“I have seen tharlarion who could handle an ax better than that,” she said. Sorath reddened, angrily. It was apparently a free woman of the Alars, only she was not dressed as were the other women of the camp, in their coarse, heavy, ankle-length woolen dresses. She wore rather the garmenture of a male, the furs and leather. At her belt there was even a knife. She was strikingly lovely, though, I supposed, given her mien and attitude, she would not have taken such an observation as a compliment. She was about the same size as Feiqa, though perhaps a tiny bit shorter, and like Feiqa, was dark-haired and dark-eyed. I thought they might look well together, as a brace of slaves."
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 53
“Fight, Sorath,” taunted the woman. “He is an outsider. Are you not an Alar?”
“Be silent, woman,” said Genserix, angrily.
“I am a free woman,” she said. I may speak as I please.”
“Do not seek to interfere in the affairs of men,” said Genserix.
She faced the group, standing on the other side of the fire. Her feet were spread. On her feet were boots of fur. Her arms were crossed insolently upon her chest. “Are there men here?” she asked. “I wonder.”
There was a rumble of angry sounds from the gathered warriors. But none did anything to discipline the girl. She was, of course, free. Free women, among the Alars, have high standing.
“Do you think you are a man?” inquired one of the warriors.
“I am a female,” she said, “but I am not different from you, not in the least.”
There were angry murmurs from the men.
“Indeed,” she said, “I am probably more a man than any of you here.”
“Give her an ax,” said Genserix.
An ax, a typical Alar ax, long handled, armed with its heavy iron blade, was handed to the girl. She took it, holding it with difficulty. It was clear it was too heavy for her. She could scarcely lift it, let alone wield it.
“You could not use that blade, even for chopping wood,” said Genserix.
“What is your name?” I asked her.
“Tenseric,” she said.
“That is a male’s name,” I said.
“I chose it myself,” she said. “I wear it proudly.”
“Have you always been called that?” I asked.
“I was called Boabissia,” she said, “until I came of age, and chose my own name.”
“You are still Boabissia,” said one of the warriors.
“No!” she said. “I am Tenseric.”
“You are a female, are you not?” I asked.
“I suppose so,” she said, angrily. “But what is that supposed to mean?”
“Does it mean nothing?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “It means nothing.”
“Are you the same as a man?” I asked.
“Yes!” she said.
There was laughter from the warriors about the fire.
“It takes more than fur and leather, and a dagger worn pretentiously at one’s belt, to make a man.” I said.
She looked at me with fury.
“You are a female,” called one of the men. “Be one!”
“No!” she cried.
“Put on a dress!” called another of the men.
“Never!” she cried. “I do not want to be one of those pathetic creatures who must wait on you and serve you!”
“Are you an Alar?” I asked.
“Yes!” she said.
‘No,” said Genserix. “She is not an Alar. We found her, years ago, when she was an infant, beside the road, abandoned in blankets, amidst the wreckage of a raided caravan.” (...)
“We took the child in, and raised it,” said Genserix. “We named it Boabissia, a good Alar name.”
“You are not then really of the wagons,” I said to the girl. “Indeed, you are quite possibly a female of the cities.”
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 54/5
"She looked at me in fury. “I am an Alar,” she said.
Some of the warriors laughed.
“It seems more probable to me that you are a woman of the cities,” I said.
“No!” she said. “No!”
“Consider your coloring,” I said, “and your shortness, and the darkness of your hair and eyes. Consider, too, the suggestion of interesting female curvatures beneath your leather and fur.” Most of the Alar women are rather large, plain, cold, blond, blue-eyed women. “You remind me of many women I have seen chained naked in slave markets.”
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 56/7
"I have never seen you in a dress before," he said.
“So?” she asked.
“It is nothing,” he said. “It is only that I am surprised to see you thusly.” Boabissia was not in furs and leather. She now wore one of the simple, corded, belted, woolen, plain, widely sleeved, ankle-length dresses of the Alar women. It was brown. She had belted it snugly, and had, too, drawn its adjustment cording snugly from its loop about the back of her neck down to her breasts where she had crossed it and then taken it back, both cords, between and under her breasts, again to her belt, tying it closely at the sides of her body. This is not uncommon among Alar women. Even though they are free they are apparently not above reminding their men that they are females. It is a simple arrangement, but not unattractive. It covers almost everything, with seeming modesty, but in such a way, that it is likely to lead a man to think in terms of removing it. Boabissia, however, was presumably unaware of these things. From her point of view, she had probably done nothing more than to garb herself in the accustomed manner of the Alar woman. Even so, however, putting herself in a dress, in itself, seemed to represent some sort of considerable change in her. She wore, too, as she had last night, her dagger in her belt."
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 72
"Are you wearing that dress in the manner of the Alar woman?" he asked.
“Yes,” she said, reddening.
It was not winter now, but only Se’Kara. Accordingly all she now wore would be the dress. Beneath it she would be naked."
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 74
“Are there such women as these in the cities?” asked Hurtha, indicating Feiqa.
“Thousands,” I informed him.
“Surely we should study siege work,” smiled Hurtha.
Feiqa shrank back a bit.
“Such women may be bought in the cities,” I said, “in slave markets, from the houses of slavers, from private dealers. Surely you could have such among the wagons, if you wished. You could have strings brought out to be examined, or accepted, on approval. I see no problem in the matter.” Interestingly, I had noted few, if any, slaves among the wagons. This was quite different from the Wagon Peoples of the far south. There beautiful slaves, in the scandalously revealing chatka and curla, the kalmak and the koora, tiny rings in their noses, were common among the wagons. “You mentioned, as I recall, that slavers among others, came occasionally to the wagons.”
“Yes,” he said, “but usually to buy our captures, picked up generally in raids or fighting.”
“Why are there so few slaves among the wagons?” I asked.
“The free women kill them,” said Hurtha."
"Mercenaires of Gor" page 50