I've updated this article with the correct storyline and an extra picture plus links
|Roa - Eric 15 (Eric Captured)|
Defeated in battle, Eric is bought into camp at the head of the band of captive warriors. He is renowned as the best fighter in his tribe and Roa gives him another special, restraint arrangement that reflects his prized status - a sort of wooden yoke in the style of a medieval pillory. He is also forced to go naked in front of his men, whereas they seem to be wearing crude loin cloths*.
It occurs to me that the scene in which these defeated men were forced to strip out of their armour and uniforms, perhaps on the field of battle would be full of rich erotic possibilities but as far as I know Roa did not explore them. Who supplied the loin cloths, I wonder? Maybe the impoverished locals 'looted' the POW's as they were being marched by, forcing them to swap clothes, who knows?
Roa depicts Eric as a darkly, handsome man with a muscular body (of course). His is a similar story to Graham's (shown in Part 1 of this mitchmen series on Roa's art). But whilst Graham's arrival as a captive had a certain ironic glory, Eric's is more down-beat, almost as though he were despised by his captors. This is reflected in a changed viewpoint, we seem to be looking down from an elevated vantage point, secretly watching his private humiliation.
The escort (dressed in rather stylish, black outfits) drive their captives along using coercion, pushing them and pulling their hair. Eric himself has a guard's foot planted on his backside, propelling him forward. Beyond the main group there's a pair of dejected men being dragged along inside a mobile, timber cage. Their segregation from the main body of men and privileged use of transport suggests that an extra special fate awaits them.
Roa uses the aerial viewpoint to good technical effect here enabling us to see these separate elements of a crowded scene. He's placed the figures so that the composition remains compact and coherent in this view (whereas some renderers maroon their figures in vast empty spaces when they switch to the elevated viewpoint).
|Roa - Eric 14 (part of) Eric Defeated|
This image supplied as an introduction by Roa explains (in slightly disjointed fashion) the background to Eric's capture, you will see that it features Graham with his distinctive ginger hair, in fact the stories of these two characters are interwoven with each other
|Roa - Ready For Torture|
Spread-eagled in an Amalaric-style, X-frame this naked captive* awaits the pleasure of his captor who appears to be a man of some significance, well dressed and with stately bearing. A minion (presumably the regular torturer) kneels obsequiously before him, offering up his whip, which is accepted with manic glee. It suggests he has a personal animosity or grudge towards the captive. Perhaps the captive is (or rather has been) the proverbial 'thorn in his side', typically in these tales he's the rightful heir who has been usurped, but I cannot illuminate further (** see footnote).
His lordship spurns the array of crude devices spread on the torturer's table behind him in favour of the classic whip. He does not deign to bare his torso as common torturers do. Presumably he's indifferent to the risk of soiling his expensive clothes with flying body fluids and not intending to labour long enough over this man to work up a sweat, instead relying on his expertise with the weapon to make his symbolic contribution short, but stingingly sweet.
Interestingly, the captive is hugely aroused by their confrontation (or what goes with it). He is a marvellous specimen of manhood and gives us another example of Roa's splendid muscular backs with cute little buns as an unexpected bonus. Who would want to sully such a man? (Don't all shout at once!)
**This picture comes from a group labelled 'Savage Warrior'. The dark hair of the captive and the black clothing of his captors seem like a precursor to the Eric series. There is an 'Eric' equivalent of this scene but it features the near-juvenile Alphons as his tormentor so I'm not willing to include it here. This alternative fits in well and it's a great, nicely detailed picture with more clever use of the aerial viewpoint.
|Roa - Eric-29 (Abused)|
The scarcity of tell-tale wounds on Eric's body in this image seems to confirm that he has suffered an economic punishment from the whip (but not necessarily a mild one). These moderate signs of physical damage show a degree of restraint on Roa's part as well as Eric's captors, which I for one appreciate. After all, why mutilate such an object of beauty and desire?
As you see, however, Eric isn't about to be spared from further degradations and this time it's crude sexual abuse at the hands of a different man. His tormentor this time is Graham (from Part 1). His character in this sequence seems very different to the romantic, ill-fated lover of Alphons. He's shown here wearing chain-mail tights, which I suspect are probably sexier for the viewers to look at than for him to wear - and even more uncomfortable when they're rolled up to waist high!
|Roa - Eric-32 (Suspended)|
Eric is suspended in a painful back-breaking position and forced to service his captor. Tormented by his own weight, which also prevents him from freeing himself, this extreme technique impresses on the victim just how helpless and hopeless his predicament is.
This restraint position in full suspension is spectacular but more dangerous than most, particularly if prolonged, so please don't try it at home!
For on-lookers this stressed position produces some beautiful body shaping, notably of the buttocks, but also the back and shoulders. Both of these features are accented in Roa's image by beautiful, grainy highlights, suggestive of body hair and sweat.
Simultaneously the downward bowing of the torso lays open the victim's frontal vulnerabilities, especially if he is nude and free to dangle. Roa rather cruelly draws attention to such danger by showing Eric's tackle balanced on the blade of Graham's sword (a rare and considerable feat for the swordsman, considering the area is out of his sight and his full attention is otherwise engaged). Hopefully he's only considering using the flat of the blade to tap or whack, leaving the threat of the cutting edge as just that, an intimidating threat. It's a particularly potent one I suppose if you are a 'rightful heir' and expecting to father the next in line.
Given the inherent dangers of this pose in real life rather than fantasy, it is fortunate for us that nearly all the erotic interest can be reproduced without lifting the subject off the ground. The earliest photo example I can think of is the classic bondage image produced by Bound and Gagged back in the 90's. Another mitchmen article on 'Rhino' posing at Extreme Boyz also explored the potential of this restraint, showing the suppleness demanded of anyone who tries it. More recently it's been used regularly on subjects at Russian Captured Boys and there's a memorable Ulf image using a hammock-like arrangement which in turn is based on a photograph which I'm sure I've got somewhere but can never find!
|Roa - Eric-39 (Enslaved)|
Eric's sufferings do not seemed to have harmed his voluptuous physique, it's mature development belies his boyish face, but he bears those weighty nipple rings as though born to it. They are complemented by an ugly, skewer-like dick-plug suggesting that even if his tackle has been reprieved for now, he's not going to be allowed to use it to sire a new pretender to the throne or for anything else, except by arrangement. His virile response to the insertion must infuriate his tormentors!
All in all, however, these encumbrances hardly seem conducive to a good day's work in the fields. Perhaps the real, sadistic intention is to ensure his punishment continues as he works or even to bring about a slow, lingering but vaguely legal demise by working him to death.
More slavery in Roa – Part 4 at mitchmen (link pending)
Read this series from Part 1