|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
Like It is little wonder that few men approach the
beasts. I had seen tarn keepers, but, except for
Haakon of Skjern, I had seen no tarnsmen. They were
wild men, of the caste of warriors, who spent much of
their time in the taverns of Laura, fighting and gambling
and drinking, while slave girls, excited and with shining
eyes, served them and pressed about them, begging
to be noticed and ordered to the alcoves. It was no
wonder that some men, even warriors, hated and
envied the arrogant, regal tarnsmen, one night rich,
the next impoverished, always at the elbow of
adventure, and war and pleasure, wearing their pride
and their manhood in their walk, in the steel at their
side and the look in their eyes. Captive of Gor, page
Perhaps Treve has never attacked Thentis because
she, too, is a mountain city, lying in the Mountains of
Thentis, or more likely because the men of Treve
respect her tarnsmen almost as much as they do their
The tarnsman crouched down besides Laura and, with
a lenght of binding fiber, crossed her wrists and bound
them together before her body. He then similarly,
crossed her ankles, and bound them, as well. He then
carried her to the saddle, over his shoulder, and laid her gently on her back, across the saddle, on a large plain surface prepared for
just such a purpose. It was then but a moment's work to fasten her bound wrists to the forward ring on the left, and her bound
ankles to the forward ring on the right. In this fashion she was bound before him, belly up, stretched over the saddle. He then
considered her for a moment, and then took a knife from his belt. Slaves gasped, thrilled. Laura's gown, in a moment, cut from her,
cast aside, had fluttered to the roof. Prize of Gor (Electronic book, Loc 3686 of 16996)
“They have broken through!” cried the girl on the height of a nearby rack, she who had originally called their attention to the
agitation in the distance. Ellen looked up at her, wildly. The girl’s hair streamed behind her, the wind whipping her gown back
against her body. She clung to the rack, fiercely.
“They will have the wind behind them!” said Laura. “The defenders must fly against the wind. They may be easily eluded, and then
they must turn to pursue. They will have lost the tempo of the passage. Intruders may be through and beyond the city in a matter of
“I want to see!” said Ellen.
In the distance one could hear the ringing of a great metal bar, struck repeatedly.
“Get below!” called Laura.
“It is locked!” cried a girl, tugging at the ring that might otherwise have lifted and opened the hatchlike portal that led to the
interior of the cylinder.
Another girl joined her, trying to lift the ring.
“There are prize slaves below, and riches,” said Laura. “They do not want to risk them! Stay down, everyone! Stay down!”
Ellen, standing among the flapping clothes, amongst the lines, between racks, shaded her eyes, straining to see into the
distance. She could see, in the distance, what appeared to be a flock of birds. It seemed, again, that the perspective was oddly
awry. They should be no more than a hundred yards or so away, and yet, at the same time, it seemed they were scarcely within the
distant walls. Other birds seemed to rise from her side of the wall, lifting momentarily against the darkness of the wall and then
suddenly appearing in the sky, hastening specks, the hills and fields beyond.
“They are coming this way!” called Nelsa, pointing, she, too, on a rack, but lower than the other girl.
“Get down!” cried Laura. The first girl, she who had first alerted the slaves to the phenomenon in the distance, climbed down
from the rack, and crouched near it, amidst the flapping clothes. Nelsa, in a moment, had joined her. Most of the girls were crouched
down. Some lay on their stomachs under the racks, their hands covering their heads.
“I can’t see,” said Ellen, brushing aside clothes, which had blown before her. She fought the laundry shaking and snapping in
the wind about her.
“Get down!” called Laura.
“I want to see!” said Ellen.
Then suddenly she flung her hands before her face and screamed, and the world seemed madness about her. There was a wild
cry, piercing, at hand, not more than fifteen feet above her, surely the loudest and most terrifying sound she had ever heard, as of
some living, immense, monstrous creature, and she was in shadow and then not in shadow, in a shadow that moved and leapt and
was shattered with bursts of sunlight, and then darkness, and clothing was torn from the lines by the blasts of wind from the
smitings of mighty wings, and one of the racks, seized in monstrous talons, broke into a thousand pieces, and, lifted, fell in a shower
of sticks, raining down to the roof. Ellen could not believe what she saw. Above her, now darting away, was a gigantic bird, an
enormous bird, a saddlebird, its wings with a span of thirty or more feet, and, seemingly tiny on its back, was a helmeted man!
Ellen had heard an angry cry from the man above her, and words in Gorean she did not recognize, words that had certainly
never been taught to her, a slave girl. She had no doubt that the man was cursing, and richly, the failure of his strike.
Then they were away. To be sure, how could he have hoped to make a catch when the girls were hidden by the laundry, protected
by the lines, could take refuge under the racks, and such?
Ellen was now on her knees amidst the lines, her hands lifted, as though she might fend away blows.
Nelsa sped past her, laughing, and clambered to the height of the nearest undamaged rack. She went to its very height, and
stood there, balanced, outlined against the sky, her hair shaken in the wind, her gown whipping about her body.
“Clumsy oaf!” she screamed after the retreating rider. “Who taught you your work? Go home and play with vulos! You have the
skill of a tharlarion!”
“Come down!” called Laura.
“Down with Treve!” cried Nelsa, shaking her fist after the rider in the distance. “May her walls be razed and her wealth plundered.
May her women be put in collars! May they, and her other slaves, be herded away! May her towers be burned and salt cast upon
The approach of the second tarn, soaring, borne on the wind, its wings still, was silent.
Nelsa, of course, did not see it, as she was facing away from it, crying out, shaking her fist at the retreating figure of the other rider,
now muchly in the distance.
It was, accordingly, a simple thing, to drop the capture loop about her standing body.
She must, suddenly, her fist still in the air, angry, shouting, have become aware of it, light and soft as a whisper, dropping
about her. Then the tarn was past her and the resistance of her own body to the loop caused it to tighten about her. It took her
beautifully, and skillfully, at the waist. It might have snared even a man, so neatly and quickly it was slipped on its quarry, before he
could thrust it from his straight, muscular, linear body, but, positioned as it was on Nelsa, a woman, nicely centered, between the
flare of her hips and the swelling of her bosom, she could not even have begun to hope to elude its grasp, nor could any beautifully
bodied female, no more than Ellen, for similar reasons, could slip the iron belt from her body, whose outline was visible, even now,
beneath her gown. In this sense, some Goreans speculate that the bodies of women were designed for bonds. And, perhaps in
some minor, contributory evolutionary sense, in addition to more obvious biological considerations, this is true, given selections and
such, women with bodies unable to elude such constraints being more susceptible to capture, mating and mastering. Certainly the
females of many animal species, and even of many primate species, do not have such hip structure, such fullness of bosom, and
such. Regardless of the interest or value of such speculations, the truth of which would in any event be veiled in the mysteries and
darkness of the past, the fact of the matter was obvious, the fact of the congeniality of such bodies to the convenience of binding
and tethering, as obvious as the perfection of the bond on Nelsa, who, clutching at the air, kicking, frantic, screaming and crying out
in terror, was now being drawn rapidly away from the roof, swinging, dangling, wildly, twenty feet below a speeding tarn, between
the towers, hundreds of feet above the streets of the city.
“It is the strategy of the second strike,” said Laura. “The first apparently bungles his strike and then, silently, the derisive, or
unwary, quarry off guard, revealing herself, thinking herself safe, the cohort approaches, and makes the actual play for the game.
Nelsa, it seems, is not as clever, or wise, as she thought.”
“Look,” said Ellen, pointing away, in the direction to which the wind was blowing, that in which the tarn had flown.
“Yes,” said Laura, “the two of them, the monsters, are having their rendezvous. Now they are fleeing, together.” Prize of Gor,
(Electronic book, Loc 3512 to 3561 of 16996)