dragged down by its own weight, broke loose and plunged clattering down the steps of the throne, breaking into a hundred pieces.

"Let it be melted," Lara had said, "and cast into the golden tarn disks of Tharna and let these be distributed to those who have
suffered in our day of troubles."

"And add to the golden tarn disks," she had exclaimed, "tarn disks of silver to be formed from the masks of our women, for henceforth
in Tharna no woman may wear a mask of either gold or silver, not even though she be Tatrix of Tharna herself!"

And as she had spoken, according to the customs of Tharna, her words had become the law and from that day forth no woman of
Tharna might wear a mask.

In the streets of Tharna shortly after the end of the revolt the caste colors of Gor began to appear openly in the garments of the
citizens. The marvellous glazing substances of the Cast of Builders, long prohibited as frivolous and expensive, began to appear on
the walls of the cylinders, even the walls of the city itself. Graveled streets are now paved with blocks of colored stone set in patterns
to delight the eye. The wood of the great gate has been polished and its brass burnished. New paint blazes upon the bridges.

The sound of caravan bells is no longer strange in Tharna and strings of traders have found their way to her gates, to exploit this
most surprising of all markets.

Here and there the mount of a tarnsman boasts a golden harness. On market day I saw a peasant, his sack of Sa~Tarna meal on his
back, whose sandals were tied with silver straps.

I have seen private apartments with tapestries from the mills of Ar upon the walls; and my sandals have sometimes found underfoot
richly colored, deeply woven rugs from distant Tor.

It is perhaps a small thing to see on the belt of an artisan a sliver buckle of the style worn in mountainous Thentis or to note the
delicacy of dried eels from Port Kar in the marketplace, but these things, small though they are, speak to me of a new Tharna.

In the streets I hear the shouting, the song and clamor that is typically Gorean. The marketplace is no longer simply some acres of tile
on which business must be dourly conducted. It is a place where friends meet, arrange dinners, exchange invitations, discuss politics,
the weather, strategy, philosophy and the management of slave girls.

One change that I find of interest, though I cannot heartily approve, is that the rails have been removed from the high bridges of
Tharna. I had thought this pointless, and perhaps dangerous, but Kron had said simply, "Let those who fear to walk the high bridges
not walk the high bridges."

One might also mention that the men of Tharna have formed the custom of wearing in the belt of their tunic two yellow cords, each
about eighteen inches in length. By this sign alone men of other cities can now recognize a man of Tharna.

On the twentieth day following peace in Tharna the fate of the silver masks was determined.

They were herded, roped throat to throat, unveiled, wrists bound behind their backs, in long lines to the arena of the Amusements of
Tharna. There they would hear the judgement of Lara, their Tatrix. They knelt before her--once proud silver masks, now terrified and
helpless captives--on the same sparkling sand that had so often been stained with the blood of men of Tharna.

Lara had thought long on these matters and had discussed them with many, including myself. In the end her decision was her own. I
do not know that my own decision would have been so harsh, but I admit that Lara knew her city and its silver masks better than I.

I recognized that it was not possible to restore the old order of Tharna, nor was it desirable. Too I recognized that there was no
longer any adequate provision--given the destruction of Tharna's institutions--for the indefinite shelter of large numbers of free
women within her walls. The family, for example, had not existed in Tharna for generations, having been replaced by the division of
the sexes and the segregated public nurseries.

And too it must be remembered that the men of Tharna who had tasted her women in the revolt now demanded them as their right.
No man who has seen a woman in Pleasure Silk, or watched her dance, or heard the sound of belled ankle or watched a woman's
hair, unbound, fall to her waist can long live without possession of such a delicious creature.

Also it should be noted that it was not realistic to offer the silver masks the alternative of exile, for that would simply have been to
condemn them to violent death or foreign enslavement.

In its way, under the circumstances, the judgement of Lara was merciful--though it was greeted with wails of lamentation from the
roped captives.

Each silver mask would have six months in which she would be free to live within the city and be fed at the common tables, much as
before the revolt. But within that sex months she is expected to find a man of Tharna to whom she will propose herself as a Free
Companion.

If he does not accept her as a Free Companion--and few men of Tharna will be in a mood to extend the privileges of Free
Companionship to a silver mask--he may then, without further ado, simply collar her as his slave, or if he wishes he may reject her
completely. If she is rejected she may propose herself similarly to yet another of the men of Tharna, and perhaps yet another and
another.

After the six months, however--perhaps she has been reluctant to seek a master?--her initiative in these matters is lost and she
belongs to the first man who encircles her throat with the graceful, gleaming badge of servitude. In such a case she is considered no
differently, and treated no differently than is she were a girl brought in on tarnback from a distant city.

In effect, considering the temper of the men of Tharna, Lara's judgment gives the silver masks the opportunity, for a time, to choose a
master, or after that time to be themselves chosen as a slave girl. Thus each silver mask will in time belong to a beast, though at first
she is given some opportunity to determine whose yellow cords she will feel, on whose rug the ceremony of submission will take
place.

Perhaps Lara understood, as I did not, that women such as silver masks must be taught love, and can learn it only from a master. It
was not her intention to condemn her sisters of Tharna into interminable and miserable bondage but to force them to take this
strange first step on the road she herself had traveled, one of the unusual roads that may lead to love. When I had questioned her,
Lara had said to me that only when true love is learned is the Free Companionship possible, and that some women can learn love
only in chains. I wondered at her words. End of Book 2, Outlaw of Gor
Laws, Codes and Rituals
Laws of Tharna
No more would that cold serene visage survey the
throne room of Tharna.

The men of Tharna watched almost in disbelief as the
great mask loosened, bolt by bolt, from the wall, leaned
forward and at last, dragged down by its own weight,
broke loose and plunged clattering down the steps of
the throne, breaking into a hundred pieces.

"Let it be melted," Lara had said, "and cast into the
golden tarn disks of Tharna and let these be distributed
to those who have suffered in our day of troubles."

"And add to the golden tarn disks," she had exclaimed,
"tarn disks of silver to be formed from the masks of our
women, for henceforth in Tharna no woman may wear a
mask of either gold or silver, not even though she be
Tatrix of Tharna herself!"

And as she had spoken, according to the customs of
Tharna, her words had become the law and from that
day forth no woman of Tharna might wear a mask.

No more would that cold serene visage survey the
throne room of Tharna.

The men of Tharna watched almost in disbelief as the
great mask loosened, bolt by bolt, from the wall, leaned
forward and at last,
All rights reserved.
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