Fifth Month
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Year 10,172 Contasta Ar


Marine



Here are relevant references from the Books where marine animals are mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,
Fogaban



     Cephalopod
          Cuttlefish
          Octopus
          Squid
     Eel
          Marsh
          Black
          Death
          Dock
          Fanged
          Harbor
          Pond
          River
          Spotted
          Vosk
     Fish
          Bag Fish
          Carp
          Knife-Teethed
          Gint
          Grunt
               Blue
               Speckled
               White
               White-Bellied
               Wide-Mouthed
          Hatchet
          Hogfish
          Lelt
          Parsit
               Kassau
          Pike
          Song Fish
          Swamp
          Wingfish
     Hith
          Sea
     Living Island
     Miscellaneous
          Calculus
          Isopod
          Leech
          Plankton
          Protozoon
          Rotifer
          Salamander
     Monster
          Saurian
     Shark
          Delta
          Free-Water
          Harbor
          Marsh
          Northern
          Open-Water
          River
          Salt
          Tamber
          Vine Sea
          White
          White-Finned
     Shellfish
          Clam
          Crab
          Crayfish
          Mollusk
          Oyster
          Vosk Sorp
     Whale
          Baleen
          Hunjer Long
          Karl










Cephalopod      
 


Cuttlefish
To The Top


That scent, I knew, a distillation of a hundred flowers, nurtured like a priceless wine, was a secret guarded by the perfumers of Ar. It contained as well the separated oil of the Thentis needle tree; an extract from the glands of the Cartius river urt; and a preparation formed from a disease calculus scraped from the intestines of the rare Hunjer Long Whale, the result of the inadequate digestion of cuttlefish. Fortunately, too, this calculus is sometimes found free in the sea, expelled with feces. It took more than a year to distill, age, blend and bond the ingredients.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 114





 


Octopus
To The Top


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208





 


Squid
To The Top


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208










Eel      
 


Eel
To The Top


"How long have you been slave?"

He looked at me, puzzled. "Six years," he said.

"What were you before?" I asked.

"An eel fisher," he said.

"What city?"

"The Isle of Cos," he said.
. . .

I looked out, over the marsh. Then I again regarded the eel fisher, who was first oar.

"Were you a good fisherman?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "I was."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 84


A man walked by carrying a long pole, from which dangled dozens of the eels of Cos.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 343


A pirate running for the ship missed the bow rail and fell into the water. He began to thrash and scream in the water, attacked by eels. I looked down, into the water. Below me the water was swarming with eels. The blood from my back, I realized, running down the blade and dripping into the water, had attracted them.
. . .

"Well done," I cried. "Well done!" I was elated. I could scarcely feel my pain, or the burns of the ropes. I was only dimly conscious of the wetness of my back. Then something wet and heavy, slithering, leapt upward out of the water, and splashed back. My leg felt stinging. It had not been able to fasten its jaws on me.

I looked downward. Two or more heads, tapering, menacing, solid, were emerged from the water, looking up at me, Then, streaking from under the water, suddenly breaking its surface, another body, some four feet in length, about eight or ten pounds in weight, leapt upward. I felt the jaws snap and scratch against the shearing blade. Then it fell twisting back in the water. It was the blood which excited them. I strove again, then, to escape, pulling against the bonds, trying to abrade them against the back of the blade.

I was now, suddenly, alarmed. My struggles had done nothing more than to lower me a few inches on the blade. I now feared I might be within reach of the leaping eels. I tried to inch upward on the blade. Pressing my legs and arms against the blade I could move upward to my original position, but no further, because of the ropes on my ankles, catching on the bottom side of the blade fixture, and it was extremely difficult and painful to hold myself that high on the blade.

I was sweating, and terrified. Then the flagship of Policrates, responding to another impact, lurched to starboard, and, terrified, I slipped back down the blade. My feet, bound back, on each side of the blade, were little more than a foot from the water. Again, frenzied, in terror, I tried to struggle. But, to my dismay, I was again held perfectly. I could not even begin to free myself. I was absolutely helpless. I had been bound by Gorean men.

I felt another stinging bite at my leg, where another of the heavy, leaping eels tried to feed. Again I inched my way painfully, by my thighs and forearms, higher on the blade. If we could get to free water I did not think the eels would pursue us far from the wharves and shore.

Then suddenly I realized I might have but moments before the ship managed to free itself and back into the river. Suddenly I allowed myself to slide down the blade. "Are you hungry, little friends?" I inquired. "Can you smell sweat and fear? Does blood make you mad? Leap, little brothers. Render me service." I looked down at several of the heavy, tapering heads projecting from the water, at the eyes like filmed stones. "Taste blood," I encouraged them. I thrust back against the blade. I tried to abrade my ankles against the steel.

I knew that the fastening of those jaws, in a fair bite, could gouge ounces of flesh from a man's body. Too I knew that the eel seldom takes its food out of the water, that such strikes, in all probability, had not been selected for. Accordingly, the only inward compensation for the refraction differential would presumably have to be learned by trial and error. More than one of the beasts had already struck the blade and not my body. But, too, they might not understand that the blood source was my body; they might understand, rather, only the point at which blood was entering the water.

The waters beneath me now fairly churned with activity. The ship moved backward a yard. "Help me swiftly, little friends," I begged. "Time grows short!" A large eel suddenly broke the surface tearing at the side of my abraded leg. I felt the teeth scratching and sliding along my leg, its head twisted to the side. Then it was back in the water. "Good, good," I called. "Nearly, nearly. Try again, big fellow!"

I watched the water, giving it time to swirl and circle, and then again, aligning itself, leap toward me. My left ankle, cut deliberately on the back of the blade, oozed blood, soaking the knotted ropes that held it. With the small amount of play given to me by the ropes on that ankle I must manage as best I can. Then, almost too quickly to be fully aware of it, I saw the returning shape erupting from the water. I thrust, as I could, my ankle towards it. Then I screamed in pain. The weight, thrashing and tearing, must have been some fifteen or twenty pounds. It was some seven feet in length. I threw my head back, crying out. My left ankle was clasped in the clenched jaws, with those teeth like nails. I feared I might lose my foot but the heavy ropes, doubled and twisted, and knotted, like fibrous shielding, muchly protecting me, served me well, keeping the teeth in large measure from fastening in my flesh.

The beast, suddenly, perhaps puzzled by the impeding cordage, shifted its grip. It began to tear then at the ropes. Its mouth must have been filled with blood-soaked, wirelike strands of rope. The blood doubtless stimulated it to continue its work. Its tail thrashed in the water. It twisted, and swallowed, dangling and thrashing. Then, its mouth filled with rope, pulled loose, it fell back into the water. Again I struggled. Again I was held. I struggled yet again, and this time heard the parting of fibers, ripping loose. I twisted against the blade, my ankles free, and, by the ropes on my wrists, swung myself up and behind the blade, getting my right leg over the upper part of the blade fixture.

"Ho!" cried a voice, angry, above me and to my right. I saw the spear blade draw back to thrust. I clung to the blade, crouching on the flat blade mount. Ropes were on my wrists, but my hands were separated by, say, a foot of rope, as I had been bound on the blade. When the spear struck toward me, I seized it, behind the blade, at the shaft rivets, and jerked it toward me. The fellow, unable in the moment to release the weapon, was dragged over the rail. He struck against the blade and, screaming, half cut open, slid into the water. The spear shaft was twisted from my grasp. The water churned beneath the blade. Bubbles exploded to the surface. It seemed scarlet. "Feed, little friends," I told them. "Feed well, and be thanked."
Guardsman of Gor     Book 16     Pages 129 - 133


There is commonly little danger of eels near Victoria, save near the shadows and shallows of the wharves themselves.
Guardsman of Gor     Book 16     Page 135


"He might have me thrown to the eels in his pool!" she said.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 324


Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools in which fish are kept. Some of these pools contain voracious eels, of various sorts, river eels, black eels, the spotted eel, and such, which are Gorean delicacies. Needless to say a bound slave, cast into such a pool, will be eaten alive.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 428


Perhaps, even, the container might have been slowly filled with mud or sand, or with fast-growing poisonous molds, or with dark water, in which swam the tiny, razor-teethed eels kept in large pools at the palatial villas of some Gorean oligarchs, both as a delicacy, and as a standing admonition to slaves, to which swift, snakelike, voracious creatures they may be thrown.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 43 - 44


"We have an eel pool in a nearby garden," said Peisistratus. "By now the eels are doubtless hungry."
. . .

"Prepare," said Peisistratus, to his men, "to take her to the eel pool."
. . .

"There is a haunch of tarsk in the kitchen," said Peisistratus. "Let the eels be fed."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 295 - 297


Torn between her lingering pretenses of freedom and her slave needs, she had been found insufficiently pleasing by her masters, and was to be cast to eels in a pool in a Pleasure Cylinder, associated with a Steel World.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 554


"We will attend to the body," said Genserich.

"What is left of it," said a man.

"Leave it for urts," said Aeson, "or cast it into the river, for eels, for river sleen." The river sleen is a small animal, seldom more than two or three feet in length, including the tail. Few weigh more than two or three stone. It is not to be confused with the common sleen, or the aquatic sleen, the sea sleen, which are large animals.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 427


The exception here, of course, was Nezumi, who, if recognized, might have been remanded to Yamada's executioners for the eel death, or worse.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 431


I recalled the eel pool in the stadium, or theater, of Lord Yamada. I did not doubt but what some similar arrangement, or worse, would be at the disposal of Lord Temmu.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 627


"She is a barbarian. She is cheap. Who would want her for anything, save as sleen feed, or to cast her to eels in some garden pool?"
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 106

"Regard the slave," I said to my agent. "See the small feet, the slim ankles, the sweet thighs, the delightful, well-formed, fundament, the slender waist, the joys of her figure, the soft shoulders, and the graceful, metal-encircled neck. Surely, you can think of some use for this exquisite object other than feeding it to sleen or eels."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 107





 


Eel - Black
To The Top


I was interested in the fauna of the river and the rain forest. I recalled, sunning themselves on exposed roots near the river, tiny fish. They were bulbous eyed and about six inches long, with tiny fiipperlike lateral fins. They had both lungs and gills. Their capacity to leave the water, in certain small streams, during dry seasons, enables them to seek other streams, still flowing, or pools. This property also, of course, makes it possible for them to elude marine predators and, on the land, to return to the water in case of danger. Normally they remain quite close to the water. Sometimes they even sun themselves on the backs of resting or napping tharlarion. Should the tharlarion submerge the tiny fish often submerges with it, staying close to it, but away from its jaws. Its proximity to the tharlarion affords it, interestingly, an effective protection against most of its natural predators, in particular the black eel, which will not approach the sinuous reptiles. Similarly the tiny fish can thrive on the scraps from the ravaging jaws of the feeding tharlarion. They will even drive one another away from their local tharlarion, fighting in contests of intraspecific aggression, over the plated territory of the monster's back. The remora fish and the shark have what seem to be, in some respects, a similar relationship. These tiny fish, incidentally, are called gints.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 299 - 300

Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools in which fish are kept. Some of these pools contain voracious eels, of various sorts, river eels, black eels, the spotted eel, and such, which are Gorean delicacies. Needless to say a bound slave, cast into such a pool, will be eaten alive.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 428





 


Eel - Death
To The Top


She shall tread the narrow board of the high platform of execution, thence to plunge into the deep pool of death eels far below."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 244


"You have heard of the projected fate of Sumomo," I said.

"It is merciful under the circumstances," he said. "The plunge to the pool of death eels."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 251


"Perhaps others, too, might do so," I said. "When is she to make the acquaintance of the eels?"

"There are hundreds, half starved," said Haruki. "One can almost walk upon them."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 255


From where I was, in the stands, I could see both the platform of execution, far above and to my left, and the wide surface, some ten paces in width, of the deep stone-encased pool of death eels.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 257


All attention seemed focused on the platform, even that of the attendant who had served to agitate the restless denizens of the pool. Indeed, the waters of the pool still stirred, and more than once I saw the glistening back of an eel break the surface, and then snap away with a spattering of water.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 269 - 270


I suspected the eels well anticipated, by now, perhaps from the past, perhaps from a variety of cues, sounds, movements, and reflections, if not from the two token feedings earlier administered, designed to do little more than sharpen the ravenous blades of hunger, that food was in the offing. I suspected they had been starved for days, to ready them for this moment. Similarly, it is not unusual for trainers and keepers in Ar and Turia to withhold food from arena animals, that the torments of hunger might be sorely exacerbated, so cruelly heightened that the released animal will forgo the caution and probity of its ways in the wild to indiscriminately rush upon and attack, and attempt to feed upon, whatever falls within its desperate ken.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 271 - 272


"Yes," I said. "He is Tajima an officer in the cavalry. With daring, and sustaining great risk, he fled with Sumomo, the shogun's daughter, rescuing her but a moment before she would have plunged into the pool of death eels."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 292


"Sumomo," I said, "was to be fed to death eels."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 387





 


Eel - Dock
To The Top


When he stood in about a foot of water, among pilings, near the next wharf, he struck down madly at his legs with his left hand, striking two dock eels from his calf.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Page 154


His right hand was bleeding, and his left leg, in two places. The leg seemed gouged. The dock eels, black, about four feet long, are tenacious creatures. They had not relinquished their hold on the flesh in their jaws when they had been forcibly struck away from the leg, back into the water.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Pages 154 - 155





 


Eel - Fanged
To The Top


"There must be many predators at a fishing ground," I said, "sharks, sea sleen, fanged eels, wide-mouthed grunts, and such."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 102





 


Eel - Harbor
To The Top


Shortly thereafter two fellows passed, bearing a pole between them, from which hung gutted, salted harbor eels.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 81





 


Eel - Marsh
To The Top


The rence growers, in spite of the value of their product, and the value of articles taken in exchange for it, and the protection of the marshes, and the rence and fish which give them ample sustenance, do not have an easy life. Not only must they fear the marsh sharks and the carnivorous eels which frequent the lower delta, not to mention the various species of aggressive water tharlarion and the winged, monstrous hissing predatory Ul but they must fear, perhaps most of all, men, and of these, most of all, the men of Port Kar.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 8


"Keep a watch for tharlarion," said Kisu. He reached under the water and pulled a fat, glistening leach, some two inches long, from his leg.

"Destroy it," said Ayari.

Kisu dropped it back in the water. "I do not want my blood, pinched from it, released in the water," he said.

Ayari nodded, shuddering. Such blood might attract the bint, a ranged, carnivorous marsh eel, or the predatory, voracious blue grunt, a small, fresh-water variety of the much larger and familiar salt-water grunt of Thassa. The blue grunt is particularly dangerous during the daylight hours preceding its mating periods, when it schools. Its mating periods are synchronized with the phases of Gor's major moon, the full moon reflecting on the surface of the water somehow triggering the mating instinct. During the daylight hours preceding such a moon, as the restless grunts school, they will tear anything edible to pieces which crosses their path. During the hours of mating, however, interestingly, one can move and swim among them untouched. The danger, currently, of the bint and blue grunt, however, was not primarily due to any peril they themselves might represent, particularly as the grunt would not now be schooling, but due to the fact that they, drawn by shed blood, might be followed by tharlarion.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 267


Tende screamed, and we turned about. We saw the body of one of the raiders, seized in the jaws of a tharlarion, pulled beneath the surface. It had been drawn to the area probably by the smell of blood in the water, or by following other forms of marine life, most likely the bint or blue grunt, who would have been attracted by the same stimulus. It is not unusual for tharlarion to follow bint and grunt. They form a portion of its diet. Also they lead it sometimes to larger feedings.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 270 - 271





 


Eel - Pond
To The Top


"Too," I said, "if even a slave's most secret thoughts harbor the least hint of recalcitrance, such an absurdity being inevitably revealed in subtle bodily clues and such, they might be summarily given to leech plants, cast to pond eels, thrown to sleen, such things."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 269


I had also had it confirmed that the snakelike visitants that had so frightened and discomfited me in my tenure in the mostly submerged cage were not water snakes, which tend to favor still water, but eels, in all probability Vosk eels, a form of river eel. Such eels, as other eels, are omnivorous, but, free swimming, are accustomed to feed on small fish and plants. They are unlikely to attack human beings, unlike pool eels, unless their nests are threatened. They are found in fresh water, but return, through the delta of the Vosk, to the salt water of vast, turbulent Thassa to spawn.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 139





 


Eel - River
To The Top


Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools in which fish are kept. Some of these pools contain voracious eels, of various sorts, river eels, black eels, the spotted eel, and such, which are Gorean delicacies. Needless to say a bound slave, cast into such a pool, will be eaten alive.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 428


"We will attend to the body," said Genserich.

"What is left of it," said a man.

"Leave it for urts," said Aeson, "or cast it into the river, for eels, for river sleen."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 427


I had also had it confirmed that the snakelike visitants that had so frightened and discomfited me in my tenure in the mostly submerged cage were not water snakes, which tend to favor still water, but eels, in all probability Vosk eels, a form of river eel. Such eels, as other eels, are omnivorous, but, free swimming, are accustomed to feed on small fish and plants. They are unlikely to attack human beings, unlike pool eels, unless their nests are threatened. They are found in fresh water, but return, through the delta of the Vosk, to the salt water of vast, turbulent Thassa to spawn.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 139





 


Eel - Spotted
To The Top


Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools in which fish are kept. Some of these pools contain voracious eels, of various sorts, river eels, black eels, the spotted eel, and such, which are Gorean delicacies. Needless to say a bound slave, cast into such a pool, will be eaten alive.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 428





 


Eel - Vosk
To The Top


An additional problem, at least to a swimmer, I had gathered, from talking with some of the soldiers, were Vosk eels. These often lurk in shadowed areas, among the pilings beneath piers. Whereas they normally feed on garbage and small fish it is not unknown that they attack swimmers.
Renegades of Gor Book 23 Page 153


Then, a bit after noon, I shrieked with horror, for something, long, and snakelike, had slid between the bars and brushed across my body. "Help! Help!" I cried. Then the thing, with a snap of its long, smooth body, had darted away. "Help!" I screamed. "What is wrong?" asked a voice from above. I knew not who it was. "A snake," I cried, "a water snake!" "There are no water snakes here," called the voice. "The current discourages them. It is most likely an eel, a Vosk eel." "Help!" I cried. "Call my master. Save me!" But I received no response to my cry. Toward nightfall another such intruder passed between the bars of the cage. I felt its body slide over my left leg. During the night four more such visitants traversed the cage.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 122


I had also had it confirmed that the snakelike visitants that had so frightened and discomfited me in my tenure in the mostly submerged cage were not water snakes, which tend to favor still water, but eels, in all probability Vosk eels, a form of river eel. Such eels, as other eels, are omnivorous, but, free swimming, are accustomed to feed on small fish and plants. They are unlikely to attack human beings, unlike pool eels, unless their nests are threatened. They are found in fresh water, but return, through the delta of the Vosk, to the salt water of vast, turbulent Thassa to spawn.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 139










Fish      
 


Fish
To The Top


Here and there I could hear the flowing of water, from miniature artificial waterfalls and fountains. From where I sat I could see two lovely pools, in which lotuslike plants floated; one of the pools was large enough for swimming; the other, I supposed, was stocked with tiny, bright fish from the various seas and lakes of Gor.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 218


What I thought was a petaled flower underneath the swift, cold surface of the brook suddenly broke apart, becoming a school of tiny yellow fish.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 36


These were the first tharlarion that I had ever seen. They frightened me. They were scaled, vast and long-necked. Yet in the water it seemed, for all their bulk, they moved delicately. One dipped its head under the surface and, moments later, the head emerged, dripping, the eyes blinking, a silverish fish struggling in the small, triangular-toothed jaws.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 80


A tiny fish bit at my leg. Others, darting, pursued the irrationally moving titan that had held me.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 370


Many fish in these tropical waters are poisonous to eat, a function of certain forms of seaweed on which they feed. The seaweed is harmless to the fish but it contains substances toxic to humans. The river fish on the other hand, as far as I know, are generally wholesome for humans to eat. Indeed, there are many villages along the Kamba and Nyoka, and along the shores of Lake Ushindi, in which fishing is the major source of livelihood. Not much of this fish, however, is exported from Schendi.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 109


Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools in which fish are kept.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 428


The bridge, entwined with the blue climbers, arched in a lovely manner, for a length of some thirty-five or forty feet over a narrow, decorative pond, on the surface of which bloomed white and yellow water flowers, rising from flat, green pads; below, in the pond, which was shallow, one could see the slow movements of colorful fish.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 584





 


Bag Fish
To The Top


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208





 


Carp
To The Top


To my right, some two or three feet under the water, I saw the sudden, rolling yellowish flash of the slatted belly of a water tharlarion, turning as it made its swift strike, probably a Vosk carp or marsh turtle.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 1





 


Gint
To The Top


I was interested in the fauna of the river and the rain forest. I recalled, sunning themselves on exposed roots near the river, tiny fish. They were bulbous eyed and about six inches long, with tiny fiipperlike lateral fins. They had both lungs and gills. Their capacity to leave the water, in certain small streams, during dry seasons, enables them to seek other streams, still flowing, or pools. This property also, of course, makes it possible for them to elude marine predators and, on the land, to return to the water in case of danger. Normally they remain quite close to the water. Sometimes they even sun themselves on the backs of resting or napping tharlarion. Should the tharlarion submerge the tiny fish often submerges with it, staying close to it, but away from its jaws. Its proximity to the tharlarion affords it, interestingly, an effective protection against most of its natural predators, in particular the black eel, which will not approach the sinuous reptiles. Similarly the tiny fish can thrive on the scraps from the ravaging jaws of the feeding tharlarion. They will even drive one another away from their local tharlarion, fighting in contests of intraspecific aggression, over the plated territory of the monster's back. The remora fish and the shark have what seem to be, in some respects, a similar relationship. These tiny fish, incidentally, are called gints.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 299 - 300


"See the size of it," said Ayari.

"I do not think it will attack a canoe," said Kisu.

Ayari shoved it away from the side of the canoe with his paddle and it, with a snap of its tail, disappeared under the water.

"I have seen them before," I said, "but they were only about six inches in length."

The creature which had surfaced near us, perhaps ten feet in length, and a thousand pounds in weight, was scaled and had large, bulging eyes. It had gills, but it, too, gulped air, as it had regarded us. It was similar to the tiny lung fish I had seen earlier on the river, those little creatures clinging to the half-submerged roots of shore trees, and, as often as not, sunning themselves on the backs of tharlarion, those tiny fish called gints. Its pectoral fins were large and fleshy.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 384


At the far end of the lagoon, where its channel leads to the river, I saw what had alarmed the girl. It was a large fish. Its glistening back and dorsal fin were half out of the water, where it slithered over the sill of the channel and into the lagoon.

"Come to shore!" I said. "Hurry!"

I saw the large fish, one of the bulging-eyed fish we had seen earlier, a gigantic gint or like a gigantic gint, it now having slipped over the channel's sill, disappear under the water.

"Hurry!" I called to her.

Wildly she was splashing toward the shore. She looked back once. She screamed again. Its four-spined dorsal fin could be seen now, the fish skimming beneath the water, cutting rapidly towards her.

"Hurry!" I called.

Sobbing, gasping, she plunged splashing through the shallow water and clambered onto the mud and grass of the bank.

"How horrible it was!" she cried.

Then she screamed wildly. The fish, on its stout, fleshy pectoral fins, was following her out of the water. She turned about and fled screaming into the jungle. With the butt of the spear I pushed against its snout. The bulging eyes regarded me. The large mouth now gulped air. It then, clumsily, climbed onto the bank. I stepped back and it, on its pectoral fins, and lifting itself, too, by its heavy tail, clambered out of the water and approached me. I pushed against its snout again with the butt of the spear. It snapped at the spear. Its bulging eyes regarded me. I stepped back. It lunged forward, snapping. I fended it away. I then retreated backward, into the trees. It followed me to the line of trees, and then stopped. I did not think it would wish to go too far from the water. After a moment or so it began to back away. Then, tail first, it slid back into the water of the lagoon. I went to the water's edge. There I saw it beneath the surface, its gills opening and closing. Then it turned about and, with a slow movement of its tail, moved away. Ayari and Kisu referred to such fish as gints. I accepted their judgment on the matter. They are not to be confused, however, that is certain, with their tiny brethren of the west.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 389 - 390





 


Grunt
To The Top


I was interested in the fauna of the river and the rain forest. I recalled, sunning themselves on exposed roots near the river, tiny fish. They were bulbous eyed and about six inches long, with tiny fiipperlike lateral fins. They had both lungs and gills. Their capacity to leave the water, in certain small streams, during dry seasons, enables them to seek other streams, still flowing, or pools. This property also, of course, makes it possible for them to elude marine predators and, on the land, to return to the water in case of danger. Normally they remain quite close to the water. Sometimes they even sun themselves on the backs of resting or napping tharlarion. Should the tharlarion submerge the tiny fish often submerges with it, staying close to it, but away from its jaws. Its proximity to the tharlarion affords it, interestingly, an effective protection against most of its natural predators, in particular the black eel, which will not approach the sinuous reptiles. Similarly the tiny fish can thrive on the scraps from the ravaging jaws of the feeding tharlarion. They will even drive one another away from their local tharlarion, fighting in contests of intraspecific aggression, over the plated territory of the monster's back. The remora fish and the shark have what seem to be, in some respects, a similar relationship. These tiny fish, incidentally, are called gints.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 299 - 300


I could see, some hundred yards off, dark on the ice, the bodies of two sea sleen. There must be a breathing hole there. When approached, they would disappear beneath the ice, for it was they who were being approached. On the other hand, some, seen first beneath the surface, a detectable, sinuous, twisting, moving body, a foot or two below, would suddenly emerge, beside the ship, snouts raised above the surface, with an explosive exhalation of breath, and then a drawing inward of air, these come to open water about the ship, to breathe. It was they who approached. It was eerie to look into the large, round, dark eyes of a sea sleen, peering at one from the icy water. The sea sleen will attack a human in the water, which it will see as food, but it is unlikely to attack one on the ice. Its usual prey is parsit fish, or grunt. In the case of the northern shark it is both prey and predator. Some sea sleen hunt in packs, and these will attack other sea mammals, even large sea mammals, such as whales, which they will attack in swarms, in a churning, bloody frenzy. We were instructed to stand in truce with these marine predators. If one came on the ice, we would push it back in the water with poles. One caught at a pole and snapped it apart with one swift, wrenching closure of its wide, double-fanged jaws, like a toothed trap door set low in that broad, viperlike head. In time one might need them for food. Thus, one welcomed them to come to the side of the ship, to breathe. To be sure, the sea sleen, like its confreres on land, is an intelligent animal, and we did not think it unlikely that it might prove quite dangerous if it were attacked, or thought it necessary to protect a breathing hole.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 138


The mystery of the parsit was solved, of course, as this wilderness of efflorescent plant life in the sea, floating like a vast park of life, drew myriads of small creatures, and these would draw the parsit, and the parsit would draw the shark, the grunt, and the unusual tharlarion.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 219 - 220


"I will have the body delivered to the pool, by garbage slaves," said Demetrion.

Supposing this allusion might be obscure to the stranger and Captain Nakamura, I explained it to them. For any who might come upon this manuscript and are not familiar with Brundisium, the pool, when the grating is raised, is accessible from the sea, and may be entered by sharks, and grunt. It serves several purposes. It tends to draw predatory fish away from the piers, and it provides a convenient way of disposing of large forms of garbage, the bodies, say, of dead animals. It is also used as a place of execution, in particular, for minor offenses, such as theft. The grating is raised, which is a signal to fish in the vicinity that a feeding is at hand. If the victim is alive, a limb is severed, which distributes blood in the water, and then the limb and the victim are cast into the pool.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 511


One could smell fish. The early boats had come in. Grunt and parsit were strung between poles.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 68





 


Grunt - Blue
To The Top


"Keep a watch for tharlarion," said Kisu. He reached under the water and pulled a fat, glistening leach, some two inches long, from his leg.

"Destroy it," said Ayari.

Kisu dropped it back in the water. "I do not want my blood, pinched from it, released in the water," he said.

Ayari nodded, shuddering. Such blood might attract the bint, a ranged, carnivorous marsh eel, or the predatory, voracious blue grunt, a small, fresh-water variety of the much larger and familiar salt-water grunt of Thassa. The blue grunt is particularly dangerous during the daylight hours preceding its mating periods, when it schools. Its mating periods are synchronized with the phases of Gor's major moon, the full moon reflecting on the surface of the water somehow triggering the mating instinct. During the daylight hours preceding such a moon, as the restless grunts school, they will tear anything edible to pieces which crosses their path. During the hours of mating, however, interestingly, one can move and swim among them untouched. The danger, currently, of the bint and blue grunt, however, was not primarily due to any peril they themselves might represent, particularly as the grunt would not now be schooling, but due to the fact that they, drawn by shed blood, might be followed by tharlarion.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 267


Tende screamed, and we turned about. We saw the body of one of the raiders, seized in the jaws of a tharlarion, pulled beneath the surface. It had been drawn to the area probably by the smell of blood in the water, or by following other forms of marine life, most likely the bint or blue grunt, who would have been attracted by the same stimulus. It is not unusual for tharlarion to follow bint and grunt. They form a portion of its diet. Also they lead it sometimes to larger feedings.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 270 - 271


"I am well aware of that," he said. With his right hand he gestured about himself. He indicated the walls of the fortresslike enclosure within which he had ensconced himself and his men. Too, about this enclosure, at the foot of stairs leading from it, was a broad, shallow moat. Waters from the lake circulated through the city and fed this moat. In it, as had been demonstrated, by the hurling of a haunch of tarsk into the waters, crowded and schooling, were thousands of blue grunt. This fish, when isolated and swimming free in a river or lake, is not particularly dangerous. For a few days prior to the fullness of the major Gorean moon, however, it begins to school. It then becomes extremely aggressive and ferocious. The haunch of tarsk hurled into the water of the moat, slung on a rope, had been devoured in a matter of Ihn. There had been a thrashing frenzy in the water and then the rope had been withdrawn, severed. The moat had been crossed by a small, floating wooden bridge, tied at each end. This had been built, being extended outward from the opposite shore, by Shaba's men. The effectiveness of the moat, aside from the barrier of the water itself, would become negligible with the passing of the full moon, until the next. The grunt, following the mating frenzy, synchronized with the full moon, would return to the lake. Given the habits of the fish I had little doubt but that this place was an ancient mating ground for them, for the grunt populations tend to return again and again to the places of their frenzy, wherever, usually in a lagoon or shallow place in a river, they may be. The grunt now schooling in the open moat, come in from the lake, could well be the posterity of grunt populations dating back to the time when the city was not in ruins but in the height of its glory and power. The grunt in the moat were for a time an effective barrier, but surely Shaba and his men realized that it must be temporary. Suddenly the hair on the back of my neck rose. I now understood the practicality of their present situation.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 431 - 432





 


Grunt - Speckled
To The Top


I ran to the stern that I might watch. Half out of the water, then returning to it, I saw a great speckled grunt, four-gilled. It dove, and swirled away. Another man came to help with the line. I observed the struggle. One often fishes from the ships on Thassa, and the diet of the sailors consists, in part, of the catch. Part of each catch is commonly saved, to serve as bait for the next.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 359 - 360





 


Grunt - White
To The Top


The Kur commander than gave orders to one of his beasts. Msaliti screamed with misery as the animal lifted him high over his head and then threw him into the moat.

Almost instantly Msaliti was on his feet and then he screamed, and fell, and again regained his feet, and fell again. There was a thrashing about him, a churning in the water, and it seemed the water exploded with blood and bubbles. Msaliti, as though moving through mud, howling, waded through the packed, slippery, voracious bodies. I tore the raider's spear from Kisu and extended it to Msaliti who, screaming, grasped it. We drew him from the water. His feet and legs were gone. We struck tenacious fish from his body. He then lay on the level and we, with strips of cloth, tried to stanch his bleeding.

The Kurii, on the other side of the moat, single file, then padded away.

We fought to save Msaliti. Finally, with tourniquets, we managed to slow, and then stop, the bleeding.

Bila Huruma then stood beside me, on the level near the moat. "Shaba is dead," he said.

Msaliti lifted his hand to the Ubar. "My Ubar," he said.

Bila Huruma looked down at Msaliti sadly. Then he said to his askaris, "Throw him to the fish."

"My Ubar!" cried Msaliti, and then he was lost in the moat, the fish swarming about him.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 444


Before each guests there were tiny slices of tospit and larma, small pastries, and, in a tiny golden cup, with a small golden spoon, the clustered, black, tiny eggs of the white grunt.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Pages 275 - 276





 


Grunt - White-Bellied
To The Top


Three other men of the Forkbeard attended to fishing, two with a net, sweeping it along the side of the serpent, for parsit fish, and the third, near the stem, with a hook and line, baited with vulo liver, for the white-bellied grunt, a large game fish which haunts the plankton banks to feed on parsit fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 59





 


Grunt - Wide-Mouthed
To The Top


"There must be many predators at a fishing ground," I said, "sharks, sea sleen, fanged eels, wide-mouthed grunts, and such."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 102





 


Hatchet
To The Top


In the delta, there is an eel-like fish, the Hatchet Fish, which has a rigid dorsal fin.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 195





 


Hogfish
To The Top


"I do not have a face like a hogfish," she said.

"No," I said. "You certainly do not."

"No?" she said.

"No," I said.

"I may look like a hogfish," she said. "But I am good. I cannot help myself. I am hot. I gush and oil."

"I am sure you do," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 99





 


Knife-Teethed
To The Top


"Bring me the body," said Pa-Kur.

"We found no body," said a man.

"He must have drowned," said another.

"I want the body," said Pa-Kur.

"Tharlarion, swamp fish, knife-teethed fish," suggested another.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 302





 


Lelt
To The Top


Lelts are often attracted to the salt rafts, largely by the vibrations in the water, picked up by their abnormally developed lateral-line protrusions, and their fernlike cranial vibration receptors, from the cones and poles. Too, though they are blind, I think either the light, or the heat, perhaps, from our lamps, draws them. The tiny, eyeless heads will thrust from the water, and the fernlike filaments at the side of the head will open and lift, orienting themselves to one or the other of the lamps. The lelt is commonly five to seven inches in length. It is white, and long-finned. It swims slowly and smoothly, its fins moving the water very little, which apparently contributes to its own concealment in a blind environment and makes it easier to detect the vibrations of its prey, any of several varieties of tiny segmented creatures, predominantly isopods. The brain of the lelt is interesting, containing an unusually developed odor-perception center and two vibration-reception centers. Its organ of balance, or hidden "ear," is also unusually large, and is connected with an unusually large balance center in its brain. Its visual center, on the other hand, is stunted and undeveloped, a remnant, a vague genetic memory of an organ long discarded in its evolution. Among the lelts, too, were, here and there, tiny salamanders, they, too, white and blind. Like the lelts, they were, for their size, long-bodied, were capable of long periods of dormancy and possessed a slow metabolism, useful in an environment in which food is not plentiful. Unlike the lelts they had long, stemlike legs. At first I had taken them for lelts, skittering about the rafts, even to the fernlike filaments at the sides of their head, but these filaments, in the case of the salamanders, interestingly, are not vibration receptors but feather gills, an external gill system. This system, common in the developing animal generally, is retained even by the adult salamanders, who are, in this environment, permanently gilled. The gills of the lelt are located at the lower sides of its jaw, not on the sides of its head, as is common in open-water fish. The feather gills of the salamanders, it seems, allow them to hunt the same areas as the lelts for the same prey, the vibration effects of these organs being similar, without frightening them away, thus disturbing the water and alerting possible prey. They often hunt the same areas. Although this form of salamander possesses a lateral-line set of vibration receptors, like the lelt, it lacks the cranial receptors and its lateral-line receptors do not have the sensitivity of the let's. Following the lelt, not disturbing it, often helps the salamander find prey. On the other hand, the salamander, by means of its legs and feet, can dislodge prey inaccessible to the lelt. The length of the stemlike legs of the salamander, incidentally, help it in stalking in the water. It takes little prey while swimming freely. The long legs cause little water vibration. Further, they enable the animal to move efficiently, covering large areas without considerable metabolic cost. In a blind environment, where food is scarce, energy conservation is essential. The long, narrow legs also lift the salamander's head and body from the floor, enabling it, with its sensors, to scan a greater area for prey. The upright posture in men delivers a similar advantage, visually, in increasing scanning range, this being useful not only in the location of prey, but also, of course, in the recognition of dangers while remote, hopefully while yet avoidable.

But it was not the lelts nor the salamanders which explained our interest in the waters.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 247 - 24


These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.

These latter, however, do not stand at the top of the food chain. Sometimes one picks up the lelts and salamanders in the cones. It was not these that had excited the interest of the men.

"Is it the Old One?" asked one of the men.

"I cannot tell," said another. The steersman stood ready with the lance.

"There!" cried one of the men, pointing.

I saw it then, moving in, slowly, then turning about. The lelts and salamanders vanished, disappearing beneath the water. The thing disappeared. The waters were calm.
. . .

"The lelts have not returned," said the steersman to me.

"What does this mean?" I asked.

"That the Old One is still with us," he said, looking down
at the dark waters. Then he said, "Gather salt." Again I flung out the rope and cone.
. . .

I heard screaming now, far off, then silence. Because of the saline content of the water the salt shark, when not hunting, often swims half emerged from the fluid. Its gills, like those of the lelt, are below and at the sides of his jaws. This is a salt adaptation which conserves energy, which, otherwise, might be constantly expended in maintaining an attitude in which oxygenation can occur.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 249 - 250


"It is the Old One," said the steersman "It is dusk." I then understood, from his words, the meaning of the scarcity of food in the pit. When the hunting is good, one hunts. One can return later to earlier kills, driving away scavenging lelts.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 251


I looked at the heads of the lelts, and, scattered among them, the heads of the pale salamanders, thrust from the dark water, attracted by the movement, or the awareness of the light or heat, of the lamps.
. . .

I looked upon the lelts, and, among them, here and there, the salamanders. Their blunt, whitish heads protruded from the water, curious, each head oriented toward one or the other of the four lamps on the raft. I knelt down on the raft, and, quickly, scooped, holding it, one of the lelts from the water. It was enclosed in my hand. It struggled briefly, then lay still. The lelt is a small fish, long-bodied for its size, long-finned. It commonly swims slowly, smoothly, conserving energy in the black, saline world encompassing its existence. There is little to eat in that world; it is a liquid desert, almost barren, black, blind and cool. It swims slowly, conserving its energy, not alerting its prey, commonly flatworms and tiny segmented creatures, predominantly isopods. I turned the lelt, looking at the small, sunken, covered pits in the sides of its head. I wondered if it was capable, somehow, of a dim awareness of the phenomenon of light. Could there be some capacity, some genetic predisposition for the recognition of light, like an ancient, almost lost genetic memory, buffed in the tiny, simple, linear brain at the apex of its spinal column? It could not be possible I told myself. The tiny gills, oddly beneath and at the sides of its jaws, closed and opened. There was a minute sound. I lowered my hand and let the lelt slip again into the dark water. It slipped from sight. Then I saw it again, a few feet from the raft. Again its head protruded from the water, again oriented to the same lamp at the corner of the raft.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 255 - 256


Some salt slaves eat the lelt, raw, taken from the water, or gleaned from their harvesting vessels. The first bite is taken behind the back of the neck.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 256


I regarded the fish.

Perhaps they have some dim awareness of light. Perhaps it is only the heat that draws them. I suppose, in the salt pit, one of our small lamps might seem to those who had in their lives known only darkness like the glory of a thousand suns. We know little about the lelt. We do know it will come from the darkness and lift the blind pits of its eyes toward a source of light.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 256


"What of the Old One?" asked one of the men.

"Leave him," I said. The lelts, as yet, had not even dared approach the shifting, buoyant carcass of the Old One. In time their hunger would bring them, nosing and nibbling, to its bulk, and the blind feast in the black waters would begin. "Return to the salt docks," I said.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 263


One of the four lifeboats had now reached the wreckage of the first corsair vessel. Seventy to eighty men, like frenzied lelts, were now trying to reach it. I watched it capsize, men swarming then like insects on the overturned hull.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 329





 


Parsit
To The Top


The slender striped parsit fish has vast plankton banks north of the town, and may there, particularly in the spring and the fall, be taken in great numbers.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 27


Three other men of the Forkbeard attended to fishing, two with a net, sweeping it along the side of the serpent, for parsit fish, and the third, near the stem, with a hook and line, baited with vulo liver, for the white-bellied grunt, a large game fish which haunts the plankton banks to feed on parsit fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 59


The men with the net drew it up. In it, twisting and flopping, silverish, striped with brown, squirmed more than a stone of parsit fish. They threw the net to the planking and, with knives, began to slice the heads and tails from the fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 61


The men who had fished with the net had now cleaned the catch of parsit fish, and chopped the cleaned, boned, silverish bodies into pieces, a quarter inch in width. Another of the bond-maids was then freed to mix the bond-maid gruel, mixing fresh water with Sa-Tarna meal, and then stirring in the raw fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 63 - 64


"You other lazy girls," cried Ottar, addressing the remaining bond-maids, "is it your wish to be cut into strips and fed to parsit fish?"
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 101


We were quite close to them; neither of them saw us. Thyri, in the afternoon, had made many trips to the sul patch. This, however, was the first time she had encountered the young man. Earlier he had been working with other thralls at the shore, with parsit nets.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 103


"He is a famous champion," said Ivar, whispering to me, nodding to the large burly fellow. "He is Bjarni of Thorstein Camp." Thorstein Camp, well to the south, but yet north of Einar's skerry, was a camp of fighting men, which controlled the countryside about it, for some fifty pasangs, taking tribute from the farms. Thorstein of Thorstein's Camp was their Jarl. The camp was of wood, surrounded by a palisade, built on an island in an inlet, called the inlet of Thorstein Camp, formally known as the inlet of Parsit, because of the rich fishing there.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 147


"There is here an iceberg," said Samos, pointing to the map, "which is not following the parsit current." Samos had said, literally, of course, 'ice mountain'. The parsit current is the main eastward current above the polar basin. It is called the parsit current for it is followed by several varieties of migrating parsit, a small, narrow, usually striped fish. Sleen, interestingly, come northward with the parsit, their own migrations synchronized with those of the parsit, which forms for them their principal prey.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 38


"That is how you and your fellows were smuggled out of Port Kar," she said. "We took you, one by one, drugged, to the boat. There we stripped and chained you. You were each packed in a barrel with salted parsit fish, and over your heads these barrels had a false bottom, which was covered with more parsit fish. Tiny holes in the upper sides of the barrels would permit you to breathe. The barrels were then sealed."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 86


"She is to be drugged with Tassa powder," I said, "and packed in a barrel with parsit fish."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 384


"Yes," smiled her companion, "we made them slaves. Some changes had to be made in some of them, as you would suppose, recourse had to certain serums, and such, to make them acceptable for the markets, but it was all taken care of, in good order."
. . .

"Michelle?"

"To Torvaldsland, as a bondmaid, for a keg of salted parsit fish."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 108


This cry, if nothing else, seemed to break the spirit of the besiegers, and determine them to action, for they then began to spring up, and mill about, uncertainly. Cabot's aim wavered from one to another of these distracted, erratically moving targets. He loosed no shaft. It was much as when the nine-gilled shark, in its intended, smooth hunt, finds itself suddenly startled as its quarry disappears into the midst of darting, schooling parsit fish, and loses sight then not only of its intended quarry, but finds it difficult, further, to seek out another, even a substitute, in such a frenzied, shimmering storm of massing life. So the shark draws back, and waits, until this troubling, seething brew disbands into detectible, pursuable elements.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 397 - 398


I could see, some hundred yards off, dark on the ice, the bodies of two sea sleen. There must be a breathing hole there. When approached, they would disappear beneath the ice, for it was they who were being approached. On the other hand, some, seen first beneath the surface, a detectable, sinuous, twisting, moving body, a foot or two below, would suddenly emerge, beside the ship, snouts raised above the surface, with an explosive exhalation of breath, and then a drawing inward of air, these come to open water about the ship, to breathe. It was they who approached. It was eerie to look into the large, round, dark eyes of a sea sleen, peering at one from the icy water. The sea sleen will attack a human in the water, which it will see as food, but it is unlikely to attack one on the ice. Its usual prey is parsit fish, or grunt. In the case of the northern shark it is both prey and predator. Some sea sleen hunt in packs, and these will attack other sea mammals, even large sea mammals, such as whales, which they will attack in swarms, in a churning, bloody frenzy. We were instructed to stand in truce with these marine predators. If one came on the ice, we would push it back in the water with poles. One caught at a pole and snapped it apart with one swift, wrenching closure of its wide, double-fanged jaws, like a toothed trap door set low in that broad, viperlike head. In time one might need them for food. Thus, one welcomed them to come to the side of the ship, to breathe. To be sure, the sea sleen, like its confreres on land, is an intelligent animal, and we did not think it unlikely that it might prove quite dangerous if it were attacked, or thought it necessary to protect a breathing hole.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 138


There was a shimmering in the water, like fluttering candles.

"Parsit fish," I said. It was a large school. The passage of the ship had divided the school, and its motion had drawn several to the surface. Schooling protects fish. It is difficult for a predator to single out prey. One target replaces another. They flash in and out; they appear here and, in a flicker, there. Who could concentrate on a single flake of snow in a blizzard, a particular grain of sand in a Tahari wind? The predator is distracted, and confused. It flies at the mass but how shall it snap shut its jaws on the single victim it might manage, which it can scarcely note for less than a tenth of an Ihn, before another appears, and another. It will lunge into the mass, to break it apart, that single victims may be separated and tracked, but the schooling instinct, like that of flocking birds, swiftly returns the fish to the group. The school, of course, may be, and is, preyed upon. But the matter, as there are many fish that school, seems to be one of averages. One supposes that the school must increase the likelihood of the survival of any given fish. To be sure, the school is vulnerable to the nets of men. In such a case, the school, so obvious and visible, so large and slow moving, becomes a most perilous habitat.

"Parsit! Parsit!" cried several men, rushing to the bulwarks. Some mariner's caps were flung in the air.
Many times we had launched the nested galleys, though not of late, in pairs, nets strung between them.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 186


"They see Parsit," said Cabot.

The Parsit, as many similar fish, require vegetation, and vegetation requires light, and thus, typically, such fish school off banks, in shallower water, where light can reach plants tenaciously rooted, say, some dozens of yards below in the sea floor. The banks are usually within two or three hundred pasangs of land masses. Thus the jubilation of the men.

"We are near land," said a man.

"It is too soon," said Lord Nishida, quietly.

Aëtius, second to Tersites himself, bespoke himself, to Lord Nishida, politely, "You think they are open-water Parsit?"

Strictly there are no "open-water Parsit," that is, Parsit who would inhabit the liquid desert of a sea untenanted by a suitable food source, but the expression is often used of migratory Parsit. Great schools of migratory Parsit migrate seasonally, moving from the austral summer to the northern summer, as some birds, thus availing themselves of seasonal efflorescences of plant life. They fatten before each migration and, thousands of pasangs later, arrive, like migratory birds, lean and hungry, at familiar banks, thousands of pasangs from each other, where they are welcomed, again, with abundances of food. In this season they would be moving northward.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 187


I had never seen tharlarion of this sort before the voyage, and never until now had I seen one this close. It was the size of a small galley. For all its bulk it, buoyed by the water, had moved with grace. It had come for the Parsit, whose school had been disrupted by the passage of the great ship.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 188


The mystery of the parsit was solved, of course, as this wilderness of efflorescent plant life in the sea, floating like a vast park of life, drew myriads of small creatures, and these would draw the parsit, and the parsit would draw the shark, the grunt, and the unusual tharlarion.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 219 - 220


I could see no shimmer of parsit near the surface. They had departed the area.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 228


A number of slaves, too, some twenty or thirty, fastened together by the neck, by a long rope, had been given bags of water, bundles of dried parsit, sacks of rice, and such, to convey to the ship.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 408


One could smell fish. The early boats had come in. Grunt and parsit were strung between poles.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 68


Gorean sharks, in their several varieties, of course, are much more common in the waters of Thassa herself, particularly near the shallower banks, where sunlight encourages the growth of plants, and the plants attract several varieties of smaller fish, the parsit and others, on which the sharks feed.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 139


So, miserable, half in tears, I rattled on. Tharlarion races in Venna were underway, Centius of Cos, guaranteed safe conduct, had won the kaissa garland in the Argentum competitions; an attempt to elevate and standardize cargo fees on the Vosk had failed; the migration of four-gilled parsit fish had begun;
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 190





 


Parsit - Kassau
To The Top
The main business of Kassau is trade, lumber and fishing. The slender striped parsit fish has vast plankton banks north of the town, and may there, particularly in the spring and the fall, be taken in great numbers.
. . .
Trade to the south, of course is largely in furs acquired from Torvaldsland, and in barrels of smoked, dried parsit fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 27 - 28


Some rich men bring their own cooks. After all, one cannot always count on a keeper's man knowing how to prepare Turian vulo or Kassau parsit.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 52





 


Pike
To The Top


If it were a school of fifteen-inch Gorean pike, for example, I might kill dozens and yet die half eaten within minutes.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 206





 


Swamp
To The Top


"Bring me the body," said Pa-Kur.

"We found no body," said a man.

"He must have drowned," said another.

"I want the body," said Pa-Kur.

"Tharlarion, swamp fish, knife-teethed fish," suggested another.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 302





 


Song Fish - Wingfish
To The Top


"Now this," Saphrar the merchant was telling me, "is the braised liver of the blue, four-spined Cosian wingfish."

This fish is a tiny, delicate fish, blue, about the size of a tarn disk when curled in one's hand; it has three or four slender spines in its dorsal fin, which are poisonous; it is capable of hurling itself from the water and, for brief distances, on its stiff pectoral fins, gliding through the air, usually to evade the smaller sea-tharlarions, which seem to be immune to the poison of the spines. This fish is also sometimes referred to as the songfish because, as a portion of its courtship rituals, the males and females thrust their heads from the water and utter a sort of whistling sound.

The blue, four-spined wingfish is found only in the waters of Cos. Larger varieties are found farther out to sea. The small blue fish is regarded as a great delicacy, and its liver as the delicacy of delicacies.

"How is it," I asked, "that here in Turia you can serve the livers of wingfish?"

"I have a war galley in Port Kar," said Saphrar the merchant, "which I send to Cos twice a year for the fish."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 84 - 85


I knew this game of bath girls, as though they, mere slaves, would dare to truly flee from one who pursued them, and I laughed, and she, too, sensing my understanding, laughed. The girl commonly pretends to swim away but is outdistanced and captured. I knew that few men could, if a bath girl did not wish it, come close to them in the water. They spend much of the day in the water and, it is said, are more at ease in that element than the Cosian song fish.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 161


I had wanted to see both Tyros and Cos.
Both lie some four hundred pasangs west of Port Kar, Tyros to the south of Cos, separated by some hundred pasangs from her. Tyros is a rugged island, with mountains. She is famed for her vart caves, and indeed, on that island, trained varts, batlike creatures, some the size of small dogs, are used as weapons. Cos is also a lofty island, even loftier than Tyros, but she has level fields to her west. Cos had many terraces, on which the Ta grapes are grown. Near her, one night, lying off her shore, silently, I heard the mating whistles of the tiny, lovely Cosian wingfish. This is a small, delicate fish; it has three or four slender spines in its dorsal fin, which are poisonous. It is called the wingfish because it can, on its stiff pectoral fins, for short distances, glide through the air, usually in an attempt to flee small sea tharlarion, who are immune to the poison of the spines. It is also called a songfish, because, in their courtship rituals, males and females thrust their heads from the water, uttering a kind of whistle. Their livers are regarded as a delicacy. I recalled I had once tried one, but had not cared for it, at a banquet in Turia, in the house of a man named Saphrar, who had been a merchant.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 139


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208










Hith      
 


Sea Hith
To The Top


"It was twenty paces abeam," he said. "Its head parted the water suddenly like a great rock rising from the sea. Its skin was black and slippery. Five men with arms outstretched could not have embraced its width. It had teeth like shearing blades!"
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 38


"Do you remember Sakim, the drunken, distraught mariner, he from the tavern of Glaukos, he so mocked, he of the wild stories?" asked Thurnock.

"Surely," I said.

"It seems he was not insane," said Thurnock. "I spoke to men on the island. They, too, have seen the monster."

"The sea hith?" I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 104


"Thurnock, second to me on the Tesephone," I said, "heard speak of a sighting of a hith, that from men on the Isle of Seleukos."

"There must then be another," he said, "and, if so, then others."

"Perhaps," I said. "But these things are the things of legend. The men of the Isle of Seleukos may be mistaken, as well. Men sometimes see what they want to see, or what they fear to see."

Sakim looked out over the bow rail, smiled, and shrugged.

"Surely you admit sightings are few, if any," I said.

"Surely few," he said.

"How did the hith attack your ship?" I asked.

"In coils," he said, "encircling it, and crushing it, like straw."

"You survived," I said.

"I clung to a plank," he said. "I was picked up the next day by a ten-oared fishing boat."

"A small boat, a light boat," I said.

"Yes," he said.

"Why would the hith attack your ship?" I asked.

"I do not know," he said.

I wondered if the hith, if it existed, was territorial. Territoriality is biologically valuable to large animals. It distributes members, of a species, thus expanding access to food. Too, in many species, the female will seek a male with a desirable territory. In this way, too, then, having a territory is favorable to gene replication. Perhaps a hith, then, I thought, if territorial, might react aggressively to any large object it might deem an intruder.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 125


"You would have lured the enemy into a trap, having him follow you, having him pursue you, possibly to his doom, into the waters of the powerful, gigantic, territorial aggressive hith."

"That was my hope," I said. "But there was no hith."

"It does exist," said Sakim.

"Or did exist," I said. "It may have perished, or gone elsewhere."

"I once saw it," he said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 171


"I was terrified, and seized with a desire to flee, even be it across the waters of the hith," said Sakim.

"We crossed those waters earlier," I said. "We proved them not only passable, but safe."

"You do not believe the hith exists," said Sakim.

"I do not think it exists," I said.

"I have seen it," said Sakim.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 315



A moment before the eightieth Ihn, a gigantic snakelike form with a diameter of some ten feet burst some forty feet upward from the water like some living geyser, and, in the midst of screams and tumult, fell heavily, laterally, across the deck of the enemy ship, and wound itself, with incredible rapidity, coil after coil, about the ship. After the third coil the great head of the beast caught the left side of the stem deck in its fanged jaws, and bit into it, as though to fasten itself in living prey, as though the ship might be alive, and attempt to free itself, splintering planks and railings. We then, to our terror, watched the ship being crushed in those mighty coils, board by board, plank by plank, until the water was filled with debris and men.

"You see, Captain," said Sakim, "so much now for Sakim the delusional, Sakim the mad, Sakim the liar, Sakim the fraud."

"It is horrible," I said.

"The hith, nearly exterminated on land," said Sakim, "took to cover and plenty, to the vast world of the sea."

"It breathes air," I said.

"Of course," said Sakim.

"Like the living island," I said.

"Yes," said Sakim.

There was much screaming and splashing in the water.

"Horrible," I said, "horrible."

"It takes prey of many dimensions," said Sakim. "Its largest natural prey is sea tharlarion, of various kinds."

"It seized the ship in its fangs," I said. "It cannot eat a ship."

"I think that is a biological reflex to anchor prey," said Sakim.

"Why would it attack a ship?" I said.

"It is within its prey rage," said Sakim. "It may think it is an animal of sorts. It is, in any event, the ship, a moving object, with oars like appendages, and, I suspect, more seriously, an intruding object, an object invading what the beast presumably takes as its territory."

"It is territorial," I said.

"That seems so," said Sakim. "Large land animals, of which the hith was one once, given the amount of food needed to sustain a large organism, tend to be territorial."

"Perhaps that hith is the same beast which once attacked your ship," I said.

"It is possible," said Sakim. "One does not know."

I found it difficult to take my eyes away from the confusion, the blood, the terror, and carnage in the water.

The hith's jaws had closed on a screaming swimmer; then the swimmer was drawn underwater, the place marked with bubbles exploding to the surface.

"Another theory," said Sakim, "is that the hith scents warmth and blood, and its attack is not so much to destroy an intruder as to get at possible food."

"I think the defense-of-territory theory is more plausible," I said. "First would come the movement of oars, particularly of several oars, the disturbance in the water, alerting the hith to the presence of an intruder, then the discovery of a large, dark shape entering his domain, and then, only after the attack, would it be likely to sense possible prey, thrashing in the water."

"I much agree," said Sakim, "and such is my view, but surely you will grant that once food has been associated with an attack, that attacks might be thus encouraged?"

"Surely," I said.

I guessed that there might be two hundred and fifty to three hundred men in the water, as the corsair ships were crowded with evacuated mercenaries.

I saw one fellow trying to crawl onto a narrow plank. It could not support his weight. I saw a helmeted figure slip beneath the water, seemingly drawn under the surface, one hand raised, as though it might be grasped by someone. I recalled that it was not far from this point that, in clearing the battlefield, bodies of dead mercenaries, as that of Tarchon, had been disposed of at sea.

The two enemy ships, given the sudden appearance of the hith, coiling about their fellow, had held up like frightened animals, and had then, frenziedly, and awkwardly, out of rhythm, begun to back oar. They now stood half a pasang away, hull to hull. One of them had put out longboats, four longboats, which were now approaching the scattered, splintered wreckage of the first vessel. The other vessel had declined to risk its longboats. Captains differ with respect to such matters.

Another man screamed and disappeared under the water.

"Sharks," said Sakim, "jubilant sharks, rushing to the feast."
Sharks will follow food wherever it may be found, as in following a ship for days, to feed on discarded garbage, but most tend to stay in shallower water, where sunlight can nourish rooted, aquatic plants, which can nourish small fish, which, in turn, can nourish larger fish, such as sharks.

I witnessed two coils of the gigantic hith encircle a swimmer and constrict. There was a sound as though of snapping sticks. I looked away, as organs began to be expelled through the victim's mouth.

"The hith," said Sakim, "being a cold-blooded reptile, has a slow metabolism. Once it has gorged itself, it becomes inert. It may not eat again for months. In that time it would be relatively safe to ply these waters."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 327 - 329


The third lifeboat, like the first, overloaded, awash, capsized; the fourth lifeboat, like the second, bore policing spearmen and, in the midst of shrieking swimmers, seemed determined to take on only elite passengers, presumably officers and special persons. As it turned out, its intentions, despite an undoubted adherence to orders, were frustrated, three, massive, whiplike coils of the monstrous hith wrapping themselves about the boat and, tightening, reducing in as little as a dozen Ihn the boat and certain occupants to little more than floating debris.

"The hith, the sharks," I said, "it is a slaughter."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 330


Suddenly the huge, wide head of the hith, slick, wet, shedding water, rose more than twenty feet out of the water, some ten feet aft of the Tesephone, a body grasped in its jaws.

"It is looking at us," I whispered.

"Do not move," said Sakim.

Then it, with its prize, disappeared under the waves.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 331


I was sure that the two unharmed corsairs we had sighted near the coast, their masts now down, now that they would be past the waters in which the hith was feared, must be close.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 333


"Sakim brought us to waters in which there lurked a territorial hith," I said. "We trod softly, the enemy did not."

"The hith," said Tab, "is a creature of mythology."

"But not, it seems," I said, "of mythology alone."

"It does not exist," said Tab.

"The hith itself," I said, "was unaware of that."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 335


"The enemy has already lost two ships," I said, "one to the Dorna and one to the hith."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 343


"In the tavern," I said, "Ctesippus had primacy over Laios. Thus I conjecture that the ship sunk by the hith, the sinking of which Ctesippus survived, was the designated flagship of the corsair fleet."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 346










Living Island      
 


Living Island
To The Top


I removed the Builder's Glass from its sheath at my belt, slid open its sections, and adjusted the focus.

"It is hard to assess its dimensions," I said, "but it is small, ovoid in shape, perhaps with a long axis of eighty paces, a short axis of forty paces."
. . .

"Here," said Clitus, "but perhaps not there. The surface may still be hot."

"I do not think so," I said, adjusting again the focus of the Glass. "Our tiny islet is inhabited."

"Visitors, fishermen?" asked Clitus.

"I suppose so," I said. "They have seen us, unfortunately. I would have preferred that not to be the case. They are launching small skiffs away. They are fleeing the islet."

"Why should they flee?" asked Thurnock.

"Perhaps they do not recognize the ship," I said. "Perhaps they have had unpleasant dealings, unwelcome interactions, with others. In any event, they are not eager to make our acquaintance, and, clearly, they are in no need of succor, rescue, water, supplies, or such."

"How many are there?" asked Thurnock.

"Perhaps a hundred," I said, "now emerged from the cover of the driftwood, debris, and such."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 24


We stood on a gray, coarse surface, the texture of which reminded me of the hide of the common, nine-gilled Gorean shark.

But it was hide or skin, which I conjectured might be a foot or more thick. At first, I was much aware that the object on which I stood was not still, not anchored in place, was not like an island, but was responsive to the water, that it rested in the water, that it floated.
. . .

Several yards away, to my left, where the object narrowed somewhat, a previously submerged portion of the object had suddenly reared upward, shedding water, and, simultaneously, roaring and hissing, there was towering expellation of hot, moist air and water. This phenomenon lasted for ten or fifteen Ihn, creating a towering mist, which then, slowly, dissipated, descending in a cascade of droplets.
. . .

There was then a lengthy, auditory intake of breath which lasted several Ihn. It was hard to guess at the volume of oxygen that the creature had drawn within its body, but it must have been considerable.

"How often does the island breathe?" I asked.

"When it wishes," said a villager.

"It can go more than a day," said another.

"It has its breathing door," said another. "It closes the door when it puts its head under water. It does not wish to drown."

"Why does it put its head under water?" I asked.

"It must eat," said a man.

One of the fellows laughed.

"I saw no eyes," I said.

"The eyes are underneath," said a man, "like the paddles, the beak, and tentacles, where it finds its food. I do not know if it could see in air or not."
. . .

"They are large," said a man. "There is as much below the water as above the water."

"More, much more," said another.

"Some are larger than others," said a fellow. "It depends on their age."

"This one is somewhere between a hundred and two hundred years old," volunteered another.

"Young," said another man.

"Do you not fear that it will dive, that it will submerge?" I asked.

"We have our boats at hand," said a man.

"There is always warning, a restlessness," said a man.

"They seldom go beneath the surface oftener than every ten or fifteen years," said a man.

"Then to mate," said a short fellow.
. . .

"What do you call these things?" I asked.

"Living islands, of course," said he who seemed first amongst those met on shore.

"This one is called 'Isle of Seleukos'."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 95 - 97


"I suspect," I said, "living islands, being alive, can move."

"And do," she said. "They swim. How else could they seek food?"

"This island," I said, "seems inert, phlegmatic, immobile, passive."

"So are they all," she said. "How else could they be mistaken for islands? They are a massive life form, which moves little and, after feeding, can sleep for weeks, which two characteristics much diminish its need for food."

"And the men, conveniently accessing new fishing grounds, share their catch with the island," I said.

"Each benefits the other," she said.

"The richest fishing is in shallower water," I said, "where light can nourish plants, and fish come to feed on the plants, and larger fish come to feed on smaller fish."

"Shallower water is not always close to shore," she said. "In many places there are broad, risen plateaus under the water, sometimes several pasangs in width, plateaus which are often no more than twenty or thirty feet under the surface of the water. They make excellent fishing grounds."

"If the islands sleep," I said, "how can they breathe?"

"Easily," she said. "They lift their breathing door from the water, expel used air and inhale fresh air, all this done in their sleep."

"The men told me a living island can go more than a day without breathing," I said.

"That is true," she said. "But usually they do not go so long."

"I have seen brush on at least one living island," I said.

"The men do that," she said. "Some soil, some seeds, some plants. That is done to fool strangers into thinking that the living island is an ordinary island. Too, for those who are familiar with these islands, it makes clear that a given island is spoken for, that it is claimed."

"How long do living islands live?" I asked.

"I do not know," she said. "Some say a thousand years."

"For their feeding," I said, "they must seek fishing grounds."

"When one encounters a living island in the wild," she said, "one may be sure the fishing will be good."

"I do not understand," I said.

"In that way," she said, "they help the men find good fishing."

"In the wild?" I asked.

"But not in the wild," she said, "the men, ranging widely in their boats, can locate fresh fishing grounds. In that way, they can help their living island."

"This is hard to understand," I said.

"The living island is a predator, and territorial.," she said. "Their rage and contests are hideous to behold. I have only heard about this, of course. But once, when I was a girl, I swam near the head of the island, which is forbidden. I saw the beak and tentacles, under water. I have never forgotten that. I have never swum there again."

"It is hard to think of a living island, so placid and somnolent, as predacious or territorial," I said.

"Older, stronger islands will drive younger, weaker islands away," she said. "It has to do with what the fishing grounds can support."

"There must be many predators at a fishing ground," I said, "sharks, sea sleen, fanged eels, wide-mouthed grunts, and such."

"The living island is concerned only with its own kind," she said.

"I do not see how men can be of help in such matters," I said.

"They locate fishing grounds and bring their islands to them. In this way the men help the island and the island, in turn, helps the men, giving the men a rich offshore camp or base."

"But such," I said, "would require the living island to be moved, and not only to be moved, but to be moved purposely."

"Of course," she said.

"Is this possible?" I asked.

"Certainly," she said.

Suddenly much seemed to fall into place. "How is this done?" I asked.

"We have not acted so in months," she said.

"How is it done?" I asked.

"There are various ways," she said. "All animal life withdraws from strong stimuli, perhaps because such stimuli, surprising and unexplained, are often associated with the presence of a danger, such as a predator. The most common way of doing this is to create noise, say, the striking together of chains of pots and pans dangled under the water."

Sound, of course, is amplified under water. A shark, for example, can respond to the thrashing of an injured fish better than two hundred yards away. "This stimulus is disfavored by the island, and it moves away from the sound. In this way it may be guided in any direction."

"How do men determine the course?" I asked.

"As mariners," she said, "some by compass, others by the sun and stars."

"There are other ways, too, the island may be moved?" I asked.

"By striking on the hide," she said, "with wooden mallets. That does not hurt the island, as far as we can tell, but it does tend to move away from the annoyance. There are cruel ways, too, but we do not practice them on the Isle of Seleukos, for we care for our island, ways such as digging in the hide and striking nerves with pointed sticks, and digging in the hide and applying hot irons to the wound."

"It seems that this would make the island an enemy of men," I said.

"The islands do not even know that men exist," she said.

"You have been more than helpful, Cuy," I said. "I have learned much. I am very grateful."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 100 - 103


"I am Xanthos," he said, "the son of Seleukos, headman of the village of Seleukos, on Thera."

"We have heard of the village, and your father," I said.

We had heard of such things, and others, while on the living island, the Isle of Seleukos.

"It is a village well known on Thera," he said.

"We have also heard of the Isle of Seleukos," I said, "the living island."

"That is far less known," he said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 161


"It is still unclear to me how the corsairs could have been evacuated from Daphna," said Thurnock.

"Happenstance," said Clitus, "a passing fleet."

"Or a single living island controlled by corsairs," I said, "a single living island reacting to the arrival of dozens of message vulos, message vulos surprisingly returning messageless to their cot, a single living island much as that we saw at sea, in departing from Daphna."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 175 - 176


"I have been in touch with Seleukos, here on Thera, as you requested," said Sakim. "The village of Seleukos is being rebuilt, and the living island, the Isle of Seleukos, moves amongst living islands which have spied for the raiders or abetted them in some way."

I recalled the likelihood that, long ago, one such island had transmitted our position to the corsairs.

"To what effect?" I asked.

"Much effect," he said. "The cooperation of such islands with the corsairs, surely enemies, had always been founded on fear, that if they refused to cooperate, their villages would be destroyed. They are now muchly freed of that fear. Currently corsairs are reluctant to strike villages, and, soon, even should they lose their apprehension of a lurking Peasant army, they would, with the likelihood of only modest loot, be likely to face warned, dangerous fighters, recruited perhaps from several adjacent villages. That is a prospect unappealing to corsairs."

"Too," I said, "those on the living islands could always simply neglect reporting sightings, and such."

"Not so easy," said Sakim. "Many islands were posted with a partisan of the pirates."

"And what of such partisans?" I asked.

"Their foreheads were branded, on the recommendation of Seleukos," said Sakim, "and they were subsequently put ashore."

"It seems then," I said, "that the living islands need no longer supply services to corsairs."

"Most never did," said Sakim.

"I expect," I said, "that bows will sooner or later reach the living islands."

"In many cases," said Sakim, "they have already done so."

"If a living island was threatened," I said, "its population, too, could board their vessels, fishing and otherwise, and abandon the island."

"That is true," said Sakim.

"Yet you seem troubled," I said.

"One living island," he said, "is not associated with a village. It is possessed by, and manned by, brigands, villains clearly imbanded with corsairs. It was that island which evacuated the corsairs stranded on Daphna, after the quest for The Village of Flowing Gold."

"I think I know the island," I said. "We saw it, Thurnock, Clitus, and I, and others, when we had been a day or more away from the coast of Daphna, where we had supposedly left corsairs to an unpleasant fate. I recall thinking that our speed must be unusually swift, measuring it against a presumably stationary island. Now I understand that that was an illusion, for the island was moving, too, indeed, moving in the other direction."

"Not only moving, but, I gather, moving rapidly," said Sakim.

"I think so," I said.

"The islands are commonly guided by, and moved by, gentle means," said Sakim, "say, noise, which it finds aversive, light taps on its body, a soft thrusting against its bulk, and such."

"But the movement produced," I said, "tends to be gradual."

"It can take a day to move a living island a pasang," said Sakim.

"How then could the brigand island, if that is what it is, an island manned by brigands, move so quickly?"

"By the application of means less gentle," said Sakim, "gouging, wounding, exacerbating wounds, applying hot irons, torches, and such."

"I anger," I said.

"Remember," said Clitus, "it is not a kaiila, a verr, a bounding hurt, even a vulo. It is a living island, gigantic and sluggish."

"Still," I said.

"Such things have a dull, inactive physiology," said Clitus. "They lack irritability. They are inert, insensitive."

"Yet," I said, "they respond to stimuli, benign or intense, and the hot iron, a fierce, fiery goad, elicits more response than pans clanking under water or the pressing of a paddle or oar."

"The living island cannot feel pain," said Clitus.

"You do not know that," I said.

"That is true," said Clitus, thoughtfully. "I do not know that."

"Men camp upon them, even live upon them," said Aktis.

"Each life form, in its own way, can be good for the other," I said.

"It is unlikely that the living island even knows it is inhabited," said Clitus.

"That could be," I said.

"Perhaps they can feel discomfort," said Clitus, "but not pain."

"Who knows?" said Aktis. "Perhaps there is a point."

"A threshold might be reached," I said.

"They cannot feel pain," said Clitus.

"You cannot know that," I reminded him.

"I do not think they can feel pain," said Clitus.

"Perhaps," said Aktis, "they remember, and are patient."

"Let us not discuss things we cannot know," I said. "We do know, or at least believe firmly, that that living island, the Brigand Island, if you like, rescued stranded corsairs, and conveyed them to safety, possibly even to the vicinity of Sybaris, following their ill-fated adventure on Daphna, seeking The Village of Flowing Gold."

"That seems clear," said Sakim.

"But the debacle of The Village of Flowing Gold," I said, "could not have been anticipated. Yet the Brigand Island was available, ready to be brought into play. The reason for its existence then, or its justification, must be independent of its possible utility in such an incident."

"May I speculate?" asked Sakim.

"Do so," I said.

"I think," said Sakim, "its utility is best seen as fourfold. First, it is fully enleagued with the corsairs, unlike other living islands. Thus it could police and threaten other islands, ensuring their cooperation. Second, it could give the corsair ships a port at sea, out from Sybaris, a depot where they could obtain water, food, and other supplies, and even, if necessary, repairs. In this way the corsair ships could remain longer at sea. It could also serve as a warehouse for bulky or unusually valuable loot, not easily disposed of at a given time in Sybaris. Thirdly, it could support the corsair fleet in action, interfering with attacked vessels, impeding movements, blocking escapes, even delivering reinforcements to the corsairs in the way of boarders equipped with grappling irons and scaling ladders."

"You spoke of its utility as fourfold," I said.

"I am uneasy with respect to the fourth utility," he said. "I hesitate to speak of it. It is terrible, and it has never been, as yet, enacted."

"You are amongst friends, and fellows," I said.

"We have speculated on the oddity of the corsairs' concern with villages, even prosperous villages," he said, "so large an expenditure of effort for so little gain."

"And the apparent subsidizing of the corsairs," I said.

"I think that ambition looks higher and further," he said.

"The possible fourth utility?" I said.

"It is based," he said, "on something I heard long ago in Sybaris, when I lay in a half stupor in the tavern, The Living Island. A mariner spoke, whom I now realize must have been a corsair. He was telling of something he himself had overheard."

"Proceed," I said.

"What can this be but hearsay based on hearsay?" he asked.

"Sometimes," I said, "nothing is something, and a little may be much."

"There was thinking going about, following what was heard," he said, "that it might be possible to attack, loot, and raze not a village but a town."

"Most towns have walls," I said.

"Yes," he said.

"I do not think that Lurius of Jad, our dear Ubar of Cos, would be likely to approve of a town being attacked. Towns mean revenue."

"This had nothing to do with the Ubar," said Sakim.

"It seems that Archelaos, governor of Thera, grows ambitious," I said.

"The town would not be on Thera," said Sakim.

"Presumably it would have to be a small town," I said, "but one prosperous - and perhaps one expected to be soon enriched?"

"As by a fair," said Sakim.

"Mytilene," I said.

"I fear so," said Sakim.

"Mytilene has walls," I said.

"That," said Sakim, "is where the Brigand Island, as we have spoken of it, becomes relevant. Consider the corsair fleet, in its full strength, seven ships with crews, supplemented with mercenaries, accompanied by the Brigand Island, itself not only a transport for additional mercenaries, but conveying an arsenal of supplies and siege equipment."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 218 - 222


"The barge is slow," I said. "Yet it returns every third day."

"It cannot go far then," said Thurnock. "Not to Chios or Daphna."

"It must transfer its cargo to another carrier," I said, "one large, one capable of many loads, and waiting."

"A living island," said Clitus.

"I fear so," I said.

"The Brigand Island," said Thurnock.

"Almost certainly," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 239


"I think," I said, "it was barged to a living island, then near Sybaris, one I have thought of as the Brigand Island."

"It would destroy such an island," said Thrasymedes.

"It may have," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 257


"The corsairs' living island, the Brigand Island, may be about," I said, "too low to see, with cots of vulos which will home to at least the flagship of the corsair fleet."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 309


"We are aground!" cried Sakim.

But ground seldom rises and shakes, recoiling. The contact had been made neither with rock or wood, not with stone, nor beach, nor grating sand. It was as though the Tesephone had inadvertently struck, or had been struck by, some enormous living mountain, a mountain which could live and breathe, could lift itself and then, trembling, subside, and draw away.

The Tesephone, tilted, slid down the side of the living island, splashing into the water. At the same time, I heard cries from the island. "We have found them!" we heard. "spears and shields! Arm your bows and slings! Release the vulos."

"The enemy!" shouted Thurnock.

"Away!" I called to the helmsmen.

Most Gorean vessels south of Torvaldsland are double-ruddered. This makes the vessel more responsive and agile than a single-ruddered vessel, a feature important in naval warfare, both in attack and flight. The two rudders, each with its own helmsman, are commonly engaged with one another, or coupled, in such a manner that they move in unison. Uncoupled, each is independent of the other, which feature, particularly should one rudder be damaged or destroyed, permits the vessel to proceed unimpaired.

Almost at the same time as the impact the early morning fog parted and, briefly, I glimpsed several tents, many men, some seizing up weapons, some great heaps of stone blocks, of the sort which had been used in the great catapults of the mercenaries near Mytilene, and a flare of fire to the right. Too, water began to rumble beneath the surface suggesting an agitation or a disturbance of some sort. At the time I did not understand the likely explanation of this seeming subsurface tumult or thrashing. Too, I did not understand, then, the meaning of the flames to the right. I thought they might be igniting bundles of pitch for use as missiles, but I saw no visible catapults, or any means for delivering such missiles. Then the fog closed in again, and I could see little or nothing through the fog save for the dim incandescence of the fires being lit or stoked to the right.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 318 - 319


"Living islands, as sluggish as they may seem," said Sakim, "are alive and in some respects very aware and sensitive, that having to do with detecting fish, locating desirable feeding grounds, and such. Too, the behavior of living islands, like that of other forms of life, those of a sufficient degree of sensitivity, is susceptible of modification, even training of a sort. I would guess that the mercenaries associated ships with feedings, an easy enough thing to do. In this way, the island would tend to seek out ships, this behavior, when successful, being rewarded by the mercenaries."

"The sea is still large, very large," said Thurnock.

"The living island," said Sakim, " can detect the sound of an oar striking the water at a distance of pasangs."

"In the moment the fog parted," I said, "it was clear the island was heavily freighted."

"Stone blocks, many men," said Thurnock.

"How many men?" I asked.

"I would guess four hundred," said Thurnock.

"At least," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 320


"It is not only ships we must fear," said Sakim.

"How so?" I asked.

"It is the island, as well," he said.

"I do not understand," I said.

"Surely you saw the fire kindled on the island, noted the turbulence in the water," said Sakim.

"Speak," I said.

"The great beast was in excruciating pain," said Sakim.

"How is that?" I asked.

"You saw the fire," said Sakim.

"Surely," I said.

"Those who inhabit the living islands or have their camps on them," said Sakim, "move and guide the islands, when they wish, by gentle pressures, from which the beast withdraws."

"True," I said.

I had learned that much from my brief time on the Island of Seleukos.

"The mercenaries are heartless and cruel," said Sakim. "You saw the fire. They do not respect the island or care for it. They goad it. They spur it to do their bidding; they exploit it, pitilessly, mercilessly, by sharp instruments and blazing irons."

Thurnock growled in fury.

"See how low the beast was in the water," said Sakim. "Consider the weight with which it is still burdened, the huge blocks of stone, inhumanly not discarded, even after the destruction of the catapults."

"Would we had a hundred ships," said Thurnock, "to go back and free the beast, to scrape the parasitical scum from its hide."

"We can do nothing for the beast," said Sakim.

"We must think of escape," I said.

"We can easily outdistance a living island," said Clitus.

"Do not be too sure," said Sakim.

"The danger is the corsair fleet," said Clitus, "should it detect us, given its armament and its presumed changes of oarsmen."

"Do not underestimate the effects of jabbing, pointed metal poles, serrated blades, and white-hot irons affecting the Brigand Island," said Sakim, "nor the willingness of the mercenaries to kill it in their attempt to overtake us."

"The corsair fleet is faraway," said Clitus.

"Perhaps not so far," I said. "We do not know."

"Even now," said Clitus, "we are slipping away in the fog,"

"The fog will lift," said Thurnock.

"By that time," said Clitus, "we will have disappeared."

"You forget one thing, my friend," said Sakim. "should the mercenaries lose touch with us, they need only give the Brigand Island a temporary surcease of its pain, and, soon, it will seek us of its own accord."

"The behavior of seeking ships for food," said Thurnock.

"Abetted by the acuity of its senses," said Sakim, "senses capable of detecting the entrance of an oar into water, the creaking of rudders, from pasangs away."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 321 - 322


"The hith, nearly exterminated on land," said Sakim, "took to cover and plenty, to the vast world of the sea."

"It breathes air," I said.

"Of course," said Sakim.

"Like the living island," I said.

"Yes," said Sakim.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 327


"We will have the cover of darkness," I said.

"But there is the Brigand Island," said Sakim. "It can trail us, like a sleen of the sea."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 331


"Four corsair ships followed me," said Tab, "even in darkness, unerringly. it is uncanny. It speaks of the hands of Priest-Kings. I could not slip away."

"It is done by means of a living island," said Sakim, "that island we speak of as the Brigand Island, a pathetic, enormous aquatic beast under the control of corsairs and mercenaries. It is that which has followed you. As a sleen, tenacious and swift, can follow scent on land, tenacious and swift, a living island can follow sounds, disturbances, stirrings, in the water, schooling fish, the wake of a passing vessel, and such. The enemy has taught the island to associate feeding with ships, so it seeks ships."

"Why would it leave the corsair ships?" asked Tab.

"They will not feed it," said Sakim. "So it seeks another ship.

"And it would lead them to the Dorna," said Tab.

"It is so," said Sakim.

"It will get no feeding from the Dorna," said Tab.

"The island does not know that," said Sakim.

"For Ahn we rowed swiftly," said Tab.

"The corsairs torture the island with pain, spurring it to greater and greater speed," said Sakim. "I wonder that they have not killed it by now."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 335 - 336


"I do not understand," said Clitus. "Why do they not move? Why do they not act?"

"The answer to your question approaches," I said, pointing.

"Tents in the sea, like sails, men with ladders?" said Thurnock.

"They are using the island, the living island!" cried a man.

"It is like land, living land, rushing upon us!" cried a helmsman.

"Steady," I said. "Steady."

"Tragic, innocent, overloaded, abused beast," said Thurnock.
Men with burning irons were thrusting them into the body of the island, while it, as if it would escape from the pain, was driving toward us. I caught the scent of living, burning flesh.

"Thus," said Thurnock, "they turn a dumb animal into a weapon."

"It must be in agony," said a man.

"Perhaps such things cannot feel," said another.

"It will find no food here," said Sakim, "only pain."

"That is perhaps to our advantage," I said.

The Dorna was between us and the onrushing behemoth, the living island. On its present trajectory it would make contact with the Dorna full on her starboard side. The mercenaries on the island, swarming forward, were intent to bring their ladders into play a moment after the island's impact on the Dorna's hull, perhaps then stove in. But Tab, by oars and rudders, was already struggling to bring the prow of the Dorna toward the island, which maneuver would minimize the width of the expected impact.

"Good Tab!" I cried.

The iron-shod ram, mounted in such a way as to withstand the grievous shock of tearing through reinforced planking, cut a short, sharp, linear, bloody furrow in the hide of the living island and then, as it was riding over the beast, the beast, reflexively, reared upward, like a hill of muscles, as though to dislodge some predator, which caused the Dorna, given its inertia, to ride over the crest of this hill, pause for a moment, and then plunge downward, slicing through the massed mercenaries, dividing and disrupting their formation, and crushing several. There was much screaming, much confusion, a splintering of ladders, a tumbling of rectangular blocks of stone, intended originally to be ammunition for the great catapults, the tearing loose of tent pegs which had been pounded into the flesh of the island, and a scattering of tents rising from the back of the island like startled birds. At the same time the island, with a great roaring noise, exhaled a towering, violent spume of warm air and water. This rose a hundred feet into the air, and droplets fell like warm rain, drenching the island.

The flesh of the island then began reacting to the trauma of its wound, to shudder and ripple, contracting and expanding, its edges, or coasts, disappearing on one side or the other for a moment and then rising again, shining and dripping. Some parts of the island, more central parts, remained dry, but elsewhere, like tides, water washed its surface to a man's knees and then his waist.

"The island is sinking!" screamed a man.

The faces of many of the mercenaries were pale with horror.

Several, here and there, fought, and slew one another, to attain a place, sometimes no more than a yard high and wide, on one or another of the modest prominences in the flesh of the beast, a footing on certain irregularities, corrugations, blemishes, sealed lesions, and layers of twisted, knotted scar tissue.

Given the unexpected action of the Dorna, its inadvertent plunging into the ranks of the mercenaries, scattering all and crushing many, and the ensuing behavior of the injured, perhaps maddened, beast, war was far from the minds of most of the mercenaries, that despite the urgings and howling of certain officers, some of whom were knee deep in water.

Nature herself, it seemed, had declared a truce.

The hill-like mound of flesh which had risen under the Dorna, reacting to its inadvertent, bloody intrusion, had shrunk down, considerably, almost immediately, a moment after the Dorna's plunge amongst the mercenaries. The ship was now rocking, its planking holding, the ship responsive to the continuing agitation of the surface beneath it. The few serviceable oars of the Dorna were out from the thole ports, almost like narrow wooden legs to keep the tormented craft from pitching on its side. Several oarsmen had leapt over the gunwales and were trying to force the Dorna back into the churning water, that it might once more find itself in its proper element. At the same time I had had the Tesephone brought to a position where it would be abeam of the Dorna should that craft manage to extricate itself from its current position and require assistance, and if it could not do so, we would be close enough to take swimmers aboard. Many Gorean vessels, when not in port, beach, or half-beach, themselves at night, where a camp is made, one sometimes rudely fortified. I mention this lest it seem surprising, or improbable, that portions of the Dorna's crew were outboard, attempting to free their ship from the shore of the living island. Their travail was brief, however for the shore of the island drew back under them, and inclined downward, as though, water rushing in, it would so rid itself of an unwelcome visitor. Men clambered back aboard the Dorna.
. . .

Tab had the Dorna backoared from the Brigand Island, whose tremors had now subsided, and whose pilots were already struggling to rekindle fires in which irons might be heated, enabling them to control the course and speed of their vast mount.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 339 - 341


"The three corsair vessels to starboard are, for the moment, inert," I said. "I do not think they realize what has occurred here. Their strategy, I suspect, was to take the Dorna, either by further damaging her or beaching her on the Brigand Island. Clearly the mercenaries, given their ladders and formation, were intending, if possible, to board her in one way or another, either from the Brigand Island or the beach."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 342


"Do not fear the Brigand Island," said Sakim. "It was wounded, torn, and burned. It was abandoned near Chios. It was left there. You saw it left behind. The mercenaries fear it. They want nothing more to do with it. Could it follow us, it would have done so.

It may be dead."

"Do you think," I asked, "that it can feel?"

"Surely," said Sakim.

"Really feel?" I asked.

"Yes," said Sakim. "It must have some rudiments of feeling, however simple and primitive, else it could not respond to irons, to gouging instruments, to fire."

"It must be a patient beast," I said.

"I do not think it knows that men exist," said Sakim, "only that pain and pleasure exist."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 349


"The Brigand Island, in all its simplicity, enormity, and inert sluggishness, has been trained to associate ships, some ships, randomly selected, with a reward, a feeding. Accordingly, it follows ships, hoping to be fed."

"The corsair ships will not feed it," said Clitus.

"No," said Sakim, "but it is easy for them to follow the beast while it seeks a different vessel, hoping to be fed."

"But we will not feed it," said Clitus.

"The beast does not know that," said Sakim.

"And who knows," I said. "Perhaps we will feed it."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 356


"With them," said Sakim, "is a darkness in the water, a plateau in the sea."

"The Brigand Island," said Thurnock.

"I see smoke," said Clitus.

"From the fires by means of which they torture the beast to do their bidding," I said.

"It does not even know the source of its pain," said Sakim.

"I rage," snarled Thurnock.

"Doubtless, in its pursuit of the last two nights, it was not goaded by fire and iron," I said. "Its pursuit would have been painless, it not having been necessary, or expedient, to alter its course or hasten its progress."

"After surcease, the sudden return of agony must be excruciating," said Clitus.

"It is a dumb beast," said Thurnock. "It is not like a reluctant slave girl who, to her misery and tears, grasps, with a single stroke of the whip on her stripped fair body, that she will henceforth obey the least of commands and suggestions with perfection, instantly and unquestioningly."

"One no longer needs the glass of the Builders," said Sakim. "I can make them out, clearly now."

"As can we all," said Clitus.

asked Thurnock.

"I expect them to do what is simplest, and exposes their ships to the least risk," I said.

"They will bring the Brigand Island alongside, and we shall find our floating citadel besieged," said Sakim.

"I expect they will be lavish in expending their mercenaries," I said.

"The more who die the more loot to be distributed amongst survivors," said Clitus.

"And those in the ships, the elite, risk nothing," said Thurnock.

"We cannot withstand dozens of ladders and hundreds of men," said Thurnock.

"The Brigand Island will move to the starboard side," said Sakim. "It is being so goaded."

"The oars of the enemy ships, save those of one, rest," said Clitus.

"That ship," I said, "will be the ears and eyes of the corsair fleet. It will approach more closely, not closely enough to be in danger, but close enough to monitor developments and, if need be, intervene and direct operations. It, by signals, will remain in contact with the main body of the fleet, the four ships held in reserve."

"Its oars now rest," said Clitus.

It lay some hundred yards astern of our small 'fort in the sea'.

"The Brigand Island approaches," said Sakim.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 357 - 358


At this point the massive, heavy body of the Brigand Island had slipped some seven or eight feet back, away from the side of the Tesephone. I did not know if this was intended, and wrought by iron and fire, or if it were the result of some movement internal to the beast itself.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 359


A violent tremor shook the beast.

"They are bringing it against the hull again," said Clitus. "The irons glow, the spikes gleam; the enemy churns agony once more into its gaping wounds."

"How can a beast stand such torment?" asked Thurnock.

"Perhaps it has no feeling," said Clitus.

"If it had no feeling, it could not be goaded, or guided, by such means," said Sakim.

"But it may not know feeling as we know it," said Clitus.

"Perhaps not," said Sakim.

"It does not even know the source of its misery, only its misery," said Thurnock.

"In a moment the beast will be once more against our hull," said Clitus.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 360


Shortly thereafter, scarcely had war sandals been pressed on the first rungs of the braced scaling ladders, than a sudden, hideous tremor shook the beast, a violent stream of air and water exploded upward from its breathing hole, and its enormous body reared a dozen feet from the water, scattering ladders and men. Then it submerged, and the water was filled with startled, struggling men, ladders, tents, supplies, and a camp's debris. Steam and bubbles had hissed up as the water flowed into the fires and drenched the spurring, heated irons by means of which its movements had been controlled.

"It may be under the ship!" cried Sakim.

"No!" I said, pointing. "See the water, to starboard!"

Then the water seemed quiet.

Might not that monstrous body move beneath the ship?

I then feared Sakim's alarm might soon be warranted.

"Where is it?" said Clitus.

"I do not know," I said.

"It is gone," said Clitus.

"I do not know," I said.

"The observation ship of the corsairs approaches," said Thurnock.

It was clearly its intent to succor and retrieve goods and men, these scattered like detritus in the water.

Suddenly, without warning, violently, like a massive, discharged, living quarrel, threatening the sky and clouds, the immense body of the Brigand Island hurtled upward, vertically, twisting, from the water.

In that terrible moment I saw what few men had seen, even those accustomed to camp upon and inhabit living islands, the monster beneath the placid surface, hundreds of tentacle-like filaments, tiny eyes, and a sharp, hooklike beak.

It could well be that, in that brief moment, it was the first time the eyes of the Brigand Island had risen above the surface.

Then it returned to the water, falling, like a mountain, and the residue of this great splash descended like rain on the Dorna and Tesephone, and the closest of the five corsair ships.

"The eyes!" said Sakim. "I would not care to be seen by such eyes."

"We are not moving," I said. "We are large. We are a fortress in the sea. Conjoined with the Dorna, we might be taken to be a natural object. We might not be registered as something deserving attention, if at all."

"It is rising to the surface," said Sakim, "but on its back, under the swimmers."

"It cannot breathe so," said Clitus.

"The head of the island seldom submerges," said Sakim. "But when it does, as in scouting fish, mating, or territorial conflict, the breathing hole closes. The head can remain under water for better than an Ahn, and the body, as well, should the beast so choose."

There was a startling crackle of sound and flashes coming from the water, and the screams of men.

"Thus," said Sakim, "the beast shocks and paralyzes prey, commonly fish."

I took the matter to be the result of an organically generated electrical charge.

"You may not care to look," said Sakim.

The victims, stung, or shocked, or numbed, could not speak or move, but the horror in their eyes could be easily read as the tentacle-like filaments conveyed them to the hook-like beak.

"The corsair ship is back-oaring," said Thurnock. "They are no longer concerned with their fellows."

Most of these, shields, weapons, and helmets discarded, were still in the water. Several, half visible, had doubtless drowned. Some thrashed about, in terror, to flee the tentacle-like filaments. The wisest remained as still as possible, the tentacle-like filaments, like snakes, feeling about in the water.

"The captain of that ship," said Sakim, "is a fool."

"Perhaps only ignorant," I said.

We had all by now had evidence of the capacity of the Brigand Island, and perhaps other such islands, to detect motion in the water. Had we not been followed unerringly, even in the night?

"He abandons his fellows," said Clitus.

"He should rest his oars," said Sakim.

"It is unwise to wake the sleeping larl," said Thurnock.

"Or the fierce bosk," said Sakim, looking at me.

"I wonder if a mountain can hate," said Clitus.

"If so," said Thurnock, "I would not care to be the object of its wrath."

"Do you think," asked Clitus, "that it now understands what was done to it, that it now associates its pain and misery with a visible, independent, identifiable source, something that can be dealt with, another form of life, an enemy, men?"

"I do not know," I said.

"I think so," said Sakim. "Moreover, I think it, in some way, feels it was misled or betrayed."

"How is that?" asked Clitus.

"It was trained to expect, as a result of certain behaviors, rewards, at least occasionally," said Sakim. "Then, following the behavior, there was not only no reward, but dreadful, disgusting, keen disappointment."

"The ringing of the bell signifies food to the animal," I said, "and it welcomes the sound of the bell and salivates. Then, after a time, the ringing of the bell is followed not by food, but by unexpected disappointment and pain. The animal is confused. It goes insane."

"What animal?" asked Sakim.

"It is not important," I said.

"What is this about ringing bells?" said Sakim.

"Nothing, my friend," I said, "nothing."

"Look!" said Clitus. "The island rolls over and submerges!"

"The observation ship turns about, it flees," said Sakim.

"It wishes to join its fleet," said Thurnock.

"I do not think the fleet will be pleased about that," I said.

Some Ihn passed, perhaps nearly an Ehn.

"Aiii!" screamed Clitus.

I gripped the rail of the Tesephone.

Once more, the enormous living weight of the Brigand Island exploded up from the sea and then, from some sixty to eighty yards above the surface, plunging downward, it fell athwart the retreating corsair ship, snapping it in two.

"What is going on now?" asked Clitus.

Sakim disengaged a glass of the Builders from his belt and trained it on the divided sinking corsair ship.

"Where once was a fine ship," said Sakim, "there is now debris."

"What of the beast?"

"I think it is calm," said Sakim. "It is going away. It moves slowly, peacefully, toward the horizon."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 360 - 363


Following the sinking of the forward ship, or observation ship, by the maddened living island, which we commonly spoke of as the "Brigand Island," the corsair fleet was reduced to four vessels, two of which were now drawing close, one to attempt drawing alongside the port side of the Dorna, and the other intending to draw alongside the starboard side of the Tesephone.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 364










Miscellaneous      
 


Calculus
To The Top


That scent, I knew, a distillation of a hundred flowers, nurtured like a priceless wine, was a secret guarded by the perfumers of Ar. It contained as well the separated oil of the Thentis needle tree; an extract from the glands of the Cartius river urt; and a preparation formed from a disease calculus scraped from the intestines of the rare Hunjer Long Whale, the result of the inadequate digestion of cuttlefish. Fortunately, too, this calculus is sometimes found free in the sea, expelled with feces. It took more than a year to distill, age, blend and bond the ingredients.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 114





 


Isopod
To The Top


The lelt is commonly five to seven inches in length. It is white, and long-finned. It swims slowly and smoothly, its fins moving the water very little, which apparently contributes to its own concealment in a blind environment and makes it easier to detect the vibrations of its prey, any of several varieties of tiny segmented creatures, predominantly isopods.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 247


These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 249


It swims slowly, conserving its energy, not alerting its prey, commonly flatworms and tiny segmented creatures, predominantly isopods.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 256





 


Leech
To The Top


I flicked a salt leach from the side of my light rush craft with the corner of the tem-wood paddle.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 5


I was not particularly surprised at finding a bit of rep-cloth tied on the rence plant, for the delta is inhabited. Man has not surrendered it entirely to the tharlarion, the Ul and the salt leach.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 6


"Keep a watch for tharlarion," said Kisu. He reached under the water and pulled a fat, glistening leach, some two inches long, from his leg.

"Destroy it," said Ayari.

Kisu dropped it back in the water. "I do not want my blood, pinched from it, released in the water," he said.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 267


"Leech!" I said. "Leech!" I could feel it on my back. It was large. It may have been what had touched me in the water. I could not reach it with my chained hands.
. . .

"On my back," I said, "I can feel it! A leech! Take it off!"

"You can be covered with them, spying sleen," snarled the man, "for all I care."

"I ask that it be removed," I said.

"Do not fear," said the fellow. "They are only hungry. When they have their fill, they will drop off."

"Here is another," said a fellow wading near me, holding up its wet, half-flattened, twisting body in his hand. It was some four inches long, a half inch thick.

"There are probably a great many of them here," said the fellow, dropping it back in the water.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 96 - 97


I stood unsteadily in the water. I could feel the leeches on my body, one on my back, another on my leg. Then, shuddering, I felt yet another. It was fastening itself near the first, on my back.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 98


"Lie still," said the fellow crouching next to me.

I shuddered, lying in the sand. The reaction was uncontrollable, involuntary, reflexive.

"Still," he said. He held the bit of rence stalk, still smoking from the fire, to one of the creatures on my back. I could feel it pulling out of my skin. He then picked it from my back, dropping it to the side, with others.

I did not know how much blood I had lost, though I suppose, objectively, it was not much. How much can one of those creatures, even given the hideous distention of its digestive cavity, hold? Yet there had been many during the day. Many had released their hold themselves.

"That is the last one," observed the fellow, turning me about.

"My thanks," I said.

He had removed, by my count, eleven of the creatures. He had put them to the side. There are various ways in which they may be encouraged to draw out, not tearing the skin. The two most common are heat and salt. It is not wise, once they have succeeded in catching hold, to apply force to them. In this fashion, too often part of the creature is left in the body, a part, or parts, which must then be removed with a knife or similar tool.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 99 - 100


I opened my mouth and he put one of the leeches into it. "Eat," he said.

Later he forced another leech into my mouth and waited until I had eaten it. He then took the remaining leeches and, with a shiver of disgust, with two hands, hurled them out from the bar, into the water.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 102


"Such things often attach themselves to rence stems," I said. "Apparently you bent down, to drink. The front of your collar is wet, and the strap, near the throat. Your hair, too, is damp. Perhaps you brushed against rence in doing this. Too, however, such things can float free in the water."

"Please!" she said, shuddering. "Please!"

"It has not had time to affix itself," I said.

It was about four inches long, rubbery, glistening in the moonlight.

"Please!" she whispered.

I picked it off.

"Do you want it?" I asked.

"No!" she said.

"The marsh leech is edible," I said. "At one time I did not know that."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 236


"Did you detect the presence of further such creatures upon me?" she asked, frightened.

"No," I said.

"Then I am now free of them?" she said.

"Apparently," I said.

She sobbed with relief.

"It may have been an isolated leech," I said.

"But there are others in the marsh!" she said.

"Of course," I said.

"Let me ride on the raft!" she begged.

"No," I said.

"But it is not just leeches," she said. "There are tharlarion, and other dangers."

"Keep a sharp lookout," I said.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 238


In the boat were two wide, shallow, wooden buckets, each half filled with wet, glistening leeches, taken from the water, often from the stems of water plants, such as rence.

Before being put on her belly in the boat, Ellen's face, she on her knees, was almost thrust into these two buckets, one after the other, filled with twisting, inching, churning leeches, that she might see them. She shrank back, as she could, in terror.

These creatures are utilized in some manner by the caste of physicians, not for indiscriminate bleeding as once on Earth, but for certain allied chemical and decoagulant purposes. Such creatures may also be used, of course, for less benign purposes, for torture, the extraction of information, punishment and, in the extreme, executions. The "leech death" is not a pleasant one. These creatures are not to be confused with the leech plant, which supplements its photosynthetic activities with striking, snakelike, at passing objects.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 365 - 366


"You are not to utter a sound," said the older lad, "not the least sound, or we will put you on your back, and put a stick between your teeth and tie it there, so that you cannot close your teeth, and then bind leeches in your mouth."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 366


Poling in the trackless delta, the rope on their neck, they are well aware of the wilderness, the vastness, the treacherous byways, the quicksand, the heat, the insects, leeches, delta sharks, winged, predatory uls, and, in particular, marsh tharlarion, which often scout the boats, and accompany them, little but the eyes visible, for pasangs.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 487





 


Plankton
To The Top


The main business of Kassau is trade, lumber and fishing. The slender striped parsit fish has vast plankton banks north of the town, and may there, particularly in the spring and the fall, be taken in great numbers.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 27 - 28


"There is plankton here," said Ivar, "that of the banks south of the Skerry of Einar, and the temperature of the water tells me that we are now in the stream of Torvald, which moves eastward to the coast and then north."
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 55


Three other men of the Forkbeard attended to fishing, two with a net, sweeping it along the side of the serpent, for parsit fish, and the third, near the stem, with a hook and line, baited with vulo liver, for the white-bellied grunt, a large game fish which haunts the plankton banks to feed on parsit fish.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 59





 


Protozoon
To The Top


In the pits there is no light, save that which men bring there. Without light, there cannot be photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis there cannot be the reduction of carbon dioxide, the formation of sugar, the beginning of the food chain. Ultimately, then, food is brought into the pits, generally in the form of organic debris, from hundreds of sources, many of them hundreds of miles distant; this debris is carried by the fresh-water feeds, through minute faults and fissures, and even porous rock, until it reaches the remains of the ancient seas, now sunken far beneath the surface. On and in this debris, breaking it down, are several varieties of bacteria. These bacteria are devoured by protozoons and rotifers. These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 248 - 249





 


Rotifer
To The Top


In the pits there is no light, save that which men bring there. Without light, there cannot be photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis there cannot be the reduction of carbon dioxide, the formation of sugar, the beginning of the food chain. Ultimately, then, food is brought into the pits, generally in the form of organic debris, from hundreds of sources, many of them hundreds of miles distant; this debris is carried by the fresh-water feeds, through minute faults and fissures, and even porous rock, until it reaches the remains of the ancient seas, now sunken far beneath the surface. On and in this debris, breaking it down, are several varieties of bacteria. These bacteria are devoured by protozoons and rotifers. These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 248 - 249





 


Salamander
To The Top


Among the lelts, too, were, here and there, tiny salamanders, they, too, white and blind. Like the lelts, they were, for their size, long-bodied, were capable of long periods of dormancy and possessed a slow metabolism, useful in an environment in which food is not plentiful. Unlike the lelts they had long, stemlike legs. At first I had taken them for lelts, skittering about the rafts, even to the fernlike filaments at the sides of their head, but these filaments, in the case of the salamanders, interestingly, are not vibration receptors but feather gills, an external gill system. This system, common in the developing animal generally, is retained even by the adult salamanders, who are, in this environment, permanently gilled. The gills of the lelt are located at the lower sides of its jaw, not on the sides of its head, as is common in open-water fish. The feather gills of the salamanders, it seems, allow them to hunt the same areas as the lelts for the same prey, the vibration effects of these organs being similar, without frightening them away, thus disturbing the water and alerting possible prey. They often hunt the same areas. Although this form of salamander possesses a lateral-line set of vibration receptors, like the lelt, it lacks the cranial receptors and its lateral-line receptors do not have the sensitivity of the let's. Following the lelt, not disturbing it, often helps the salamander find prey. On the other hand, the salamander, by means of its legs and feet, can dislodge prey inaccessible to the lelt. The length of the stemlike legs of the salamander, incidentally, help it in stalking in the water. It takes little prey while swimming freely. The long legs cause little water vibration. Further, they enable the animal to move efficiently, covering large areas without considerable metabolic cost. In a blind environment, where food is scarce, energy conservation is essential. The long, narrow legs also lift the salamander's head and body from the floor, enabling it, with its sensors, to scan a greater area for prey.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 247 - 248


These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.

These latter, however, do not stand at the top of the food chain. Sometimes one picks up the lelts and salamanders in the cones. It was not these that had excited the interest of the men.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 249


I looked at the heads of the lelts, and, scattered among them, the heads of the pale salamanders, thrust from the dark water, attracted by the movement, or the awareness of the light or heat, of the lamps.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 255


I looked upon the lelts, and, among them, here and there, the salamanders. Their blunt, whitish heads protruded from the water, curious, each head oriented toward one or the other of the four lamps on the raft.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 256










Monster      
 


Saurian
To The Top


I cried out with fear. One of the men shouted with anger. Rising from under the grunt swiftly was a long-bodied shark, white, nine-gilled. It tore the grunt from the line and bore it away. Other dorsal fins, of smaller sharks, trailed it, waiting. Sharks, and sometimes marine saurians, sometimes trail the ships, to secure discarded garbage and rob the lines of the fishermen. The convoy, by its size, had doubtless attracted many such monsters. I had seen, yesterday, the long neck of a marine saurian lift from the waters of gleaming Thassa. It had a small head, and rows of small teeth. Its appendages were like broad paddles. Then it had lowered its head and disappeared. Such beasts, in spite of their frightening appearance, are apparently harmless to men. They can take only bits of garbage and small fish. Certain related species thrive on crustaceans found among aquatic flora. Further, such beasts are rare. Some sailors, reportedly, have never seen one. Far more common, and dangerous, are certain fishlike marine saurians, with long, toothed snouts; they are silent and aggressive, and sailors fear them as they do the long-bodied sharks. The sea sleen, vicious, fanged aquatic mammals, apparently related to the land forms of sleen, are the swiftest predators to be found in Thassa; further, they are generally conceded to be the most dangerous; they tend, however, to frequent northern waters. Occasionally they have been found as far south, however, as the shores of Cos and the deep inlets of Tyros.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 360


Suddenly I screamed with fear as something, long-snouted, with rows of tiny teeth, closed upon my leg. I began to scream with misery trying to hold the mast. It did not tear at, or wrench, my leg. I could not see what it was, but could sense its weight. My hand slipped on the mast. It was drawing me downward, away from the mast. The snout slipped higher on my leg. I struck down at it with my fist. I struck something hard, something heavy and alive. I saw a round eye, lidded and lensed. I screamed wildly. My fingers slipped on the mast. I struck down, striking again and again at the thing. Then, I screaming, crying out with misery, it drew me from the mast and, turning about, twisting under the water, dove downward. I scratched and tore at it, but could not free myself. The cold water swirled about me. I could no longer tell where the surface of the water was. I could not breathe. My blows became weak. Then it seemed, outward from me, in the distance there was a shifting, dull, flickering light. It was the surface. I reached toward it, bent backward. I swallowed water. Something, too, was in the water, moving downward from the surface. Things began to go black. Weakly I tried to push away the jaws that held me, long and narrow, with many fine teeth. I could feel the teeth with my fingers. I could not breathe. I could not fight. There was nothing to breathe. The surface receded. Dimly I was aware of movement near me in the water, something other than the beast that held me. I thrust out my hand, touching nothing. I closed my eyes. I decided that I would breathe. Surely there would be something to breathe. Then the beast, suddenly, startling me, twisted, and swam a tight, angry circle, its long tail thrashing, and then the water seemed suddenly different, somehow more viscous and greasy. The beast thrashed angrily. I felt its grip on my leg loosen. Then, suddenly, it shook spasmodically. I was buffeted away from it. I saw it turn slowly in the dark water, above me, rolling. A tiny fish bit at my leg. Others, darting, pursued the irrationally moving titan that had held me. I felt myself seized by the arm, pulled toward the light, remote in the cold water. I saw the beast which had gripped me now below me. Swiftly I was drawn toward the surface. Unable to see, my eyes filled with salt water, my head broke the surface and I coughed and gasped. An arm, strong, supported me. I shuddered and lost consciousness.

I think that I was unconscious no more than a few seconds. I awakened being drawn onto a large, jagged, splintered square of wreckage, heavy beamed, like a raft.

I lay on my stomach on the wreckage. Then I lifted myself to my elbows, and threw up into the water, twice. Then again I collapsed.

A few feet from the raft, rolling lifeless in the water, was a grotesque marine saurian, fishlike but reptilian, more than twenty feet in length.

I saw the fins of sharks near it, and saw their snouts pressing it, and then beginning to tear at it.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 370 - 371


"Why is it called Lake Fear?" asked Cabot.

He was aware that Kurii were not fond of water.

"Because of the saurians there," responded Arcesilaus, "descendents of saurians from the Home World."

"And you fear them?"

"Yes."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 116


"See these lines in the beach," said Cabot. "They are the traces of the movements of large bodies. I am told there are saurians here, and they will come upon occasion to the beach."

"There are none here now."

"Examine this mark," said Cabot. "See the edges, almost sharp. It may have been made last night."

"I do not see why Kurii should fear such things, on the land."

"If power weapons were permitted in the cylinder, they would have nothing to fear," said Cabot, "but they are not, and these things, I understand, are far more terrible than Kurii, though on land they do not move quickly."

"But in the water?"

"There they are formidable," said Cabot. "Many are designed for aquatic predation."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 307 - 308


In the tiny bit of light remaining she detected a large head, perhaps a yard across, wet, glistening from the water, on a long, thick neck, wet, glistening, the head some fifteen feet away, moving on the neck, weaving almost as might have the head of the giant hith, Gor's mightiest constrictor.

"Steady, Lita," soothed Cabot. "See the jaws. It is herbivorous, probably a grazer on lake plants, perhaps a threat to small fish."

The beast inched forward, on huge, paddlelike appendages. A long tail moved in the sand behind it.

"Do you know gag signals?" asked Cabot.

The beast came a bit closer.

The slave shook her head, negatively, desperately.

"One tiny sound," said Cabot, "for 'Yes', two such sounds for 'No'. Do you understand?"

She nodded affirmatively, vigorously. Her eyes were wide, stricken with terror, over the gag.

"Would you like to withdraw?" he inquired.

She uttered a tiny sound, desperately. In a moment, she uttered another, more fearfully."

"That is two sounds," said Cabot.

The slave squirmed in protest, in terror.

The head of the beast was something like a yard from them.

She uttered another sound, her body writhing in terror.

"That is one sound," said Cabot. He then put the slave over his shoulder, her head to the rear, as slaves are commonly carried, and bent down to pick up his stick. He turned, and hit the large head twice, lightly, playfully, on the side. "It is safer for you out here, at night, is it not, big fellow?" Cabot asked the saurian, and he then turned about and climbed the slope toward the forest edge. On his shoulder, the girl was unconscious.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 317 - 318


A raft, heavy, with doubled timbers, grated on the beach. Its size and weight were doubtless intended to provide stability on the lake, and provide some impediment to the efforts of large saurians who might emerge beneath it, hungrily, to tip or overturn it.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 331


A massive head, glistening, shedding water, on a long neck, had emerged from the water, not yards from the raft.

"That is carnivorous," said Cabot, picking up the sharpened stick he had formed into a makeshift spear.

"Master!" cried the slave, frightened, miserably.

"Get behind me," said Cabot, and the slave scurried behind him, and crouched down.

Whether she lived or died, she well understood, would depend on the courage and prowess of others. She was half naked, collared, and weaponless. But it would not have been otherwise had she been free, and terrified, quivering helplessly within ornate robes. In either case she would be a woman dependent on men, on larger, stronger, fiercer beasts, for her very survival. When there is fighting, slaves are often chained, that they will helplessly await the outcome of war, and their disposition, and free women, too, are often sequestered, that they may not by their presence compromise defenses or complicate ensuant adjudications. Women on Gor are not men. In their smallness, softness, slightness, weakness, loveliness and beauty they are either treasures to be protected, or, if things turn out badly, prizes to be distributed. They must wait to learn if they are to be rejoicing guests at a victory banquet or stripped slaves serving it.

Gor is a man's world, you see, and women are men's.

"We are closer to land," said Grendel. "Such things are commonly found closer to shore. Some beach at night. Some hunt on the beaches at night. There is more forage closer to shore, for fish, for herbivores, for their prey."

The head moved on the long neck, swaying, snakelike, which seemed odd in an aquatic creature.

"It may not take us as food," said Grendel, his ax lifted.

"It is submerging!" said Cabot.

There was a subtle, gentle subsidence in the water where the great body slipped beneath the surface.

"Master!" cried the slave, pointing back.

Another large head, similar to the first, though perhaps of a different species of aquatic tharlarion, had broken the surface.

Its head was only four feet or so from the surface. Its neck was thicker and shorter than that of their first visitor.

"There is another!" shrieked the slave.

This head was similar to that of the first, doubtless of the same species. In a moment both of these new arrivals had slipped beneath the surface.

"They are gone," said Cabot.

"Cling to the raft!" said Grendel, standing.

Cabot and the slave held to the ropes binding the huge logs together.

Almost at the same moment the raft seemed to leap upward in the water, some great back beneath it, and then, with a mighty splash that drenched the occupants of the primitive vessel it struck back down into the water.

"Master!" screamed the slave.

"Hold to the ropes!" cried Cabot.

Grendel was down on one knee, his right hand on his ax, his harnessing, and the fur beneath it, drenched with water.

He shook his massive head, to rid his eyes of water.

"It is quiet," said Cabot, as the raft settled back, rocking on the surface.

"No, no!" said Grendel.

Then a body, that of the same behemoth or one of the others, rose under the raft and tipped it to the left, sharply. The slave screamed, losing her grip on the wet rope to which she clung, and slid over the logs and plunged into the water. Cabot reached to her rope, that fastened about her waist, and dragged her out of the water onto the raft's surface, she crying and sobbing, the raft then again righting itself.

"They cannot overturn it!" shouted Cabot.

Then the stem of the raft rose almost vertically into the air and its occupants clung to the ropes on the wet surfaced almost as if clinging to a wall. The slave screamed, and Cabot extended his hand to her, which she grasped.

Then the raft again plunged into the water, with a mighty splash.

"You built this well!" Cabot called to Grendel.

"It can be overturned," cried Grendel. "If it is, get back on it, swiftly! Do not stay in the water!"

"It is too heavy to overturn!" said Cabot.

"No," said Grendel. "These things have such force."

"Ai!" cried Cabot, in dismay.

He then thrust his makeshift spear under ropes, from whence, were the raft overturned, he might, from beneath the surface, have been able to recover it.

"Surely the raft is too heavy to overturn, Master," wept the slave.

"It seems not," said Cabot. "He then bent to free the slave's waist rope from its anchoring on the raft. "If the raft is overturned," said Cabot, "the rope might hold you under the raft. Can you swim?"

"No!" she wept.

He then looped the rope about his arm.

"Cling to the rope," he told her.

"Yes, Master!" she wept.

A moment later the raft again tilted to the left, and then, half visible, the mighty back of one of the gigantic saurians, like a wet, scaled mountain, rose higher and higher, and then the raft, after a moment, slid free, and struck again into the water. "He cannot do it!" called Cabot to Grendel.

"No!" said Grendel. "He now understands it can be done!"

Again the mighty body emerged under the side of the raft, and the raft again tilted to the left, and then it was vertical, and its occupants dangled from the ropes. "Jump!" cried Grendel, and leapt from the raft. Cabot seized the slave and leaped clear of the raft, just as it struck into the water, inverted. He scrambled onto the bottom of the raft, now upward, and dragged the girl onto its surface beside him. "Grendel!" called Cabot. He saw a huge paw rise out of the water, and then Grendel was on the raft. In his harness, he had thrust the haft of the long ax. "We are safe!" said Cabot.

"No, no!" said Grendel.

Again the mighty body emerged under the raft and again the raft was almost vertical in the water, and was then vertical, and then struck down again, with great force, its occupants, as before, leaping free. Cabot thrust away large jaws reaching for him, and then he, dragging his slave with him, clambered back onto the raft. A moment later Grendel had joined them. "The supplies are gone," said Cabot.

"They are hungry," said Grendel. "They are not finished."

The raft was now upright, having twice turned, but, as Cabot had observed, their supplies were gone.

Logs were loosened, and water washed about their feet.

"The raft is heavy!" said Cabot. "It is hard for them!"

"I fear it will break up," said Grendel.

The slave screamed.

Cabot's foot slipped between parted logs, and he drew it up, swiftly, as the logs, loose in their ropes, clashed together.

The slave was on all fours, half in water.

She screamed.

A large head had lifted itself out of the water and was reaching, head turned, for Grendel, who struck its jaw with the ax. It drew back, flesh hanging from the side of its jaw, seemingly more puzzled than injured.

Blood spread into the water.

"We are done," said Grendel. "There is blood! These things can smell that from a pasang away!"

"We are done," said Grendel. "There is blood! These things can smell that from a pasang away!"

Grendel stood, the ax ready, lest the large aquatic predator approach anew.

Cabot extracted his makeshift spear from its ensconcement within the ropes of the raft, and held it, crouching down.

He saw a stirring in the water, as of a large body but a yard or so below its surface, approaching smoothly, unhurried.

Another head, the shorter, wider head, on the shorter neck, emerged behind Cabot and he, alerted by the tiny sound, spun about, and, crouched down, jabbed at the head, over the slave's prone body, and the point of the stick, blackened, and fire-hardened, but perhaps over sharpened, intended not for such an application, but for the penetration of more yielding targets, say, Kurii, snapped against the jaw, much as if it might have been plunged against rock.

Cabot drew back the splintered weapon.

The beast was peering at him, unhurt as far as Cabot could tell.

He had at his disposal no Gorean spear with its stout blade, a weapon which might have been, as the ax of Grendel, more potent.

"Master!" cried the slave, pointing, for another head had emerged form the water.

There might then have been six, or seven, saurians, curious, aggressive, within a dozen yards of the raft.

"Brought by the blood," commented Grendel. "And there will be others."

"Yes," said Cabot.

The beasts, of course, were not accustomed to men, or Kurii, both so unlike their usual prey. Too, their usual strikes would be made within the water, or near the shore. They would not understand the raft, but they could sense food.

"It is a matter of time," said Grendel.

Certainly they had tried to bring their quarry into the water.

They had met surprising resistance, however, in attempting this, due to the weight of the raft.

Again one of the predator's heads extended over the raft, jaws opened, reaching for Grendel.

He struck at it, and the ax was seized in the snapping jaws, and, with a wrench of the great head, flung away, into the water.

"I wish you well," called Grendel to Cabot.

"I, too, wish you well," said Cabot.

Cabot stood, unsteadily, on the loosened logs. He sensed the slave at his feet. She was kneeling, her head down, pressing herself against his leg.

He put his hand in her hair, fondly.

"Are we to die?" she asked.

"It would seem so," he said.

She looked up at him, her face stained with water, and tears, and smiled.

"You are a pretty slave," he said.

"Thank you, Master," she said.

"I think you are clearly worth two tarsks," he said, "and, stripped, I think you would sell for such, in almost any market."

"Thank you, my Master," she said.

"I regret only," said Cabot, "that I have had too little time as yet to apprise you more adequately of what it is to be the Earth-girl slave of a Gorean master."

"'As yet'?" she asked, startled, hopefully.

"Yes," he said.

"But there is more?" she said.

"A thousand times more," he said, "and more beyond that."

"Would that I were better apprised of that, my Master," she said, "for I long to be so helpless, so reduced, so obedient, so submissive, so dominated, so utterly and vulnerably dominated."

"There are horizons beyond horizons," he said, "mornings beyond mornings, nights beyond nights, pleasures beyond pleasures, fulfillments beyond fulfillments. A slave can never complete that journey, her journey into the fulfilling riches and beauties of helpless bondage and submission, for there is always more to learn, to understand, to do, and feel. The emotional, physical, and psychological rewards are endless."

"And yet we can be bought and sold!" she said.

"Certainly," he said. "You are a slave."

"Yes, Master," she said.

"Would you have it otherwise?" he asked.

"No, Master," she said, "for otherwise I could not know myself so much a slave, otherwise I could not be the slave I so much long to be."

Grendel, without his ax, was standing at the stem of the half-shattered raft, looking out, over the lake.

"They are coming, two or more," he said. "They will take us from the surface, or, if we enter the water, from the water."

"Perhaps not," said Cabot.

"It is over," said Grendel.

"Perhaps not," said Cabot.

"You are a fool," said Grendel.

"I am human," said Cabot.

"I am Kur," said Grendel.

Cabot then gently thrust the slave to the side, and lifted the splintered remains of his makeshift spear.

"You will fight to the end?" inquired Grendel.

"Certainly," said Cabot. "I am human."

"I will fight, too," said Grendel, lifting his hands, from which the claws emerged, like knives, "for I am Kur!"

"It is coming!" said Grendel, as one of the monsters, indeed, the first who had visited the raft, it seems, cleaved toward the raft, the water sliding from its back on both sides, sparkling in the light, simulating that of late afternoon.

But its advance was oddly, abruptly, arrested, and its gigantic paddlelike appendages churned in the water, but they did not move the tons of massive body forward, and then most of the body disappeared beneath the surface, almost as though drawn back, and down, and its head, on the long neck, rose up, for a moment, yards above the surface of the lake, as if to snap at a moon or star, and its large, round eyes, inches in width, under their transparent, encasing membranes, seemed to stare about, wildly, stupidly, and then the body, the neck, and head, disappeared, as though drawn downward.

"What is it?" called Cabot.

"It must be another tharlarion," said Grendel. "I do not understand. It was not bloody. It must be another beast!"

Suddenly the saurian rose from the water, as a whale might have breached, and one of the paddlelike appendages was a massive, bleeding stump, and its belly was torn open in a wound yards long, a wound so deep it might have reached the spine of the beast, and gut and blood, and organs, burst from the rupture. Then it fell back into the lake.

Two smaller tharlarion began to attack it, while it still lived.

"Beware!" called Grendel.

Cabot turned and, with the stick, jabbed at the second large head whose jaws, turned sideways, were reaching for him.

But suddenly that beast, too, seemed drawn back, away from the raft, its head and neck sliding back, on the logs, away from the raft.

A moment later a surge of blood and tissue reddened the lake about the raft, as though the lake itself had bled.

"There is something down there!" said Grendel.

"What?" called Cabot. "What?"

"I do not know," said Grendel.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 351 - 357










Shark      
 


Shark
To The Top


It might be gilled, like Gorean sharks, probably descendants of Earth sharks placed experimentally in Thassa millennia ago by Priest-Kings,
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 205


Upon occasion, and it had happened early in Se'Kara this year, the arena is flooded and a sea fight is staged, the waters for the occasion being filled with a variety of unpleasant sea life, water tharlarion, Vosk turtles, and the nine gilled Gorean shark, the latter brought in tanks on river barges up the Vosk, to be then transported in tanks on wagons across the margin of desolation to Ar for the event.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 190


Far more common, and dangerous, are certain fishlike marine saurians, with long, toothed snouts; they are silent and aggressive, and sailors fear them as they do the long-bodied sharks.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 360


"I do not know, Mistress," I said. "The enemy are men of Port Kar. Perhaps you would be thrown to the sharks."
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 368


A few feet from the raft, rolling lifeless in the water, was a grotesque marine saurian, fishlike but reptilian, more than twenty feet in length.

I saw the fins of sharks near it, and saw their snouts pressing it, and then beginning to tear at it.
. . .

He looked to the sharks which moved about the body of the inert, buoyant saurian. Others, too, smaller, restless, white-finned, moved about the raft.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 371


This cry, if nothing else, seemed to break the spirit of the besiegers, and determine them to action, for they then began to spring up, and mill about, uncertainly. Cabot's aim wavered from one to another of these distracted, erratically moving targets. He loosed no shaft. It was much as when the nine-gilled shark, in its intended, smooth hunt, finds itself suddenly startled as its quarry disappears into the midst of darting, schooling parsit fish, and loses sight then not only of its intended quarry, but finds it difficult, further, to seek out another, even a substitute, in such a frenzied, shimmering storm of massing life. So the shark draws back, and waits, until this troubling, seething brew disbands into detectible, pursuable elements.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 397 - 398


I supposed that would be some Gorean. Perhaps it would be Sullius Maximus, pretending, again, to be an agent of Priest-Kings. I had little doubt that the true agent had been disposed of, doubtless long ago, probably cast to the nine-gilled sharks of Thassa. They often follow in the wake of a ship, to retrieve garbage.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 187


"That should draw in bounty hunters," I said, "like zarlit flies to honey, urts to cheese, sharks to blood."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 301


The nine-gilled Gorean shark will sometimes trail a ship, for garbage, but that is not a source to be relied on either. The shark, being a hunter, is likely to frequent prey areas, the banks, and the shallower waters. Too, sharks are less plentiful in colder, northern waters, than in warmer, southern waters. There would be few sharks, if any, for example, in the vicinity of the Alexandra. The waters are too cold.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 535


The sea sleen is an unusual animal, presumably related somehow to the varieties of land sleen. Its body is much narrower, and the head is narrow and knifelike. The six powerful appendages attached to that long, narrow body are flippered, not clawed. It is not fully clear whether the sea sleen is a marine adaptation of the sleen or a similar but independently evolved animal. Its body is snakelike, and it approaches its prey silently, gliding, usually from the rear right or left, and propels itself, when making its strike, by the sudden lashing of its tail. It is the fastest creature in the sea. Its greatest moment of danger is at its birth, for the mother's casting of the offspring and blood into the water stimulates the investigation of predators, in particular that of the nine-gilled Gorean shark. At such times several male sea sleen will ring the mother and infant, protecting them. The narrow snout of the sea sleen, driven into the shark at great speed, can destroy the capacity of gills to extract oxygen from the water, and crush cartilage. The razorlike teeth aligned in two rows within the narrow, triangular jaws, too, some eighteen inches in length, can seize, shake, and tear the head from many varieties of shark. The mother, within the ring, has only a few Ehn within which she must bring the infant to the surface, for its first breath.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 575 - 576


His Pani would be likely to set upon Pertinax, strip him, tie his feet together, and cast him, on a rope, over the stern, for the few sharks which tend, even in the open sea, to follow a ship, for the garbage.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 273


Some of our casualties, of course, had not taken place in the defile, or on the beach, but in the water, presumably at the side of the boats, or in an attempt to swim to the ship from shore. I had witnessed at least one attack, what I could see of it, of a marine predator, most likely a shark, within a few yards of the beach.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 360


Supposing this allusion might be obscure to the stranger and Captain Nakamura, I explained it to them. For any who might come upon this manuscript and are not familiar with Brundisium, the pool, when the grating is raised, is accessible from the sea, and may be entered by sharks, and grunt. It serves several purposes. It tends to draw predatory fish away from the piers, and it provides a convenient way of disposing of large forms of garbage, the bodies, say, of dead animals. It is also used as a place of execution, in particular, for minor offenses, such as theft. The grating is raised, which is a signal to fish in the vicinity that a feeding is at hand. If the victim is alive, a limb is severed, which distributes blood in the water, and then the limb and the victim are cast into the pool.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 511


I recalled something I had heard, from long ago, that sharks, even far from shore, may follow a ship for days, to feed on garbage thrown overboard. To be sure, such creatures are most likely to be found in the vicinity of shallower waters, where the sunlight encourages the marine growth which lures in smaller fish to feed. Such creatures, too, given their biological rhythms, are supposedly most active and dangerous early in the morning and toward dusk, in the morning after a night of hunger, one supposes, and, prior to the falling of darkness, to obtain enough nourishment to carry them through a foodless night.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Pages 89 - 90


I had seen, briefly, a coarse gray back and dorsal fin rise from the water, glide for a moment, and then sink from sight. Sharks are rare in the canals, but they occasionally slip through the sea gates, either from the marshes or from the Tamber itself. Usually, after a few days, they find their way back to the open waters from whence they came.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 141


"Cos patrols the shark roads," said Tab.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 16


We stood on a gray, coarse surface, the texture of which reminded me of the hide of the common, nine-gilled Gorean shark.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 95


"There must be many predators at a fishing ground," I said, "sharks, sea sleen, fanged eels, wide-mouthed grunts, and such."
. . .

Sound, of course, is amplified under water. A shark, for example, can respond to the thrashing of an injured fish better than two hundred yards away.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 102


"Let us trust that the splash does not attract sharks," I said. "They can note such things, even from quite some distance away."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 182


Several may have drowned but others were clearly drawn under the water, the churning and frenzy in the water apparently having attracted marine predators, presumably sharks or the snakelike sea tharlarion.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 299


"One who grasps the fur of a sea sleen or the tail of a shark is unwise," said Thurnock.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 313


Another man screamed and disappeared under the water.

"Sharks," said Sakim, "jubilant sharks, rushing to the feast."

Sharks will follow food wherever it may be found, as in following a ship for days, to feed on discarded garbage, but most tend to stay in shallower water, where sunlight can nourish rooted, aquatic plants, which can nourish small fish, which, in turn, can nourish larger fish, such as sharks.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 329


"The hith, the sharks," I said, "it is a slaughter."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 330


"The corsair ships would pursue us, but presumably under sail," said Sakim.

"Not picking up the survivors, their men, but abandoning them to the sharks, to the sea, to the Peasants, to the citizens of long-suffering, beleaguered Mytilene," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 331


The corsair ship was maneuvering to come alongside once more. It was a beautiful ship, low in the water, with fine lines, with the eyes on either side of the graceful, concave prow. I remarked how the beak, mostly submerged, divided the water before its passage. It reminded me a little of the dorsal fin of the nine-gilled Gorean shark, so much like those of Earth, a graceful, efficient, savage form of life, presumably selected for efficient predation, just as the Earth shark in similar environments.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 369 - 370


Ropes were cast down from the corsair ship, which were grasped by struggling men. One man, screaming, was pulled away from a rope by a shark. This was surprising as sharks are not normally found in deep, open water, far from the shallower water housing the banks of flora fed upon by smaller fish. The shark in question was presumably one the few who will follow a ship in open water, sometimes for days, feeding off garbage cast overboard.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 372





 


Shark - Delta
To The Top


Poling in the trackless delta, the rope on their neck, they are well aware of the wilderness, the vastness, the treacherous byways, the quicksand, the heat, the insects, leeches, delta sharks, winged, predatory uls, and, in particular, marsh tharlarion, which often scout the boats, and accompany them, little but the eyes visible, for pasangs.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 487





 


Shark - Free-Water
To The Top


Once I felt it roll over my back, my body protected by the remains of the frame. Its skin was not rough, abrasive, like that of free-water sharks, but slick, coated with a bacterial slime. It slipped over me, not tearing me from the frame.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 252





 


Shark - Harbor
To The Top


"Lying slave," he said. "I suppose I should kill you, say, bind you, and cast you to the harbor sharks, but a dead slave is worthless. You have been of use. I am grateful. You have identified Kurik of Victoria for me. Too, you should be worth most of a silver tarsk, perhaps more."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 255


"You are untrained, lowly slaves, pointless and meaningless," I said. "What good could you be to anyone? Perhaps you should be fed to harbor sharks."
These were small sharks, most less than a foot in length, but they often traveled in groups. In an Ehn or so, thrashing in the water, they could eat a full-grown tarsk to the bones.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 224


"Contemplate harbor sharks," I suggested, "schools of small harbor sharks, like clouds in the water, clouds with teeth."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 229


I saw the water break once as a small, slender, spined tharlarion surfaced, and then dove again. Such eschew deeper waters and live on tiny fish and garbage. Its heavy scales doubtless afford it some protection against local predators. On the other hand, its spine is venomous, and it would presumably be the last meal of almost any predator luckless enough to attack it, let alone eat it. Interestingly, the small harbor sharks do not bother it. They apparently find its appearance, for some reason, aversive. One supposes that harbor sharks, perhaps in the far past, which did not find its appearance aversive, might have attacked it and, statistically, would have died and thus failed to replicate their genes. On the other hand, those harbor sharks which, for whatever reason, found its appearance aversive, would leave it alone, and go about their business, including replicating their genes.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 235


"Of course," I said. "Harbor sharks!"

These are a breed of sharks which, as far as I know, are found only in the Farther Islands, small sharks, seldom more than a foot in length, but they can vary from three or four inches, a size one could hold in one's hand, to a foot and a half.

"I see no harbor sharks," I said.

"They are there," said Clitus.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 402


"Get rid of it," said Thurnock, shuddering.

"The tiny harbor sharks are far more dangerous," said Clitus.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 408


Thurnock, with his staff, rolled the body from the dock. There was a brief rage in the water. Harbor sharks, like their larger brethren, are very alert to certain anomalies in their environment, such as an unexpected splash or a thrashing in the water, or a trace of blood, a liquid streamer, sensed from afar.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 409


"What if our principal demurs, what if he declines participation in this small project?" asked Clitus.

"Then we feed him to the harbor sharks," said Thurnock.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 411





 


Shark - Marsh
To The Top


The rence growers, in spite of the value of their product, and the value of articles taken in exchange for it, and the protection of the marshes, and the rence and fish which give them ample sustenance, do not have an easy life. Not only must they fear the marsh sharks and the carnivorous eels which frequent the lower delta, not to mention the various species of aggressive water tharlarion and the winged, monstrous hissing predatory Ul but they must fear, perhaps most of all, men, and of these, most of all, the men of Port Kar.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 8


It is dangerous to enter the water to make a tether fast because of the predators that frequent the swamp, but several men do so at a time, one man making fast the tether and the others, with him beneath the surface, protecting him with marsh spears, or pounding on metal pieces or wooden rods to drive away, or at least to disconcert and confuse, too inquisitive, undesired visitors, such as the water tharlarion or the long-bodied, nine-gilled marsh shark.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 13


"We could kill tharlarion," said Ho-Hak, "and obtain leather. And perhaps the teeth of the marsh shark might be fashioned in such a way as to tip arrows."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 21


There, under the light of marsh torches, I saw Ho-Hak, crying with rage, shouting, with an oar pole laying about himself wildly. More than one warrior of Port Kar lay sprawled on the matting about him, his head broken or his chest crushed. Now, just outside the circle of his swinging pole, there must have been ten or fifteen warriors of Port Kar, their swords drawn, the light of the marsh torches reflecting from them, surrounding him, fencing him in with their weapons. He could not have been more enclosed had he found himself in the jaws of the long-bodied, nine-gilled marsh shark.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 53


I cast madly about, looking for some possibility of escape.

On one side there was the marsh, with its marsh sharks and its tharlarion.

Here and there, on the water, apart from the flaming rence island, I could see the flat, black keels of rence craft, which had earlier been cast off and burned to the water, to prevent them from being used for escape.

On the other side there were the lights and torches, the cries of men, the slavers of Port Kar.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 57


My leg slipped from the island into the water and suddenly a tiny tharlarion struck it, seizing his bit of flesh and backing, tail whipping, away. My leg was out of the water, but now the water seemed yellow with the flashing bodies of tiny tharlarion, and, beyond them, I heard the hoarse grunting of the great marsh tharlarion, some of which grow to be more than thirty feet in length, weighing more than half a hundred men. Beyond them would be the almost eel-like, long-bodied, nine-gilled Gorean marsh sharks.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 58


It was said that never had a slave girl escaped from Port Kar, but this, doubtless like many such sayings, was not true. Still, the escape of a slave girl, or of a male slave, must indeed be rare from canaled Port Kar, protected as it is on one side by the Tambar Gulf and gleaming Thassa, and on the other by the interminable marshes, with their sharks and tharlarion. Had Telima not been a rence girl she would, I supposed, most likely, have died in the marshes. I knew that Ho-Hak, too, had escaped from Port Kar. There were doubtless others.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 64


"It is treacherous, and trackless," I said. "It covers thousands of square pasangs. It is infested with insects, snakes and tharlarion. Marsh sharks even swim among its reeds. In it there is little solid ground. Its waters are usually shallow, seldom rising above the chest of a tall man. The footing is unreliable. There is much quicksand. It protects Port Kar from the east. Few but rencers can find their way about in it. Too, for most practical purposes, they keep it closed to traffic and trade."
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 151


The fin of a marsh shark cut the water nearby. Men thrust it away with the butts of their spears.

A wading fellow discarded his shield. He could perhaps no longer bear its weight. He held to his spear, his eyes closed, using it like a pole, to keep his balance in the soft bottom.

"Are such sharks dangerous?" asked a fellow.

"Yes," I said. The common Gorean shark is nine-gilled. There are many varieties of such shark, some of which, like the marsh shark and the sharks of the Vosk and Laurius, are adapted to fresh water. In the recent conflicts at Ar's Station, blood had carried for hundreds of pasangs downriver, even to the gulf. This had lured many open-water sharks into the delta and eastward. Hundreds of these had perished. Their bodies could still be found along the shores of the Vosk.

I saw a fellow bend down from one of the small craft and lift water to his mouth, and drink. This, like the fin of the marsh shark, earlier, told me we were still far from the gulf. It was perhaps as much as four or five hundred pasangs away.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 93


Other reports soon began to trickle in. Two columns had been decimated in rencer attacks. Hundreds of men had perished in quicksand. Many of these had apparently been lured into the mire by rencers who had permitted themselves to be seen, and pursued, rencers who doubtless knew their way through the area, perhaps even drawing up safe-passage markers behind them. Others had fallen to the attacks of tharlarion and the marsh shark, which becomes particularly aggressive early in the morning and toward dusk, its common feeding times. Sickness and infections, too, were rampant. Hunger, exposure, sunstroke, and dysentery were common. There were many desertions. Perhaps some of the deserters might find their way from the delta. One did not know. And always it seemed the rencers were about, like sleen prowling the flanks of a herd.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 148 - 149


"Beware!" cried a fellow, suddenly, pointing.

"Shark!" cried a man.

"Shark!" cried another.

Almost at my side, so close I could reach out and touch it, I saw a dark dorsal fin moving through the water. It was raised something like a foot from the marsh. I could also see, like a knife, part of the creature's back.

It was now dusk.

Men were backing from the water.

I turned about and saw the float and its string lifted on the back of the shark, resting on it, then sliding back into the water. I clutched the string. The float had been cut by the blade, but, giving in the water, submerging, had not been cut in two. The key was still on the string. I thrust the shark away with my foot, sending it elsewhere, and flung the key about my neck.

"There is another!" cried a fellow.

A spear entered the water, flung from the bar.

I submerged and swam back into the rence. I brushed against another shark under the water. There is no mistaking the feel of such a creature. Its skin is very rough, surprisingly, I think, for an aquatic creature. Indeed, it is even abrasive. One can burn oneself upon it. Rencers use it in smoothing. I pushed the creature away. I felt the movement of its departure in the water, from the snap of that sicklelike tail. Men are not, no more than for the tharlarion, the natural prey of such creatures. Accordingly men, being unfamiliar prey for them, are usually scouted first, bumped, rubbed against, and so on, before the courage, or confidence, is built up for a strike. To be sure, this is not worth depending on as these creatures, like others, differ, the one from the other. Also, once one has taken human meat, or has witnessed it being taken, it is likely to become much more aggressive. Blood in the water, too, it might be mentioned, tends to have a stimulatory effect on their aggression. Another apparent stimulant is irregular motion in the water, for example, a thrashing about. Such, I suppose, is often connected with an injured fish. I suspected that these sharks had been drawn to the bar by the striking about of the sword of Plenius in the water. I do not believe, however, that he understood this, or had intended to lure them to the vicinity.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 174 - 175


I saw the fin of a shark several feet to the left, gliding through a stand of rence.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 274


"We starve," he said.

"Then you know not where to look for food," I said.

"There are the sharks, the tharlarion," he said.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 280


We could see the black dorsal fin of the marsh shark about thirty to forty feet off, in the open water. It moved slowly about, out there. Occasionally, too, we saw the tip of its sicklelike tail cut the water, and saw the water stirring about its body.

"It is coming in," said Plenius.

"Hold still," I said to Ina.

She had done this before. She knew what to expect. She remained very still.

I could mark the passage of the large body under the water by the movement of the fin.

I assumed it would test its mark before making a strike, but I did not wish to risk this. Accordingly, it was our practice to remove Ina from the path of such creatures before they could make any physical contact, even an exploratory bumping or brushing. Not all such creatures can be depended upon to behave in the same fashion. Short-legged tharlarion, incidentally, which we also hunted from time to time, similarly, though usually luring them on the sand where we could more easily deal with them, are quite different. They tend to be much less dilatory in launching their strike. I had Ina by the arms so I could remove her quickly from danger and, hopefully, if necessary, stop the attack with a heel to the snout or gills. The rope on her was an additional safeguard. We intended it to be a utility for extracting her from danger. At worst it should serve to keep her within reach of assistance, should she be seized.

"Ready," said Plenius.

Ina tensed in my grip.

The fin moved toward us, smoothly, rapidly. It was coming too rapidly to be a tentative touch. I must have marked Ina's arms, my grip was so tight.

Plenius and Titus made their adjustments.

Both spears thrust forth simultaneously and suddenly the great dark body, some seven feet Gorean in length, reared up, tail thrashing, body twisting, out of the water. The spear of Titus was shaken free of the gills which seemed on his side to explode with foaming blood, but the spear of Plenius held and the beast was back in the water then being thrust forcibly toward the shore. Ina, whom I had thrown to the side, away from the beast, and I were drenched. Blinking against the water I seized Titus' spear and managed to drive it into the side of the beast. Plenius was pushing and forcing it toward the shore. Then two other fellows, with spears, too, waded into the water. One caught his spear in the gills, with that of Plenius, and, together; they pushed. I, too, thrust toward the shore. Then the shark was in the shallow water, a foot or so deep, at the sand, thrashing about. One of the spears in its body snapped. We had lost a shark once at this point, it thrashing about, twisting, trying to move back to the water. One other we had lost offshore, it freeing itself of the spears and swimming back through the rence, leaving behind it a trail of blood in the water.

We then had it, now at least five spears in its body, other fellows having come to assist, up on the sand. Some others, too, hacked at it with their swords.

"We have it," said a fellow.

Ina clapped her hands with delight.

The fish lay in the sand. Its bloodied gills still pulsated. The powerful tail, which in its sweep might have broken a leg or struck a fellow yards into the water, barely moved.

Ina was a bit offshore, knee deep in the water. The rope on her waist, which had now been released by the fellows who had controlled it, dangled behind her, looping down to, and under, the water. She looked at me, and smiled. Her body was filthy, as were ours, from the discolorations put upon them the night before, at the beginning of our trek.

Two fellows put a rope on the shark's tail, to turn it about and haul it to the camp.
. . .

The shark lay in the camp, among us, the rope by which it had been dragged to this location still on its tail. It no longer moved. Its gills no longer pulsated.
. . .

"Stop," I said to the fellow with the knife, suddenly.

"What is wrong?" he asked.

"What are you doing?" I said.

"I am going to cut out the teeth of the shark," he said, "for a necklace."

"I would wait," I said.

"It is dead," he said.

"You do not know that," I said.

"I do not understand," he said.

I took one of the spears from a fellow nearby and thrust the butt end into the mouth of the shark. No sooner was the wood within its jaws than they snapped shut. I withdrew the splintered end of the spear. It had been bitten in two.

"I would wait," I said.

"I will," said he. "My thanks, warrior."

"And event then," I said, "it might be well to make certain the mouth remains open, perhaps by stones, or stout wood."

"Yes," he said.

"Let us cut the meat," said a fellow. "We must eat. We must rest."

"Aii," said the fellow with the knife.

"What is wrong?" asked a man.

"The knife is sharp," he said. "I just sharpened it. But still it is hard to force it through this hide."

"Do you need help?" asked a fellow.

"No," he said.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 325 - 332


The delta is rich in fish and birds. Also, as would be expected, given the abundance of game, it is home, as well, to various predators, in particular, the marsh shark and various forms of tharlarion, some, like the Ul, winged.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 133


As I may have mentioned, sometimes a shark, usually a marsh shark or Tamber shark, is found in the canals, but they normally find their way back to the delta or the sea.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 195


At that moment I felt something strike against my back. My first thought was that it was the investigatory prodding of a marsh shark or a Tamber shark. I screamed in fear. I took it to be the first of two or three such proddings, prior to the turning and the strike. But the water was too shallow for that.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 308





 


Shark - Northern
To The Top


The red hunters lived as nomads, dependent on the migrations of various types of animals, in particular the northern tabuk and four varieties of sea sleen. Their fishing and hunting were seasonal, and depended on the animals. Sometimes they managed to secure the northern shark, sometimes even the toothed Hunjer whale or the less common Karl whale, which was a four-fluked, baleen whale.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 36


I could see, some hundred yards off, dark on the ice, the bodies of two sea sleen. There must be a breathing hole there. When approached, they would disappear beneath the ice, for it was they who were being approached. On the other hand, some, seen first beneath the surface, a detectable, sinuous, twisting, moving body, a foot or two below, would suddenly emerge, beside the ship, snouts raised above the surface, with an explosive exhalation of breath, and then a drawing inward of air, these come to open water about the ship, to breathe. It was they who approached. It was eerie to look into the large, round, dark eyes of a sea sleen, peering at one from the icy water. The sea sleen will attack a human in the water, which it will see as food, but it is unlikely to attack one on the ice. Its usual prey is parsit fish, or grunt. In the case of the northern shark it is both prey and predator. Some sea sleen hunt in packs, and these will attack other sea mammals, even large sea mammals, such as whales, which they will attack in swarms, in a churning, bloody frenzy. We were instructed to stand in truce with these marine predators. If one came on the ice, we would push it back in the water with poles. One caught at a pole and snapped it apart with one swift, wrenching closure of its wide, double-fanged jaws, like a toothed trap door set low in that broad, viperlike head. In time one might need them for food. Thus, one welcomed them to come to the side of the ship, to breathe. To be sure, the sea sleen, like its confreres on land, is an intelligent animal, and we did not think it unlikely that it might prove quite dangerous if it were attacked, or thought it necessary to protect a breathing hole.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 138





 


Shark - Open-Water
To The Top


The fin of a marsh shark cut the water nearby. Men thrust it away with the butts of their spears.

A wading fellow discarded his shield. He could perhaps no longer bear its weight. He held to his spear, his eyes closed, using it like a pole, to keep his balance in the soft bottom.

"Are such sharks dangerous?" asked a fellow.

"Yes," I said. The common Gorean shark is nine-gilled. There are many varieties of such shark, some of which, like the marsh shark and the sharks of the Vosk and Laurius, are adapted to fresh water. In the recent conflicts at Ar's Station, blood had carried for hundreds of pasangs downriver, even to the gulf. This had lured many open-water sharks into the delta and eastward. Hundreds of these had perished. Their bodies could still be found along the shores of the Vosk.

I saw a fellow bend down from one of the small craft and lift water to his mouth, and drink. This, like the fin of the marsh shark, earlier, told me we were still far from the gulf. It was perhaps as much as four or five hundred pasangs away.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 93





 


Shark - River
To The Top


As we slid to the back of the wagon our ankle rings were removed. Then, naked, unchained, we were herded to the river edge of the wooden pier. I was cold. I saw a sudden movement in the water. Something, with a twist of its great spine, had suddenly darted from the waters under the pier and entered the current of the Laurius. I saw the flash of a triangular, black dorsal fin.

I screamed.

Lana looked out, pointing after it. "A river shark," she cried, excitedly. Several of the girls looked after it, the fin cutting the waters and disappearing in the fog on the surface.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 79


She ran to the rail and looked over the side. Following in the wake of the Tesephone, to pick up litter or garbage thrown overboard, were two long-bodied river sharks, their bodies sinuous in the half-clear water, about a foot below the surface.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Pages 75 - 76


"There is safety for you," I said, gesturing across the Laurius with my head, "if you reach the other side."

"There are river sharks," he said. "Tharlarion!"

I regarded him.

He turned and fled to the water. I watched. Luck was not with him. I saw the distant churning in the water, and saw, far off, the narrow head of a river shark, lifting itself, water falling from it, and the dorsal fins, black and triangular, of four others.

I turned and looked up the beach. The paga slaves were there. They stood in terror, barefoot in the sand, in the yellow silk, in throat coffle, their wrists bound behind their back, horrified with what they had seen.

I strode toward them and, with screams, they turned stumbling about, attempting to flee.

When I passed the one man of Tyros who had yet moved I noted that he now lay still.

The girls had tangled themselves in the brush not twenty yards into the trees. By the binding fiber on their throat I pulled them loose and led them back to the beach.

I took them to the point where the leader of the men of Tyros had entered the water.

Sharks were still moving in the center of the river, feeding.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 181


"Please do not make me speak!" she cried.

I began to unfasten the tether that bound her with the other girls.

"Please!" she wept.

I took her naked in my arms, unbound, and began to carry her into the river.

"No!" she wept. "I will speak! I will speak!"

I held her, standing behind her, by the arms. We stood in the river. The water was at my hips, and higher on her.

I saw a fin turn in the water and move towards us. The river shark, commonly, does not like to come into water this shallow, but it had been feeding, and it was aroused. It began to circle us. I kept the girl between us.

The girl screamed.

"What is the destination of the Tesephone?" I asked.

The circles were becoming smaller.

"Laura!" she screamed. "Laura!"

"And whither then?" I asked.

The shark moved toward the girl, smoothly, flowing, liquid in its flawless menace. But its tail did not snap for the swift strike. It was belly down, dorsal fin upright. It thrust its snout against the girl's thigh, and she screamed, and it turned away.

"It will join the Rhoda at Laura!" she screamed.

The shark moved in again, similarly, and bumped against her leg, and turned away.

The shark thrust twice against us again, once with its snout, another time with its back.

"The next time, I expect," I said, "it will make its strike."

"Your ship and the Rhoda will go to Lydius, and thence north to an exchange point!" she cried. "Have mercy on a slave!" she shrieked.

I saw the shark turn again, this time from some fifteen yards away. I saw it roll onto its back, its dorsal fin down.

"For what purpose do they proceed to the exchange point?" I asked.

"For slaves!" she cried.

"What slaves!" I cried, holding her by the arms. "Speak swiftly! It makes its strike!"

"Marlenus of Ar, and his retinue!" she cried.

I threw the girl behind me, and, with the heel of my sandal, as the shark thrust towards us, with great force, stopped it.

It turned thrashing about in fury.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Pages 184 - 185


I did not, of course, know any appropriate signs and countersigns. One might well be set upon as soon as one tried to haul oneself unto a wharf. Indeed, they probably patrolled the pilings and such in small boats. An additional problem, at least to a swimmer, I had gathered, from talking with some of the soldiers, were Vosk eels. These often lurk in shadowed areas, among the pilings beneath piers. Whereas they normally feed on garbage and small fish it is not unknown that they attack swimmers. In the last few weeks, too, given the fighting at the rafts, and in the harbor, predictably, river sharks, usually much farther to the west, had made their appearance.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 153


"There are sharks about," said one man.

"See the fins in the water," said another. "There, there are two!"

"Blood has carried down to the delta," said another bitterly. "River sharks have come from as far west as Turmus. The bodies of delta sharks, leaving the salt water of the delta, bloated, litter the shores between the delta and Ven."
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Pages 310 - 311


I could see, too, the backs and fins of sharks crowded about the lower edge of the walkway, near the landing.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 318


I saw the snout of more than one shark rising from the water.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 319


We saw a shark reach up to the landing, near the walkway, and drag a body, by the leg, back into the water.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 323


Fins slid through the water circling the boats, and back and forth beneath the walkway, among the pilings. Sometimes, converging, they suddenly knifed toward a splash in the water, as one fellow or another lost his footing, or fell, bloodied, from the walkway. There were screams from the water and extended hands, and wild eyes. Then there would be churning froths, and blood swirling up, and reachings out, graspings with nothing to grasp, and then we would see bodies drawn under the water. Sometimes we could see them being drawn under the walkway, being taken into its shadows. Sometimes we could see, too, less easily, the long dark shapes, a yard or so beneath the water, conducting them, and the movements of the powerful, vertical tails. Often the fish fought for their prey, sometimes under the walkway itself. We could sometimes feel the movements of their bodies against the pilings beneath us. I saw one fellow of Ar's Station, standing in a small boat, scream with hatred and strike down at one of the shapes with a pike. I think he cut its back. I saw another fellow, a fellow of Cos, spend a quarrel on a fish that was scouting his boat. It descended rapidly, as though stung, the metal fins of the quarrel disappearing under the water with the dorsal fin.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 331


Sometimes, river sharks, like Vosk eels, hang about piers and pilings, in their shade, and are, I am afraid, often rewarded by garbage, or other organic debris. One could still see, here and there, streaks of blood in the water.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 334


"Perhaps you should be bloodied and thrown overboard to river sharks."
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 364


I had also learned that the prodding at the cage, its strikings, twice, by some large body in the dark water, unseen by me, had most likely been a result of the curiosity of a river shark. Such fish, nine-gilled, and slender, sometimes reaching a length of nine to twelve feet, do pose a threat to anything in the water. They were, however, rare in the vicinity of Victoria. They were more common in the delta. Similar fish were found, I was told, in the Cartius and Laurius, the Cartius to the south, the Laurius to the north. Gorean sharks, in their several varieties, of course, are much more common in the waters of Thassa herself, particularly near the shallower banks, where sunlight encourages the growth of plants, and the plants attract several varieties of smaller fish, the parsit and others, on which the sharks feed. The bars of the cage, of course, had protected me from it. That which kept me within had kept it without. The bars of the cage had not been bent, but only prodded, which suggested the fish had been more curious than driven with the frenzy of hunger. One of the dealer's men told of occasions in which a cage had required considerable repair following the onslaught of one or more such fish. In each case, however, the slave, within the battered device, safe within the bars, had escaped harm. Such things, I gathered, presented their greatest danger to captured free women, from enemy cities. Uneasily, I heard recounted occasions, in one venue, or another, of the harrows that might face such women who, being beyond price, are accordingly worthless. At least one has a sense of what a slave will bring. A free woman, stripped and bound, watches the water, and then, when the large, narrow, triangular, dorsal fins of the sharks cleave the water, men lift her, to cast her into the sea; on other occasions, she might, suspended by the wrists, be lowered, bit by bit, into a pit of starving urts who will feed on her, inch by inch; other unpleasant fates involve the fangs of sleen and the wicked hollow thorns of well-rooted, matted, leech plants.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Pages 139 - 140





 


Shark - Salt
To The Top


"Look!" I cried. This time it was close, surfacing not ten feet from the raft. We saw the broad, blunt head, eyeless, white. Then it submerged, with a twist of the long spine and tail.

The steersman was white. "It is the Old One," he said. On the whitish back, near the high dorsal fin, there was a long scar. Part of the dorsal fin itself was rent, and scarred. These were lance marks.

"He has come back," said one of the men.

The waters were still.

At the top of the food chain in the pits, a descendant, dark-adapted, of the terrors of the ancient seas, stood the long-bodied, nine-gilled salt shark.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 249


It came very suddenly, from beneath the water, not more than five feet from me, erupting upward. I saw the man screaming in the jaws. The head was more than a yard in width, white, pits where there might have been eyes. The raft tipped, struck by its back, as it turned and, twisting, glided away into the darkness.
. . .
Because of the saline content of the water the salt shark, when not hunting, often swims half emerged from the fluid. Its gills, like those of the lelt, are below and at the sides of his jaws. This is a salt adaptation which conserves energy, which, otherwise, might be constantly expended in maintaining an attitude in which oxygenation can occur.
. . .

When it came, it came swiftly, hurling itself upwards from the water. We, in the darkness, felt the salt water drench us, heard the great body, more than twenty feet long, fall back in the water.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 250


"It is the Old One," said the steersman "It is dusk." I then understood, from his words, the meaning of the scarcity of food in the pit. When the hunting is good, one hunts. One can return later to earlier kills, driving away scavenging lelts. Further, I wondered at the salt shark, blind, living in total darkness. Yet it hunted at dusk, and at dawn, driven apparently by ancient biological rhythms. The long-bodied, ghostly creature, hunting in the black waters, followed still the rhythms of its dark clock, set for its species a quarter of a billion years ago in a vanished, distant, sunlit world.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 251


Once I felt it roll over my back, my body protected by the remains of the frame. Its skin was not rough, abrasive, like that of free-water sharks, but slick, coated with a bacterial slime. It slipped over me, not tearing me from the frame.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 252


It erupted from the water not a yard from the raft, hurtling upward, ten feet into the air, towering over the boards and T'Zshal, with a cry of rage, and joy, and I, too, screamed, thrust the lance deep into the body and it turned twisting in the air jaws teeth rows like hooks back bent triangular the gills beneath the jaw the pits in the side of the great head a yard more I could not tell across and then fell back into the water and twisted under the surface and circled away, the dorsal fin, saillike, scarred from years before, tracing its angry circle.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 259


I leaped from the raft, striking the surface of the water. I reached the side of the Old One before I realized fully the possibilities of my action The teeth of the Old One, like that of the long-bodied sharks of Gor     , and related marine species, as well as similarly evolved forms of Earth, bend rearward; each bite anchors the bitten material, which can be dislodged conveniently only in the direction of the throat. In short, the Old One could not easily release its quarry. Further, the reflex instinct of the beast would be to hold, not to release the quarry. Even for the Old One, in the black, almost barren waters, food would be scarce. In such an environment one would expect the holding instinct would be as near to inflexible as such an instinct could be. I seized the lateral fin on the right side of the beast. It dove, and rubbed itself, twisting, in the salt at the bottom of the pit. I did not release my hold. I thrust my hand toward the jaws. They were open, clenched on the body of T'Zshal. I could not reach into the jaws. Then the beast swept upward and I, clinging to the fin, erupted with it, eyes and nostrils stung with salt, half blinded, more than ten feet into the air. I was aware of torches across the water on the raft, men crying out, then the fish, I clinging to it, fell into the water, thrashing. As the fish fell back into the water it rolled, lifting me into the air. I shook my head and released the fin, lunging for the jaws which were held open by T'Zshal's body. My arm entered the jaws. The fish rolled. I lost my grip. I seized T'Zshal's body. Again I reached my arm into the jaws, grasping. I got my hand on the hilt of the dagger. The fish leaped again from the water and I had the dagger free, plunging it, tipping, into the gill tissue below its jaw, one of the salt-adaptations of marine life in the pit. I did not know the number of its hearts or their location. These vary in Gorean sharks. Too, the heart is deep within the body. I did not think I could reach it with the blade at my disposal. But the gill tissue is delicate, like layers of petals, essential for drawing oxygen from the environment. Madly did the great marine beast thrash; its jaws distended, trying to disgorge its victim, but it was held by the teeth; it tried to bite through the body in its jaws but the body was wedged well within the jaws and it could exert little leverage. Then the thrashing grew weaker. The Old One was still alive when I was drawn away from it, pulled by Hassan and another man to the surface of the raft.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page s 261 - 262





 


Shark - Tamber
To The Top


As I may have mentioned, sometimes a shark, usually a marsh shark or Tamber shark, is found in the canals, but they normally find their way back to the delta or the sea.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 195


At that moment I felt something strike against my back. My first thought was that it was the investigatory prodding of a marsh shark or a Tamber shark. I screamed in fear. I took it to be the first of two or three such proddings, prior to the turning and the strike. But the water was too shallow for that.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 308


The others might go overboard, and trust that the canal sleen and the Tamber sharks have not yet scented the blood in the water.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 401





 


Shark - Vine Sea
To The Top


The mystery of the parsit was solved, of course, as this wilderness of efflorescent plant life in the sea, floating like a vast park of life, drew myriads of small creatures, and these would draw the parsit, and the parsit would draw the shark, the grunt, and the unusual tharlarion.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 219 - 220


That would bring the sharks lurking beneath the vines, which extended some yard or two beneath the water.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 225


Amongst the slashed, trailing vines between the galleys, sometimes entangling the oars, I saw, occasionally, the dorsal fin of a shark, briefly emergent, then whipping again beneath the water. Usually the fin disappears gracefully, slipping from sight, but the creature was excited. I recalled the tharlarion, struck earlier. There would linger ribbons of blood in the water. The shark of the Vine Sea, though nine-gilled like his cousins of the shorelines and tropics, is sinuous and eel-like, which, I suppose, facilitates its movements amongst the vines. Suddenly, ahead, some twenty yards, between the galleys and the numbers of ship's boats, the gigantic body of the wounded tharlarion emerged, its vast body, neck, head, and wide paddlelike appendages running with water, bright in the sunlight. It bellowed with pain, and dived again. "Back oars!" cried Pertinax. We rocked in place. The galley of Seremides, too, paused. The waters seemed placid. The other galleys, too, farther to starboard, must have held their position, as the great ship behind us neither moved, nor was drawn to the side. "Oars inboard!" called Pertinax. We drew the large levers inward. This is sometimes done in battle, when shearing is imminent. It takes no more than four or five Ihn. The ropes leading back to the great ship, no longer taut, slipped into the water. The oars on the galley commanded by Seremides were similarly retracted. I wondered what horrors might be being enacted in the depths. Many blossoms floated on the surface, amongst the vines. The sea tharlarion, in its varieties, not other than its brethren of the land, breathes air. Like the sea sleen, on the other hand, it can remain submerged for several Ehn, whilst fishing. I stood by the bulwarks and looked down. I could see no shimmer of parsit near the surface. They had departed the area. The sunlight glistened on the water, amongst the streamers of cut vines, the floating blossoms. Four or five Ehn passed. By now I supposed the tharlarion, and its relentless pursuer, or pursuers, might be a pasang or more distant.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 227 - 228


The blade of Pertinax was but half drawn when both galleys burst apart, leaping from one another, the gigantic body of the tharlarion rising between them, springing forty feet or more from the water, expelling a snorting burst of air, several of the eel-like sharks fastened in its flanks;
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 229


The long neck, yards in length, snakelike, lifted, and the small head swayed about, as though searching, with the single eye left. It had returned to the place where it had been first hurt. I could see the tails of sharks whipping against the water, trying to drive their jaws deeper into the beast's flesh. Other fins were approaching, knifing through the blossoms. I heard a man scream on the galley of Seremides, and he poked upward with his spear. The small head on the great body, with its triangular jaws, with its rows of tiny, fine teeth, reached down, almost gracefully, and lifted the screaming fellow yards into the air. It then threw its gigantic, massive, glistening body, sharks clinging to it, over the gunwales of the galley of Seremides, pressing it under the waves, men leaping into the sea on either side. It then, dragging its burden of sharks, its victim still struggling in its jaws, dove, and the snap of that great tail, striking upward, tipped us, and then, striking downward, propelling that enormous bulk, clove our galley, and we were plunged into the water. The sea about us was red, and I spit out water.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 230


I drew him onto the makeshift vessel.

The shark had taken the left leg, from above the knee.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 238





 


Shark - White
To The Top


"You will eat it," said the Forkbeard, "or you will be stripped and put to the oar."

She looked at him with horror.

"That will not violate you, my pretty," said the Forkbeard.
In this punishment, the girl, clothed or unclothed, is bound tightly on an oar, hands behind her, her head down, toward the blade. When the oar lifts from the water she gasps for breath, only in another moment to be submerged again. A recalcitrant girl may be kept on the oar for hours. There is also, however, some danger in this, for sea sleen and the white sharks of the north occasionally attempt to tear such a girl from the oar. When food is low it is not unknown for the men of Torvaldsland to use a bond-maid, if one is available on the ship, for bait in such a manner.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 66


Twice in the afternoon Gorm struck away sea sleen from the girl's body. Once he thrust away one of the white sharks of the northern waters, The second of the sea sleen it had been which, with its sharp teeth, making a strike, but falling short, had torn away her green velvet gown on the right side from the hip to the hemline; a long strip of it, like a ribbon, was in its teeth as it darted away.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 124


I cried out with fear. One of the men shouted with anger. Rising from under the grunt swiftly was a long-bodied shark, white, nine-gilled. It tore the grunt from the line and bore it away. Other dorsal fins, of smaller sharks, trailed it, waiting. Sharks, and sometimes marine saurians, sometimes trail the ships, to secure discarded garbage and rob the lines of the fishermen. The convoy, by its size, had doubtless attracted many such monsters. I had seen, yesterday, the long neck of a marine saurian lift from the waters of gleaming Thassa. It had a small head, and rows of small teeth. Its appendages were like broad paddles. Then it had lowered its head and disappeared. Such beasts, in spite of their frightening appearance, are apparently harmless to men. They can take only bits of garbage and small fish. Certain related species thrive on crustaceans found among aquatic flora. Further, such beasts are rare. Some sailors, reportedly, have never seen one. Far more common, and dangerous, are certain fishlike marine saurians, with long, toothed snouts; they are silent and aggressive, and sailors fear them as they do the long-bodied sharks.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 360





 


Shark - White-Finned
To The Top


A few feet from the raft, rolling lifeless in the water, was a grotesque marine saurian, fishlike but reptilian, more than twenty feet in length.

I saw the fins of sharks near it, and saw their snouts pressing it, and then beginning to tear at it.
. . .

He looked to the sharks which moved about the body of the inert, buoyant saurian. Others, too, smaller, restless, white-finned, moved about the raft.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 371










Shellfish      
 


Clam
To The Top


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208





 


Crab
To The Top


Many were the savory odors which emerged from behind the screen, from sauces, stews, and soups, rich with shoots, herbs, nuts, spices, vegetables, and peppers, even tarsk and vulo, as well as parsit, crabs, and grunt, emanating from pots brought in from the central kitchens, which served the long tables, outside, the barracks messes, the larger halls, and the smaller halls, such as that of the Three Moons.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 428


One could smell fish. The early boats had come in. Grunt and parsit were strung between poles. Crabs were sold from baskets.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 68





 


Crayfish
To The Top


These, in turn, become food for various flatworms and numerous tiny segmented creatures, such as isopods, which, in turn, serve as food for small, blind, white crayfish, lelts and salamanders.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 249





 


Mollusk
To The Top


I heard the cry of sea birds, broad-winged gulls and the small, stick-legged tibits, pecking in the sand for tiny mollusks.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 247





 


Oyster
To The Top


Then, one night, on a feast night, for Rask had returned with new fair prisoners, Verna feasted in his own tent, and I, to my amazement, was ordered to serve them. Other girls had prepared the repast, which, for the war camp, was sumptuous indeed, containing even oysters from the delta of the Vosk, a portion of the plunder of a tarn caravan of Ar, such delicacies having been intended for the very table of Marlenus, the Ubar of that great city itself. I served the food, and poured the wines, and kept their goblets filled, remaining as much in the background as possible.

They talked of hunting, and war, and of the northern forests, as though I were not there.

Sometimes Verna would say, "Drink," and I would pour wine into her goblet, saying, "Yes, Mistress," and sometimes Rask of Treve would command me, saying "Drink," and I would then, similarly, serve him, saying "Yes, Master."

Verna sat cross-legged, like a man. I knelt, as a serving slave.

She threw me one of the oysters.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 301


Rask of Treve threw the girl one of the oysters, from a silver plate on the low, wooden table.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 302


"We have eleven varieties of rice here," said the shogun, "variously prepared, in stews, pastes, and cakes, and variously seasoned, with a dozen sauces and herbs. Too, consider the gifts of the sea and shore, from four of my fishing villages, clams, oysters, grunt, bag fish, song fish, shark, eels, octopus, wing fish, parsit, squid."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 208





 


Vosk Sorp
To The Top


I looked at him steadily. "They are probably false stones, I said, "amber droplets, the pearls of the Vosk sorp, the polished shell of the Tamber clam, glass colored and cut in Ar for trade with ignorant southern peoples."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 20


Here there were lines of booths in an extended arcade, where merchandise of various sorts might be purchased, usually of an inexpensive and low-quality variety. There were poorly webbed, small tapestries; amulets and talismans; knotted prayer strings; papers containing praises of Priest-Kings, which might be carried on one's person; numerous ornaments of glass and cheap metal; the strung pearls of the Vosk sorp; polished, shell brooches;
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Pages 155 - 156


He sat upon a giant shell of the Vosk sorp, as on a sort of throne, which, for these people, I gather it was.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 14


"He is a spy," said one of the other men present, who stood beside Ho-Hak. This man was tall, and strong, looking. He carried a marsh spear. On his forehead there was tied a headband formed of the pearls of the Vosk sorp.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 18


Ho-Hak once again sat down on the curved shell of the great Vosk sorp, that shell that served him as throne in this his domain, an island of rence in the delta of the Vosk.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 21


"Let us rather throw him to tharlarion," said the man with the headband of the pearls of the Vosk sorp. "That way we shall be rid of him."
. . .

"You are of the warriors," said Ho-Hak.

"Yes," I said. "I know, yes."

I found I desperately wanted the respect of this calm, strong man, he most of all, he once a slave, who sat before me on the throne, that shell of the giant Vosk sorp.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 23


Bending over I found a string of cheap beads, formed from the shell of the Vosk sorp, broken. It might have been torn from the neck of a panther girl in a struggle.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 190


It was Luma, the chief scribe of my house, in her blue robe and sandals. Her hair was blond and straight, tied behind her head with a ribbon of blue wool, from the bounding Hurt, died in the blood of the Vosk sorp.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 1 - 2










Whale      
 


Whale
To The Top


It is a matter of their tradition not to rely on the needle compass, as is done in the south. The Gorean compass points always to the Sardar, the home of Priest-Kings. The men of Torvaldsland do not use it. They do not need it. The sextant, however, correlated with sun and stars is not unknown to them. It is commonly relied on, however, only in unfamiliar waters. Even fog banks, and the feeding grounds of whales, and ice floes, in given season, in their own waters, give the men of Torvaldsland information as to their whereabouts, they utilizing such things as easily, as unconsciously, as a peasant might a mountain, or a hunter a river.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 56


A hundred yards away, rolling and sporting, were a family of whales, a male, two females, and four calves.
. . .
The men of Torvaldsland had not sought the whales. They had meat enough. They had barely taken notice of them.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 63


The men of the country of Ax Glacier fish for whales and hunt snow sleen. They cannot farm that far to the north.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 139


Some sea sleen hunt in packs, and these will attack other sea mammals, even large sea mammals, such as whales, which they will attack in swarms, in a churning, bloody frenzy.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 138


Too, in the distance, I could see a spume over the water, like a thread of vertical fog, like a line, then drifting apart, like a cloud, where a whale had emerged. And then another. The Red Hunters, I had heard, hunt such beasts in skin boats.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 184





 


Whale - Baleen
To The Top


Two weeks ago, some ten to fifteen sleeps ago, by rare fortune, we had managed to harpoon a baleen whale, a bluish, white-spotted blunt fin. That two whales had been taken in one season was rare hunting, indeed. Sometimes two or three years pass without a whale being taken.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 265


Before we had slept that night, and after Imnak had constructed our shelter, he removed from the supplies several strips of supple baleen, whale bone, taken from the baleen whale, the bluish blunt fin, which we had killed before taking the black Hunjer whale. He had brought this with him from the permanent camp. Why I had not understood.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 334





 


Whale - Hunjer Long
To The Top


That scent, I knew, a distillation of a hundred flowers, nurtured like a priceless wine, was a secret guarded by the perfumers of Ar. It contained as well the separated oil of the Thentis needle tree; an extract from the glands of the Cartius river urt; and a preparation formed from a disease calculus scraped from the intestines of the rare Hunjer Long Whale, the result of the inadequate digestion of cuttlefish. Fortunately, too, this calculus is sometimes found free in the sea, expelled with feces. It took more than a year to distill, age, blend and bond the ingredients.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 114


"How many gather?" pressed Blue Tooth.

About his neck, from a fine, golden chain, pierced, hung the tooth of a Hunjer whale, dyed blue.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 172


The red hunters lived as nomads, dependent on the migrations of various types of animals, in particular the northern tabuk and four varieties of sea sleen. Their fishing and hunting were seasonal, and depended on the animals. Sometimes they managed to secure the northern shark, sometimes even the toothed Hunjer whale or the less common Karl whale, which was a four-fluked, baleen whale.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 36


Suddenly, not more than a dozen feet from the boat, driving upward, rearing vertically, surging, expelling air in a great burst of noise, shedding icy water, in a tangle of lines and blood, burst the towering, cylindrical tonnage of the black Hunjer whale.
. . .

The beast, grunting, expelling air, fell downward into the water. There was a great crash, that might have been heard for pasangs. The line was now horizontal. The boat was half awash. We were drenched. My parka began to freeze on my body. With leather buckets four men be from the boat. The air was thick with vapor, like smoke, the condensing moisture in the monster's warm breath, like a fog, or cloud, on the water. I saw the small eye of the monster, that on the left side of its head, observing us.
. . .

I reached out with my hand and pushed against the side of the mammal. The Hunjer whale is a toothed whale.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 258 - 259


The remains of the great Hunjer whale lay beached on the shore, much of it already cut away, many bones, too, taken from it.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 265


Before we had slept that night, and after Imnak had constructed our shelter, he removed from the supplies several strips of supple baleen, whale bone, taken from the baleen whale, the bluish blunt fin, which we had killed before taking the black Hunjer whale. He had brought this with him from the permanent camp. Why I had not understood.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 334





 


Whale - Karl
To The Top


The red hunters lived as nomads, dependent on the migrations of various types of animals, in particular the northern tabuk and four varieties of sea sleen. Their fishing and hunting were seasonal, and depended on the animals. Sometimes they managed to secure the northern shark, sometimes even the toothed Hunjer whale or the less common Karl whale, which was a four-fluked, baleen whale.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 36

























The Avengers
of Gor

The Gor Series
has expanded
with book 36

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Avengers of Gor
(Gorean Saga)


 




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