The young mage student sat at her dorm table studying the book entitled The
First Wizards for her History of Magic class. Her dormitory room looked
like all the other rooms with a bed, a closet, a dresser drawer, a table, chair
and lamp. The walls were a bare white. She stretched and yawn. She has
been reading all morning. She wanted to do well and become a mage. She
wanted her mother to be proud of her. A knock at the door woke her from her
thoughts. Come in.
Through the door bounced an elven girl with blond hair and blue eyes, a
couple inches shorter than Altheia. The girl went by the name of Stephanie
Winterdawn. Hey Allie, whats up? What ya doing? Altheia nicknamed
Allie held up her History of Magic book. Reading what else would I be
doing. The professor assigned us alot of reading in this class. Stephanie
made a face. She was in Allies class and knew fully too well the course load
of that class. Allie, you cant be reading on Free Day.
What is Free Day?
You mean no one has told you? Free Day is an extra day in the week where
you can do anything you want to. It comes between seventh day (Saturday)
and first day (Sunday).
So I wanted to read I can read right? Stephanie thought she was missing the
Yes, you can read but not school texts. You are supposed to have fun on
Free Day. With that Stephanie took the book from Allie. Hey! Give me
Not til you promise to come with me into town and have fun.
O.K. you win. Lets go. Stephanie handed her back the book.
Good, I knew you would see it my way. Dont forget your money pouch.
We are going shopping! Allie dug around in her closet for her pouch and tied
it about her waist. O.K., lets go. Oh, can we stop at the stables and pick up
Diamond? I think he like to have a Free Day too.
The trio reached the city. It stood in all its magnificent glory. One can
go to the city one hundred times and never see the same thing twice. Allie
thought it looked different from just a month ago when she arrived here.
Well , where shall we start first? she asked.
Come on Allie. O will show you a good time. The two girls and one
unicorn went from stall to stall looking at all the goods. Allie had bought
herself a few more new outfits and even a little something for Diamond, a
blanket to keep him warm in the stables. After all that shopping, the girls
went into one of the inns for a bite to eat. The inn was a frequent hangout of
the mage school and they saw many classmates. Stephanie seems to know a
great many of them. Allie waved to them out of courtesy as she was
introduced to each person who stopped at their table to say hi. She had no
idea how she was going to keep all their names straight. When the girls
finished their socializing, they got up to leave. Out in the fresh air, Allie took
in a deep breath. The air in the inn had been a little smoking and smelled of
ale. It was good to smell fresh air. Whats that? Her friend gazed to where
the mage student had pointed.
I have no idea. There was a big crowd standing in front of the center of the
square around any empty platform. A makeshift pen stood near the platform.
Inside were people dressed in rags with their hands behind their backs. Their
hands and feet both shackled in irons. The crowd of people had grown while
they were looking at the platform. What is going on? asked Allie.
Her elven companions lips formed a thin line. These are slaves to be sold to
the person with the highest bid.
Slaves! In Avalon? I thought slavery was illegal here.
It is but people have them anyways and the magistrates of some villages let
it go on because it helps certain businesses. Allie caught the girls italics
on certain but didnt say anything. How horrible to be a slave and sold at
A hush went over the crowd as a big, burly man with a gray beard
sauntered up to the platform. He wore black cloth shirt and pants and carried
a leather whip. A handler brought the first slave to the platform, whipping him
in the process. This slave looked human. He was muscular and tall with
brown hair and green eyes. His lowered his head so Allie could not see his
face. Otherwise, he stood perfectly still. The women in the crowd stared in
perfect awe of the slaves form and gave secret smiles. The burly man spoke
in a loud voice. He seemed to be the auctioneer. Now what do I hear for this
strapping lad. He is very strong and would make an excellent slave for any
farmer. Or perhaps a fine lover for any of you young ladies. Lets start the
bidding at 10 gold pieces.
Someone shouted, Is he obedient?
Ah, I see you are a smart customer sir. Let us humor you. Turn around and
pull up the back of the loincloth. the auctioneer ordered the slave. The slave
obediently did as he was told. The first blow came with a smack. Allie could
not see the mans reaction. Another blow with the whip came down hard.
Allie could see the strain in the mans body but no sound came from his lips.
The blows came faster and harder. Allie can see the man buckle under the
blows. One especially hard blow made the man utter a cry. The crowd
cheered loudly. The man started to weaken and now he more cries escaped
his lips. Allie can almost feel the blows as she herself had been whipped with
the cold whip. When the whipping finished, the crowd gave a great cheer,
satisfied with what they saw. Now, said the auctioneer Who will give me
30 gold pieces.
30 gold pieces, shout one man.
35 gold pieces. It went up and up to 50 gold pieces. 50 gold pieces going
once...going twice....Sold for 50 gold pieces. The slave was taken away in
the chains we was shackled in. Altheia looked pained as the new owner
walked off with slave in tow.
The handler brought out another slave to the platform. This one was a
elven girl with long wavy, brown hair and maybe blue eyes. Allie couldnt tell
because the girl was crying. Crying loudly, as she was pushed to the platform.
Then Allie realized she wasnt wearing any clothes and totally naked. She
glanced around and saw all the women slaves were naked but the males wore
loincloths. Allie looked back at the platform. The girl slave shivered not so
much from the cold but for embarrassment. Lookie here. called the
auctioneer. We got quite a pretty one. Perfect for any man or any tavern.
The auctioneer felt her breasts and she blushed. Very firm. He squeezed
her nipple and it turned pink. Very responsive. He then spread her legs so
her endowments showed. Very well endowed. What do I hear for this lovely
beauty? Allie felt sick. She couldnt watch anymore but could not tear
herself away from the platform. Could you believe this? She had forgot
Stephanie was there. No, I cant. It is just wrong. People should have a right
to be free and have self respect. Bids went higher and higher for the slave
girl until the bid was up to 60 gold pieces. Sold to the man in the back for 60
gold pieces. The new owner led his slave away from the crowd. The girls
cries grew louder.
The Nino Oro started to feel sick and wanted to go home. The next
slave on the platform caught her eye and she caught a gasp in her throat. The
slave was one of her own race. He had short, wavy brown hair and eyes. He
had a medium build and very slim. Something in her snapped. Her eyes
flashed and her face went as red as her hair. No one! No one would humiliate
her people! How much will you bid for this fine slave? she heard the
auctioneers voice. Unbelievable to her, she heard her own voice. 25 gold
I have 25, will anyone give me 30? Stephanie whispered. What are you
I am bidding. The auctioneers voice went on. The bidding was up for 40
gold pieces. 50 gold pieces. she bid again.
I have 50, 50, who will give me 55?
Allie bid higher . 60 gold pieces.
I have 60 gold pieces. Going once...going twice.... Sold to the young lady in
the front. Still in a daze, she went up to pay for her slave. what was she
doing? She never done anything like this before? The slave followed his new
mistress away from the crowd. He thought his new mistress very beautiful
and she was the same race as he. There was something about his mistress that
Now that she had time to think, Allie didnt know what she was going
to do with him. Well she had to get him some clothes. He cant walk around
in a loincloth. She went to the nearest stall and looked through the mens
clothes, every once in awhile holding them up to the slave. Oh, she hated
calling him that. She wished she knew his name. She finally decided on some
trousers and a tunic. She bought her purchases and then tried to find a place
where he can change clothes. She found an ally. After a search, found it to be
abandoned. So far no one had said anything. Stephanie and Allie had been too
much in a daze to talk and their companion kept silent because they was to be
expected of him. You can change here. No one will see you. She handed
her male companion the bought clothes then turned around to give him some
privacy. He changed without asking questions. Are you hungry? It was
growing dark. They hadnt eaten since the noon hour. You have permission
to speak. Are you hungry?
Yes, mistress. he had said simply.
Then lets go find an inn.
They found a quiet inn at the end of the street where all the other inns
were lined up. They entered the inn and found a table in the rear. At this time
of the day, it wasnt too busy. The dinner hour had come and gone. Only a
few patrons were sitting, laughing and drinking. A young barmaid came and
asked what they have. What is the special today?
Beef stew and peas with bread.
Is there any left?
Yes miss. There is some left.
Then bring three specials.
Yes miss. That will be six coppers miss. Altheia handed the girl the
money. The girl went away to get the food. The silence still lingered in the
air. Stephanie and Allie exchanged glances several times. Their male
companion sat quiet as usual. She had to say something. She cleared her
throat and spoke to their companion. What is your name?
My name is Altheia, Allie for short. This is Stephanie. She acknowledged
her friend. How is it that you were on the auction block?
I worked for the mines in Willows Bend. Suddenly, I was taken to your city
and before I knew it on the auction block.
How long have you been a slave? asked Stephanie.
Since I was one hundred and ten. I think about 50 years ago now.
Do you have any family?
No mistress. My parents died of the Enferma when I was thirty.
What is the Enferma?
It is a bad illness. You develop coughs , terrible coughs and fever. It gets
worse when you break out in a rash.
What happened then Tristan? asked Allie.
I was taken to the orphanage. My relatives didnt want me and no one else
Did they treat you badly at the orphanage?
No, it wasnt so bad. We got feed at least. Then put to work dying fabric for
the cloth shop next door. Sometimes we went without sleep to fill an order. I
ran away a few years later.
Where did you go then? They didnt come after you?
No. I lived on the streets I am ashamed to say as a pickpocket.
The food was brought but laid untouched. Now they occasionally took bites
as Tristan continued his tale. When were you brought to the mines?
continued Allie through bites.
One day I got caught pickpocketing a mans wallet and the guards brought
me to prison. The girls gasped. At such a young age?
I was one hundred and ten then.
One hundred and ten is still very young. You were put in a real prison?
Yes. The girls shivered to think of such things.
For a few days, I sat there. continued Tristan. One day the guard brought
me out with some of my other cell mates and loaded on a wagon. I didnt
have any idea what was going to happen. The worst kind of fear is the fear of
the unknown. All I could think of is I am going to die. We reached the
mines then. The guards bound us and marched us into the cave. For years, I
ate, slept, and worked in those mines.
You never thought of escape? asked Stephanie. She found herself
fascinated with his story.
The caves were heavily guarded. Those who were suspected of escape
received severe beatings.
Were you ever beaten? Allie feared the answer.
Yes I was, many times. Suddenly as I was brought there, The guards
whisked me again and put me on the auction block where you have purchased
me,my lady. I am to be your humble servant and serve you well.
You arent my servant Tristan. I detest slavery; especially one of my own
As you wish, my lady. There was a pause. My lady, now that I am free.
May I ask a question?
Why did you purchase me if you detest slavery?
I dont know. I couldnt stand to see any being suffer what I saw on the
auction block. The fact that you are Nno Oro made me even more furious.
I am in great debt to you my lady. What of your story?
Mine? He nodded. Well, I lived with my parents in Blue Mountain Valley.
We were very happy. One day, and I still cant figure this out, my house
caught fire. I tried to get my parents out but they would not wake up.
Stephanie had not heard this story and was interested in it as she had been
Tristans. Allie continued, They died in the fire. I left the next morning and
been wandering since then. About a month ago, I got into the mage school
here in the city.
How were you able to afford me mistress? Are you rich?
No,not by far. I got the money from some thugs whose intentions were less
than noble. I knocked them out and took the bags they had.
Then we are both orphans. replied Tristan taking her hand. This had never
occurred to Altheia. I never thought about it. I have been too busy in that
time to dwell on it. Tristan put his arm around Altheias shoulder for they
were sitting next to each other. We can go through the healing process
together. He rather liked his mistress. He wanted to spend more time with
her. Be with her every second.
It is getting late and we should have gone an hour ago. Stephanie said
realized how late it was. The magess in training nodded. We will take
Tristan back with us.
What are we going to do with him? wondered Stephanie.
To bad we cant get him in as a student. Have you any desire to be a mage
or a bard Tristan?
Well, I guess now that I am free I should think about doing something with
myself. I think a bard would be fun.
The next morning, back at the school, the young people sat in
Headmasters Mikeals office. The whole story came out. The headmaster sat
and thought. There arent any special requirements for bards unlike mages.
He is still required to take a test to prove himself a bard.
Headmaster Mikeal, if he doesnt get in, could he still stay on the grounds
I think that can be arranged. Come tomorrow for testing and if Tristan
passes the test then he is in.
Oh thank you! cried Allie. Tristan wanted to be a bard even more and be
worthy of Altheia. He was sure it wasnt just that he freed her but he felt real
love for her. He must pass.
Well, the next morning, Tristan leaped and jumped for joy. He had
passed the tests to the disbelief of the committee. They didnt think he had
any musical ability. He had proved them wrong. He could sing and play the
flute well. When asked where he learned to play. All he replied was ,I
picked it up here and there. Now he rushed to tell Allie and Steph the news.
He found the girls in Allies room. He burst through the door without
knocking. The girls looked at him in his purple tunic and trousers. He wore
the color of a bard student so he had passed. You passed? they asked in
Yes I passed. he beamed a smile at them.
That is great! This calls for a celebration. cried Stephanie. Lets go!
They ran excitedly out of the room, Stephanie, Altheia and lastly Tristan.
Now that he was a bard, he will work hard to be worthy of Altheias
friendship and hopefully love.
Avalon Publication(June 2001)