Glade and Ivory Ch. 06bybradley_stoke©
Chief Cave Lion's dwelling was by far the largest in the village. It was a huge lattice of fallen tree trunks, tied together by cord and covered by sewn-together aurochs and rhinoceros hide. It was as large as five or six tepees meshed together. Although the harshness of the winter snow was usually enough to wreck most habitations in the village, the chief's weathered the conditions best and was reassembled on the same spot each spring with, if anything, more splendour than in the previous summer.
Like most villagers, Ivory had never passed through the ornamental mammoth skins that served as door to the yurt. She was naturally apprehensive of what she would discover in the shadows inside as she followed the Chief's son. It took Ivory's eyes a while to adjust to the glowing embers of the fire.
The Chief was waiting for her. Ivory immediately noticed that he wasn't dressed in his usual formal splendour. He wore a casual elk-hide singlet and his arms and legs were bare. His wife stood beside him. She was a woman much closer in years to Ivory than to Chief Cave Lion and was the mother of two of the Chief's seven surviving sons and daughters. She was dressed equally casually in an antelope-skin that covered only one of her angular shoulders and revealed much of the bare skin of her thigh. The warmth from the well-tended fire was enough for the Chief and his wife to cast off the heavy furs that most people had to wear even inside their homes.
Ivory bent down and made obeisance to the Chief, aware of how awkwardly she was articulating the required formulations.
"Quite, my dear," said Chief Cave Lion who was clearly bored with such rituals. "Come here and sit with my wife and me. We wish to speak to you."
As was the way, the conversation was fairly inconsequential to begin with. The Chief asked general questions about Ivory's apprenticeship and didn't seem much interested in her replies. His wife nodded occasionally, but expressed more apparent interest than her husband although she asked nothing herself. She smiled encouragingly at Ivory, who was nervous and remembered only too well the real nature of her earlier intercourse with the woman's husband. Her name was Ptarmigan and it was several years ago when she'd been presented to Chief Cave Lion as a gift. She was the daughter of the chief of a village far to the west whose path sometimes coincided with Ivory's village in the annual southwards trek. As the Chief's wife she was only ever seen in his company and no one spoke to her except on the Chief's behest. She spoke a strong dialect distinguished by dental fricatives and a slight throaty rumble.
"And how well have you learnt the languages of the southern tribes that the shaman knows and uses in her discourse with the spirits?" the Chief asked.
"I know some words and incantations, but only a little of their meaning," Ivory answered.
"The shaman is a valuable member of our village," the Chief said. "She has often helped in the annual trek south when we needed to trade with and call on the hospitality of the southern tribes of the mountains, rivers and plains. We would like you to learn as much from her as you can. Should she die or, as I sometimes fear rather more, choose to leave of her own accord, our village will need a shaman in her stead. It is a task to which you should apply yourself with diligence."
"I shall, my liege," said Ivory who sensed that the initial stage of this exchange had drawn to a close.
"My wife and I have no secrets between us," said Chief Cave Lion as he squeezed her hand in his. "She knows that a Chief has needs that no single woman can hope to fully satisfy, especially when she is so often with child. I told her that you are a good, if inexperienced, fuck and she wished to meet you."
Ptarmigan nodded her head decorously.
"My husband has told me that you've been instructed by the shaman as much in the arts of love as in the ways of the spirits," she said.
Ivory blushed. She hadn't expected such open frankness from the wife of a man who'd been so unfaithful to her.
"It's true that I've been taught well," Ivory spoke cautiously, "but not in the ways of men. It is his lordship, the Chief, who has taught me all I know of such matters."
Chief Cave Lion laughed and squeezed the hand of his wife, who didn't seem quite so delighted by Ivory's testament.
"The ways of love between women and men and between women and women are not so remarkably different," he said. "It is the art of how to give pleasure and that is what my wife wishes to know more about."
Ptarmigan seemed uncomfortable at this account of her wishes but she made no remark.
Her husband continued.
"I remember your mother well, Ivory. She too was a most commendable fuck. She was blessed with child when she was mauled by the lion. There were two who'd died on that fateful day and one of them was of my flesh. I feel duty-bound to ensure that what remains of your sweet mother—and you are all there is—should be treated well. It is my hope that you too may one day be the mother of one of my lesser children."
This was another role that Ivory had never anticipated, although she knew that those women of the village who'd borne the Chief's unofficial progeny were accorded privileges that were the envy of other women. She didn't relish the prospect of becoming pregnant to a man so much older than her nor of seeing her child delegated to a lesser role in the Chief's household.
However, her answer had to be diplomatic. "It would be an honour indeed to be so blessed, my lord."
"That is said well, my dear," said the Chief kindly as he placing a gnarled hand on Ivory's bone-threaded hair. "However, you may still wonder why my wife also wishes to see one of my lovers."
"Is it that she wants to be certain that your lord is well-satisfied?" Ivory asked. She wasn't sure whether this was quite the right formula for her response.
"I'm sure that is so," said the Chief who squeezed his wife's hand a little tighter. Ptarmigan didn't smile quite as warmly or appreciatively as her husband. "The life of a chief's wife is one of denial. She must not, of course, enjoy the body of any other man. That would be a capital offence for both parties. However, she may pleasure herself with another woman but only with my permission. It is not appropriate that she do so with the shaman. However, with you it is another matter."
"It is?" wondered an aghast Ivory.
"Since your mother died, I have taken responsibility for you," the Chief continued. "You are in my care and, by default, my wife's as well. She much desires a woman's tongue between her legs and it is to you I entrust that honour."
"Me?" Ivory gasped. She wasn't sure she heard his words right.
But Ivory was to know that the chief spoke as he meant. He instructed his wife and her to remove their furs and they disrobed in utter silence while the Chief's children watched by the flickering light of the fire. Ivory was embarrassed by her nudity as much as Ptarmigan was. She was even more embarrassed when she followed the Chief's subsequent instructions. She took position between his wife's legs with her arms resting on Ptarmigan's thin thighs and her tongue buried in her thick pubic hair. Her nose brushed against the threaded flowers.
This was only the second vagina that Ivory had tasted and this one had a notably less pungent odour. There was very little moisture on the lips other than that dripping from Ivory's saliva. Ptarmigan gasped as Ivory's tongue probed her clitoris and labia, but there was little evidence of the gush of vaginal fluid that made Ivory certain that Glade was enjoying her ministrations.
It was principally Chief Cave Lion who was taking pleasure from this Sapphic encounter and this was confirmed when Ivory felt a probing behind from fingers that could only belong to him. Her vagina was frigged with rather more enthusiasm than his wife was relishing her tongue. In fact, Ivory was shamed that her vagina was lubricated with more readiness by the chief's application than she'd done for his wife. Ivory was more than ready when the chief redoubled his effort and added more fingers and his tongue to her vulva while she laboured on Ptarmigan with mostly indifferent results.
The extent of Ptarmigan's passion wasn't the greatest concern of the Chief who separated the two women and laid Ivory down on the bed beside him. He thrust into her ever more urgently while Ivory gazed up at his beard and scarred face by the dim light of the flickering fire. Her vulva was engorged by desire and her body shimmered with perspiration. All the while, the Chief's wife sat to one side. She seemed embarrassed by her nudity and participated in the action only occasionally and hesitantly. She stroked her husband's testicles desultorily and laid supporting hands on his upraised shoulders.
Ivory was naturally curious to compare her sexual experiences with those of the shaman. "What was it like when you made love to Lord Valour?" she asked Glade the following day.
"For a start, to call it 'making love' is a gross exaggeration," said Glade. "It was fucking, pure and simple. And to be frank, it was buggery, not even normal vaginal intercourse, and nothing but painful."
"Did he fuck you often?" Ivory asked. In her present uncharitable mood, she was secretly hoping that Glade had suffered more than Ivory.
"Very rarely and, from his point of view, rather reluctantly. He felt duty-bound to fuck his wife on a regular basis: perhaps two or three times a moon. It was clear to me that Lady Demure enjoyed it more than he did and even then not conspicuously more than when she made love to her slaves. Lord Valour would appear in the tent with a retinue of two or three male slaves. Before fucking his wife and to excite his enthusiasm, he would be fellated not only by his slaves but also by me and my fellow slaves. Sometimes, he readied himself by fucking a slave and he usually preferred to take one of his male slaves. Less often, he fucked one of us but these were brutal and peremptory fucks where he plainly got rather less pleasure than he did with his male slaves. And then, when he was good and ready, he would fuck Lady Demure. Hers was the only vagina that by custom he was permitted to penetrate. It wouldn't be long at all until he released his semen and that was well before his wife was satisfied. Then husband and wife would then talk together while the slaves, including me, stood in attendance should he feel like fucking one of us again. That didn't happen very often. It was obvious that Lord Valour got very little pleasure from fucking women."
"Why did he fuck you only in the arse?" wondered Ivory not unnaturally. Thankfully, the Chief hadn't penetrated her there and she rather hoped he never would.
"It was taboo for the Knights of the Savannah to have vaginal sex with anyone other than their wives. It was something to do with their rites of fertility. It was forbidden to fuck a slave anywhere but in the arse, although no distinction was made between men and women. Slaves were not to bear children and especially not the children of the Knights. Miscegenation was a capital offence. Slaves were not permitted to have children even by men from their own tribe. This made good sense from the Knights' point of view. They believed that they were the master race and destined to rule the whole world and all its people. It also meant that unless new slaves were captured on a regular basis, the Knights' slave economy was doomed to collapse."
"You must have hated the ordeal," said Ivory.
"The slavery: yes. The sex: not really," said Glade. "It was, after all, the only sex I ever had with a man all the years I was in captivity. In fact, I developed rather a taste for anal sex though I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it quite so much if I'd been buggered as often as Lord Valour's slaves. I enjoy sex and it was frustrating to enjoy only the bodies of Lady Demure and her two slaves. Don't misunderstand me. I enjoyed sex with my mistress. She was a beautiful woman and an enthusiastic lover. Her vulva was often engorged with desire. I loved the glimpse of the pinker flesh that was laid open when I parted her lips with my fingers. I also relished the flesh of my fellow slaves."
"Didn't you feel any jealousy when your mistress and her husband fucked while you watched?"
"Only that it was she and not me whose legs were open to receive the chief's thrusts. It was also the only opportunity I had to talk, in hushed tones of course, with the Lord's slaves, one of whom was from my tribe. I would hold his penis in my palm and stroke it while we whispered together. In that way, I discovered a little about how the men were treated and that was similar in principle to how Lady Demure treated her slaves."
Glade gained rather more from these encounters when she'd learnt the Knights' language. This wasn't, of course, to communicate with them because even with her mistress, and absolutely not at all with the men, she was expected to utter not a single word. The only words Lady Demure addressed to her were commands regarding which there was no expectation of any discussion. She learnt the Knights' language as it was the only common tongue she shared with anyone other than her own people who, in any case, she saw very rarely and spoke to even less often. This was the time when Glade discovered that she had a talent for learning languages.
"The Knights' tongue was the first language I learnt other than my own. At first I thought it would just be the ability of learning different words for the same things, but I soon discovered that learning a language is much more challenging than that. The Knights' language resembled a series of barks and yowls. The way you pronounced a word fundamentally changed its meaning. It was difficult to learn at first, especially because the most common words had no equivalent in my tribe's language and many not in yours either. Many words were related to concepts of status, honour and the Knights' strange religion. Different words were used according to the rank of the speaker. The lowest of the low such as a slave had to phrase sentences in such a way that the people they spoke to were reminded that they were of a higher status."
"It sounds very complex," said Ivory with a frown.
"It's not too different from the way you speak to the Chief or the Elders. It was just that much more decorous. It was also accompanied by genuflections, bows and curtseys that denoted how relatively worthless you were."
"Did you speak to the other slaves in the same way?"
"They were the only ones I spoke with for any length of time, but there was no other way to speak to them. Anyhow, Quagga and Mimosa came from tribes that had more difficulty in understanding the culture of the Forest People—where there was no rank, status or whatever—than they did the Knights'. Quagga's tribe accorded status by seniority of age rather than accomplishment or birth. They believed in the wisdom of the elders and, naturally, the foolishness of youth. She thought it extraordinary that the Forest People treated all men equally without regard to age. Mimosa's society was more like yours. There was a single chief and a kind of inner court of people who were mostly related to her."
"To her?" wondered Ivory, who wasn't sure she'd heard right.
"Yes. In her tribe, a woman was always chief of a village. In fact, Mimosa expected to become such a chief herself when her mother died, but then her tribe was enslaved by the Knights before such a succession could take place."
Glade's language skills eventually improved to the extent that she could understand the conversation between Lord Valour and Lady Demure. In fact, she was soon rather better at understanding the Knights' language than Mimosa and Quagga even though their captivity had been longer than hers by several years. As the Knights treated the slaves as rather less than human, they made no precautions against them being able to understand what they said. Much of the couple's conversation was bound by the rigid conventions of the society, so a large proportion was phrased as an opportunity for Lady Demure to praise her husband's virility and he to praise her beauty. It took some time for Glade to decipher the true meaning of their words.
"It is many seasons since we first conjoined, my Beauty, and yet the gods are yet to bless you with the fruit of my seed," Lord Valour moaned.
"It is you the gods have failed, Man of my Heart," Lady Demure replied. "Perhaps the seed has been spread too thinly throughout the brave Knights of your court and too little remains of your virility."
When not complaining about Lady Demure's persistent refusal to get pregnant, not assisted, as Glade knew so well, by her insistence on a thorough wash after each such encounter, the two discussed matters of the village.
"When next is your courageous foray into the outside world to replenish the slaves who die more quickly than they are replaced, Lord of my Fertility?" Lady Demure asked.
"I know not, my Gazelle," her husband sadly admitted. "Gladly would I venture out to prove the honour and glory of our village, but I know not where or when. News has not come of another place as rich for conquest as the accursed forest of our last expedition. There are fewer pickings than before and those we find are meagre and weak. Our journeys take us many days and even moons distant, and there is less and less bounty."
"Are the other villages of the Knights similarly cursed, my Eternal Lover?"
"I have heard tell that the expedition of Lord Gallant and his brave Knights to the open waters brought a very poor harvest indeed, my Sweetheart. They marched for more than two moons across savannah and then over the high cliffs to the sand and pebbles that stretch towards the infinite waters where monsters swim. Every village they found was on the shore and the homes made from shell and stone. In none of the villages did they find any but the frail and weak, who make poor fucks and even worse slaves. Lord Gallant believes that the people forewarned themselves of his approach by using fires they could see burning at the top of tall beacons high atop the hills and cliffs."
"A devilish people indeed, my Virile One," said Lady Demure with a hint of admiration in her voice. "We would do well to learn from the captured slaves what the meaning is of the signals they send from these beacons. We could then use this information to our advantage."
Lord Valour frowned. "It is not for the Knights to lower themselves to learn the ways of lesser people, my Zebra Foal. It is in the gods' behest whether we succeed in our brave expeditions. If we don't pluck the fruit of our endeavours then it is because our valour and courage has been found wanting. Besides, not one captured slave survived more than a day or so after they were captured."
Glade was fascinated by Lord Valour's description of the places visited by his tribe, but unfortunately most conversation concentrated on more mundane matters such as religious festivals and the relative rankings of the Knights. This last was in his gift and caused him most anguish. It was Lady Demure whose advice he most intently listened to despite the fact that she was a mere woman.
"It is not for me to pronounce on Spear-Thrower Courage, my Husband, but if he is to be promoted to Fire-Bearer, you should think first of his loyalty and the ambition of his family and then on his merits as a good fuck and a valiant warrior."
"Who then should become Fire-Bearer, my Sweet Cunt?"
"You should guard yourself most against Liegeman Noble who has an ambitious wife and desires more respect from the village. He doesn't enjoy the company of Spear-Thrower Honour, who is older than you and has been blessed only with daughters. If Spear-Thrower Honour were promoted then Liegeman Noble may well be inclined to waste his energies in plotting against those of equal rank and less likely to be a threat to you and your rightful status."