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The Pleasure-Slaves of Timoria

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My dearest Anaraxos,

My most sincere apologies for having been out of communication for so long. My custom took me on a lengthy sojourn to the country of Timoria — a place, you may imagine, I was quite loath to leave. Everything you have heard about the training-up of pleasure-slaves in Timoria is true; and, what’s more, there are quite a few things you have very likely not heard.

Let me begin my story at the inn known as the Five-Tailed Lash, in Timoria’s capitol city of Mastigio. The Lash enjoys a thriving custom among merchants, both local and faraway. To cater to such patrons, it boasts a heavily guarded warehouse in which inanimate merchandise may be safely stored, regardless of size, value, or fragility. Too, it boasts a barracks for the housing of slaves, whether they be employed by their traveling masters or mere merchandise in transit.

I had arrived at the Lash after a journey that, while unremarkable in terms of danger and hardship, was nonetheless long and tiring. The inn’s warehouse and stable slaves aided my own three in unloading my wagons and securing my goods in the warehouse. I informed their overseer, a hard-faced man with two staves slung over his back, that my three men would require pallets in the barracks; and that while the elder two posed little risk of escape, he would do well to keep an eye on sullen little Doros, and had my leave to discipline him as he saw fit. The gold talent which accompanied my words was all to good effect; he ordered my men to the barracks hence, and I did not worry that Doros would be gone by morning.

I have never had such worries of my body-slave Efstathios, who as you know was my father’s manhood gift to me. After taking my evening meal in the Lash’s dining-hall, I repaired to its bathing-hall, where the bath-slaves divested me of my clothing and folded it for the laundry-slaves. I then spied Efstathios by one of that large chamber’s numerous sunken tubs, a thick towel draped over his arm and a table full of my toilette accoutrements by his side. The hot soak washed away most of my pains from the road, and Efstathios then tended to me with scrub-sponges and scented oils as excellently as is his wont.

“My lord,” he murmured when my toilette was nearly complete. “Would you wish the attentions of a pleasure-companion this evening?”

“A pleasure-companion,” I repeated, my blood stirring. I had known, of course, that I was traveling to the very heart of pleasure-slavery on the continent, but between the fatigue of the journey and the list of things I needed to accomplish while in Mastigio, I had quite put that out of my mind.

“Yes, my lord. The slave-barracks has a more luxurious extension that houses at least two dozen young men and women trained in the amatory arts. It is not as broad a selection as one would find at court, I am told, or at the brothels. But it is considered a respectable collection of flesh, my lord, and each of the inn’s sleeping-chambers is fitted a device for their restraint and stocked with instruments for, if one wishes, their chastisement.”

My cock had risen against my thigh, as if it itself were listening to Efstathios’s account. My fatigue seemed suddenly washed away with the bath-water.

“Yes, Efstathios, I do believe I shall indulge myself in this wise tonight. Speak to the innkeeper; you know my tastes well enough by now.”

“Of course, my lord,” Efstathios assured me, holding out the towel as I stepped up out of the sunken bath.

Twenty minutes later I was settling myself into my chamber. There was a pallet on the floor by my bed for Efstathios, but he had of a purpose made himself scarce for the interim. More interestingly, in the opposite corner was a padded bench of sorts, with a high rounded middle and spots for the knees to rest, as well as straps for the securing of wrists and ankles. Hard by this furnishing was a tall, slender cabinet, which when opened displayed a generous range of chastising implements: whips, straps, belts, wooden paddles, a cane, a cluster of birch twigs, and a riding crop. There were also clamps, plugs, artificial phalli, chastity apparatuses, feathers, fine-tipped brushes, and sundry small items of which I did not take full inventory; as well as a large, full vial of scented oil.

The knock upon the door came neither too soon nor at too much of a delay. In the hallway stood my diversion for the evening, her hands fettered before her and the chain to the fetters held by a guard with a whip tucked into in his belt. She was perhaps seventeen years of age and as lush of body as I had expected, and very little of those riches were hidden by the diaphanous cloak worn as a sop to modesty for the walk between the pleasure-slaves’ quarters and my own. The skin I could see was pearly-pale, her eyes were a dark violet, and her ink-black curls tumbled down to her waist. Her features were somewhat on the thick side, her expression just short of sullen, but her full, pillowy lips redeemed her in this. Not that it would have been of great consequence otherwise, as she would be face-down for most of the evening.

The guard unlocked and removed her fetters, whereupon she immediately commenced to rub at her wrists with pursed mouth. “You’ve worn those for all of ten minutes, Tephyra, you captious slut,” the guard said cuttingly. “I would not be so insolent, were I you.” She did not reply.

“Many thanks for bringing her,” I said to him, holding out a gold talent.

His narrow eyes brightened, and it disappeared into his pocket immediately. “My lord,” he said, bowing deeply, waiting only to see me pull the wench into the room and hear the throw of the bolt before he departed.

“So,” I said sternly, arms folded across my chest. “It seems you are prone to complaining and surliness, when it is your lot in life to serve with sweetness and acquiescence.”

“I do what I am told, my lord,” the girl Tephyra said, lowering her eyes to the floor as a modest maiden would, but there was a grudging note in her voice. I did not know if it were genuine, or if she had been trained to excite in her patrons the desire to put her in her place. Either way, that in addition to her voluptuous and barely concealed body had my cock at full mast.

“Then undress, and settle yourself on that bench,” I ordered.

Her ripe lower lip protruding well beyond the upper one, she obeyed. I throbbed savagely to the sight of her breasts, fully ripe and round but yet firm, set with dainty coral nipples. Her entire body had been denuded of hair, as is the custom in the land of Timoria. She turned from me to arrange herself on the bench.

As I have said already, Anaraxos, Efstathios knows my tastes very well, and none better than my taste in bottoms. Female bottoms, especially. My preferred conformation is broad, high-set, and rounded to the point of jutting. I care for neither excessive muscularity nor flabbiness; ideally, the cheeks are firm, but with enough give to the flesh that it quivers visibly under even light chastisement, quite apart from any wriggling the penitent might do. Tephyra met this standard more than admirably: the pearlescent moons of her buttocks flared outward noticeably even while she remained on her feet, and the cleft between them was deep and pronounced. Once she lay upon the bench, the rise of its middle beneath her belly pushed her bottom up and out in a manner that made it look positively insolent — daring her purchaser to punish it with paddle, strap, whip, or just the flat of his hand.

I stooped to perform the menial tasks of fastening her wrists and ankles to the bench, then stood again to survey the landscape that would entertain and pleasure me tonight. The prime striking-flesh with which Tephyra presented me included the backs and insides of her thighs, which were smooth with youth and health, yet, again, with that measure of softness to them that promised further visual delights for her chastiser. I passed my eager hands thoroughly over all this skin, squeezing, pinching, even tickling the creases between buttocks and thighs a bit here and there to make her squirm, affording me a foretaste of how her ripe flesh would agitate itself under the lash.

Her cunt escaped neither my perusal nor my palpations. Its outer lips were full and petulant, its inner ones dainty and crimson — and already beginning to glisten, I noticed, even before I traced them lightly with my finger. They twitched and fluttered like the damp wings of a newly emerged butterfly, and the girl squirmed even more prettily at the sensation. Again, we have all heard the tales that Timoria trains up its slaves to take pleasure in their punishments and in the anticipation thereof; but I did wonder, Anaraxos, whether its trainers gravitated toward the sorts of youths and maidens who evinced a bent for being so corrected.

“Hmmm,” I said with feigned thoughtfulness. “What shall I use on that naughty behind this evening — Tephyra, is it? The broad strap, which will make a flaming hearth of it but leave no permanent marks? Or, perhaps, the birch?”

The latter threat was an empty one. I had paid the rate for a “blushing,” which is to say, the turning of a slave’s bottom or other parts fiery red without breaking the skin. A “striping,” which implied the infliction of welts, would have cost considerably more. Judging by the smooth flawlessness of Tephyra’s arse-flesh, she was hired out strictly for blushings. As she aged, or if a customer spotted her and offered the inn an exorbitant rate, she would begin to take stripings. She made no response to my musings, which may have been due to having heard many a customer threaten her with ministrations he was contractually forbidden to carry out.

I pretended to contemplate the matter some more, with much hemming and hawing; but finally I said, “Right; the strap it shall be. Your lovely bottom will be even lovelier in the color of a ripe red apple, and you wriggling with the pain of your chastisement.” Again, Tephyra made no reply.

Moving to the cabinet, I selected the second-most broad of the four leather straps within. It would, I estimated, cover a goodly portion of that ripe double moon with each blow. The inn’s slaves had kept it, as well as the other leather items, well-oiled, meaning the leather retained a suppleness that would permit it to cling to the contours of the flesh it stung.

After closing the cabinet door, I slapped the leather against my palm three or four times, with just enough force to make a most intimidating sound. “Yes, I believe this will do nicely.” Then I stood mutely behind her for a long, leisurely moment. I do not believe in warning penitents that the lash is about to fall; the anticipation of the blow makes the nerves keener, and the actual blow itself is felt more strongly by flesh that is not braced for it. Nonetheless, Tephyra attempted to tense her bottom for the stroke, tantalizing my cock to no end with the contractions of her buttock muscles, their inevitable relaxation when she could hold them no longer, and the repetition of the cycle.

I waited until she had released that tension for perhaps the fourth time before I laid the strap flat across the full, generous width of her arse. I heard the hitch of her breath, and her entire body jolted in its restraints. The very first bloom of the blushing appeared, a delicate, soft, almost virginal pinkness that contrasted pleasingly with the whiteness of the untouched flesh.

Raising the strap a second time and not waiting quite so long, I dealt her the next blow across the uppermost curves of her buttocks. Though they were of course not as arousingly contoured as the underside of her bottom, the leather yet clung to them attractively as it imparted its heat. This time the jerk of her reaction seemed less dispersed throughout her body, more concentrated in her hips. As the leather fell away, I admired the thin band of skin that had been kissed by both blows, rosier than the surrounding flesh that had taken only one stroke.

I dealt her the third immediately thereafter and maybe an inch below where I had aimed the second, stinging her where, for the main part, she’d already been stung. A stroke that lands on freshly sensitized skin provides more anguish than do two strokes in two different spots, in both quantity and quality. This time the strap elicited a soft oh from Tephyra, and now her reactive movements were concentrated almost entirely in her bottom. It was not quite dancing yet, but that would take no more than a few more strokes.

I rained another several down upon her defenseless and quivering arse, varying the tempo, the force, and the site of impact to keep her unprepared for what would come next. In this series of blows I began to focus on its plump undercurves, which any connoisseur of chastisement will tell you is the most sensitive region of the buttocks and especially so for a girl. Indeed, Tephyra now began to sing: a stream of sobs, moans, and wails that blended harmoniously into one another, like the various notes of a melody. The strap molded itself to her ripe roundness again and again like a wicked fondling hand. Under its ungentle touch her bottom had begun to dance in earnest, squirming and bucking and juddering. No whiteness remained to it; all of it was rosy, at least, with swathes and splotches of the deep, intimate red of lips that have been thoroughly kissed and bitten, or of swollen inner cunt-flesh.

Ten to twelve strokes of such an implement is the usual prescription for chastening an impudent backside, if one does not wish to put the penitent out of commission for the following day and night. However, Tephyra was a pleasure-slave of Timoria, trained not only to bear the lash but to take pleasure in it, and the droplet of cunt-juice I spied wending its way down one unmarked inner thigh bore testament to this. Therefore, I dealt her two final blows per buttock: a loud, dramatic crack where the curve bloomed outward most luxuriantly, and a harsher, searing blow to the underside that once again sent the leather curling around those curves in a cruel mockery of a caress.

“My, how you caterwaul!” I twitted her as I stepped back a few paces, having left enough heat in her arse that it continued to twist and weave as if I had not stopped lashing it. “And with your thighs still utterly unblushed.” But, rather than resume the beating, I merely stood rapt. The jiggling of her flesh, hips and buttocks and thighs, demonstrated a most wonderful resilience and hinted at the pleasures she would afford her corrector when he was sunk deep within her. Indeed, my cock had been savagely throbbing, my cods swelling with their load, from the moment her arse had begun to sway.

I tormented myself with the vision of her squirming, blazing bottom-globes until I could no longer contain my lust, whereupon I pulled up my chiton, took my prick in hand, and lodged the head of it between her cunt-lips. Ah!, but her wet cleft was scalding-hot, as hot as her buttocks, against the sensitive skin of my cockhead. Gripping her hips to steady her, I pushed in, drawing a gasp and what seemed a wriggle of pure delight, until Tephyra sheathed me to the balls. Though she was no virgin, she was pleasingly tight, and that tightness accentuated by her bent-over position.

Leisurely, I began to thrust into her, looking down as I did so, viewing the juncture of our bodies through the cleft of her well-burnished backside. As my abdomen buffeted it, I could feel its heat on my own skin, and even that soft impact plus the scratch of my pubic hair irritated the reddened flesh and drew little moans of complaint from her. Slyly, I eased my hand down to the base of one buttock and gave it a sharp pinch, which made Tephyra cry out and writhe so hard that had she not been bound down she would have unloosed me. Instead, her silklike inner flesh twisted over and around my cock, the head in particular, with a most delicious sensation.

“Ah, so you like to be lashed and then fucked,” I hissed as I withdrew once again from her cunt, my cock gleaming with its wetness, and plunged myself back in to the hilt.

“Oh — oh, yes, my lord,” she groaned. A whore’s oft-told lie, or the truth? I could not be sure, not in Timoria.

“Were you trained up so, to grow wet and swollen at the crack of the strap or whip?” I grunted.

“Ah — ah, yes, my lord, I was trained so at the Talaiporion,” she gasped, her voluptuous arse pushing against my loins each time I drove into her, the flesh bulging most enticingly as my weight pressed against it.

“The Talaiporion,” I repeated so as to fix the word in my head, a trick that has been of immense use to me in business for years. “I should like to see this Talaiporion, if it is full of pleasure-slaves like you who blush so prettily under the lash and fuck so sweetly afterward.” She made no reply, simply moaned and continued to work her hips beneath me and squeeze her cunt around me.

Of a mind to reward her, I slipped my hand beneath her and, just above where my piston pumped in and out of her dripping hole, I found that jutting little nub of pleasure and began to press and rub at it. She squealed in earnest, and her writhings and contractions went from steady and practiced to erratic and wild. It was not long afterward that I uttered a most lascivious groan and began to spurt into her, my thrusts slowing down until I was standing still. Then I pulled out and enjoyed the final tableau: my seed running in heavily rivulets from her swollen-lipped nether mouth, framed by generous buttocks that had been lashed to wriggling, crimson perfection.

Shortly thereafter I freed her from her bonds and bid her sit on my bare lap while we took turns sipping wine from one glass. I could not achieve a cockstand again right away, but nonetheless I enjoyed the feel of the hot, silken bulb of her arse sliding onto and against my hairy thighs. “My, how I’ve warmed your bottom,” I chuckled. “Perhaps this… Talaiporion should offer the services of its pleasure-slaves as bed-warmers in the most literal sense, once their arses have been turned to braziers.” She giggled at the joke, and I did not mind very much that it was polite, demure laughter.

After forty-five minutes’ rest, my cock had begun to stir again, imperiously pressing its head against her buttocks, in which the heat still lingered. I will not elaborate unduly on my second round with Tephyra, Anaraxos; suffice it to say that I bound her anew to the bench, picked up the strap, and blushed her inner thighs to as ripe a shade of red as I had her bottom. Then I removed her to the bed, and as I fucked her I ordered her to embrace me with her legs, such that my hips could feel the heat with which I had just infused her. Though the punishment of this far more sensitive region had made her eyes blur with tears, which continued to flow, she yet wriggled expertly beneath me and clenched me tightly within. Once I had spent within her, I pulled out and held her legs apart to appreciate, once more, the sight of well-fucked flesh surrounded by well-abused flesh.

While the Five-Tailed Lash boasts an excellent reputation for keeping its slaves under control, I make it a habit to never spend the night with any I do not myself own. Therefore, having slipped a few silver talents to Tephyra as a gratuity (as any fair and generous patron would do), I bid her return to her quarters, tasking her only with having Efstathios sent back to my chamber. She favored me with a genuine smile, then, for she had likely not imagined that her time would be her own for the remainder of the night. Shortly after she had donned her cloak and departed, I fell fast asleep, quite sated in every sense of the word.

I woke to the morning light streaming in as Efstathios opened the shutters. Squinting, my forearm over my eyes, I said, “Efstathios, have you ever heard of the ‘Talaiporion’?”

“The Place of Suffering?” he repeated, for that is its literal meaning. “Not a specific one, my lord, I do not think.”

“Well, the wench that was sent to me last night — and she was most satisfying; you communicated my needs to the innkeeper perfectly — said it is the place where pleasure-slaves are trained up.”

“Ah.” He nodded.

“I wish to see this Talaiporion for myself, Efstathios. As I imagine have already ingratiated yourself with the staff here, I bid you make discreet inquiries as to whether this place is open, if not to the public, then at least to visitors willing to pay for the privilege.”

“Of course, my lord,” Efstathios murmured as he laid out my shaving accoutrements.

As soon as he had turned me out for a day of traveling about the city, I sought out my three slaves at the warehouse. Doros, not at all to my surprise, was walking rather stiffly, and I surmised that the hard-faced guard had found good cause to discipline him. “See that your assuredly well-deserved aches and pains do not cause you to drop any of my goods,” I said sternly to him.

“My lord,” he said curtly, just barely within the bounds of deference. I would have to slip the guard another gold talent, I thought.

In any event, the day that followed was, not unexpectedly, nowhere near as pleasurable as the night that preceded it. My men packed the goods I would need into my wagon, and with them in tow I proceeded to call upon a goodly number of patrons and prospects. My word!, it was a long, warm, and tiring day, though I could not fault the hospitality of any of the men with whom I did business, nor the pleasantness of their courtyards. At long last I returned to the Five-Tailed Lash, collected the day’s correspondences from the clerical slave, ate my dinner while poring over them, and retired to the baths. When Efstathios inquired whether I would like Tephyra or another pleasure-slave brought to my chamber, I declined; and within the hour I was fast asleep in my bed.

The next day proceeded much like the first, except that while Efstathios was scrubbing me down in the evening, he murmured discreetly to me, “My lord, I have news on the matter of the Talaiporion.”

The very word sparked a delicious renewed energy in me, most notably in my cock, which gave an attentive twitch. “I pray you continue, Efstathios.”

“It is a well-known institution in Mastigio, my lord, devoted to the training-up of pleasure-slaves. It is not a brothel, strictly speaking, although in the city’s brothels one may find many who were trained there. However, its Masters are not averse to providing the nobility of Mastigio, or the Elders who govern the city and the nation, with guided tours of the premises. If desired, the tour can include the services of a slave in training. There is, of course, a fee…”

“Of course,” I agreed good-naturedly; “and I had expected to pay it.” I asked of him the figure, which he provided. It was dear, of course, more than I would have expected to pay at the most luxurious of brothels; but it was certainly not ruinous. “What hour of the day is ideal for such a tour?”

“The Talaiporion goes to bed after one or two in the morning, my lord, and does not rise until nine or ten. Outside of that time, the hour of the visit would be at your pleasure.”

“After I have dined tomorrow evening, then,” I decided. “While I am at my business tomorrow, you will make the arrangements with the Masters of the Talaiporion, to include a sampling of the merchandise after I have observed the training. I shall give you the sum in the morning before I have departed.”

“Consider it done, my lord,” Efstathios said reassuringly.

Though the prospect of this tour had roused me, I did not order a wench sent to my chamber afterward. I suspected that my dalliance with Tephyra had drained me of all my virile energies, thus sending me alone to bed the next night at a most uncivilized early hour. If my need proved too great, I would simply take myself in hand. Fortunately, that was unnecessary; I merely fell asleep, and when I woke in the morning I was attended by an anticipatory energy that saw me through the day quite well.

I was eating the last bites of my evening meal in the Lash’s dining-hall when Efstathios appeared at my side with a man I did not know. Not quite middle-aged but no longer young, he wore neither the white robes of an Elder nor the markedly expensive chiton and jewelry of a noble. His long robe was black, as was the cord that belted it. His only adornment was an iron pendant that, upon closer inspection, proved to be in the shape of a flail. His features were sharp and clean-shaven, his expression cold.

“My lord,” Efstathios said, “this is Afstiros, one of the High Masters of the Talaiporion.”

“Afstiros,” I said affably, rising to clasp arms with him.

He reciprocated the gesture, but his mien did not change. “A fine evening to you, good sir,” he said. “My litter awaits outside.”

It was curtained, which I had expected, and borne by half a dozen burly slaves who wore only black loincloths and hobnailed sandals. The curtains, as it transpired, were not only for my privacy but for that of his establishment: Afstiros forbade me to peer out them before we had arrived at our destination.

“While the existence of the Talaiporion is no secret,” he explained once we were en route, “we do not encourage the curious to seek the building itself on their own. As you might imagine, too many would like to get in, even more than would like to get out. Given the primacy of our business to the fortunes of Timoria, the Elders have made sure we are well-equipped to fend off the former and keep in the latter. However, a modicum of secrecy aids us in these goals.”

“Quite understandable,” I said. I wondered that the place was not simply concealed with magic; could one of Timoria’s greatly feared war-wizards, whose cleverness had helped their nation acquire such a plenitude of slaves, not have cast a spell of obscurement over the Talaiporion? Of course, asking this of Afstiros would be impolitic, to say the least, as it could have been interpreted as prying for military intelligence.

Our journey took us a good forty minutes; or, should I say, the path taken by the litter-bearers required a good forty minutes. No doubt they were taking the most circuitous route possible, if not retreading the same steps any number of times, to keep me uncertain even in which direction the Talaiporion lay from the Five-Tailed Lash. The curtains were heavy enough that not only could I see nothing through them, I could not scent any changes on the air, whether sweet or foul.

The delay would have been less irksome had my traveling companion been more amiable. Afstiros was, I imagined, very well suited to the training-up of slaves, but somewhat less to the sociable conveyance of patrons. I will say in his defense that he had at least thought to have watered wine brought along for the journey, and he obliged my questions as pertained to the slaves themselves.

“We train several hundred at one time,” he said. “Fortune, and the gods, have smiled upon Timoria, permitting us to harvest the comeliest flesh from our colonies and from traders who harvest it in lands we have not yet conquered. We train up males and females both, along with a smattering of others, and nearly all nations are represented among them.”

“Is it true that all Timorian pleasure-slaves learn to crave the lash?” I asked.

Afstiros gave me a cold smile. “They all learn to bear the lash, whether they come to crave it or not. However, we are well-versed in sensing when a slave comes to us with a taste for being roughly used, which we hone to keenness; and we are also experienced in shaping the appetites of other slaves toward such use. Some, of course, will never do more than tolerate a beating, but a surprising number can be taught to find pleasure in it.” His smile broadened, became sly without ever losing its essential iciness. “You will see tonight how this is done.”

Eventually, the litter slowed, then stopped. One of the bearers threw back the curtain, and in rushed the scents of a lushly planted courtyard on a warm summer evening: orange, lemon, jasmine, rose. Afstiros exited the litter first, and he offered me his hand, which I took as I myself stepped down. The sun having sunk and the high courtyard wall penning us in, I could not deduce where in Mastigio I might be.

“This is the entrance for patrons,” Afstiros said as the slaves bore the litter away. He gestured to the deeply recessed doorway before us, its shelter extended considerably by a portico. At this time of evening, the sconces on either side of the doors were lit. As my eyes adjusted to their light I saw that the doors were oaken, but covered by grilles whose iron was cleverly wrought into scenes of debauchery and rough use. This set my cock stirring under my chiton, not only because the scenes were as richly detailed as can be rendered in iron outlines, but at the shamelessness of such artistry upon outer doors of a building, which I had never seen at even the most notorious of brothels. It was as eloquent a promise as could be made without words that I would soon be enjoying the most exquisite pleasures within.

A guard stood on either side of the portico. These men were as burly as the litter-bearers, but they wore black tabards cut for summer, and on the breast of each a flail had been emblazoned in silver thread. “Master,” one of them said to Afstiros, ducking his head, as the other guard unlocked the doors. Afstiros barely acknowledged them as he passed through the doorway, I following.

The doors shut heavily behind us, and we began to traverse a long marble corridor lit with sconces, our echoing footfalls the only sounds for a while. At length, we turned a corner. Shortly thereafter, my ears began to sense distant noises floating toward us, amplified by the marble. We continued to walk, and the sounds resolved themselves into wails and moans, orders and rebukes, an odd sort of hum, all of it punctuated with the …thwack…thwack…thwack that can be mistaken for nothing other than implements of chastisement falling upon bare flesh.

“What you hear,” Afstiros said, “are the goings-on in the Main Training Hall. From what your manservant told me, I believe that is where your interests would primarily lie.”

“That is most likely the case,” I said with a hint of huskiness as blood surged into my cock.

“It is the final stop of this tour; we will arrive there after we have visited the lesser Training Halls. You may, of course, stop and observe in any or all them. You have paid the fee for the services of one slave tonight, and you may select that slave from any of our Halls.”

The first chamber we turned off the corridor to enter was what Afstiros called the Hall of Accommodation. Like all the other lesser Training Halls, it was fairly large, perhaps a bit smaller than the bathing-hall at the Five-Tailed Lash. Half a dozen guards with swords were stationed along its walls. As we entered, we were greeted by the enticing sight of perhaps two dozen bare bottoms in varying colors and shapes, thrust into the air by slaves who knelt on floor-mats with their foreheads pressed down against the weave thereof. They were unbound, I saw, presumably to let them keep their balance more easily. Each and every backside I could see was, at that moment, being penetrated to various depths by artificial phalli or plugs made of wood, glass, or bone.

Six black-robed Masters circulated throughout the chamber. As the slaves’ arses were at the level of these men’s waists, it was easy for them to reach out and adjust the invading objects as they saw fit. These adjustments consisted largely of working the phallus or plug deeper into a slave an inch or two at a time, or withdrawing it slowly only to plunge it back in. Once or twice, a Master uncorked the oil-flask that hung from his belt to further lubricate the penetrating implement before he adjusted how deeply the slave was spitted upon it.

“Here,” Afstiros said, “is where we teach slaves to accommodate cocks. As the inner muscles must relax for this purpose, and as injuring the slaves internally would render them useless to us, this is one of our gentler Training Halls.”

Indeed, though I could still perceive the distant cries and thuds of the Main Training Hall if I strained my ears, this chamber was fairly hushed. One or two Masters murmured words of encouragement to their slaves while stroking their hair; the rest were silent. Otherwise, the only sounds in this Hall were gasps and ragged breaths, and the oleaginous slide of oiled foreign objects into and out of bottoms. Some of the slaves, I noticed, were fully erect, no doubt due to the caress of phallus or plug against the inner gland. The Masters took no notice of these cockstands, as the slaves’ pleasure was beside the point of this training or, perhaps, undesirable.

“Are the cunts of slaves similarly trained?” I asked, unable to keep a note of excitement from my voice. Though I would not have done it, obviously, I would have liked to stroke myself through my chiton then and there.

“Some, yes. But those trainings are less frequent. It is more likely that the slave will have come to us used in the front rather than in the rear, if you take my meaning, and used there more often. In addition, those with intact maidenheads are highly valued, reserved for patrons willing to pay dearly for the privilege of breaking them.” Afstiros raised his head. “If you are ready to move along, sir?”

The next chamber was the somewhat smaller Hall of Fellation, where mouths rather than arses were trained in the arts of reception. The dozen Masters here had hiked up their robes, securing them with their belt-cords, and each was feeding his cock to a slave who knelt naked on the floor-mats, head lifted, hands fettered at the small of the back. The air was thick and lewd with the smell of seed and with sucking noises, the latter making a backdrop to the terse commands of the Masters as they pulled their slaves this way or that by the hair, ears, or shoulders. Another complement of half a dozen armed guards looked upon these proceedings impassively.

One of the boys seemed to have the hang of it already, letting his Master piston in and out of his throat without much difficulty or distress, or interest for that matter. By contrast, one of the girls was coughing and choking, tears and mucus running down her face. When her Master pulled his cock out of her mouth, she whined something in her mother tongue. He cuffed her across the side of her head, then said, “Begin again.” Sobbing, she circled her hand around the base of his cock and dutifully tried once more to work it down her throat. The others seemed to be in various intermediate stages of this training.

“My apologies for that girl, good sir,” Afstiros said. “She came to us only last night, and before captivity she spent her entire life in a temple full of consecrated virgins.”

“Did she?” I asked, my interest piqued. “Not merely a virgin, but a sacred virgin? I imagine her pristine little snatch will fetch you a very high price.” Fighting the urge to rub myself again, I added, “Perhaps you should offer to have her stretched out and bound on an altar for the winning bidder’s delectation.”

He chuckled politely. “We have made such arrangements before with the more … ostentatious, shall we say, of the city brothels. However, until such time, she must learn to earn her keep, and therefore her mouth and arse are being trained. Many patrons will pay well to be sucked off by, or to fuck the bottom of, an unbreached virgin. We are therefore intent on investing the necessary time and effort in her training, and we expect to collect a tidy sum for her when she is finally brothel-ready.”

On we moved to the Hall of Mistresses. “Yes, the Hall of Mistresses,” Afstiros said in reaction to my look of surprise. “While all our patrons to date have been men, as are the majority of brothel visitors, the brothels also hire out pleasure-slaves to Mastigian noblewomen. Sometimes it is for their cocks. Very infrequently, for their cunts or arses. Most often, it is for their mouths. And a slave-girl, or a slave who appears to be a girl, may enter and leave the private rooms of a chaste noble maiden or matron and cause no damage to her reputation.”

The Mistresses here were similarly clad in black robes. Each had planted herself on a couch that would have sat two side by side, and her knees drawn up so that her bare heels rested on the outer edges of the seat-cushions. The slaves here knelt before these couches, bound just like those in the Hall of Fellation. Each slave’s mouth was pressed to a Mistress’s cunt, and as I stood behind them I could see from the workings of their jaws that they labored in earnest to gratify their Mistresses.

As had the Masters in the previous Hall, the Mistresses continually issued stern orders to “ply your tongue higher” or “suck harder” while they manipulated their charges by hair or head or shoulders. Severe though they were in garb and voice, their faces were flushed prettily, their eyes dilated enticingly. The breasts of some had fallen out of the gaps in their hiked-up robes, the nipples rosy or dark, and stiff. The entire chamber was filled with the muted wet sounds of tongues against membranes, as well as the soft, warm scent of cunt-musk.

The Hall of Sensations was next. Here, Afstiros explained, slaves were blindfolded and acclimated to various and sundry sensual assaults upon their bodies that could but did not necessarily involve pain. I was spellbound by the ordeal of a girl who had been spread-eagled as widely and bound as tightly as possible upon a table, her feet elevated upon a crossbar. As three Masters titillated various parts of her helpless and maximally exposed body with feathers and brushes, she shrieked with laughter and wriggled with surprising strength, begging them fruitlessly to stop. Every so often, one would apply a fine-pointed brush to her cunt, bringing her to the very threshold of ecstasy, but recommencing to tickle her elsewhere before she could cross it. With each repetition of this teasing, her cries and struggles became wilder and more desperate; and before I exited this Hall with Afstiros I would see tears leaking out from under her blindfold.

Bound upon an X-shaped table was a youth upon whom a Master dripped long, even lines of hot wax from a lit candle. The boy breathed stentoriously through his clenched teeth, especially when wax was dripped onto his flaccid cock, but he had evidently been taught to bear the painful sensation without verbal complaint. On a similar table next to his, a girl was being tormented with chunks of ice. She could not suppress a loud, wavering groan after ten seconds of the ice being applied to her nipples; her Master yanked on her unbound hair to correct this impropriety, upon which she subsided into whimpers. Elsewhere in the chamber, slaves were tightly wrapped in long strips of wet linen to prevent them from moving at all; had handle-held metal pinwheels with sharp pins rolled over their skin; strove not to squirm with irritation from the chunks of peeled ginger that had been inserted into their bottoms; or suffered half a dozen hands fondling, pinching, squeezing, and otherwise manipulating their flesh while they were bidden to remain still and silent in their bonds (and were slapped or pinched for each failure to do so).

“We are about to emerge into the Main Training Hall,” said. My cock had been at full attention for a while now, at the sight of so much delicious naked flesh being bound so helplessly, tormented so sternly, and used so vigorously. But, oh, Anaraxos, I could not have imagined the sights that awaited me at the end of this journey!

I knew the Talaiporion must be vast, to be housing several hundred slaves at any given time. But I had not reckoned that the Main Training Hall would dwarf the corridor which spilled into it, not to mention all the preceding chambers, as a centuries-old tree dwarfs a sapling. It was a massive, echoing space, long and wide, its ceiling far above us, its only windows long slits just beneath that ceiling, and columns holding it up throughout. The heat having risen up to that ceiling, the air on its floor was cool and pleasant.

And, everywhere on that floor, pleasure-slaves were being trained up. Everywhere I turned, my eyes were greeted by naked flesh, and more often than not the flesh was that of bottoms. Bare bottoms of every color, size, shape, and degree of resilience; gyrating with unintended lewdness under the whip, the strap, the twigs, the cane, the paddle, the flat of a hand. Slaves strapped down into pieces of furniture such as that in my chamber at the Lash, slaves laid like naughty children over the black-clad knees of their Masters, slaves buckled onto upstanding wooden frames, slaves suspended from complexly woven ropes. The paler arses I could see had already been blushed to, at the very lightest, an assertive shade of rose; and all these behinds squirmed and weaved in rhythm with the ceaseless fall of the lash upon them and in tune with the chorus of plaintive cries that filled the air.

I stared, hypnotized, for a long while. At first I could not even begin to decide where to fix my eyes, Anaraxos, such was the feast laid out before them. Initially, though, I was much taken with the row of slaves who knelt on platforms in which were embedded upstanding phalli. These false cocks were sunk deep into their cunts, and upon them they fucked themselves while their Masters set their buttocks ablaze with wooden paddles. Though their wrists and ankles were secured to the platforms, they yet had a great deal of latitude within their chains in which to wriggle and buck.

“They are ordered to make themselves spend, before which the paddling will not cease no matter how much they plead,” Afstiros told me. “These are slaves who have been in the Talaiporion for a while; therefore their bottoms are, shall we say, seasoned to a fair degree and capable of taking this level of punishment.”

Twice during the time I watched, a girl’s body seized up with pleasure, then began to tremble hard, as she wailed in a very different timbre from that of her sisters who had not yet attained their climaxes; after which she slumped in her chains. Her Master set down his paddle, rubbed an approving hand over her back, uttered a few words of praise, and undid her fetters before helping her up and off the platform. At his clap, a few other slaves, these clothed, appeared, and they led the girl out of the Hall.

I continued to look about, however. Soon my gaze fell solely upon the row of strapped-down slaves who thrust their rounded bottoms and wide hips into the air in the manner of those in the Hall of Accommodations, while their Masters blushed them with straps similar to that which I had used on Tephyra. One Master did not minister to any slave but stood apart from the rest, near a sort of table whose surface was set with tiny levers.

“May I approach them more closely?” I asked Afstiros. He gave me a curt nod, and approach them we did. And, as we did, I perceived that the humming noise I had heard in the corridor was particularly loud in this part of the Main Training Hall.

Too, I saw that these slaves were not merely writhing in pain. Like those I had observed shortly before, they were pushing their hips forward rhythmically — grinding, in truth. Against what, I did not know; like the bench in my chamber, these devices supported the midsection of the penitent but permitted the hips to swing free and left genitals and bottom completely unobstructed for the chastiser’s pleasure.

Suddenly, one whose gloriously plump bottom was absolutely crimson at this juncture cried out, “No more, no more!” — and, to my utter surprise, the Master behind her ceased to strike her with his strap. Though her backside still wobbled with pain, she ceased her forward bucking, and she let out a small moan of what sounded to me very much like frustration.

“These pleasure-slaves dictate when their beatings will cease?” I asked Afstiros in confusion.

He favored me with his cold smile and said, raising his voice above the cries of the other slaves, “Ah, it is not quite that simple, my good sir. What you see being conducted before you is the earliest, most essential, and most distinctive form of training in the Talaiporion. Look between the legs of the slaves who continue to be blushed.”

At first, the wrigglings of those slaves both obscured whatever Afstiros wished me to see and distracted me greatly from that goal. But, after a moment’s concentration, I could see a long, slender column — not thick enough to be a true phallus — rising up from the depths of each restraining device. Furthermore, I could tell that the upper ends of the columns were pressed against the slaves’ cunts. However, I saw no such column between the thighs of the slave whose Master had just ceased to blush her.

“Those columns,” Afstiros said with a note of pride, “are enhancements to the restraining devices created by Timoria’s best wizards. Each is made of tempered glass, tapers to a rounded point, and, most importantly, vibrates. We bind slaves who are new to the lash into these devices, and they are permitted to grind against these columns while their bottoms are being blushed. They may cry hold at any time, yes, but that Master over there” — he pointed to the one at the lever-table — “will throw a switch that causes the vibration to cease and the column to retract into the body of the device. The slave may consent to have the Master resume the blushing, but a slave who cries hold too many times will be left in place, unsatisfied, for a long time, and they will be periodically teased without being permitted to spend, aggravating their suffering. By contrast, when slaves manage to bring themselves off under the lash, they are praised and rewarded.”

Marveling at the ingeniousness of such an enhancement and at the overall training concept, I exclaimed, “And do most of them manage such?”

“Initially, no, but within a few weeks a surprising number do,” Afstiros said. “Remember, however, that this is one of the earliest trainings a slave will receive in the Talaiporion. That girl was brought to us three nights ago. We do not believe she had ever tasted the whip before — or been disciplined in any way, really. In her mother country she was a highborn maiden, and she was raised to evince highborn attitudes. It is something of an art form to mold a spoiled, willful young creature into a docile pleasure-slave, but it is an art form that has been cultivated here over the centuries.”

The girl, whose golden ringlets spilled bountifully over her shoulders, continued to moan softly. Beneath and between her reddened buttocks, I could see the inner lips of her cunt glistening. Her motions were now nothing more than thrusting against empty air, seeking release with the desperation of a rutting animal.

At that moment another Master approached her, a long, pointed feather in his right hand. He began to ply its tip softly and subtly against her wet, exposed cleft, caressing the inner folds, carefully avoiding the hard, round nub of pleasure. She let out a surprised little shriek and began to shove her bottom backward, as if she could have gained enough leverage by pushing against the feather. After titillating her cunt for about fifteen seconds, the Master walked away to seek out another such as she, and she moaned even more miserably than before.

“This was your choice, Selenikê!” the Master who had been blushing her said sternly. “Just as children are not allowed dessert without dinner, slaves are not allowed pleasure without pain. You chose to end the blushing yet again, and therefore you will not be permitted to spend for a very long time.”

Suddenly, even before the budding idea in my head had fully coalesced, I found myself saying, “Afstiros, I would very much like to sample the charms of this wench.”

He looked startled. “Why? She is a willful thing, and the will has not yet even begun to be blushed out of her. She does not yet know how to take a cock in any of her orifices in a manner that will please a patron; she’s as likely to bite one off, in fact, as she is to accommodate it. A diamond in the rough, certainly, but very rough indeed.”

“I have long practice in subduing slaves,” I said. “Not necessarily pleasure-slaves, and certainly not with the finesse I have seen so far in the Talaiporion. However, I have in mind a way in which I could savor her that would contribute to the taming of her.”

“While I do not doubt your experiences,” Afstiros said archly, “our way is to tame our charges slowly and subtly, leaving them fully acclimated to the existence of a pleasure-object. In the long run, it is kinder for them, and ultimately it also provides much greater satisfaction for their patrons.”

“I would ask that you hear my idea out,” I countered. “First, however, let me ask: Is she intact?”

“Ah, if only she were. She had had at least one lover before she was taken in chains, the traders told us.”

I rejoiced to hear this, for though it is a pleasure to deflower a maiden, especially one who is full of spirit, the absence of a maidenhead would make the transaction far easier on my coffers. “All right. Let me explain what I had in mind.”

As I explained, Afstiros’s expression became less skeptical, more intent. When I had fallen silent, he clapped his hands. Four well-built, clothed slaves who had been leaning against the walls with the guards straightened themselves and came forward, bowing to Afstiros. He spoke quietly to them, and they bowed again and departed.

A few minutes later, they returned, bearing a broad, heavy wooden chair between them. Its seat was cushioned, and fetters were embedded into it at various intervals along the back, armrests, legs, and leg supports. They set it down in a fairly empty spot nearby us. Afstiros bid me to seat myself upon it, which I did. I pulled up my chiton and dragged out my rigid cock, which by now was leaking liberally, and gave it a few strokes.

Then these four men unbuckled Selenikê from her device and pulled her to her feet. She made little noises of bewilderment, having been led to understand she would not be freed for quite a while. They drew her in my direction. She caught my eye, glanced down at my rampant cock, and shrieked her displeasure. “I am to service this man in front of the entire Hall?” she demanded imperiously.

Afstiros rolled his eyes. “It has apparently not been made clear to you yet, wench,” he said coldly, “that you no longer live the life of a modest maiden, if ever indeed you did. You are now a pleasure-slave. That is to say, you are an object, and your Masters and your patrons will do as they like with your body, will you or nill you. Before you are sold out of the Talaiporion, you will have done far more than servicing a patron in front of an entire Hall. That said, such service is not all that will befall you this evening, as you are in dire need not only of training but of serious correction.” To the slaves who held her, he said, “Arrange her.”

The four slave-men picked Selenikê up bodily, one per limb. Though they were nearly as strong as the guards, she struggled with remarkable strength in their grasp, which delighted me in how it made her heavy, ripe breasts jiggle and wobble. She was, I saw, extremely pretty, even with rage distorting her face; her lips were as sensually full as Tephyra’s, but her features were fine, her eyes a brilliant green with long, fair lashes.

“Gag her,” Afstiros said. “I will not have her spit upon or bite this gentleman.” A fifth man-slave appeared with a buckled strap of leather in the middle of which was affixed a ball. Selenikê clamped her mouth shut at the sight of it, but he pinched her nostrils until she was forced to gasp for air, upon which he popped the ball into her mouth and began to buckle the strap behind her head. She continued to thrash in the grip of the other slaves as they moved her toward my chair, holding her over my lap with her legs apart.

Greedily, I squeezed her full teats and pinched their pink nipples, which had been hardened by the cool air, her earlier stimulation, and probably shame as well. I then ran my hand further down her lush body, rubbing and tickling the soft, rounded plain of her writhing belly, until my fingers parted the lips of her cunt and dabbled in the wetness of her slit. With my other hand around the shaft of my cock, I held those slick, swollen love-lips wide apart that I could lodge my cockhead between them. Meanwhile, the slaves pushed her down until she was completely seated upon my staff, and they fastened her wrists into the fetters that were nearly at the top of the chair’s back, her ankles to the middles of the leg supports.

“Is she sufficiently tight to your fit?” Afstiros inquired solicitously.

“Indeed she is,” I said, grinning broadly. “There’s no mistaking her for a virgin, but I’ve no complaints, especially not when she wriggles so delightfully upon my cock.”

At those words Selenikê fell rigidly still, glaring spitefully at me over her gagged mouth. I stroked her cheek mockingly, and she turned her face away. “Ah, my dear,” I said, “you will wriggle for me, whether you want to or not.” And, upon those words, the Master who was blushing her earlier stepped forward, unseen to her, this time with a wooden paddle in his hand. He drew back his arm and dealt her a ferocious blow across the full width of her arse.

Selenikê’s eyes went comically wide as the force of the blow drove her up against the front of my body, and the gag in her mouth muffled her scream of outraged pain into something lugubrious and animal. From the second blow of the paddle onward, her hips began to jerk uncontrollably from side to side again, causing her silken, slippery inner walls to rub and caress my painfully hard cock in the most intensely pleasurable manner I have ever experienced. I threw my head back and groaned, my hands cupping her breasts and tweaking her nipples, and let her gyrate and heave upon my lap without moving my hips so much as a fraction of an inch.

But, after a long evening of watching so many salacious acts be carried out upon so many helpless, naked, struggling bodies, feeling and watching her writhe upon me like this was too much to bear for very long. Heedless of getting my knuckles cracked by the paddle, I grabbed her by her scalding-hot buttocks, drawing another thwarted wail from behind her gag. Three or four times I thrust actively up into her quivering cunt before I exploded, and my copious libation of seed ran out of her wide-split nether lips to pool in my own lap.

I threw my head back again, panting, as I felt her flutter and contract around me, and I had to withdraw myself from her exquisite grip for it soon became too much to bear. The man-slaves came forward again, as if to release her, but I said hoarsely, “She has provided me with a most delicious fuck, and I wish to reward her before you take her away.”

I put my hand to her cunt once more, this time to capture that little nub between two fingertips and chafe it rhythmically. My other hand encircled one, then the other, breast, that I might suck and bite at her nipples. The stifled grunts she made were different now, desperation shot through with shame, and tears spilled from her eyes as, contrary to her own volition, her hips worked frantically against my hand. When I felt the telltale tremble in her loins, I crooned, “Yes, little wildcat. Spend for me, in front of the entire Hall.” And with those words, she reached her peak, more wetness running from her, her entire body flushed scarlet.

In truth, most of the Hall had not been paying attention, for the majority of its occupants were slaves undergoing their training and Masters intent on delivering it to them. But Selenikê had been brought to a shameful, unwilling spend in front of her own Master, a High Master, and five man-slaves, as well as myself. It seemed to have humbled her greatly, even more than being paddled and fucked at the same time. Though the gag was removed from her mouth as soon as she was on her feet, she remained silent, eyes lowered, tears pearling on her cheeks. As the man-slaves led her out of the Hall, I spied a final rivulet of my seed trickling down one luscious inner thigh.

“What will be done to her next?” I inquired idly, feeling thoroughly mellow.

“She will be cleaned up, then allowed to rest for the remainder of the night well into tomorrow,” Afstiros said. “That was her very first taste of the paddle, which we normally do not ply upon newer slaves unless they are very rebellious and in need of genuine punishment.”

“Has she not been very rebellious in the three days she has been here?” I inquired.

“Oh, indeed she has. But so early on in the training regimen, we generally teach slaves their places by milder means: slaps, pinches, hair-pulls, and blushings without genital stimulation. After a week, the buttocks of those who have not learned it well enough are introduced to the paddle.

“In any case,” Afstiros went on, “not only has your clever idea tamed her a modicum, but she has had her first climax under the lash, which we acknowledge and reward in a slave. As usual, she will be secured hand and foot to her bed, but on her belly. Body-slaves will bring her her meals, hand-feed her, take her to the toilet as necessary, and rub a soothing cream into her buttocks. Tomorrow evening her training regimen will resume, and I am optimistic that she will thenceforth submit to her Master’s ministrations far more willingly.”

At another clap of his hands, one such body-slave, an adolescent girl in a translucent chiton, came forward. She mopped up my cock and lap with a cloth that had been soaked in rosewater, then dried me off with a luxuriant towel. And then I stood, and thus ended my private tour of the Talaiporion.

Afstiros brought me to the patron’s entrance by way of a corridor that was new to me, one without any Halls of delights strung upon it and which emptied into the larger corridor near the patrons’ doorway. When we had emerged into the cool evening air, he clapped his hands to summon the litter-bearers, and as they approached, he said to me with his cold smile, “Your patronage has been a boon to us. You are welcome at the Talaiporion any other evening that you linger in Mastigio, and with each subsequent evening that you patronize us, we shall discount your fee considerably. You need only send your body-slave to seek us out again in order to make arrangements; and any Hall that is open to visitors, as well as the slaves within it, will be placed at your disposal.”

I did indeed have Efstathios make such arrangements again, Anaraxos, a good dozen times during my weeks-long sojourn in Timoria, before my business concluded there and I began the journey home. If your own custom ever takes you there, do let me know in advance. I will have Efstathios speak with your body-slave, and you may let it be known to the High Masters of the Talaiporion that you are a close friend and associate of mine with a similar appreciation for a ripe bottom and the proper chastisement thereof.

Many regards.