I know, when I talked about That Other Side you thought of something different than a silly story like this. See it as a gentle beginning.
Who said the life of a slaver would be easy? I didn't, I know better. Ah, when I was a boy I dreamt of being a slaver, thought of all the lovely merchandise I would come across. I know better now.
It is true that handling the goods is a pleasure but it isn't an easy life. So much to think about. Troubles and problems everywhere, all the time.
Well, I won't bother you with that, you will see. Where shall I start? Ah, my family. It always has to start with the family. What would I do without my lovely wives. I love them with all my heart, they are my joy and happiness. One is as beautiful as the other's tongue is sharp. She thinks she runs the household, that one. The other one? Oh, she is sweet, very beautiful and very nice. She often warms my bed. And she doesn't speak much. I like that.
I have two sons, a blessing and a curse. My oldest son, what a disappointment! He is a scoundrel and a drunk, not good for anything. He spends his time in the taverns by the port. He drinks and he plays with the dancers and waitresses. That is when he doesn't gets in his head to use my merchandise.
He is good with the whip, I will give him that, but otherwise, he is a useless bastard. He is good for nothing.
Oh, I remember once, when he made me happy. I had bought this redhaired little wildcat from the North. She was foulmouthed as a fishmonger and stubborn as a hungry monkey. She was pretty and if she had behaved she would have fetched me a good price. I tried everything, I kept her naked on a lead and had her whipped but she was as proud as a queen.
Then my eldest son wandered into the warehouse one night. I wasn't there, of course, but he got the key and went into the cages. I don't know what he did to the redhaired one but when I sold her the day after she was as gentle as a summer breeze. I am sure my bastard son made me a couple of gold coins that night.
My younger son, he is something different. He is hardworking and loyal. He is obedient and determined. He does what he is supposed to do and he is learning the trade. He is my pride. I think he will inherit my business when I am gone. Pity he is so dim.
I have two daughter, two lovely daughters. They are my pride and joy. Who wouldn't be delighted by having two such wonderful girls.
The oldest one, she has got her raven hair from her mother. She is beautiful as a queen and she is expensive. She has good taste, I have to admit that but it costs money. Does she thinks a poor slaver is made of money?
Some day, I hope, a very rich young man will decide that she will make a good wife. I am looking forward to it, although I pity him. She doesn't just look like a queen, she is haughty as one too. She is arrogant and proud and behaves as if she owned the world.
She would fetch a good price if I sold her though. In fact, I think a month or two naked in a slaver's cage and a closer acquaintance with a whip would be good for her.
My younger daughter is of another kind. She is not only cleverer than her sister, she is prettier too. She has blond hair, she got it from her mother. She is the sweetest child imaginable. She is gentle and obedient and walks with grace. There is not a grain of arrogance in her. A father has to be happy for such a daughter. She would make a lovely slave and I believe she would bring even a higher price than her sister.
A father shouldn't talk like that about his daughters. I would never sell them. Not even if I was offered twenty gold pieces for one of them. Although twenty gold pieces would allow me to replenish my stock and really get my business going...sigh.
Business has been bad, lately. There has been no major wars for three years and almost no raids to the northern lands. This makes slaves expensive. I can sell the ones I have for a higher price but I have to buy them for a higher price too. Business is slow.
I remember the Eastern Campaign. When was it? Seven years ago? Anyway, those were good times. The supply of girls was overflowing. And what beauties there were! Such lovely women that come from the East...sigh. Those were the days. Good supply and demand was still increasing. I made good money then.
Now my cages are half empty. I have even had to send my boys, not my sons, of course, the boys I have hired, I had to send my boys out in the night and look for girls in the streets. These are sad days, when a man has to revert to such methods to fill up his warehouses.
The problem with such slaves is that you can't sell them here, they may be recognised and that causes all sorts problems.
I have even considered stealing some of the daughters of the nobility. The upside is that they won't be recognised, they are often kept away from the public eye. The downside is that the actual acquiring of them is a bit tricky. Either you have to bribe their guards or you have to break into their houses, which can be quite dangerous at times.
When I was young, I used to love those things. We were reckless and thought that getting a nobleman's daughter was a great adventure. Those were the days. Made you feel strong. The girls didn't like it, protested and cried a lot but when you got the clothes off them and tied them up in the cage they came to their senses and some of them made very good slaves.
I prefer the legal ways of getting girls, I have to say that. They are less adventurous but safer and better for business.
A couple of years ago there were quite a lot of volunteers. There are always volunteers but they make no steady flow of goods. Some years ago it was different, we had a couple a week coming and asking to be enslaved.
Some of them had ridiculous demands, that I should give so and so many gold pieces to this temple or that person. You have to be hard, even if the woman was lovely and you knew you could get a good price for her, even make some profit. If it became known that you were too generous it would just make them increase their demands.
I had to turn away some really pretty ones but it paid off. Some of them didn't want anything but a prayer in the right temple and then you could have them. Strange thing, really. I don't understand why a girl would want to be a slave. The strangest thing of it all is that it is often the wealthy ones that want it most.
But as I said, you have to rely on the proper ways of getting your wares. War and plunder are the best ways of getting girls cheaply. There are some that fall in debt but they are often more expensive. It is nice, thought, with local girls.
Some girls you don't ask where they come from. I mean, if there is a gang of youngsters turning up at your doorstep with a girl, who look like a local farm girl, who is gagged and stripped and tied up and the young men want a quick sell and are happy with peanuts you knew she is stolen goods. Best to ship such a girl away from the city as quickly as possible.
I am boring you with details of my trade. I love my work but it is hard work and not easy to make a living from. Come back if you have something to sell, I give a good price. Or even better if you want to buy. Buy two and I'll give reduction...eh?