Glen Leven, a Gorean Village adventure
A short tale of three Forest Moon panthers visiting Glen Leven and a picture by picture impression of this pretty Gorean village.
The blacksmith’s was on the east edge of the village, a low, wide building closed on three sides. As they walked, a few village women, came out to watch. To Snow they seemed wary but not hostile. The Forest Moon Panthers raised an arm in greeting as they passed.
They had a few children following them, kids aged 5 or 6, when they got to the blacksmiths. Red Hair and Snow entered, and Sav stayed outside, smiling at the youngsters who chattered excitedly.
“Tal Grigor,” Red hair called, and the blacksmith raised his head up from his workbench. He had long, light brown hair and a full shaggy beard.
“The Panthers!” he cried as he rose. “Tal Marlies! We have not been graced by your presence for many months!”
Snow’s eyes widened as the blacksmith approached. He was, even by Gorean standards, a massive man, nearly seven feet tall and thickly muscled. He wore breeches and a leather apron over a bare chest, and his arms seemed as thick as her torso. His grin widened as he looked down at the Panther girls.
“I see you’ve brought a Panther cub with you,” he said, and laughed at his own joke. Snow tensed for a moment and clenched her fists, but Red hair just smiled.
“This is our newest sister, Snow. Snow, meet Grigor the blacksmith.”
“Tal Huntress,” the Gorean said.
“Tal, my Lord Blacksmith,” Snow replied, and now it was Grigor’s eyes that widened.
“A barbarian girl?” he asked, and both Red hair and Snow nodded.
Grigor shook his head. “What is this world coming to?” he muttered, but his eyes glittered with amusement.
“Don’t be fooled Grigor,” Red hair said. “This little barbarian took Kaytee’s place.”
Grigor cocked his head and stroked his chin, looking at Snow appraisingly. She tried to keep her expression neutral. Yes, he had kind of insulted her, but he also struck her as the kind of man who didn’t take anything very seriously. After a long minute, the blacksmith grinned.
“Well then. It seems the little cub has some claws. Be welcome here, Snow the Panther.”
“I thank you.”
He took a step back and lifted his huge hands. “So what can a humble blacksmith do for you today?”
Red hair looked to Snow, who took turned her chin and tapped the collar still encircling her throat.
“I’ve come to ask you to remove this damned thing.”
Grigor threw his head back and laughed. “A barbarian and a runaway? Amazing!”
This time Snow couldn’t help herself. A soft growl rose from her throat, and her eyes darkened with anger. The blacksmith just laughed again.
“I don’t mean to offend, little cub. But you do realize how much trouble a man can get into helping a runaway slave.”
“Is the risk worth a gold tarn?”
The blacksmith raised an eyebrow. “How did a runaway barbarian get a gold coin?”
“The man who had it didn’t need it any more,” she answered with a smirk.
Grigor chuckled. “The little cub DOES have some claws!”
Snow reached into the tiny pocket sewn inside her tunic and pulled out the gold piece. She showed it to the blacksmith, then handed it to Red hair, who took her bow off her shoulder. “Come here little Huntress. Let me see what needs to be done.”
Snow took a couple cautious steps as Red hair pulled an arrow from her quiver. The blacksmith let out a soft snort of laughter.
“Do you trust me so little?”
Red hair shrugged. “You know what they call a Panther who trusts a male.”
“Ha! Fair enough!”
He put a thick finger on Snow’s chin and turned her head back and forth, then touched the collar, trying to push a fingertip underneath it. The man’s fingers may have been as thick as Snow’s ankles, but his touch was surprisingly delicate.
“Ok, we can do this fairly easily.”
He went to his tools and selected a small hammer, a kind of short spike, and what looked like bolt cutters.
“First, I need to bend it enough to get the cutter under it. Put your head here please,” he said, tapping his fingers on a low table.
Snow frowned, but bent over and put her cheek on the table. The blacksmith adjusted her so just her forhead rested on the wood.
“This won’t hurt, but it’s very important that you don’t move. Can you do that for me?”
Snow assured him she would stay still, and he put the spike against the steel ring on the side of her neck at a 45 degree angle. The hammer tapped several times. She felt the collar tighten a bit on the back of her neck as he bent it.
“There!” he announced.
He picked up the cutters. “Tell me if you’re choking,” he told Snow, and worked the blades into the gap. It wasn’t very comfortable, but she could breathe. She clung to the edges of the table as he closed the handles of the cutter, his massive muscles straining to chop through steel. There was a ‘clunk’, and he made a small, satisfied noise. He turned to Red hair.
“I’ll need you for this part, Huntress.”
Red hair nodded, and called for Sav, who was still outside. A few of the villagers had approached, and after a few tense moments, when they were sure the Panthers were on friendly terms, they had begun sharing news and gossip.
“Keep an eye on him,” Red hair said quietly, and set down her bow. She walked to Snow and the blacksmith.
Grigor touched a spot on the other side of the collar from where he had cut through. “Dig your fingers under there and hold on tight.”
Red hair wiggled her slim fingers between the steel and Snow’s neck. Now she almost was being choked, but she kept silent. She was too close to having the hated collar removed to complain.
The blacksmith used the hammer and spike again, carefully tapping it into the gap in the steel and wiggling it to widen the space. Then he pressed the small spike against the collar
just above the cut, and smacked it a couple times, bending the steel towards Snow’s neck. Finally, he took hold of both ends, and with a snarl of effort pulled and pulled and pulled.
“That’s good,” he said to Red hair. “You can let go. We’re almost there.”
He smacked the ends of the collar again and again, curling them back, widening the gap. A couple times he pulled with his hands. Finally, there was enough space to slip the collar from Snow’s neck. She straightened and ran her hands over her bare skin, a pleased smile on her face.
“You have my thanks, Grigor,” she said with a little bow. Red hair set the gold coin on the table.
“And you have my thanks, Huntress,” Grigor said, eyeing the gold happily.
They exchanged well wishes, and the Forest Moon Panthers left the village
Nestled on the Southern edge of the Northern forest is a new settlement known as Glen Leven. A small community led by the Laird William Strange are living off the bounty of the forest working hard to survive. We welcome all to come trade, Travelers, rogues, Panther girls, Refugees and Creatures of the Forest. We are a no door build.
Come to hunt or eat at his table in the Lodge. The pie is delicious.
Come Tell your story. Let your imagination lead the way.
WilliamStrange: Greetings Marlies. thank you for your visit and your blog entry for our little village! It was a fantastic surprise! I am about to send out the link to our village group 🙂 I look forward to meeting you ICly 🙂
My thoughts on Glen Leven: