Elf-Boy and Friends
Chapter 31. Land of the Amazons
The trip through the reeds took almost two days. To pole the narrow river craft forward boatmen started at the bow, pole poked into the river bottom the other end braced on the shoulder, then walked toward the stern, thereby pushing the boat along with their feet. Dahl's boat frequently encountered other canal boats going downstream. Around mid-morning of the final day, the reeds petered out and they entered the upper valley of the river, a manicured land of prosperous villages set amid lush fields and orchards. Everything bespoke the fecundity of the land and the large populace it must support.
Soon the riverboat reached a town and tied up at the docks. It was quite a pretty town. Beyond the quays of the river port it was laid out with wide streets lined by sturdy and well-maintained dwellings and planted with shade trees. No dirt, no trash, no beggars or such riffraff. Though not much street life or spontaneity either: no cafes, no beer gardens, no places of entertainment, all of which Dahl had always though was the whole point of living in a town. Cities and towns are where you would encounter the unexpected, meet strangers, be exposed to new foods, new tastes, new customs, and new ideas. This town was too perfect and sterile in its uniformity.
As he expected the younger males went around entirely naked, so he fit right in, nude as he was. What was unusual was that all of the local males were short in stature and slight of build, nearly as small as Dahl himself. The males generally stood no more than a couple of inches taller than Dahl. The females reached six foot or more. Not giants or giantesses, just big women, but they stood head and shoulders above the diminutive males.
Now most sentient species, like humans and elves and giants, though not dwarves, are sexually dimorphic. Males and females are clearly different in size and strength. That held true in this land as well, only in reverse.
And there was no doubt who was in charge: the women. The younger males, up to say mid-thirties went about entirely nude, the heads of their cocks locked to their scrotums by gold rings. Older males usually wore a loincloth or kilt. Women went about dressed in flaring skirts and tight blouses with the bodice open but supporting the bosom from below the better to display the female breasts and their rouged nipples.
Dahl frowned. He had nothing against women. As people he liked them well enough to make friends, but he had always disliked female breasts. A real turnoff for him. Too big, too soft, too jiggly, and too, well, too much in your face, if the truth were known.
He conceded women might say much the same about his own manly parts, dangling there in plain sight between his legs and even more in your face when rampant, but there it was. Dahl was oriented exclusively to other males. He found the idea of sexual congress with a female to be, well, unappealing was the least offensive word he could put to the notion. Frankly he did not know how his friend and fellow elf-boy Ran could straddle the gender divide. More power to him.
On the streets, a special class of enforcers, muscular females all, stood clothed in military uniforms but armed only with truncheons, kept the smaller males in line. Not that the lowly males looked rebellious or even acted like sullen slaves. They looked healthy and seemed cheerful enough or at least resigned to their station in life, as they went about their work. And they were very deferential to their female betters. Too deferential for Dahl's liking. More like subservient.
Marching past on a major cross street was a military formation, stepping smartly, well-armed, heads high, clearly an elite unit of the Amazon army, a company of tough looking women with sharp weapons, hard muscles and no nonsense attitudes. Nothing soft about those beauties.
So that was the set up. Social classes defined by gender. But how was it maintained? Why were the females on top. Why the reversed dimorphism of the sexes. Maybe this was another ecological imbalance or one alchemically or magically maintained. Something that needed looking into.
Dahl knew he had to be careful. Standing shorter even than the lowly local males, looking maybe fourteen or fifteen in their eyes, he might find himself treated like a native drone or as a child. It did not help that their dialect was so different from the lingua franca of the continent. It gave him a headache trying to make out what those around him were saying. He hoped he could make himself understood. There was too much room here for misunderstandings.
Since he was finally in the land beyond the reeds, the young druid checked the ash trees lining the street he was on. They did show signs of infestation by the Emerald Ash Borer, but one that was contained. There must be a control species at work here. But which one? The tissue under the bark might harbor many sorts of tiny critters. Which ones were keeping the bad bugs in check? Could it even be an insect or an avian species preying on the borers? Or maybe it was something at work at the roots or leaves, a chemical defense like so many plants used. Certainly something that warranted further investigation, but the young druid did not have the time just then. First he had to establish himself in this society. Make a place for himself as a base to operate from. He needed a place to stay and a source of food and drink.
Suddenly one of the enforcers barked something at Dahl and motioned with her truncheon for Dahl to join the work gang marching past. Rejoin it, in the mind of the enforcer really, for she assumed that the elf-boy had dropped out of formation to goof off for the rest of the day in the shade. One thing about societies with forced labor is that they encouraged malingering and sloth and discouraged diligence. The great advantage of free labor is that it worked with a will. No sabotage or intentional breakage either.
Waving his hands and pointing at his ears, Dahl tried to communicate with the guard, foreman, straw boss or whatever she was.
"No, I am not one of your people. I am a foreigner from the Commonwealth of the Long River. I come from a land far beyond the sea of reeds. I am not even human. As you can see, I am an elf."
The best tactic when communication is difficult is redundancy, saying the same thing in several different ways. That helps get your message across. People really hear only half of what you say anyway, even without dialectical differences. So that is what Dahl did.
The enforcer looked close at Dahl's ears then reached down and examined his un-ringed cock, giving the balls a squeeze just for the hell of it. Nodding her understanding she turned to one of the boys in the work gang and sent him off with a message, motioning to the elf-boy that he should stay put.
"Why are you in our city, young outlander?" the enforcer asked, enunciating slowly to make herself understood.
"I have come here to explore your land for useful and ornamental plants and to collect samples for my family's horticultural enterprise and for our natural philosophers back home to study. Please conduct me to someone in your government to whom I may proffer my bona fides."
In a short while the messenger returned with a patrol from the city watch, all big women, armed with short swords. The enforcer pointed to Dahl and spoke faster than the young druid could follow. The women of the city watch formed a double line around the elf-boy. He wasn't sure whether they were an escort or his captors. His uncertainty vanished as two of them stepped forward, ropes in hand to bind him. What was the elf-boy to do? Things looked to be getting out of hand.
He decided to submit to capture and try to talk his way out of trouble later. Yes he could resist arrest and escape easily enough, but then his journey would have been for nothing, his mission a complete failure. He knew he was on the right track, but he needed time in this Land of the Amazons.
So the elf-boy stood meekly while they bound his crossed wrists behind his back and pulled them up between his shoulder blades, taking a turn around his neck with the rope end and back to his wrists. He would choke if he struggled while so bound. Standard bondage for prisoners of war. The locals did not attempt to hobble his ankles, not when he would be marching between twin files of soldiers.
The female sergeant in charge leered as he tied a cord around Dahl's balls, wrapping it around several times, crowding the boy's testicles into a small reddened sack. With a dismissive flick of her finger to the boy's flaccid cock, she started his prisoner walking by dragging on his leash. A deliberately humiliating lesson in pain, submission, helplessness, and obedience. You cannot resist when they literally have you by the balls.
His destination turned out to be an interrogation chamber deep within a hulking fortress across town. The installation commander was another Amazon, a tall red head with a beautiful but cold face. She had his captors bring the elf-boy to a halt right in front of her. While the sergeant maintained tension on his lead, the red-head used a riding crop to slash the boy's unprotected balls. He hissed at the sudden pain. The women lay repeated strokes to his balls. Soon poor Dahl was weeping, knees buckling, held up by soldiers to either side. She finished with a final vicious stroke then spoke her first words to Dahl, her only words.
"This is how we treat spies, young outlander. Consider your situation. This treatment is just to soften you up in preparation for a formal and severe interrogation. That will be much more unpleasant. When we meet again you will talk. You will tell me everything."
She walked off, head high. Dahl shook the sweat out of his eyes, and speaking through his pain said to no one in particular:
"She didn't even ask me any questions!"
Meanwhile a soldier put a noose around the boy's neck to hold him in place while another attached a spreader bar to his ankles and weights to his balls. Then they began whipping him, first his back and shoulders, then his chest and belly. Dahl didn't know which hurt more, the sting of the whips, the heavy weights on his balls, or the thorns piercing his nipples, leaving blood to trickle down his chest.
The poor elf-boy had never felt so miserable in his young life. His misery was made worse by the knowledge they he could escape if he wanted to. At the cost of total mission failure, something he was not prepared to accept, not yet anyway. So he allowed them to inflict fiendish torments on his bound and helpless body.
Courage comes in different forms. Battle courage burns with a white heat. Moral courage, the courage to endure the unendurable, maybe when you are alone and in the dark, that sort of courage burns cold. Dahl's ordeal was a test of his moral courage. Could he stick to his purpose and eventually find a way to save the islanders from destitution, maybe even overturn the unnatural social order of this terrible land, or take the easy way out and save himself and get clean away. Not an easy choice for a young elf, caged, bound, whipped and sexually tormented.
At nightfall they let him drink his fill, lest he suffer dehydration in the oppressive heat, then threw him into a cell, a cage really, barely tall enough to sit up and only long enough to stretch out in because of his slight stature. No mattress, just a flagstone floor strewn with a bit of straw, with a covered bucket in one corner for sanitary needs.
Came the dawn his second day continued in the same vein, starting with a brief visit from the red head interrogator to torment his balls, then by the soldiers with their standard repertoire of tortures. And still no questions. Just a demand that he first admit to being a spy. They had no time to listen to is lies otherwise.
Dahl shook his head. No way he was going to put a noose around his neck with his very first words. If it ever came down to a real interrogation, he would give out the story he had devised. He was rather proud of it in fact. He just hope he could deliver it plausibly. First though he had to get past this damn softening-up stage of the proceedings.
At nightfall, every night, they brought in a squad of enforcers to have their way with him. They donned strap-on cocks made of wood and leather and raped him time and time again till he bled out of his anus. They were delighted to have such a cute and sexy boy to work over, to prong, to impale and to fuck in the ultimate reversal of the role of sexes. This was the second half of the softening-up part of the process. What did they have planned for him once the real interrogation got started?
The only kindnesses he received were from the slops boy, a pretty blond lad named Paval who brought Dahl his meals twice a day. The boy did not say much, but he did let Dahl examine his genitals as long as the elf-boy returned the favor. It was quite ingenious really, the way the rulers of this upside-down society had virtually castrated their males without surgical removal of organs. It happened at age thirteen. Practiced hands first passed the open end of a golden ring through a hole pierced in the underside of the young male's penis then out through the piss slit. Next came a smaller ring set horizontally through the skin at the bottom of the scrotum. Once the rings were joined and clamped closed, the boy's penis was unable to erect though it might swell as it pulled and strained with his arousal.
The slops boy wondered at the freedom of movement Dahl's organs had, eyes widening with delight at the elf-boy's sturdy erection his manipulations had stimulated. He explained:
"I want this too, but they only allow it now and then and not for all males. Only for the lucky few, when they want children, you see. The females use a simple magic to slip the rings apart, a magic males cannot work. They won't even let us play with ourselves! Or with one other, for that matter, not all the way, though we manage what we can, painful as that often is, with our cocks bound like this."
"Would you really like that, Paval? Sex with another male?"
"Yes Dahl. I have no feelings for women except repugnance and fear. I wish we could make love, the two of us. You are so beautiful and sexy, even now after what they have done to you. There is the real crime, not our so-called illicit passions. Please, I know you are in pain, but could you please fuck me? I want that so very much."
Dahl acceded to his wishes. Over the next few nights he carefully introduced the innocent boy to the amatory arts. Paval was an eager pupil, ecstatic at finally being able to indulge and express his sexuality. And with such a pretty youth as Dahl and so expert in these matters.
Incarcerated in the dungeon, it looked like there was nothing Dahl could do to help himself, but the truth is the young druid was far from helpless. His main need beyond purely physical ones was intelligence, like the layout of the fortress and town. Dahl gradually built up a picture of the layout of the fortress from the observations of mice and the local cats. It took him a week since he had to sleep. The town took longer, though he did have a bird's eye view thanks to some friendly robins lodged high atop a tower. Paval himself was restricted to the precincts of the fortress and knew little of the town around it. He gleaned what he could from listening in on the conversations of those who manned it. Or womaned it (was there really such a word?).
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]