These are relevant references from the Books where an Ambassador is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
It was somewhat surprising to me that Kamchak and I, being in our way ambassadors of the Wagon Peoples, were entertained in the house of Saphrar, the merchant, rather than in the palace of Phanius Turmus, Administrator of Turia. Kamchak's explanation was reasonably satisfying. There were apparently two reasons, the official reason and the real reason. The official reason, proclaimed by Phanius Turmus, the Administrator, and others high in the government, was that those of the Wagon Peoples were unworthy to be entertained in the administrative palace; the real reason, apparently seldom proclaimed by anyone, was that the true power in Turia lay actually with the Caste of Merchants, chief of whom was Saphrar, as it does in many cities. The Administrator, however, would not be uninformed. His presence at the banquet was felt in the person of his plenipotentiary, Kamras, of the Caste of Warriors, a captain, said to be Champion of Turia.
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Page 83
Kamras, Champion of the City of Turia, rose to his feet.
He addressed Saphrar. "Permit me," he said, "to fetch weapons."
Kamchak was now swilling Paga and acted as though he had not heard the remark of Kamras.
"No, no, no!" cried Saphrar. "The Tuchuk and his friend are guests, and ambassadors of the Wagon Peoples they must not come to harm!"
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Pages 94 - 95
"You are aware, of course," she said, "that if you were not an ambassador of the Wagon Peoples at this time I would order you slain."
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Page 97
"You recall, of course," Kamchak was saying, "that I am an ambassador of the Wagon Peoples and am entitled to the courtesies of your city."
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Page 102
Indeed, there was little known even of the city of Treve.
It lay somewhere among the lofty, vast terrains of the rugged Voltai, perhaps as much a fortress, a lair, of outlaw tarnsmen as a city. It was said to be accessible only on tarn-back. No woman, it was said, could be brought to the city, save as a hooded, stripped slave girl, bound across the saddle of a tarn. Indeed, even merchants and ambassadors were permitted to approach the city only under conduct, and then only when hooded and in bonds, as though none not of Treve might approach her save as slaves or captive supplicants.
Captive of Gor Book 7 Page 191
"These robes," said Msaliti, indicating robes spread upon the couch, "will be found suitable for an ambassador of Teletus. "He then indicated a small chest at the couch's foot. "Those gifts, too," he said, "will appear seemly from one interested in negotiating a commercial treaty with one of the stature of Bila Huruma."
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 225
"What is your plan?" I asked.
"Bila Huruma, this very morning," said he, "holds court. You, in the guise of an ambassador of Teletus, will bring forward gifts for his viewing. I will do the speaking. You need do little or nothing. Almost no one present will be able to understand Gorean. I will explain that the details of your proposal for a commercial treaty will be discussed with the appropriate wazir, and presented later for approval."
"In short," I said, "it will appear little more than an official greetings exchanged between governments."
"That would be appropriate at this stage of negotiation," said Msaliti.
"Very well," I said. "But what do you have further in mind?"
"Shaba, as one close to Bila Huruma, will be present in the court," he said. "You will attack Shaba and slay him. I will then have you placed under arrest by askaris. I will obtain the ring from the body of Shaba, and you, later, by arrangement, will be permitted to escape. I will pay you a hundred tarns of gold and I myself will then return the ring to the beasts."
"The arrogant knave now approaching the throne," said Ligurious, whispering in my ear, "is Miles, an ambassador, and general, from Argentum."
The fellow, approaching, coming up the long aisle toward the great dais, on which my throne reposed, had indeed a bold stride. In the crook of his left arm he carried a helmet, crested with sleen hair. Behind him swirled a huge cape of trimmed, white fur.
"Remember that those of Argentum are our enemies, and the enemies, too, of our great ally, the island of Cos."
"I remember," I said.
"The men behind him," said Ligurious, "carry chests, filled with riches, to sue for your favor."
"He seems not to approach so humbly," I said.
"Brush back your robes a bit, so that he may better see you," said Ligurious.
I did this.
"Allow me," said Ligurious, "as these matters may be sensitive, to conduct this audience."
"Of course," I said. I was relieved that Ligurious would do this for me. I knew matters were tense between Corcyrus and Argentum. I did not wish to commit any blunders which might reflect adversely on the throne. Ligurious would know what to do.
I took an immediate dislike to the fellow approaching. He was from Argentum, our enemy.
"Miles, Ambassador of Argentum, Miles, General of Argentum!" announced the herald.
The men behind Miles put down the boxes they had brought. Doubtless new riches would soon grace the steps of the dais.
"The throne of Corcyrus," said Ligurious, "greets the ambassador from Argentum, Miles, general of Argentum."
"On behalf of Claudius, Ubar of Argentum," said Miles, "I accept the greetings of Corcyrus."
"But do you not accept them for yourself, as well?" inquired Ligurious.
"Had I my will," he said, "I would have come to the walls of Corcyrus not with the scrolls of protest but the engines of war."
"Beware the quickness of your tongue," said Ligurious, "for you rant now not in one of Argentum's taverns but in Corcyrus, and before the throne of her Tatrix."
"Forgive me, noble Ligurious," said Miles. "I forgot myself. It was a natural mistake. In the taverns of Argentum we of Argentum are indeed accustomed to speaking freely before women such as your Tatrix. They are paga slaves."
There were cries of rage about me.
More than one blade about me slipped swiftly, menacingly, from its sheath. Miles did not budge, nor flinch, at the foot of the throne. He had a great shock of black hair. His piercing gray eyes rested upon me. I wished that I was veiled. I did not think he would ever forget what I looked like.
"Your scrolls have been examined," said Ligurious. "I, the Tatrix, and those of the high councils, have scrutinized them with more care than they deserved. Their evidences are false, their arguments specious, their claims fraudulent."
"Such a dismissal of their contents I expected," said Miles. "I myself would not have transmitted them. Better to have sent you the defiance of Argentum and a spear of war."
I myself had examined the scrolls only in a sense. Excerpts had been read to me, with criticism, by Ligurious. His analysis of their contents, I did not doubt, was sound. He was a highly intelligent man, and familiar, clearly, with the geographical and political features of the problems. The issues had to do primarily with our silver mines, which, unfortunately, lay near Argentum. Force, it seemed, was required to protect them. These mines were said to be almost as rich as those of Tharna, far to the north and east of Corcyrus. The claim of Argentum, course, was that the silver mines were theirs. My education, so full and exacting in many ways, was incomplete in at least one obvious and glaring detail. I had not been taught to read Gorean. I was illiterate in Gorean.
"It is fortunate for Corcyrus, and for peace," said Ligurious, "that he with whom we truly have to deal is not Miles, general of Argentum, but with Claudius, her Ubar. He, I trust, is far less hotheaded. He, I trust, is more rational. He, I trust, may be expected to see reason and acknowledge, however reluctantly, the justice of our cause."
"Corcyrus is not feared by Argentum," said Miles.
"That is true," said Miles. These chests and coffers were behind him, on the floor.
"If the gifts are suitable," said Ligurious, "our Tatrix, after the cession of the mines, may be moved to deal somewhat less harshly with the miscreants of Argentum."
"I am sure that Claudius, my Ubar, would be relieved to hear that," said Miles.
Ligurious inclined his head, acknowledging these words graciously. There was some laughter about me. I heard blades being returned to sheaths.
"I see," said Ligurious, lightly, "that you bring with you no male silk slaves, in chains, to be presented to the Tatrix."
"It is well known," said Miles, "that the Tatrix of Corcyrus is not interested in men, but only in gold and power."
"Beware," said Ligurious.
I did not understand, truly, the remark of Miles of Argentum. I was not interested in men, of course, I reassured myself, as a woman of Earth, but, on the other hand, I did not think that I was unusually greedy either. Such things, at any rate, were generally not uppermost in my mind. There was a difference sometimes, I supposed, between the true and reputed characters of public figures. How odd, sometimes, are fame and rumors. That I might conceivably be presented with male silk slaves took me aback for a moment but then I realized that, as a female ruler, it was not out of the question that I might be presented with such gifts.
Typical gifts for a male ruler, I knew, might include beautiful female slaves, additional riches for his pleasure gardens.
"You may now open the chests and coffers," said Ligurious, eyeing them with interest.
"How is it," inquired Miles, "that the Tatrix of Corcyrus goes unveiled?"
"It is custom," said Ligurious.
"From our former messengers and envoys," said Miles, gather that the custom is a new one."
"Every custom has its beginning," said Ligurious. I was interested to hear this. I had not realized that the custom was a recent one. There are many justifications for initiating such a custom. Foremost among them, doubtless, is that it is now possible for her subjects to gaze upon her with awe and reverence.
"I should think, rather," said Miles, smiling, "that you might fear that her subjects would gaze upon her not with awe and reverence, but interest."
"Interest?" asked Ligurious.
"Yes, said Miles, "wondering, perhaps, what she might look like in a collar."
"I think it is time," said Ligurious, "that you should improve your service to your Ubar. Let us see what gifts he proffers to Corcyrus, petitioning for our mercy and favor."
"Take no offense, Lady," said Miles to me, "for it is high commendation I extend to you. Though I have had many women far superior to you, and even in the alcoves of taverns, I am not insensitive to your beauty. It is not inconsiderable. Indeed, I have no doubt that in the middle price ranges you would prove to be a desirable buy."
I clenched my fists on the arms of the throne. How insolent he was! How I hated him! I wondered, too, if some men, indeed, might find me a desirable buy.
"Open the chests and coffers," said Ligurious, menacingly.
"Surely Corcyrus needs no more riches," said Miles. "Consider the lavishness of the appointments of this hall, the richness of the regalia of those here convened."
"Let us see what Claudius has sent us," said Ligurious.
"I see rich cloths here," be said, indicating the cloths spread tastefully about the steps of the dais. "I see that there is gold in Corcyrus," he said, indicating the coins in their plentitudes, seemingly casually spilled about the steps. "I see, too," he said, "that there are beautiful slaves in Corcyrus." His eyes rested then, fully, upon Susan, kneeling, chained by the neck to the side of my throne. This was not the first time that he had seen her, of course. Indeed, I had seen him picking her out more than once. I think he found her of interest. At any rate, clearly, she was not now being noticed in passing, as a mere component in a display, but was being attended to, observed, scrutinized, even studied, as a specific, individual slave, on her chain. She drew back, fearfully, with a small sound of the chain. She did not dare to meet his eyes. She clenched her thighs closely together. She was trembling her breathing was rapid; doubtless her heart was pounding; doubtless she was aware of it in her small rib cage. Yet I had seen her looking at him. She had hardly been able to keep her eyes from him. I supposed it was difficult for mere female slaves, in their scanty garments, and in their lowly station, not to be excited by rich, powerful, handsome, resplendent free men, so far above themselves. It was much easier for one like myself, a free woman, and richly robed, to control, resist and fight femininity. In the case of the slave, on the other hand, femininity is actually required of her. Indeed, if she is insufficiently feminine she will be beaten. It is no wonder female slaves are so helpless with men. I noted the eyes of Miles of Argentum on Susan. She trembled, being appraised. I felt sudden anger, and jealousy. He had not looked at me like that! To be sure, she was a slave, and I was free. It would certainly be improper for anyone to look on me, a free woman, in that candid, basic way! Too, Susan had me at a disadvantage. Would not any woman look attractive if she were half naked and put on a chain? How could I compete with that? Let us both be stripped and chained, I thought, and then let men decide, examining us, which was most beautiful! But then I realized that Susan was, doubtless, far more beautiful than I. She was exquisite. It had been, no mistake on the part of slavers that she had been brought to Gor. I then thought that tonight I might whip Susan. She could not resist. She was a slave. I could have her take off her clothes and then tie her to a ring. I could then whip her. That would teach her to be more beautiful than I! Then I thought how absurd that was. It was not Susan's fault if she were more beautiful than I, or my fault if I might not be, objectively, as beautiful as she. I felt ashamed of my hostility, my jealousy. But Susan's beauty, I realized, then, was not a matter merely of features and figure, exquisite though these might be. Her beauty had to do more intimately and basically I thought, somehow, with matters which were more psychological and emotional; it had to do, somehow, in its softness and femininity, with the slavery of her. I wondered if I might become more beautiful than I was. I wondered if I might become as beautiful, someday, as the women cited by Miles of Argentum as being so superior to me. I wondered if I might one day be so beautiful that he might see nothing to choose from, between me and them. I wondered if I might not, one day, even be their superior! But then I put such thoughts from my mind. Where was my pride and freedom!
"Let us see," insisted Ligurious, "what Claudius has sent us."
"Of course," said Miles of Argentum. He handed his helmet to one of the men about him. With a great key be unlocked the largest chest.
The other chests and coffers, too, by others, were then unlocked.
Ligurious, and I, and the others, leaned forward, to glimpse the contents of these chests and coffers.
"In suit for the favor of Corcyrus, in deference and tribute to Corcyrus, Claudius, Ubar of Argentum," said Miles of Argentum, "sends this!"
He flung open the great chest, and turned it to its side. The other chests and coffers, by his fellows, were similarly treated.
"Nothing!" cried Ligurious. "There is nothing in them!"
"And that," said Miles of Argentum, "is what Claudius, Ubar of Argentum, sends to Corcyrus!"
"Insolence!" cried Ligurious. "Insolence!"
Cries of rage broke out from those about me.
Miles put out his hand and his helmet was returned to him. He put it again in the crook of his left arm. His great furred cape, by one of the men behind him, was adjusted on him.
"I now leave Corcyrus," he said. "When I return, I shall have an army at my back."
"You have insulted our Tatrix," said Ligurious.
"Your Tatrix," said Miles, "belongs in a cage, a golden cage."
There were further cries of rage from those about me. I did not understand, clearly, the nature of this insult, or the meaning of the reference to a golden cage.
"Here," said Miles, reaching into a pocket on his belt, "if you of Corcyrus are so eager for the silver of Argentum, I will give you some." He held up the coin. "This is a silver tarsk of Argentum," he said. He flung it to the foot of the dais. "I give it to you," he said. "It is about the worth of your Tatrix, I think, in so far as I am now able to assess her. It is, I think, about what she would bring in a slave market."
Blades flashed forth from sheaths. I saw Drusus Rencius restrain one man from rushing upon Miles of Argentum. In the small retinue of Miles blades, too, had leapt from sheaths.
"Strip him, and chain him to the slave ring of the Tatrix!" cried a man.
I shuddered. I would be terrified to have such a man chained at my couch. It would be like having a lion there.
Too, I thought, surely it would be more fitting for women, in their softness and beauty, with their dispositions to submit and love, irreservedly and wholly, asking nothing, giving all, holding nothing back from the dominant male, their master, to be chained to a slave ring. This, in its way, is a beautiful symbol of her nature and needs. On the other hand, symbolic considerations aside, it must be noted that the chain is quite real. She is truly chained there.
Miles turned about and, followed by his retinue, left the great hall.
Those about the throne, most of them, began to take their leave.
"Do you think there will be trouble?" I asked Ligurious.
"No," he said. "Argentum, upon reflection, will think the better of her rash decision. Even Claudius knows that behind us stands the might and weight of Cos."
The ambassador, he, Miles, the general of Argentum," I said, "seemed very, firm."
"He is a hothead," said Ligurious. "In time, have no fear, when there is a more objective assessment of realities, cooler wisdoms will prevail."