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Year 10,171 Contasta Ar


Caste of Mariners



Here are relevant references from the Books where the Caste of Mariners is 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






Supporting References

But, too, should not each caste concern itself with its own business, the metal worker with metals, the peasant with the soil, the mariner with the sea, and so on?
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 2


The stranger was a large, spare man, with roughened hands, perhaps hardened from the oar, or from hauling on lines. He was clad in little more than rags. He did have a dirty mariner's cap. I did not think it unlikely he had indeed ventured upon Thassa.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 3


With the back of her right hand she rubbed her eyes, removing a residue of sleep. Clearly she was uneasy, and did not understand the meaning of her summons, this late, the tavern muchly empty, the group gathered about the small table, the stranger, in rags and mariner's cap, before whom she knelt. Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 6


There, on the stem castle, behind its aft rail, a small figure, bent and twisted, stood, in cloak and mariner's cap, looking to windward, to the north. Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 112


As I suppose I have made clear, I am not by caste of the Mariners. It is one thing to draw an oar, and do one thing or another about a ship, even to be of its fighting complement, and quite another to read the weather, and water, and the stars, to plot courses, to keep a steady helm in a hard sea, to manage lines and rigging, and such.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 189 - 190


Thassa, subtle and minacious, welcoming and threatening, benignant and perilous, restless, sparkling, and dangerous, green, vast, intriguing, beckoning Thassa. It is easy to see how she calls to men, she is so alluring and beautiful, and it is easy, as well, to see how, with her might and whims, her moods and power, she may inspire fear in the stoutest of hearts. Be warned, for the wine of Thassa is a heady wine. She may send you gentle winds and shelter you in her great arms, bearing you up, or should she please, break you and draw you down, destroying you, to mysterious, unsounded deeps. In her cups you may find many things, the unalienable riches of moonlight on water, her whispering in long nights, against the hull, her unforgettable glory in the morning, the brightness of her noontide, the transformations of her sunset and dusk, her access to far shores, the sublime darkness of her anger, the lashing and howling of her winds, the force and authority of her waves, like pitching mountains. She is the love of the Caste of Mariners. She is a heady wine. Her name is Thassa.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 191


The Sea Sleen is a small tavern, not particularly well-known, even in Brundisium. Those near the southern piers, however, are likely to be aware of it. It was to this tavern the stranger, haggard, destitute, in his rags, in his soiled mariner's cap, had come, and regaled us with a story, however far-fetched.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 463


Coasters and long ships will commonly beach at night, the crew cooking and sleeping ashore. Indeed, most Gorean mariners, when practical, like to keep in sight of land. The moods of Thassa are capricious, and the might of her winds and waves prodigious.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 81


A mariner stood at the bow amidships, and stern, each with his harbor pole. Four mariners stood ready to hoist the small yard, with the now-folded sail. Oars were still inboard. The two helmsmen were at their posts.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 85


Except on a round ship and even on many of those, mariners do not welcome the presence of a free woman. Such, it is said, sow discord. Such are to be respected, but, in time, men grow hungry. It is a strain, even on a well-trained sleen, to circle meat it is forbidden to touch. The matter worsens, of course, if the free woman insists on the privileges of the deck, or, say, if she is careless of how she stands when the wind whips her robes, and matters may become intolerable indeed should she delight herself with certain pleasures not unknown to occasionally appertain to her sex, usually harmlessly, flirting with, or teasing, taunting, and tormenting men, confident in the inviolability of her freedom, perhaps in the possession of a shared Home Stone, and such. It is one thing, of course, to engage in such games in a theater, a street or plaza, and quite another on a ship at sea, far from taverns, the relief of paga girls, and such. More than one woman began a voyage free and concluded it being sold in a distant port. Sometimes a round ship will carry slaves for the men, ship slaves. These are at the pleasure of the crew. The long ships, of course, the armed war knives of the sea, seldom depart with slaves aboard, though they may return with them.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 106


"There are over a hundred men on board," I said, "not counting mariners, with their officers.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 107


I looked about myself, at the men about, the workers, several of them, a mercenary or two, a mariner in his brimless cap.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 190


"The wind is rising," I said. "I think the mariners are right. There is to be a storm."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 197


Many mariners, too, incidentally, do not read, despite the fact that many are of fine mind, and are the masters of much lore and remarkable skills. It is enough, they say, when one can read the currents, the clouds, the winds, the skies, and the stars. The barks to which they trust their lives, the skies, even Thassa herself, they note, do not read.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 206


But eyes had not yet been painted on her bow. How then could she see her way? But what if eyes were not to be permitted to her, for some reason? Might not mariners be uneasy to crew a ship forbidden to see her way?
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 252


None of them had the caps common with mariners, so I supposed they must have come from the south, and then crossed the river, perhaps having come from as far away as the basin of the Laurius.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 323


I did see one or two men with the beast, behind it, in mariner's caps.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 416


"I am pleased the beast is gone," said the leader of the mariners. "It is a fearful thing to be in its vicinity. I long for the deck of the ship."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 421


"Commander!" said a mariner, having descended the gangplank, which few now climbed, and pattered toward me, his sandals slapping on the warm, broad planks of the wharf.
"We must cast off! Hurry! Hurry!"
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 638


I had no sooner crossed it than the mariners drew it inboard.
The ropes were cast off from the mooring cleats by docksmen, and were being drawn aboard the River Dragon by mariners.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 642


I did not think that the patrons of such a market, many of them mariners, artisans, and dock workers, would be burdened with heavy purses.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 20


"The venue is obscure," she said. "Perhaps the time and place are convenient for a certain clientele," I said, "dock workers, mariners, warehouse men, and such."
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 53


The officer turned about. He cupped his hands. To the helmsmen he called, "Come about!" To the mariners he called, "In sail, down yard." To the benches he called, "Oars in!" The hortator put down his mallets. The oars were drawn inboard with their rattle of wood.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 107


Our men cheered and flung their mariner's caps into the air.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 112


"Shall we pick up survivors, Captain?" asked a mariner, an oarsman.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 112


The long, slanting yard turned on the mast, and the open, dropped sail, with a snapping of canvas, responded, swelling and tautening, curving, and was filled to the "brim," as the mariners sometimes put it, with the "wine of the wind."
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 114


In the tavern merchants may conduct business over a drink; mariners may regale rapt auditors with accounts of fabulous voyages;
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 123


I knelt beside the small, low table about which, cross-legged, sat four men, who, from their soft, brimless caps, I took to be mariners.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 192


I would have supposed that such an individual, with such hair, would have sought to conceal its oddity from public view. Surely it would have been simple enough to dye one's hair or even shave one's head. At the very least one might have recourse to a hood or mariner's cap.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 271


A newcomer, one I did not recognize, in the rimless cap common to mariners, had just been admitted to the hall and had been called to the head of the table. I took him to be most likely the captain, or a captain's officer, from the Alexia.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 363


The man wore a short-sleeved jacket of sleen-skin and a mariner's cap of the same material. I took him to be the leader of the small crew.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 397


"I did not sign on to fight," whispered the man. "I am of the mariners, not the scarlet caste."
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 399


"I am now captain," said Seremides. "I was once first sword of the Taurentians in Ar. You are unarmed, save for mariner's knives.
Quarry of Gor     Book 35     Page 400


"No," he said, "six ships, four larger and two smaller."

This was an unwelcome intelligence, indeed.

"And men," I said. "Far more than oarsmen, than of mariners."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 11


"State his strength, his resources," said Tab.

"Six ships, four larger and two smaller," said Aktis. "And many men, men far beyond oarsmen and mariners, perhaps six hundred."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 15


"Mariners, noble mariners," cried one of the women, extending her hand piteously, "succor, succor!"
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 30


The drunken mariner reeled about, goblet in hand. "Fill my goblet!" he cried. "I will tell what I saw!"

"Not again!" moaned a man, nearby, at one of the low, square tables.

"We have heard it!" said another.

"Masters!" wailed the mariner.

"Be off," said a man.

"Go away," said another.

"Cast him out," called a man.

Two of the proprietor's men advanced toward the unsteady figure. I waved the proprietor's men back, and lifted my goblet to the mariner. He stood unsteadily and I had no assurance that he saw clearly. Perhaps he saw more than one of me, and perhaps more than that of the lifted goblet on which his eyes fought to focus.

"Let them cast him into the street," suggested Thurnock.

"He lacks a berth," I said.

"It is easy to see why," said Clitus.

"It is said he was once a captain, that he once had a ship," I said.

"Doubtful," said Clitus. "A copper-tarsk oarsman, at best."

"His name is Sakim," said Thurnock.

The mariner had now stumbled to the table, and I seized his right wrist, to hold it steady, and poured the residue of my goblet into his emptied goblet. "Thank you, Noble Master," he said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 38


For their apprehension one would require regulars, brought from Cos itself, spearmen, not common oarsmen, not mariners.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 54


Several local families made their living by fishing in the nearby waters, families amongst whom Clitus, master of the trident and net himself, had sought to make friends and cultivate informants. Its wells, too, were known to grateful mariners who would put in for water.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 58


"At first, I did not recognize Master," she said. "The garb? Not of the Merchants? Is he truly of the Mariners, an officer, a helmsman, an oarsman?"
"Do not concern yourself," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 69


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

"As mariners," she said, "some by compass, others by the sun and stars."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Pages 102 - 103


The fresh, salt smell of Thassa was in the air. Already one could hear voices from the wharves, loading captains, stevedores, berthless mariners at the hiring tables.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 122


There is a superstition shared by many Gorean mariners, that it is unlucky to have a free woman aboard ship, particularly if there is only one.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 128


Gorean mariners, as is often the case with mariners, have a very special sense of their ships. The landsman may think of a ship as an object or artifact, little different, in essence, save in size and purpose, from a cabinet or chair, a wall or flight of stairs. The mariner, on the other hand, who entrusts his life to his ship, commonly views it differently, more deeply and closely, more personally. It braves storms; it protects him from the terrors of the deep. It carries him from port to port. It shelters him and he cares for it. From its decks he sees vast skies and the glory of the sea. Sometimes, small and wondering, he can become for a moment an aspect of immensity. As the ship becomes one with the sea, so he becomes one with the ship. He knows a world the landsman knows not. But beyond such things the Gorean mariner, like many of the mariners of the ancient world of Earth, has a deeper, odder, more mystical view of a ship. It is, for him, in its way, alive. The horseman has his horse, the tarnsman his tarn, the mariner his ship. It is common with Gorean ships to have eyes painted on each side of the bow. Most mariners will not serve on a ship without eyes. How could it see its way? Indeed, the last thing the shipwright does, whether in the arsenal at Port Kar or in a hundred shipyards elsewhere, is to paint eyes on the ship. It is then that it can see. It is then that it comes alive.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 160


"Many mariners, and others, have claimed to see strange things at sea, serpents, monsters, and such," I said.

"Tricks of light, configurations of waves, surfacing sea sleen, tricks of the atmosphere, shapes detected in fog?" said Sakim.

"That sort of thing," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 172


Commonly Gorean mariners stay within sight of land and beach their vessels at night. Few captains and crews care to be at sea in the darkness.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 308


Few unfamiliar with maritime matters realize the seaman's terror of fire at sea. One of a mariner's worst nightmares is to awaken at night to the cry of "Fire!" Fire at sea is quite different from fire on land, say, in a house or village. There is nowhere to run. Flames burn and water drowns. If one is fortunate, one might people a longboat, a small vulnerable craft, with limited water and food, on a wide, lonely sea.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 371



































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