The continuing saga of The Outrider of Gor, as portrayed in the books of John Norman, takes a turn for happiness, as he takes his own mate, in his quest to discover himself.
The Free Companion Ceremony was performed in the Kataii Wagon camp, which is looking for quality roleplayers to share their experiences.
A man must eventually take a mate to make his life complete.
So it was that, in the fullness of time, I took Cassandra as my Free Companion. Mistress to my girl Emerald, partner in my life as a wagon outrider of Gor.
The Free Companion Ceremony is steeped in tradition, binding a man and his mate together. Having joined the Kataii wagon camp, I asked Ruffus Pinion, chieftain of the Kataii, to preside over the mating of my woman to me.
All in camp were in attendance. First my girl Emerald walked through the gate, stunning in a black leather kajira suit with a long trailing coat. Then came my woman Cassandra, wearing a dress of green and white, bought just for this ceremony. I swear she was glowing.
We were shown to the podium, where Ruffus and his Free Companion yankee Faulker were waiting. The 3 of us, as a family, approached Ruffus and stood before him. Emerald knelt on my left, Cassandra stood to my right.
Ruffus smiled slowly and began to speak.
“Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of Free companionship.
“With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.”
Ruffus looked first to me, then to my mate Cass. " Do you still want to enter this ceremony?"
“Yes, we seek to enter” I declared. I looked to Cass. “Yes, We Seek to Enter” she replied with a smile.
Ruffus nodded and continued. “In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.
“ Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart's passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.
“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.
Emerald was squirming on her knees while listening, knowing the changes it meant for our family.
Ruffus smiles and nodded to me. “Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together. I bid you look into each others’ eyes.”
I turned to face Cassandra, the evening light bouncing off her face.
“Doc, Will you cause her pain?” he asked. “I may” I said. Cassandra frowned at me a moment. “Is that your intent?” he asked a second time. “Nay”, I smiled.
[2012/04/01 14:04] Doc Grun: NAY" he smiles.
“Cass, Will you cause him pain?” he asked of her. She glances to me."I may". I blinked at her innocently. “Is that your intent?” Cassandra smiled softly. “Nay."
Ruffus looked to both of us. “Will you both share each other's pain and seek to ease it? "
At the same time we answered “ Aye.”
“ And so the binding is made. Join your hands” Ruffus said, smiling. I took her hand in mine.
Ruffus then draped the first chord across our hands. “Cass, Will you share his laughter?” “Aye” she said. “Doc, Will you share her laughter?” “Aye.”
Ruffus Looked to both of us. "Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other? " “Aye” we relied at the same time.
“And so the binding is made.” Ruffus drapes the second chord across their hands.
“Cass.. will you burden him?” he asked her. “I may” she said. Someone in the gallery was heard chuckling. “Is that your intent?' “Nay ...” she said.
“Doc.. will you burden her?” “I may´ I said. My girl at my knees chimed up “If so I will come after him!” I batted at her feigning anger. “Your intent is that?” “Nay” I relied looking down at Emerald.
“ Will you both share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? " Ruffus asked.
“ Aye” we both said. Emerald added her own “Aye” then covered her mouth giggling.
“And so the binding is made.” Ruffus draped the third chord across our hands.
“Cass.. will you share his dreams?” “Aye.” “Doc.. will you share her dreams?” he asked me. “Aye.”
“ And so the binding is made.” Ruffus draped the fourth chord across our hands.
Ruffus went on. “Doc.. will you cause her anger? “I may” I said. “Cass will you cause the old man anger?” “I may....” she said. “Is that your intent?” “Naaaaaay” she smiled at me. I squeezed her hand. She smiled back at me lovingly.
Ruffus smiled. "Will you both take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?” “We will” we answered in unison.
Ruffus nodded. "And so the binding is made." Ruffus draped the fifth chord across our hands.
“Cass will you honor him?” “I wil. “Doc will you honor her?” “I will” I nodded. “Will you both seek to never cause to break that honor?" “We shall never do so” we both replied.
Ruffus Pinion smiled. "And so the binding is made." He draped the sixth chord across their hands, then tied all of the chords together. “The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making of breaking of this union.”
Ruffus’s mate Yankee handed the goblet full of the sweet wine to Ruffus to symbolizes their union and seal the companionship. Ruffus removed the tied cords and handed them to Emerald, then looks back at Yankee and takes the goblet. Emi smiles and takes them gently.
Ruffus raises the goblet and hands it to me, to share with my woman. I take a sip from the goblet, and hand it to Cass. She takes a sip as well , loving the taste and debating another , then refrains anyway and hands the goblet back with a large wide smile.
Ruffus smiled and raised his arms. “This concludes the Handfasting ceremony, now go forward as One, My Friends ... and again its been an honor for this camp that I hope you call it home soon to be witness of this ceremony.”
I turned to my woman for the first time as my Free Companion, and stared straight into her eyes.
“Mine” was all I said. Cassandra smiles back at me. “Yours " she whispered.
So begins my life with a mate. Suddenly the wagon seems a bit smaller.
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