Fifth Month
Passage Hand
Year 10,174 Contasta Ar

Priest-Kings Law

These are relevant references from the Books where Priest-Kings Law 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,

Supporting References

The Priest-Kings of Gor, who served as the divinities of this rude planet, inspired little but awe, and occasionally fear. Men lived in a truce with the Priest-Kings, keeping their laws and festivals, making the required sacrifices and libations, but, on the whole, forgetting about them as much as possible.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 104

"Occasionally on Gor we destroy a city, selecting it by means of a random selection device. This teaches the lower orders the might of Priest-Kings and encourages them to keep our laws."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 123

"Nonsense," said Misk. "But perhaps I shall show you the Scanning Room someday. We have four hundred Priest-Kings who operate the scanners, and we are accordingly well informed. For example, if there is a violation of our weapons laws we usually, sooner or later, discover it and after determining the coordinates put into effect the Flame Death Mechanism."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 125

"But you killed him," I said.
"Of course," said Sarm, "he broke the law of Priest-Kings."
"What right have you to make the law for him?" I asked.
"The right of a higher-order organism to control a lower-order organism," said Sarm. "The same right you have to slaughter the bosk and the tabuk, to feed on the flesh of the tarsk."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 139

On the other hand I had been informed, graciously, by the Muls who manned the portal that it might not be opened by them to release me once I had decided to enter. As they put it, they simply were not permitted to do so. It was the law of Priest-Kings.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 187

The Priest-Kings who had served him had, on the whole at least, believed that what they were doing was required by the laws of the Nest, but now with Sarm's disappearance Misk, though only Fifth Born, acceded to the title of highest born, and it was to him now, according to the same laws of the Nest, that their allegiance was now owed.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 267

"If you should regain your power," I asked, "what do you propose to do with it? Will you still set forth the law in certain matters for men?"
"Undoubtedly," said Misk.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Pages 313 - 314

And if I should find the object - why should I not myself destroy it, and destroy thereby the race of Priest-Kings, giving this world to my own kind, to men, to do with as they pleased, unrestricted by the laws and decrees of Priest-Kings that so limited their development, their technology?
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 7

Some of the goods, however, were surely of Earth. Among them was a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights. To possess such a weapon, of course, on Gor was a capital offense, it being a violation of the weapon laws of Priest-Kings.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 98

If the marooned Kurii abided by the weapon and technology laws of Priest-Kings, they, like men, another life form, were permitted to survive.
. . .
Most lived in ships, the steel wolves of space, their instincts bridled, to some extent, by Ship Loyalty, Ship Law.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 92

In the laws of Priest-Kings it was up to such species, those of Kurii and men, to resolve their differences in their own way.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 175

All in all, I expected the invasion of the south was, at this point, primarily a probe. If it was successful, the Priest-Kings, to preserve men on the planet might be forced to intervene, thus breaking their own laws. If the Priest-Kings did not do this, perhaps for reasons of pride, their laws having been given, then, in effect, Gor might become a Kur world, in which, given local allies, the Priest-Kings might finally be isolated and destroyed.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 176

If Kurii native to Gor could, within the laws of Priest-Kings, not violating technology restrictions, much advance the Kurii cause on the planet, those on the ships had little to lose and much to gain.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 216 - 217

Native Kurii, bred from ship's survivors over centuries, would not, it seemed, if limited to the primitive weapons permitted men, be capable of conquering Gor, isolating the Priest-Kings in the Sardar, until they could be destroyed, or, alternatively, be used to lure the Priest-Kings into a position where they would be forced to betray their own weapons laws, arming men, which would be dangerous, or utilizing their own significant technology, thereby, perhaps, revealing the nature, location and extent of their power, information that might then be exploited at a later date by the strategists of the steel worlds.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 267

A message may be conveyed by means of drum stations for hundreds of pasangs in less than an Ahn. Needless to say Bila Huruma had adopted and improved this device and it had played, and continued to play, its role in the effectiveness of his military machine and in the efficiency of the administration of his Ubarate. As a communication device it was clearly superior to the smoke and beacon ciphers of the north. There was, as far as I knew, nothing on Gor to compare with it except, of course, the advanced technological equipment at the disposal of the Priest-Kings and Kurii, equipment of a sort generally forbidden, in the weapons and communication laws, to most Gorean humans.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 219

(speaking of Kurii) Priest-Kings, on the whole, tend to ignore such beasts. They are permitted to live as they will, where they may, on Gor, following even their ancient laws and customs, providing these do not violate the Weapons Laws and Technology Restrictions.
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Page 34

They intend, perhaps, failing success in outward aggression, to subvert our world, city by city, or to form a league of cities, that may become dominant among our states. This might be accomplished, presumably, within the weapon laws and technological limitations imposed upon Gorean humans by Priest-Kings, for whatever might be their purposes.
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 385

In many respects Priest-Kings seem to be tolerant and defensive creatures. For example, they permit native beasts on Gor, marooned beasts, and such, provided such obey, their laws, particularly with respect to weaponry and technology.
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 389

From the testimony of Sheila, and other sources which seemed to corroborate it, we gathered that the Kurii might now be turning to the patient stratagems of piecemeal subversion, the control of cities and their eventual linkages in networks of power, to win a world by means theoretically within the laws and decrees of Priest-Kings.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 30

The common sulfur match, on the other hand, so common on Earth, I have never met with on Gor. The chemistry involved in such a device, interestingly enough, is forbidden on Gor. It is regarded as constituting a violation of the Weapons Laws imposed on Goreans by Priest-Kings. This is not as farfetched as it might sound at first. Sulfur, for example, is one of the primary ingredients in the composition of gunpowder.
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 395

Too, the tarnsman retains something of the glamour which on Earth attached to the horseman, particularly so as the technology laws of the Priest-Kings, remote, mysterious masters of Gor, preclude the mechanization of transportation.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Pages 138 - 139

"Do you believe in Priest-Kings?" asked Marcus.

"Certainly," I said.

"I do not," he said.

"As you will," I said.

"But how are we to explain the Weapons Laws, the Flame Death?" he asked.

"That would seem to be your problem, not mine," I said, "as I accept their existence."

"Something exists," he said, "but they are not Priest-Kings."

"That is an interesting thought," I said.

"It is only that they possess the power of Priest-Kings!" he said.

"That is a second interesting thought," I said. "But if they possess the power of Priest-Kings, why not call them Priest-Kings?"

"Do you think they would mind, if I did not?" he asked, somewhat apprehensively.

"Probably not," I said. Indeed, provided men kept their laws the Priest-Kings were content to let them do much what they wished. The major concern of Priest-Kings with men, it seemed, was to have as little to do with them as possible. That had always seemed to me understandable.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 208 - 209

"You have loosed lightning," said Portus Canio. "Have you released such lightning before?"

"Several times," said Mirus, "here and there, and in hunting."

"Then," said Portus Canio, "the Priest-Kings will know of it."

"This is the world of the Priest-Kings," said a man. "They have forbidden men such things."

"There are no Priest-Kings," said Mirus. "If there were Priest-Kings they would have acted, to enforce their so-called laws. But there are no Priest-Kings, as we see, and the laws have a simple explanation, namely, an attempt to preclude an ever-increasing efficiency of engineered carnage."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 572

"They concern themselves with the keeping of their laws," said a man.

"Beware the Priest-Kings," said one of the men.

Mirus, and several of those with him, smiled.

"Have you ever seen a Priest-King?" asked one of the strangers, of the fellow who had spoken.

"No," said the man.

"Have you ever seen any evidence of the enforcement of their laws?" asked another of the strangers.

"I have heard of such things," averred the man.

"But have you ever seen any evidence of such a thing?" he was asked.

"No," said the man.

"It does not exist," he was told.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 573 - 574

"You have broken the law of Priest-Kings," said Portus Canio.
. . .
"As I understand it," said Mirus, who now joined the group, "the Priest-Kings enforce their laws by the Flame Death."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 656

"Priest-Kings do not exist," said Mirus.
"Even so," smiled Portus Canio, "I would advise you to keep their laws."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 671

Human beings tend to assume that the Priest-Kings are rather like themselves, that they are human, or, at least, humanoid. Perhaps their vanity prompts such a speculation. Kurii, too, incidentally, assume that the Priest-Kings must be somehow akin to them. Surely the terror of their ships and the accuracy of their weaponry suggests that. But let us not waste fruitless speculation on this matter. Whatever may be the nature of the Priest-Kings, it is clear, as does not seem to be the case with many gods, that they exist.

The Flame Death, with which they commonly enforce their laws, if nothing else, mitigates against agnosticism in this matter.

One thing about the Priest-Kings puzzles the Kurii, and that is why this mysterious life form seldom behaves otherwise than defensively. They will react sharply if not inevitably to border crossings, but they will not pursue the rebuffed invaders; they will not seek them out, and destroy them in their lairs.

Indeed, Priest-Kings are tolerant of the presence of Kurii on Gor itself, provided they respect their technology and weapon laws.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 8 - 9

"Have you common weapons, on the ships?" inquired Cabot.
"For use on Gor, of course," said Peisistratus, "to be used there, that we not attract the attention of Priest-Kings nor seem to violate their laws, crossbows, blades, javelins, spears, and such."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 290

I had little love for Priest-Kings, but theirs was the law and the rod which held in check the inventive and indiscreet aggressions of humans on this, their world. . Had it not been for the governance of Priest-Kings, and their surveillance, and the enforcement of their prohibitions on technology and weaponry, I had little doubt that the suspicions, fears, and simian ingenuity of my species on Gor would have by now produced lethalities equivalent to, if not superior to, the madnesses which currently threatened the destruction of another world, the ruination of another habitat, the extinction of an indigenous species, my own, on that other world. The paw which first grasped a jagged stone can eventually become the hand which can, with the pressing of a switch, eliminate continents. How easy it is to poison atmospheres, and how easy, soon, to set axes awry, and roll a world into a star's flaming maw. I supposed that the human species was one of the few species with the capacity to render itself extinct. I doubted that the Priest-Kings were overly concerned with the welfare of humans, but it seemed clear that they had no intention of sharing the psychotic pastimes of such a species, or of enduring the consequences of its stupidities, hence their weapon and technology laws.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 96 - 97

"I wish I had a rifle," said Pertinax.

"It is better that you do not," I said. "If you possessed such a weapon, you would be in violation of the weapon laws of Priest-Kings, and liable to the flame death."

"Surely there would be an inquiry, a trial, or such," he said.

"No," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 152

"We must learn their language or be destroyed," said Lord Nishida. "Some recalcitrants and zealots were consumed by fire, streaming from the sky."
That would be the Flame Death. It was commonly used for enforcing the technology laws, and, doubtless, could serve other purposes, as well.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 510

The common wisdom on such matters is that the Priest-Kings favor a common language, as a means to more easily communicate their views to humans, for example, with respect to the technology and weapon laws.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 319

It is clear, however, that the Priest-Kings are not to be taken lightly. Violations of their weapon, transportation, and communication laws are often, when discovered, followed by sanctions of fearsome import, the destructions of cities, the seizures and flingings of tides, the melting of mountains, the geysers and floodings of fiery magma, inexplicable bursts of flame, and such.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 142

Supposedly the Priest-Kings, whoever or whatever they might be, concerned to protect the two worlds of Tor-tu-Gor, in particular, Gor, a generally undamaged world, and their own, would allow this alliance, provided their weapon and technology laws were respected, laws designed to keep dangerous power out of the hands of species too aggressive, or stupid, to manage it with intelligence.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 317

Their power makes clear their existence, for example the Flame Death, selectively used, usually to enforce the weapon and technology laws, the policing of the skies, to seek out and destroy intruding ships, the inability of tarns to fly over the palisaded Sardar, and such things.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 513

"You have heard of the Flame Death of the Priest-Kings?" asked the first beast of Tyrtaios.

"I have heard of it," said Tyrtaios, "but have not seen it."

"I have seen it once," said the beast, "when a fellow of mine, brandishing a forbidden weapon, one forbidden by the laws of Priest-Kings, was suddenly torn away from me, literally from my side, in a burst of light, of flesh of blood, and ash. The stones on which he had stood had melted."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 212

"Dark forces are afoot," he said. "Worlds are at stake. Species, equipped and resolute, are at war. Laws are ignored, at great peril. Mysterious ships stalk the night."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 92

"The rulers of the world of Gor," he said, "object to violations of their technology laws. Certain forms of technology are denied to humans, certainly technology of the sort that would be involved in such a ship. What is perilous, then, is bringing such a ship to the shores of Gor. Great care, and stealth, is involved."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 95

"There are elements in the caste of Slavers," he said, "bands that are secret, that proceed covertly, even having recourse to vehicles forbidden by the laws of Priest-Kings."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 216 - 217

"They are Priest-Kings," I said. "I have heard of them."

"They have enacted laws, weapon laws, communication laws, and such," said Kurik, "that are enforced with severity that no other form of life, Kur or human, or other, may reduce, sicken, or ruin their world."

"Why do not the Kurii," I asked, "if they are so ambitious, violent, and powerful, if this world is not yet available to them, seize Earth?"

"Priest-Kings," said Kurik, "shelter Earth. Who would place at the disposal of an enemy the resources of a planet, who would grant them an island, a platform, from which, in time, to launch a great arrack, a mighty armada, against them?"

"How is it," I asked, "that Priest-Kings have permitted humans on their world?"

"Gods," said Kurik, "have their curiosities, their hobbies, their passions, and interests. Gor has been stocked with thousands of life forms from throughout the galaxy. Humans were brought to Gor with many other forms of life. Surely humans are an interesting form of life."

"And Priest-Kings," I said, "condone humans, and even Kurii, on Gor?"

"Provided the laws are kept," said Kurik.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 324

Too, such devices might be deemed to contravene the technology laws of Priest-Kings, in which case their construction and employment might be attended with great danger."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 420

"Few Kurii, on Gor," said Lord Grendel, "will risk the bearing of a forbidden weapon. The laws of the Priest-Kings are strict. Their enforcement is merciless. Doubtless their surveillance, limited as to resources and interest, is incomplete and sporadic, but it exists. There have been several well-documented instances of the Flame Death. No, Kurii on Gor are very much aware, even more so than humans I suspect, of the Weapon and Technology laws of the Priest-Kings and the hazards of contravening them. Many humans do not believe in the existence of Priest-Kings, supposing them to be no more than an invention of Initiates, to deprive the simple and trusting of their coins, but no Kur doubts their existence. Their evidence is irrefutable, destroyed fleets and devastated landing forces."
. . .
"The purport," said Lord Grendel, "is that the armament of our friends, those before us, and those behind us, is unlikely to be in violation of the laws of the Priest-Kings. It is almost certain to fall within the perimeters of permissible weaponry, knives, swords, pikes, spears, staffs, axes, and such, and most likely axes, for Kurii, like the men of Torvaldsland, are fond of the ax."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Pages 510 - 511

Indeed, many of the "Laws of the Priest-Kings" seem intended to discourage humans from inquiring into certain forms of knowledge, for example, those leading to technologies by means of which, eventually, after a cascade of steps, a planet might be rendered unlivable, even shattered and destroyed.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 593


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