story re-opens, Captain Varian Princess Alexena’s Chief Army Commander, has
brought the ruler of Barbaria some disturbing news. A small and distant state
is gathering its force to attack.
was a rumour. And this was that the State of Sythia is ruled by a woman. A
woman as beautiful and powerful as Princess Alexena herself ... if such a thing
could be conceived possible!
certainly a piece of news which arouses the ruler of Barbaria’s keen interest
expedition under Captain Varian was mounted and set sail with confidence. However,
Barbaria was led to a shattering defeat by Sythia ... a country which had the
good fortune and foresight to retain a stock of weapons from ‘Old Times’ (that
is before the nuclear holocaust). They have two Bofors guns, rifles and pistols
plus reasonable amounts of ammunition.
gives the Sythians complete control in any battle. It is rather like one side
having a machine gun at the Battle of Hastings!
Barbarian ships are sunk or captured. Captain Varian bravely falls on his
Venetia, ruler of Sythia. organises an expedition to conquer the hitherto all
Venetia settled herself comfortably on the velvet-covered couch which had been
set on the poop deck at the after end of her Flagship. She was supported by a
pile of silken cushions and, as she customarily did, wore a flimsy white gown
edged with purple. Her magnificent
figure was clearly outlined through the thin material, but Princess Venetia
cared nothing for that. As the supreme arbiter of the State of Sythia, she
could behave as she wished.
event, Sythia was female-orientated. All the high positions in the Court were
held by women. Men were of lower grade and had come to accept the fact. They
were involved in architecture, trading, in the Army and the Navy. Women did not
interfere in these matters, provided the State ran smoothly. If a commander was
thought to be at fault, he was at once degraded. Any slave, male or female was
available to ‘free men’ in Sythia. They were also, of course, available to the
women of the Court as well.
see that the social order in Sythia was slightly different from that in
Barbaria. Men in Barbaria had some part to play in Court and were, from time to
time, granted favours.
Court of Sythia was small; no more than 200 women. All were chosen personally
by Princess Venetia for their looks, grace, intelligence and, sometimes, their
youth. On rare occasions, Princess Venetia had been known to raise a captured
slave to the ranks of the Court if she had special merit. This is something
Princess Alexena would never have done.
‘free men’ of Sythia were well treated and lived comfortably. It was simply
that, in general, they were considered subordinate to women.
poop deck, awaiting to attend the Princess on the instant, were half a dozen or
so slaves. All female, all naked. Slaves were generally kept permanently naked
except that male slaves wore a tight leather genital restrainer. This was
locked on and prevented sexual intercourse between slaves. Even to attempt some
kind of physical contact would earn both slaves a whipping.
Venetia looked down into the hold where the naked galley slaves toiled. There
were ten oars on each side of the ship and two slaves shackled on to each oar,
one male and one female.
women had once been members of Princess Alexena’s Court and had ‘come along for
the ride’ ... and also so that they had an opportunity to whip galley-slaves as
and when they wished. The males were simply slaves of Barbaria but that did not
mean there would be any release for them. They were males and would remain as
slaves indefinitely. On the starboard oar was the blonde Lady Helen; alongside
a hulking brute of a slave whom she had doubtless whipped on the journey out.
On the port oar was the dark-haired Lady Livia, who had acted similarly. Now
they knew the reverse side of the coin. Their breasts heaved, their biceps
strained as they pulled on the oars. A steady rhythm was maintained; there was
no let up. A tapped drum indicated the required pace.
routine of a galley-slave was simple. Four hours on an oar, eight hours chained
in the hold; back to the oar for another four hours, then back to the hold for
a further eight hours. That was the twenty-four-hour cycle of their existence
... and always they were under the threat of the whip.
galley-slave Overseers were women Each had been specially selected for her
height and strength. Some were six feet tall; more when they stood in the
high-heeled calf-length boots they wore. They wore simple, short-length tunic
dresses of black leather. There were three galley-slave Overseers to each ship
and they did two four-hour stints in the twenty-four hours. Needless to say,
those stints were far less arduous than those of the sweating slaves of whom
they were in charge!
favourable winds, a square sail was raised which increased speed. But the
rowing never ceased. As Princess Venetia’s Flagship, ‘Argos’, was heading west,
the direction from which the prevailing wind came, the sail was rarely going to
be used on the journey to Barbaria. That meant the journey would take longer.
That was of no concern to the Princess. She had plenty of time. It did,
however, concern the galley-slaves.
Venetia snapped her fingers. A naked slave-girl quickly approached and fell to
her knees, head bowing.
wine,” she said. “A flagon. And two goblets.”
...” murmured the slave and hurried off.
will take wine, Tavia?” the Princess enquired of an attractive young woman who
reclined on a couch nearby. She had magnificent auburn hair and was clad in a
green gown which was as flimsy and attractive as that of the Princess’s.
you, Highness,” smiled the young woman. Only sixteen and daughter of one of the
Matrons of the Court, she had recently become one of Princess Venetia’s
favourites. It was flattering to be desired and pampered.
slave-girl returned with a gold-chased flagon and two gold goblets on a salver.
Her apple-rounded breasts bounced prettily as she moved. She set down the
salver and poured wine. Some six months before, she had lived happily and
innocently with her parents and sisters on a small island off what is known as
the Black Sea coast. A slave-gathering expedition had swept them up and, along
with many others, they were taken in chains to the Sythian capital of Calvi.
There, this girl, who was considered to be honoured to be a slave of the Royal
Court, was quickly trained into total submission and immaculate service.
Venetia and Tavia raised their goblets in a toast.
expect you’re looking forward to Barbaria, Highness,” the girl said.
much so,” replied the Princess. She smiled briefly and thinly. “It is going to be interesting to humble a
woman who, at this moment, is under the impression she rules the world.
smiled but more broadly. “Not only interesting, Highness, but exceedingly
eesss ...” said Princess Venetia in a musing voice. She quaffed deeply from her
goblet. Her eyes continued to roam over the two female slaves she had had
placed on the galley-bench nearest to her ... the two women who had once
rejoiced in the pride and power of being Lady Helen and Lady Livia of Barbaria.
If anything, thought Princess Venetia, the dark-haired one, Livia, looked more
distressed than her erstwhile companion. The big rolling-juddering breasts were
drenched with sweat; the mouth was sagging and breath rasping. The ship had
been in motion half an hour and already it was evident that Livia was beginning
not to pull her full weight. She was riding on the strength of the male slave
Princess’s goblet was re-filled and she watched as the galley-slave Overseer
began to stroll up and down the cat-walk which separated the two sets of oars.
She was aware that there would almost certainly be signs of flagging,
especially among the newcomers. Her four-foot long whip of tightly-plaited
rhino-hide was coiled - but ready. She came to Livia, saw her sagging shoulders
and evident lack of effort. The whip was uncoiled and trailed. Princess Venetia
experienced a little frissom of sadistic pleasure. It was satisfying to see any
indolent slave feel the whip but all the more so when she was an ex-lady of a
whip flashed up then cracked down across Livia’s sweating white back, the
knotted tip curling round and biting into the softness of Livia’s right breast.
A gasping shriek rent the mid-morning air. Livia’s mouth gaped wider and her
eyes seemed to bulge disbelievingly at the extremity of her pain. Momentarily,
Livia slumped over the oar, continuing to shriek and gasp.
... you fat cow!” bellowed the Overseer above the tumult of sound. “Pull your full weight ... or I’ll flog you
gripped Livia. Terror of more such awful pain. Groaning with the effort, she
began to haul on her oar once again, but now making a much greater effort. It
was the terror that gave her the strength to do so. For a few moments, the
Overseer contemplated the ugly red welt she had raised across the slave’s back.
Then she strolled back down the cat-walk. She reckoned that particular back
would carry many more such welts before the four-hour stint was over.
noticeable that every slave had begun to make an extra effort. They had
witnessed the fall of the whip and they knew it could happen to them.
many ships are on the expedition?” enquired Tavia. She was amused by the look
of anguished torment on the face of the slave who had just felt the whip. She
herself could not possibly imagine what it must be like to be whipped. Just too
awful to contemplate ... though nice to watch when it was done to others. She
herself liked using a flexible rod on her personal slaves whenever they
displeased her, but she did not actually whip them. It was unnecessary and too
disfiguring. It was, of course, a different matter when one was dealing with
galley-slaves. By the Gods, thought Tavia, it must have hurt when that whip-tip
bit into the tenderness of her breast. But she was only a slave. She deserved
to suffer if she did not make the maximum effort.
three,” answered Princess Venetia, “including my Flagship.”
does not seem very many,” said Tavia doubtfully.
our armaments, it will be quite adequate,” said the Princess, almost smugly.
knew about the miraculous ‘armaments’, but really did not quite understand
them. Just so long as they worked; that’s what mattered!
women continued to recline, feeling the wine coursing pleasantly through their
veins. It was cool under the awning on the poop deck. There was no awning over
the galley-slave deck, however; there the morning sun beat down relentlessly.
How perfectly hideous to be a slave, reflected Tavia, especially if one had
once held high rank. She believed there were quite a number in that category
chained to the oars at that very moment. Fate had been unkind to them ... but
it had been kind to her. That was the way of the world. Perhaps later, she
thought with a little pleasurable shiver, I shall have the honour of pleasing
the Princess in the cabin below the poop deck. Yes ... almost certainly that
Venetia was thinking ahead, wondering about the Princess of Barbaria. Alexena,
she understood her name was. That would have to be changed when she became a
slave. The name sounded too high and mighty. And this Alexena was going to be
made into the most abject slave it was possible to imagine. A thrilling idea!
How old will she be, wondered Venetia. Most probably about my age ... in her
early thirties. She will be proud and arrogant after her long reign. Probably
stubborn, too. So much the better. I hope she is beautiful, said Venetia to
herself. Very beautiful. For it gave one more pleasure to humble a beautiful
woman. Venetia gave herself up to a reverie of sadistically exciting thoughts.
diverted by the crack of the whip and a hoarse scream from the galley-deck below.
Livia had just felt the searing bite of rhino-hide again and, almost
immediately afterwards, the blonde ex-Lady Helen felt it too. She squealed like
a pig at slaughter.
don’t seem to understand what slavery means,” bellowed the Overseer. “It means, first and foremost, OBEDIENCE!
When I tell you to pull your full weight, you PULL it! You pull it though you
think you’ve got no more strength in you. You’ll pull it because you’ll find
that strength. So ... pull ... PULL!”
the whip cracked down again on the command of ‘pull’. Once more across Livia’s
back, once more across Helen’s. Their shrieks were terrible but, as the
Overseer had predicted, the awful pain enabled them to find that extra
strength. They had been on the oar for little over an hour and, like all the
other newcomers to such arduous slavery, felt close to exhaustion.
they must go on ... and on ... and on ... and on ...
muscle burning like fire with fatigue ...
... sobbing ... breath rasping ...
drenched with sweat it looked as if they had just been dragged up out of the
always ... on ... on ... on ...on ...on.
Overseer seated herself at the end of the cat-walk, crossing long bare thighs.
It would be good for those nearer the bows to see the striped flesh of those
two just under the poop deck. She liked having new galley-slaves under her
control. It amused her when they sobbed and sobbed that they could go no
longer. They could not possibly. No ... no ... no ... they just COULDN’T! But
she made them.
if and when they fell senseless over their oar, she had a means of dealing with
that too. A harness would be fastened on to the unconscious, exhausted slave
and she would be attached to a hook on the end of a kind of crane device projecting
over the side of the ship. Then she would be lowered into the sea. Naturally,
when in the water, she quickly restored. Then she would be dunked up and down
for a period of something like ten minutes. Half a minute under the water and
half a minute out of it. Most refreshing! Most conducive to recovery!
that was not the end of it.
the dripping wet slave was hauled back on deck, a penalty had to be exacted for
this interlude in her back-breaking efforts. She was fastened face down over
the wooden seat on which she rowed and a rod was applied to her buttocks. Ten
stimulating strokes! Then it was back to the oar again. And need it be said it
was most uncomfortable to have to sit on a newly-striped pair of buttocks.
it must be remarked on that the reviving qualities of this kind of treatment
were really quite amazing. The slave was soon pulling her weight again and
seeming not to stint herself.
Overseer’s experience, in the early stints of a slave’s galley-experience, a
dozen or more slaves would get this treatment in any four-hour session. Then,
as they hardened up, got fitter and more experienced, the number of duckings
the whip was still frequently put to use.
Overseer had little doubt that the two unfit, over-weight slaves who had
already felt rhino-hide would soon be over the side.