Then she began to hear something; someone coming along the road. Charlotte was becoming increasingly aware that she was naked and lost. Perhaps she should hide in the forest and let the stranger pass. But then she would be no better off. Where would she go?
A figure had now come into view. It was her last chance to run away but, she reasoned, if this was all a fantasy, there was no need for her to be embarrassed. People dreamed that they were naked all the time. She began to walk towards the approaching figure and only when it was too late did she realise her mistake.
The man was dressed in well-worn clothes, stained with sweat and the dust of the road, but his attire was not that of a modern man. He wore leather trousers and boots and a brown leather jerkin over a once white shirt. From his wide belt a curved scimitar hung at his side. His sun-burned face was marred with stubble and old scars, lending him a fearsome appearance.
But it was not the sight of this brutish man that sent waves of panic through Charlotte's heart. It was the fact that he was only the advance guard of a small convoy.
Behind him, a wooden wagon came round a bend in the road. It was drawn by two sturdy but tired horses and driven by another man as unappealing as the first. On the back of the wagon was mounted a wooden cage and in it sat a group of dirty and dejected female prisoners. Bringing up the rear of the group came two men on horseback, both clad in chainmail covered by long tabards of black and purple. They were well armed with short lances, longswords and bows.
"What have we here?" smiled the first man, showing yellow teeth. "A damsel in distress?"
"Please..." Charlotte began but, without warning, he struck her across the face, knocking her to the ground.
"A naked slut, throwing herself at my feet!" The man looming over her began to fumble at the front of his trousers.
"Wait," said the wagon driver, "what if she's..."
"What?" barked the first man impatiently, dropping down onto his intended victim. "A noble woman? A respected citizen who just happens to be wandering naked on the road to Kharis?" He began to force Charlotte's legs apart and pulled out his now hardened manhood. She screamed at the sight of his pustulent club. "Ah! She's begging for my cock."
"I'm next!" The driver was getting down from the wagon as Charlotte struggled helplessly.
"Stop!" The voice rang out with the tone of command. One of the horsemen had cantered up to the front of the convoy. "Put that putrid stump away," he demanded. "She has the look of a pleasure slave. Some lord will pay well to have her returned to his harem."
"And if her master cannot be found?"
"Then she will fetch a high price at the slave market. Unless she's infected with your rot. Put her in the cage."......
When an experiment that Charlotte has been working on setting up as a lab assistant goes terribly wrong, she is cast adrift in the strange world of Arkadia. Sold as a slave girl she has to come to terms with how to survive amidst the turmoil of treachery that seems set to engulf the country. Cruel and inventive slave-usage and vividly imagined scenery, characters and monsters people this book. Charlotte’s Awakening is unique in that it combines the best of fantasy writing with the best of SM – a potent combination! Ashton Thorn’s first volume of The Naked Saga is a real treat.