These are relevant references from the Books where a Magistrate 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,
As the tarn had landed, her executioners, two burly, hooded magistrates, had scrambled to their feet and fled to safety.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 204
As the burly magistrates hastened forward, I seized my spear and hurled it with such force as I would not have believed possible. The spear flashed through the air like a bolt of lightning and struck the oncoming magistrate in the chest, passing through his body and burying itself in the heart of his companion.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 205
I would not be the first, of course, to enter the Sardar. Many men and sometimes women had entered these mountains but it is not known what they found. Sometimes these individuals are young idealists, rebels and champions of lost causes, who wish to protest to Priest-Kings; sometimes they are individuals who are old or diseased and are tired of life and wish to die; sometimes they are piteous or cunning or frightened wretches who think to find the secret of immortality in those barren crags; and sometimes they are outlaws fleeing from Gor's harsh justice, hoping to find at least brief sanctuary in the cruel, mysterious domain of Priest-Kings, a country into which they may be assured no mortal magistrate or vengeful band of human warriors will penetrate.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 16
That her ear had been notched indicated that, by a magistrate, she had been found thief.
Hunters of Gor Book 8 Pages 22 - 23
"The drink she gave me," said Arn, smiling, "was well drugged. I awakened at dawn, with a great headache. My purse was gone."
"Times are hard," said Rim.
"I complained to a magistrate," said Arn, laughing, "but, unfortunately, there was one present who well recalled me, one with whom I had had prior dealings." He slapped his knee. "Soldiers were set upon me, and, over the roofs and into the forests, I barely escaped."
"Kill the spy," said a man.
"No," said Aurelion. "We will take him to the magistrates."
The double gate was unlocked by Strabo, who had recovered his keys. Four men made ready to conduct Clitus Vitellius from the tavern.
"It is the heavy galleys for spies," said one man.
"Better to kill him now," said a man.
"No," said Aurelion, "conduct him to the magistrates. They will have much sport with him before he is chained to a bench."
"The slave is awarded to Ulafi of Schendi," ruled the praetor.
There were cheers from the men present, and Gorean applause, the striking of the left shoulder with the right hand.
"My thanks, Praetor," said Ulafi, receiving back the slave papers from the magistrate.
"With your permission, Lady Telitsia?" inquired Boots, addressing himself politely to the haughty, rigid, proud, vain, heavily veiled, blue-clad free female standing in the front row below the stage.
"You may continue," she said.
"But you may find what ensues offensive," Boots warned her.
"Doubtless I will," she said. "And have no fear, I shall include it in my complaint to the proper magistrates."
Boots obliged. "Are you disrobing?" he asked. The men in the audience began to cry out with pleasure. Some struck their left shoulders in Gorean applause.
"Yes," called the Brigella. She was quite beautiful.
"I shall mention this in my complaint to the proper magistrates," said the free woman from her position near the stage.
"Apparently you are a slave," he said, grimly. "You should not have tried to masquerade as a free woman. There are heavy penalties for that sort of thing."
She put her head in her hands, sobbing.
"I wonder if I should turn you over to magistrates," he said.
"Please, do not!" she wept.
"If you are magistrates," he cried, "know that I have come on this camp of brigands and, in cognizance of my jeopardy, was making ready to defend myself!" He looked about, wildly, drawing back another pace or so. "Show yourself," he cried, "as befits your office, that of those who courageously do war with brigands, that of those who do nobly defend and support the law, or as plain honest men, if that you be, that I may ally myself with you, that we may then offer to one another, no, then pledge to one another, mutual protection and succor on these dark and dangerous roads."
It was very quiet, save mostly for the rustling and clicking of insects. Too I heard, intermittently, from somewhere far off, the cries of a tiny, horned gim.
"You do not show yourselves," called the man. "Good! Know then that I am a brigand, too! I feared you might be magistrates. It was thus that I spoke as I did.
"I refuse!" she cried. "The very thought of it! The outrage! The indignity! How dare you even think of such a thing! I am of high caste! I am of the scribes! Wait until I bring this matter to the attention of magistrates!"
"As I may remind you, my dear," said Boots, patiently, "you are no longer of high caste nor of the scribes. Similarly, as I am sure you will recognize, at least upon reflection, you now have no standing before the law. You are now of no more interest to magistrates, in their official capacities, as opposed to their private capacities, than would be an urt or a sleen."
She regarded him, frightened.
"Your days of making a nuisance of yourself are now over," said Boots. "Indeed, I speculate that those very same magistrates whom you have so often inconvenienced would be quite pleased to learn that you are now, at last, no longer capable of pestering them with your inane, time-consuming nonsense. I doubt that they would wish to see you again, unless perhaps it would be to turn you naked and bound to your master, with the blows of a whip on your body, or perhaps, say, to have you serve them in a tavern, helpless in the modality that would then be yours, that of the total female slave."
"I sentence you to slavery," he said, uttering the sentence.
She trembled, sentenced.
"It only remains now," said Aemilianus, "for the sentence to be carried out. If you wish I, in the office of magistrate, shall carry it out. On the other hand, if you wish, you may yourself carry out the sentence."
"I?" she said.
"Yes," he said.
"You would have me proclaim myself slave?" she asked.
"Or I shall do it," he said. "In the end, it does not matter."
"I am sure you are familiar with the law," said the first fellow, flanked by two magistrates.
"No!" she cried.
The magistrates were ex officio witnesses, who could certify the circumstances of the capture. The net was a stout one, and weighted.
"Any free woman who couches with another's slave, or readies herself to couch with another's slave, becomes herself a slave, and the slave of the slave's master. It is a clear law."
"And what later," I asked, "in the edifice of the magistrates?"
"I was in a cell," she said, "naked, lying on some straw, chained by the neck to a wall."
"And your emotions?" I asked.
She looked up at me.
"My thigh was sore," she said. "I had been branded."
"Of course," I said.
"There were two collars on my neck," she said, "a light, temporary slave collar, identifying me as a slave provisionally in the custody of magistrates, and, over it, a retaining collar, that by means of which I was fastened to the wall."
"And your emotions?" I asked.
"I lay there," she said, "my fingers on the chain, near the retaining collar."
I looked at her.
"Serenity, contentment," she said. "Happiness. The fighting was over."
"When did you receive the collar of Appanius?" I asked.
"The next day," she said, "affixed on me by one of his agents. Later I was called for at the edifice of the magistrates by one of his slaves, driving a tharlarion wagon.
"He will then presumably regard it as his work to keep the free woman, whoever she turns out to be, here until Appanius and the magistrates arrive."
"I would think so, Master," she said.
"Which arrival, as he understands it, will be in the neighborhood of a half past the sixth Ahn?"
"Yes, Master," she said.
"Good," I said. The original time of the assignation, conveyed to the slave, which he, in turn, would have conveyed to his master, was the seventh Ahn. Accordingly the master, and presumably two magistrates, who would act as official witnesses and be officers versed in certain matters, would wish to arrive early, presumably about half past the sixth Ahn, or, at any rate, at a decent interval before the seventh Ahn.
"Yes," she said. "That is the door by means of which I was entered into this room. Appanius, and the magistrates, and others, apparently had entered through the back, or some side entrance."
"There is such an entrance," I said. "It lets out into an alley, a little further down the street. One then comes back to the street between buildings."
"That is, I believe," she said, "the way I left the premises. To be sure, once out in the street I was almost instantly disoriented."
"I did not even know where I was," she said, "until I was unhooded, and found myself chained by the neck in a magistrate's cell."
"The magistrates should arrive any moment," I said. "Presumably they will come to the back," he said.
"I would think so," I said. Surely they would have been here often enough in the past. Too, it did not seem likely they would wish to be seen entering by the street door. They would be, as far as they knew, keeping their appointment with Appanius and his men. When they arrived, of course, they would discover that a change of plans had occurred, and that it would not be Appanius for whom they would render their services, but another.
In the back room I tracked these matters by means of one of the observation portals. One of the two magistrates, he who was senior, Tolnar, of the second Octavii, an important gens but one independent of the well-known Octavii, sometimes spoken of simply as the Octavii, or sometimes as the first Octavii, deputy commissioner in the records office, much of which had been destroyed in a recent fire, was at the other portal. His colleague, Venlisius, a bright young man who was now, by adoption, a scion of the Toratti, was with him. Venlisius was in the same office. He was records officer, or archon of records, for the Metellan district, in which we were located. Both magistrates wore their robes, and fillets, of office. They also carried their wands of office, which, I suspect, from the look of them, and despite the weapons laws of Cos, contained concealed blades. I was pleased to hope that these fellows were such as to put the laws of Ar before the ordinances of Cos. I had requested that they dismiss their attendant guardsmen, which they had done. I did not anticipate that they would be needed.
"I am not only preparing to couch with you," she said. "I am prepared to couch with you." She then knelt on the couch, and back on her heels.
I glanced to Tolnar, the magistrate. He nodded.
"What was your name?" inquired Tolnar. "We shall wish it for the records."
"I am Talena!" she cried. "I am Talena, Ubara of Ar! Down on your knees before me! I am Talena, Talena! Ubara of Ar! I am your Ubara!"
"You may, of course, attempt to conceal your former identity," said Tolnar. "At this point it is immaterial."
"I am Talena!" she cried.
"Perhaps you might think to delude a poor slave," said Tolnar, "but we are free men."
"Fools!" she wept.
"What was your name?" he asked.
"My name is Talena!" she said. "I am Ubara of Ar!"
"You would have us believe that Talena of Ar is a sensuous tart in need of sexual relief, a mere chit who would condescend to keep a rendezvous so shameful as this?"
"I am Talena!" she cried, squirming in the net. "Release me! I shall scream!"
"That would be interesting, if you are Talena," said Tolnar. "You would then choose to publicize, it seems, your whereabouts. You would choose to be discovered naked and netted, before magistrates, in a room in the Metellan district, having been prepared to couch with a slave?"
She threw her head down, angrily, on the furs. "I am Talena," she said. "Release me!"
"What is more pertinent to our purposes," said Tolnar, "is your legal status, or, in this case, it seems, your former legal status."
"Release me, fools!" she said.
"What was your legal status before you entered this room?" asked Tolnar.
"I was, and am, a free woman!" she said.
"Of Ar?" he asked.
"Yes!" she cried, angrily.
"That is the crux of the matter," said Tolnar. He glanced to Venlisius, who nodded.
"Do you doubt that I am Talena?" she demanded of Tolnar.
"Surely you must permit me to be skeptical," he smiled.
"I am she!" she cried. Then she looked wildly at Milo. "You know me!" she wept. "You can attest to my identity! You have seen me in the Central Cylinder! So, too, has that slut of a slave!"
"Stand," said Tolnar to Lavinia, who immediately complied.
"Please, Milo," begged the netted beauty, helplessly, pathetically, agonizingly, "do not lie! Tell the truth!"
He looked at her.
"Please, Milo!" she begged. "Tell them who I am!" How much she felt then dependent upon him, how much in his power! How different this was from her former mastery of him! How terrified she was that he might, for one reason or another, lie to the magistrates, putting her then before them as no more than a common, captured, compromised female.
"Who was she?" asked Tolnar of Milo.
"Talena, Ubara of Ar," said Milo.
"Ah!" she wept in relief.
Tolnar and Venlisius exchanged glances. They did not much relish this development.
"Release me, you sleen!" wept Talena, struggling futilely in the net.
"And you?" asked Tolnar of Lavinia, who was looking on the netted captive, indeed, a prisoner of the same cords which, months before, had held her with such similar perfection.
"Master?" asked Lavinia.
"Who was she?" said Tolnar.
"That, too, is my understanding," said Lavinia. "Talena, of Ar."
"Release me!" demanded the captive.
"What difference does it make," asked Marcus, "if, indeed, she is Talena of Ar?"
"Fool!" laughed the netted captive.
"From the legal point of view," said Tolnar, "it makes no difference, of course."
"Release me!" she said. "Do you think I am a common person? Do you think you can treat one of my importance in this fashion! I shall have Seremides have you boiled in oil!"
"I am of the second Octavii," said Tolnar. "My colleague is of the Toratti."
"Then you may be scourged and beheaded, or impaled!" she wept.
"You would have us neglect our duty?" inquired Tolnar. He was Gorean, of course.
"In this case," she snapped, "you are well advised to do so."
"That is quite possibly true," said Tolnar.
"The principle here, I gather," said Marcus, "is that the Ubara is above the law."
"The law in question is a serious one," said Tolnar. "It was promulgated by Marlenus, Ubar of Ubars."
"Surely," said Venlisius to the netted woman, "you do not put yourself on a level with the great Marlenus."
"It does not matter who is greater," she said. "I am Ubara!"
"The Ubara is above the law?" asked Marcus, who had an interest in such things.
"In a sense, yes," said Tolnar, "the sense in which she can change the law by decree."
"But she is subject to the law unless she chooses to change it?" asked Marcus.
"Precisely," said Tolnar. "And that is the point here."
"Whatever law it is," cried the netted woman, "I change it! I herewith change it!"
"How can you change it?" asked Tolnar.
"I am Ubara!" she said.
"You were Ubara," he said.
She cried out in misery, in frustration, in the net.
"Interesting," said Marcus.
"Release me!" demanded the woman.
"Do you think we are fond of she who was once Talena," asked Tolnar, "of she who betrayed Ar, and collaborated with her enemies?"
"Release me, if you value your lives!" she cried. "Seremides will wish me free! So, too, will Myron! So, too, will Lurius of Jad!"
"But we have taken an oath to uphold the laws of Ar," said Tolnar.
"Free me!" she said.
"You would have us compromise our honor?" asked Tolnar.
"I order you to do so," she said.
"Why do you smile?" she asked.
"How can a slave order a free person to do anything?" he asked.
"A slave!" she cried. "How dare you!"
"You are taken into bondage," said Tolnar, "under the couching laws of Marlenus of Ar. Any free woman who couches with, or prepares to couch with, a male slave, becomes herself a slave, and the property of the male slave's master."
"I, property!" she cried.
"Yes," said Tolnar.
Absurd!" she said.
"Not at all," he said. "It is, I assure you, all quite legal."
"Proceed then with your farce!" she cried. "I know Appanius well, and his position in this city is much dependent upon my support! Have I not freed him of numerous burdens? Have I not adjusted his taxes? Have I not spared his house, and those of other favorites, the exactions of the levies?"
"You acknowledge, then," asked Tolnar, "that you are a slave?"
"Yes," she said, angrily, "I am a slave! Now, summon Appanius, immediately, that I may be promptly freed! Then you will see to what fates I shall consign you!"
"But what if Appanius wishes you as a slave?" asked Marcus.
She laughed. "I see you do not know our dear Appanius," she said. "The most he would want from a woman would be to have her do his cleaning and scrub his floors!"
"But what if that is precisely what he has in mind for you?" asked Tolnar.
She turned white.
"Doubtless she would look well, performing lowly labors in chains," said Marcus.
"Perhaps, unknown to you," said Tolnar, "Appanius is a patriot."
"Never!" she said. "Bring him here!"
"What if he would keep you in his house as a slave?" asked Marcus.
"Perhaps you think you could make your former identity known," said Tolnar. "That might be amusing."
"'Amusing'?" she asked.
"Who would believe that once you had been Talena, the Ubara of Ar?" asked Tolnar.
"More likely," said Venlisius, "you would be whipped, as a mad slave."
"While," said Tolnar, "another woman, suitably coached, and veiled, would take your place in the Central Cylinder. From the point of view of the public, things would be much the same."
"Bring Appanius here!" she cried. "I know him. I can speak with him. I can make him see, I assure you, what is to his advantage! This is all some preposterous mistake. Free me! This is all some terrible misunderstanding! Bring Appanius here! I demand it!"
"But what has Appanius to do with this?" asked Tolnar.
"I do not understand," said the woman.
Tolnar regarded her.
"He has everything to do with it," she said. "He is Milo's master!"
"No," said Tolnar.
The prisoner turned her head about, not easily, in the net.
"Appanius is your master!" she said to Milo.
"No," he said.
"Yes!" she cried. "He is your master. He is also the master of that short-haired slut!"
"No!" said Lavinia.
"You did not call me 'Mistress'," said the prisoner.
"Why should I?" asked Lavinia.
"It is true that you belong to the master of Milo," said Tolnar, "but it is false that the master of Milo is Appanius."
"To whom, then, do I belong?" she asked, aghast.
"Let the papers be prepared, and the measurements, and prints, taken," said Tolnar.
"Yes, Tolnar," said Venlisius.
"Papers! Measurements! Prints!" she protested.
"I think you can understand," said Tolnar, "that in a case such as this, such documentations, guarantees and precautions are not out of order."
"No! No!" she cried.
Tolnar and Venlisius put their wands of office to the side and went to the back room, to obtain the necessary papers and materials.
"You!" cried the prisoner, looking at Marcus. "It is then you to whom I belong!"
He merely regarded her.
"Who are you?" she cried.
"It does not matter," he said.
"I will buy my freedom!" she said. "I will give you a thousand pieces of gold! Two thousand! Ten thousand! Name your price!"
"But you have nothing," he said. "No more than a kaiila, or sleen."
"Contact Seremides!" she said. "Contact Myron, Polemarkos of Temos! They will arrange my ransom."
"Ransom or price?" asked Marcus.
"Price!" she said, angrily.
"But you are not, as of this moment, for sale," he said.
"Sleen!" she wept. She struggled but I, behind her, kept her well in the net.
At this point Tolnar and Venlisius reentered the room and, in a few moments, were in the process of filling out the papers. These included an extremely complete description of the woman, exact even to details such as the structure of her ear lobes. Tolnar then, with a graduated tape, reaching in and about the net, and moving the woman, as necessary, took a large number of measurements, these being recorded by Venlisius. Additional measurements were taken with other instruments, such as a calipers. With these were recorded such data as the width and length of fingers and toes, the width of her heels, the lovely tiny distance between her nostrils, and so on. The result of this examination, of course, was to produce a network of data which, to a statistical certainty, far beyond the requirements of law, would be unique to a given female. Then, one hand at a time, pulled a bit from the net, then reinserted in it, her fingerprints were taken. Following this, her toeprints were taken. Then, the woman shaken, tears on the furs, was again fully within the net, on her belly. Her fingers and toes were dark with ink, from the taking of the prints.