Warrior Caste – Codes of the Warriors

Since the saga of the Books of GOR have started back in 1966 many texts have already been written and many persons have spent countless hours studying and sharing information to help others understand better what is GOR.

One of these persons is known as “Ubar Luther” who wrote a series of papers (most seem to be over 15 to 20 years old, but still very up-to-date in many topics) called the “Luther’s Gorean Educational Scrolls” that are still available in Gor-Now.net. I have tried to reach Luther for some time and the contact links seem not to be working, but will keep a look and hope he one day resumes his magnificent writing!

I’m going to share the information of his scroll regarding the Warrior Caste, dividing it into three Posts:

Warrior Code

The conduct of the Red Caste is governed primarily by the Warrior Code. The Warrior Code is a rudimentary form of chivalry, emphasizing loyalty to the Pride Chiefs and the Home Stone. It is harsh but with a certain gallantry and sense of honor. All Warriors are supposed to obey this code. The code is never fully laid out in the novels but many important details were given. More information about the Warrior Caste Codes was given in the novels than for any other Caste. Certain quotes help to delineate the importance of the Codes to Warriors. 

“What are the codes? They are nothing, and everything. They are a bit of noise, and the steel of the heart. They are meaningless and all significant. They are the difference. Without the codes men would be Kurii.”

Beasts of Gor, p.340

“What is it to be a warrior? It is to keep the codes. Nothing else matters.”

Beasts of Gor, p.340

“One does not speak to a slave of the codes.” 

Beasts of Gor, p.340

Yet, a number of Goreans acknowledge that the Codes may not be absolute. There may arise situations not covered by the Codes. Or there may arise times when a Warrior feels he must violate his Codes for some reason or another. A couple quotes illustrate this viewpoint. 

” all wisdom and truth does not lie in my own codes.”  

Priest-Kings of Gor, p.14

” all truth and reality is not written in one’s own codes.”  

Raiders of Gor, p.310

Warrior Code Specifics

Here are some of the items that are specifically included in the Warrior Codes in the novels. This is not an exhaustive list though of everything in their Caste Codes. 

Code: The only honorable reply to a challenge is to accept it promptly. (Warriors do not back down from challenges. They face such matters with bravery.) 

Code: 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. This is part of a bond shared by Warriors that overcomes city barriers. It is a matter of Caste that supersedes allegiances. It is a showing of respect for those who this Caste. 

Code: Warriors do not break their sworn word. 

Code: The only death fit for a warrior is in battle. 

Code: If you want another’s slave, you must challenge for her and meet your opponent with the weapon of his choice. This is also known as the claim of sword-right. 

Code: He who cannot think is not a man and neither is he who can only think. 

Code: Warriors do not kill themselves or aid others in doing so. (Suicide is not an option for a warrior.) 

Code: “I had been so much a fool as to be sad. That is not the mood in which to enter battle, even the battle which one knows one cannot win, even the ultimate battle in which one knows is doomed to defeat. Do not be sad. Better to take the field with laughter, with a joke, with a light thought, with a buoyant thought, or to go forward with sternness, or in fury, or with hatred, or defiance, or calculation, but never with self pity, never with sadness. Never such things, never them!” (Vagabonds of Gor, p.446

Code: When a women kneels, lifts her hands up with wrists crossed, and submits to a warrior, custom demands that he either accepts the submission or slays the captive. 

Code: If a warrior accepts a woman as a slave, it is prescribed that, at least for a time at his discretion, she be spared. But if she is in the least bit displeasing, she may be immediately killed. 

Code: In times of crisis, a war chief, or Ubar, is named whom rules without check and by decree until he decides the crisis has passed. Sword loyalty is the bond of fidelity to a Ubar. It is not sworn lightly. When an Ubar is thought unfit, the sword loyalty is dishonored and the Ubar may be deposed by his own warriors. Those who don’t surrender are usually deserted by their men. When the men don’t desert, the Ubar then rules as a tyrant. 

Code: Warriors have a common Home Stone. Its name is battle. 

Code: The slave is a joy and a convenience to the warrior. Taking slaves is not only permitted, it is encouraged. 

Code: If you lift a weapon against a warrior, he is permitted by his codes to kill you. (Do not draw a weapon against a warrior unless you are prepared for battle.) 

Code: There is nothing in the codes that explicitly demands resistance to brigands. 

Code: Poisoned steel is against the codes. 

Code: The oath of disownment is an irreversible ceremony. You essentially disown a family member so that they lose their family and caste. Basically you make the pronouncement with your hand on the hilt of your sword. 

Code: 97th Aphorism of the Warrior Codes: “What is invisible but more beautiful than diamonds?” The answer is “Honor.” Other answers could include “that which is silent but deafens thunder” and “that which depresses no scale but is weightier than gold.” 

Code: Even warriors long sometimes for the sight of their own flags, atop friendly walls, for the courtyards of their keeps, for the hearths of their halls. 

Written by “Ubar Luther” in Gor-Now.net

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