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My conjecture, confirmed to some extent by the speculations of the Older Tarl, who had taught me the craft of arms in Ko-ro-ba years ago, is that the brand is used primarily, oddly enough, because of its reputed psychological effect.In theory, if not in practice, when the girl finds herself branded like an animal, finds her fair skin marked by the iron of a master, she cannot fail, somehow, in the deepest levels of her thought, to regard herself as something which is owned, as mere property, as something belonging to the brute who has put the burning iron into her thigh.He was wearing a new robe and sandals, perhaps for the first time in my years.He clasped my hands, and, to my wonder, the little scribe was crying.Shimmering strings of bells pealed in the wind, and festive lanterns of a thousand colors swung from the innumerable flower-strewn bridges.There was shouting, and laughter, and the glorious colors of the castes of Gor mingled equally in the cylinders.Gone for the night was even the distinction of master and slave, and many a wretch in bondage would see the dawn as a free man.
The brand itself, in the case of the girls, is a rather graceful mark, being the initial letter of the Gorean expression for slave in cursive script.
She will almost never encounter sadism or wanton cruelty, for the psychological environment that tends to breed these diseases is largely absent from Gor.
When an individual captures a girl for his own uses, he does not always mark her, though it is commonly done.
Then, to my astonishment, the daughter of the Ubar Marlenus, daughter of the Ubar of Ar, knelt before me, a simple warrior of Ko-ro-ba, and lowered her head, lifting and extending her arms, wrists crossed. Without raising her eyes from the ground, the daughter of the Ubar said in a clear, distinct voice: `I submit myself.' I was speechless for a moment, but then, remembering that harsh Gorean custom required me either to accept the submission or slay the captive, I took her wrists in my hands and said, `I accept your submission.'Perhaps it should only be added that the Gorean master, though often strict, is seldom cruel.
The girl knows, if she pleases him, her lot will be an easy one.