Chain Luck or Trophy Catch
These are the relevant references from the Books where Chain Luck or Trophy Catch is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Something of the nature of the institution of capture, and the Gorean's attitude toward it becomes clear when it is understood that one of a young tarnsman's first missions is often the capture of a slave for his personal quarters. When he brings home his captive, bound naked across the saddle of his tarn, he gives her over, rejoicing, to his sisters, to be bathed, perfumed and clothed in the brief slave livery of Gor.
I wondered if many of Treve's women were as beautiful as Vika. If they were it was surprising that tarnsmen from all the cities of Gor would not have descended on the place, as the saying goes, to try chain luck.
"Where do you think this golden sphere will be lying about?" asked Harold.
"I expect," I said, "it might be found here or there in the House of Saphrar, a merchant of Turia."
"That is interesting," said Harold, "for I had thought I might try chain luck in the Pleasure Gardens of a Turian merchant named Saphrar."
It is a favorite sport of tarnsmen to streak their tarn over an enemy city and, in such a fashion, capture an enemy girl from one of the city's high bridges, carrying her off, while the citizens of the city scream in fury, shaking their fists at the bold one. In moments her garments flutter down among the towers and she is his, bound on her back across the saddle before him, his prize. If he is a young tarnsman, and she is his first girl, he will take her back to his own city, and display her for his family and friends, and she will dance for him, and serve him, at the Collaring Feast. If he is a brutal tarnsman, he may take her rudely, should he wish, above the clouds, above her own city, before even his tarn has left its walls. If he should be even more brutal, but more subtly so, more to be feared by a woman, he will, in the long flight back to his city, caress her into submission, until she has no choice but to yield herself to him, wholly, as a surrendered slave girl. When he then unbinds her from the saddle rings, she, so devastatingly subdued, well knows herself his.
"We sell what we catch," said Sheera. "Sometimes chain luck is with Verna, sometimes it is not." She looked at me. "What am I bid for the two slaves?" she asked.
I pondered trying chain luck in Ar. I wondered how she might feel, the gag hood drawn over her head from behind, locked shut behind her neck, stripped, thrown on her back over the saddle of a tarn, bound, swept away, with a beating of wings, into total bondage.
I then, my hand in the girl's hair, drawing her behind me, swam slowly about the bow of the Tuka and to the side of the Tins. In moments, helped by crewmen, we had attained the deck of the Tina.
"Welcome, Jason," said Callimachus. He grinned. "While we have been hard at work, moving the Tuka, it seems you have been trying chain luck."
"I did my share of the work," I laughed. "It merely chanced that she fell across my path."
It might be noted, In passing, that when a woman has been embonded she is then understood as, and taken as, unmitigated, a slave. That is what she then is. For example, let us suppose that several women of a given city, say, A, are now slaves in a given city, say, B. Let us then further suppose that these women are recovered, so to speak, in a raid perhaps, or perhaps in war, perhaps in B's having fallen. The women will not now be freed. They will be kept as slaves, for that is what they now are. Did they not permit themselves to be captured? Well, then, let them remain in bondage! That is where they belong, and should be! And furthermore, given the irritations and embarrassments involved, they are likely to be considered the lowest of slaves, and treated with great severity and harshness. What a mistake it was that they had been permitted to be free, ever! Usually they are only too eager to be sold from their former city, and serve gratefully in a less hostile, less bitter, less rancorous environment, where they will be simply accepted as the slaves they now are. Similarly, if a fellow captures a woman and carries her out of the city, and enslaves her, he may return with her to the city, she is now his unquestioned slave.
Let us now return to our captured free woman before the "committee of peers." Let us suppose, as will usually be the case, that she is adjudged satisfactory, if only minimally so, as will be made clear to her, to wear a collar in her captor's city. The tarnsman then, and his companions, those who failed to draw the winning lot in the hunting game, are feasted, with their officers, at the table of the very ubar or administrator himself. This is a great honor. The feast is served, of course, by slave girls. One of them, a rather new slave girl, is, as you may suppose, permitted no clothing. She wears only her collar. At the height of the feast she is put through her paces, between the tables. She is then returned to her serving, but you may imagine the difference now in her serving, as she now comprehends what she had to do, and how she is now seen. She will also, later, be expected to dance. She hesitates? The whip cracks. She dances. And after this she is again returned to her serving, simply as might be another dancer, no more and no less. And again, as you may well imagine, there is again a difference, one anew, in her serving, for she has now been forced to dance, a nude slave, subject to the whip, before masters. She touches her collar. She cannot removed it. She now has some sense as to what it means.
After the feast the tarnsman takes her home in his bracelets. She takes her place at his slave ring. The chain is locked on her. She looks up at him. She is his. She serves.
Some free women seek the collar, having come to understand that only in it can they find their fulfillment and happiness, and, paradoxically, at last, strangely perhaps, their most profound freedom.
Sometimes, in a foreign city, a free woman will elude her guards and thrust her way into the precincts of a paga tavern, precincts within which free women are seldom, if ever, found. She picks out a man, perhaps one she has noted earlier, and perhaps even followed, and finds irresistible, and kneels before his low table, unwinding her veils and parting her robes. He considers her. Is she acceptable, is she of interest? Would he have any objection to owning her? Tears form in her eyes. Her eyes plead. She offers him her most precious gift, herself. Will he accept it? "Collar!" he calls to the proprietor. One is brought. He locks it on the neck of the supplicant and conducts her to one of the alcoves, often dragging her, bent over, by the hair, that she may have some understanding as to how her life has now changed. In the alcove then, within moments of the closing of the collar, her training, to her joy, has begun.
"It is a pleasure for a tarnsman to have his tarn seize in its talons a woman and carry her off, or he may prefer the use of a slave net or a capture loop. She later then, in a safe place, may be suitably secured, say, stripped and roped, and put across his saddle, or simply chained naked to a saddle ring. The ideal, of course, is to catch a free woman, for such is the most prestigious game. Surely that would be more prestigious than picking up someone like you or me, who are merely domestic animals, livestock. Some claim that that is the reason that free women are so cumbersomely and concealingly garbed, and that slaves are so lightly and revealingly clad. Supposedly the tarnsman might thus be lured to the pursuit of an identifiably delightful quarry, something obviously worth owning, as opposed to a free woman who might, when stripped, prove to be as ugly as a tharlarion."
Where men are concerned, females make the best bait beasts. The application of the "lure girl" is familiar in many locales. One of the few times a female slave is permitted to don the garments of a free woman without being slain is when she is used in such a role. Sometimes they are put on the bridges late at night, in the light of the moons, and when a marauding tarnsman makes his strike, the city's tarnsmen may take flight and close in upon him. A common stratagem is for a group of seeming maidens to be noted sporting outside a city's walls, perhaps tossing a ball about, or such, and laughing, and chatting, with one another. When foreign tarnsmen, intent on plying chain luck, descend to acquire this seemingly vulnerable trove of loveliness, they are surprised, for numerous guardsmen emerge suddenly from concealed pits and encircle them. Free women, incidentally, are almost never used in such a role. If one were she might be likely to be soon stripped and found in her own collar, that is, in her master's collar.
Beside me, Lord Akio, the shogun, and nearby officers, rose up ignoring what might be the compromise to their dignity, following my gaze.
"It is an assassin!" cried Lord Akio, snapping open his war fan to shield the shogun.
"No!" I said. "It is a tarnsman, out for sport, out for chain luck!"
The shogun, angrily, thrust aside the war fan.
"What is chain luck?" inquired Lord Akio.
"See!" cried an officer. "It is diving!"
The bird was not diving, not from the ambush of the sun, as it might strike the unsuspecting tabuk, commonly breaking its back, but, wings spread was engaged in a soaring descent.
It was approaching rapidly.
The tarn is very beautiful in flight. It is little wonder that men will risk their lives to join such fellows in the sky.
Many in the crowd, now, were aware of the disturbance, the impending arrival of an uninvited guest. I did not doubt but what the brave, displayed, fluttering banners of Lord Yamada had well proclaimed the venue of the afternoon's fearful proceedings.
"Summon Tyrtaios!" called the shogun. "He must be in the saddle within Ehn!"
Haruki, I thought, wildly, had not failed! The tiny message, fastened to the left foot of the vulo, held in its flight against its belly, half hidden in its plumage days ago had made its way to the cot in the holding of Temmu!
Suddenly the vast shadow of the mighty bird darkened the stands, and put in flickering, tumultuous shade the disquiet waters of the wide pool, for the tarnsman had pulled the bird up short and, wings beating, holding its place, the bird shuddered, and hovered but yards below the high board.
"Jump, slave!" screamed Tajima.
Surely he knew she was not a slave!
Crying out in confusion, and misery, Sumomo, obedient, bound and blindfolded, leaped from the board's edge into nothing, and plummeted downward, the skirt of her sheetlike garment torn high about her thighs, and was caught in the arms of Tajima, who threw her on her belly to the saddle apron and wheeled the tarn to the right and upward, and, as two glaives, hurled from the platform, passed him, one below, and one to the left, spun the bird about and streaked from the stadium.
"What is chain luck?" asked Lord Akio.
"That," I said, pointing to the sky, and the departing tarn, now scarcely visible, with its rider and prisoner.
"I do not understand," said Lord Akio.
"One of the first missions of a young tarnsman," I said, "is to capture a young woman from an enemy city, one with an alien Home Stone. She is taken home and collared. At his victory feast she dances, and serves him, he first, of all present. She then serves others, as his slave. That night, chained to her master's couch, she is taught her collar. She may thereafter be kept as a personal slave, or given away, or sold. It is up to her master."