"Do not harm him," said Kazrak. "He is my sword brother, Tarl of Bristol." Kazrak's remark was in accord with the strange warrior
codes of Gor, codes which were as natural to him as the air he breathed, and codes which I, in the Chamber of the Council of Ko-ro-
ba, had sworn to uphold. One who has shed your blood, or whose blood you have shed, becomes your sword brother, unless you
formally repudiate the blood on your weapons. It is part of the kinship of Gorean warriors regardless of what city it is to which they
owe their allegiance. It is a matter of caste, an expression of respect for those who share their station and profession, having
nothing to do with cities or Home Stones. Tarnsman of Gor, page 119
Mintar seemed satisfied. He looked at me. 'Tarl of Bristol,' he said, 'do you take service with Mintar, of the Merchant Caste?"
Tarnsman of Gor, page 121
I realised, to my amusement that he had been afraid that some particle of his investment might have been sacrificed. He would
have had a man killed rather than risk the loss of a tenth of a tarn disc, so well he knew the codes of his caste. Tarnsman of Gor,
The caravan was secured, and in a few hours trade would begin. The caravan, with its varied goods, was needed by the camp, and
its merchandise would command the highest prices. I noted with satisfaction that Pa-Kur, Master Assassin, proud leader of perhaps
the greatest horde ever assembled on the plains of Gor, had need of Mintar, who was only of the Merchant Caste. Tarnsman of Gor,
I stopped a hurrying slave girl and inquired the way to the compound of Mintar, of the Merchant Caste, confident that he would
have accompanied the horde back to the heartland of Ar. The girl was not pleased to be delayed on her errand, but a slave on Gor
does not wisely ignore the address of a free man. She spit the coins she carried in her mouth into her hand, and told me what I
wanted to know. Few Gorean garments are deformed by pockets. An exception is the working aprons of artisans. Tarnsman of Gor,
Mintar's tent was enormous and domed, similar in shape to the others in his camp; however, not only in size, but in splendour of
appointment, it was a palace of silk. We passed through the guards at the entrance. In the centre of the great tent, seated alone
on cushions before a small fire, were two men, a game board between them. One was Mintar, of the Merchant Caste, his great bulk
resting like a sack of meal on the cushions. Tarnsman of Gor, page 169
It might be mentioned, for those unaware of the fact, that the Caste of Merchants is not considered one of the traditional five High
Castes of Gor the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. Most commonly, and doubtless unfortunately, it is only
members of the five high castes who occupy positions on the High Councils of the cities. Nonetheless, as might be expected, the
gold of merchants, in most cities, exercises its not imponderable influence, not always in so vulgar a form as bribery and gratuities,
but more often in the delicate matters of extending or refusing to extend credit in connection with the projects, desires or needs of
the High Councils. There is a saying on Gor, "Gold has no caste." It is a saying of which the merchants are fond. Indeed, secretly
among themselves, I have heard, they regard themselves as the highest caste on Gor, though they would not say so for fear of
rousing the indignation of other castes. There would be something, of course, to be said for such a claim, for the merchants are
often indeed in their way, brave, shrewd, skilled men, making long journeys, venturing their goods, risking caravans, negotiating
commercial agreements, among themselves developing and enforcing a body of Merchant Law, the only common legal
arrangements existing among the Gorean cities. Merchants also, in effect, arrange and administer the four great fairs that take
place each year near the Sardar Mountains. I say "in effect" because the fairs are nominally under the direction of a committee of
the Caste of Initiates, which, however, largely contents itself with its ceremonies and sacrifices, and is only too happy to delegate
the complex management of those vast, commercial phenomena, the Sardar Fairs, to members of the lowly, much-despised Caste of
Merchants, without which, incidentally, the fairs most likely could not exist, certainly not at any rate in their current form. Nomads of
Gor, page 84
I slowed to a walk and entered the clearing among the tents. One or two of the guardsmen eyed me curiously. One arose and went
to check the woods behind me, to see if I were alone. I glanced about myself. It was a peaceful scene, the cooking fires, the domed
tents, the unharnessing of the animals, one I remembered from the caravans of Mintar, of the Merchant Caste. But this was a small
camp, not like the pasangs of wagons that constituted the entourage of the wealthy Mintar. Outlaw of Gor, page 185
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. Nomads of Gor, page 83
There are few thieves, incidentally, on Gor. I have heard, though, there is a Caste of Thieves in Port Kar, a strong caste which
naturally protects its members from such indignities as ear notching. In Saphrar's case, of course, he being of the Caste of
Merchants, the notching of the ear would be a coincidence, albeit one that must have caused him some embarrassment. Outlaw of
Gor, page 85
I glanced at Saphrar, who was now leaning on his yellow cushions, in his silken pleasure robes, white and gold, the colors of the
Caste of Merchants. Saphrar, eyes closed, was nibbling on a tiny thing, still quivering, which had been impaled on a colored stick.
Outlaw of Gor, page 86
Her face could not be seen, for it was veiled, a white silken veil trimmed with gold, nor even her hair, for it was hidden in the folds of
the free woman's Robes of Concealment, in her case, of course, done in the colors of the merchants.
Aphris of Turia, then, was of the caste of merchants.
I recalled Kamchak had spoken of her once or twice. Outlaw of Gor, page 91
There were other favored areas, too, about the stands, in the front, each covered by awnings, in which there sat members of the
numerous high families of the city; I noted that some of these areas were now occupied by Merchants; I had no objection to this for
I have always thought higher of the Merchants than many of my caste, but I was surprised; in the time of Marlenus, when he was
Ubar of Ar, I think even his friend, Mintar, that great brilliant toad of a man, of the Caste of Merchants, would not have had so
choice a vantage point from which to observe the races. Outlaw of Gor, page 140
“I am Tupelius Milius Lactantius, of the Lactantii, of the merchants, of Ar,” he said to me, “but we fell upon hard times, and I, though
only eight at the time, fell as well, it being my duty, caste discipline, family pride and such.” Slavegirl of Gor, page 209
The Forkbeard´s game was much more varied, and tactical, than was that of, say, Marlenus of Ar, much more devious, and it was
far removed from the careful, conservative, positional play of a man such as Mintar, of the caste of Merchants. Marauders of Gor,
Many of the daughters of merchants are proud sorts, for the merchants themselves, by virtue of their power, tend to vanity and
pride, and agitate, justifiably or not, for the inclusion of their caste among the high castes of Gor. Their pampered daughters,
protected from work and responsibility, ostentatiously garbed and elaborately educated in caste trivia, tend to be spoiled and soft.
Slave girl of Gor, page 113
“There was no crime then,” she said, “in my appearing in public as I did, even though, say, I wore but a single layer and my calves,
ankles and feet were bared.”
“Whether the degree of your exposure was sufficient to violate the codes of decorum is a subtle point,” said Aemilianus, “but I will
not press it.”
“Surely many low-caste girls go about with only as much, or even less so,” she said.
“But you are of the Merchants,” said Aemilianus, smiling.
“A low caste!” she said.
I smiled. The Merchants often maintain that they are a high caste, and should accordingly, be included in the councils of high caste.
Now, however, it seemed she was eager to accept that, and stress that, the Merchants was not a high caste. The traditional high
castes of Gor are the Initiates, Scribes, Builders, Physicians and Warriors.
“I do not press the point,” said Aemilianus.
“And if I dressed in such a manner that my caste would not be clear,” she said, “it is no more that many women do upon occasion.
Surely some women even reserve the caste robes and colors for such things as formal occasions, and some even for ceremonial
“True” said Aemilianus.
“I do not think then I should be held accountable under the charge of attempting to deceive with respect to caste,” she said. “For
example, I engaged in no business under false pretences, and I never claimed explicitly to be of a caste other than my own.” It
seemed to me that she did have a point here. The legal problems connected with intent to deceive with respect, of course,
problems of the sort which presumably constitute the rationale of the law, usually come up in cases of fraud or impersonation, for
example, with someone pretending to be of the Physicians. “And, too, “she continued, “ if conquering Cosians should have seen fit
to take me for a simple, low-caste, I see no reason why the laws of Ar’s Station should now be exercised against me. What would
be the point of that, to protect Cosians from a mistake which they never had the opportunity to make?”
“You hoped by your mode of dress, and such,” said Aemilianus, “to conceal that you were of a caste on which vengeances might
be visited, and thus to improve your chances of survival.” Renegades of Gor, page 368, 369
“I take him to be a merchant captain,” said a man near me.
I nodded. The conjecture was intelligent. The fellow wore the white and gold of the merchant, beneath a seaman's aba. It was not
likely that a merchant would wear that garment unless he were entitled to it. Goreans are particular about such matters. Doubtless
he owned and´ captained his own vessel. Explorers of Gor, page 43
White and gold, incidentally, are the colors of the merchants. Usually their robes are white, trimmed with gold. That the buoy line
was marked in yellow and white stripes was indicative of the wharves toward which it led. I have never seen, incidentally, gold
paint on a buoy. It does not show up as well as enamelled yellow in the light of ships´ lanterns. Explorers of Gor, page 108
The fort itself, incidentally, was twice burned, once by soldiers from Port Olni, before that town joined the Salerian Confederation,
and once by marauding Dust Legs, a tribe of red savages, from the interior of the Barrens. The military significance of the fort has
declined with the growth of population in the area and the development of tarn cavalries in Thentis. The fort now serves primarily
as a trading post, maintained by the caste of Merchants, from Thentis, an interesting recollection of the origins of the area. Savages
of Gor, page 77
I had spent a night on the road and had arrived in Kailiauk, hungry and muddy, yesterday, shortly after the tenth Ahn, the Gorean
noon. Indeed, I had heard the striking of the time bar, mounted on the roof of the Administrator's store, as I had approached the
town's outskirts. In Kailiauk, as is not unusual in the towns of the perimeter, the Administrator is of the Merchants. Savages of Gor,
“Speak up, quickly, while you still have one,” he said.
The soldier kicked her.
“Euphrosyne, Lady of Torcadino,” she gasped.
“Family and caste?” he inquired.
“Daughter of the matron Aglaia, Lady of Torcadino,” she said, “of the Myrtos lineage, she high in trade of spices, Confirmation
Treasurer of the Spice Council of Torcadino, she of the Merchants.” Mercenaries of Gor, page 135
But I addressed a question to our prone captive. “What is your caste?” I asked.
“The Merchants,” she said.
“That on the whole, is a quite well-to-do caste,” I said.
“It is mine too,” said Lady Claudia.
I jerked the pouch from the prisoner’s belt, breaking the strings. It was a weighty pouch. I tossed it to Lady Claudia, who examined
“There is much gold here,” she said.
“Put it in the pouch,” I said.
Lady Claudia did so.
“How is it, Lady Publia,” I asked, “that you, a member of the Merchants, and one who until a moment ago had a heavy purse, are
barefoot, and clad in rags?”
She did not respond. Renegades of Gor, page 236
“What is your caste?” he asked.
“The Merchants,” she said.
“Why are you not in the white and gold,” he asked, “on this, of all days?” White and gold, or white and yellow, are the caste colors
of the Merchants. Renegades of Gor, page 252
The man with the fellow who had returned to the terrace was, as I would later learn to recognize at a glance by his garb, a member
of the leather workers. In many of the Gorean cities there is a caste structure which is significant not only socially but politically. The
leather workers are a “lower caste.” The high castes normally accounted five in number---the Warriors, the Builders, the Physicians,
the Scribes, and the Initiates. The Initiates are sometimes thought of as the highest f the five castes, and the Warriors as the least
of the high five castes. In actual fact, the Warriors commonly produce the administrators and ubars for a city. It is not easy in a
world such as to deprive those who are skilled with weapons their share of authority. If it is not given to them, they will take it.
They are some ambiguities in the caste structure. For example, some rack the Merchants as a high caste, and some do not; and
some rank the Slavers with the merchants, and some see them as a separate caste, and so on. It is usually a very serious thing to
lose caste in this society. To be sure, not everyone has caste. Priest-Kings, for example, whoever they may be, have no caste. They
are said to be “above caste.” Similarly, outlaws and slaves have no caste. Outlaws are thought to have relinquished caste, and, in
a sense , thus to be “out of caste,” and slaves, of course, as animals, are “below caste,” or perhaps better, “aside from caste,” or
“apart from caste.” Witness of Gor, page 225, 226
“What is your caste?” she asked.
I was silent.
“Mine is the merchants,” she said. “That is not a high caste, is it?” I asked. I had heard conflicting things about the Merchants.
“It certainly is!” she cried.
I was silent.
“I would take you to be of the leather Workers,” she speculated.
I did not respond.
“Or perhaps, less” she said, “you are one of those boorish lasses from the fields, that you are of the Peasants.”
Again I did not respond,
“That is doubtless it,” she said, seemingly satisfied. Witness of Gor, page 244
I knelt in the cool recesses of the shop of Turbus Veminius, a perfumer in Venna. Venna has many small and fine shops, catering to
the affluent trade of the well-to-do, who patronize the baths and public villas of the area. I, a slave, unaccompanied by a free
person, would wait until free customers were waited upon and served. I could smell perfumes, and their mixings in the long shop
behind the counter. There, at various benches, attending to their work,-measuring and stirring, were apprentice perfumers. Fighting
slave of Gor, Page 209
"Is the perfume of the Lady Kita of Bazi ready?" Turbus Veminius called to the back of the shop.
"No," a voice answered him.
"Do not hurry," called Turbus Veminius. "It must be Perfect."
"Yes, Turbus," I heard.
Turbus Veminius then turned, sternly, toward the Lady Kita. She was a small, delicate, brown-skinned woman, with a light yellow
veil, common in Bazi. She shrank back. "When was your perfume to be ready, Lady Kita?" he inquired. He did not seem deterred by
the two large, smooth-skinned, brownish guards, arms folded, who stood behind her.
"At the fifteenth Ahn," she said, timidly.
"It is now the fourteenth Ahn," he said, casting a meaningful glance at the water clock on the counter to his right.
"I am early," she explained.
"Obviously," he said.
"Yes, Turbus," she said.
"Return at the fifteenth Ahn, and not before," he said.
"Yes, Turbus," she said.
The Lady Kita turned about and hurried, followed by her guards, from the shop. Fighting slave of Gor , page 211, 212
Turbus Veminius looked after her. He, like many perfumers, and hairdressers and cosmeticians, treated his female clientele almost
as though they were slave girls. Indeed, he was famous for once having said, "They are all slave girls." Yet, in spite of the gruff,
authoritarian way in which they might be handled, and the rude, peremptory fashion in which they might be addressed, women,
and high-caste women, for no reason that was clear to me, flocked to his shop. He was, of course, one of the foremost perfumers of
Gor. His prices, it might be mentioned, were beyond the reach of all but the very wealthy. It might also be mentioned that he did
not deal at all in slave perfumes.
"Will the perfume of the Lady Kita be ready at the fifteenth Ahn?" Turbus called back to someone in the shop.
"I do not know," said the voice.
"Do not hurry it," he said. "If it is not ready, I will order her to wait, or to return tomorrow. It must be perfect."
"Yes, Turbus," I heard.
I smiled at the thought of ordering a free woman to wait, or to come back tomorrow, and knowing that she would obey you. "They
are all slave girls," Turbus Veminius was once reputed to have said.
He then turned his attention to a new customer. She hurried deferentially forward. Fighting slave of Gor, page 212
I smelled the perfumes of the shop, many of which were being blended by hand from signature recipes in the back of the shop.
Signature recipes are unique, and secret. They are the result of a perfumer's consultations and experiments, the outcome of an
effort to devise the perfect perfume for a given woman, though perhaps relativized to a time of day and mood. A wealthy woman
may have as many as ten or fifteen signature recipes, each different. They are called signature recipes not only because they are
individualized to a given woman but because the recipe bears the perfumer's signature, indicating that he accepts it as a perfume
worthy of his house. These recipes, interestingly, are kept on file in the perfumer's, strong boxes. The ingredients and processing
remain the secrets of the perfumer. There are also, of course, perfumes associated with a given house, which may be purchased by
more than one woman. These recipes are sometimes, by an extension of usage, also called signature recipes. They are, at any rate,
supposedly unique to given houses. Also, of course, there are hundreds of more standard perfumes, the preparation of which is
widely understood by the perfumers of many cities. Slave perfumes, of course, are an entirely different area. These are usually
heavier scents, and more sensual, than those used by free women, scents more fitting to a woman who must obey, and perfectly.
There are hundreds of slave perfumes, as there are hundreds of perfumes for free women. The perfumes of Gor, as those of Earth
have not, have given special attention to the development of perfumes for slaves. There is thus, on Gor, a subtle and complex
variety of slave perfumes available, exciting, provocative, sensuous and unmistakable. There are perfumes for the slave in any
woman on Gor. Sometimes, though this is more expensive, a girl is brought in to the perfumers by her master for a consultation; the
perfumer then questions the girl, orders her about, and may even caress her; then, in the light of her background and history, and
intellectual and physiological nature, he recommends a perfume, or blend of perfumes, for her; this perfume, or blend of perfume, is
thus, in its way, matched to her unique beauty and bondage. Most slave girls, however, feel that an individualized perfume is not
necessary. Too, they often wish to use a variety of perfumes, depending on various factors, such as the time of day and their own
moods, and those of the master. Too, many girls are stimulated by wearing a perfume that they know, like the collar and the brand,
is common to many slaves. It can make them feel their bondage even more deeply and sensuously. Perhaps, as one slave girl once
said, "What difference does it make what slave perfume we wear? They all excite us. They all teach us that we are slaves." Fighting
slave of Gor, page 213, 214
"Ah," said Turbus Veminius, as the Lady Kita, with her two guards, entered the shop.
"Is the perfume ready?" she asked.
Turbus Veminius handed her the vial. She removed the tiny cap and lifted it to her face, which was veiled. She in haled delicately
through her nose. I saw the veil draw inward.
"What is the meaning of this?" she asked, horrified. "Surely this is slave perfume!"
"No," said Turbus Veminius, "but it, by design, resembles it."
"Surely you do not expect me to pay for this?" she asked.
"Only if you wish to, Lady Kita," he said.
Her eyes, over her veil, were angry.
"You wished a perfume, did you not," asked Turbus Veminius, "to distract your companion from his slave sluts, did you not?"
"Yes," she said.
"This perfume," said Turbus Veminius, "will remind him of what he has forgotten, that you are a woman."
She looked at him, her body rigid with rage.
"But it, in itself," he said, "will do little to improve your situation"
"I do not understand," she said.
"You are, I suspect," said Turbus Veminius, "a pretty little thing. If your companion bought you, naked and collared, in a market, he
would doubtless prize you highly."
"Turbus!" she cried, angrily.
"But as his companion you are too much taken for granted," he said.
"It is true," she suddenly sobbed.
"If you would improve your situation somewhat," he said, "I recommend that you learn the arts of the slave girl, and practice them
"That would only improve my situation somewhat?" she asked, puzzled.
"Yes," he said, "for you would still be free and no free woman, because she is free, can truly compete for the attention and affection
of a man as can a slave girl."
"Why?" she asked.
"I do not know," said Turbus Veminius. "Perhaps it is simply because the slave girl is a slave girl, truly, and is owned."
"What then am I to do?" she asked.
"You could risk slavery," he said, "expose yourself to possible capture, walk the high bridges at lonely Ahn, picnic in the country, go
to paga taverns alone, take dangerous sea voyages."
"But what if I were caught, and enslaved?" she asked.
"You would then be a true slave girl," he said, "and would doubtless be taught, thoroughly, and more deeply and sensuously than
you could ever hope to learn them as a free woman, for you would then be a slave, the arts of the female slave."
"But I might never again come into the possession of my former companion," she said.
"Presumably you would not," he said. "But presumably you would come into the possession of some man who truly wanted you,
and who was willing to pay good money for you."
"I brought a large companion price to my companion," she said. "Perhaps he wanted that more than me."
"I do not know," said Turbus, shrugging.
"He did," she said, bitterly. "He did."
"Perhaps it would be just as well, then," said Turbus, sympathetically, "if you did not come again into his possession."
She put her head down.
"The girl who is bought off the block," said Turbus, "knows that it is she herself, and only herself, who is desired. Nothing else, you
understand, is being sold, only the girl."
"Yes, Turbus," she said. "I understand."
"I will take back this perfume," he said. "Obviously you will not want it."
"No," she said, quickly, lifting her head. "I will take it."
"The price is high," he said, "a golden tarn disk."
"I will pay it," she said, giving him the coin from a small, beaded purse she held in her hand.
She turned to leave, but then, again, turned to face him.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Do you sell slave perfume, true slave perfume?" she asked.
"We do not sell perfume for slave sluts in the shop of Veminius," he said, sternly.
"Forgive me, Turbus," she said.
"Try the shop of the Steel Bracelets," he smiled. "It is near the house of Hassan, on the Street of Brands."
"Thank you, Turbus," she said. She turned again, to leave.
"And do not let them overcharge you," he called after her. "Five two-hort vials should cost you no more than a copper tarsk!"
"Yes, Turbus" she said. "Thank you. Turbus " She stopped in the doorwav, but did not turn to face him. "I wish you well, Turbus,"
"I, too, wish you well, Lady Kita," he said.
She looked up at one of the two large guards who stood beside her. Then she lowered her head. He was looking at her, with a
curiosity and interest that must have been unsettling for her. She hurried then from the shop, followed by the guards. Fighting
slave of Gor, page 216-219
Almost all civilized Goreans, of whatever caste, play. Is is not unusual to find even children of twelve or fourteen years who play
with a depth and sophistication, a sublety and a brilliance, that might be the envy of the chess masters of Earth.
But this man now approaching was not an amateur, nor an enthusiast. He was a man who would be respected by all the castes in
Ar; he was a man who would be recognized, most likely, not only by every urchin wild in the streets of the city but by the Ubaras
well; he was a Player, a professional one who earned his living through the game.
The Players are not a caste, nor a clan, but they tend to be a group apart, living theri own lives. They are made up of men from
various castes who often have little in common but the game, but that is more than enough. Assassin of Gor, page 27
Never as yet had the two sat across from one another. Cos, like Tyros, is a traditional enemy of Ar. It was said that Gor awaited
this meeting. Already weights of gold had been wagered on its outcome. Players, incidentally, are free to travel where they wish on
the surface of Gor, no matter what might be their city. By custom, they, like musicians, and like singers, there are few courts at
which they are not welcome. That he had once played a man such as Scormus of Ar, or Centius of Cos it the sort of thing that a
Gorean grandfather will boast of to his grandchildren. Hunters of Gor, page 148
Incidentally, there are many versions of Kaissa played on Gor. In some of these versions, the names of the pieces differ, and, in
some, even more alarmingly, their nature and power. The caste of Players, to its credit, has been attempting to standardize Kaissa
A major victory in this matter was secured a few years ago when the caste of Merchants, which organizes and manages the Sardar
Fairs, agreed to a standardized version, proposed by, and provisionally approved by, the high council of the caste of Players, for the
Sardar tournaments, one of the attractions of the Sardar Fairs. This for of Kaissa, now utilized in the tournaments is generally
referred to, like the other variations, simply as Kaissa. Sometimes, however, to distinguish it from differing forms of the game, it is
spoken of as Merchant Kaissa, from the role of the Merchants in making it the official form of Kaissa for the fairs, Player Kaissa, from
the role of the Players in its codification, or the Kaissa of En´Kara, for it was officially promulgated for the first time at one of the
fairs of En´Kara, that which occurred in 10,124 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar, or in year 5 of the Sovereignty of the
Council of Captains, in Port Kar. Players of Gor, Page 8
Interestingly the man behind the board wore black robes and a hoodlike mask, also black, which covered his entire head. He did not
wear the red-and-yellow-checked robes of the caste of players, he was not, thus, I assumed, of that caste. Had he been of the
players he would doubtless have worn their robes. They are quite proud of their caste. His skills, however, I conjectured, must be
considerable. Apparently the arsenal champion, one of the best twenty or thirty players in Port Kar, had been not match for him.
Perhaps he had engaged in illegal moves. That seemed more likely than the fact that he, a fellow like him, associated with actors
and carnival folk, and such, could best the arsenal champion. It was carnival time, of course. Perhaps the champion had been drunk.
Players of Gor, page 53
Belnar turned away from the soldiers. He did not summon them.
“I have soldiers of my own,” said Temenides. “With your permission, Ubar, I shall summon them.”
I found this of interest. Surely members of the caste of players do not commonly travel about with a military escort.
Temenides, triumphantly, turned about, looking about the hall.
“I cannot believe the Belnar is serious,” said the player. “Are soldiers of Cos within the walls of Brundisium to receive an official
sanction to steal from citizens of Ar? Is that the meaning of our alliance?”
Belnar put another grape in his mouth. Players of Gor, page 322
“Ubar?” asked Temenides.
“I have a much better idea,” said Belnar, smiling. “He is a player. You will play for her.”
The player folded his arms and regarded Temenides.
“Ubar!” protested Temenides. “Consider my honor! I play among the high boards of Cos. This is a mountebank, a player at
carnivals, no member even of the caste of players!”
“Do not think to suggest that I should dishonor my caste by stooping to shame this arrogant cripple. Far nobler it would be to set
your finest swordsmen upon some dimwitted bumpkin brandishing a spoon. Let him rather be driven from the hall with the blows of
belts like a naked slave for his presumption!” Players of Gor, page 322
“Thank you,” said the player.
“I think this fellow may not be such a fool as we thought,” said Belnar.
“Nonsense,” said Temenides, angrily. “He is a mountebank, a bumpkin!”
“It is warm in here,” said the player. He casually opened the light, dark robe he wore. Beneath it, as I had suspected, was the robe
of the players, the red-and-yellow-checked robe that marked those of that caste. I think it must have been years since he had worn
it openly. There were cries of astonishment. Bina looked at him, startled, her hands twisting in the cruel thongs that confined them.
“He is of the players,” gasped a man.
“I had suspected it,” said Belnar. “He did not seem truly insane.”
“It matters not,” said Temenides. “I hold a high board in Cos. I shall destroy him. It means only that the game may be somewhat
more interesting than I had originally anticipated.”
“Are you truly of the players?” asked the man.
“It is my caste,” said the player. The hair on the back of my neck rose up. I think in that moment the player had come home to
“And in what minor ranks of the players do you locate yourself?” asked Temenides, scornfully. Ranking among players, incidentally,
resulting from play in selected tournaments and official matches, are kept with great exactness.
“I was a champion,” said the player.
“And of what small town, or village?” inquired Temenides, scornfully.
“Of Ar,” said the player.
“Ar!” cried Temenides. “Ar!” cried others.
“Perhaps you have heard of it,” said the player.
“Who are you?” whispered Temenides, fearfully.
The player reached to the mask, that dark hood, which he wore. He suddenly tore it from his head. Bina closed her eyes, wincing.
Many were the cries of astonishment in the hall, from free men and slaves alike. Bina opened her eyes. She cried out, startled,
wonderingly. NO longer did the player wear that dark concealing hood. He looked about himself, regally. His visage bore no
ravages, either of the terrors of flames or of the instruments of men. ON it there was not one mark. It was a proud face, and a
severe one, at this moment, and one expressive of intellect, and power and will, and incredibly handsome. “I am Scormus of Ar,” he
said. Players of Gor, page 329
“Temenides,” said Scormus to Temenides, “your life, which was forfeit to me, I return to you, and gladly. Once more it is yours. Take
it, and those soldiers with you, mysteriously here from Cos, and depart this night from Brundisium´s walls.”
“Caste brother!” cried Temenides, gratefully. Some of the men with him then freed him and put his robes about him. He hurried with
them from the hall. Belnar looked after them. He spoke words to a menial. The man, too, then left the hall.
“Scormus of Ar is generous,” said Belnar. Players of Gor, page 334
CASTE OF POETS
In spite of some reservations the Poet, or Singer, was loved on Gor. It had not occurred to him that he owed misery and torment to
his profession, and, on the whole, the Caste of Poets was thought to be a most happy band of men. "A handful of bread for a
song," was a common Gorean invitation extended to members of the caste, and it might occur on the lips of a peasant or a Ubar,
and the poet took great pride that he would sing the same song in both the hut of the peasant and the halls of the Ubar, though it
won for him only a crust of bread in one place and a cap of gold in the other, gold often squandered on a beautiful woman who
might leave him nothing but his songs.
Poets, on the whole, did not live well on Gor, but they never starved, were never forced to burn the robes of their caste. Some had
even sung their way from city to city, their poverty protecting them from outlaws, and their luck from the predatory beasts of Gor.
Nine cities, long after his death, claimed the man who, centuries ago, had called Ko-ro-ba the Towers the Morning. Outlaw of Gor,
The singer was thought to have an unusual skill, but so, too, were the tarn-keeper and the woodsman. Poets on Gor, as in my
native world, were regarded with some scepticism and thought to be a little foolish, but it had not occurred to anyone that they
might suffer from divine madness or be the periodic recipients of the inspiration of the gods. The Priest Kings of Gor, who served as
the divinities of this rude planet, inspired little but awe, and occasionally fear. Men lived in a truce with the Priest-Kings keeping
their laws and festivals, making the require sacrifices and libations, but, on the whole, forgetting about them as much as possible.
Outlaw of Gor, page 104
"My friends," I said, "are Linna of Tharna and Andreas of Tor."
"She is a degraded woman," said the Tatrix, "and he is of a caste outlawed in Tharna.
"Free them," I said. Outlaw of Gor, page 138
No," I said. "I think you would find few songs in the mountains."
"A poet," said he, "will look for songs anywhere."
"I am sorry," I said, "but I cannot allow you to accompany me."
Andreas clapped his hands on my shoulders. "Hear, dull-witted scion of the Caste of Warriors," he said, "my friends are more
important to me than even my songs."
I tried to be light. I feigned skepticism. "Are you truly of the Caste of Poets?"
"Never more truly than now," said Andreas, "for how could my songs be more important than the things they celebrate?"
I marveled that he had said this, for I knew that the young Andreas of Tor might have given his arm or years of his life for what
might have been a true song, one worthy of what he had seen and felt and cared for.Outlaw of Gor, page 171
Andreas of the Caste of Poets stood in torment before me, agony in his eyes.
"I wish you well," I said, "--- Poet."
He nodded. "I wish you well," he said, "--- Warrior." Outlaw of Gor, page 172
The contests at the fairs, however, I am pleased to say, offer nothing more dangerous than wrestling, with no holds to the death
permitted. Most of the contests involve such things as racing, feats of strength, and skill with bow and spear. Other contests of
interest pit choruses and poets and players of various cities against one another in the several theatres of the fair. I had a friend
once, Andreas of the desert city of Tor, of the Caste of Poets, who had once sung at the fair and won a cap filled with gold. And
perhaps it is hardly necessary to add that the streets of the fair abound with jugglers, puppeteers, musicians and acrobats who, far
from the theatres, compete in their ancient fashions for the copper tarn disks of the broiling, turbulent crowds. Priest-Kings of Gor,
page 11, 12
Indeed, some of the greatest poets of all time were illiterate. Among folks as different as Tuchuks and Torvaldslanders, for example,
poetry is seldom written down. It is memorized and sung about the fires, and in the halls, and thus is carried on the literary
tradition. And poets such as Hurtha, it seemed to me, were even less likely to be deterred by illiteracy than many others.
Mercenaries, page 112
CASTE OF POTTERS
Hup's rag might have been of the Caste if Potters, but it was difficult to tell. Assassin of Gor, Page 10
|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
I had scarcely finished bandaging his wound when I was aware of a ringing on metal, and,
lifting my head, I saw myself surrounded by mounted spearmen, who wore the same livery
as Kazrak. Behind them, stretching into the distance, came a long line of broad tharlarions,
or the four-footed draft monsters of Gor. These beasts, yoked in braces, were drawing
mighty wagons, filled with merchandise protected under the lashings of its red rain-canvas.
"It is the caravan of Mintar, of the Merchant Caste," said Kazrak. Tarnsman of Gor, page 118