This Brigette is a curious creature. She dresses in white and moves with all the motion of spirituality unlimited.
“Fredda Travels Gor”, here you will find the journal entries which document in a fashion her journey — and that of Vorgous — around and about the lands of Gor.
Vorgous Carver’s Journal – Fifth Hand, Second Day of the month of En’ Kara, Year 10162 Contasta Ar
We have left Gimli, off again to . . . Actually, we have not yet decided and have some time before we need to know which way to turn. For the moment our numbers have increased to three, four if you count Fredda. The new addition, temporarily perhaps, was Tanz’s choice not mine and I am not sure why we have taken on the frightened stray.
We left Gimli accomplishing all I set out to do there, spend time with Janet and Sidney (though not enough), introduce the curious Askja to Tanz, and renew relations with one dearer to me than she knows behind her thickened skin, Miranda.
No more of Vido nor of Jackalll did we see after that first journal entry. The former, as I’ve written, I understand, I think, what he did that gave offense to me and blame him naught under the circumstances. As to the latter, the local blacksmith, Jon, and his outspoken, but good-willed mate, Ute, did see him and he insisted that whatever his purpose he means no harm to Tanz. Nor have I seen more of the secretive Angelina, reputed to be a healer and a witch. In their stead our paths encountered more curiosities than by coincidence should dwell in a singular land and too many for me to list within my journal’s pages if more entries I expect to someday write.
I have not written of Miranda in these pages I do not think. It was to sanctuary with her I was pointed in my earlier wanderings by the panther Janet who to this day does not know why she led me to her ostensible enemy rather than capture me. It was Miranda who through the first incarnation of the Black Hawks and later when all seemed lost the creation of the Silent Blades nurtured my learning or relearning of the skills required of survival in these lands. I say relearning because I have come to believe that I would not have survived whatever it is my past was had I not had the skills and knowledge necessary to survive. And when the time came for me to leave the Silent Blades and seek Eesha, a woman nearly killed and who burned for me once as I did for her, I felt I was betraying Mira in some ways.
It turns out the apprehension I felt before seeing Mira again was foolishness on my part. Jon, the blacksmith notwithstanding his own simmering disputes with the Black Hawks, led me to the fort where the outlaws dwell. To my surprise, Jon had not warned me that sleens infest the lands before the gates of the Black Hawks. Equally surprising though was that these vile creatures chased the blacksmith and left me alone. Soon thereafter Mira left the fort and greeted me with open arms dissipating my unnecessary apprehension. One may hear that another is doing well, but there is something about seeing that person in the flesh and only seeing her convinced me that she is happy and content these days. She told me others whom I had known were with her, including Civia, whose friendship in Siba I had valued, and star, a slave of most obedient and quiet disposition. To my surprise, a friendly thief had also come to be with them, Alanna whom I first encountered in Peril by my tavern there. Again, time was too short on this trip to Gimli to exchange but the briefest of conversations with her.
Part of Mira’s happiness, it seems, comes from companionship with a man named Kartan. I met him briefly and my own feelings are mixed towards him for reasons that are difficult to state, but in truth go to the very essence of the state of Man on Gor, as well the state of Woman and of slave. To put this in perspective I must step back a moment.
As we travel I find that Tanz does not always understand me though I speak, in my view, most clearly and directly and write the same. But often she thinks I hold views that I have not expressed and do not consider myself to have. While in Gimli she claimed that I did not believe in slavery. I have never uttered such and on occasions more than once I have stated just the opposite. My opinion has always been clear: If a woman freely desires to submit and believes her lot in life is to serve fully, completely, and without reservation, I applaud that she seeks, finds, and becomes her desire and her disposition. The question is whether, as believed by most men, this is what all women seek. The reason I cannot suggest an answer to that question is that I am not a woman and certainly am not all women. What I do believe is that, even if such be the case, slavery should be forced, cajoled or brought upon a woman by trickery. If a woman desires this, when she is ready, it will be clear.
Now, to the other side of coin is Man (and for this point I will ignore the condition of kajirus). It is true that most, if not all, men believe that slavery is the woman’s natural state. I say not all because I know (or at least believe) I am not the only one who thinks the way I do. And, to such men, who know what women want more so than the women, themselves, and many of which are honorable, to bring a woman to her natural state, to assist her to that path, is viewed not as wrong but as a honorable effort. All such men believe believe they do is to aid the woman to see enlightenment. Though I do not hold it, there is much to be said for that view, and that there may be truth in it at times is clear because so many women protesting servitude at first end up embracing it fully and completely.
Kartan and Mira are seeming examples of Man and Woman, as I have above described. Kartan, from my limited glimpse, is confident of his place and of the place of women in his world. To him, I believe, women simply are creatures waiting to be collared. And, though he is Mira’s protector he does not see himself as limited to her. Mira has submitted to him in deed if not in collar, and, ironically, her heat and her pride only grows stronger for her man the more it seems to her that other women desire him. To her, I think, it makes him more valuable that he is desired; after all, by contract and perhaps by personal bond she is his number one. As a result, synergy abounds — he is free to satisfy himself with others because the fact that others are attracted to him makes him more a Man to Mira.
The friction arises, no pun intended, from grievances claimed by the local Gimli magistrate, Contessa, known as Tess. Tess claimed to Tanz and me, with frightened voice, that Kartan attacked her, and either almost taking her against her will or completing the deed. Hearing that made me simmer and I confronted Kartan in Mira’s presence. He denied that he had done anything more than she had wanted — and, oddly, I did not detect deceit in his voice. There was no way, of course, for me to discern the truth — I believe that both believed what each had said to me because each views the events from a different perspective.
Nevertheless, I did not retreat in speaking to Mira and Kartan. I said if Mira cares not what Kartan does and if all he did was that which Tess desired at the time it bothers me not at all. But, if, in fact, I insisted Tess had made her disinterest known and clear, and if I were alone I would not let the conduct to take place in my presence. I am sure that Mira believed that I would be no match for her companion regardless of the situation, but as the days have passed I have grown more confident of my abilities even though it is not my preference to mete out violence.
I almost ended this entry without further mention of the thing that swells our numbers to three. It is three because Tanz has taken on a stray, for the moment named giulia or some such. Because I was engaged in other things in Gimli it is not clear to me how this kajira came to be met by Tanz and I am certain we do not have a full story of the situation. What Tanz told me (the creature has been too frightened, it seems, to pass more than a word or two to me) is that the kajira found her way to Gimli and claims to be without mistress or master. I have pointed out to Tanz that this is odd since the kajira wears a collar and has not said whose collar it was and how she came to be alone. Nor has she told Tanz, it seems, how she came to Gimli or where she has been before she arrived in Gimli. In most situations, I have found Tanz to think with logic, but I must confess that in this instance she seems to me to have acted more with compassion than with reason. Because it is hard to deny the woman that I care for deeply and because we set out from Gimli and the exhausted creature has been resting I have not pressed these issues with her yet. But we will need to have the answers to such questions I am sure.
I am so tired that I have forgotten to put down what should have been the most important thing to write. Shortly after our arrival in Gimli I had another flash of memory — or at least I believe that is what it was. Tanz and I were by the caravan and I had introduced her to Brigette, the Priestess of the SadiSani panthers who had happened by our camp. Though the panther did not remember me, I had met her once before with Janet. This Brigette is a curious creature. She dresses in white and moves with all the motion of spirituality unlimited. Yet she speaks and acts, at times, in manner most unspiritual. She baited Katla, Askja’s twin and equally odd sister, in a manner unbecoming of a spiritual being. And, in terms of commerce she is more exacting than the wilest merchant.
But I digress and after all my past, or what I may know of it should have significance. As a result I must clearly write what happened as best I can so the memory will be preserved. I did not speak of it at the time and covered the fact of it happening apparently so well that Tanz has not asked me about what happened. It was simply this. Brigette was speaking of the Priest Kings and Initiates to Tanz. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye I saw a younger version of myself standing in a darkened place, perhaps a cave. There were large golden insects, giants all, nearby and I could feel words going through my brain. As the image flashed nausea gripped me. But before the image disappeared I felt the words that I had heard — “he is ready.” I must have recovered quickly because though I saw Tanz glance towards me, as mentioned above she did not later ask me what had happened. Nor have I brought it up. As for the panther priestess, I am sure she did not notice; after all, as a man she would give me little attention.
A word of caution to those that visit Gimli — not because of the nausea that I felt, but because of the insanity at times that I saw — boil the water before drinking it.
Vorgous Carver’s Journal – Fifth Hand, Fourth Day of the month of En’ Kara, Year 10162 Contasta Ar
I am far more suited to the backwoods — the rules of civil formalities elsewhere are simply too much trouble.
It is not that I am uncouth or barbaric. I am, I suppose, merely apathetic to certain “niceties.” It may also be that I am simply naive and ignorant of proper manners. I shall defend myself by arguing otherwise. The fact is that I tolerate that which others criticize or take offense — and this is known well to those that know me. Perhaps to those observing such it is seen as a flaw in my upbringing. That belief makes me laugh, and should make laugh those that know me well, as my upbringing remains a shrouded mystery. In any event, it bothers me little that I may fail to notice or take offense if a slave mistakenly greets a woman before myself or if she heels to the wrong side of an owner or if pub service falls short of perfection. Tanz, of course, notices these things far more than I and does not hesitate to point out flaws — not with malice, but with far more honorable reasons. And, her counterbalance to my disinterest demonstrates good arguments that in my approach I may be wrong — though I shall never admit it. The reasoning that favors her, though, is this. If others correct such things not in cruelty but to better the slave, to increase her worth to her owner, to avoid her future trouble and embarassment, and to make her better in what she wants to be then, of course, they act with honor to society, the owner, and the slave. I, on the other hand, am satisfied to receive my drink unpoisoned and absorb the loveliness of the comely creature bringing it. Perhaps in not being more exacting and demanding in her ways I failed my former kajira brynn — I do not know. Then, again, perhaps she simply was not meant or not ready to become kajira in its fullness. Word has come to me though I have not confirmed its truth — that brynn is no longer slave, but free. As I write this, I smile, for if that is the case, it is a sight someday I would like to behold.
Tanz and I left Gimli, and began to proceed vask (south) towards the Vosk. The slave we took did not last long in our company, and I was relieved to see this one settled with another that Tanz encountered on our journey. It had been my intent to take the wagon klim (west) along the Vosk towards Siba and reclaim the Serendipity, but unfortunately (and I am embarassed to admit this) we were misdirected along a road and found ourselves quite far rim (east) when we came upon the Vosk. As long as we were so far from our intended destination, I decided to travel by caravan further rim (east). When we were in Corcyrus I had read a book by Manus Candoit titled “Circumnavigation of Gor.” According to the author a secret water route along the Vosk river somewhere near Treve enabled one, by traveling rim (east) to reach the klim (west). I wanted to look to see if I could see some sign of anything that might lead me to accept his fabled tributary. I had another reason to head rim (east) as well. I had reason to believe a woman once dear to me dwelled in that area. It was hard for me to fathom the rumors of her residence there because according to it she lived amongst the scoundrels of Treve, a place known to be infested by assassins and thieves. As it was, I was impelled to learn the truth for myself.
And so we traveled, sometimes by the river bank sometimes away from it, for the most part avoiding the river ports and other civilization when possible, the better to enjoy each another’s company. Tanz is a constant surprise to me. She is well-read, and as I have just mentioned she knows well the rules that disinterest me. It is my guess she has a refined upbringing; I do not know for sure because I press her little more than she is willing to reveal. What is clear is that she has taken with little disagreement the ordeals of traveling days on dusty roads, living off the land, and the absence of more civilized life. But eventually such takes it toll on her and as we neared what must have been close to the end of the Vosk, we reached the Village of Minus and decided to spend the night there. It was my intent to seek further information on the way to Treve from this surprisingly large village. At the time, of course, I did not know its connection to the secret city of Treve.
No sooner had our caravan reached the dock and village entrance than a boat reached the dock as well. Off the vessel stepped a veiled woman, impecably dressed, accompanied by slave. I almost gave her no attention because she seemed the annoying haughty type and which many claim clearly beg to embrace a collar — were a man interested enough to make it happen. However, I did look towards her and notwithstanding the veil, immediately recognized her. How I knew her I cannot say — for I do not know. Perhaps it was by her shape or something about her eyes and hair — or perhaps it was her voice as she talked to her kajira. Whatever it was I knew immediately it was Payton, the same woman I knew in Siba and in Nadira — and thought to find in Treve. So, with exuberance I stopped the bosk and called out her name.
To say her reaction was unexpected would be an understatement. Indeed, at first there was no reaction, and I was sure I had erred in my identification. Since it might be she had not heard me, I called again. This time she gave some part of her attention to me — it is hard to ignore a large caravan pulled by a large bosk however one haughty one might be. Ultimately, and it almost seemed to me that within her a battle raged as to how she should react, she admitted, almost begrudgingly, both her name and that she knew me and, finally, that whatever memories of me she had fell to the positive rather than the negative side of the balance sheet. But I cannot say there was much emotion in her voice and manner for she remained aloof as if my presence was something of a nuisance to her affairs. Regardless, I made the appropriate introductions between her and Tanz and eventually she, joined by Tanz, made their way to the inn for a drink while I secured the caravan and found a place for Fredda to graze.
When, after leaving Fredda, I reached them in the tavern it seemed to some extent Payton, or Lady Payton I should say, had become more agreeable. Though to say she was the Payton of old would be to say a shadow has a personality. To be sure I think she thought me, come from the trail and dusty, something of a vagabond. And, equally, I am sure she could not understand the reason for our travels — or that, for this journey’s leg, I had sought her out. She insisted upon paying for our stay in the inn, ignoring my protests. In fact, the only thing that seemed to brighten her features (since she was veiled perhaps only so I thought) was when she realized that Tanz and I were bonded by manner and not by contract nor of collar. After all, Payton had known of Eesha and me. But, just when I sensed the ice might soon be broken, Payton, claiming other matters were calling her away, left us and, left me to wonder at the chasm that yet remained. Tanz could tell from face my bewildrment and disappointment of the situation and, unprompted, insisted that Payton had acted in the way a civilized free woman is expected to conduct herself.
The situation was far different the next day when we chanced upon the other person I had hoped to see — a darling kajira known as rose. We were outside the village walls checking on Fredda. A tarn landed and there as if from heaven rose disembarked from a passenger bag beneath it. Almost immediately rose saw me and, at once, expressed much joy and love towards me — far more than her station as a slave requires. And I expressed in return much pleasure in seeing her. Her manner little different than the past and though much time had passed it seemed like I had last seen her only yesterday. As with Payton, rose I knew in Siba and in Nadira. And, as I introduced her to Tanz and Tanz to her and we spoke a bit before her duties called her away from us a thought quite obvious to some but not until then to me appeared. For the moment, I profess, I did not consider nor ask the wheres or whys of her arrival by tarn.
Two women — Lady Payton and rose. Payton, free, encumbered not just by her clothes and veil, but utterly restrained, her personality leashed, her emotions collared, the very essence of her soul controlled by society’s expectations. While, rose, the so-called slave, was uninhibited by all such burdens and requirements. She could display her charms and enjoy her very being. I began to wonder, under such circumstances, who is the captive and who the one released from captivity.
A point to note. On our first night Tanz was called to minister medical aid and we took a ship along the Vosk. On the way back, I had the idea to have the Serendipty towed to Minus from Siba so we now have our vessel back. I cannot wait to give the ship a sail.
Several times I have referred to Treve. There is more I need to write about it, but it will not been in this journal entry. Before I move in that direction, I think it best to consider the limits of what I know or think I know before I write it down. Besides I grow fatigued. But before I retire I must make some note of what I would call the incident of the bosk and the ravenous females. Unfortunately, the only one’s name I caught during the event was that of “Mona.” (I later heard that the others were named Wanita and Heaven, and that a fourth one named Asea joined them.)
As soon as rose left outside the village walls, several women in weary clothes began to approach Fredda, their eyes looking with what I mistook as admiration for our good-natured beast. As they neared, these women, at first three in number, began to talk of desires more murderous than pleasant. They talked of killing Fredda and butchering her for food. I warned them off but they approached unheeding my demands or claims of ownership. Tanz added her voice to our protests, but still they came, focused solely on the beast and the desire to carve her up. Their eyes seemed to glow red with bloodthirsty desire and they moved as if risen from the dead. I could have drawn my sword, but foolish me continued to think they would listen to reason and certainly not disobey my commands to stop their advance. Besides, I knew them not and I, not they, was the visitor to Minus and knew little of the laws and customs there. As those who read my journals know, Fredda had survived the interest of a kurii already, by my bargain. These women, I feared, would be more formidable than a mere kur.
As it would have it, Fredda seemed well able to take care of herself. Distracted by two of the women, the third approached the bosk with evil intent on her far side. Fredda turned her head and the woman, dodging the blow, nevertheless slipped on the ground. I offered her my hand to help her rise and implored her to keep her distance. These women three were joined by fourth also seemingly desirous of Fredda’s loins.
In the end, I managed to salvaged Fredda’s life and perhaps theirs as well by spending coin to bribe them off — almost as much as it might cost to buy a bosk.
To think of Fredda as I, and I think Tanz does, is foolishness. While true we could have engaged another beast and with our boat now docked in Minus I probably was making more of this than needed to be made. But I, and I believe I speak for Tanz, have grown quite attached to the bosk in our travels.
©Vorgous Carver/Gazette of Gor