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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Warriors Caste – Introduction

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:


The Warrior Caste is one of the five High Castes on Gor, though it is the least of the High Castes. Red , or scarlet, is the color of the Warrior Caste and Warriors often wear red tunics to denote their status. The usual garb of a Warrior is a scarlet tunic, sandals and cloak. The books do not explicitly state that there are any subcastes to the Warrior Caste but it seems reasonable that some do exist such as Tarnsmen and Tharlarion Cavalrymen. It can be difficult at times to differentiate between what would be considered an actual subcaste and what would simply be considered a different position. A City Guardsman may simply be a possible position and not an actual subcaste. It generally seems that subcastes possess certain skills that others may not. Being a City Guardsman does not really take special skills but obviously a Tarnsman would. 

The Gorean term for a Warrior is “rarius” and the plural form is “rarii.” A rarius denotes any type of Warrior and not just a member of the Warrior Caste. The warriors of the Wagon Peoples, Torvaldsland and other such cultures are rarii. This term was never used to refer to a woman in any of the novels. A pride consists of a hundred Warriors. It appears to be an older term that has fell out of use by the timeframe of the novels. In Gor’s past, there were once Pride Chiefs who ruled rather than the Ubars and Administrators of today. It is unknown if Pride Chiefs still exist. 

Warrior Training

During the extensive training of Warriors, they learn many matters. It does appear though that this training can be accelerated if necessary. Tarl Cabot apparently completed his training in a matter of months, if not weeks. This may simply have been a plot device though and not indicative of the normal training process. The training is of a Warrior is both physical and mental. The training is similar to the training of an Assassin in many respects, mostly in the area of combat skills. Warriors learn much from teaching scrolls at special war schools. These scrolls are very similar in the different cities by virtue of the Sardar fairs where Castes meet to share ideas. 

As a number of Warriors are illiterate, then it can be assumed that Warrior training does not require reading. It would though require excellent memorization skills, something most Goreans are quite adept at. Teachers may tell the students what they must know, probably repeating themselves often to instill the necessary knowledge. Much of this learning will entail the aspects of the Warrior Code. As the Code appears to be rather comprehensive, its memorization is a daunting task. 

Warriors learn how to wield the weapons of a warrior: the gladius, spear, dagger, and crossbow. They are taught to use both arms to fight, in case their primary arm is disabled. They are trained in unarmed combat, similar to some of the martial arts of Earth. They learn the Warrior’s Pace, a slow jog that can be kept up for hours. A Warrior can usually make ninety pasangs a day alternating a Warrior’s Pace with a Warrior’s stride. Some Warriors can do even better. This Pace was created to be used even under the heavy weight of one’s weapons and equipment. 

They are trained in acute observation and retention. They almost unconsciously size up every situation, analyzing where an attack might come from. This enables them to avoid surprise in many circumstances. Warriors also learn the virtues of concealment and subterfuge. A Warrior is not always direct in his approach to a problem as many might think. Circumstances dictate the actions of the prudent Warrior. They learn that if they move slowly, they will commonly convey the impression that they do not intend any harm. Quick movements often lead to defensive reactions from others. It is better to lull your foe into a false sense of security. 

They learn the tactics of night fighting. Most of the time, in dark conditions, luck is the deciding factor in combat. But, there are certain tactics that can enhance your chances. Misdirection can be effective. You can throw pebbles or other small objects away from you making noise. This might make your foe move in that direction. The use of back kicks gives an extension to your striking ability but also provides minimum exposure of your vital areas. You might stab into the dark with a full arm extension, trying to get your foe to lunge after you, overextending himself. Most of the time, you will not be in complete darkness. There will be maybe starlight or faint illumination. In true darkness though, there would be little you could do except to rely on chance. 

Warriors prefer to have the sun and wind behind their backs when they are fighting. The glare of the sun can distract a foe and also will wear on him after a time. The wind will help propel ones arrows or spear, adding momentum. Dust, sand and other debris are also more likely to adversely effect your enemy. 

Warriors also learn much about the hunting and capture of women. They are encouraged to capture slaves from other cities. They are taught the capture knot, a special knot often used to bind a captive. Most Warriors can make this knot in less than three Ihn. The knot is done by flipping a thong or cord about a captive’s wrists twice and then turning a double opposite overhand with a twist following the first overhand. It is basically two simple loops and a double knot. 

Warriors learn the virtues of patience. 

“When men stalk one another with weapons it is well to have patience, great patience.” 

Priest-Kings of Gor, p.54

They also learn certain universal conventions concerning combat. To signify a truce or call for a parley, you place your shield on the ground and then place your spear atop the shield. If you wish to surrender, the shield straps would be broken and spear shaft also broken. During battle, you grant quarter by gesturing to the ground with your sword. 

Sword Fighting

The most common weapon of the Warrior is the gladius, a type of short sword. The gladius is derived from the Earth sword of the same name. The gladius is of Spanish origin and was widely used by the ancient Romans. It is about twenty to twenty-two inches long, double-edged, and well balanced. It is heavy enough to have a considerable striking force in saberlike trajectories but light enough to have some of the swiftness and play of a foil. 

The gladius is maneuverable enough to work its way behind the guard of a longer, heavier weapon. There are other benefits of a short sword over a longer blade as well. A gladius can clear the scabbard a fraction earlier and that can be vitally important. The short blade can also be moved with greater swiftness than a long blade. It allows you to work close to your opponent. If a swordsman with a longer weapon can not finish a battle in the first thrust or two, he will generally lose the battle. 

In sword fighting, both strength and skill are significant. Strength is most important if a battle is prolonged. You can turn aside a sword with either skill or strength. If you use your strength, your foe must exert more effort to return his sword to a ready position. It is very difficult to strike a foe who is both competent and careful. It can be dangerous though over a long time to rely solely on defense. 

“One who limits oneself solely to defense, and is unwilling to attack, obviously can never win. Too, sooner or later, it seems, he must be doomed to lose. There is no wall so strong that it will not one day crumble.”

Rogue of Gor, p.190

Becoming highly skilled with the sword comes only with long practice and study. The best swordsmen are differentiated by: 

“subtle differences, and dimensions and increments, which tend to divide masters.” 

Rogue of Gor, p.190

The speed with which one can draw a sword is especially crucial in many battles. In many combats, the first warrior to draw is often the winner. Warriors learn the habit of drawing their sword each day, ensuring that it comes out smoothly and without incident. This helps work on your speed. It is also done to test the scabbard to ensure that it has not swelled or such. An enemy might also have tightened or fastened your blade in the scabbard by a tiny wooden plug, shim or bit of wire. A quarter of an inch, where hundredths of an Ihn are involved, can be a considerable advantage. Some Warriors may partially draw their blade if they feel combat is imminent. Usually the scabbard strap is hung over the left shoulder so it may be easily discarded in battle. The scabbard is at the left hip to ease the swift across the body draw. In some situations, the scabbard is discarded to prevent it being a hindrance. Warriors also take care of their own swords, not relying on others to do so. They will be the only ones to hone and oil their blades. 


A special type of Warrior, possibly even a subcaste, is the Tarnsman. Tarnsmen ride the mighty tarns, giant birds, also called the Brothers of the Wind. A tarn resembles a hawk but possesses a crest like a jay. It is surprisingly light for its size due to the hollowness of its bones. Despite its lightness, it is still an extremely powerful bird that can fly from the ground with a spring and sudden wing flurry.

It is a diurnal creature and a carnivore. They usually only eat what they catch themselves, commonly tabuks and wild bull. If enough food is available, they will eat half their own weight. But, near the end of the Gorean series, by the time of Renegades of Gor, some tarns have been trained to eat prepared meat. Tarns are trained by the Caste of Tarn Keepers, a low Caste. 

A tarn is seldom more than half-tamed, and it is not unknown for a tarn to even attack its own rider. Tarns do not thrive well in captivity. It is said that:

To live a tarn must fly, far and often.” and “Like its brother the wind when the tarn is not free it has no choice but to die.” 

Priest Kings of Gor, p.191-2

Tarns are basically fearless, fearing only the tarn goad. And only trained tarns will fear that. It is also extremely difficult to fly a tarn from the sight of land. If they were hooded and brought by ship to the open sea, they would be fine but they won’t willingly leave the sight of land. 

The plumage of tarns varies and many are bred for their color. The most common color is a greenish-brown. Black tarns are used for night raids and white ones for winter raids. Multi-colored tarns are used by proud warriors who do not care for camouflage. There is even a jungle tarn, a rare creature, that is gloriously plumaged and comes from the tropical reaches of the Cartius. War tarns have their talons shod in steel. There are also draft tarns, used for transporting cargo, and saddle tarns, used as transport. 

The capacity to master a tarn is thought to be innate. It cannot be learned. Warriors who wish to become Tarnsmen are taken to meet a tarn. The Warrior must be accepted by the tarn or he will be eaten by the mighty bird. It is unknown how many Warriors meet their death in this manner. A war tarn must be controlled by a strong master, and if that master ever gets weak or helpless, the tarn may kill him. Tarnsmen wear leathers though this is not really a form of armor but more a protection against the elements and against the bird. Tarnsmen have a few tools they use to aid in their control of their tarns. 

The tarn goad is a metal rod, about two feet long, with a leather loop attached. It has a switch on the handle for on and off, and emits an electric shock in a sparkled of yellow sparks. It will hurt your flesh but won’t mark it if you are hit by one. It is used primarily to control the tarn and the goad is the only thing a tarn fears. A tarn goad may also be used to direct the tarn. One hits the bird in the direction opposite to the one you wish to go. But this is imprecise and there is a danger in using the goad too much as it will become less effective. A tarn whistle, also called a tarn call, is used to call specific tarns. It has a single, shrill note and summons only one tarn. If you lose your whistle, you have basically lost your mount so they are guarded well. 

Tarns are commonly guided by a throat strap, to which are attached six leather streamers, or reins. They are fixed in a metal ring on the forward portion of the saddle. The reins are of different colors but you learn them by ring position and not color. Each rein attaches to a small ring on the throat strap and the rings are evenly spaced. One draws on the rein which is attached to the ring which most closely resembles the direction you wish to go. To land or lose attitude, use the four strap which exerts pressure on a ring beneath the tarn’s throat. To rise in flight or gain altitude, use the one strap which is on the back of the tarn’s neck. The six strap makes the tarn veer to the left and climb slightly. The two strap makes it veers to the right and climb slightly. The throat strap rings are numbered clockwise. Letting the reins hang on the saddle ring, with no pressure on the throat strap, is the signal for a constant and straight flight. 

Tarn saddles have a five-rung leather mounting ladder, on the left side, which folds up at the side of the saddle. You strap yourself into the saddle with a strap, a saddle belt. Tarn saddles are wide enough to accommodate a bound female slave across it. There are other ways to carry a captive girl as well such as saddle cages and nets. Tarn saddles are rather large with saddle packs, weapon sheaths and paired slave rings. Tarn baskets may have guidance attachments to control the tarn from the basket, similar to the normal guidance from a saddle. There are many sizes and varieties of baskets. The most common basket is flat-bottomed, square-sided, and about four feet deep. 

One of a young Tarnsman’s first mission is commonly to capture a slave from another city for his personal quarters. When he returns home with his new captive, he gives her over to his sisters. They will bathe, perfume and cloth her in slave livery. There will then be a feast where the slave will be presented to his parents, friends and Warrior comrades. As the music plays, the girl will be collared and later will be made to dance. She will then eventually offer her new master wine. Once he drinks, then everyone can commence eating and from then on, his sisters will no longer serve him. Thus, it seems likely that most Tarnsmen will own at least one slave girl. 

There are several ways to capture a girl from your tarn. A tarn may grab the girl in its talons and then land. At that point, you can dismount, remove the girl from its talons, bind her and then fasten her to your saddle. A Tarnsman could also fly low and hit a girl with a wing so that she is sent sprawling. The warrior could then quickly dismount and capture her. A Tarnsman might also hit a girl with the butt of a spear instead of the tarn wing. Still other Tarnsmen will fly low and rope a girl using the braided leather ropes familiar to all tarnsmen. 

Tarns can make a rapid diving descent. The tarn does not breathe during the entire descent until the point of impact or vicinity of the area if no impact occurs. Tarnsmen are trained to take a deep breath before such a descent and are recommended not to breathe during the dive. The descent velocity of a tarn has been estimated at about four hundred pasangs an Ahn, a little over 200 miles per hour. 

A raiding tarnsman usually carry his weapons, rations, a compass, maps, binding fiber and extra bowstrings. They commonly use spears and crossbows from tarnback. A tarn can even carry a knotted rope of seven to ten men without difficulty. This is helpful in attacks on a city. 

There are some excellent quotes about tarnsmen as well. 

“The spirit of the tarn must not be broken, not that of the war tarn. He is trained to the point where it is necessary for a strong master to decide whether he shall serve him or slay him. You will come to know your tarn, and he will come to know you. You will be as one in the sky, the tarn the body, you the mind and will. You will live in an armed truce with the tarn. If you become weak or helpless, he will kill you. As long as you remain strong, his master, he will serve you, respect you, obey you.”  

Tarnsman of Gor, p.58

“Once one has been a tarnsman, one must return again and again to the birds.”  

Outlaw of Gor, p.130

“The element of the tarnsman is the clouds, the saddle and the sky; his steed is the tarn, his field of battle, strewn with light and wind, higher than mountains, deeper than the sea, is the very sky itself.”  

Captive of Gor, p.190

Tharlarion Cavalry

Tharlarion are a species of Gorean lizards, ranging from tiny hand-sized creatures to massive beasts. Certain types of tharlarion are used as mounts, especially by those peoples who have not mastered the tarn. Tharlarions have been used as mounts by Goreans far longer than tarns. Tharlarions have been specially bred for a thousand generations before the first tarn was ever tamed.

Tharlarions generally need far less water than tarns and their metabolism is slower. They seem almost impervious to pain, having a sluggish nervous system. Most of the larger varieties, such as war tharlarion, have not only a brain but also a smaller brainlike organ that is located near the base of their spine. They basically respond to voice signals but sometimes a strike with the butt of a lance is needed to move them. They must be hit around the eye or ear openings as they are a couple of the only sensitive areas on its massive body. 

Tharlarion cavalrymen ride war tharlarions, a variety of high tharlarion. These cavalrymen may be a subcaste of the Warrior Caste. Unfortunately, the books only contain brief references to these Warriors. War tharlarion are huge creatures, several tons in weight, and they move on two legs. Their saddles are meant to absorb shock but Warriors still wear a leather belt around their waists to help keep them in place. Tharlarions move almost in a leaping fashion so a ride can be unsteady.

The cavalrymen also wear high, soft leather boots to protect their legs against the abrasive hide of the creatures. Nothing on Gor can face the mighty impact of a tharlarion charge. The best defenses are a series of ditches or pointed stakes/spears. The mobility of infantry units can also be important defensively as fast units can separate to allow the charging beasts between their lines, thus isolating and surrounding them. 

The Alars are quite skilled tharlarion riders and some cities use them in their cavalries. The Alars commonly use the medium-weight, saddle tharlarion. Their saddles have stirrups so they can use a couched stock lance. 


A mercenary is essentially a warrior who fights for money. They generally do not fight for a Home Stone or even honor. Most mercenaries on Gor are little more than armed thugs or cutthroats. It is often tough or even dangerous to try to control such men. They must be assured of receiving ample loot and promises of booty are a major inducement for recruitment.

A silver tarsk a month for a hired sword is a high price for such a man. Many would not receive such a wage. Their strategy and tactics are more indicative of organized brigandage than sound military theory. They do not wear uniforms though they might wear armbands, scarves, ribbons or plumes of certain colors to identify their employer. These though can be easily discarded or changed during a battle. Some have been known to turn on their employer. 

Mercenaries generally form into mercenary companies, also known as Free Companies. There are dozens of such companies and they vary widely in size, skill level and trustworthiness. These companies obtain war contracts, sometimes by competitive bidding. They recruit men, usually willingly, though some have been known to impress men to meet their quotas of forces.

Impressment is the recruiting of men, against their will, through deception or force. Lure girls might be used for this impressment. Famous mercenary captains can easily fill their companies with men. Some companies will supply weapons for their men. If you own your own weapons, you may get a preference as it is assumed you know how to use them. Companies often number no more than one or two hundred men. A force of a thousand would be an unusually large force. 

Many companies are disbanded during the winter. The Captain will retain only a cadre of officers and professionals. In the spring, the company will start over with training and recruiting, almost from the beginning again. They frequently move their camps to avoid being located easily by their enemies. Mercenaries in a battle may also be paid by both sides. Their contract may specify certain actions that must be taken but omit others.

The sides in a battle may begin a bidding war over the mercenaries. Another potential problem is that it is not difficult to infiltrate spies into mercenary troops. Mercenaries are men from different backgrounds, castes and cities. Little is asked of them other than their ability to handle weapons and obey orders. Few get questioned much about themselves. 

So, why would you want to hire mercenaries?

First, there are some well respected mercenary companies that can be trusted. They are usually the more expensive groups.

Second, you might need a certain type of force you lack such as tarnsmen. Not all cities have armies of tarnsmen and such a force can aid a war effort thus a city may seek out to hire such a force.

Third, your own army might be significantly weaker than your opposition so you need an additional force to create more parity in your forces. Despite such needs though, it is always better to rely on men who fight for a Home Stone over those who fight only for money. 

Some of the most well known mercenary captains include Raymond of Rive-de-Bois, Conrad of Hochburg, Pietro Vacchi, Terence of Treve, Oleg of Skjern, Leander of Farnacium, William of Thentis, Artemidorous of Cos, Ha-Keel and Dietrich of Tarnburg. 

Terence of Treve helped Port Kar in their epic naval battle against the combined forces of Cos and Tyros. Terence agreed to store tarns on Port Kar ships and then release them in the middle of the sea battle. The tarns fought well, ignoring the fact they were far from land, and helped Port Kar prevail. 

Ha-Keel of Port Kar was originally banished from Ar. His true origins are misted in legend. He wears a gold tarn disk of Ar around his neck. Some say he cut a man’s throat for the disk to buy silks and perfumes for a woman he loved. Allegedly, the woman ran off with another man. Ha-Keel pursued them and might have killed the other man. He then either sold the woman into slavery or never found her. Ha-Keel is a true mercenary and works for the highest bidder. He commands a force of one thousand tarnsmen. He has even worked on the side of the Kurii. 

Dietrich of the city of Tarnburg is a legendary mercenary captain, probably the most famous captain on Gor. He is one of the most feared and skilled commanders on Gor, mercenary or otherwise. His victories are very well known. He has won battles on the fields of Piedmont and Cardonicus. He led the Forty Days’ March relieving the siege of Talmont. He crossed the Issus River in 10122 C.A. in the night evacuation of Keibel Hill.

He has been the victor in the battles of Rovere, Kargash, Edgington, Teveh Pass, Gordon Heights, and the Plains of Sanchez. His standard is a silver tarn and his force numbers about five thousand men, far larger than most such armies. His contracts are very expensive and his is choosy in which battles he will fight. His campaigns are studied in war schools throughout Gor. He is an innovative military leader and has created many new tactics and strategies for war on Gor. 

Gorean Warfare

There are numerous war scrolls concerning the practice, strategy and techniques of war. War is studied intently by many Goreans.

Two famous war scrolls are the commentaries of Minicius and the anonymous analyses of “The Diaries,” sometimes attributed to the military historian, Carl Commenius of Argentum.

Carl was rumored to have once been a mercenary. There are war schools that teach these subjects and to which Warriors can go for further education. These schools have libraries filled with scrolls of many diverse topics on warfare. 

Most Gorean wars are small-scale events, confined to a limited area. Most wars occur between only a few cities rather than large alliances of dozens of cities. It would be rare for a battle to include more than five thousand men. Goreans would find Earth wars, involving millions of lives, to be nearly unthinkable. Most Gorean wars are more similar to a large raid rather than an open, pitched conflict. Mobility and surprise are common elements of such warfare, contributing to the small sizes of their forces.

War is generally performed by members of the Warrior Caste, professionals who are well trained and know what war entails. Only in large scale conflicts, especially when a city is endangered, do others besides the Warrior Caste join into the conflict. If a city is in dire need, they may arm any able-bodied man, of whatever Caste. Peasant levies, armed with long bows, are common. A city may even free and arm its male slaves in especially dire circumstances. 

One of the most common reasons why wars begin are when one city raids the merchant caravans of another city. Sometimes these Warriors will don the uniforms and colors of another city to disguise their true identity. This will put suspicion on another city, commonly the enemy of the disguising city. Another reason a war might begin is over trade rights to a certain area. The ownership of natural resources such as silver mines may also precipitate war. Cities may also battle over their territorial limits, such boundaries being very fluid matters. 

Warfare involves more than simply military considerations. There is a significant political aspect as well. Conquering a city or piece of land is but the beginning. 

“Territory must be held as well as won.” 

Mercenaries of Gor, p.142

What good is winning if you cannot keep what you have fought and gained? Warfare may also be preceded by diplomatic efforts to prevent a war. Ambassadors, who possess immunity, will often try to resolve a dispute amicably before committing their resources to warfare. This alternative dispute resolution will continue throughout the length of the war, trying to stem the actual bloodshed. 

Gorean Infantry

Gorean infantry usually marches light, a factor of the nature of Gorean warfare. They commonly march at a measured pace, the counting of the cadence often kept by a drum. Forty pasangs, about twenty-eight miles, is an average da’s march. Thus, military supply posts have been placed at intervals on major roads, usually about forty pasangs apart. Such major roads are kept in excellent condition in case there is ever the need for an army to travel them.

The officers will march in the front of the infantry. A standard barrier will then march behind the officers but a step or two in front of the front rank of Warriors. Many Gorean standards are over a century old. To supply the army, the army may bring its own supplies, carried in bosk or tharlarion wagons. Tarns may also be used to supply the troops. Due to the abundant availability of game, many armies do not need to bring many supplies. They can often live off the land. In addition, they can levy the local villages for provisions if needed. 

The phalanx used to be the most common infantry formation. A phalanx consists of several rows of men, each row holding a spear. The rearward rows held longer spears than the front rows. When a phalanx would charge, it would be quite the force to be reckoned with. No other military formation was able to meet it head-on. You either had to meet a phalanx with another phalanx or try to outmaneuver it. But, such a close-formed military formation is hard to maintain over rough terrain.

Thus, the Torian Squares eventually made the phalanx much less common. The Torian Squares possess superior mobility and regrouping capacities, even over rough terrain. The actual make-up though of the Torian Squares is not discussed in detail in the novels. The use of cavalry though drastically changed warfare. The Torian square is still used but the phalanx is almost obsolete. One defensive relic of the phalanx is still used, the Wall. The Wall is a group of massed infantry who remain stationary against a tharlarion charge. It is not a recommended tactic. 

Dietrich of Tarnburg has been a major innovator in Gorean warfare. He was the first to introduce the “harrow” to positional warfare. The harrow is named for a large rakelike farming tool. In this formation, spikes of archers, protected by iron-shod stakes and sleen pits, are placed in front of the normal infantry Warriors. This formation is meant primarily against cavalry forces. It creates a deadly gauntlet that must be passed through to reach the main forces. But, once the cavalry is heavily wounded, the infantry can then surge forward and decimate the remaining cavalry. 

Dietrich also introduced the “oblique advance” where large numbers of men are concentrated at crucial points while the balance of the opposing army is unengaged. This allows a smaller force to engage an army up to three times its size. It may be able to turn the flank of the larger force, causing chaos and rout. If the advance fails, you can retreat your men knowing that much of your force probably did not engage in the battle.

Tarnsmen Attacks

There are numerous defenses to tarnsmen attacks, depending upon the location of the attack. Within a city, tarn wire is often used, though generally only when danger is imminent. This is thin, almost invisible, wire that is stretched over the city like a net. It will slice a tarn that tries to pass through them.

Some tarnsmen may carry bladed hooks on long lines to sever these wires. In cities, towns and small villages an overhead network of ropes, cloths and tarnwire present a good defense. The network will present certain small holes that ground based archers can use to fire at the tarns. But the tarnsmen, due to the swift speed of their mounts, will find they have insufficient time to acquire a proper target for their own missile fire through the cover. Iron stakes on the ground will also help prevent talon attacks from tarns. 

Out in the open, the most common defense to an aerial attack is the “shield roof” or “shield shed” which is similar to the old Earth formation called the “tetsudo” or “tortoise.” Shields are held to constitute a wall for the outer ranks and a roof for the inner ranks.

Dietrich was the first man to properly coordinate air and ground forces. He coordinated these forces so as to force his enemies into sturdy but relatively inflexible defensive squares. He would then advance his archers in long enveloping lines so they would present a much broader front for low-level point-blank firepower. The archery of tarnsmen is most effective against massed infantry or cavalry. It is much more difficult to strike a man or mount when he is wary of you and ready to evade your missile fire. Tarn drums are used to control the complex war formations of tarsnmen. 

Siege Warfare

Gorean siege warfare, as it was in Earth history, is commonly unsuccessful. Starvation of a city is usually ineffective as they will generally have sufficient supplies to last a year or so. The city will also have siege cisterns for water. Statistically, the besiegers would run out of supplies first.

Most sieges will not last much longer than a few weeks before the besiegers will break it off. To directly attack a city requires often three times the force of the defenders. Siege weapons are also a necessity, requiring siege engineers to construct and maintain such equipment. 

Some cities are surrounded by a moat that must be over come. The moat might be drained, bridges or small dugout pontoons used to cross it. Catapults and ballistae of various types are used, including chain-sling onagers and springals. They can fire spears, rocks, flaming naptha and more at the city walls. A giant chain grapnel may be thrown by such an item. The chain will then be drawn back with great force, attempting to rip parts of the walls down. This grapnel though must be used close to its target, thus being more vulnerable to attack by the besieged.

Archer blinds, movable wooden screens to shield archers and light missile equipment, are used as protection. Siege towers with battering rams may be used against city gates. Tunnels may be dug underground, trying to pass the city walls though the besieged city will dig their own tunnels to engage the attackers underground.

The besieged city may also use a grapnel derrick to topple siege engines close to the city walls. Dietrich was the first one to utilize mobile siege equipment in open warfare. By placing catapults and ballistae on wheeled platforms, they became field artillery. They could launch tubs of burning pitch, flaming naphtha, siege javelins, boulders, and more. 

Most cities though fall due to trickery, bribery or betrayal. Dietrich has likely taken more towns with gold than steel. The Tuchuks conquered Turia through trickery. Cos conquered Ar through the betrayal of several key figures in Ar. Torcadino was taken by Dietrich through trickery. Several quotes support this proposition. 

“He has sowed silver and harvested cities.”  

Magicians of Gor, p.188

“More gates are opened with gold than iron.”  

Magicians of Gor, p.188

“Any city can fall behind the walls of which can be placed a tharlarion laden with gold.”  

Mercenaries of Gor, p.101

“I can take any city behind whose walls I can get a tarn of gold.”  

Hunters of Gor, p.140

Spoils of War

The spoils of war are the usual fees demanded by a conquering city. These fees are meant to remove any potential future threat the conquered city will ever be.

The following is a typical set of such fees though it will vary depending on the desires of the conqueror.:

  • The population is disarmed and possession of a weapon is made a capital offense.
  • All of the officers in the Warrior Caste, and their families, are impaled.
  • A thousand of the most beautiful free women are given to the conqueror’s highest officers as slaves.
  • Thirty percent of the remaining free women will become slaves for the troops.
  • Seven thousand free men will become siege slaves.
  • All of the children under twelve years old will be randomly distributed to the other free cities. This seems to support that adoption does exist on Gor.
  • Any slaves in the city will belong to the first man to recollar them.

As can be seen, such fees devastate a conquered city.

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

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Bara Position

In response to the command “Bara!”, the kajira falls to her stomach, with her head down to the floor and turned to the left, crosses her wrists behind her back, and similarly crosses her ankles, her legs straight, in preparation for binding. (This is the “standard binding position” for a kajira lying prone.)

Some have speculated that the word Bara is the Gorean-language word for “belly”; but when Belly is used as a noun in commands in the Gor books, this indicates that the kajira should lie prone (on her belly) without signifying any one exact position across all its uses; and when Belly is used as a verb in commands in the Gor books, it usually means that the kajira should prepare to crawl forward without lifting her belly from the ground (see 2nd Obeisance Position)

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

Relevant Quotes:

“Bara, Kajira!” he said.
She rolled quickly to her stomach, placing her wrists behind her, crossed, and crossing her ankles, ready to be bound.

Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 77

“Bara,” said Mincon to Tula. “Bara,” said I to Feiqa. Both slaves went immediately to their bellies, their heads to the left, their wrists crossed behind their backs, their ankles also crossed. It is a common binding position.

Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 145

“Bara!” he snapped.
I flung myself to my belly in the grass, putting my hands behind me, wrists crossed, and crossing my ankles, too.

Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 415

“Bara!” he said.
She instantly responded to his command, as she had been trained to do. She was now on her belly, her wrists crossed behind her, her ankles, too, crossed.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 196

“Bara,” he said.
She went to her stomach and crossed her wrists behind her back, and crossed her ankles.

Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 317

Hitherto she had been lying on her belly in the straw, her head turned to the side, in bara, her wrists crossed behind her, with her ankles crossed, as well. It is a common holding, and helplessness, position for a slave. In it, of course, she is positioned perfectly for a swift and secure binding.

Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 370

When the merchandise had been secured, each item had been placed in the bara position, though they did not know the name for the position as yet, each on her stomach, head facing to the left, her wrists crossed behind her and her ankles crossed, as well.

Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 3

“Bara!” she snapped.
Instantly we turned about in the neck rope, with its three knotted double loops, and went to our stomachs, our heads to the left, our wrists crossed behind us, and our ankles, as well. It is not advisable to hesitate in responding to a command. The bara position was, I suppose the first slave position in which I had been placed. Of course I did not at that time understand it, or know its name.
One is quite helpless in the bara position. One is on one’s stomach and one’s hands are behind one, so one cannot use them to rise, and one’s body is extended, with one’s ankles crossed. One cannot easily rise from that position. Too, psychologically, one feels oneself submitted, and at the mercy of others.

Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 296

“Lie here, to my side,” he said, “the bara position will do.”
I lay then beside him, prone, my hip to his left knee, my head forward, away from him as he sat, cross-legged, perusing a scroll. My ankles were crossed, and my wrists, too, were crossed, and held behind my back. In such a position one may be conveniently bound. My head was turned to the side, that my right cheek might be on the carpet.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 3

“Bara,” said Tullius Quintus.
I went to bara.
I was then bound, hand and foot, my wrists crossed and bound behind me, and my ankles crossed and bound, as well.
This may be conveniently done, as earlier noted, when one is in bara.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 166

“Bara!” he said, sharply.
Instantly, not even thinking, reflexively, I went to bara. I felt my ankles crossed and tied together. I could not then rise. I was in consternation. My wrists were crossed, and bound together, behind my back.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 487

The examination position, like bara, nadu, sula, and such, tends to arouse a slave. In a sense, the slave is helpless in such positions. Significance is woven into the fiber of such things. Meaning and symbolism reign.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 594

There are several Gorean slave positions, of which bara was one. I had, of course, been trained in these positions, which must be assumed instantly and unquestioningly upon the command of any free person. They are designed with various purposes in mind; instantly placing oneself in positions in which one is helpless and vulnerable; positions of abject submission in which one’s bondage is made clear to all; positions of display; positions facilitating appraisal, and such. In bara, one goes to one’s belly, one’s head facing to the left, one’s wrists crossed behind one, and one’s ankles crossed, as well. In such a position a slave may be quickly and conveniently bound, helplessly bound, hand and foot. All of these positions, both symbolic and practical, have certain things in common; for example, in all of them, the slave is presented as, and is understood as, both by herself and by others, a slave, and only a slave.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Pages 110 – 111

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Second Obeisance Position

The Second Obeisance Position is directly referred for the first time only in book 27 and appeared frequently in other books since then. This position is also sometimes referred as “belly” because in fact the slave lies on her belly.

In the books the commands used are “Second Obeisance” and “on your belly”.

It can be considered as a continuation of the 1st Obeisance Position, from which the girl extends herself lying in the floor with the legs spread and the hands at the sides of her head.

After reaching this position, the slave may (if her Master wishes/allows) “crawl on her belly” to the feet of the Master in order to kiss and lick them.

One alternative belly position (but not to be confused with 2nd Obeisance Position) is for the kajira to lie on her stomach with her hands at her sides and the palms of her hands facing upwards; her head is often turned to the left and/or legs spread.

The command “bara” is similar but only in the fact that the slave lies on the floor, because it differs totally in the positioning of her hands and legs.

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

Relevant Quotes:

“On your belly,” he said.
I then went to my belly, and crawled to him. When I
reached him I kissed his feet.

Captive of Gor Book 7 Page 224

“On your belly,” said the merchant.
She did so. At his feet, unbidden, she pressed her lips to
his slippers. “Keep me, Hassan,” she begged.

Tribesmen of Gor Book 10 Page 258

“On your belly,” I told her.
Swiftly she fell to her belly on the tiles before me, her
hands at the sides of her head.

Guardsmen of Gor Book 16 Page 347

“Second obeisance position,” he said.
Ellen went prone, before him, her hands at the sides of her head.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 191

“Return me to my master!” she cried, putting herself to her belly, pleading, in second obeisance position, before Targo.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 226

The usual second obeisance position has the slave go to her belly, her hands on either side of her head.

Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 195

“Now,” I said, “to second obeisance position.”
“Please,” she protested, her head to the deck.
“Must a command be repeated?” I inquired.
“No!” she said.
The repetition of a command is often a cause for discipline, and she was well aware of what that might involve.
She was now on her belly before me, her hands at the sides of her head.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 153

It was also noted that now, before Pani warriors, they did not kneel, but prostrated themselves, putting themselves instantly, trembling, to second obeisance position, prone, hands to the sides of their head, eyes to the ground.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 421

“Second obeisance position,” he said.
Instantly I went to the second obeisance position. I did not wish to be again physically chastised for hesitation in responding to a free man’s command. I now lay on my belly, prostrate before him. My hands were at the sides of my head, palms down.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Pages 223 – 224

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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First Obeisance Position

Obeisance” is a command, commonly given as “perform obeisance.” Obeisance essentially is a gesture or body movement that shows respect. There are many ways in which a kajira can respond to this command, but the books specify 2 “standard” positions that are assumed when the kajira is ordered “First Obeisance” and “Second Obeisance

This post describes the 1st Obeisance Position command.

In this position, the girl begins in the kneeling position (Nadu or Tower). She then lowers her head to the floor and place the palms of the hands on the floor at the sides of her head. She can then, if permitted, raise her head slightly and move a bit forward, maintaining the position in order to lick and kiss the feet of her master, doing it softly, lingeringly and lovingly.

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

Relevant Quotes:

“First obeisance position,” snapped Barzak. “Beg his forgiveness!”
Instantly Ellen went to the first obeisance position, head down, palms of her hands on the cement. “Please forgive me, Master,” she begged, frightened.
“Kneel up, first position,” said Barzak.
Ellen went to first position, with all its revelatory delights.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 255

In first obeisance position, often assumed by a slave in the presence of a free man, she kneels with her head to the ground, and the palms of her hands down on the ground on either side of her head.

Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 195

“First obeisance position,” I said.
She put the black wine to the side on the deck, and put her head to the boards, before me, her hands beside the sides of her head.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 141

“First obeisance position!” I snapped.
Moaning, frightened, the six girls went instantly to first obeisance position, kneeling, their heads to the deck, the palms of their hands beside their head.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 245

“First obeisance position,” I informed the slaves.
Both then went to first obeisance position, kneeling, head to the floor, palms of the hands down on the floor, at the sides of their head.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 428 – 429

I went to the first obeisance position, kneeling, my head down to the furs, my hands, palms down, at the sides of my head.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 166

After a time there was a tapping on the kennel gate, and I rose to my knees, and put my head down, to the floor of the kennel, the palms of my hands beside my head, in first obeisance position.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 224

“Heads to the floor,” said Kurik.
We both went to first obeisance position, kneeling, the palms of our hands down on the floor, beside our head, our heads to the floor.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 594

The blanket partly about me, I went to the first obeisance position, kneeling, head to the ground, the palms of my hands at the sides of my head.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 636

As soon as I had heard the curtains parted I had gone to first obeisance position, kneeling, head to the floor, the palms of my hands on the floor, on either side of my head.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 168

I assumed first obeisance position, kneeling, head to the floor, the palms of my hands on the floor, on either side of my head.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 223

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Introduction to Nadu position

One of the most ubiquitous Slave Positions throughout all the Gorean Books (and in my personal view one of the most beautiful ones) is Nadu, usually called the position of the Pleasure Slave.

In this position, the slave kneels back on her heels maintaining an excellent posture with her back straight, shoulders thrown back, her head up, her breasts thrust forward, her belly in and with the legs wide open.

Whenever a kajira first encounters a free man in various contexts (such as when her owner re-enters the house, or she is addressed by a man in the street, etc.) she is generally required to assume the Nadu position (or in some cases the common obeisance position, depending on circumstances). Kajirae tend to develop a quasi-reflex reaction of semi-automatically kneeling whenever they hear themselves being addressed by the voice of a man whom they have not been previously recently interacting with, so that kajirae sometimes have to be specifically instructed not to kneel, if the free man does not desire this.

The pleasure-slave position is referred to as “that most elegant and helpless position in which men may place a woman”, and as a “beautiful and significant position” which “well betokens the submission of the female to the free man, her master”.

“In nadu, as the back is straight, the shoulders are back, and this accentuates the delights of the bosom. The widening of the knees suggests the vulnerability of the slave and displays the softness of the open, exposed thighs. The placement of the palms down on the thighs, apart and down, to the sides, suggests that they will be held as they are, and thus are not permitted to fend or thwart a caress. The kneeling position itself is symbolic of submission. The head’s being up displays the beauty of the master’s property, the beauty of the features, the slenderness of the neck, and such, and, too, of course, in this attitude, the badge of his ownership, her collar, is well exhibited. To be sure, this can differ from master to master. Some prefer the slave’s head to be submissively lowered. The slave’s eyes may or may not be permitted to meet the master’s eyes without permission.”

Book 29, Swordsmen of Gor

Considering that as a general rule (with very few exceptions like the Turian Camisk) slaves do not use nether closure, this position has a very strong effect on the psyche of the kajira.

In Nadu, she is helplessly exposed with all her intimacy revealed and she becomes wholly aware of her exposure, resulting in a subconscious arousal of her sexual needs, with the “slave fires” starting to burn in her belly and raging through her body!

“Default position”

In the “default” Nadu position, the palms of the hands are faced down

Palms Up

When the kajira places her palms up, it is a signal that she is begging usage, similar to tying the loose bondage knot on her hair in order to signal her slave needs and begging to be taken and ravished as the kajira she is.

Hands behind back

This position is the least common, being used only in some cases like the city of Thentis or when a slave is ordered to Nadu while having her hands tied behind her back.

The hands of a Pleasure Slave normally rest on her thighs but, in some cities, for example, thentis, I believe, they are crossed behind her. More significantly, for the free woman’s hands may also rest on her thighs, there is a difference in the placement of the knees. In all these kneeling positions, incidentally, even that of the Pleasure Slave, the Gorean woman carries herself well; her back is straight and her chin is high. She tends to be vital and beautiful to look upon.

Book 3, Priest-Kings of Gor, p. 63

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

Relevant Quotes:

“Nadu!” he snapped. 
She swiftly turned, facing him, and dropped to her knees. She knelt back on her heels, her back straight, her hands on her thighs, her head up, her knees wide. 
It was the position of the pleasure slave.

Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 77

“Nadu!” he cried, loosening the whip coils on her throat. She swiftly knelt, back on her heels, back straight, head high, hands on her thighs, knees wide.

Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 80

“Nadu!” said Tajima, sharply.
The girl struggled to nadu, kneeling back on her heels, her head up, her back straight, the palms of her hands down on her thighs. She did not make eye contact with any of the free men, but kept her gaze forward.
It is a beautiful position.
“Split your knees,” said Tajima.
“No!” said Pertinax.
“Now!” said Tajima.
The girl spread her knees.
“Wider!” said Tajima. She was, after all, a collar-girl.
The former Miss Wentworth complied, quickly, docilely, with Tajima’s command. She had learned obedience to men, slave obedience, in the stable, at the hands of the grooms.
“Please!” protested Pertinax.
“Stay as you are,” cautioned Tajima.
The slave remained in the adjusted nadu, as directed. It was a common form of nadu, one almost invariably expected of a particular sort of slave, the pleasure slave.

Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 382 – 383

“Nadu,” whispered the taverner, and the girl went to position, back on heels, knees wide, back straight, the palms of her hands down on her thighs. She kept her head down. Commonly, in nadu, the head is up, the gaze straight ahead, that the beauty of her features be displayed, and that she be in a position to better detect the slightest nuances of her master, either in tone or expression, but neither the taverner nor the stranger exacted this small adjustment.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 10

“Nadu,” he snapped, and I assumed position, as well as I could, being back braceleted. I knelt back on my heels, my body tall, my back straight, my head up, my knees spread. I could not place the palms of my hands down on my thighs, for the restraints.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 258

“Nadu!” snapped Kurik.
Immediately we went to nadu, kneeling, back on our heels, our knees well spread, our backs straight, our heads up, the palms of our hands down, on our thighs.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 594

The examination position, like bara, nadu, sula, and such, tends to arouse a slave. In a sense, the slave is helpless in such positions. Significance is woven into the fiber of such things. Meaning and symbolism reign.

Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 594

In the usual position of nadu the palms of the slave’s hands are placed down on the thighs. Slaves can be beaten for boldly daring to beg for use in such a way, exposing the delicacy of their palms to the master.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 338

“Note the small, soft palms of her hands,” said the officer to his subordinate, regarding them as they were held.
“Such palms look well in nadu,” said the subordinate, “when a naked slave dares to put the back of her hands on her widened thighs, mutely begging a master to be put to his use pleasure.”
In the usual position of nadu the palms of the slave’s hands are placed down on the thighs. Slaves can be beaten for boldly daring to beg for use in such a way, exposing the delicacy of their palms to the master. Similarly tying the loose bondage knot in her hair may bring discipline. Many masters do not care for such blatant, piteous behaviors, such insolent boldness, resenting the slave’s attempt to appeal to them, to plead for the satisfaction of her needs.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 338

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Introduction to Slave Positions

Before getting into the detail of listing and describing all the possible combinations of Slave Positions that can be found all over the internet, it is important to define what are Slave Positions and to clarify the positions that will be listed here.

One reason for rituals such as kajira positions is that they express and reinforce social values and relationships. For example, as recently as the early 1960’s, men in the U.S. tipped their hats to a woman they knew as she passed by on the street, and if a man stopped to talk with a woman, he would usually take his hat off (these customs reflected “chivalrous” values commonly held in the U.S. at the time). Also, from a psychological point of view, doing such activities can often help you feel the suitable emotions. So on the most basic level, people who smile can often feel a little happier just from smiling. Similarly, if one gets into the spirit of the thing at all (rather than participating with feelings of pure bitter ironic mockery), then performing rituals of respect can help one feel respectful. As John Norman says in another context, “She may begin by acting, but after some days or weeks, she will presumably shift into feeling.” Thus doing kajira positions could help women feel sexually desirable as well as vulnerable, while reinforcing Gorean social status distinctions between kajirae and free men. 

For the master, such positions allow him to feel pride of mastery (by exacting kajira obedience), to place a kajira in various appealing or provocative poses, and to position her suitably for what he wants to do with her next (whether applying restraints, lovemaking, etc.).

I will only include in this listing the Slave Positions that are referred to as such in the Books (1st Obeisance, 2nd Obeisance, Bara, Nadu, etc.).

Obviously I can command a kajira to assume a certain position, and then I can give that position a certain name and use it often with my Kajirae, but at no moment can I include it as a Slave Position from the Books.

Additionally, a difference between a Master putting a slave in a particular position and a command for a slave to adopt a particular position. If I grab a slave by the ankles and held her upside-down with her hands behind her back, I can call it the “Upside-Down Position”, but in no moment I can command a slave to adopt that position by herself.

Therefore, a Slave Position must respect 2 principles to be accepted:

  • Have Book references to support the Commanded Slave Position
  • Be a position that a slave can assume by her own when commanded

From the study of the Books, the main positions that I’ll start by describing are the following (feel free to refer me additional positions with the according quotes to support them):

There are some very commonly known slave positions that do not fit in these rules, and therefore will not be included here because they cannot be classified as Commanded Slave Positions described in the Books:

  • Gorean Bow
  • Karta
  • Suga

©2020 – Written By Azrael Phoenix

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Is Gor but an aspect of BDSM? 

What are the similarities and differences between Gor and BDSM? 

This is a topic that has been addressed numerous times on message boards and in discussions. Yet, there is still confusion on this issue so there is reason to try once again to compare and contrast these two matters. The general public sees Gor as but a subset of BDSM. This is evident from when the media mentions Gor and how they almost inevitably lump it in with BDSM. In addition, there are people involved in BDSM who see Gor as an aspect of it, as well as Goreans who also see Gor as part of BDSM. 

Please note that I will deal primarily with generalizations for ease of understanding. There may be exceptions to these generalizations but that alone does not invalidate the generalizations themselves.

Let’s start with some basic information about Gor. 

John Norman, a university philosophy professor, has written 26 novels (Editors note: 26 at the time this post was originally written. Current number of novels is 35) depicting the fictional world of Gor and more will be published in the future. Norman has also written 5 other novels and 2 non-fiction books. 

One of those non-fiction works is Imaginative Sex which was published in 1974 and is commonly thought to be one of the first D/S (Dominance/Submission) related books ever published in modern times. In 1974, there were few non-fiction books portraying D/S. 

The Leatherman’s Bible was one of the only other such books in print at that time. As Imaginative Sex has some strong connections to Gor as well, then initially we can note that there is likely at least some connection between Gor and D/S. But we must be careful not to end our consideration there. 

We should also begin by considering some definitions to help us in our discussion, not just of BDSM and D/S but also what we mean when we refer to Gor. 

For each of these terms, precise definitions are not easy as each term encompasses a wide variety of aspects. Just think of some of the myriad aspects that often fall under the label of BDSM and D/S, such as bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism, dominance, submission, slaves, switches, blood play, and role-playing. This is by no means an exhaustive list. And each person involved in BDSM and D/S has their own personal preferences of which areas they may practice. In addition, for some this is all just kinky sex. But for others, it is a deeper lifestyle that affects many aspects of their lives, and not just the sexual aspect. Diversity is a key word in defining BDSM and D/S. 

Within the Gorean community, diversity is also the key in defining Gor. For simplicity’s sake, we can separate those actively involved in the Gorean community into three main groups. We are thus excluding those who are more passively involved, those who just enjoy reading the novels and take it no further than that. 

Our three groups thus include role-players, philosophers and lifestylers. Please understand as well that there is much diversity within each of these three groups. These are broad categories that encompass many differences too. They are useful for a general discussion though please be aware the lines are not always clear. People can belong to more than one of these groups without any conflict.     

Gorean Role-Playing

At its most basic, Gorean Role-Playing is a game where people pretend to be on Gor, acting out certain roles. It is a form of entertainment though it can have its educational aspects as well. Role-playing may involve captures where people try to enslave others and combat where people may duel each other, sometimes to a virtual death. 

Some who role-play try to remain true to the novels, only permitting types of actions that would be plausible based on the novels. Others prefer a looser form, altering aspects of the books to suit their own preferences. Sometimes these two schools of thought can get combative over their respective preferences. 

Role-played slavery, that follows the Gorean books closely, can resemble historical slavery, especially the type practiced in ancient Rome. Slaves in the Gorean books were mere property with absolutely no rights. Their owner could kill them with impunity. By Earth standards, such slavery could be considered harsh and brutal. Not all choose to adhere this closely to the books though when they role-play slavery. 

Others take a more gentle approach to it. Yet we must remember that this is only a game. It could easily be compared to any BDSM or D/S role-playing scenario. In Norman’s Imaginative Sex he actually presents over 50 sexual role-play scenarios, often involving domination, bondage and slavery. A number of those scenarios are similar to matters that could occur on Gor.

But it is important to remember that Gorean role-playing does not have to involve only master/slave interactions. Role-playing can cover many different scenarios from mysteries to war stories, from romance to action-adventure. Role-playing is like living a novel and the potential adventures are limited only by your imagination. There are some Gorean role-players who prefer to mainly engage in master/slave interaction but that is simply their choice. It is not indicative of the entire possible scope of role-play. 

Gorean Philosophy

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Gorean philosophy. This constitutes the underlying principles of the world of Gor that have been explicated in the novels. There is much evidence to indicate that this philosophy does exist and is based in large part on ancient Greek philosophy and the works of Nietzsche. 

Gorean philosophy may be best summarized by the principle Live in Accordance with Nature. Essentially, all other Gorean philosophical principles derive from this primary tenet. A complete understanding of Gorean philosophy requires a person not only to read all of the Gor novels but also to engage in outside reading as well to better comprehend some complex philosophical concepts. 

Interestingly enough, slavery is not an aspect of the Gorean philosophy. In fact, it is absolutely unnecessary to the philosophy. Slavery is a societal and cultural institution on Gor and not a philosophical principle. Now, one of the derivative principles of Gorean philosophy is that in general, men are dominant and women are submissive. It is simply considered a biological truth, based on genetics and our evolutionary history. And remember that we are not discussing an absolute here, only a generalization. But this principle does not entail that women should or must be slaves. There is a significant difference between being submissive and being a slave.

We should note that this group is the smallest of all the three Gorean groups we have mentioned. We can only speculate as to the reasons for this. Part of the reason is that when most people think of the term “philosophy” they think of a more cerebral activity, and not a way of life. They think of musty old academics arguing over esoteric points about the nature of the universe. Yet, if we delve back to ancient Greece and Rome, we can see that philosophy to them was integrally tied to a way of life. A philosopher lived his philosophy and did not just talk about it. And as Gor is largely based on such ancient sources, it seems especially appropriate to handle its philosophy as such. 

Gorean Lifestylers

Now we come to the final group, the Gorean lifestylers. This is the area that most often is compared to the world of BDSM and D/S. In general, a lifestyler is someone who follows the Gorean philosophy BUT who also emulates some of the societal institutions of Gor. That emulation is an important aspect of their lifestyle. A lifestyler essentially takes certain matters that some role-play and tries to make them real in their lives. 

It should be mentioned briefly here that there are a number of lifestylers who take great offense at role-players. They feel that it hurts their credibility and also that it is offensive to make a game out of what they live. But, by emulating some of the fictional aspects of the fictional world of Gor, it can be argued that lifestylers are actually engaged in a form of role-play. 

Some of the most common societal institutions that are emulated by lifestylers include the Home Stone, the Caste system and slavery. Now, there is no standard for which institutions must be emulated to be a lifestyler. You might choose to have a Home Stone but no Caste. You might choose to have a slave but no Home Stone. It is all a matter of personal preference though slavery is probably the most commonly emulated institution. Out of all aspects of Gor, slavery still attracts the most people. Yet this popularity is misrepresentative of the entirety of Gor. One can still be a Gorean lifestyler and not own a slave or even support slavery. 

When these Gorean institutions are emulated, lifestylers modify them for the realities of Earth and their own personal preferences. Slavery, though legal on Gor, is not legal on Earth so there must necessarily be some differences. Overall, lifestyler slavery becomes much less harsh than it would be on Gor. There are no forced enslavements for lifestylers. 

It is often called consensual slavery as the slave consents to her condition. She also has the power to end the slavery at any point. Such real-time (RT) slavery most closely resembles what would be known in BDSM and D/S as TPE, Total Power Exchange, though I prefer the less commonly used term Internal Enslavement as I feel it is a more accurate description of the nature of the relationship. At its most basic, RT slavery is a more extreme form of submission. And thus, there will be many similarities between BDSM and D/S and this RT slavery though there will be some significant differences as well.

Let us examine some of these similarities and differences. Gorean slavery, as can BDSM, may involve bondage, including collars, chains, manacles, rope, ties, and more. Gorean slavery and BDSM may involve the infliction of pain upon a submissive or slave. In general though, Goreans only do so as punishment and their slaves do not enjoy the pain. 

There are exceptions though. In BDSM, it is far more common for the submissive or slave to enjoy receiving the pain. Both Gor and BDSM obviously involve dominance and submission, though in Gor, it is usually the men who are dominant. In BDSM, many women are dominant, far more than would be in Gor. We could also discuss the differences between submissives and slaves but that is not too relevant to this current discussion. 

What is most important to note is that such RT Gorean slavery is but a single aspect of a much larger realm. If you feel that Gor is only about slavery, then you are missing out on a vast world of other Gorean ideas and concepts. Gorean philosophy touches on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and so much more. 

It draws its inspiration from such sources as Plato’s The Republic, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil

It deals with more than just personal relationships, encompassing also how man interacts with government, society and nature. In these respects, it is vastly more encompassing than BDSM or D/S. BDSM and D/S are most often a matter of personal relationships, the interaction of two people. 

Who then is responsible for setting forth the mistaken belief that Gor is primarily about slavery? Ultimately, much of that responsibility does fall upon the Gorean community. It falls upon those individuals who come to Gor just because of the slavery aspect. It falls upon those individuals who create websites that deal primarily with aspects of slavery. It falls upon those individuals who endlessly discuss slavery issues on the message boards, ignoring other topics. And as these individuals are the majority online, the message gets skewed. So people who know little of Gor receive a distorted picture that Gor is primarily about slavery when it is so much more diverse. 

Luckily, there are some who try to combat this distorted image. They help teach the realities of Gor. They post message and articles discussing many other aspects of Gor. They create websites that touch upon these myriad matters, relegating slavery to a far lesser role. It is not an easy task, but some are ready to face that challenge. 

The ultimate objective is to show that Gor is about far more than just slavery. Gor is not simply a subset of BDSM or D/S. 

Though there are some similarities between BDSM, D/S and Gorean RT consensual slavery, the differences far outweigh. Gor encompasses a vast array of additional matters that have nothing to do with BDSM or D/S. 

Written by Ubar Luther in Gor-Now.net

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Current List of Books in the Gorean Saga

This is the updated list of the Gorean Saga Books, with link for their purchase:

Book Covers:

Tarnsman of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 1) by [John Norman]
Outlaw of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 2) by [John Norman]
Priest-Kings of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 3) by [John Norman]
Nomads of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 4) by [John Norman]
Assassin of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 5) by [John Norman]
Raiders of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 6) by [John Norman]
Captive of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 7) by [John Norman]
Hunters of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 8) by [John Norman]
Marauders of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 9) by [John Norman]
Tribesmen of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 10) by [John Norman]
Slave Girl of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 11) by [John Norman]
Beasts of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 12) by [John Norman]
Explorers of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 13) by [John Norman]
Fighting Slave of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 14) by [John Norman]
Rogue of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 15) by [John Norman]
Guardsman of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 16) by [John Norman, Ken W. Kelly]
Savages of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 17) by [John Norman]
Blood Brothers of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 18) by [John Norman]
Kajira of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 19) by [John Norman]
Players of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 20) by [John Norman]
Mercenaries of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 21) by [John Norman]
Dancer of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 22) by [John Norman]
Renegades of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 23) by [John Norman]
Vagabonds of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 24) by [John Norman]
Magicians of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 25) by [John Norman]
Witness of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 26) by [John Norman]
Prize of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 27) by [John Norman]
Kur of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 28) by [John Norman]
Swordsmen of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 29) by [John Norman]
Mariners of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 30) by [John Norman]
Conspirators of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 31) by [John Norman]
Smugglers of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 32) by [John Norman]
Rebels of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 33) by [John Norman]
Plunder of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 34) by [John Norman]
Quarry of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 35) by [John Norman]

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Gorean Philosophy

“I do not insist that my argument is right in all other respects, but I would contend at all costs both in word and deed as far as I could that we will be better men, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it.”


Let me begin with a caveat, that the opinions expressed in this series of essays are mine alone and as such are susceptible to all the normal vagaries of opinions. But, I do feel that my opinions are firmly grounded and well researched. They are based upon multiple readings and studies of all of the Gor novels, all of Norman’s other written works, and additional extensive readings and studies into philosophy, science, psychology and history. In addition, one of my majors in college was philosophy. Personally, I choose to live by a Gorean philosophy in my life though I do not consider myself a Gorean lifestyler, by its most common definition. I simply see no reason in my own life for the necessity of trying to emulate the societal and cultural institutions of Gor. Others have different desires and that is fully their prerogative.

Some initial clarification is necessary to delineate the scope and direction of this series. The philosophy of Gor and the Gorean lifestyle, though related, are still separate entities. The most common definition of a lifestyler is one who follows a Gorean philosophy AND also emulates some of the societal and cultural institutions of Gor such as slavery, the Caste system or the Home Stone. The Gorean philosophy consists of the underlying principles of the Gorean world, separate from their manifestation into man-made institutions. One could create a more expansive definition of a lifestyler to include those who just follow a Gorean philosophy, but that would not be its most common usage. The key here is that one does not need to be a called a lifestyler (as it is commonly defined) to follow a Gorean philosophy in their life. I am not denigrating the lifestyle here, only trying to properly define the terms, by their most common usage, that will be used in these articles.

Even though the societal and cultural institutions of Gor most often derive from the philosophy, that derivation is not a logical necessity. Other institutions, some drastically different, could be derived from that same philosophy. For example, the barbarian cultures of Gor possess some drastically different societal and cultural institutions than the civilized cities of Gor, yet they all follow the same basic philosophy. These institutions may even vary from city to city. Thus, those institutions are generally unimportant to a comprehension of the philosophy except as examples of one possible method of the enactment of the philosophy. They are also unnecessary to actually living according to the philosophy. You do not need to own a slave or possess a Home Stone to live according to a Gorean philosophy. 

If we examine the books, trying to separate the philosophy from the societal and cultural institutions, we can see that those matters that may seem most abhorrent to our own moral sense, such as human sacrifice or legal slavery, belong to the category of societal and cultural institutions. Fortunately, such matters are unnecessary if we are only concerned with the philosophy. Any philosophy, in its application into a societal or cultural institution, can be abused or twisted but that does not invalidate the underlying philosophy. Consider how Christianity has been twisted over the centuries into such matters as the Inquisition and Crusades. Consider how Nietzsche’s philosophy, though he despised anti-Semitism, was twisted by the Nazis for their own sinister purposes. Do not equate what you might see as “brutality” within the Gor books as indicative of what the philosophy actually entails. Look below the surface to find its roots. A mere surface reading of the books is insufficient to properly understand its depths. 

Not everyone believes that the Gorean philosophy is valid or worthy. But, if we analyze the efforts of these critics of Gor, we can see that their primary criticisms concern the societal and cultural institutions of Gor rather than the actual philosophy. The existence of forced slavery in the books is an often touted “evil” of Gor despite it not being an aspect of the philosophy. Thus, those criticisms have no correlation to the philosophy. If anything, the critics often deny even the existence of any Gorean philosophy. On those rare occasions when they do contest particular aspects of the philosophy, they more often that not misunderstand and misrepresent what are the actual philosophical principles of Gor. For example, some critics claim that the Gorean philosophy stands for the proposition that women are inferior to men. This is completely wrong and is not a Gorean proposition. Gor depicts men and women as simply different, not that women are inherently inferior to men. The critics need to better understand what they wish to oppose. And if they truly understood the Gorean philosophy, most of them might not be so critical.

So what is the reason to present this series of articles? I think that discussions of the actual philosophy underlying Gor are far too uncommon online. When philosophical topics are raised on message boards, they often garner few replies. There are many more discussions on the practicalities of living a Gorean lifestyle today, on the emulation of the societal and cultural institutions of Gor. Just look at how prevalent are the discussions of slavery on websites and message boards. There is no other topic that garners half as much attention as slavery. But, I believe that the Gorean philosophy is of significant importance and that it warrants much more discussion than it currently receives. This series will be an effort to raise the awareness level of the philosophy and hopefully institute some meaningful dialogue on the subject matter. 

There would be no lifestyle without the Gorean philosophy. The philosophy is the required foundation for the lifestyle. And if one wishes to follow a Gorean philosophy in their lives, it is essential that they understand fully what they are trying to follow. Otherwise, they do a disservice to themselves. One could convert to Catholicism, and then go to Mass, receive the Eucharist and go to confession. But, unless they understood the basics of the faith, the essential fundamentals of that faith, they would only be going through the motions. And no one should just “go through the motions” in their chosen lifestyle. Comprehension is essential and highly beneficial.

Introduction to Gorean Philosophy

“Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt–particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms. Who knows how these cherished beliefs become certainties with us, and whether some secret wish did not furtively beget them, clothing desire in the dress of thought? There is no real philosophy until the mind turns round and examines itself.” 

The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant 

What is the Gorean philosophy? 

Let us break that question down. What is Gorean? What is philosophy?

Before we can begin to discuss this fascinating subject, we must first try to define our terms. Without a common definitional basis, there might be confusion and misinterpretation. It is far better to try to circumvent those potential problems at the start. Socrates was an ardent advocate of the great importance of defining terms when discussing philosophical issues. Please also understand that these definitions are geared specifically to pertain to the subject matter at hand. As such, these definitions may not be appropriate in a different context. 

We shall begin our discussion by first trying to define “philosophy.” The term “philosophy” is derived from two Greek words that literally translates as “lover of wisdom.” The proper definition of philosophy though remains a bone of contention even to modern day philosophers. Thus, many different definitions exist, varying from the simple to the complex. So, what are we to do? Which definition would be best for our purposes? Well, if we are to discuss a Gorean philosophy, then maybe we should consult Norman, a philosophy professor, for his own definition of philosophy. But, that is not to be found within the Gorean series. Fortunately, Norman’s book “The Cognitivity Paradox” (published under his real name John Lange) provides us with just such a definition. This book also points out the weaknesses of numerous other definitions of philosophy and is highly recommended for anyone interested in Gorean philosophy or philosophy in general. 

Norman defines philosophy simple as “a proposal,” something essentially offered for consideration, a matter to be discussed and examined. In general, a proposal would not be considered to have a truth-value in the ordinary sense. It is not something we would commonly assess as either just true or false. But, nearly all philosophers would contend that philosophy can be cognitive, that it can have a truth-value, so they might contest Norman’s definition. They would see philosophy as having far greater worth than merely being a proposal. But, Norman avoids this criticism by choosing to extend the meaning of truth-value to create a derivative cognitivity that is applicable to such proposals. Obviously some proposals are better than others and it is possible that some proposal can even be considered the best. Thus, if a set of conditions are devised to judge a proposal, based on some ideal, then those conditions could be used to assess its truth-value. We shall return to Norman’s definition later in this series to assess the cognitivity of the Gorean philosophy.

Academically, philosophy has four primary components: logic, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Logic is essentially concerned with correct methods of reasoning, how we prove certain statements, including such matters as deductive and inductive reasoning. We shall mostly ignore this aspect of philosophy when we are exploring Gor except in as so much that we shall rely on logic when making our points. Metaphysics concerns explanations about the general aspects of reality such as the nature of our minds, bodies, God, space, time, the world and universe. We shall explore this topic as it applies to Gor, especially concerning the fabricated metaphysics imposed upon the Low Castes, also known as the Double Knowledge. We will also explore how different Gorean cultures, the barbarian peoples, have their own metaphysical beliefs. Epistemology concerns the nature and extent of human knowledge, asking why we believe what we believe and whether true knowledge is possible. We shall explore this aspect as well as it applies to Gorean philosophy. Though some cultures may differ in this respect as well, there is more commonality here than in the area of metaphysics. Ethics concerns the proper way to conduct one’s life and issues of morality. We shall spend the most time discussing this subject as it applies to Gorean philosophy. When people generally refer to the Gorean philosophy, this is the topic they mean. They are most concerned about how to properly live according to this philosophy. 

There are also derivative forms of philosophy, subjects that are more specific in nature such as political philosophy and aesthetics. It has even spread in modern times to cover such areas as the philosophy of sports, sex, health, business and many more. We may touch on a few of these derivative forms where they are applicable to Gor. For example, we shall examine some aspects of political philosophy such as the relation of Plato’s “The Republic” to the structure of the Gorean city. We may even touch upon some aspects of aesthetics as beauty is very important on Gor. 

Let’s now define “Gorean,” an often controversial term online. There is often debate and disagreement on defining this term and many people have their own definitions of such. My definition is intended to be limited to the context of “Gorean philosophy.” I intend “Gorean” to be an expansive term, encompassing nearly all of the societies and cultures of Gor, from the cities such as Ar and Ko-ro-ba, to the barbarian lands of Torvaldsland and the Barrens. What unites these disparate peoples is an underlying set of philosophical principles. This is what makes those people Gorean “by nature” as opposed to Gorean simply by their place of birth. Though their societal and cultural institutions vary, often quite significantly, these peoples are still united philosophically in many ways. Their metaphysics may vary, as well as their epistemology, but the foundation of their ethics is the same. And it is the ethical aspects that are of the greatest importance to those who wish to live by a Gorean philosophy. A few Gorean societies and cultures may try to repudiate these principles but they are not the norm. They are rare exceptions, such as the Panther Girls, who are unwilling to accept all of the principles, though very often they succumb to them in the end.

So, essentially this series will cover the commonalities and differences in three philosophic aspects among the disparate peoples of Gor. Metaphysics and epistemology will be dealt with briefly as they are of lesser importance to our interests and objectives. The area of ethics though will be central to our discussions. We shall also cover a number of other philosophically related matters. The primary objective of this series will be to help people understand the underlying principles of the Gorean philosophy, that apply to nearly all the peoples of Gor, and how they can impact upon societal and cultural institutions. We shall also better comprehend how a Gorean philosophy can be adopted and followed in our own lives. 

Though understanding the Gorean philosophy, once it is presented, should not prove too difficult, enacting its principles in one’s life can be more problematic. This is because many of the philosophical principles of Gor are antithetical to the standards we are used to on Earth. We have been socially and culturally conditioned against these natural principles. And such conditioning can be very difficult to overcome. It is not an easy matter to cast it off and to embrace a philosophy so counter to it. It takes a massive effort of will, a true test of self-discipline and self-examination. Not everyone can or is willing to do this. But it can be done. Living according to a Gorean philosophy is a definite possibility. 

There is a popular quote from the books that is often quoted as a proposition of how to live one’s life in a Gorean manner. 

“Do not ask the stones or the trees how to live; they cannot tell you; they do not have tongues; do not ask the wise man how to live, for, if he knows, he will know he cannot tell you; if you would learn how to live do not ask the question, its answer is not in the question but in the answer, which is not in words, do not ask how to live, but instead proceed to do so.” (Marauders of Gor, p.9) 

Though this is a fine quote, its applicability to those on Earth is very limited. Its primary applicability is to the Goreans of the books who have been raised since birth to believe and understand the basic philosophy of Gor. It thus comes naturally to them and they do not need to engage in lengthy meditations over their philosophic choices. We on Earth, due to the strong societal and cultural conditioning we receive since birth, cannot simply “just live” as Goreans do. We have forgotten how to do so. We must awaken to the realities of nature and that requires intensive self-examination to overcome our life-long conditioning. We must ask the stones and trees how to live. Thus, we must make take an active role to study and understand the Gorean philosophy. We would be much better off following the advice of Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  

If the Gorean philosophy is a positive philosophy, which I believe it to be, then it seems obvious that it should be promoted and encouraged. What reason is there not to promote a positive philosophy? In the Gorean books, Norman holds out a slim chance that those of Earth will one day “awaken” to the natural truths of the Gorean philosophy. He does not indicate that only a select few should follow the philosophy. It seems evident that he feels the entire planet could benefit from such a philosophy. He hopes for a future that has regained a connection to the natural world. Thus, it makes sense to promote such a philosophy, to encourage people to learn and understand it. Turning people away from such a philosophy does a disservice to our society. Maybe the information presented here might help even a few comprehend the philosophy and choose to follow it in their lives.

Finally, I cannot stress enough that all education about Gor, including the philosophy, begins with the Gor books. If you wish to properly understand Gor, you must read the Gor books. There is no real substitute. Reading websites and message boards is insufficient for a proper understanding of Gor. They may help you better understand what you have read, but you should have the foundation of having read the books first. Otherwise, you will be unable to discern the errors from the truth. And numerous websites do contain inaccuracies concerning the books. Without the books, you might be able to acquire a passing knowledge of Gor, but true comprehension will likely elude you. And if one truly cares about Gor, enough to want to live according to its philosophy, then reading the books should be a given. 

“…love of learning, which can be one of the deepest and most honest of loves.”

(Tarnsman of Gor, p.38

Source: http://www.gor-now.net/

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Natural Order

The most externally obvious, and thus controversial, aspect of Gorean philosophy is the concept of Natural Order. It is, for better or worse, what Goreans are known for, if they are known. It is also perhaps the most misunderstood, even by those professing to be Gorean.

Natural Order has two aspects. The first is a somewhat incindiary term for the application of Evolutionary Psychology to gender and sexual relationships. In short, Evolutionary Psychology is the application of the principles of natural selection to human psychology, that is, looking at the evolutionary pressures on humans over their history and how they would have impacted our psychological as well as physiological development.

The general consensus in the scientific community on the “nature vs. nurture” question is “both, and it’s complicated.” Many aspects of our behavior are biological in origin, with a thick layer of social and cultural conditioning on top of them (which have their own highly complicated evolutionary pressures). Those biological behaviors have been shaped by millions of years of evolution, and have shaped (both psychologically and physically) males and females in different ways because a division of labor aided in the survival of the species.

These differences are by no means absolute, but show a clear gender-biased trend. Specifically, they show a bias toward dominant, protective, tenacious males and submissive, nurturing, multi-tasking females. Displays of those behaviors by one gender tend to trigger a sympathetic mirror response in the other. That such trends sound eerily like the “traditional gender roles” oft derided in Western culture today is a sign not that they are antiquated but that there is some validity to them; if such gender differentiation was so common throughout most of human history, perhaps there is something more to it than an oppressive conspiracy.

The scientific basis for that claim is present, but not conclusive. For instance, one study conducted in Canada on D/s and S/M interests showed a surprisingly high degree of interest across genders in activities that suggest an unequal power dynamic. While both genders reported interest in all activities in large numbers, there was a very clear bias toward men expressing dominant/aggressive interests and women expressing submissive interests.

Similarly, many studies have shown that what is most attractive to men, on the whole, is signs of fertility and high estrogen, which generally express themselves in what are usually considered “feminine” attributes. Conversely, women are attracted to signs of successful provision; the cues for that may vary between cultures but the theme is the same. The exception is while they are ovulating, when their attraction shifts to signs of fertility in the form of high testosterone, which also generally express themselves in traditionally “masculine” appearance and behavior.

Historically, societies in which life was more fraught and death closer to hand tended to be more strongly male-dominant, while those that had more abundant and secure resources tend to have a more equal status for men and women. The same pattern can be seen today amongst many primates. Humans evolved, of course, in very unstable conditions in which our wits were our only meaningful defense mechanism (as we lacked claws, saberteeth, thick hides, or other natural weapons). That undoubtedly impacted the evolution of the human psyche.

To be sure, a handful of studies do not a scientific consensus make and any generalization of human behavior is fraught with risk. The science at this point can best be summed up as “inconclusive, but there’s definitely something to it.”

The other, related aspect of natural order, as Goreans understand it, is that of hierarchy. Dominance and leadership hierarchies are natural and normal among most mammals, especially primates. Most groups, left to their own devices, inevitably develop hierarchies, even if informal ones. Those hierarchies are not always formed along the most practical lines, but they will form. (The essay “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” explains this dynamic in more detail.)

Goreans embrace and accept the nature of hierarchy, and that some will lead and others follow. Following is not disgraceful if it is natural and appropriate in context; not everyone can, or should, lead. Without both followers and leaders the chances of anything getting done is close to none.

Combining these two concepts, Gorean culture is, openly and unabashedly, male-dominant. Male-dominant, however, does not imply misogynistic. There are many women involved in the Gorean community who are well-respected, but understand that Gor is patriarchal without shame.

In the books, this clear dominant/submissive dichotomy is taken to a hyperbolic extreme, up to and including legalized, chattel slavery. In the books, perhaps 2% of the female population is said to be slaves, most of them happily so, and an even smaller percentage of the male population are slaves, mostly POWs and criminals who resent their status. Despite that, the overwhelming majority of the female characters seen in the books are slaves, and happily so (at least by the end of the book). They are simply more fun to read about.

The extremes, of course, are of more interest to those unsatisfied with the state of their environment. As a result, it is estimated that somewhere around 2/3rd of women involved in the Gorean community consider themselves slaves. Unlike the books, of course, this is consensual slavery with their full and enthusiastic consent.

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org/

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Love of Nature

While it is perhaps a stretch to say that one must be an environmentalist in order to be Gorean, it would not be a great stretch. As noted, the name of the Gorean homeworld is “Home Stone”, a reference to that which is the beating heart of a Gorean’s life.

The books also state, repeatedly, that Goreans love their world. Its “clean and untainted” air is oft contrasted with the “polluted” air of Earth. There is perhaps little to add to this particular line:

“Goreans care for their world. They love the sky, the plains, the sea, the rain in the summer, the snow in the winter. They will sometimes stand and watch clouds. The movement of grass in the wind is very beautiful to them. More than one Gorean poet has sung of the leaf of a Tur tree. I have known warriors who cared for the beauty of small flowers.”

Hunters of Gor, Page 119

A healthy respect for nature and its beauty, and an inclination to protect and preserve it, is a very Gorean trait.

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org/

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Introduction to Home Stone

Greater than caste, however, is Home Stone. The books make the point repeatedly that one cannot understand the significance of a Home Stone without having a Home Stone. For our purposes, however, it suffices to demonstrate the value of communal bonds.

A Home Stone is a rock. It is often simple, and minimally decorated if at all. It has no intrinsic value, except that is taken as symbolic of the heart and soul of the community that pledges itself to it and is thus invaluable. As a literary tool, it serves to exemplify the dual importance of personal sovereignty and community loyalty.

An individual or house may have a personal Home Stone, but a city will also have a Home Stone. A man in the presence of his Home Stone is absolute ruler and sovereign. “A man’s home is his castle” is a concept that Goreans take very seriously, and to challenge another’s rule of his house is a serious affront.

At the same time, the shared Home Stone of a city unites its members. Without a Home Stone, they are simply a group of people in the same place. With a Home Stone, they are a community.

“Commonality of Home Stone extends beyond concepts with which you are familiar, such as shared citizenship, for example. It is more like brotherhood, but not so much in the attenuated, cheap, abstract sense in which those of Earth commonly speak glibly, so loosely, of brotherhood. It is more analogous to brotherhood in the sense of jealously guarded membership in a proud, ancient family, one that has endured through centuries, a family bound together by fidelity, honor, history and tradition.”

Prize of Gor, Pages 117 – 118

The sharing of a Home Stone is a serious matter, and one owes a great deal to those with whom one shares one. Protection, aid, fidelity, and so forth are expected from a community to its members and vice versa.

In Ar, as in many Gorean cities, citizenship is confirmed in a ceremony of this sort. Nonperformance of this ceremony, upon reaching intellectual majority, can be a cause for expulsion from the city. The rationale seems to be that the community has a right to expect allegiance from its members.

Vagabonds of Gor, Page 303

So while Gorean philosophy may strongly value the individual and personal achievement, it values equally, if not more so, the shared community and its achievement as well.

Less often referenced, but also relevant to this discussion, is that the word “Gor” literally translates as “Home Stone”. That is, the name of the planet in the books is literally “Home Stone”. Our world is our Home Stone, to which we owe ultimate allegiance, and to those with whom we share that ultimate Home Stone.

Are we not all of the same world?

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org/

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Introduction to Community

While Gor is generally a strong supporter of the individual, and Norman himself decidedly libertarian in his views, Gor nonetheless places great significance on community, and on community responsibility.

In the books, this is shown in two ways.

Caste solidarity

Most of the regions of Gor we see in the books have a caste-based culture. These castes are not akin to the Indian caste system (which most Americans first think of when they hear “caste”) but more like the professional guilds of Medieval and Early Modern Europe. One is generally born into a caste, learns the skills of the caste from its senior members, teaches those skills to its younger members, and owes a debt of responsibility to all of its members.

“Goreans do not generally favor begging, and some regard it as an insult that there should be such, an insult to them and their city. When charity is in order, as when a man cannot work or a woman is alone, usually such is arranged through the caste organization.”

Assassins of Gor, page 12

The welfare of the caste, typically, takes priority in the Gorean mind over the ambitions of specific individuals.”

Fighting Slave of Gor, page 210

Similarly, sharing knowledge with fellow caste members is, naturally, a duty. How can the caste be strong if many of its members are kept ignorant for the aggrandizement of a single member?

Although not all practicing Goreans claim a caste, and there is of course no “caste organization” to speak of, the concept of responsibility and duty to those with whom shares a professional bond is poignant and consistent.

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org/

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Introduction to Honor

There is, in the world, that which is Right and that which is Wrong. Most interactions and situations do not rise to the level of Right and Wrong, and it would be incorrect to say that they do. But to be honorable, or to have honor, is to work for and do what is Right and fight against and do not do that which is Wrong, even at cost to yourself, because that is the Right thing to do, and to be internally consistent (that is, have integrity) in those endeavors. Period.

One who “is honorable” is one who has a clear definition of Right and Wrong, an understanding of why those beliefs are held, and holds to them with a high degree of consistency. One who has demonstrated such over a period of time is said to “be honorable”.

Closely related to honor is the concept of integrity. Integrity is an internal and external consistency in belief, behavior, and action with regard to one’s Honor and ethical code, especially in the face of adversity. While one’s beliefs may change over time, and it is in fact worrisome if they do not evolve as one gains experience, they should not do so on a whim.

As humans are by nature fallible creatures, perfect integrity is impossible. All people will at some point in their lives, probably at many, fail to provide consistent adherence to their honor and ethical code at the time, either in their beliefs, behavior, or action. At that time, a reasonable judge of integrity is the frequency with which such inconsistencies occur, the severity of them, and the steps (or lack thereof) the person in question takes to amend said breach and to avoid a repeated breach. In fact, one’s actions in response to a breach of integrity are a better judge of one’s integrity than behavior in more normal times.

“The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be.”


There are, of course, many possible definitions of “Right” and “Wrong”, which often conflict. Gorean honor specifically is that which is derived from the books, but again that is not prescriptive and can only be derived implicitly.

Core to the Gorean sense of honor is accountability. That is, accepting responsibility for one’s actions (or lack thereof), whether the result is good or bad. That could be as mundane as apologizing for stepping on someone’s foot to accepting genuine blame for a large failure at work. It also means, however, not assisting others in avoiding accountability. It means being true to one’s word (even if doing so is otherwise detrimental). A Gorean is accountable to himself, and to those around him.

“Flee,” she said. “I am of the Warriors,” I said. “But you may die,” she said. “That is acknowledged in the codes,” I said. “What are the codes?” she asked. “They are nothing, and everything,” I said. “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.” “Kurii?” she asked. “Beasts, such as ice beasts, and worse,” I said. “Beasts such as the face you saw in the sky.” “You need not keep the codes,” she said. “I once betrayed my codes,” I said. “It is not my intention to do so again.” I looked at her.
“One does not know, truly, what it is to stand, until one has fallen. Once one has fallen, then one knows, you see, what it is to stand.” “None would know if you betrayed the codes,” she said. “I would know,” I said, “and I am of the Warriors.”

Beasts of Gor, Page 340

Another key aspect of Gorean honor is strength, and striving to increase it. Not strength in the physical sense, but strength of character and will. In this regard it draws heavily from Nietzsche’s concept of Master-slave morality, which embraces the inherent inequality of the world.

Gorean philosophy does not claim that all are equal. Quite the opposite. Gorean philosophy asserts that inequality is the natural state of humanity, as not all are equal in skill, in intellect, in will, or capacity in a myriad of ways.

However, contrary to the inequality espoused by racists and bigots, that inequality is not static. That inequality is taken not as a way to hold another down, but as a challenge to lift yourself, and your fellows, higher. There is always higher to climb, another challenge to meet, another lesson to learn. Gorean honor calls on Goreans to always seek to climb and better themselves.

The morality of slaves says, “You are equal to me; we are both the same”; the morality of masters says, “We are not equal; we are not the same; become equal to me; then we will be the same.”

Marauders of Gor, Page 9

On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.

Friedrich Nietzsche

We also hold that, if one shares a kinship with another (through family, caste, or Home Stone) then one is obligated to, as appropriate, help that other person to climb. “Here is my hand, now come up to my level.”

Curiously, while the above “Right and Wrong” definition of honor is common amongst lay-people in the US today, that is not how sociologists and anthropologists use the term. In sociological terms, an honor-based culture is one that uses an implicit set of rules of behavior (an honor code) rather than an explicit one (a legal code), and places the responsibility of enforcement on all individuals personally.

That is, in a law-based society if someone wrongs you, it is the responsibility of an established and accepted structure to penalize the offender (government, legal system, police, judges, etc.), and the consistency of punishment acts as a deterrent of such behavior. In an honor-based society, in contrast, it would be your personal duty to seek vengeance upon the offender (possibly with help, possibly not, depending on the circumstances) as a way to dissuade others from wronging you in the future. Such honor-based systems are far more common where a law-based system is impossible, due to limited resources, high temptation to wrong someone else (the reward often outweighs the risk), and institutions to enforce an explicit code are ineffective or non-existent.

While such a “do it yourself” approach to law and order is romantic and appealing, historically it frequently lead to a lot of dead people and repeated cycles of violence through escalation, revenge killings, blood feuds, gang wars, and such. That is why most cultures have switched from implicit to explicit systems as soon as the resources and institutions for a law-based system were available.

We do see, however, that “vengeance” approach to honor in the Gor books as well. Even in cases where it is arguably to his detriment, Tarl will attack or dress-down another person for a social slight.

“It was so tiny a thing,” she asked, “a point of propriety, of precedence?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “You risked so much for a mere point of honor?” she asked. “There are no mere points of honor,” I told her.

Vagabonds of Gor, Page 63

As virtually all industrialized nations today are, primarily, law-based societies and discourage personal vengeance as a social enforcement mechanism, what then of honor? Can this form of honor be compatible in a modern society?

We hold that yes, it can, as it does not require vengeance and violence to exist but simply correction. If wronged, a Gorean has a responsibility not of revenge, but of correction. Severe matters are indeed better left to law enforcement, but honor in this sense is the flip-side of accountability: Holding others accountable for their behavior, especially if one is the aggrieved party. That does not require personally punishing someone, simply seeing to it that they are held accountable.

That is, not only is it dishonorable to cheat, lie, or steal it is dishonorable to knowingly allow another to cheat, lie, or steal, and especially so if the cheating, lying, or stealing is committed against you.

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org/

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Introduction to Gorean Philosophy

Over the years, as the Gorean community has grown, many have struggled to define more succinctly what Gorean philosophy and world view actually is. “Gorean philosophy is the philosophy shown in the Gorean books” is the only universally accepted statement, as it is a tautology. The books are, in this regard, more parables than prescriptions, which requires one to self-reflect, analyze (both oneself as well as the books), and read deeper in order to find the patterns and meaning.

Which, in a sense, is the first principle of Gor: It cannot simply be taught, it must be learned and experienced.

Do not ask the stones or the trees how to live, they can not tell you;… do not ask how to live, but, instead, proceed to do so.

Marauders of Gor, Page 9

That, however, should not be taken as a condemnation of teaching; no society that refuses to teach its newcomers will survive past a single generation. Nor should it be taken as a message that Gor is “simply be yourself, whatever that is”. Such an anarchic approach would be completely incompatible with the books, as they show over and over again social structures and pressures and conventions that are not evil or repressive at all; rather, they are presented as superior to the (often-strawman) presentation of conventional western culture.

“Truth not won is not possessed. We are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought.”

Marauders of Gor, p.7

But what, then, constitutes Gorean philosophy? It is, simply, the philosophy agreed to and adopted by Goreans. But which Goreans?

In this case, the Scribe of this site. We do not claim the following to be the ultimate word on Gorean philosophy and belief. It is however, one which we accept and follow, and which has stood the test of countless debates and discussions over the past 20 years, a battle of wits in which many an innocent electron was spilt.

Source: http://www.goreanscribe.org

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Caste Colors

From all the many castes (professions) mentioned in the books, only some have specific colours assigned to them.

These are the main ones:

The five high castes

  • Initiates – White
  • Scribes – Blue
  • Builders – Yellow
  • Physicians – Green
  • Warriors – Red or Scarlet

And then we have the other castes:

  • Assassins – Black
  • Bakers – Yellow and Brown or Brown and Black
  • Foresters – Mottled Green and Brown
  • Metal Workers – Black and Gray
  • Merchant Magistrates – White, Trimmed with Gold and Purple
  • Merchants – Yellow and White or Gold and White
  • Peasants – Grey, White or Brown
  • Perfumers – White and Yellow
  • Players – Red and Yellow Checkered
  • Sawyers – Brown and Yellow
  • Slavers – Blue and Yellow
  • Sleen Trainers – Brown and Black
  • Tarn Keepers – Brown with Green streaks
  • Vintners – White with Green cloth leaves

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix



I could see the white robes of Initiates and the variegated colors of soldiers, both of Ar and of Pa-Kur’s horde.

Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 204

I saw two Initiates in their snowy white, with their golden pans held out, to receive offerings.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 504


another wore the blue of the Caste of Scribes,

Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 3

“Where will he go? What will he do?” asked a fellow, a Scribe from his robes, of shoddy, faded blue.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 4


“That war can be ended here,” smiled a man in yellow robes, those of the Builders.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 69

I saw two in the yellow of the Builders,

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 504


who wore the green robes of the Caste of Physicians,

Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 44

On continental Gor, green is the caste color of the Physicians.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 320


I was no longer worthy of the red of the warrior,

Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 76

I now dressed myself in the scarlet garb of a warrior of Gor.

Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 24


It was as a warrior of Gor that I arose and donned the black helmet and the garments of the Caste of Assassins. I loosened my sword in its sheath, set my shield on my arm, and grasped my spear.

Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 190

“Who are you,” asked a man, “that those of the black caste would come secretly, silently, upon you?”

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 5


I stayed four days in the rooms above the shop of Dina of Turia. There I dyed my hair black and exchanged the robes of the merchant for the yellow and brown tunic of the Bakers, to which caste her father and two brothers had belonged.

Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 237

I did note, however, the brown and black of the Bakers, the black and gray of the Metal Worker, the brown of the Peasants, and several others.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 504


Looking ahead, I saw a figure emerging from the forest, in the green which I would come later to recognize as that of the foresters.

Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 91

As we entered the trees, I saw two fellows. They wore tunics of a mottled green and brown. As they stood very still, I did not even notice them until we were almost at their side. Each held a strung, but not drawn, bow, a large bow, with an arrow a long arrow light at the string, as though it might be ready for flight.

Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 103

Metal Workers

In a few minutes a fellow in the black and gray of the metal workers appeared and removed her collar, with the attached tag.

Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 375

I did note, however, the brown and black of the Bakers, the black and gray of the Metal Worker, the brown of the Peasants, and several others.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 504

Merchant Magistrates

Behind the wagon, in the white robes, trimmed with gold and purple, of merchant magistrates, came five men. I recognized them as judges.

Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 49


White and yellow, or white and gold, are the colors of the merchants.

Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 269

There were many caste colors in the crowd, but clearly predominating were the yellow and white, or white and gold, familiar to the Merchants.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 503


one who wore the grimed grey of a peasant,

Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 129

I wore a peasant’s tunic. It was white and sleeveless, of the wool of the Hurt.

Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 191

I did note, however, the brown and black of the Bakers, the black and grey of the Metal Worker, the brown of the Peasants, and several others.

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 504


“A friend of your father,” said he. He tore away from his body, swiftly, the gown of the perfumers, that of white and yellow silk. I, too, cast aside the perfumer’s gown.

Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 116


he wore the garb of the Player, but his garb was rich and the squares of the finest red and yellow silk;

Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 322

Members of the Caste of Players are recognized by their red-and-yellow-checked robes,

Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 2


At that point a burly fellow, presumably of the Arsenal, for he wore a sawyer’s brown and yellow smock, made his way to the paga vat.

Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 426


He had known, of course, from the gown of blue and yellow silk that the man was a slaver.

Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 18

a slaver will usually wear blue and yellow robes, or robes in which these colours are prominent.

Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 335

Sleen Trainers

He no longer now wore the brown and black common to professional sleen trainers.

Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 78

Tarn Keepers

The Tarn Keeper, who was called by those in the tavern Mip, . . . wore a Tarn Keeper’s cap with a greenish tassel;

Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 168


“Game!” I heard, an answering cry, and a fat fellow, of the Caste of Vintners, puffing and bright eyed, wearing a white tunic with a representation in green cloth of leaves about the collar and down the sleeves of the garment, stepped forth from a doorway.

Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 29


In the center of the amphitheater was a throne of office, and on this throne, in his robe of state – a plain brown garment, the humblest cloth in the hall – sat my father, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, once Ubar, War Chieftain of the city.

Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 62

He was not wearing the purple of the Ubar, but his shoulders were covered with a brown cloak, rather of the sort worn by Administrators in certain cities, civilian statesmen, servants of the people, so to speak.

Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 288

He wore an informal, brown robe, which betokened no caste in particular.

Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 193


“Why do the slaves wear purple?” I asked Misk. “That is the color of the robes of a Ubar.”

Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 91

Kamchak stood before the throne of Phanius Turmus, the purple robe of the Ubar over one shoulder,

Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 255

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Who is John Norman?

John Lange was born in Chicago, Illinois, to John Frederick Lange and Almyra D. Lange (née Taylor).

He began his academic career in the early 1950s, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1953, and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1957. While at USC he married Bernice L. Green on January 14, 1956. The couple have three children: John, David, and Jennifer.

Norman’s fiction attained popularity in the 1970s and early 1980s with an estimated 6 to 12 million copies sold.

John Norman’s Gorean Saga is a long-running series of adventure science fantasy novels, starting in December 1966 with Tarnsman of Gor. The series was put on hold after its twenty-fifth installment, Magicians of Gor, in 1988, when DAW refused to publish its successor, Witness of Gor. After several unsuccessful attempts to find a trade publishing outlet, the series was brought back into print in 2001 with the publication of Witness of Gor. Norman has also produced a separate science fiction series, the Telnarian Histories, plus three other fiction works, five non-fiction works, and a collection of thirty short stories.

Norman has said that the three major influences on his work are Homer, Freud, and Nietzsche.

According to Norman, his Gor books are science fiction or adventure fantasy works which are also “intellectual, philosophical, and psychological novels”. 

His fiction depicts fantastic worlds where male-dominated bondage relationships are natural and widely practiced and respected culturally, whereas characteristics of modern society are criticized and philosophical themes are explored, specially from a Nietzschean view.

Although the bondage in his Imaginative Sex guide is directed to sexual practices, the bondage and slavery presented on “Gor” follows along the lines of societal or legal slavery; a common way of life as reflected in ancient Rome and other societies. While the philosophy presented is unquestionably that of male dominance, male characters are themselves often enslaved by powerful females.

In an interview with Polygraff magazine, Norman stated that he believes that it is obvious that all societies are based on dominance and hierarchy.

His non-fiction works cover philosophy, ethics and historiography.

Source: Wikipedia

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Before Dwelling into GOR

I believe that before entering into much detail about the concepts and organization of the Gorean Philosophy, Novels and Lifestyle, it is important to understand some basics.

Most important of all, get to know some information about the author of the Novels, the inspiration for the philosopy and how it is being applied by many people around the world as a way of life!

©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Gorean Lifestyle – The Journey Begins

I discovered the concepts of Gorean Philosophy some years ago and since then, started a path of discovery and self-awareness, learning about the Natural Order while deepening the study of philosophy and the mechanics of the human brain.

This site is another step in that path, searching for knowledge, organizing ideas and information and finding a way to share it with others!

I will start by making a small presentation of what “Gorean Philosophy” is, how it appeared, where does it draw “inspiration” from and how it is applied in a Lifestyle perspective.

Please keep in mind that all the information shared here is presented through my personal view of the philosophy and in a Lifestyler perspective (considerably different from Role-Players, etc).

Welcome and hope you enjoy!

©2020 -Written by Azrael Phoenix

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Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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