Glade and Ivory Ch. 08bybradley_stoke©
Glade kissed her young lover on the lips while Chief Cave Lion slumped on his back exhausted. A thin thread of semen trailed from his penis into the tangle of Ivory's pubic hair. Now that Ivory had discovered her lover's infidelity, Glade was actually rather more affectionate to her ward even when she was being fucked by the Chief.
"You have become a more accomplished lover," mused Chief Cave Lion. He tenderly kissed Ivory's pale thigh and cupped a buttock in a gnarled hand.
"You have taught me well, my lord," said Ivory loyally.
"...As has the shaman," said the Chief. "Although of the two of you, it is the shaman who is the more expert and the most confident lover, you are the one who benefits from the blessing of youth and are therefore to be preferred."
Ivory could see from her face that Glade didn't relish the Chief's remark and this provided the younger woman with a small amount of satisfaction. Ivory knew she had to accept the ways of the shaman. There was no other tepee in which she could sleep and it was unthinkable that she should abandon her apprenticeship. She hadn't forgiven Glade but there was no other shoulder on which she could rest her head.
"The Reindeer Herders are due to cross our path within two or three days," continued the chief. "We have mostly completed our preparations to welcome them in a style that honours them and brings us no shame. We have intoxicants. Our hunters are in pursuit of mammoth and other game to feed our guests. The musicians are practising on their instruments. But there is one gift we are as yet unable to provide."
"And what is that, my lord?" Glade asked as she caressed the Chief's now shrunken penis which when erect had thrust into her as many times as it had Ivory.
"The chief of the Reindeer Herders should be honoured by the pleasures of the flesh as he would so honour me. As I have no marriageable daughter to give away and there is no one else suitable in the village, it behoves me to ask you and your apprentice to provide the chief and his closest relatives with the carnal relief he expects. As the apprentice has the more succulent flesh, it is she who has the most pressing duty to fulfil."
Ivory gasped in dismay. "Do I have to offer my body to the Reindeer Herders, my lord?" she asked in the hope that she'd misunderstood him.
"It is a duty as necessary as any other," the Chief explained. "It would be unseemly for our village to disappoint our guests. But worry not. Should you become pregnant, I shall treat the child as if it were my own."
This was scant consolation to Ivory, who burst into tears as soon when the Chief departed. "I've become nothing but a fuck toy!" she moaned to Glade who put a comforting arm about her bare shoulders.
"It is the way of the world," said the shaman.
"Is this a service you've ever provided?"
"Not in this way," Glade mused, "but in former years I regularly made love to strange men to provide for myself. A woman wandering alone in the world needs do what she must to stay alive. Indeed, it is a service offered by many travelling women amongst the people of the southern valleys."
"It's not what how I would wish it to be," Ivory sniffed. "Is there nothing else I can do?"
"While you live in this village," said Glade with a sad smile, "what the Chief wishes is what you must do."
For the rest of the day, the shaman and her apprentice supervised the preparation of entertainments for the Reindeer Herders. Several villagers were rehearsing on musical instruments they'd made from wood and hide. Amongst these were a set of hollow reeds through which a player could blow air and generate a high-pitched tone that could be modulated by small holes carved into its stem, but most instruments were of a percussive nature that could be slapped on by the musicians' open palms or struck with sturdy sticks. Glade rehearsed songs whose lyrics were mostly improvised, but whose melodies she'd learnt from distant tribes in her travels.
"Did the Knights of the Savannah have songs such as these?" Ivory asked.
"Not really," said Glade. "They relied on the slaves to sing songs, which they insisted should be sung in the Knights' tongue and which had to be adapted to what was relevant to their culture and religion."
"Did you have to fuck many men as I will have to do?" wondered Ivory who addressed the matter uppermost in her mind.
"The only man who fucked me in the years I was a slave was Lord Valour," Glade said. "But it was from his conversations with Lady Demure that I learnt the most. My anus was not then, any more than it is not now, the orifice whose violation affords me the most pleasure."
Glade's interest in what the chief had to say was greatest when he was distressed and sought his wife's advice. This was especially so when slave rebellions broke out amongst the other villages of his tribe. At first, he expressed only indignation that the slaves were so disloyal and satisfaction in the severity of the measures taken against them.
"Lord Courage decreed punishment on the rebels in his village so severe that only ten slaves were left alive and each of these had an eye or ear removed," Lord Valour boasted. "The rebels' blood flowed so freely that Lord Courage's wife, Lady Trust, could bathe in them. Some rebels' agonies were prolonged beyond the day by having the villains skewered on stakes. That will be a fine example to other slaves who might be tempted to overthrow the divine order."
Lord Valour was rather less sanguine when a rebellion many leagues distant resulted not in its successful crushing but rather by the unprecedented slaughter of all the brave Knights of that village.
"It is said that the village chief, a cousin of the King himself, was slaughtered like a common warthog. His eyes were gouged out, his tongue was sliced off and his corpse lashed to an eland where it was found several days later on the weary animal's back."
"And his wife, Lady Loyal?" wondered Lady Demure who was no less disturbed by the news than her husband. "What happened to her?"
"No one knows. The reports we've received have come only from those Knights who escaped the carnage, but they tell of rape and retribution of a most savage kind. I doubt very much that she'd have survived. I doubt that any of the women and children of the village still live. But soon, when the King and his Barons descend on the rebel village, we shall extract confessions from the scum before their deserved execution and we shall know all that has befallen. The King's revenge shall surely be as terrible as the enormity of their crimes deserve."
Glade and her two fellow slaves strained their ears to hear the details of the Lord Valour's account. This news brought great hope to Glade who wished only evil on her captors. When their mistress at last left the hut, no doubt to discuss the news with her friends, the three slaves broke out in smiles and nervous cheers.
"If rebellion can succeed in one village," said Mimosa with the hugest grin Glade had ever seen on her face, "then surely it can succeed here."
"But what if it doesn't succeed?" asked a tremulous Quagga. "We know how cruel the Knights can be. They will torture and kill us most cruelly. You know what they do when there is the smallest provocation. Remember the fate of Impala."
Quagga was referring to the death of a female slave who'd become pregnant. Her punishment was to have her stomach sliced open. She was left to die after the foetus was pulled out and smashed against the rocks, even though it was rumoured that the father had been a Knight who'd raped her and, contrary to tradition, had abused her vagina rather than her anus.
"It is better by far to die an honourable death than to live a dishonourable life," said Mimosa with no sympathy at all for Quagga's fears.
A few days later, a body of Knights from the village were consigned to join the King's army to suppress the revolt in the rebel village. Lord Valour was initially eager to join his fellow warriors, but Lady Demure advised him otherwise.
"It is fine and noble to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the King," said Lady Demure, "but you should follow His Majesty's example. He has chosen to stay at home in his village rather than accompany his noble Knights. It could be that he has designs himself on the estate of those lords who perish in the conflict and will use the excuse of this incident to bolster his power at the expense of those who don't return."
"Not one Knight will die in the sack of the rebels' village," Lord Valour asserted. "It will be a glorious victory."
"The slaves may be emboldened by the one success and there may be yet more rebellions," said Lady Demure firmly. "With so many Knights engaged in struggle elsewhere might not the slaves of our own village take advantage of your absence and also be tempted to rebel? Your duty should surely be in the suppression of rebellion closer at home than in a far off village a moon and a half's march away."
"There is no other village where rebellion has succeeded," said Lord Valour.
"That is no doubt because the Knights of those villages have chosen to stand firm rather than abandon their women and children," said Lady Demure. "There have been other insurrections in the past, as well you know, amongst our tribe's villages and it is only because they have been made secure from within by the efforts of our valiant Knights that there have not been more disasters."
"My honour is at stake," said Lord Valour miserably.
"Then send Barons Peerless and Resolute who besides being your most senior lieutenants are also those most covetous of your status," said Lady Demure. "This will flatter the King who wishes to see the bravest warriors do battle in defence of his realm and may relieve you of those most likely to threaten your rule if the outcome of battle is that yet more valiant warriors should die. Remember that it is by death in battle rather than on the sickbed that the succession in our village has been most often decided."
Lord Valour left the hut angrily and no less resolved to answer his King's call to arms. However, the flaring up of a mostly forgotten battle-scar provided sufficient reason several days later for him to make his excuses and dispatch the Barons suggested by Lady Demure to do battle. This change of mind might well have been influenced by reports of two other villages, scattered widely apart in the Knights' Kingdom, where the slaves' rebellion had been as successful as in the first and where the Knights were murdered just as viciously. As the lord confided to his wife, a messenger was able to confirm the slaughter in one of these villages by the sight of scalps scattered on nearby bushes and trees.
"Not one child or woman was spared," the lord confessed.
Lady Demure nodded, but did not remind him of her earlier day's advice. She preferred her husband's decision to remain in the village to appear to be one made by him alone.
The decision as to which slave was chosen as an auspicious sacrifice for the warriors' departure to what was now one of four rebel villages was made rather too easily. Baron Glory, a Knight who'd elected to stay with the village rather than join the expedition, was murdered by his slave. Rock Baboon originally came from Mimosa's tribe and had been infected by the excitement spreading through the village's slaves on news of the distant rebellions' success. When his master commanded the slave to submit to his nightly fuck, Rock Baboon not only refused the honour but strangled the Baron with his bare hands. The ritual torture and disembowelling of the treacherous slave during the feast that heralded the warriors' departure was the cruellest yet devised. It was particularly unpleasant in that the Baron's other male slaves who had been so slow in intervening were forced to eat his entrails while he was still alive.
Nevertheless, there was a strangely sober atmosphere amongst the Knights after this ritual. Such a bloodthirsty ceremony would normally leave them cheerful and celebratory. The Knights retired to their huts relatively early, as did Lady Demure with her three slaves. Glade dreaded that her mistress should deliver a homily on loyalty to her slaves. She knew that Mimosa was unlikely to respond as meekly as she once would have done. Her fellow slave had been close to mutinous in the last few days and in private had speculated endlessly to Glade and Quagga on the implications of the outbreak of rebellion. Slave revolts were scarcely new but successful ones were rare and easily suppressed. Mimosa had never heard of a rebellion that had spread so fast to so many villages. Glade wondered whether Mimosa would respond to a lecture on the virtue of obedience with quite the tact and diplomacy she normally displayed. She'd already expressed pride that it was a man from her village who'd murdered the Baron.
As it was, Lady Demure was very subdued when she entered the hut with her slaves and seemed almost reluctant to have sex with them. She let them wash off the blood that had sprayed onto her feet and slumped onto the bed with Quagga and Glade, after ordering Mimosa to tend the fire which really needed no extra attention. In fact, she had recently been excusing Mimosa of all amatory duty. Perhaps she sensed how little her slave enjoyed it.
Glade was the one who got most pleasure from the lovemaking: perhaps more so than even her mistress. She licked and chewed at Lady Demure's smoothly shaved labia and nibbled at the proud dark clitoris which she now knew better than her own. The lovemaking finished rather sooner than usual and Lady Demure lay down between her slaves, one on either side, silenced rather more by her thoughts than sated by Sapphic pleasure.
She then addressed the three slaves with more respect than disdain for the first time in all the years they had been together.
"I am troubled about the rebellions," she said in a confidential tone. "Why do you think they are happening? What is your opinion?"
Neither Glade nor Quagga knew what to say, but in truth it was Mimosa who was being addressed. She knelt by the fire, a dark squat silhouette, with her proud bald pate and small ears outlined against the flickering flames.
"Are you asking me, my lady?" she asked with rather less humility than her station demanded.
Normally Lady Demure would respond to such impudence by striking Mimosa hard against the face and following this with punches and kicks that would bruise the slave for several days to come. Glade shivered. Would her mistress rise to the challenge?
Lady Demure made no reaction beyond nodding her head. "Yes. It's your opinion I seek."
"The Knights have treated their subjects most unkindly, my lady," said Mimosa. "Many of the slaves come from proud and independent tribes whose spirit has been crushed by the Knight's viciousness, but not to the extent that they do not resent their enslavement."
"And I believe they also think they have little left to lose," added Lady Demure in apparent agreement. "It's true that my tribe has treated the people it has conquered with little respect. Indeed, as little more than animals. It is also true, alas, that I've acted no differently to the others of my tribe. It may be that we deserve the catastrophe that has descended upon us."
"That is true, my lady," said Mimosa, who Glade could see was on the verge of expressing her opinions much more forcefully. Would she have to intervene to prevent her fellow slave from overstepping the line? But where now was that line?
Lady Demure wisely refrained from demanding from her most independent slave any more dangerous opinions. She kissed Quagga on the lips. "And you, my most loyal slave," she said in rather more affectionate terms than she'd ever done before. "Do you think that I've been a cruel mistress?"
Quagga blushed and ran a nervous hand over her shaven skull. "I... er... I don't know..." she said uncertainly, before shaping her response more diplomatically. "Yes, my lady. You have treated us fairly and with dignity."
Lady Demure smiled and squeezed her slave's hand in hers. "Alas, I don't believe you. I have been a cruel mistress. I have been no less wicked than the rest of my tribe. But know this, I have done so because it is the custom of my tribe and I am as guilty as any of not questioning our practices. I hope you will recognise that I am not as cruel or vicious as I've seemed to be and I am willing to mend my ways. If there is any way that I can persuade my husband to treat slaves with more dignity and even to share more evenly the spoils of the chase, then be assured that I shall do so. It surely must be possible for the Knights to reform their practices and for slave and mistress to live in harmony."
With such reassuring words, Lady Demure then gestured that she was ready to retire and with the added warmth of Mimosa's fuller flesh settled down to sleep.
It was apparent to Glade that Mimosa wasn't at all mollified by Lady Demure's conciliatory tone, although she made no more comment in her presence. The following day she was as scathing as she had ever been about her mistress. When Lady Demure accompanied her husband to perform the duty of wishing well the contingent of warriors about to march off to join the King's army, Mimosa spoke to Glade in the shelter of the hut while Quagga was outside tending the fowl that ran freely in the compound.
"If that cunt thinks she's bought my loyalty and submission with her talk of reform, she clearly does not know of the spirit and courage of the Mountain People," she said mutinously. "All she wants to do is to head off the risk of revolt in the village by promising better conditions for the slaves. What she does not want is for us to be free. She is a scheming and conniving shitbag. She has no greater ambition than her own comfort and glory. I would gladly strangle her as much as Rock Baboon did his master. Do you think she would hesitate to treat us with any more mercy than was shown to him?"
"Perhaps she means well," said Glade, mindful that there was nothing predestined in the promise of rebellion and that she and Mimosa might very well continue to serve Lady Demure for the foreseeable future. "If either of us had been born in the Knights' tribe would we have treated our slaves differently?"
Mimosa sniffed with disdain. "Such even-handed opinions are foolish," she said. "The Knights are bastards, cunts and perverts. They destroyed my tribe as they did yours. As they did Quagga's. They are evil incarnate. We should never extend to them the privilege of respect and honour any more than they have done towards any other tribe. The world will be a better place when every last one of the shaven-headed arse-fuckers is disembowelled, decapitated and dead."
Ivory fiddled nervously with a small figurine of a plump woman carved in mammoth ivory that the shaman kept on the stone shelf in her tepee. Would she soon be as pregnant as this strange faceless woman? Would she carry within her the offspring of one of the Reindeer Herders? Would she then be forced to herd reindeer rather than hunt mammoth and rhinoceros?
Glade sensed her apprentice's unease and moved over to Ivory's side. She grasped Ivory's hand in hers. She deliberately let a breast fall free from her furs as a promise of more familiar intimacy.
"Listen to the drums," she said with a smile.
Outside the tepee, the musicians were beating on hollow wooden trunks and stretched hide as they rehearsed for the coming celebration. It was an insistent rhythm that created a unified whole although individual rhythms strayed from the underlying pattern that held the improvisation in check. There was an excited chatter from the girls gathered around the musicians who occasionally sang along to a melody of their invention.