Editor’s note: This is the continuing story of the Kassar Wagon People, as written of in the ‘Nomads of Gor’ by John Norman. The Kassar are roleplayed in Second Life. The storyline is mature in content, and the roleplay is intense. It may not be suitable for some readers.
Since coming to the Kassar Wagon People’s camp, I struggled to leave behind my city ideals and values, and embrace the life of an Outrider. This was not easy, as the Kassar were are hard as the Turians were soft. The shift in behaviors was difficult. I fought to find my place here, with these simple people.
I took the most menial jobs, herding the bosk, chasing after the stray young, even saving one that had gotten stuck in a mud bog. The ungrateful beast kicked me square in my chest after I released her, leaving me gasping for breath and a nasty hoof mark on my stomach.
It was still in this condition I stumbled back into camp to find Brock the Elder and several others around the campfire. Brock was sitting squat on the ground, with a stick and several container of who knows what. The smell of bosk dung was pungent. Hoping to garner some pity from the women, I walked up to camp rubbing my chest.
Brock nodded seeing all the items gathered and spoke. "Ahh yes I am sure she doe..." his sentence was cut short as his thick arm flung out of its resting place and backhanded me with crushing force to my cheek. He spun and grabbed me by my chest strap and stepped in between my legs delivering a hard, full body weight forearm strike to my chest as he hooked his calf behind my boot. His take down was swift and amazingly powerful as he attacked me the way he was trained to drop a man from childhood. He swiftly fell on top of me following the take down and hooked his heels around my body and drove them painfully into the small of my back as he placed his knees on my biceps, pinning me down as if on a cross. He leaned down, glaring at me with a grin. "Seems time we have a little chat you and I .....scribe of the cities."
The women around the campfire, free and slave alike, rose and jumped back upon seeing the confrontation. I lay on the ground clutching my groin from the shot Brock landed on me, gasping for breath. I tried to reach for my daggar but Brock had my hands pinned with his legs.
Brock reaches out as he hears the sweet sound of a man gurgling trying to breathe. He takes the dung in his bare hands off the ground where I had dropped it then takes the bowl and slaps it in. Then he sets it aside and takes the dye and spreads it in, then extends his hand for the mixing stick to be given to him, "mixing stick...now!" he barks.
Ladieday saphir motions to emerald seeing the stick in her hand. "Give my Master the stick, emerald" she says with a smile.
Emerald nods and takes the stick, walks up to the Master quietly with ease. She hands him the stick quietly, watching the city scribe laying down below him.
Pinned on the ground under this looming man, I stopped struggling, scanning his face for a tell of his intentions. Nothing.
He reached out and yanked the stick out of the soft skinned girl with irritation. Every part of Brock's mannerisms, facial expression and tone were different, combative, intense.....uncompromising. He took the stick in his clean hand and showed me his other dung covered hand, "this ...is you boy...." he spoke with a biting hatred in his voice then wiped his hand clean on my chest. Then he reached over and took the almost empty dye jar and sprinkled it on his chest, "this is Kassar...." he said, his voice trailing off.
I squirmed as I was covered in dung, the smell re-freshened by the fragmenting of it. Pieces fall into my face, as I spit them away from me.
Brock took the stick and began to mix the dung and dye quickly, he had made the mixture many times and knew well exactly what thickness it would be. He finished as he saw me trying to spit and shoved the used stick in my mouth, "bite down boy.....hard" he said, smiling through his teeth.
I took the stick thrust into my mouth, tasting the pungent dung. I broke it off with my teeth, and smiling, I defiantly spit it back in Brock's face.
Brock leans in as he watches the man break the stick and refuse its comfort. He tilts his head as he watches the man almost as a disturbed child watches a dying animal, "dung....soft...foul smelling, obvious to all that have a brain...pure excrement...that is what you are as a man of the cities, as a high caste of cowards" he points to the area covered in dye on his chest. "Courage, heritage, strength honor...this is what it is to be Kassar" he said, with a hint of pride in his voice. He held up the bowl, and looking down on me, barked "What I have done is take crap...and infused it with the red courage of my lands....changing it, stealing from it its wasteful vile existence and turning it into something sacred, honored....." His voice trailed off.
Only then did I begin to understand that this is important, one of those things of honor the elder spoke of when first taking me in from the city. I nodded slowly, never averting my eyes from the man's face.
Brock set the bowl down after seeing something in the light skinned man's eyes that showed understanding. He picked up the small leather work knife, and lifting it to his own face, sunk it into his own red scar deeply splitting his skin as he spoke, showing no waiver in his voice at the pain as he slowly drew the blade along his own scar, tracing it. "The body and flesh of an Outrider is not his alone, but belongs to the tribe. It is a tapestry...a scroll that reads of our heritage, our courage...OUR STRENGTH!" He pulled the knife away, blood streaming from his face as he grinned with a wickedness in his eyes. "Your first line of defense and warning to any that stand in your presence..."
I nodded slowly. "I live for the tribe" I said quietly, but with a firm voice. I lock eyes on the man, knowing now what is coming.
The Kassar elder Brock dropped the blade to my cheek without another word. The cuts, the depth and the ripping of flesh spoke all that needed to be said. He would not allow even one single word to distract from the intense pain he purposely caused with his technique of slicing, and then lingering in the pull of nerves as he inscribed his own work of art in the scar. It ran from almost above his eye down under it and almost to the edge of his upper lip. He repeated the cuts one at a time, slowly, pulling the skin more than slicing. He insisted on my knowing the pain of a flesh tearing. He then used the sharp tip to pull and flick at the torn flesh until the design was to his liking. He saw the pool of blood under my head grow large and knew that the wound was sufficient and his blood loss was reaching a limit.
I hissed again through the pain. "I live for the tribe."
Brock took the bowl of mixed dye and lifted it under his chin, and allowed his own bleeding scar to drip a few drops of his own blood into the mix. "You now have been marked ....now to be marked for courage is our color, the only color of courage, right and honor above all else in red" as he let me see the addition of his blood to the mix, he nodded respectfully to me. "Now to become a true...brother...."he said. He then slapped the mixture on the gaping open wound and rubbed it into the split skin deeply and without a delicate hand knowing and never forgetting the sting of the dye mixture. "The courage scar will kill a weak man...the infection would silence an unworthy boy" he said as he continued to drive more mixture into the flesh then stood and lowed a hand to me, outstretched. “Now......rise Doc, Outrider of the Kassar Blood People....RISE BROTHER!"
I stand slowly, feeling the burning of the mixture on my skin, dizzying my senses, I lock my knees to remain upright. Feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders, I smile painfully. "Brother" is all I manage to say.
As we now stood face to face, brother to brother, Kassar to Kassar, Brock said firmly, with conviction in his voice “you were born a coward....but you stand now new...a man...”
“I will earn that title...man...every day for the remainder of my life, Brother." I smiled through the pain of my swelling face.
Brock bent down and took the single cloth in his hand, and tossed it at me. "Go get cleaned up...you look terrible!"
"Funny, elder. I feel cleaner now than in many months. Refreshing in fact" I said as my knees began to wobble.
Ladieday grinned widely. "Greetings Outrider" she says with much pride. "Welcome home!"
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