "initiated."

I smiled, knowing this for My old friend's usual banter. "Ahh, but 'tis business that brings you here, Mortai."

"Aye, Oryx. Have you heard of The Gorean Council?"

"A group of Free Persons who gather together at irregular intervals to discuss irregular issues, and whose actions are sometimes even more irregular," I quipped.

He chuckled. "No, it's not that bad, though agreement is sometimes difficult to achieve. I'm here to invite you to the next meeting, if you'll come."

"Well, perhaps this once. Although, I have very little truck with Councils, Gorean or no. Who heads this Council," I asked.

"Ahh, She's reason alone to make the journey. The incomperable Lorelle of the Tavern of the Moons, a Free Woman of such honor and strength that she could rule Gor should She wish it."

I looked at him, one eyebrow raised curiously. "Well, then, she must be one forceful old biddy, no? Iron will, and stone faced, I'd expect," I replied, recalling Free Women of Authority as they are on the Laran City Council.

Mortai smiled. "I suppose you'll judge for yourself, won't you now?"

I laughed at that, knowing the wily assassin had trapped Me with My own words. "Oh, all right, let Me arrange for kennelling My slaves and I'll join you at the docks later this evening.

I joined him for the journey to the city where the meeting was to take place, and entered the Hall. There were a number of Free persons already there, including Mortai. He was sitting near head of the Council table, on the dias, talking quietly with a Free Woman. I strode up to them, and introduced Myself.

"Tal, fair Lady, Tal, Mortai," I said... and then stopped. The woman, modestly covered in Blue Scribes' robes and veiled, exuded an air of authority, of regality... and of controlled but powerful sensuality. I looked into a pair of the clearest azure eyes I'd ever seen... or had I?

"Lady, it is a pleasure indeed to meet You finally....My name is Oryx, Oryx of Lara."

"The pleasure is mine, Oryx. You are welcome here," she said softly, her mellow voice playing over My nerves, stroking like a lover's caress.

The rest of the meeting wasn't notable, as it was divided by acrimonious debate that turned to shouting and very near erupted into open duels. However, My attention kept returning to the lovely Lady who was acknowledged by all there as the Head of Council.

Afterwards, I came up to Her, wanting to know Her better... and, somehow, bothered by the certain feeling I knew Her somehow. At a lull in Her conversation with two of the more argumentative of the Council, I spoke to Her softly.

"Lovely Lady, I'm certain I know you, somehow. May we sit and share a quiet glass of wine and a few moments of conversation?" She nodded assent, and We retired to a quiet corner with a bottle and two goblets. I poured for Her, then My own, and lifted My glass as a toast. "To what shall We drink, lovely Lorelle?"

She looked at Me deeply; "to auspicious beginnings, I should say, Brother Oryx."

We lightly clicked glasses, and sipped, allowing the flavor of the wine to develop, inhaling the fullness of its bouquet. We talked of the Council, and of Gor, and of everything, and of nothing. Suddenly I stopped; I stared at the Woman I'd been talking to quietly with for now more than an Ahn.

I gently lifted Her chin, forcing Her eyes to Mine. "I know I know you, Lorelle....and I think You know it, too." I gazed into Her depthless eyes, and time stopped... My head spun... and, then the moment broke as I shook My head. I muttered, "Stupid veils, keeping a Man from seeing just Who He's talking with..."

She laughed and I knew that I'd embarrassed Her. I looked at her, and, as gently as I could, I said, "My Gracious Lady Lorelle, would you do Me the honor of allowing Me to accompany you home?"

She paused; then assented. As We walked through the nighttime streets, I was especially alert to the sounds about Us for it is not unheard of for Slavers and other street refuse to kill an unawry man and steal the woman He's walking with off into slavery. We talked of many things, and I found this strong graceful woman was also knowledgeable on many subjects, had a refined sense of humor, and shared many of My own opinions. She was, however, not timid to disagree with Me, which independance I found especially attractive.

All too soon We reached Her Tavern where, regretfully, I took My leave. Softly, I touched Her face once more, smiled sadly, and left.

I returned to tLi, and tried to forget the mysterious and seductive Lorelle as I reburied Myself in the myriad activities of running an Inn on Gor. Then, as the slow day wore on, while working over accounts, I suddenly scented a light perfume that brought Me back to the previous day. I looked up, and, sure enough, She stood before My table. I arose, smiling My best Host's smile, and welcomed Her.

"I trust I'm not disturbing You, Oryx of Lara," She said, Her seductive voice stroking My ears as it had that day in Her own Tavern.

I chuckled, partially to break Her spell, and partially from the absurdity of what She said. "Disturb? Well, with the hundreds of patrons this morn..." I smiled at the empty Inn. "Come join Me for a quiet sip of wine. I have a bottle of what promises to be a bold pressing of the ta-grape vintage of five years past." She nodded Her assent, and knelt on the furs near My table/desk. I brought the wine, and two fine rare crystal goblets. Polishing them with a new rep-cloth, I set the glasses down on the table before Us. I poured for Her, then for Myself, and looked at Her.

"A toast, Lovely Lady?" She nodded, and I intoned, "to friends, old and new.....may we always know the joy of their presence." We drained Our goblets, and looked at each other.

Suddenly She stopped, and Her gaze seemed to burn into Me. She said to Me in Her lovely contralto with nary a trace of timidity, "Lock the door, Oryx, would You know One from long ago."

I arose, suddenly aprehensive at Her change in mein. Locking the Inn, I returned to Her side and watched, spellbound, as She undid her veils, and released them, pushing back her hood in one graceful movement. I was awestruck at the beauty of her clear skin, full red lips, and noble brow. She lifted Her head, tossing her curls free, then faced Me, the brilliant sunlight from the window making Her curls glow with firey coppery highlights. I looked at Her... then... GASPED!

[Lorelle, My Love]

"By the Priest Kings.... you! The sweet maid on the island... and, of My fever-dreams... I touched the scar on My arm, and the years fell away as dew on a summer's morn. "All this time have I searched and dreamed and hoped beyond hope!" We seemed to pull together, and I held Her soft hands, pulled Her up and into My arms and kissed Her with all the passion of those long years, held Her, and She flowed into My embrace, My longing and dreaming over, the long exile that had begun that day seventeen years prior on the small island in Thassa.

Almost in a dream, I lifted Her in My arms, and carried Her up to My chambers. Somewhere, our clothes disappeared, and We loved, long and deep and again, and again. We talked of the years, and, then, tracing Her perfect lips with My rough weather-worn finger, I swore to Her:"Never again, my Lady, my Love, will I ever let You out of my sight."

Lorelle moved to Lara, to the Inn, and became My Director, working with the slaves and providing a balance to My sometimes eccentric ways. It was not long that We knew that We desired nothing less than to sign a contract of Free Companionship and meld Our lives together as One.

As both Our parents had passed on, there was little to do to arrange for the Free Companionship. We wrote a simple contract, reflecting Our mutual love, trust, and respect; you may view Our contract here.

In time, I presented My beautiful darling with half of tLi so that she is now co-owner with Me; and, not to be outdone, the Lady presented Me with a beautiful auburn-haired little baby girl, Our sweet Ariel, the start of what We hope will be a large and prosperous Gorean family.

We have owned slaves, sold slaves, been sold out by slaves... and Our life grows sweeter every day, Our love grows deeper every moment We are together. And, oft times, you can come into tLi, and see Us there, behind the custom table/desk We share, watching the finest slaves in all Gor serve Our guests and amuse them as slaves will.

To Top...

A Strange Summons

It was late in tLi as I was just finishing up the day's accounting. Lorelle had taken Our daughter Ariel upstairs to Our living quarters for her night nursing, and I was alone in the Inn.

Suddenly there came an ominous knock on the heavy oaken Door of the Inn. I unbarred the door, and pulled it to, straining to see who would bother a simple scribe at that hour of the night. I was amazed... the head of the Laran City Council, also the leader of the Laran Chapterhouse of the Caste of Warriors stood there in the rain, just looking at Me.

"'A'.. please, you do My humble house honor by this visit."

"Not at all, 'O', you old scow. Why shouldn't the Senior Rarius of the City visit the Senior Scribe?"

We chuckled over the humor of the situation: in the City of Lara, the positions of Caste leadership are traditionally secret, known only to the High Council. When We would issue directives, they would be signed only with an initial; when We were referred to, it would only be by that initial.

Casting aside his wet garments, he came in. Lorelle, in a house robe, brought mulled wine, and, with a soft kiss to Me, left Us to Our discussions, knowing I would tell My precious Love what I could, when I could.

"O... he's back"

I looked at him, knowing exactly of whom he spoke.

"So Zolrath wasn't killed by the Kassars, as they'd told Me!"

"Yes," the Warrior answered grimly. "They left him for dead, but that snake was always a survivor." He looked at Me. "As is his nemisis, the only one ever to defeat him"

I thought back, oh, perhaps fifteen years, to when in cooperation... or should I say, in collusion... with the MasterScribe of those days, I was transferred to the Scribes to become something that was, and is, fairly rare on Gor an Explorer: a battle-trained Scribe.

Because of My knee, I cannot bear the rigors of a Warrior's life. But, given very special training, in inks, in tradecraft, in languages... I acquired a rather unique, yet still dangerous profession. The Inn is real, of course, and makes a tidy profit as a fine establishment for foods and potables as well as being known as a safe haven for the injured slave, the threatened Free Woman, or the young Master learning the "ropes".

But it also is a cover for My other activities. Many can come in, pass information, and leave... or get orders.. and no one knows anything out of the ordinary. This is why, for instance, panther girls sometimes come in here... why even the scourges of Gor pass through here and... very seldom is there violence.

Even on Gor, people are not always what they seem.

Now, Zolrath, however was exactly what he appeared. Avaricious, amoral, and willing to do anything for a profit. Far beyond the usual pirate, who is content to kill as he needs to, Zolrath had been known to buy and sell entire cities, his minions cutting down any opposition until he'd squeezed every copper tarn of profit he could.

"'O', we have information that he's surfaced again. But this time, his nefarious web extends into Ar, into Thentis, and Ko-ro-ba. If he's not stopped there will be a Gor-wide war the likes of which we've never imagined, with him reaping his filthy profits on both sides."

"That's terrible news. But how does it affect Me," I asked him. "I know that much of that 'information' was developed by the 'eyes-and-ears' that are run out of this very Inn. You're hinting about something else entirely, a 'wet' op."

A 'wet' op is an operation where blood will be spilled, usually, fatally. Most of the work of espionage is, of course, the collection and analysis of information, and as a Scribe, I am in an excellent position to coordinate and direct this activity. Contrary to what is commonly imagined, a spy's most valuable activity is not throwing quivae and seducing beautiful Free Women. It is the simple and painstaking gathering of information, often bit by bit, that can forstall a war, allowing the High Council to position itself in a stronger way when negotiating trade agreements, border disputes, and the like.

What 'A' seemed to be saying was preposterous: that I, Director of Operations for the Laran Secret Service, should actually take up tradecraft and weapons again, and go out to the field!

He looked at Me, the tired eyes of a Warrior that had seen more than their share of death, that had ordered young men to battles that they would never return from. "Very 'wet'," he said quietly. "If we gather the forces of the Salerian Confederation -- assuming Ti and Port Olni will even send men without an overt attack -- then we will be seen as the aggressors, and any allies we would gather among the Vosk settlements would turn against us." He sipped his mulled wine thoughtfully.

"What are you suggesting?" I asked him. "There are still skilled Assassins, 'A'!"

He barked a sudden laugh. "And who do we write the contract for, eh? No one alive knows what Zolrath looks like, where he is, or even how to verify that such a contract has been fulfilled. No one.. except..." He looked at Me.

"Except Me," I completed. "You're suggesting sending an out-of-shape old man into a different city, to search out you know not where, someone you don't even know what he looks like --"

Suddenly he leaped over the table at Me, his battle-calloused hands reaching for My neck! In a flash My arms were up, deflecting his dive, then coming down HARD on his left wrist, letting him dive over the table, beyond Me. I grasped his right arm as he dove by, twisting it up and back, and before he landed My quiva was at his neck.

He choked out, "very... very good, 'O'. 'Out of shape', huh" he mocked.

I relaxed, My breath still coming in short pants, the adrenaline spurting through Me. "Damn, 'A', will you stop DOING that?"

"Just proving a point, my old friend," he replied. "You're every bit as fast, or faster, than anyone else we could send, even IF there were anyone else who could identify that scoundrel. We need you to prosecute him... with extreme prejudice."

A chill ran through My body. Too well did I know what that phrase meant... 'A' was ordering an assassination. It meant that I was to kill Zolrath... by any means necessary, even if it meant killing innocents

I looked at him, beginning to accept the reality of what had to be done. It would cost My comfort, a few months, and if I succeeded, I would forstall a war. Then I looked at him. "What's to stop Zolrath from going to cover? If I know him, he has a thousand hidey-holes, in a dozen cities to disappear into."

'A' looked back at Me somberly. "Exactly. That's why... you have to die."

To Top...

My Last Night with Lorelle

I had no idea that eventually it would cost Me My FC. But that was many months in the future, and to My lasting pain, I wasn't even aware that I was going to cause it.

"Darling?" I murmured to Lorelle as I retired that evening.

"Hmmm?" she mumbled in her sleep, lifting her face for a kiss. Never one to refuse a helpless Lady, I complied, the quick good-night kiss turning, as it was always wont to, to the full passion of a Gorean Master and His Lady in chambers.

It wasn't till the next morning that I got a chance to tell Lorelle what I had been asked to do. And, like she as ever able to do, she read the situation from My face and body language.


"Yes, My Darling?

"What did those Councilmen want with you last night?" She looked at Me... her deep, penetrating gaze roving over Me, and then her lower lip began to tremble a bit. "You're going away again, aren't you?" she gasped.

I looked at Her, then looked down. "Yes, Darling, but I promise, this will be the last--"

"Your last?? You stand there, about to leave your FC and your infant daughter for who knows how long, and you have the collossal nerve to trot THAT one out at Me?"

I was, of course, silenced. Caught between My Duty to My Homestone, and My Adoration for My Lady and daughter. There was nothing I could say, nothing I could do. Anything I would utter would be wrong.

She looked at Me. "Oryx... " Softer. "I do love you, so much... " She swallowed, and, noble Lady of the City that She is, she smiled. "Just promise me that you will be careful, and come back to me."

I looked at her, knowing she literally held My heart in her hands. Very quietly, I responded, "I will, My love, My life."

To Top...

The Hunt to Treve

I left the next day, ostensibly on a short buying trip up-land to Thentis. We wandered a bit along the foothills of the Thentis range, and entered a narrow pass.

"That ne'er look too safe, Oryx," the caravaneer said to Me.

"Oh, it's plenty safe," I reassured him, and slapped the wall so demonstrate. Suddenly, we could hear a rumbling. The ground shook. The caravaneers raced out of the pass, but I'd caught My foot in some rocks. The screamed for Me to get free... but to no avail. In full view of My caravaneers, I was buried alive in a landslide!

No body was ever recovered but they returned to Lara, to the Inn... and sorowfully told Lorelle of My death.

Now, obviously, I didn't die. The landslide was rigged, I'd had a narrow crevase to slip into as the tonnes of rock and dirt flew over Me. Still, it was a close thing. I had to dig My way out, and couldn't start till I was sure that they'd given up. For three days I sweated in that dank hole, a crack in the wall of the crevase letting in the bit of air I needed to survive. I had some supplies secreted away there by the same team that rigged it, but enjoyed very meager rations for that time. Now known to be dead, I changed My identity and adopted the guise of an old jongleur, zither over My back, travelling from town to town, City to City.

Now, as everyone knows, there is no way into Treve except by tarnback. Well, there WAS one way, known only to a rare race of mountain men, one of the Priest Kings' early experiments. They were dying out at the time, even I don't know if any are left now.

But years ago, on one of My many explorations, I chanced to save gain the gratitude of one of them. This was... oh, five years back, even before I owned sarit.

I had been crossing the Trevian range, and suddenly came upon this wizened old man, being toyed with by a larl. He was short, about four feet tall, but clearly adult. And in grave danger, as the giant cat was batting him back and forth with its cruel paws, preparatory to its devouring him live.

Moving with the larl's own stealth, I came to within a few meters of the distracted beast. With a quick, expert movement, I spun three throwing-stars into the larl's exposed neck. The beast spun about to attack Me, its prey now forgotten in its blood-lust. Roaring, it gathered itself to leap upon Me, to rend Me as it would a tabuk. It tottered... keeled over... and dropped, quivering.

The stars that I hurled at the larl were poisoned with the concentrated venom of the ost. Sinking into the beast's neck, the stars sent their powerful venom coursing through its body and into its brain with the speed of its own circulation. It was dead before it knew it.

When the little man saw that he was saved from certain death, he practically worshipped Me; and, in gratitude, through signs and drawings, he showed Me a way into Treve: overland! I half believed him at the time, figuring he was merely making up something to please Me.

But now this was My only chance.

I knew the tarncots were watched; had a jongleur just HAPPEN to be seen to arrive in Treve just when Zolrath was culminating his big deal, it would have been obvious what was about, and spooked him, sending him once more into deep hiding. I needed to enter the City secretly, not a'tarnback, but in such a way as to allay suspicion. The only to do this was to travel overland, on foot, not by tarn.

I hiked through the Thentin chain, south, and then along the eastern scarp of the Trevian Mountains. Two months later, I arrived at the spot that that old man had told Me about so long ago. It was a way in... sort of... up a sheer cliff of rock about 200 feet.

With nothing to be done about it, I began to climb, finding tiny handholds and footholds, cunningly cut into the rock, invisible from below. I climbed... moved sideways... climbed... till I was about 20 feet from the top... and, there, before Me, the handholds stopped! Some winter storm or lightning bolt had sheered off a giant flake of the cliff... leaving the smooth surface!

I couldn't go down... this kind of climbing is one-way.

I couldn't go up.

To My left was a sheer drop, down to the valley below and that way too was the "chip". But across a 6-foot gap, I spied the handholds resuming. There was but one way in: I had to cross the gap! I tensed... said some oath or other to the Priest Kings... and LEAPED!

Furiously I scrambled against the cliff, trying to get purchase, not finding anything, beginnign to slip, to fall to My certain death! Then... the fingers of My right hand, made powerful by years of specialized training, grasped a small outcropping... it held!

I pulled Myself up... and found footholds... and another handhold, and rested for a moment. Then I went on, over the top, and dropped into the deserted yard of an ancient warehouse. I quickly shed My mountaineer's gear, and threw it over the cliff, and donned the patched jacket of a Trevian jongleur. I slipped into an Inn of ill-repute...

And was rudely shoved onto the low stage they had there, amid cries of "Don't try to slip out again, jongleaur, till you've EARNED yer pay!" I must've played there for four hours... they kept calling for ANOTHER song... ANOTHER song... I was exhausted, My voice grown gravelly by the evening's workout.

But then, towards the last set... I peered through the thick pipe-smoke... and there he was! My quarry!

I couldn't kill him in the Inn... I'd be jumped, and probably torn limb from limb. I had to trap him in such a way that his death couldn't be traced to Me. At long last, I slipped offstage... an old, bent man, no threat to anyone, zither at His back, scraggling for a few coppers. I eased Myself outside... and just in time too, as My quarry was just leaving. No one pays any attention to a bent old man.

I followed him, again the stalking hunting-larl, silent, invisible. He entered an Inn of some quality. I couldn't follow, dressed as I was: I'd be hurled out by the two Trevan guards at the entrance as so much refuse; yet I watched, observing My quarry carefully from behind some bales. He went upstairs, and going back out to the street I caught sight the worm climbing down a fire escape and continuing to the next building, then up a fire escape this time and into a room.

I waited... an hour... two... it was getting close to dawn. I climbed the steel stairs outside the building, careful to time My steps with the fitful wind that blew down the allwey. Spying My quarry within, asleep next to a "night-slave", I slipped into the room. She awoke suddenly, but I signed her to to be quiet, and gave her a LOOK.

She just froze in place, too terrified to move.

I moved to the bed and looked down at Zolrath... and his eyes were open!

He grinned at Me, and said, "Ahh, Oryx, you thought you'd fooled me, eh?" I grinned back.... and slit his throat. "Nope, Z-filth, I could never fool you."

Blood jetted out all over, his life's essence drenching the slave, the bed, Me. He jumped and squirmed, wouldn't admit he was dead. Then the night-slave couldn't hold back any longer, and let out a scream that I thought would be heard back at Lara. Instantly, Zolrath's men poured in through the door!

All they saw was the mess in the bed, and the hysterical night-slave. When questioned, all she would say was... "Uhhhh" "Uhhhh."

As I left, I pressed hard inwards at a special pressure point, a juncture of nerves, that paralyzed her vocal cords, tongue, and jaw were paralyzed

I had slipped back out the window in the confusion and dropped to the dark alley. Somehow I made it to a tarnscot, and, in a hurry to get back to Lara, shoved a gold tarn into the hands of the first tarnsman I found with extra leathers.

"To Thentis, My man!" I cried.

We took off, but somewhere in midflight he was "convinced" to set down by the Vosk river. I hiked a few pasangs, picked up a passing barge, and reentered Lara, still in My jnogleur's clothes.

I was so excited to get back to Lorelle and our daughter Ariel that I just didn't realize how I appeared. Too, I'd unfortunately forgotten that Lorelle thought I was dead. Walking into the front door of tLi as if I owned the place, My face gleamed with joy at seeing Lorelle at Our table.

I approached, and reached out to her... only to find a drawn quiva at My neck!

"Lorelle! but it is I, your..."

I looked into her eyes as I saw a shiver of recognition pass through the woman that I loved. The quiva never moved, the tip scoring My throat. My very life was in her hands, and she... wasn't very happy.

"My WHAT," she accused. "My Free Companion? Hah, that's a laugh. How much of a Companion has He been these past few months? How much of a Companion was He when Ariel nearly died of the Croup? And how Free He must be, to leave..." She choked back a sob. " leave Me a widow, devastated, lost, alone, and think He can just erase months of sorrow with a smile or a quip remark?"

She continued, with a voice now seething with anger, in place of the softness she had always shown Me. "The thing is, YOU knew how terribly I was going to suffer when I thought you were dead! Oh yes, something really died, Oryx. That fine thing known as 'Us.'"

There was truly nothing I could say. Behind the anger, of course, was pain, a grief that I could see in her lovely blue eyes, that I could hear behind every word she said to Me that night. Three wonderful years, with the most amazing woman I've ever known. Oh, Lorelle understands, I had to go to Treve. I had no choice. But from the moment I left for Treve, what had been My life, was over.

(To be continued)

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