burned below them, turned hunting to the plains of the stars. We do not know how long their hunt took. But we do know the
worlds, long ago, entered the system of a slow-revolving, medium-sized yellow star occupying a peripheral position in one of
nature´s bounteous, gleaming, strewn spiral universes.
They had found their quarry, a world.
They had found two worlds, one spoken of as Earth, the other as Gor.
One of these worlds was a world poisoning itself, a pathodogical world insane and short-saghted, greed-driven and self-destructive.
The other was a pristine world, virginal in its beauty and fertility, one not permitted by its masters, called the Sardar, or Priest-Kings,
to follow the example of its tragic sister. Priest-Kings would not permit men to destroy Gor. They are not permissive; they are
intolerant of geocide. Perhaps it is hard to understand why they do not permit men to destroy Gor. Are they not harsh and cruel, to
deny to men this pleasure? Perhaps. But, too, they are rational. And one may be rational, perhaps, without being weak. Indeed, is
not weakness the ultimate irrationality? Gor, too, it must be remembered, is also the habitat of the Sardar, or Priest-Kings. They
have not chosen to be weak. This choice may be horrifying to those of Earth, so obsessed with their individualism, their proclaimed
rights and liberties, but it is one they have chosen to make. I do not defend it. I only report it. Dispute it with them who will.
“Half-Ear is now among us,” Samos had said.
I stared at the ceiling, watching the shifting shadows and reflections from the small, perforated lamp.
The Priest-kings, for thousands of years, had defended the system of the yellow star against the depredations of the prowling Kurii.
Fortunes had shifted perhaps dozens of times, but never had the Kurii managed to establish a beachhead on the shores of this
beautiful world. But some years ago, in the time of the Nest War, the power of the Priest-Kings was considerably reduced. I do not
think the Kurii are certain of this, or of the extent of the reduction.
I think if they knew the truth in these matters the codewords would flash between the steel worlds, the ports would open, and the
ships would nose forth, turning toward Gor.
But the Kur, like the shark and sleen, is a cautious beast.
He prowls, he tests the wind, and then, when he is certain, he makes his strike.
Samos was much disturbed that the high Kur, it referred to as Half-Ear, was now upon the surface of this world. We had discovered
this from an enciphered message, fallen into our hands, hidden in the beads of a necklace.
That Half-Ear had come to Gor was taken by Samos and Priest-Kings as evidence that the invasion was imminent.
Perhaps even now the ships of Kurii flamed toward Gor, as purposeful and silent as sharks in the waters of space´s night.
But I did not think so.
I did not think the invasion was imminent.
It was my surmise that the Kur, it called Half-Ear, had come to prepare the way for the invasion.
He had come to make smooth the path, to ready the sands of Gor for the keels of the steel ships.
He must be stopped.
Should he discover the weakness of the Priest-Kings, or construct a depot adequate to fuel, to shield and supply the beaching
ships, there seemed little reason to suppose the invasion would not prove successful.
Half-Ear was now upon the surface of Gor.
“He is now among us,” had said Samos.
The Kurii moved now, at last, with dispatch and menace. Half-Ear had come to Gor.
But where was he! Beasts of Gor, page 7-8-9
“The arrogance of Kurii may yet prove their undoing,” said Samos.
He sat, cross-legged, behind the low table. On It were hot bread, yellow and fresh, hot black wine, steaming, with its sugars, slices
of roast bosk, the scrambled eggs of vulos, pastries with creams and custards.
“It is too easy,” I said. I did not speak clearly with my mouth full.
“It is a sport for them,” he said, “this war.” He looked at me, grimly. “As it seems to be for some men.”
“Perhaps to some,” I said, “those who are soldiers, but surely not to Kurii in general. I understand their commitment in these
matters to be serious and one involving their deep concern.”
“Would that all men were as serious,” said Samos.
I grinned, and washed down the eggs with a swig of hot black wine, prepared from the beans grown upon the slopes of the Thentis
mountains. This black wine is quite expensive. Men have been slain on Gor for attempting to smuggle the beans out of the Thentian
“Kurii were ready once,” said I, “or some party of them, to destroy Gor, to clear the path to Earth, a world they would surely favor
less. Willingness to perform such an act, I wager, fits in not well with the notion of vain, proud beasts.”
“Strange that you should speak of vain, proud beasts,” said Samos.
“I do not understand,” I said.
“I suppose not,” said Samos. He then drank from his cup, containing the black wine. I did not press him to elucidate his meaning. He
“I think the Kurii are too clever, too shrewd, too determined,” said I, “to be taken at their face value in this matter. Such an act, to
deliver such a message, would be little better than a taunt, a gambit, intended to misdirect our attention.”
“But can we take this risk?” he asked.
“Perhaps not,” I said. With a Turian eating prong, used in the house of Samos, I speared a slice of meat, and then threaded it on
the single tine. Beasts of Gor, page 20-21
Finally, it was decided that it was indeed germane to the decision to understand what the Kurii would offer to obtain this permission.
I, in this time, now came to understand that Torvaldsland stood, in effect, as a wall between the Kurii and the more southern
regions of Gor. The Kur, moreover, tends to be an inveterate land animal. They neither swim well nor enjoy the water. They are
uneasy on ships. Moreover, they knew little of the craftsmanship of building a seaworthy ship. That now, suddenly, large numbers of
Kurii were conjoined, and intent upon a march southward could not be a coincidence in the wars of such beasts with Priest-Kings. I
supposed it quite probable this was, in effect, a probe, and yet one within the laws of the Priest-Kings. It was Gorean Kurii that
were clearly, substantially, involved. They carried primitive weapons. They did not even use a translator. In the laws of Priest-Kings
it was up to such species, those of Kurii and men, to resolve their differences in their own way. I had little doubt but what the Kurii,
perhaps organized by Kurii from the steel worlds, were to begin a march in Torvaldsland, which might extend, in a generation to the
southern pole of Gor. The Kurii were now ready to reveal themselves. At last they were ready to march. If they were successful, I
had little doubt that the invasion from space, in its full power, would follow. In their mercy or disinterest, Priest-Kings had spared
many Kurii who had been shipwrecked, or shot down, or marooned on Gor. These beasts, over the centuries grown numerous and
strong, might now be directed by the Kurii of the steel worlds. Doubtless they had been in contact with them. I expected the
speaker himself was of the steel ships painfully taught Gorean. The Kurii native to Gor, or which had been permitted to survive and
settle on Gor, would sure-ly not be likely to have this facility. They and men seldom met, save to kill one another.
The Kuriu, I gathered, did not wish to fight their way to more fertile lands south, but to reach them easily, thus conserving their
numbers and, in effect, cutting Torvaldsland from the south. There was little to be gained by fighting an action the length of
Torvaldsland, and little to be lost by not doing so, which could not be later recouped when power in the south had been
consolidated. I had strong doubts, of course, as to whether a Kur invasion of the south was practical, unless abetted by the strikes
of Kur ships from the steel worlds. The point of the probe, indeed, might be to push Kur power as far south as possible, and,
perhaps, too, for the first time, result in the engagement of the forces of Priest-Kings to turn them back. This would permit an
assessment of the power of Priest-Kings, the extent and nature of which was largely unknown to the Kurii, and, perhaps, to lure
them into exposing themselves in such a way that a space raid might be successfully launched. All in all, I expected the invasion of
the south was, at this point, primarily a probe. If it was successful, the Priest-Kings, to preserve men on the planet might be forced
to intervene, thus breaking their own laws. If the Priest-Kings did not do this, perhaps for reasons of pride, their laws having been
given, then, in effect, Gor might become a Kur world, in which, given local allies, the Priest-Kings might finally be isolated and
destroyed. This was, to my knowledge, the boldest and most dangerous move of the Others, the Kurii, to this date. It utilized large
forces on Gor itself, largely native Kurii in its schemes. Kurii from the ships, of course, as organizers, as officers, might be among
them. And doubtless there would be communication with the ships, somehow. This march might be the first step in an invasion, to
culminate with the beaching of silver ships, in their thousands, raiders from the stars, on the shores of Gor.
It was possible, of course, that the Kurii would attack Torvaldsland when well within it, without large forces marshaled against them.
Once within the country, before an army could be massed against them, they might cut it to pieces, farm by farm.
It was possible, too, of course, that the Kurii had become gentle beasts, fond of farming, renouncing their warlike ways, and turning
humbly to the soil, and the labors of the earth, setting perhaps therein an excellent example for the still half-savage human animals
of Gor, so predatory, so savage, so much concerned with wars, and their codes and honor. Perhaps we could learn much from the
Kurii. Per-haps we could learn from them not to be men, but a more benign animal, more content, more bovine; perhaps they could
teach us, having overcome their proud, restless natures, to become, too, a gentler, sweeter form of being, a more pleasant, a
softer, a happier animal. Perhaps, together with them, tilling the soil, we could construct a more placid world, a world in which
discipline and courage, and curiosity and adventure, and doing what pleases one, would become no more than the neglected,
scorned, half-forgotten anachronisms of remote barbarians. We would then have over-come our manhood, and become one with
the snails, the Kurii and the flowers. Marauders of Gor, pages175 to 177
I nodded. I would not forget Ibn Saran, lithe, like a silken panther. He had been a worthy foe. One gains a victory; one loses an
enemy. I lifted my head to the sky, wide and blue, with no clouds. Somewhere up there, beyond atmospheres, beyond the orbits of
Gor, and Earth and Mars, in a boulder-strewn enigmatic blackness of space, in the silence of the fragments of the asteroid belt, were
the steel worlds, the lairs and domiciles of Kurii. A Kur had fought by my side to save the Gorean world. It was desired not only by
men, it was desired, too, by Kurii. I did not think that Kurii, again, would be willing to sacrifice this world, to achieve another.
Already, in their remote past, they had lost one world, their own. The political ascendancy of the party which bad been willing to
destroy Gor, to secure the Earth, had, with the failure of their project, doubtless been brief. That a Kur had been sent to foil them
was doubtless significant. Further, Gor was the true prize of the planet rooting about the sun, not the Earth, for, in the name of
rights and liberty, and business, the fools of Earth, confused by the rhetoric of law and morality, shielding short- sighted greed and
madness, had stood aside, permitting the poisoning of the air they breathed, the water they drank, the food they ate. That the
poisoners will die with the poisoned will perhaps yield them some comfort. Priest-Kings, of course, who are accustomed to think
directly in terms of realities and consequences, not words, had not permitted this same insane duplicity to be practiced upon their
gullibility. They do not shrivel before the moral fervor of fanatics; rather they seek to look behind words, discarding them as largely
meaningless, to discover what is truly meant, what is wanted, what is being striven for, and, if these programs and policies are
implemented , what will be the nature of the resultant world, and is that world acceptable or not. To exploitation, to waste, to
pollution, Priest-Kings had simply, in their technological abridgments imposed on man, said, "No." It is, in defense of their tyranny,
their despotism, you see, after all, lest you think too badly of them, their habitat as well.
I looked up at the sky. The Kurii, I suspected, did not want Earth, but Gor. Earth might be useful as a slave planet, but the true
prize, the object of their predation, would be Gor.
What then could be the next step? The uprising of native Kurii had been foiled in Torvaldsland. I had been in Torvaldsland at the
time. The destruction of Gor, to rid themselves of the opposition of Priest-Kings Gor, had been foiled. When this had occurred I had
been at the steel tower in the Tahari, the half-buried ship which had housed the destructive device. I gazed at the placid sky.
Surely Kurii must by now, sense the weakness of the Nest. The ship, for Tahari which had housed the destructive device had
penetrated the weakened defenses of the Priest-Kings. But the Priest-Kings, after the Nest War, would be rebuilding their power.
It might well seem to Kurii that they must strike soon. There was not a cloud in the wide, bright Tahari sky. The invasion, I surmised,
must be impending. Tribesmen of Gor, page 362-363
“There is no clue,” Samos had said.
I lay awake on the great couch. I stared at the ceiling
of the room. Light from a perforated lamp flickered
dimly. The furs were deep and soft. My weapons lay to
one side. A slave, sleeping, lay chained at my feet.
There was no clue.
“He might be anywhere,” had said Samos. He had
shrugged. “We know only that somewhere he is
We know little about that species of animal called the
Kur. We do know it is blood-thirsty, that it feeds on
human flesh and that it is concerned with glory.
“It is not unlike men,” had once said Misk to me, a
This story, in its way, has no clear beginning. It
began, I suppose, some thousands of years ago
when Kurii, in internecine wars, destroyed the viability
of a native world. Their state at that time was
sufficiently advanced technologically to construct small
steel worlds in orbit, each some pasangs in diameter,
The remnants of a shattered species then, as a world
|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
Kurii's Ultimate Goal on Gor