Tuesday, December 11, 2018

From the Top Shelf - The Legend of Sophia the Fair, part 2

Some time ago we began Rollin Hand's "Legend of Sophia the Fair", from The Romance of Spanking Vol. 2. It's a fairy tale of sorts, with a real twist (but you won't find out what the twist is this week!) If you'd like to refresh your memory by rereading part 1, it's here.
“Then war broke out,” said the scholar.

“Yes, war broke out. Henry took ill and did not go. Edward went. Sophia asked Henry if I could remain on as captain of the home guard and he agreed. Sophia took over the duties of governing. This is how the people know her. She managed the kingdom, seeing to the harvests, maintaining bridges, settling quarrels, deciding disputes of law, hearing criminal matters. It was heady responsibility for a young girl, but she managed it well. But it lay heavy on her.”

The scholar nodded. “Rumor has it, if I may be so bold, that you were more than just a Captain of her guard.”

Sir Hugh frowned and leaned forward. “I’ll tell you this just so you know the measure of the woman, but if it goes into that history of yours I’ll find you and cut your heart out.”

The scholar gulped but swore. Not one word.

“She never married. Henry died. Edward was at the war. She had a kingdom to manage. But she was a woman with needs. You understand? I was her confessor. The weight of responsibility wore on her. She decided cases that might mean poverty for the loser. She had criminals flogged and put into chains at hard labor. Better than hanging which was Henry’s way, but still. So she came to me as a penitent to her confessor. What I had done in the grove was repeated in her chambers. Sometimes she wanted the rod. Or a strapping with my belt. Sometimes in a light moment she wanted a hearty spanking, to be put across my knee like a child and have me paddle her buttocks to a cherry red.”

Hugh shook his head from side to side.

“I remember this one time she had come to the end of a long day after hearing a long queue of cases. She had been rather short with several of the supplicants, one an elderly woman. She ruled in the woman’s favor but she was rude to her in the process. I think she was just tired. But she told me ‘there was no call for that. I acted like a petulant child. She deserved more respect. I should have my bottom smacked.’ She told me to sit, then she doffed her dress. Clad in her chemise she lay across my lap, slid her pantaloons down and told me to spank her soundly. I did. I spanked her until her bottom was red and she was drumming her toes on the floor.”

“Why did she want this? It tempered her, she said. Took her down a peg. It was a release from the burden of responsibility, of having to be always in control and make all the decisions. When she saw me, she could surrender command, have someone else be in control and hold her accountable. Not that she made bad decisions. She usually didn’t. But she wasn’t perfect and sometimes got it wrong.

Then she felt empathy for the losers.”

“In such an intimate setting eventually, yes, we became lovers. I was, in a sense, her confessor and consort. Sometimes we were intimate after a spanking.”

Hugh took a long draft. The scholar fingered his chin slowly and said, “I have heard of women like that. Ones who relish a good bottom smacking.”

Hugh said, “I think that was part of it. Making love to Lady Sophia was an exquisite experience. Her passion, the way her body responsed to my touch, well….I was in heaven in those days.”

The scholar raised his eyebrows. “Indeed, you are a fortunate man. But, let us continue. What about the incident with Avignon?”

“Well, that was her triumph. It is why they sing songs about her. It is why Avignon has never to this day attempted to attack The Glen.”

“Tell me,” said the scholar. “I know so little. Only rumors.”

“Richard of Avignon wanted both The Glen and Princess Sophia. He lusted after her, the dog. So he manufactured a dispute. It involved hunting rights on the borderlands. For over 100 years the forest folk have hunted in the land between the two rivers that separate The Glen of Mountvail from Avignon. There was even a decree from Henry to that effect and Sophia had ratified it. Suddenly, Richard decided that the land was his. He arrested over fifty tinkers, huntsmen, foresters and their families for poaching. He said he had proof that the land belonged to Avignon. Sophia was beside herself. He had seized citizens of the Glen and was threatening to punish them all, men women and children. Edward was away and there was only a small home guard, no match for Richard’s forces. Richard intimated that if he were to marry Sofia and join the kingdoms, the dispute would be moot, but of course Sofia loathed him.

“We knew that this was just Richard’s opening gambit, that he had designs on The Glen. So Sophia concocted a plan. She would lure Richard in. She knew of Richard’s lust for her and of his arrogance. So she made him a proposal. If he would bring the fifty hostages to the Glen’s capital at Midvail, she would offer herself, as their sovereign, and take their punishment for poaching. The punishment for poaching was a flogging of 40 lashes. She would agree to strip naked in the town square and allow herself to be bound and flogged by Richard’s executioner if he would let the hostages go after that. Richard readily agreed.”

The scholar frowned. “That sounds like a display of weakness, of appeasement.”

Sir Hugh chuckled. “Not if you understand her cunning. You see The Glen cannot be invaded. It is too mountainous. The only way in is over mountain passes and through narrow canyons. A very small force can destroy an invading army. So the only way an invading army can get in is if you let it in.”

The scholar was puzzled. “But inviting him in? It was giving him a free passage to the heart of the kingdom with an armed force.”

“Yes. Sophia counted on Richard’s underestimation of her and of his lust. Richard thought that all of The Glen would be locked in with him and a force with which could take our capital. In truth,” said Sir Hugh with a cunning smile, “he’d be locked in with us.”

Sir Hugh paused. “He did not count on the people of The Glen or its geography, subjects that Sophia knew well. He believed that all that stood in his way was a home guard of fifty soldiers. He had no idea what effect his arrogance would have on an enraged citizenry seeing their beloved princess whipped like a common trollop. You see, Richard thought by dragging their princess into the square, stripping and flogging her, the people would be humiliated and intimidated, and they’d simply give up.”

“So what happened?”

“Richard brought an entourage of 200 soldiers. The hostages were marched in shackles behind them.

A scaffold had been built in the square of Mountvail. Richard and his lieutenants watched from a balcony. His guard collected Sophia who strode bravely, head held high like a queen, to the scaffold. I recall she wore a shift of white. She pulled it over her head and all gasped at her beauty. They bound her to the post and the executioner took up a rod. Since she was a woman, it was to be the lower discipline, laid on across the fleshy parts of her backside.

“The crowd was utterly still. The whipmaster raised his rod and with a whoosh…thwack! the first stroke fell. Sophia arched her back and gasped. Lines of red appeared on her bottom. He whipped her perfect bottom again and again, the rod striking the crowns and underside of her buttocks mainly. I could see her flesh quiver with each stroke and I knew it was hurting her terribly. It seemed to go on and on in this terrible cadence of the rod whistling then landing with a sharp thwack! Then her body would jerk as her buttocks rippled from the force of the blow. It was rhythmic almost, though the executioner would pause every ten strokes or so to take up a fresh rod. This was more severe than anything I’d ever done to her, even when she’d asked. She writhed at the post, absorbing blow after blow, her backside becoming striped, then nearly purple. The people could plainly see her pain. At each stroke her body stiffened and she shut her eyes in a painful grimace. She fought not to cry out, not even to whimper, but it was obvious that she was suffering.

“Now while Richard was totally absorbed watching the lurid spectacle of the beautiful Sophia’s whipping, we were on the move. Archers were moved into position in houses on the square. Farmers and craftsmen who had been given weapons training were moved in behind the soldiers. My squad moved up the stairs in behind Richard. I crept toward the scaffold clad in the garb of a huntsman. He wasn’t paying attention, he was too absorbed by the spectacle.

“In the meantime the crowd was becoming ugly. They were watching their princess humiliated by a foreign despot. They began to pick up rocks and sticks.

“Finally the count reached forty. Sophia slumped for a moment. There was dead silence. Then she shouted out, ‘it is done. Release my people.’ But Richard just laughed. ‘You are in no position to make demands, princess. Whipmaster, give her another dozen for her insolence.’

Hugh shook his head. “He never did that because as he reared back he got an arrow through the chest.

Then the fight was on. Everyone turned on Richard’s soldiers. With drawn swords we engaged Richard and his men.

The home guard led the fight and the people followed, hurling rocks, sticks, anything they could get their hands on. There were too many of us all for Richard’s men. They were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. But they fought their way free of the square to the stables. They got their horses and rode out, going out the way they came in.”

“I ran up and cut Sophia down. Although she was in pain and shivering, she demanded that we follow Richard and that she lead.”

“After that awful punishment?”

Hugh nodded. “She knew the people would follow her, and that it was the best chance for The Glen to defeat Richard once and for all. You see,” said Sir Hugh, opening his hands, “although they were trained men-at-arms, the folk of the Glen were mountaineers, hunters, and foresters who knew all the short cuts, the hidden places, the spots for ambush. Richard’s force had to move single file across rugged passes and through narrow defiles. They could be picked off one or two at a time. That’s what I meant by ‘them being locked in with us.’ It was Sophia’s plan.”

“For three days we pursued Richard, hitting him when he was most vulnerable, then vanishing back into the forest. His force steadily diminished until finally near the Volt river we engaged them face to face. I found Richard fought him. I personally ran him through. It was most satisfying.”

Hugh paused a moment with a far away look, remembering. Then he addressed Montcrief.

“After that it was done. Avignon had no stomach to continue with Richard dead. I don’t think their people ever wanted the fight in the first place. It was all Richard, his lust and his ambition.”

“What about Sophia?”

“We tended her and got her back to her keep as quickly as we could.”

The scholar let out a deep breath.

“That is quite a story. But Sophia, she died shortly thereafter, did she not? That’s what I heard.”

“She did. Edward had returned and had assumed the throne. Sophia stepped down for her older brother. But then she caught a fever, a disease of some unknown type. It may have been because she had been weakened after the awful birching and the pursuit in the mountains. She rode, even in that condition---and fought. Did I mention she was an accomplished archer? All I know is it went quickly.

Edward and I were with her at the end. We were afraid it might be plague so the casket was closed.”

“She did not lie in state so the people could see her?”

Hugh shifted uncomfortably. “No, we thought a closed casket best.”

The scholar shook his head. “So unfortunate. You could have married her.”

Sir Hugh shook his head. “Impossible. I am just a commoner. It could not have happened.”

“So you were given an estate after that.”

“Edward was most magnanimous. Yes, I retired here to this quiet estate deep in the Glen and took a wife.”

The scholar took his leave.
What a brave woman! She met with a sad end...or did she? Next week we follow the scholar in his search for the truth.
From Hermione's Heart


Roz said...

Thank you for continuing this wonderful story Hermione. Definitely different, but an interesting and brilliant read. Looking forward to reading more :)


Hermione said...

Roz - This section was a bit brutal, but our heroine seemed to take it in her stride.


ronnie said...

Hermione - I quite agree, quite a brutal punishment. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more next week.


Hermione said...

Ronnie - Next week's instalment is much nicer!


Ozarkhillbillyhippie said...

I miss those stories from this source so much