Camerius (Ar)
Selnar (Ko-ro-ba)
Passage Hand
Year 10,174 Contasta Ar

Codes - Caste of Warriors

These are relevant references from the Books where Codes are mentioned as they pertain to the Caste of Warriors.
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 ethical teachings of Gor, which are independent of the claims and propositions of the Initiates, amount to little more than the Caste Codes - collections of says whose origins are lost in antiquity. I was specially drilled in the Code of the Warrior Caste.
. . .
The Code of the Warrior was, in general, characterized by a rudimentary chivalry, emphasizing loyalty to the Pride Chiefs and the Home Stone. It was harsh, but with a certain gallantry, a sense of honor that I could respect. A man could do worse than live by such a code.
. . .
"The High Castes in a given city," said my father, "elect an administrator and council for stated terms. In times of crisis, a war chief, or Ubar, is named, who rules without check and by decree until, in his judgment, the crisis is passed."
"In his judgment?" I asked skeptically.
"Normally the office is surrendered after the passing of the crisis," said my father. "It is part of the Warrior's Code."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 40 - 41

"The High Castes in a given city," said my father, "elect an administrator and council for stated terms. In times of crisis, a war chief, or Ubar, is named, who rules without check and by decree until, in his judgment, the crisis is passed."
"In his judgment?" I asked skeptically.
"Normally the office is surrendered after the passing of the crisis," said my father. "It is part of the Warrior's Code."
"But what if he does not give up the office" I asked. I had learned enough of Gor by how to know that one could not always count on the Caste Codes being observed. "Those who do not desire to surrender their power," said my father, "are usually deserted by their men. The offending war chief is simply abandoned, left alone in his palace to be impaled by the citizens of the city he has tried to usurp." Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 42 - 43

If I was to die, it would be, if I was not to die, I would not.
I smiled to myself in spite of my fear, amused at the remark I had addressed to myself. It sounded like something out of the Code of the Warrior, something which, if taken literally, would seem to encourage its believer to take not the slightest or most sane precautions for his safety.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 53

"Will you keep the Code of the Warrior?" asked my father.
"Yes," I said, "I will keep the Code."
"What is your Home Stone?" asked my father.
Sensing what was wanted, I replied, "My Home Stone is the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba."
"Is it to that city that you pledge your life, your honor, and your sword?" asked my father.
"Yes," I said.
"Then," said my father, placing his hands solemnly on my shoulders, "in virtue of my authority as Administrator of this City and in the presence of the Council of High Castes, I declare you to be a Warrior of Ko-ro-ba."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 63

"I order you to protect me," she said, never taking her eyes from the ground.
"I do not take orders from the daughter of the Ubar of Ar," I said.
"You must take me with you," she said, eyes still downcast.
"Why?" I asked. After all, according to the rude codes of Gor, I owed her nothing, indeed, considering her attempt on my life, which had been foiled only by the fortuitous net of Nar's web, I would have been within my rights to slay her, abandoning her body to the water lizards. Naturally, I was not looking at things from precisely the Gorean point of view, but she would have no way of knowing that. How could she know that I would not treat her as - according to the rough justice of Gor - she deserved?
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 92

"Then it is to my best interest to abandon you," I said.
"I can force you to take me," she said.
"How?" I asked.
"Like this," she responded, kneeling before me, lowering her head and lifting her arms, the wrists crossed. She laughed. "Now you must take me with you or slay me," she said, "and I know you cannot slay me."
I cursed her, for she took unfair advantage of the Warrior Codes of Gor.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 109

"Yield her or I will have my tharlarion trample you," he snapped, "or would you prefer to be spitted on my lance?"
"You know the codes," I said evenly. "If you want her, you must challenge for her and meet me with the weapon of my choice."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 117

"Do not harm him," said Kazrak. "He is my sword brother, Tarl of Bristol." Kazrak's remark was in accord with the strange warrior codes of Gor, codes which were as natural to him as the air he breathed, and codes which I, in the Chamber of the Council of Ko-ro-ba, had sworn to uphold. One who has shed your blood, or whose blood you have shed, becomes your sword brother, unless you formally repudiate the blood on your weapons. It is a part of the kinship of Gorean warriors regardless of what city it is to which they owe their allegiance. It is a matter of caste, an expression of respect for those who share their station and profession, having nothing to do with cities or Home Stones.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 119

"You have lifted a weapon against me," he said. "My codes permit me to kill you."
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 14

"I come on behalf of Lara, who is true Tatrix of Tharna. Sheathe your weapons. No more shed the blood of men of your own city. I ask this in the name of Lara, and of the city of Tharna and its people. And I ask it in the name of the codes of your own caste, for your swords are pledged to the true Tatrix Lara not Dorna the Proud!"
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 231

I wondered how it was that Thorn had given his life for this woman. It did not seem it could have been a matter of caste obligation for this obligation had been owed not to Dorna but to Lara. He had broken the codes of his caste to support the treachery of Dorna the Proud.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 242

I am of the Caste of Warriors, and it is in our codes that the only death fit for a man is that in battle, but I can no longer believe that this is true, for the man I met once on the road to Ko-ro-ba died well, and taught me that all wisdom and truth does not lie in my own codes.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 14

Had I now become so much the Gorean warrior that I could disregard the feelings of a fellow creature, in particular those of a girl, who must be protected and cared for? Could it be that I had, as the Codes of my Caste recommended, not even considered her, but merely regarded her as a rightless animal, no more than a subject beast, an abject instrument to my interests and pleasures, a slave?
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Pages 47 - 48

"You know your codes, do you not?" she challenged. "The codes of the warrior of Gor?"
"Do not," I said.
Again she slapped me and my head leaped to the side, burning. "I hate you," she hissed.
And then, as I knew she would, she suddenly knelt before me, in fury, head down, arms extended, wrists crossed, submitting as a Gorean female.
"Now," she said, looking up, her eyes blazing with anger, "You must either slay me or enslave me."
"You are free," I said sternly.
"Then slay me," she demanded.
"I could not do that," I said.
"Collar me," she said.
"I have no wish to do so," I said.
"Then acknowledge your codes betrayed," she said.
"Fetch the collar," I said.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 292

Once or twice I heard swords ringing from within the walls, as perhaps some men, loyal to Saphrar, or to their codes, attempted to prevent their fellows from leaving the compound, but I gather, judging from the continued exodus from the walls, that those who were this loyal were scattered and few in number.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 310

"I am a warrior," said the young man proudly.
Kamchak signaled his archers and they came forward, their arrows trained on the young man.
He then threw, one after another, a dozen bags of gold to the floor.
"Save your gold, Tuchuk sleen," said the young man. "I am a warrior and I know my codes."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 315

"The teeth of the tharlarion," said he, "are swift, Warrior."
"I know," I said.
"If you wish," said he, "we will slay you first."
"I," I said, "I do not want to die."
I lowered my head, burning with shame. In my eyes in that moment it seemed I had lost myself, that my codes had been betrayed, Ko-ro-ba my city dishonored, even the blade I had carried soiled. I could not look Ho-Hak again in the eyes. In their eyes, and in mine, I could now be nothing, only slave.
"I had thought the better of you," said Ho-Hak. "I had thought you were of the warriors."
I could not speak to him.
"I see now," said Ho-Hak, "you are indeed of Port Kar."
I could not raise my head, so shamed I was. It seemed I could never lift my head again.
"Do you beg to be a slave?" asked Ho-Hak. The question was cruel, but fair.
I looked at Ho-Hak, tears in my eyes. I saw only contempt on that broad, calm face.
I lowered my head. "Yes," I said. "I beg to be a slave."
. . .
To me, at that moment, it seemed I cared not whether they chose to throw me to tharlarion or not. It seemed to me that I had lost what might be more precious than life itself. How could I face myself, or anyone? I had chosen ignominious bondage to the freedom of honorable death.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 24

I, Tarl Cabot, hating myself, no longer respected or trusted human beings. I had done what I had done that day for the sake of a child, one who had once been kind to me, but who no longer existed. I knew myself for one who had chosen ignominious slavery over the freedom of honorable death. I knew myself as coward. I had betrayed my codes. I had tasted humiliation and degradation, and most at my own hands, for I had been most by myself betrayed. I could no longer see myself as I had been. I had been a boy and now I had come to the seeings of manhood, and found within myself, disgusting me, something capable of cowardice, self-indulgence, selfishness, and cruelty. I was no longer worthy of the red of the warrior, no longer worthy of serving the Home Stone of my city, Ko-ro-ba, the Towers of the Morning; it seemed - to me then that there were only winds and strengths, and the motions of bodies, the falling of rain, the movements of bacilli, the beating of hearts and the stopping of such beatings. I found myself alone.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 76

I was ashamed that I had been brutal with her, but I would not show it. I knew, in my heart, that it had been I, I myself, who had betrayed me, I who had fallen short of the warrior codes, I who had dishonored my own Home Stone, and the blade I bore. It was I who was guilty. Not she.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 86

I knew now, as I had not before, what men were. I had in misery learned this in myself. And I now saw myself a fool for having espoused codes, for having set above myself ideals.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 90

Again she regarded me with irritation. "Very well," she said. And then, angrily, loftily, she walked to the deck before me and then, movement by movement, to my fury, knelt before me, back on her heels, head down, and extended, wrists crossed, as though for binding.
"You are a fool!" I told her.
She lifted her head, and smiled. "You may simply leave me here if you wish," she said.
"It is not in the codes," I said.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 97

"You chose," said Samos, "as warriors have it, ignominious bondage over the freedom of honorable death."
There were tears in my eyes. "I dishonored my sword, my city. I betrayed my codes."
"You found your humanity," said Samos.
"I betrayed my codes!" I cried.
"It is only in such moments," said Samos, "that a man sometimes learns that all truth and all reality is not written in one's own codes."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 310

I knew that I had once betrayed my codes. I knew that I was one who had once chosen ignominious slavery over the freedom of honorable death.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 367

"His hand on the hilt of his sword," said Mira, "and his other hand on the medallion of Ar, his daughter was disowned."
I gasped, stunned.
"Yes," laughed Verna, "according to the codes of the warriors and by the rites of the city of Ar, no longer is Talena kin or daughter of Marlenus of Ar."
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 131

But in the Delta of the Vosk, he had lost his honor. He had betrayed his codes. There, merely to save his miserable life, he had chosen ignominious slavery to the freedom of honorable death. He had sullied the sword, the honor, which he had pledged to Ko-ro-ba's Home Stone. By that act he had cut himself away from his codes, his vows. For such an act, there was no atonement, even to the throwing of one's body upon one's sword. It was in that moment of his surrender to his cowardice that Tarl Cabot was gone and, in his place, knelt a slave contemptuously named Bosk, for a great shambling oxlike creature of the plains of Gor.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 4 - 5

In the codes of the warriors, there is a saying, "Be strong, and do as you will. The swords of others will set your limits."
. . .
"Within the circle of each man's sword," say the codes of the warrior, "therein is each man a Ubar"
"Steel is the coinage of the warrior," say the codes, "With it he purchases what pleases him"
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 10

"It is a wonder that any man will follow you!" cried Talena. "You betrayed your codes! You are a coward! A fool! You are not worthy of me! That you dare ask me if I could care for such as you, is to me, a free woman an insult! You chose slavery to death!"
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 14

"Within the circle of each man's sword," says the codes of the warrior, "therein is each man a Ubar."
"Steel is the coinage of the warrior," says the codes. "With it he purchases what pleases him."
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 16

"I would not have thought Sarus of Tyros would have used poisoned steel," I said. Such a device, like the poisoned arrow, was not only against the codes of the warriors, but, generally, was regarded as unworthy of men.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 18

My delirium this time, interestingly to me, had been much different than it had when, long ago, the poison had first raged in my body. At that time I had been miserable, and weak, even calling out to a woman, who was only a slave, to love me. But, somehow, in the north, in Torvaldsland, I had changed. This I knew. There was a different Tarl Cabot than ever there had been. Once there had been a boy by this name, one with simple dreams, naive, vain, one shattered by a betrayal of his codes, the discovery of a weakness where he had thought there was only strength. That boy had died in the delta of the Vosk; in his place had come Bosk of Port Kar, ruthless and torn, but grown into his manhood; and now there was another, one whom I might, if I wished, choose to call again Tarl Cabot. I had changed. Here, with the Forkbeard, with the sea, the wind, in his hall and in battle, I had become, somehow, much different. In the north my blood had found itself, learning itself, in the north I had learned strength, and how to stand alone. I thought of the Kurii. They were terrible foes. Suddenly, incredibly, I felt love for them. I recollected the head of the giant Kur, mounted on its stake, in the ruins of the hall of Svein Blue Tooth. One cannot be weak who meets such beasts. I laughed at the weaknesses instilled into the men of Earth. Only men who are strong, without weakness, can meet such beasts. One must match them in strength, in intellect, in terribleness, in ferocity. In the north I had grown strong. I suddenly realized the supreme power of the united Gorean will, not divided against itself, not weak, not crippled like the wills of Earth. I felt a surge of power, of unprecedented, unexpected joy. I had discovered what it was to be Gorean. I had discovered what it was, truly, to be male, to be a man. I was Gorean.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 289 - 290

I caught the arm of the captain. His face turned white. "Have you raised your arm against me?" I asked.
I released his arm, and he staggered back. Then he slung his shield on his arm, and unsheathed the blade slung at his left hip.
"What is going on!" demanded the woman.
"Be silent, foolish woman," said the captain.
She cried out with rage. But what did she know of the codes?
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 114

"You have wronged this man," said the captain. "And he has labored within the permissions of his codes."
"I order you to kill him!" cried the free woman, pointing to me.
"Will you permit us to pass, Warrior?" asked the captain.
"I am afraid, under the circumstances," I said, "that is no longer possible."
He nodded. "Of course not," he said.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 115

"Flee!" she said.
"I am of the Warriors," I said.
"But you may die," she said.
"That is acknowledged in the codes," I said.
"What are the codes?" she asked.
"They are nothing, and everything," I said. "They are a bit of noise, and the steel of the heart. They are meaningless, and all significant. They are the difference. Without the codes men would be Kurii."
. . .
"None would know if you betrayed the codes," she said.
"I would know," I said, "and I am of the Warriors."
"What is it to be a warrior?" she asked.
"It is to keep the codes," I said. "You may think that to be a warrior is to be large, or strong, and to be skilled with weapons, to have a blade at your hip, to know the grasp of the spear, to wear the scarlet, to know the fitting of the iron helm upon one's countenance, but these things are not truly needful; they are not, truly, what makes one man a warrior and another not. Many men are strong, and large, and skilled with weapons. Any man might, if he dared, don the scarlet and gird himself with weapons. Any man might place upon his brow the helm of iron. But it is not the scarlet, not the steel, not the helm of iron which makes the warrior."
She looked up at me.
"It is the codes," I said.
"Abandon your codes," she said.
"One does not speak to a slave of the codes," I said.
"Abandon them," she said.
"Kneel, Slave Girl," I said.
She looked at me, frightened, and swiftly knelt in the snow, in the moonlight, before me. She looked up at me. "Forgive me, Master," she said. "Please do not kill me!"
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 340 - 341

"You always were a courageous fellow, Callimachus," said the standing man. "I always admired that in you. Had you not been concerned to keep the codes, you might have gone far. I might have found a position for you even in my organization."
Rouge of Gor     Book 15     Page 77

"Surely there are others better than yourself against whom you might turn your sword," I said, angrily.
"Give me a drink," he said.
"Has it come to this," I asked him, "the glory, the codes, the steel?"
"I want a drink," he said, sullenly.
Rouge of Gor     Book 15     Pages 178 - 179

"Once I was captain in Port Cos," he said. "Indeed it was I who once drove the band of Policrates from the vicinity of Port Cos." He looked up at me. "But that was long ago," he said. I no longer remember that captain. I think he is gone now."
"What occurred?" I asked.
"He grew more fond of paga than of his codes," he said. "Disgraced, he was dismissed. He came west upon the river, to Victoria."
Rouge of Gor     Book 15     Pages 180 - 181

Then when he had recalled himself to the codes of his caste he had resolved to forgo the victories and the rights, and the joys and triumphs, of the mastership until certain serious, projected works had been accomplished. It was in connection with such works that we had met this night in the tavern of Tasdron.
Rouge of Gor     Book 15     Page 227

Victoria knew him still as only a fallen man, one defeated, one lax in his caste codes, one inert and whining in traps of his own weaving.
Rouge of Gor     Book 15     Page 228

"You should have let me kill it," said Grunt.
"Perhaps," I said.
"Why did you not have me fire?" asked Grunt.
"It has to do with codes," I said.
"Who are you, truly?" asked Grunt.
"One to whom codes were once familiar," I said, "one by whom they have never been completely forgotten."
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Page 271

"Even warriors long sometimes for the sight of their own flags, atop friendly walls, for the courtyards of their keeps, for the hearths of their halls. Thus admit the Codes."
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 306

As we had not been similarly armed, it alone, afoot, and I with Grunt, he with an armed crossbow, and as it had not rushed upon me, I had not contested its withdrawal from the field. Such had seemed in accordance with codes to which I had once subscribed, codes which I had never forgotten.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 459

In other cities, and in most cities, on the other hand, a free woman may, with legal tolerance, submit herself as a slave to a specific man. If he refuses her, she is then still free. If he accepts her, she is then, categorically, a slave, and he may do with her as he pleases, even selling her or giving her away, or slaying her, if he wishes. Here we might note a distinction between laws and codes. In the codes of the warriors, if a warrior accepts a woman as a slave, it is prescribed that, at least for a time, an amount of time up to his discretion, she be spared. If she should be the least bit displeasing, of course, or should prove recalcitrant in even a tiny way, she may be immediately disposed of.
It should be noted that this does not place a legal obligation on the warrior. It has to do, rather, with the proprieties of the codes. If a woman not within a clear context of rights, such as capture rights, house rights, or camp rights, should pronounce herself slave, simpliciter, then she is subject to claim. These claims may be explicit, as in branding, binding and collaring, or as in the uttering of a claimancy formula, such as "I own you," "You are mine," or "You are my slave," or implicit, as in, for example, permitting the slave to feed from your hand or follow you.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 21

There was nothing in the codes of the warriors, as I recalled, that explicitly demanded resistance to brigands, though perhaps it was presupposed.
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 90

"Work?" asked Hurtha, in horror. He was an Alar warrior. To be sure, manual labor was not exactly prescribed by my own caste codes either.
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 105

Warriors, it is said in the codes, have a common Home Stone. Its name is battle.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 343

How complex and desperate had become the world. I felt so small, like a particle adrift on a vast sea, beneath a vast sky, a particle taken here and there, at the mercy of the tides, the currents, the winds, not understanding. But there were compasses and landmarks, as palpable to me as the stars by which I might navigate on Thassa, as solid and undoubted as the great brick structure of the pharos of Port Cos itself. There were the codes, and honor, and steel.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 414

It was lonely here.
Yet such times are good in the life of a warrior, times to be alone, to think.
He who cannot think is not a man, so saith the codes. Yet neither, too, they continue, is he who can only think.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 65

"Are you of the Warriors?" asked Labienus.
"Yes," I said.
"Hear," said Labienus to his men. "He is of the Warriors."
"He says he is," said a fellow, glumly.
"What is the 97th Aphorism in the Codes?" inquired Labienus.
"My scrolls may not be those of Ar," I said. To be sure, the scrolls should be, at least among the high cities, in virtue of conventions held at the Sardar Fairs, particularly the Fair of En'Kara, much in agreement.
"Will you speak?" asked Labienus.
"Remove the female," I said.
"He is a Warrior," said one of the men.
One of the men lifted the bound Ina in his arms, one hand behind the back of her knees, and the other behind her back, and carried her from where we were gathered. In a few moments he returned.
"The female is now out of earshot?" inquired Labienus, staring ahead.
"Yes," said the fellow, "and she will stay where I left her, on her back, as I tied her hair about the base of a stout shrub."
"The 97th Aphorism in the Codes I was taught," I said, "is in the form of a riddle: "What is invisible but more beautiful than diamonds?"
"And the answer?" inquired Labienus.
"That which is silent but deafens thunder."
The men regarded one another.
"And what is that?" asked Labienus.
"The same," said I, "as that which depresses no scale but is weightier than gold."
"And what is that?" asked Labienus.
"Honor," I said.
"He is of the Warriors," said a man.
Plenius turned away, stricken.
"But I have, in my time," I said, "betrayed such codes."
Plenius turned back, to regard me, a strange expression on his face.
"I think it is easy enough to do," I said.
"Yes," smiled Labienus. "I think that we all, here and there, in our time, have managed that."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 305 - 306

The warrior does not kill himself or aid others in the doing of it. It is not in the codes.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 446

"You have drawn a weapon against me," I said.
"You are of the warriors?" said the fellow. He wavered. He, too, knew the codes.
"Yes," I said.
"And he?" asked the fellow.
"He, too," I said.
"You are not in scarlet," he said.
"True," I said. Did he think that the color of a fellow's garments was what made him a warrior? Surely he must realize that one not of the warriors might affect the scarlet, and that one who wore the grimed gray of a peasant, one barefoot, and armed only with the great staff, might be of the scarlet caste. It is not the uniform which makes the warrior, the soldier.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 129

I was not certain, really, of the responses of Marcus. He was not a fellow of Earth, but a Gorean. Too, he was of the Warriors, and his codes, in a situation of this sort, their weapons drawn, entitled him, even encouraged him, to attack, and kill.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 169

Whereas members of the caste of slavers are slavers, not all slavers are members of the caste of slavers. For example, I am not of the slavers, but in Port Kar I am known as Bosk, and he known as many things, among them pirate and slaver. Too, both Marcus and myself were of the warriors, the scarlet caste, and as such were not above taking slaves. Such is not only permitted in the codes, but encouraged by them. "The slave is a joy and a convenience to the warrior."
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 315

I took no note of the raised staff. I could, of course, at that point, have killed him. My codes permitted it.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 417

Certainly he had been lax in enforcing the officer's instructions in the matter of the mysterious peasant, that huge, vacant creature in the lower cells. He had not regarded such treatment as honorable. In not complying, however, I did not doubt but what he had betrayed oaths, or even codes.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 461

"I fear I have grown fond of a slave," he said.
"Cannot one grow fond of a slave, even of so small an unimportant a thing?" she asked.
"Curse the codes!" he cried.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 497

"I give you my word," said the officer, "within the rights of my code, and sworn in the name of the Home Stone itself, that if you shall accomplish upon yourself this injustice, I shall see that she will be free to follow you, whether it be from this ledge, or by the cord or knife."
"No!" cried the pit master.
"It is so sworn."
"Come, let us die together, Master," said Fina.
"I, not you!" he said.
"We," she said.
"No!" he said.
"Then I alone!" she said. "Do you think that I can live, having caused you to compromise your honor?"
The pit master turned about, crying out with misery, his fists clenched.
"Keep her in chains," the pit master begged the officer. "Guarantee to me her life."
"That of a mere slave, do not be foolish."
"So you would set me this dilemma," said the pit master, "that either she must die or I must lose my honor?"
"And if she is to be the reason you cannot retain your honor, it seems that she, herself, is resolved to die."
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Pages 653 - 654

"Honor," I said, "has many voices, and many songs."
He looked down at me startled. "That is a saying of warriors," he said. "It is from the codes. It is a long time since I have heard it. I had almost forgotten it.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 711

Indeed, it can derange certain sorts of minds. The instincts of many caged animals, on the other hand, are more healthy. Understanding themselves trapped, they are patient, and wait. Beyond a certain interval they do not exhaust their resources, but conserve them, almost lethargically, for a given moment, for the sudden movement, for the lunge, the movement to the throat. So, after a time, Tarl Cabot, who was not particularly disanalogous to such beasts, became quiescent, at least as far as external observation might detect. This was in conformance, incidentally, with certain recommendations of his caste codes. One can learn much, even from the codes of humans. He was, as we learned, of what on Gor amongst humans is referred to as the scarlet caste. This is a high caste, doubtless because it is armed. Individuals of this caste are of great value to their cities, their employers, their princes, so to speak. Indeed, they are indispensable in their way; have they not, however unintentionally, secured the foundation of law; have they not, however unbeknownst to themselves, raised from the mire of brutishness, insecurity, and terror the towers of civilization? Surely it is they who must man the walls and defend the bridges, who must police the streets and guard the roads, and who will in sunlight, or in darkness and storms, carry forth the standards. They are unusual men and seldom understand their own nature, nor need they. Perhaps it is better that they do not. Let them laugh and fight, and drink and quarrel, and seek their slaves in conquered cities and taverns, and chain them and put them to their feet, and not inquire into the dark and mighty processes which have bred them, which have made them so real, and necessary. And so they are encouraged to emulate the stealth and savagery of the larl, the cunning and tenacity of the sleen, the vigilance and swiftness, the alertness, of the mighty tarn. They are companions to discipline; they are hardened to short rations, long watches, and the march; they are inured to the exigencies of camp and field; and trained to fight, and kill, preferably swiftly and cleanly. They do not know how they came to be, but they would not be other than they are. They are more beast than man, and more man than beast. They are, so to speak, dangerous beasts with minds. And such have their utilities. We may laud them or despise them. They are called Warriors.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 17 - 18

Doubtless the Priest-Kings have their techniques, as well. And we suspect they could hardly be inferior in effectiveness to those of the Kurii. To be sure, given his codes, Tarl Cabot would be less encouraged to indulge in fruitless speculation and laborious self-searching than biding his time, attempting to obtain a weapon, plotting an escape, and such. The codes encourage attention to the future and action, rather than to the past and speculation. The exceptions commonly have to do with matters of honor and vengeance.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 43

It then occurred to him, in fury, what must be the plan of Priest-Kings.
Neither woman, he then suspected, was a slave!
He had been placed in the container with two beautiful free females, and his codes, his honor. It seemed likely to him, you see, at that point, that the blonde, too, must be free, perhaps a freed slave.
The Priest-Kings doubtless counted on this natural surmise.
He was to be torn then between his nature and his codes, between his passion and his honor. Sooner or later, rather as a starving man put in with food, he would feed, and would then in this way betray his codes.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 53

Slave girls may be used as men please. It is what they are for. But these were free women.
There were the codes.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 54

The codes do, you see, recommend respect for the status of the free female, if not for the female herself. To be sure, the codes make it abundantly clear that this pertains only to females with whom one shares a Home Stone. Cabot, however, as some Warriors, tended to generalize this recommendation to free women more generally, saving, of course, those who might be insolent or abusive, or of an enemy city. Whereas there are clear cases in which the codes apply or do not apply, they, as most recommendations, rules, principles, and such perhaps unavoidably, were occasionally afflicted with a regrettable penumbra of obscurity. More acutely, a personal sense of honor, one which seems to me misplaced and overly sensitive, seems to have been involved, one clearly exceeding the parameters of the codes. One suspects this might have been the consequence of a personal idiosyncrasy, or even a residue lingering from an unnatural and ridiculous acculturation, one to which he had been subjected in the innocence of his childhood or adolescence.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 60

She had been one of the two women who had been enclosed with me in the small, transparent container on the Prison Moon, two who had been deliberately, carefully selected by Priest-Kings, with all their shrewdness and science, with all their malevolent expertise, to constitute exquisite temptations for me, who were intended to be such as would prove irresistible to me, either of them a suitable engine to accomplish in time the destruction of my honor, either one of which was a banquet to lure me, tormented and starving, inevitably, sooner or later, from the rigors of my codes.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 11 - 12

Whereas brigands, assassins, and such will strike an unarmed man, the common Gorean would not be likely to do so. It seemed clear to me that his unarmed approach was not then merely to reassure me but, in a way, to diminish, if not preclude, the possibility of himself being attacked. In Gorean there is only one word for "stranger" and "enemy." Too, in the codes there is a saying that he who strikes first lives to strike second.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 37

"Do not!" she said. "You are of the warriors. You have codes. I am free, a free woman! I am not to be touched! I am to be treated with respect and dignity! I am not a slave! I am a free woman!"
I removed my hands from her garment, and stepped back.
"Now untie me," she said.
I left her bound.
She did have nice legs. Such women put a strain on the codes.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 86

"But it is true," I said, "that you are a free woman of Earth, at least as far as those women can be free, and thus that my codes, though the matter is controversial, much depending on interpretations, do suffice to give me pause."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 87

As you are a free woman," I said, "even though one of Earth, I have treated you with some circumspection. In the codes such matters are gray, for it is commonly supposed that a Home Stone would be shared.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 88

"I am free," she said. "Your codes! Your codes! You must protect me!"
"My codes do not require that," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 88 - 89

Submission may be rendered in a number of ways. The most important thing is that the submission is clear. A common posture of submission is to kneel, lower the head, and extend the arms, wrists crossed, as though for binding. Often a phrase, or formula, is employed, as well, often as simple as "I submit," "I am yours," "Do with me as you will," or such. If one is of the Warriors the codes then require one to either slay the captive or accept the submission. Almost invariably the submission is accepted, as women on Gor are accounted a form of wealth, at least once they are collared.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 128

Cecily and I had been matched to one another, as tormentingly attracted lovers, by the wisdom, cruelty, and science of Priest-Kings. Indeed, she had originally been intended, as a free woman, unbeknownst to herself, to tempt and torture me from my codes, to play a role in my humiliation and downfall. I could not have indefinitely resisted the taking of her, despite the fact that she was at that time free.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 293

"There are probably mysticisms and mysticisms," I said.
"Some, I suspect, speak of the world."
"One should not die with a weapon undrawn," said Pertinax.
"Do not be taken by surprise," I suggested.
"One should pay attention to little things," said Pertinax.
"They can be important," I said.
"From one thing learn ten thousand things," he said.
"Things lead to one another," I suggested. "They are bound together."
"One who has faced death at the point of a sword has an elevated understanding," said Pertinax.
"I think that is true," I said. "At least one is different, and one has a better sense of life. For such a one the world is then other than it was."
"Step by step walk the thousand-mile road," he said.
"Be patient," I suggested. "Do not give up. Excellence is not easily achieved."
"Are there such things in the codes?" asked Pertinax.
"There are many things in the codes," I said, "similar, and different. Much of this, I think, is wisdom, doubtless deriving from one teacher or another, in one place or another, perhaps over centuries."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 306

"And what is the purpose of the sword?" I asked.
"It is to kill," he said.
"Yes," I said.
There was something much like that in the codes. The purpose of the sword is not to fence, not to match blades, and not to exhibit skill, nor is its purpose to reach the enemy, nor even to cut him. Its purpose is to kill him.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 307

I had, too, long ago, been known as Tarl of Bristol. Indeed, I had learned that songs were sung of him, of him and of a siege, long ago, of Ar. Many, today, wise and sophisticated, supposed that personage merely a creature of myth and legend. In a sense, I supposed they were right. He seemed now, to me, more an image than a man. I, at least,1 was no hero, no creature of fame. How often I had been weak, frail, and troubled. How often I had been confused, and frightened. How often I had been ignoble, drunken, cruel, petty, and unworthy. How often had I fallen short of my codes! How striking are the enlargements of time! And one supposes, as well, that there must be a thousand heroes, ten thousand heroes, better men, nobler men, who have no songs. But they are there in history, a part of her, and without them she would be different, and poorer. Perhaps the singers might compose a new song, a song for those who have no songs.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 445

As a free woman she could not be touched, given the codes, but it was as though steaming, juicy, roasted meat had been put before a starving larl, one forbidden to so much as touch his tongue to its heat, to its temptation.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 446

Few Goreans would place themselves in proximity to a stranger, if they were unarmed. That he did so suggested forcibly to me that he was relying on a warrior's honor, for a warrior will seldom attack an unarmed adversary. It is disapproved of in the codes. In this way he showed respect for my caste, and, simultaneously, if I observed the codes, as he apparently expected would be the case, he assured his own security.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 448

He owed that duty to his daimyo, as I might owe similar duties to captains in whose commands I might serve, or to those codes which did so much to define and clarify my caste, the scarlet caste, that of the warriors.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 456

"I understand what I am asked to understand," I said, "but I choose not to understand."
"You refuse?" asked Lord Nishida.
"Yes," I said.
"Of course," he said. "The codes."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 501

"I am a simple warrior," I said. "I have never pretended to cultivate the subtleties of diplomacy nor to comprehend the wisdoms of politics."
"I fear," said Lord Nishida, "that you will never sit upon the mat of the shogun nor upon the throne of the Ubar."
"Not every man desires such things," I said.
"I see," said Lord Nishida. "Your business is a less ambitious, simpler one. It would be with the blade, and little more. The vocation of such as you is circumscribed narrowly, confined, so to speak, to a limited board."
"Perhaps," I said.
"Having to do with the kaissa of blood, the dark game."
"If you wish," I said.
The codes, of course, did not see things in this fashion. The board was set indeed, but amongst cities, always on a world. Its width was the width of worlds. The number and values of the pieces was uncertain, and the rules subject to convenient revision, or desuetude.
It is useful that the foe has rules. This puts him at your mercy.
Yet there was a hunt, a sport involved. All who have carried weapons are aware of this. Surely Lord Nishida was apprised of, and not unfamiliar with, scarlet allurements.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 588

Occasionally a warrior on foot and a tarnsman collaborate on a kill. The warrior on foot engages the target, and the tarnsman, unseen, glides in, silently, placing a bolt in the adversary's unprotected back. This act is scorned in the codes, of course, but it is not without precedent in the field. It is common amongst outlaws and rogue tarnsmen.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 59

I did not think he bore me any ill will. Indeed, yesterday, on my behalf, he had stood against Seremides himself. Perhaps he did not know, as I did, the skills of the former captain of the Taurentians. I knew of no blade the equal of his. Something in the eyes or mien of this man suggested he might be other than many here; oddly enough, for the venue, I suspected he might once have been no stranger to honor; such I would not have sensed in Seremides. I wondered if he were once of the warriors, perhaps long ago. Such men may betray the codes, but they are not likely to forget them. It is hard to forget the codes. Is it not a saying of warriors that one does not sell one's blade, that steel is to be prized above gold? And honor above life? How came then such a man here, if he were such a man, on this ship, amidst this unlikely, motley crew? Had he betrayed the codes? But it is difficult to forget the codes. There were always the codes, the codes. I supposed them fools, such men, but there are such men. One mocks them until one needs them. Who else, when one is in mortal jeopardy, would one prefer to have at one's back? They are of the scarlet caste. Such men, at the least, like the Assassins, are likely to kill quickly, and cleanly.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 101 - 102

I recalled how my ankles had been bound outside the Tarsk Market. They had been fastened together with warrior knots. Might it be, somehow familiar with the scarlet codes?
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31   Pages 203 - 204

Once, long ago in the delta of the Vosk, I had betrayed my codes.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Page 31

"In seeking rice, in the time of hunger," said Tajima "it seems Tarl Cabot, tarnsman, was wise, in not burning and punishing villages, and slaying men and women who withheld rice."
"That was the order of Lord Temmu," I said.
"Which, it seems," said Tajima "the commander failed to convey to the cavalry."
"It slipped my mind," I said.
"Perhaps the commander is weak," said Tajima.
"Perhaps," I said.
"But perhaps," said Tajima, regarding me narrowly, "there are codes?"
"Perhaps," I said.
"I suspect the codes are not clear on the matter," said Tajima.
"Perhaps," I said.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Pages 103 - 104

"I request the blade," said Yasushi. "It is my right."
"We do not share codes," said Arashi.
"You deny it to me?" asked Yasushi.
"Yes," said Arashi.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Page 351

"You think Lord Akio plots against Lord Yamada?" said Tajima.
"I think it is obvious," I said.
"But Lord Yamada is his shogun," said Tajima.
"The code of the warrior," I said, "is sometimes easily put on and off, as easily as one of the splendid garments of Lord Akio."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Pages 407 - 408

"Gregory White was a timid, retiring, easily abashed, enamored, manipulable weakling, an employee, a subordinate, whom you enjoyed ordering about, humiliating, tormenting, and demeaning," I said. "Pertinax is strong, supple, agile, skilled and trained, a warrior and tarnsman, the possessor of a code."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Page 413

"My young friends," said Nodachi. "You have advanced in the tutelage of war. You are worthy of the codes of steel. I am proud of you."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33   Page 575

"Put away the knife," I said. "Do not lift it against me. I am then permitted to kill you."

"The codes?" he asked.

"Of course," I said.

"How do I know you are of that caste?" he asked.

"You do not know," I said.

"Why should I believe you?" he asked.

"That your life not be jeopardized," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 3

"Do not draw your knife," I said. "The codes, the codes."

He removed his hand, reluctantly, from the hilt of the knife.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 9

"You and your men have wrought much on our behalf," he said. "Yet you are not of Mytilene. It is not the place of your Home Stone. I do not even think you are of the Farther Islands. Why have you done so? Why have you stood with us on the wall and in the breaches?"

"Accept that we have done so," I said, "and do not enquire further."

"It has to do with codes?" he asked.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 258

"Better," I said, "to finish remaining stores at once, with a great feast, and then, in the morning, hardy and nourished, in the sunlight and open air, scorning the enemy, singing, go forth to die in battle."

"The codes?" said Thrasymedes.

"Of course," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 259

"Mine is not the scarlet caste," he said. "My codes do not oblige me to courage, or its semblance."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 282

"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.

"Of course," said Sakim.

"Let us wait a little," I said.

"Why?" asked Sakim.

"Codes," I said. "Codes."

"They are mercenaries, killers," said Sakim.

"Some are caste brothers," I said.

"You would save a fellow whom in battle you would think nothing of driving a sword into his heart?" said Sakim.

"Yes," I said.

"Codes?" said Sakim.

"Yes, codes," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 331

"Shall we fire on the survivors?" asked Thurnock.

"No," I said, "they are sword brothers."

"I do not understand the scarlet caste," said Thurnock.

"Nor I the caste upon which the Home Stone rests," I said.

"The foe spared," said Thurnock, "may one day kill you."

"It is a matter of codes," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 372

"On whose behalf do you brandish your weapons?" I asked.

I recalled the codes.

It was not inadmissible to make such an inquiry.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 404

"You are no Merchant," he said.

"And you, I suspect," I said, "are no common killer."

"I betrayed my codes," he said.

"Once long ago," I said, "I betrayed mine."

He lifted his hand, weakly, to me.

"Warrior," he said, "do not let me die by a common felon's stroke."

I, troubled, did not speak.

"Let it be by your blade," he said.

"Do him no such honor," said Thurnock.

"Sword brother?" said Ctesippus.

"Sword brother," I said, and slid my blade into his heart.

"I do not understand," said Thurnock.

"It has to do with codes," I said. "And with those who have broken them."
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 409

"You seem pensive, Captain," said Thurnock.

I think of Ctesippus," I said.

"Put him from your mind," said Clitus. "His codes were betrayed, his scarlet was soiled."

"So, too, once, were mine," I said.

I doubt that you took food from the hungry, or put the innocent to the sword," said Clitus. "You do not seem to me one who kills for sport, one who claws for power, one easily blinded by the brightness of gold."

"Do not blame yourself," said Sakim. "As in Thassa, there are currents, deep and swift. They carry one where they wish."

"We must not let that be," I said.

"All wisdom may not be in the codes," said Sakim. "There may be wisdoms unknown to the codes, wisdoms beyond the codes."

"Possibly," I said.
Avengers of Gor     Book 36     Page 423

Did they know I was of the Warriors! How could they know that? I do not think they knew it. They were gambling. There are the codes, of course, the codes. I wondered if Seremides was right, that codes were for fools. Yet there were codes, the codes.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 123

Those of the Scarlet Caste seldom favor the crossbow and would be highly unlikely, given the codes, their pride and honor, to fire on an enemy's mount, be it tharlarion, kaiila, or tarn.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 145

I did see one thing which dismayed me. More than one of the attackers fired their quarrels into the tarns of the men of Samnium. I knew then that the attackers were not of the Scarlet Caste. To attack a mount is a felon's stroke. It is contrary to the codes.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 142

"Land!" I told him.

"Kill the tarn," he said. "Mayhap you have no spear, no bow, but you might close with it and cut its throat, or, better, wound it a dozen times, weakening it, so that it cannot fly."

"Down!" I said.

"So," he said, "you will not strike the tarn?"

"Take it down," I said.

"I do not choose to do so," he said. "I think you are of the Scarlet Caste, one gone astray doubtless, but yet one still reluctant to scorn the codes."
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 147

"I know you from Jad," he said, "I know your familiarity with, and your interest in, these matters, I know you can identify Talena, and, most importantly, I know I can trust you."

"How do you know that?" I asked.

''The codes," he said. "We may be enemies, perhaps even blood enemies, though I would regret that, but we have a bond in common, one stern and adamant, one like stone and iron. We are both of the Scarlet Caste."
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Pages 208 - 209

I had not authorized Myron, the polemarkos, to use the name Geoffrey of Harfax in connection with the delivery of Talena to Ar. Had he drafted me, in a sense, I wondered, forcing me to participate, willing or not, in his attempt to mislead the citizenry of Ar? That did not seem possible, given the codes we shared.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 272

"I can reach your throat," I said, "before you can bring your crutch or sword into play."

"I am not surprised, considering the distance," he said.

I tensed.

Iris drew back, to the side.

"But I do not think you will attack," said Seremides.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because the first instant of rage, of red, blinding rage, has passed," he said. "I counted on that."

"What of the second instant of rage," I asked, "that of calculated, implacable rage, bleak, cold, white rage, rage like ice?"

"Surely you are aware that your codes do not encourage killing in cold blood. Too, you are trammeled by honor, amongst other things. It is one of your failings."
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 280

"I am pleased," he said, "that you did not come back to kill me."

"I thought about it," I said.

"Not seriously, I trust," he said. "It would have been frowned on by your codes."

"You keep track of such things," I said.

"Sometimes it behooves one to do so," he said.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 336

"What is your implacable blood grievance against Decius Albus?" asked Ruffio. "Is this a matter of codes? Is there some irreparable injury he has dealt you? Is there some dire wrong yet to be righted, some insult to be expunged, some inequity to be wiped away with cleansing blood?"

"I am not Marlenus of Ar," I said. "I was not betrayed. My throne was not threatened. Decius Albus means little to me, one way or the other."
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 524

The codes do not permit the mutilation of a slain foe.
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 573

"I did not think, Captain," said Thurnock, troubled, "that poison was the Warrior's weapon."

"It is not," I said. "Each flagon, other than those from which we drank, contained enough tassa powder to sedate a tharlarion."

Tassa powder is tasteless, and, mixed with wine or another beverage, is commonly used by physicians as a sedative and is often employed by slavers, and others, to render free women unconscious. The free woman is then usually bound, hand and foot, and gagged, and placed in a slave sack, to be transported out of the town or city to some distant market.

"The mercenaries will then recover?" said Thurnock.

"After a time," I said, "refreshed and brimming with energy."
Warriors of Gor     Book 37     Page 603


of Gor

The Gor Series
has expanded!

Click Here for:
Treasure of Gor
Gorean Saga Book 38


Darklord Swashbuckler's
Book Series Starts Here on Amazon