This is the continuing story of the Gorean desert Oasis of Nine Wells, as written of in the book “Tribesmen of Gor” by John Norman. The themes are adult in nature. You are encouraged to visit Nine Wells today and become one of the people of the Aretai. Contact Doc Grun inworld for a personal tour of this Gorean desert paradise.
Having been rescued from the desert in the nick of time by my old friend Angel Firethorn, Grand Vizier of Sand Sleen Oasis, I spent several days unconscious, recovering from dehydration in their well-equipped Infirmary. As soon as they had recovered themselves, my girls begged to remain at my side to care for me.
Soon I was up and moving about the Oasis city of Sand Sleen, a bright spot in the arid and brutal Tahari desert.
One afternoon I was sitting by their oasis pond, watching the girls frolic in the water while others served their masters fruits and beverages nearby.
Angel came to me and sat to my left, my girls falling in behind me quietly and kneeling.
“I see you have returned to the land of the living, you old desert sleen” he laughed. “Aye, I am still some time before they spread my ashes, Vizier” I said.
Angel was somber. “I have heard of the disaster that befell you in Kataii, and of your escape. That you drug your girls on a stretcher across the desert and lived, is equal in marvel to the long marches to the salt mines of Klima” he said. “You had only just been appointed Oralu, warrior leader of 1000, before the end came. I was saddened to hear of your misfortune. Kataii lost a great leader.”
I bowed my head in respect. “I am humbled, Angel. I have always been able to lead men, and it felt a natural progression. Now I find myself alone again and starting over.”
Angel looked me square in the eyes. “Which brings me to the point of this meeting, my friend” he said. “I am Grand Vizier of Sand Sleen, and its adjacent neighboring oases. At present I have a need for a man with such leadership abilities.”
I shifted forward in my reclining cushion. Behind me my girls began to squirm on their knees, assuming this meant an event of importance approaching. I silenced them with a snap of my fingers.
“Indeed. I would be honored to command your army and lead your warriors, Vizier” I said.
Angel shook his head. “I would not want you commanding my army, Doc” he said, his face stone. “That position is taken and well served” he said, his arms crossed. I sat back in my cushion, deflated as if pierced by a blade.
“No, I have other plans for you, outrider.” The finality of that meant a position in the ranks of warriors, perhaps a captain, perhaps a foot soldier. I shrugged. At least I was alive.
“Come” he said, and rose from his cushion. We walked to the top of his tallest observation tower. The sun was now high in the desert sky as we stood looking out over the wastelands whipped by sand and wind.
His arm raised and pointed to the east. “Tell me what you see” he said. My eyes strained to look into the sun. “I see only desert, Angel” I replied.
“Look again, do not move your stare” he insisted. I tried to focus my eyes, and in doing so, a tower faded into view, wavering in the desert heat. “I see a structure” I cried. Angel nodded. “That is the Oasis of Nine Wells” Angel said. “It stands empty now; the desert is reclaiming it slowly.” His voice dropped as if in sorrow. “Did a plague take its people?” I asked. He shook his head. “I have taken the vassal city, easily enough as it had no leadership structure that could stand the trials of time. I see you to be a man ready to lead. And a leader deserves to lead” he said, punctuating the last word.
“What I offer you, plains outrider, is to enter the desert and become High Pasha of the Oasis of Nine Wells, restoring it through your efforts to its former glory. I can think of no one better suited for this awesome task than yourself.”
He stood there, arms folded, watching me. The wind was blowing sand up against the walls of the city. I stared out across the desert to the lone tower still peeking over the shifting dunes. I was stunned. Pasha. Leader of an entire city. For one of the few times in my life, I was speechless.
Angel smirked watching my reaction. “I can summon a healer, you appear weakened again” he said.
I returned my eyes to his person, waiting for the light to adjust. Tall man, blonde hair long and flowing, not unlike myself. Quiet in his self-assurance. Not unlike…..
“What would you require from me?” I asked. “I would require allegiance in terms of a fighting alliance. A friendly agreement amongst our peoples” he replied.
“You have had my sword at your ready since the day you returned my girl Emerald to me” I said to him. “I would swear an oath in blood without hesitation.”
He nodded slowly. “In exchange for that allegiance I can give you an ornately built city and oasis to be as you bid.” We stood in silence a moment. “Come, Pasha” he said and started down the tower steps.
We returned to the oasis and resumed our positions on the patio. My girls were pleading with their eyes for news, I gave them a single look that stopped it.
Angel took a small pouch of salt from his belt. He wet the back of his right wrist in the tradition of the Tahari people. He poured some of the red salt of Klima on his wrist. He handed the pouch to me. I wet my own sword wrist, and poured salt on it.
He lifted his wrist to his mouth, licking half of the salt from it. I followed suit, licking half the salt from my wrist. We then at the same time extended our sword wrists to the other, so that we could share each others’ salt. This tradition of ‘sharing salt’ is one of the highest regarded ceremonies to bond brothers together.
Angel reclaimed his hand and placed it at his side. “The sharing of salt has made us brothers in all we do” he declared. “And brothers we shall remain” I affirmed.
Angel then saluted his new brother by slapping his hand to his chest in the Gorean manner. I returned the action with a laugh. “You are now by our bond, a Kavar Tribesman” he said.
I bowed to my savior and host. "I am honored to be welcomed to your land."
Angel looked back to my girls, who would surely have jumped out of their clothing, if they had been wearing any. “Now if we can get these little ones to fetch us some paga, we will drink, and then I will take you to your new home.” Instantly they jumped to their feet , squealing ‘Yes Master, at Once!” and raced off in the direction of the ice house. I laughed at their excitement, trying to conceal my own.
Angel turned to me. “The job will not be easy, the old Pasha ran off many of the people through ill-advised management of the city. You will be starting from nothing, old friend.”
I smiled for the first time with confidence. “Have you ever known me to refuse a challenge, or to fail at that challenge?” I asked.
His mouth turned upward. “I knew I had the right man. The Priest Kings dropped you on my doorstep, not by accident. You are destined to rule a city, Sir.”
Coming Next: The City of Wonder
The Oasis of Nine Wells is recruiting now for all roles, all castes. Come join this immersive desert Gor roleplay experience. Contact Doc Grun or Sonya Sporg inworld for more information on Nine Wells, or take the attached landmark and see the beauty of Nine Wells for yourself.
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