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Eulalia - The Thief Of Medesham

Discussion in 'Fantasy Unlimited' started by ronniebegoode, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Eulalia

    Eulalia Poet Laureate Staff Member

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    Mais Candide de Rome était une sainte martyre :) But I may have muddled her -
    it seems it was a family do, she was probably a martyred mother, not virgin,
    her daughter was named Paulina - still, her name would have suited Hwita.
    I think that description suits our Hwita well too.
    More so than 'candid' in English, 'bluntly honest, not mincing words'.
     
  2. phlebas

    phlebas PRIMUS POENUS

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    OK, quite a few people have got to the etymology of Danes in the English language ahead of me :)
    To the English Guthrum was a Dane, and the land he ruled was the Danelaw. He was also a heathen, at least until he was baptised by Alfred the Great (not the first or last political baptism in history), and the Danish host ravaging southern England in this period was known as the Great Heathen Army (mycel hæþen here), which I like to translate as host. Garmonsway in his translation of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle charmingly calls it the "great pirate host".
    Anyway, the point is to draw a distinction between the civilised christian Anglo Saxons and the ravening heathen horde of Norsemen. A furore Normannorum libera nos.
    Oh yes, one more thing. According to legend the leaders of this great host were the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, who of course is the lead character in the series The Vikings.
    d59eaf0424ddba349409521de3fea73f--vikings-ragnar-vikings-tv-show.jpg

    So, this Anglo Saxon lady has bought slaves, ok, but they are not any slaves, they are novices. Surely she can't justify this to herself, but I suspect that she very much knows the identity of at least one of these young women. We will have to see which way the story goes next!

    One more thing!
    Viking slave auction
    viking_slavers_2_kopie.jpg Viking-Slaves.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  3. windar

    windar Governor

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    Stan knows all about danish-cherry, lemon, blueberry, you name it danish-pastry-892909_960_720.jpg There's usually a box sitting out in the squadroom. They help kill the taste of the terrible coffee. Without a danish in the morning, Stan's brain might not kick into gear and vicious killers would walk the streets of New York crucifying innocent women. Of course, sometimes that happens even when he has one. Moore says she can't have any because she wants to keep her tight little tight and little. But Stan has caught her sneaking them from time to time. He won't tell..
     
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  4. RacingRodent

    RacingRodent Potent Rodent

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    Good, says Barb, Because otherwise his ass would smart from the demerits I would give him, then again maybe that would be an improvement? At least one part of Goldman would be smart :p
     
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  5. ronniebegoode

    ronniebegoode Spectator

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    Part 4

    “This was your father’s land?” Eulalia echoed uncertainly. “But is it not his land now?”

    Candida looked close to tears. “If that woman is running the household, then I fear that he is dead.”

    Eulalia wished her hands were free, so she could put her arms round her friend and give her some comfort.

    “Is she not one of your family?”

    Candida looked stricken. “She is Ealdgyth, my aunt.”

    “But, surely your aunt would not keep you as a slave. At least she will set you free.”

    “I don’t know,” Candida said miserably. “My father didn’t understand how his brother could marry such a cold, cruel woman. And their son, my cousin Osred, he is just like his mother, or even worse.”

    “What about your other family, brothers, sisters?”

    “My mother died giving birth to me. I had an older brother, but he went to fight the Danes and I don’t know where he is, or even if he lives.”

    The cart was now in sight of a large earth bank, which Eulalia expected would prove to be the defences for the settlement that Candida’s father had presided over. If they were going to escape, they would have to make a move soon.

    “If we climb over the back of the cart and hang on, we’ll be able to release the chains, jump down and run. By the time they see we’re gone, we’ll have found a place to hide. But we must untie one another’s hands first.”

    She turned her back towards Candida, but the frightened girl refused to move. “No!” she said adamantly. “Look at the land, it is flat and bare. Where would we hide? They would find us and make us wish we were dead. Whatever we do, we mustn’t make them angry.”

    Eulalia thought they might wish they were dead anyway, but Candida was paralysed with fear and nothing would induce her to attempt an escape.

    The cart trundled through heavy wooden gates set into the earth bank. Inside, a large, thatched, timber-framed hall formed one side of a courtyard with other similar, but smaller structures. There were people going about their business, some children playing on the damp earth and a couple of mangy dogs scavenging in a midden pit. The cart stopped outside the hall and the two young men helped the lady down from her seat. They came and lifted the two slaves over the back and released the chains from the hooks.

    The woman only said “Come!” and hurried towards the hall, leaving the men to lead the slaves behind her by their chains. The hall was divided into two dark rooms, connected by an open doorway. There was a fire burning in the middle of the first room and tapestries hanging on the walls. Against the far wall, a large wooden chair stood on a dais. In front of it, long, heavy tables and benches completed the furnishings.

    In the far corner of the room, a group of men were discussing something, but Eulalia couldn’t hear anything they were saying.

    “Osred!”, Ealdgyth called in a loud, strident voice. “Look what I have found for you.”

    A young man detached himself from the group and strode eagerly across the floor.

    “Mother,” he said, embracing her affectionately. “You were gone a long time, I was worried something had happened to you.”

    Ealdgyth took Candida’s chain and pulled her towards her son. “Do you not recognise Hwita? I found her in the market, being sold by Danish slavers. Of course, I had to pay them, but I was sure you would think her worth the price.”

    “Hwita, of course I remember her,” Osred smiled, looking into Candida’s eyes and gently stroking her cheek. “Welcome back to Goltho. It has been a long time. You have blossomed while you have been away; I think the monastic life has been good for you.”

    Candida’s face remained white with fear, but she managed a polite curtsey. “Thank you, cousin,” she said, keeping her eyes fixed on the floor.

    “But such a waste, to keep you locked away as a nun,” Osred went on. “So, Medesham has fallen and you were taken by the Danes. They didn’t … ravish you?”

    “I am still a virgin, cousin,” Candida replied, turning a little red as she avoided answering the question.

    “Good, good. But, they have put you in chains. Come, untie her hands and take her to the blacksmith, my cousin cannot be kept like a slave.”

    As Candida was being untied, Osred’s attention turned to Eulalia. “And who is this?” he demanded.

    “She is called Aelf,” Candida said. “She was with me at Medesham, she is my friend.”

    “Send her to the kitchen,” Ealdgyth told her son. “She can work there, or in the fields. They always need more slaves.”

    “Can she not stay with me?” Candida pleaded. “I would be glad of her company.”

    “You, my sweet,” Ealdgyth leered, “will be too busy to waste time with friends. Since your father is dead, Osred is your guardian now. He will find you a husband, the sooner the better. In the meantime, you can occupy yourself with weaving or embroidery.”

    “My father is dead? When? How?” Candida asked, tears welling in her eyes as she fell to her knees.

    “He and my father foolishly stood against the Danes,” Osred replied unfeelingly. “They were both killed. Now, I am Ealdorman, with the blessing and protection of Halfdan Ragnarsson.”

    “Get up, girl,” Ealdgyth said, pulling Candida to her feet. “You should not weep for your father, he was a fool and the one that sent you away. Take her to the blacksmith, Siward, have him get her out of these chains.”

    “And the slave,” Osred added. “Take her to the blacksmith too. She cannot work the kitchen like that.”

    The two young men led the girls out of the hall and turned left, along the edge of the courtyard. They did not, however, drag them by their chains, but guided them gently, one on either side.

    “I am Siward,” the one beside Candida said cheerfully, “and this is Ranulf. We were captured by the Danes, like you.”

    “And sold to the lady Ealdgyth,” Ranulf continued. “You could say we have replaced her husband.”

    “She has the bower,” Siward said with a smile, “so she can do what she likes, without Osred knowing.”

    They arrived at a small yard at the end of the hall, where the blacksmith was working. This time, the rivets had to be bashed out of the shackles with a hammer and punch, which Eulalia thought was worse than when they were put in. But, it was good not to have the weight of the iron around her neck and ankles.

    While Siward took Candida back to the hall, where her aunt was waiting to dress her in more suitable clothes, Ranulf led Eulalia to the kitchen, in one of the buildings opposite the hall. Two pigs were roasting on spits over a fire and water in a large cooking pot was being heated to take a pile of vegetables from the table. There she was introduced to Burgwynn, a large, red-faced woman who was in charge of all the cooking and preparation of food, and to Breca and Iola, the slave girls who helped her.

    “So Hwita’s back,” Burgwynn said by way of welcome. “Some homecoming, poor cow, finding her father’s dead and now she’s at the mercy of that cur Osred and his whore mother. You were nuns, you say?”

    “Novices,” Eulalia answered.

    “Then you’ll know how to feed pigs. Take those buckets, Breca will show you where.”

    Eulalia picked up the two wooden buckets, full of vegetable peelings and scraps that looked very like the basis of the stew they had been given by the Danes. She followed Breca to a field behind the kitchen, where the pigs had stirred the ground up into a stinking mixture of mud, piss and shit.

    “I’ll wait here,” Breca said, stopping on the last patch of firm ground. “Only your legs will get dirty, so long as you don’t fall over.”

    In fact the monastery had only had a few goats for milk and feeding pigs was a new experience for Eulalia. She stepped carefully across the slippery ground, trying to find a route where she wouldn’t sink too far into the mire. The pigs, however, were delighted to see anyone with food and rushed to meet her, pushing and shoving to get first pickings. As Eulalia tried to tip the swill out, a large sow bashed into her legs and then she was down in the stinking mess, crawling on her hands and knees to retrieve the, by now, empty buckets.

    As she struggled to get back onto her feet, Eulalia saw a man’s boot step in front of her face and felt another press down hard between her shoulders. Forced back down into the mire, she felt the filth on her lips and tasted it in her mouth. A hand grabbed her hair and pulled her out of the mud, holding her in strong arms and groping her breasts through the sodden tunic.

    “Well, well,” her captor growled. “What have we here?”

    The man who now dragged her to firmer ground was not young. His face was craggy, scarred and well worn, with sandy hair falling around his shoulders. Even so, he was tall and muscular, someone you would be pleased to have on your side in a fight. Eulalia looked for Breca, but the girl had gone. The man thrust one of his hands between Eulalia’s legs and explored around her slit.

    “You’d be a pretty wench, if you were cleaned up,” he leered. “Good to fuck, I’ll wager and, with a lot of beatings, maybe you’d even learn how to feed pigs.”

    “Renweard,” a female voice called, as Burgwynn emerged from the kitchen door and ran towards them. “Leave the girl alone. If you want her as your slave, you’ll have to buy her from Osred.”

    “Well,” Renweard replied grumpily, pushing Eulalia towards the cook, “I might just do that. But she’ll have to be cleaned first, she stinks. I’ll leave that to you.”

    As Renweard stomped off, Burgwynn dragged Eulalia back towards the kitchen. She stopped by a hole in the ground, threw a bucket into it on the end of a rope and hauled it back up. The irate woman took the bucket and emptied it over Eulalia, drenching her in cold water.

    “Get that tunic off,” she snapped, “and give it to me.”

    Another bucket of murky water came up from the well and Eulalia stood naked and shivering as Burgwynn used the rough smock to scrub the mud and pig shit off her body. That done, she was taken, still soaking wet, to the wall beside the kitchen door.

    “Hands on the wall,” Burgwynn ordered, “bend forwards, legs apart.”

    Standing where she had been placed, Eulalia saw the cook fetch a bundle of birch twigs.

    “This is how slaves are punished in my kitchen, for disobedience, or mistakes, it makes no difference. Six strokes, since it’s your first time. Don’t move till I say you can.”

    Eulalia remembered the flogging with knotted rope that had been her introduction to monastic life and the whipping at the hands of Father Burhtred. With that experience behind her, a thrashing from the matronly cook would surely be easy to bear.

    It wasn’t. Burgwynn certainly carried some fat, but years of heavy lifting and carrying around the kitchen and the farm, had given her the arm and shoulder muscles of a warrior. The first stroke smashed into Eulalia’s backside with all the power and weight that Burgwynn could give it.

    The half dozen rods in the bundle sent a line of seering pain across the slave-girl's cold and damp buttocks. Eulalia let out a surprised and shocked “Ahhhhhh!!”, as she realised this would be far worse than she imagined.

    The second lash layered more pain on top of the first and the third left her crying and screaming for mercy. Burgwynn waited till the sobs and cries subsided, before delivering the fourth, fifth and sixth strokes in quick succession. Released at last from the punishment stance, Eulalia collapsed onto her knees, hugging herself and crying, not daring to touch her red and lacerated rump.

    Burgwynn gripped the sobbing girl’s arm tightly and pulled her to her feet. “Now, I suppose I’ll have to find you something clean to wear. Stop your bleating and come with me.”

    Back in the kitchen, Eulalia was grateful for the warmth of the fires. The other two slaves gave her sly, pitying glances as the cook dragged her naked, shivering captive into a small enclosure at the back of the kitchen.

    “This is where you all sleep,” she said, as she took a short grey woollen smock off a hook on the wall and held it out. “You can have this one.”

    “Thank you,” Eulalia said, reaching out for it, but Burgwynn snatched it away.

    “Just remember, you may be Hwita’s friend, but to anyone else here you’re just a slave. You’ll feed the pigs and do all the other filthy jobs I give you. You can have this smock and the one you were wearing. Keep them and yourself clean and stay away from the men.”

    With that, she thrust the smock into Eulalia’s hand and walked away, leaving her to dress and wonder what this latest change in her life was going to bring.
     
  6. old slave

    old slave FELIS RESPICIENS

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    Oh good! Eulalia's made now, plum job in the kitchen, better than the fields. Somehow, I fear she'll not see it that way.

    But will the men stay away from her?

    And when this old slave were Eulalia's age, we kept pigs. The feeding trough was just inside, only had to tip the swill over the wall. These Anglo-Saxons have a bit to learn, I bet the Danes know how to feed pigs. It was a good story though, and an excellent way to get Eulalia naked.
     
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  7. ronniebegoode

    ronniebegoode Spectator

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    There was actually an earlier version where Burghwyn said something like "though the men may not stay away from you".
     
  8. Barbaria1

    Barbaria1 Rebel Leader Staff Member

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    You guys know me too well ... exercising proper caution, right? :)
     
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  9. Eulalia

    Eulalia Poet Laureate Staff Member

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    These slave auctions are catching on across the Viking world -
    one good reason why Britain should stay in the Single Market :devil:

    The original was at Foteviken Open-Air Museum in Sweden -
    the annual Viking Market there produced some very enjoyable videos a few years back,
    but they seem to have been taken down from YouTube now,
    and the event seems to be aiming at rather more educational, 'authentic' re-enactments etc.

    But Gudvangen in Norway has picked up the idea,
    and they're catching girls and selling them off in the same fun way
    (they've even got what looks like a crux but is only used to stand the exhibit by -
    and some marvellous scenery too)



    Lots more clips at:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MrGamalon/videos
     
  10. Barbaria1

    Barbaria1 Rebel Leader Staff Member

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    Purchased by son of Wragg, no doubt ;)
     
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  11. Wragg

    Wragg Chronicler of Crux Staff Member

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    The blonde lady looks pleased with her purchase!
     
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  12. Barbaria1

    Barbaria1 Rebel Leader Staff Member

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    Ooops :doh:
     
  13. RacingRodent

    RacingRodent Potent Rodent

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    She might still be an agent for the son of Wragg...never just trust those Wraggs.
     
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  14. Barbaria1

    Barbaria1 Rebel Leader Staff Member

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    That has to be it! I hear he is keeping a low profile less he gets hit with demerits ;)
     
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  15. messaline

    messaline Crucified Amazon

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    Continue this story, ronnie, you're interesting and the Viking:D Danish world is well depicted ... :clapping:
     
  16. Jollyrei

    Jollyrei Angelus Mortis

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    Candida/Hwita seems to have landed softly for now. Aelf not so much. Seems a bit harsh. Reminds me of the kitchen scenes in Gormenghast. I suspect Eulalia will not be able to take over the kingdom, but she better learn a bit more about pigs. Then again, there's all her experience being an agile, quick little thief. Lots of possibilities here.
     
  17. Wragg

    Wragg Chronicler of Crux Staff Member

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    That humanoid robot certainly foxed those dumb Vikings.

    Barb thinks she's on her way to Sapphic delights but actually she's destined for the Cruxton dungeons! ;)

    By the way it has gone midnight here....Muahaha! :devil:
     
  18. Jollyrei

    Jollyrei Angelus Mortis

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    May I offer my congratulations?:rolleyes::D
     
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  19. Barbaria1

    Barbaria1 Rebel Leader Staff Member

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    Wragg was just lucky ... wait and see what happens today :devil:
     
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  20. ronniebegoode

    ronniebegoode Spectator

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    Part 5

    As the cold, grey afternoon turned to twilight, the men of the settlement gathered in the hall to eat, drink, sing and tell stories. The women had eaten together earlier and were now engaged as cup-bearers for the men. Eulalia saw Hwita in a fine blue dress with a white cowl, pouring mead and ale for the hangers-on around Osred, while Ealdgyth, her aunt, watched to make sure she didn’t attract unwanted attention from any of them.

    “There were more men here when Hwita’s father was Ealdorman,” Breca told her, as they hurried from the kitchen with pewter dishes piled with food. “Many were killed in the fight with the Danes and some left afterwards – the ones that didn’t want to serve Osred.”

    As the evening wore on, Osred and his friends became more and more drunk and obnoxious. For the bare-legged slave girls, going near their table meant running a gauntlet of ribald comments, pinching and groping. Eulalia noticed that Ealdgyth and Hwita had gone, along with some of the other women, she assumed back to the safety of the bower house.

    At last, Osred pushed back the heavy chair and staggered unsteadily to his feet. His followers banged with their fists on the table and soon the room fell quiet, if not exactly silent.

    “My friends,” Osred slurred, “my cousin, Hwita, has come back to us, no longer hidden away as a nun. Let us drink to her safe return to her loving family.”

    A cheer resounded around the room and everyone drank, although as that’s what they had been doing all evening, it had little significance.

    “To bring her back,” Osred continued, “my mother ransomed her from the Danes. I am her guardian now, as her father is dead, and I say she must be married, as quickly as it can be arranged. Who will pledge me twelve ounces of silver as her bride price?”

    The room fell quiet again. This was not a commitment most men would want to make in this casual way, even if they were free do so. “Speak up,” Osred persisted. “She is young, fair, untouched by other men. Does no one here want such a wife?”

    A voice spoke up from the back of the hall. “I will have her. I will pay your bride price and I will pledge land and cattle for her morning gift.”

    Eulalia recognised the man who came forward as Renweard, the one who had pushed her into the slurry of the pig sty and talked of beating and raping her afterwards.

    “That is not good for Hwita,” Breca whispered in Eulalia’s ear. “Renweard is only recently a widower and they say he worked his wife to death.”

    Forgetting, or maybe not caring that she was only a kitchen slave and had no place in the conversation, Eulalia rushed forward to where Osred was now standing.

    “You cannot do this,” she protested, her sense of justice for her friend overriding any more prudent caution or fear.

    Osred turned to face her with a look that managed to combine surprise, anger and amusement.

    “Well, look at this!” he snarled malevolently. “This is the other slave my mother bought from the Danes, only this one has no place in our family. But, tell me, wealh, what is it I can not do?”

    “Hwita is not a slave,” Eulalia insisted. “You can’t sell her to anyone you want.”

    “I think I can,” Osred replied, willing to prolong the argument because he knew he would win. Besides, the more the slave said, the worse it would be for her when he did. “I am entitled to a bride price. Since her father is dead, I am her guardian.”

    “She has a brother,” Eulalia countered. “If he lives, then he is her guardian, not you.”

    Osred’s face was turning red with anger, but Renweard put a hand on his arm and laughed.

    “This is the stinking sow I found crawling on her hands and knees in the pig sty. The boar was looking interested; I should have let him get on with it.”

    Now everyone in the room was laughing, even Breca was fighting a smile. Eulalia felt her cheeks flush with indignation.

    “You?” she shot back bitterly. “You would have raped me if Burgwynn hadn’t come out and stopped you!”

    “Raped you?” Renweard scoffed. “With your chicken legs and skinny tits? And you stank of piss. I would do better with one of the sows.”

    “Enough!” Osred shouted over the laughter. “Take her to the wheel. We will teach her that, in my household, I can do anything I like.”

    Renweard went off with Osred, while several other men took hold of Eulalia and dragged her away. They marched her, kicking and shouting, out of the hall, across the courtyard and into a barn, where a large cartwheel was set on an axle between two stout wooden posts. They stripped her out of her slave dress and bent her backwards along the rim of the wheel, tying her hands to a spoke behind her head.

    Strong hands pulled her legs wide apart and tied her ankles to short wooden posts set into the ground. Then they put a long pole through a hole in the axle and leant on it to turn the wheel. Eulalia groaned as her feet left the ground and she felt the ropes tighten around her wrists and ankles, until she thought her back would break and her arms rip out of their sockets. The pole was wedged into the ground and the men stood back to await the arrival of their lord.

    Instead, they got Ealdgyth, attended as always by Siward and Ranulf. The first lady of Goltho carried a pair of sharp, barbed fishing hooks, which she raked deliberately over Eulalia’s stomach and flattened breasts.

    “You are outspoken, for a slave,” she said menacingly, “but you will learn very quickly to keep your thoughts to yourself. How we find my niece a husband is no business of yours.”

    Stretched tightly over the wheel, Eulalia’s belly heaved with every agonising breath. Her tormentor scratched the hooks along the inside of one of her thighs and then the other.

    “You cannot make her marry without her consent,” Eulalia insisted defiantly. “It is the law.”

    “The law?” Ealdgyth laughed. “You think anyone cares about the law out here? She will marry Renweard, as soon as he has paid the bride price. But what of Hwita’s brother? You say he lives.”

    “He may yet live,” Eulalia panted. “Cand … Hwita said he went to fight the Danes.”

    “So he did,” Ealdgyth sneered, taking the helpless slave’s left nipple between her finger and thumb and pressing the barbed point of one hook through the flesh under the areola. As Eulalia screamed at the brutal intensity of the pain, Ealdgyth continued her questioning.

    “What else did she say? If you know something, you will tell me. Eventually.”

    Eulalia screamed again as the other hook was embedded in her right breast. “That’s all I know, that’s all Hwita told me. She doesn’t know … Arghhhhhh!! … Please, there’s nothing I can tell you...”

    Siward threaded twine through the eyes in one of the hooks and looped it over a bent nail on a wooden upright behind the cartwheel, and back to tie it off in the other hook. If she raised her head, Eulalia could see her nipples pulled up from her chest and thin trickles of blood from the wounds. She laid her head back against the wheel, grateful for the limited support it provided, letting the pain and stress wash over her.

    With a harsh smile, Ealdgyth pulled on the twine, causing her captive to scream out again as it seemed her nipples would be torn off her chest. So this is what it was like for her saintly namesake, to have her breasts torn off with hooks. The thought gave Eulalia renewed strength and an adrenalin-fuelled pleasure in the agony. Sometime soon they would have to believe her…

    “Osred asked Hwita if the Danes ravished her,” Ealdgyth continued. “What about you? How did you fare at the hands of the heathens?”

    Eulalia remembered her friend’s answer. “I am a virgin too, we both are. The Danes didn’t...”

    “The Danes didn’t what?” Ealdgyth snarled, shoving her hand between Eulalia’s legs and pinching till she squealed. “They didn’t touch you here, I’m sure. I can guess what they did do.”

    “We are virgins,” Eulalia insisted, thinking that might be something she could bargain with.

    “But not untouched by men,” Ealdgyth hissed in her ear. “Whatever the Danes, or anyone else did to you and Hwita, no one – least of all Renweard – is to hear of it. Do you understand?”

    “Yes,” Eulalia gasped fearfully, “I understand.”

    “Ealdgyth, you witch, what are you doing with my slave?” The voice belonged to Renweard, who was striding into the barn, with Osred and ten other men behind him. The light of their torches cast more flickering light and ghostly shadows onto the dark beams above Eulalia’s head. The words “my slave” filled her heart with dread.

    “Your slave?” Ealdgyth queried sceptically.

    “My slave. I just paid your son the bride price for Hwita and five ounces of silver for the slave, now you’ve had your fun with her. She can be a house slave after we are married and, until then, she can look after my pigs.”
     
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