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Fifth Month
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5th Passage Hand
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Festivals, Ceremony and Rituals



This is my narrative and relevant references from the Books where Festivals, Ceremony and Rituals are mentioned.
It is not meant to be anything other than the facts of the matter.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,
Fogaban


Gorean life is full of festivals, fairs, carnivals, ceremony and ritual.

Once, after four straight nights of feasting, it was asked if there would be yet another feast.
"That we are pleased to feast, that is occasion enough." was the answer given.

Yes, there are a great many and a considerable variety of fairs, festivals, carnivals, rituals and celebrations mentioned throughout the Books.
And while this list is not intended to be all inclusive of every event you might consider to fall under the general category, it is certainly most of them.



Click a heading to jump down to that topic.


The Waiting Hand
Carnival of the Twelfth Passage Hand
Gorean New Year

Sardar Fairs
The Fair of En'Kara
The Fair of En'Var
The Fair of Se'Kara
The Fair of Se'Var

New Year of the Wagon Peoples
Taking of the Omens
The Passing of Turia
The Wintering
The Return To Turia
Games of Love War

Turian New Year
The Turian Feast

Rence Feast
Rence 1st of Se'Kara
Rence 1st of Se'Var

Harvest Feast
Love Feast
The Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna

Kajuralia

Torvaldsland New Year
The Thing

The 25th of Se'Kara
Procession to the Sea
Carnival

Disownment Ceremony
Funeral Ceremony
Free Companion Ceremony
Coming of Age / Citizenship Ceremony
Capture Ceremony
Collaring Ceremony
La kajira Ceremony
Submission Ceremony

Ritual of Looking Into the Blood
Ritual of the Rug and Cords
Ritual of the Spear Casting
Slave Rituals

Holding Together Grass and Earth
The Comminglings Of Blood
Sharing Salt
Sharing Paga
Rite of the Claws of Sleen

Priest-Kings





 


The Waiting Hand
To The Top

another five-day period called the Waiting Hand, during which doorways are painted white, little food is eaten, little is drunk and there is to be no singing or public rejoicing in the city; during this time Goreans go out as little as possible; the Initiates, interestingly enough, do not make much out of the Waiting Hand in their ceremonies and preachments, which leads one to believe it is not intended to be of any sort of religious significance; it is perhaps, in its way, a period of mourning for the old year; Goreans, living much of their lives in the open, on the bridges and in the streets, are much closer to nature's year than most humans of Earth;
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 78


It had been a long, hard winter for me and I think I, as well as the common citizens of Ar, rejoiced in the coming of En'Kara. The girls had finished their training during the Twelfth Passage Hand. Little then remained for them except to review their lessons, eat and sleep well, and be in prime condition for their sale in the late summer, during the Fifth Passage Hand, on the Love Feast. On the first day of the Waiting Hand, the last five days of the old year, the portals of Ar, including even that of the House of Cernus, had been painted white, and in many of the low-caste homes had been sealed with pitch, not to be opened until the first day of En'Kara. Almost all doors, including that of the House of Cernus, had nailed to them some branches of the Brak Bush, the leaves of which, when chewed, have a purgative effect. It is thought that the pitch and the branches of the Brak Bush discourage the entry of bad luck into the houses of the citizens. During the days of the Waiting Hand the streets are almost deserted, and in the Houses there is much fasting, and little conversation, and no song. Rations even in the House of Cernus were halved during this period. Paga and Ka-la-na were not served. The slaves in the pens received almost nothing. Then, at dawn, on the first day of En'Kara, in the name of the city, the Administrator of Ar, or a Ubar if it be Ubar, greets the sun, welcoming it to Ar on the first day of the New Year. The great bars suspended about the walls of the city then ring out for more than an Ahn with their din, and the doors of the city burst open and the people crowd out onto the bridges, clad in the splendor of their finest, singing and laughing. The doors are painted green and the pitch washed away, and the branches of the Brak Bush burned in a small ceremony on the threshold. There are processions in the city that day, and songfests, and tournaments of the game, and recitations by poets, and contests and exhibitions. When the lanterns on the bridges must be lit the people return home, singing, carrying small lamps, and give the night over to feasting and love. Even the slaves in the iron pens in the House of Cernus received that day a small cake with oil and had their troughs filled with water mixed with Paga.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Pages 211 - 212


The Waiting Hand, the five-day period preceding the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, is a very solemn time for most Goreans. During this time few ventures are embarked upon, and little or no business is conducted. During this time most Goreans remain within their houses. It is in this time that the doors of many homes are sealed with pitch and have nailed to them branches of the brak bush, the leaves of which have a purgative effect. These precautions, and others like them, are intended to discourage the entry of ill luck into the houses.
In the houses there is little conversation and no song. It is a time, in general, of mourning, meditation and fasting. All this changes, of course, with the arrival of the vernal equinox, which, in most Gorean cities, marks the New Year.
At dawn on the day of the vernal equinox a ceremonial greeting of the sun takes place, conducted usually by the Ubar or administrator of the city. This, in effect, welcomes the New Year to the city. In Port Kar this honor fell to Samos, first captain in the Council of Captains, and the council's executive officers. The completion of this greeting is signified by, and celebrated by, a ringing of the great bars suspended about the city. The people then, rejoicing, issue forth from their houses. The brak bushes are burned on the threshold and the pitch is washed away. There are processions and various events, such as contests and games. It is a time of festival. The day is one of celebration.
These festivities, of course, are in marked contrast to the solemnities and abstinences of the Waiting Hand. The Waiting Hand is a time, in general, of misery, silence and fasting. It is also, for many Goreans, particularly those of the lower castes, a time of uneasiness, a time of trepidation and apprehension. Who knows what things, visible or invisible, might be abroad during that terrible time?
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 10


"Are you disturbed by the proximity of the Waiting Hand?" I asked. This is a frightening and difficult time for many Goreans.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 34




 


Carnival of the Twelfth Passage Hand
To The Top

In many Gorean cities, accordingly, the Twelfth Passage Hand, the five days preceding the Waiting Hand, that time to which few Goreans look forward with eagerness, is carnival. The fact that it was now only two days to the Twelfth Passage Hand, explained the presence of the unusual number of theatrical and carnival troupes now in the city.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 10




 


Gorean New Year
To The Top

on the Vernal Equinox which marks the first day of the New Year in most Gorean cities, there is great rejoicing; the doorways are painted green, and there is song on the bridges, games, contests, visitings of friends and much feasting, which lasts for the first ten days of the first month, thereby doubling the period taken in the Waiting Hand.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 78


The staff, incidentally, had been increased in the last month, largely due to the increasing number of slaves being processed by the House but perhaps also, in part, in preparation for the approaching spring, which is the busiest season on the Street of Brands, for then, after the winter, slave raids are more frequent and buyers wish to celebrate the New Year, beginning with the Vernal Equinox, by adding a girl or two to their household.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5         Page 193


the Gorean New Year, which occurs on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of the month of En'Kara.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 205


Then, at dawn, on the first day of En'Kara, in the name of the city, the Administrator of Ar, or a Ubar if it be Ubar, greets the sun, welcoming it to Ar on the first day of the New Year. The great bars suspended about the walls of the city then ring out for more than an Ahn with their din, and the doors of the city burst open and the people crowd out onto the bridges, clad in the splendor of their finest, singing and laughing. The doors are painted green and the pitch washed away, and the branches of the Brak Bush burned in a small ceremony on the threshold. There are processions in the city that day, and songfests, and tournaments of the game, and recitations by poets, and contests and exhibitions. When the lanterns on the bridges must be lit the people return home, singing, carrying small lamps, and give the night over to feasting and love. Even the slaves in the iron pens in the House of Cernus received that day a small cake with oil and had their troughs filled with water mixed with Paga.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5         Pages 211 - 212


The games and the races began with great enthusiasm and excitement.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Pages 212 - 213


The Spring Equinox, in Port Kar as well as in most other Gorean cities, marks the New Year.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 126


"So is this the perfume that the high-born women of Ar wear to the song-dramas in En'Kara?" asked the blond girl, amused.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 111


I felt the street veil fastened upon me. I was veiled as might have been a rich Gorean free woman of high caste, perhaps bound for the song dramas of En'Kara.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 108


At dawn on the day of the vernal equinox a ceremonial greeting of the sun takes place, conducted usually by the Ubar or administrator of the city. This, in effect, welcomes the New Year to the city. In Port Kar this honor fell to Samos, first captain in the Council of Captains, and the council's executive officers. The completion of this greeting is signified by, and celebrated by, a ringing of the great bars suspended about the city. The people then, rejoicing, issue forth from their houses. The brak bushes are burned on the threshold and the pitch is washed away. There are processions and various events, such as contests and games. It is a time of festival. The day is one of celebration.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 10




 


Sardar Fairs
To The Top

Men seeking the mountains, men tired of life, young idealists, opportunists eager to learn the secret of immortality in its recesses, would use the gate at the end of the central avenue of the Fair, a double gate of black logs mounted on giant wooden hinges, a gate that would swing open from the center, revealing the Sardar beyond.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 211


It was not far to the fair of En'Kara, one of the four great fairs held in the shadow of the Sardar during the Gorean year,
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 8


The contests at the fairs, however, I am pleased to say, offer nothing more dangerous than wrestling, with no holds to the death permitted. Most of the contests involve such things as racing, feats of strength, and skill with bow and spear. Other contests of interest pit choruses and poets and players of various cities against one another in the several theaters of the fair. I had a friend once, Andreas of the desert city of Tor, of the Caste of Poets, who had once sung at the fair and won a cap filled with gold. And perhaps it is hardly necessary to add that the streets of the fair abound with jugglers, puppeteers, musicians and acrobats who, far from the theaters, compete in their ancient fashions for the copper tarn disks of the broiling, turbulent crowds.
Many are the objects for sale at the fair. I passed among wines and textiles and raw wool, silks, and brocades, copperware and glazed pottery, carpets and tapestries, lumber, furs, hides, salt, arms and arrows, saddles and harness, rings and bracelets and necklaces, belts and sandals, lamps and oils, medicines and meats and grains, animals such as the fierce tarns, Gor's winged mounts, and tharlarions, her domesticated lizards, and long chains of miserable slaves, both male and female.
Although no one may be enslaved at the fair, slaves may be bought and sold within its precincts, and slavers do a thriving business, exceeded perhaps only by that of Ar's Street of Brands. The reason for this is not simply that here is a fine market for such wares, since men from various cities pass freely to and fro at the fair, but that each Gorean, whether male or female, is expected to see the Sardar Mountains, in honor of the Priest-Kings, at least once in his life, prior to his twenty-fifth year. Accordingly the pirates and outlaws who beset the trade routes to ambush and attack the caravans on the way to the fair, if successful, often have more than inanimate metals and cloths to reward their vicious labors.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Pages 11 - 12


As I entered I heard the mournful tolling of the huge, hollow metal bar which stands some way from the gate. I had heard the tolling before, and knew that it signified that yet another mortal had entered the Sardar. It was a depressing sound, and not made less so by my realization that in this case it was I who had entered the mountains. As I listened it occurred to me that the purpose of the bar might not be simply to inform the men of the fair that the Sardar had been entered but to inform the Priest-Kings as well.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 17


The results of these raids might be returned to Treve or sold, perhaps even at the Fair of En'Kara, or another of the four great Sardar Fairs,
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 63


The man of Torvaldsland bit a large chunk from his hock of roast tarsk. "Where are the slave markets?" he asked.
"There are many," I said. Indeed, one might buy slaves here and there, publicly and privately, at many places in the Fair of En'Kara, one of the four great annual fairs at the Sardar. It is not permitted to fight, or kill, or enslave within the perimeters of the fairs, but there is no prohibition against the buying and selling of merchandise within those precincts; indeed, one of the main functions of the fairs, if not their main function, was to facilitate the buying and selling of goods; the slave, of course, is goods. The fairs, too, however, have many other functions. For example, they serve as a scene of caste conventions, and as loci for the sharing of discoveries and research. It is here, for example, that physicians, and builders and artisans may meet and exchange ideas and techniques. It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized. It is here that songs are performed, and song dramas. Poets and musicians, and jugglers and magicians, vie for the attention of the crowds. Here one finds peddlers and great merchants. Some sell trinkets and others the notes of cities. It is here that the Gorean language tends to become standardized. These fairs constitute truce grounds. Men of warring cities may meet here without fear. Political negotiation and intrigue are rampant, too, generally secretly so, at the fairs. Peace and war, and arrangements and treaties, are not unoften determined in a pavilion within the precincts of the fairs. "The nearest," I told the fellow from Torvaldsland, pointing down a corridor between pavilions and booths, "lies some quarter of a pasang in that direction, beyond the booths of the rug merchants. The largest, on the other hand, the platforms of slave exhibition and the great sales pavilion, lie to your left, two pasangs away, beyond the smithies and the chain shops."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 44


The Sardar fairs are organized, regulated and administered by the Merchant Caste.
I heard a girl screaming, being lashed. She was on her knees, to one side, between two tents; she was chained at a short stake, about which she had wrapped her arms, holding it for support. The side of her cheek was against the stake. The prohibition against violence at the Sardar, of course, does not extend to slaves. They may there, as elsewhere, be lashed, or tortured or slain, as it should please the master. They are slaves.
I turned down one of the muddy streets, making my way between booths featuring the wares of potters and weavers. It seemed to me that if I could find the fair's street of coins, that the makers of odds might well have set their tables there. It was, at any rate, a sensible thought.
"Where is the street of coins?" I asked a fellow, in the tunic of the tarnkeepers.
"Of which city?" he asked.
"My thanks," I said, and continued on. The fairs are large, covering several square pasangs.
I hoped the fellow from Torvaldsland would be able to buy a good piece of meat at the market.
"Where are odds made on the Kaissa matches?" I asked a small fellow, in the garb of the leather workers. He wore the colors of Tabor on his cap.
"I would ask you that," he said.
"Do you favor Scormus of Ar?" I inquired.
"Assuredly," he said.
I nodded. I decided it would be best to search for a merchant who was on the fair's staff, or find one of their booths or praetor stations, where such information might be found.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 45 - 46


"Is this girl bothering you?" asked a merchant, one whose head bore the talmit of the fair's staff. Behind him were two guardsmen, with whips.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 49


I would stay in one of the public tents tonight. For five copper tarsks one may rent furs and a place in the tent. It is expensive, but it is, after all, En'Kara and the time of the fair. In such tents it is not unusual for peasants to lie crowded, side by side, with captains and merchants. During En'Kara, at the Fair, many of the distinctions among men and castes are forgotten.
Unfortunately meals are not served in the tents. For the price it seems one should banquet. This lack, however, is supplied by numerous public kitchens and tables. These are scattered throughout the district of the fair. Also there are vendors.
I took my place at the end of one of the long lines, that which I conjectured to be the shortest.
There are some compensations in the public tents, however. One may have paga and wines there. These are served by slave girls, whose comforts and uses are also included within the price of the lodging.
"Soup! Soup!" called a man.
"Soup!" I called, raising my hand. I purchased from him, for a copper tarsk, a bowl of soup, thick with shreds of hot bosk and porous chunks of boiled sul.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 50 - 51


At the end of every fair there are always some hundreds of girls left unsold. These are usually sold in groups at wholesale prices in sales restricted to professional slavers, who will transport them to other markets, to dispose of them there.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 54


The markets of the Sardar fairs are large and important ones in the Gorean economy.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 56


I would eat at one of the public restaurants set up in the district of the fair.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 61


I looked out over the crowds. Thousands were at the fair of the Sardar.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 78


There are few Goreans who cannot speak it, though with some it is almost a second language. Gorean tends to be rendered more uniform through the minglings and transactions of the great fairs.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 154


One of their major markets, to which they generally arrange for the shipment of girls overland, is the Sardar Fairs, in particular that of En'Kara, which is the most extensive and finest.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 115


The fair of En'Kara occurs in the spring. It is the first fair in the annual cycle of the Sardar Fairs, gigantic fairs which take place on the plains lying below the western slopes of the Sardar Mountains. These fairs, and others like them, play an important role in the Gorean culture and economy. They are an important clearing house for ideas and goods, among them female slaves.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 8


"Are you interested in this slave?" asked one of the men on the platform, coming over, his whip in hand. I did not think he was of the house of Samos. I did not, at any rate, know him. He was probably a slaver's agent, licensed for work at the fair. There are many fellows who, seasonally, do this work. At other times they normally work in slavers' houses. He may, of course, have been one of the fellows on the fairs' permanent staff. There are four such fairs, administered by the merchants, held annually in the vicinity of the Sardar, those of En'Kara, En'Var, Se'Kara and Se'Var.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 169


He had, this afternoon, at the edge of the woods, for local villagers, given his first performances since the fair, from which, as we had anticipated, he had been duly expelled, that following from various complaints lodged with the fair's board of governance by a certain free woman, the Lady Telitsia of Asperiche.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Pages 174 - 175


The reform of chronology is proposed by a small party from among the caste of scribes almost every year at the Fair of En'Kara, near the Sardar, but their proposals, sensible as they might seem, are seldom greeted with either interest or enthusiasm, even by the scribes.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 347


"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.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 305


Every year at the Sardar Fair there is a motion before the bankers, literally, the coin merchants, to introduce a standardization of coinage among the major cities. To date, however, this has not been accomplished. I did not feel it was really fair of Boots to call attention to my possible lack of expertise in these matters. I was not, after all, of the merchants, nor, among them, of the coin merchants.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 411


Whereas cities have laws, and most castes have caste codes, there is only one law which is generally respected, and held in common, amongst Gorean municipalities, and that is Merchant Law, largely established and codified at the great Sardar Fairs.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 424


To be sure, I had no illusions as to the standing of Epicrates in his field. He was, by all accounts, a fine potter, and an honest one, but his work, as far as I knew, had never been singled out in the city, nor, say, had it been displayed in, let alone won prizes in, the exhibitions held in the great Sardar fairs.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 362


Merchant Law, instituted at, and revised in, the Sardar Fairs, is the only common body of law on Gor.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 434


Most Players do not make much of a living, but they have seen, I gather, as many have not, the beauty of the game. Important matches are often wagered on, and, sometimes, take place at the Sardar Fairs. The Sardar Fairs, so to speak, are treaty grounds, where lethal enemies may sit side by side, observing the great boards, where the match movements are posted. At the times of important matches, even the roads to the Fairs, within a circuit of a hundred pasangs, are deemed treaty grounds.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 435




 


The Fair of En'Kara
To The Top

I saw the pavilions of the Fair of En'Kara, or the Fair of the First Turning.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 179


They were then transported overland in slave wagons to the Sardar, where they were sold at the great spring fair of En'Kara.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 234


It was said that Scormus of Ar and Centius of Cos would sometime meet at the great fair of En'Kara, in the shadow of the Sardar.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 148


"Besides," I said, "it is En'Kara."
"So?" asked Samos.
"It is time for the Kaissa matches at the Fair of En'Kara, at the Sardar," I said. I found it hard to think that this was not on the mind of Samos. "Centius of Cos," I said, "is defending his title against Scormus of Ar."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 33 - 34


"Make way! Make way!" laughed the brawny young fellow. He had a naked girl over his shoulder, bound hand and foot. He had won her in Girl Catch, in a contest to decide a trade dispute between two small cities, Ven and Ram, the former a river port on the Vosk, the second noted for its copper mining, lying southeast of Tharna. In the contest a hundred young men of each city, and a hundred young women, the most beautiful in each city, participate. The object of the game is to secure the women of the enemy. Weapons are not permitted. The contest takes place in an area outside the perimeters of the great fair, for in it slaves are made. The area is enclosed by a low wooden wall, and spectators observe. When a male is forced beyond the wall he is removed from the competition and may not, upon pain of death, re-enter the area for the duration of the contest. When a girl is taken she is bound hand and foot and thrown to a girl pit, of which there are two, one in each city's end of the "field." These pits are circular, marked off with a small wooden fence, sand-bottomed, and sunk some two feet below the surface of the "field." If she cannot free herself she counts as a catch. The object of the male is to remove his opponents from the field and capture the girls of the other city. The object of the girl, of course, is to elude capture.
"Make way!" he called. "Make way!" I, with others in the crowd, stepped aside.
Both the young men and women wear tunics in this sport. The tunics of the young women are cut briefly, to better reveal their charms. The young man wears binding fiber about his left wrist, with which to secure prizes. The young women, who are free, if the rules permit, as they sometimes do not, commonly wear masks, that their modesty be less grievously compromised by the brevity of their costume. Should the girl be caught, however, her mask is removed. The tunics of the girls are not removed, however, except those of the girls of the losing city, when the match has ended and the winner decided. The win is determined when the young men of one city, or those left on the field, have secured the full hundred of the women of the "enemy." A woman once bound and thrown to the girl pit, incidentally, may not be fetched forth by the young men of her city, except at the end of the match, and on the condition that they have proved victorious. The captured women of the victorious city at the conclusion of the contest are of course released; they are robed and honored; the girls of the losing city, of course, are simply stripped and made slaves. This may seem a cruel sport but some regard it as superior to a war; surely it is cleaner and there is less loss of life; this method of settling disputes, incidentally, is not used if it is felt that honor is somehow involved in the disagreement. Honor is important to Goreans, in a way that those of Earth might find hard to understand; for example, those of Earth find it natural that men should go to war over matters of gold and riches, but not honor; the Gorean, contrariwise, is more willing to submit matters of honor to the adjudication of steel than he is matters of riches and gold; there is a simple explanation for this; honor is more important to him. Strangely the girls of the cities are eager to participate in this sport. Doubtless each believes her standard will be victorious and she will return in honor to her city.
The young man brushed past me. The girl's hair was still bound, knotted, on her head; it had not yet even been loosened, as that of a slave girl. Looped about her neck, locked, was a slender, common, gray-steel slave collar. He had wired a tag to it, that she might be identified as his. She had been of Ram, probably of high caste, given the quality of her beauty. She would now be slave in the river port of Ven. The man appeared to be a young bargeman. Her lips were delicate and beautiful. They would kiss him well.
I watched him press on through the crowds, toward the looming palisade which ringed the Sardar Mountains, black and snow-capped, behind it.
The numbers in the game are set at a hundred young men and a hundred young women, in order that there be a young woman for each winning male.
This was the first year, incidentally, in which masks had been permitted to the young women in some of these contests. The masks, however, had been brief and feminine. They concealed little and did little more than to excite the men and stimulate them to the beauty's pursuit, culminating in her rude assault, capture and unmasking. Still I suspected the innovation, next year, would be dropped. It is easier to gamble on the taking of given girls, and how long they will be at large, if their beauty is better visible to the bettors.
I looked after the young man. He was going to the palisade. There he would climb one of the platforms and, putting the girl on her knees, her ankles and wrists crossed and bound, at his feet, facing the Sardar, he would unbind her hair. Then he would lift her in his arms, hair unbound, before the mountains of the Sardar, rejoicing, and giving thanks to Priest-Kings that she was now his.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 41 - 43


(speaking of Kaissa) Some regarded winning the city championship of Ar as tantamount to victory at the Fair of En'Kara.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 87


One of their major markets, to which they generally arrange for the shipment of girls overland, is the Sardar Fairs, in particular that of En'Kara, which is the most extensive and finest.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 115


The fair of En'Kara occurs in the spring. It is the first fair in the annual cycle of the Sardar Fairs, gigantic fairs which take place on the plains lying below the western slopes of the Sardar Mountains. These fairs, and others like them, play an important role in the Gorean culture and economy. They are an important clearing house for ideas and goods, among them female slaves.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 8


Slavers remain active all year on Gor, but the peak seasons for slaving are the spring and early summer. This has to do with such matters as the weather, and the major markets associated with certain feasts and holidays, for example, the Love Feast in Ar, which occurs in the late summer, occupying the full five days of the Fifth Passage Hand. Also, during these seasons, of course, occur the great markets associated with the fairs of En'Kara and En'Var. These are the two major seasonal markets on Gor, exceeding all others in the volume of women processed.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 13


"She is one of a lot of one hundred," said Samos. "They are to be sold at the fair of En'Kara."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 37


"Under the conditions you propose," I said, "I would not accept a win from you, if you were Centius of Cos." Centius of Cos was perhaps the finest player on Gor. He had been the champion at the En'Kara tournaments three out of the last five years. In one of those years, 10,127 C.A., he had chosen not to compete, giving the time to study. In that year the champion had been Terence of Turia. In 10,128 C.A. Centius had returned but was defeated by Ajax of Ti, of the Salerian Confederation, who had overcome Terence in the semifinals. In 10,129 C.A., last En'Kara, Centius had decisively bested Ajax and recovered the championship.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 56


"The Fair of En'Kara is the greatest of all the fairs," he said. "It comes but once a year. It is important to us! We need every tarsk-bit we can make here."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 160


"This is the Fair of En'Kara," he said. "There are thousands of girls for sale here, in the care of hundreds of owners."
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 163


There are four such fairs, administered by the merchants, held annually in the vicinity of the Sardar, those of En'Kara, En'Var, Se'Kara and Se'Var.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 169


"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.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 305




 


The Fair of En'Var
To The Top

Slavers remain active all year on Gor, but the peak seasons for slaving are the spring and early summer. This has to do with such matters as the weather, and the major markets associated with certain feasts and holidays, for example, the Love Feast in Ar, which occurs in the late summer, occupying the full five days of the Fifth Passage Hand. Also, during these seasons, of course, occur the great markets associated with the fairs of En'Kara and En'Var. These are the two major seasonal markets on Gor, exceeding all others in the volume of women processed.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 13


There are four such fairs, administered by the merchants, held annually in the vicinity of the Sardar, those of En'Kara, En'Var, Se'Kara and Se'Var.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 169




 


The Fair of Se'Kara
To The Top

There are four such fairs, administered by the merchants, held annually in the vicinity of the Sardar, those of En'Kara, En'Var, Se'Kara and Se'Var.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 169


Considering the nature of the goods commonly found in Laura, rough goods for the most part, one might have supposed it strange that Targo was bound for that city. It was not strange, however, for it was spring, and spring is the great season for slave raids. Indeed, the preceding fall, at the fair of Se'Kara, near the Sardar Mountains, he had contracted with a marauder, Haakon of Skjern, for one hundred northern beauties, to be taken from the villages north of the Laurius and from the coastal villages, upward even to the edges of Torvaldsland.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 60




 


The Fair of Se'Var
To The Top

There are four such fairs, administered by the merchants, held annually in the vicinity of the Sardar, those of En'Kara, En'Var, Se'Kara and Se'Var.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 169


These men of Tharna, mostly small tradesmen in silver, had come for the autumn fair, the Fair of Se'Var, which was just being set up at the time of the gravitational lessening.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 309


We had left the Fair of Se'Var and were making our way around the perimeter of the Sardar Range before crossing the Vosk on the way to Ar.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 310


"How came you to Thentis?" asked Cernus.
"Kassars raided Tuchuk wagons," she said. "I was abducted, later sold to Turians." She spoke numbly. "I was later sold in Tor," she said, "far to the north of Turia. A year later, by slave wagon, I reached the fair of Se'Var near the Sardar, where I was sold to the House of Clark, from which house I and many others were fortunate enough to be purchased by the House of Cernus, in Glorious Ar."
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 47




 


New Year of the Wagon Peoples
To The Top

the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows;
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 11


A consequence of the chronological conventions of the Wagon Peoples, of course, is that their years tend to vary in length, but this fact, which might bother us, does not bother them, any more than the fact that some men and some animals live longer than others; the women of the Wagon Peoples, incidentally, keep a calendar based on the phases of Gor's largest moon, but this is a calendar of fifteen moons, named for the fifteen varieties of bosk, and functions independently of the tallying of years by snows; for example, the Moon of the Brown Bosk may at one time occur in the winter, at another time, years later, in the summer; this calendar is kept by a set of colored pegs set in the sides of some wagons, on one of which, depending on the moon, a round, wooden plate bearing the image of a bosk is fixed. The years, incidentally, are not numbered by the Wagon Peoples, but given names, toward their end, based on something or other which has occurred to distinguish the year. The year names are kept in living memory by the Year Keepers, some of whom can recall the names of several thousand consecutive years.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 12




 


Taking of the Omens
To The Top

The Wagon Peoples war among themselves, but once in every two hands of years, there is a time of gathering of the peoples, and this, I had learned, was that time. In the thinking of the Wagon Peoples it is called the Omen Year, though the Omen Year is actually a season, rather than a year, which occupies a part of two of their regular years, for the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows; Turians, incidentally, figure the year from summer solstice to summer solstice; Goreans generally, on the other hand, figure the year from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, their new year beginning, like nature's, with the spring; the Omen Year, or season, lasts several months, and consists of three phases, called the Passing of Turia, which takes place in the fall; the Wintering, which takes place north of Turia and commonly south of the Cartius, the equator of course lying to the north in this hemisphere; and the Return to Turia, in the spring, or, as the Wagon Peoples say, in the Season of Little Grass. It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 11


"It is the Omen Year," had said Kamchak of the Tuchuks. The herds would circle Turia, for this was the portion of the Omen Year called the Passing of Turia, in which the Wagon Peoples gather and begin to move toward their winter pastures; the second portion of the Omen Year is the Wintering, which takes place far north of Turia, the equator being approached in this hemisphere, of course, from the south; the third and final portion of the Omen Year is the Return to Turia, which takes place in the spring, or as the Wagon Peoples have it, in the Season of Little Grass. It is in the spring that the omens are taken, regarding the possible election of the Ubar San, the One Ubar, he who would be Ubar of all the Wagons, of all the Peoples.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 55


Coming over a low, rolling hill, we saw a large number of tents pitched in a circle, surrounding a large grassy area. In the grassy area, perhaps about two hundred yards in diameter, there were literally hundreds of small, stone altars. There was a large circular stone platform in the center of the field.
On the top of this platform was a huge, four-sided altar which was approached by steps on all four sides. On one side of this altar I saw the sign of the Tuchuks, and on the others, that of the Kassars, the Kataii and the Paravaci. I had not mentioned the matter of the Paravaci quiva which had almost struck me last night, having been in the morning disturbed about the disappearance of Elizabeth Cardwell and in the afternoon busy following Kamchak about in his rounds. I resolved to mention the matter to him sometime but not this evening for I was convinced this would not be a good evening for anyone in the wagon, except perhaps for Kamchak, who seemed pleased about the arrangements he had made with the herder pertaining to crossing livestock and the bargain, it seemed, he had contracted with the fellow with the quivas and saddle.
There were a large number of tethered animals about the outer edge of the circle, and, beside them, stood many haruspexes. Indeed, I supposed there must be one haruspex at least for each of the many altars in the field. Among the animals I saw many verrs; some domestic tarsks, their tusks sheathed; cages of flapping vulos, some sleen, some kaiila, even some bosk; by the Paravaci haruspexes I saw manacled male slaves, if such were to be permitted; commonly, I understood from Kamchak, the Tuchuks, Kassars and Kataii rule out the sacrifice of slaves because their hearts and livers are thought to be, fortunately for the slaves, untrustworthy in registering portents; after all, as Kamchak pointed out, who would trust a Turian slave in the kes with a matter so important as the election of a Ubar San; it seemed to me good logic and, of course, I am sure the slaves, too, were taken with the cogency of the argument. The animals sacrificed, incidentally, are later used for food, so the Omen Taking, far from being a waste of animals, is actually a time of feasting and plenty for the Wagon Peoples, who regard the Omen Taking, provided it results that no Ubar San is to be chosen, as an occasion for gaiety and festival. As I may have mentioned, no Ubar San had been chosen for more than a hundred years.
As yet the Omen Taking had not begun. The haruspexes had not rushed forward to the altars. On the other hand on each altar there burned a small bosk-dung fire into which, like a tiny piece of kindling, had been placed an incense stick.
Kamchak and I dismounted and, from outside the circle, watched the four chief haruspexes of the Wagon Peoples approach the huge altar in the center of the field. Behind them another four haruspexes, one from each People, carried a large wooden cage, made of sticks lashed together, which contained perhaps a dozen white vulos, domesticated pigeons. This cage they placed on the altar. I then noted that each of the four chief haruspexes carried, about his shoulder, a white linen sack, somewhat like a peasant's rep-cloth seed bag.
"This is the first Omen," said Kamchak," the Omen to see if the Omens are propitious to take the Omens."
"Oh," I said.
Each of the four haruspexes then, after intoning an involved entreaty of some sort to the sky, which at the time was shining beneficently, suddenly cast a handful of something - doubtless grain - to the pigeons in the stick cage.
Even from where I stood I could see the pigeons pecking at the grain in reassuring frenzy.
The four haruspexes turned then, each one facing his own minor haruspexes and anyone else who might be about, and called out, "It is propitious!"
There was a pleased cry at this announcement from the throng.
"This part of the Omen Taking always goes well," I was informed by Kamchak.
"Why is that?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said. Then he looked at me. "Perhaps," he proposed, "it is because the vulos are not fed for three days prior to the taking of the Omen."
"Perhaps," I admitted.
"I," said Kamchak, "would like a bottle of Paga."
"I, too," I admitted.
"Who will buy?" he asked.
I refused to speak.
"We could wager," he suggested.
"I'll buy it," I said.
I could now see the other haruspexes of the peoples pouring with their animals toward the altars. The Omen Taking as a whole lasts several days and consumes hundreds of animals. A tally is kept, from day to day. One haruspex, as we left, I heard cry out that he had found a favorable liver. Another, from an adjoining altar had rushed to his side. They were engaged in dispute. I gathered that reading the signs was a subtle business, calling for sophisticated interpretation and the utmost delicacy and judgment. Even as we made our way back to the kaiila I could hear two more haruspexes crying out that they had found livers that were clearly unfavorable. Clerks, with parchment scrolls, were circulating among the altars, presumably, I would guess, noting the names of haruspexes, their peoples, and their findings. The four chief haruspexes of the peoples remained at the huge central altar, to which a white bosk was being slowly led.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 170 - 173




 


The Passing of Turia
To The Top

The Wagon Peoples war among themselves, but once in every two hands of years, there is a time of gathering of the peoples, and this, I had learned, was that time. In the thinking of the Wagon Peoples it is called the Omen Year, though the Omen Year is actually a season, rather than a year, which occupies a part of two of their regular years, for the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows; Turians, incidentally, figure the year from summer solstice to summer solstice; Goreans generally, on the other hand, figure the year from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, their new year beginning, like nature's, with the spring; the Omen Year, or season, lasts several months, and consists of three phases, called the Passing of Turia, which takes place in the fall; the Wintering, which takes place north of Turia and commonly south of the Cartius, the equator of course lying to the north in this hemisphere; and the Return to Turia, in the spring, or, as the Wagon Peoples say, in the Season of Little Grass. It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 11


"It is the Omen Year," had said Kamchak of the Tuchuks. The herds would circle Turia, for this was the portion of the Omen Year called the Passing of Turia, in which the Wagon Peoples gather and begin to move toward their winter pastures; the second portion of the Omen Year is the Wintering, which takes place far north of Turia, the equator being approached in this hemisphere, of course, from the south; the third and final portion of the Omen Year is the Return to Turia, which takes place in the spring, or as the Wagon Peoples have it, in the Season of Little Grass. It is in the spring that the omens are taken, regarding the possible election of the Ubar San, the One Ubar, he who would be Ubar of all the Wagons, of all the Peoples.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 55




 


The Wintering
To The Top

The Wagon Peoples war among themselves, but once in every two hands of years, there is a time of gathering of the peoples, and this, I had learned, was that time. In the thinking of the Wagon Peoples it is called the Omen Year, though the Omen Year is actually a season, rather than a year, which occupies a part of two of their regular years, for the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows; Turians, incidentally, figure the year from summer solstice to summer solstice; Goreans generally, on the other hand, figure the year from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, their new year beginning, like nature's, with the spring; the Omen Year, or season, lasts several months, and consists of three phases, called the Passing of Turia, which takes place in the fall; the Wintering, which takes place north of Turia and commonly south of the Cartius, the equator of course lying to the north in this hemisphere; and the Return to Turia, in the spring, or, as the Wagon Peoples say, in the Season of Little Grass. It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 11


"It is the Omen Year," had said Kamchak of the Tuchuks. The herds would circle Turia, for this was the portion of the Omen Year called the Passing of Turia, in which the Wagon Peoples gather and begin to move toward their winter pastures; the second portion of the Omen Year is the Wintering, which takes place far north of Turia, the equator being approached in this hemisphere, of course, from the south; the third and final portion of the Omen Year is the Return to Turia, which takes place in the spring, or as the Wagon Peoples have it, in the Season of Little Grass. It is in the spring that the omens are taken, regarding the possible election of the Ubar San, the One Ubar, he who would be Ubar of all the Wagons, of all the Peoples.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 55


"The Season of Little Grass is upon us," said Kamchak. "Tomorrow the herds will move toward Turia."
I nodded. The Wintering was done. There would now be the third phase of the Omen Year, the Return to Turia.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 82




 


The Return To Turia
To The Top

The Wagon Peoples war among themselves, but once in every two hands of years, there is a time of gathering of the peoples, and this, I had learned, was that time. In the thinking of the Wagon Peoples it is called the Omen Year, though the Omen Year is actually a season, rather than a year, which occupies a part of two of their regular years, for the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows; Turians, incidentally, figure the year from summer solstice to summer solstice; Goreans generally, on the other hand, figure the year from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, their new year beginning, like nature's, with the spring; the Omen Year, or season, lasts several months, and consists of three phases, called the Passing of Turia, which takes place in the fall; the Wintering, which takes place north of Turia and commonly south of the Cartius, the equator of course lying to the north in this hemisphere; and the Return to Turia, in the spring, or, as the Wagon Peoples say, in the Season of Little Grass. It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 11


"It is the Omen Year," had said Kamchak of the Tuchuks. The herds would circle Turia, for this was the portion of the Omen Year called the Passing of Turia, in which the Wagon Peoples gather and begin to move toward their winter pastures; the second portion of the Omen Year is the Wintering, which takes place far north of Turia, the equator being approached in this hemisphere, of course, from the south; the third and final portion of the Omen Year is the Return to Turia, which takes place in the spring, or as the Wagon Peoples have it, in the Season of Little Grass. It is in the spring that the omens are taken, regarding the possible election of the Ubar San, the One Ubar, he who would be Ubar of all the Wagons, of all the Peoples.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 55


"The Season of Little Grass is upon us," said Kamchak. "Tomorrow the herds will move toward Turia."
I nodded. The Wintering was done. There would now be the third phase of the Omen Year, the Return to Turia.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 82




 


Games of Love War
To The Top

"She seemed much different than the other Tuchuk women," I said.
Kamchak laughed, the colored scars wrinkling on his broad face. "Of course," said Kamchak, "she has been raised to be fit prize in the games of Love War."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 33


"In the spring there will be the games of Love War and I will go to Turia, and you may then, if you wish, accompany me."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 56


I wondered on what Kamchak had called the games of Love War, said to take place on the Plains of a Thousand Stakes.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 56


The institution of Love War is an ancient one among the Turians and the Wagon Peoples, according to the Year Keepers antedating even the Omen Year. The games of Love War, of course, are celebrated every spring between, so to speak, the city and the plains, whereas the Omen Year occurs only ever tenth year. The games of Love War, in themselves, do not constitute a gathering of the Wagon Peoples, for normally the herds and the free women of the peoples do not approach one another at these times; only certain delegations of warriors, usually about two hundred from a people, are sent in the spring to the Plains of a Thousand Stakes.
The theoretical justification of the games of Love War, from the Turian point of view, is that they provide an excellent arena in which to demonstrate the fierceness and prowess of Turian warriors, thus perhaps intimidating or, at the very least, encouraging the often overbold warriors of the Wagon Peoples to be wary of Turian steel. The secret justification, I suspect, however, is that the Turian warrior is fond of meeting the enemy and acquiring his women, particularly should they be striking little beasts, like Hereena of the First Wagon, as untamed and savage as they are beautiful; it is regarded as a great sport among Turian warriors to collar such a wench and force her to exchange riding leather for the bells and silks of a perfumed slave girl. It might also be mentioned that the Turian warrior, in his opinion, too seldom encounters the warrior of the Wagon Peoples, who tends to be a frustrating, swift and elusive foe, striking with great rapidity and withdrawing with goods and captives almost before it is understood what has occurred. I once asked Kamchak if the Wagon Peoples had a justification for the games of Love War. "Yes," he had said. And he had then pointed to Dina and Tenchika, clad Kajir, who were at that time busy in the wagon. "That is the justification," said Kamchak. And he had then laughed and pounded his knee. It was only then that it had occurred to me that both girls might have been acquired in the games; as a matter of fact, however, I later learned that only Tenchika had been so acquired; Dina had first felt the thongs of a master beside the burning wagons of a caravan in which she had purchased passage. Now, looking on the approaching palanquins, I supposed that so once, in veil and silks, had ridden the lovely Tenchika, and so, too, as far as I knew, might have ridden the lovely Dina, had she not fallen earlier and otherwise to the chains of Kassar warriors. I wondered how many of the proud beauties of Turia would this night tearfully serve barbarian masters; and how many of the wild, leather-clad girls of the Wagons, like Hereena, would find themselves this night naught but bangled, silken slaves locked behind the high walls of distant, lofty Turia.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 115 - 116


One by one, clad in the proud arrays of resplendent silks, each in the Robes of Concealment, the damsels of Turia, veiled and straight-standing, emerged from their palanquins, scarcely concealing their distaste for the noise and clamor about them.
Judges were now circulating, each with lists, among the Wagon Peoples and the Turians.
As I knew, not just any girl, any more than just any warrior, could participate in the games of Love War. Only the most beautiful were eligible, and only the most beautiful of these could be chosen.
A girl might propose herself to stand, as had Aphris of Turia, but this would not guarantee that she would be chosen, for the criteria of Love War are exacting and, as much as possible, objectively applied. Only the most beautiful of the most beautiful could stand in this harsh sport.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 117


The selection of the girls, incidentally, is determined by judges in their city, or of their own people, in Turia by members of the Caste of Physicians who have served in the great slave houses of Ar; among the wagons by the masters of the public slave wagons, who buy, sell and rent girls, providing warriors and slavers with a sort of clearing house and market for their feminine merchandise.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 118


When more than one wish to fight for a given woman, incidentally, the Turians decide this by rank and prowess, the Wagon Peoples by scars and prowess. In short, in their various ways, something like seniority and skills determines, of two or more Turians or two or more warriors of the Wagons, who will take the field. Sometimes men fight among themselves for this honor, but such combat is frowned upon by both the Turians and those of the Wagons, being regarded as somewhat disgraceful, particularly in the presence of foes.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 121




 


Turian New Year
To The Top

One could tell a Turian because he insisted on celebrating the New Year at the summer solstice, for instance.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 160


Most Gorean cities use the Spring Equinox as the date of the New Year. Turia, however, uses the Summer Solstice.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 58




 


The Turian Feast
To The Top

The Turian feast usually consumes the better part of a night and can have as many as a hundred and fifty courses. This would be impractical, naturally, save for the detestable device of the golden bowl and tufted banquet stick, dipped in scented oils, by means of which the diner may, when he wishes, refresh himself and return with eagerness to the feast.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 87


I observed the banquet tables, laid out in an open-ended rectangle, permitting slaves to enter at the open end, facilitating the serving, and, of course, allowing entertainers to perform among the tables. To one side there was a small altar to Priest-Kings, where there burned a small fire. On this fire, at the beginning of the feast the feast steward had scattered some grains of meal, some colored salt, some drops of wine. "Ta-Sardar-Gor," he had said, and this phrase had been repeated by the others in the room. "To the Priest-Kings of Gor." It had been the general libation for the banquet.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 89


We had been treated to exhibitions of juggling, fire swallowing, and acrobats. There had been a magician, who particularly pleased Kamchak, and a man who, whip in hand, guided a dancing sleen through its paces.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 90




 


Harvest Feast
To The Top

"It has been hard in Ar," said the man, "since the deposition of Kazrak of Port Kar as Administrator of the City, and since the murder of Om, the High Initiate of the City."
Kuurus had heard of these things. Kazrak, who had been Administrator of the City for several years, had finally been deposed, largely due to the agitations of certain factions among the Initiates and Merchants, who had had their various grievances against the Administrator. Kazrak had offended the Caste of Initiates primarily by levying taxes on their vast holdings throughout the city and upon occasion upholding the rulings of the administrative courts over the courts of the Initiates. The Initiates, in their interpretations of sacrifices and in their preachments, primarily to the low castes, had led many of the city to fear that Kazrak might not long enjoy the favor of the Priest-Kings. After the murder of Om, who had been on tolerable terms with the Administrator, the new High Initiate, Complicius Serenus, in studying the omens of the white bosk slain at the Harvest Feast had, to his apparent horror, discovered that they had stood against Kazrak. Other Initiates wished to examine these omens, being read in the state of the bosk's liver, but Complicius Serenus, as though in terror, had cast the liver into the fire, presumably that such dark portents might be immediately destroyed.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 15




 


Love Feast
To The Top

On the other hand, the single greatest period for the sale of slaves is the five days of the Fifth Passage Hand, coming late in summer, called jointly the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 193


Many houses would doubtless have put them up for sale in En'Kara but Cernus, as I had heard, was saving them for the Love Feast, which occupies the five days of the fifth passage hand, falling late in the summer. There was a variety of reasons why he was postponing their sale. The most obvious was that good prices are commanded on the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 205


in the late summer, during the Fifth Passage Hand, on the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 211


on the last day of the fifth month, which is the day preceding the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 229


The Love Feast, incidentally, as I may have mentioned, occupies the full five days of the Fifth Passage Hand, occurring late in summer. It is also a time of great feasting, of races and games. Cernus, sensing the temper and curiosity of the crowds, had determined to make them wait for his surprise delights, over a hundred Of them, whose supposed qualities of beauty and skill, enhanced by the mysterious aura of barbaric origin, had been for months the object of ever more eager rumors and excited speculations. Many were the furious Gorean slave girls who found themselves, early in the Love Feast, forced to ascend the block, while buyers were still waiting, before the larger quantities of gold would be spent, to be sold for prices less than they might otherwise have won for themselves under the conditions of a more normal market. The evening of the fourth day of the Love Feast is usually taken as its climax from the point of view of slave sales. The fifth day, special races and games are celebrated, regarded by many Goreans as the fitting consummation of the holidays. These games are among the most heavily attended and important of the year.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 281


The Ubar's Race is the final and climactic race of the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 335


Slavers remain active all year on Gor, but the peak seasons for slaving are the spring and early summer. This has to do with such matters as the weather, and the major markets associated with certain feasts and holidays, for example, the Love Feast in Ar, which occurs in the late summer, occupying the full five days of the Fifth Passage Hand.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 13




 


Rence Feast
To The Top

I had been aroused at dawn by Telima, and unbound, that I might help in the preparations for festival.
In the early morning the other rence islands, four of them, which had been tethered close by, were poled to the one on which I was kept, and now, joined by flat rence rafts, acting as bridges, they had been tied to one another, now forming, for most practical purposes, a large single island.
I had been used in the fastening of the bridges, and in the drawing up and tying of rence craft on the shore, as other rencers, from distant islands, arrived for festival. I had also been used to carry heavy kettles of rence beer from the various islands to the place of feasting, as well as strings of water gourds, poles of fish, plucked gants, slaughtered tarsks, and baskets of the pith of rence.
Then, about the eighth Gorean hour, Telima had ordered me to the pole, where she bound me and placed on my head the garland of rence flowers.
I had stood at the pole the long morning, subject to the examination, the stares, and the blows and abuse of those who passed by.
Around the tenth Gorean hour, the Gorean noon, the rencers ate small rence cakes, dotted with seeds, drank water, and nibbled on scraps of fish. The great feast would be in the evening.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 40 - 41


It was now late on the night of festival, and most of the feast had been consumed.
Torches, oiled coils of marsh vine wound about the prongs of marsh spears, thrust butt down in the rence of the island, burned in the marsh night.
The men sat cross-legged in the outer circles, and, in the inner circles, in the fashion of Gorean women, the women knelt. There were children about the periphery of the circles but many of them were already asleep on the rence. There had been much talking and singing. I gathered it was seldom the rencers, save for those on a given island, met one another. Festival was important to them.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 43 - 44




 


The 1st of Se'Kara
To The Top

Normally, as I may have mentioned, these communities are isolated from one another, but it was now near the Autumnal Equinox, and the month of Se'Kara was shortly to begin. For rence growers, the first of Se'Kara, the date of the Autumnal Equinox, is a time of festival. By that time most of the year's rence will have been cut, and great stocks of rence paper, gathered in rolls like cord wood and covered with woven rence mats, will have been prepared.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 17



 


The 1st of Se'Var
To The Top

The first of Se'Var is also a date of festival, it might be mentioned, but this time the festival is limited to individual, isolated rence islands. With the year's rence sold, the communities do not care to lie too close to one another; the primary reason is that, in doing so, they would present too inviting a target for the "tax collectors" of Port Kar. Indeed, I surmised, there was risk enough, and great risk, coming together even in Se'Kara. The unsold stores of rence paper on the islands at this time would, in themselves, be a treasure, though, to be sure, a bulky one.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 17



 


The Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna
To The Top

The Home Stone of a city is the center of various rituals. The next would be the Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna, the Life-Daughter, celebrated early in the growing season to insure a good harvest. This is a complex feast, celebrated by most Gorean cities, and the observances are numerous and intricate. The details of the rituals are arranged and mostly executed by the Initiates of a given city. Certain portions of the ceremonies, however, are often allotted to members of the High Castes.
In Ar, for example, early in the day, a member of the Builders will go to the roof on which the Home Stone is kept and place the primitive symbol of his trade, a metal angle square, before the Stone, praying to the Priest-Kings for the prosperity of his caste in the coming year; later in the day a Warrior will, similarly, place his arms before the Stone, to be followed by other representatives of each caste. Most significantly, while these members of the High Castes perform their portions of the ritual, the Guards of the Home Stone temporarily withdraw to the interior of the cylinder, leaving the celebrant, it is said, alone with the Priest-Kings.
Lastly, as the culmination of Ar's Planting Feast, and of the greatest importance to the plan of the Council of Ko-ro-ba, a member of the Ubar's family goes to the roof at night, under the three full moons with which the feast is correlated, and casts grain upon the stone and drops of a red winelike drink made from the fruit of the Ka-la-na tree. The member of the Ubar's family then prays to the Priest-Kings for an abundant harvest and returns to the interior of the cylinder, at which point the Guards of the Home Stone resume their vigil.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 68


The city of Ar must have contained more than a hundred thousand cylinders, each ablaze with the lights of the Planting Feast.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 76


As I dropped closer, I saw that the bridges were lined with the celebrants of the Planting Feast, many perhaps reeling home drunk on Paga. Flying among the cylinders were tarnsmen, cavalry warriors reveling in the undisciplined liberty of the feast, racing one another, essaying mock passages at arms, sometimes dropping their tarns like thunderbolts toward the bridges, only to jerk them upward just inches above the terrified heads of the celebrants.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 77


On such festivals as the Planting Feast it was even she who was sometimes permitted to honor the Home Stone, sprinkling upon it the richest Ka-la-na, and the finest of Sa-Tarna grains.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 394




 


Kajuralia
To The Top

"Kajuralia!" cried the slave girl hurling a basket of Sa-Tarna flour on me, and turning and running. I had caught up with her in five steps and kissed her roundly, swatted her and sent her packing.
"Kajuralia yourself!" I said laughing, and she, laughing, sped away.
About that time a large pan of warm water splashed down on me from a window some sixteen feet above the street level. Wringing wet I glared upward.
I saw a girl in the window, who blew me a kiss, a slave girl. "Kajuralia!" she cried and laughed.
I raised my fist and shook it and her head disappeared from the window.
A Builder, whose robes were stained with thrown fruit, hastily strode by. "You had better be indoors," said he, "on Kajuralia."
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 223


The Kajuralia, or the Holiday of Slaves, or Festival of Slaves, occurs in most of the northern, civilized cities of known Gor once a year. The only exception to this that I know of is Port Kar, in the delta of the Vosk. The date of the Kajuralia, however, differs. Many cities celebrate it on the last day of the Twelfth Passage Hand, the day before the beginning of the Waiting Hand; in Ar, however, and certain other cities, it is celebrated on the last day of the fifth month, which is the day preceding the Love Feast.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 229




 


Torvaldsland New Year
To The Top

The Spring Equinox, incidentally, is also used for the New Year by the Rune-Priests of the North, who keep the calendars of Torvaldsland. They number years from the time of Thor's gift of the stream of Torvald to Torvald, legendary hero and founder of the northern fatherlands.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 58

Many of the columns carved, with painted surfaces, on the walls, reminded me of rune stones. These stones, incidentally, are normally quite colorful, and can often be seen at great distances. Each year their paint is freshened, commonly on the vigil of the vernal equinox, which, in the north, as commonly in the south marks the new year. Religious rune stones are repainted by rune-priests on the vigil of the feast-season of Odin, which on Gor, takes place in the fall.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 230



 


The Thing
To The Top

I carried my short sword. I carried, too, the great bow, unstrung, with quiver of arrows.
The Forkbeard, too, and his men, were armed. Blows are not to be struck at the thing, but not even the law of the thing, with all its might, would have the temerity to advise the man of Torvaldsland to arrive or move about unarmed.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 141


Most of the men at the thing were free farmers, blond-haired, blue-eyed and proud, men with strong limbs and work-roughened hands; many wore braided hair; many wore talmits of their district; for the thing their holiday best had been donned; many wore heavy woolen jackets, scrubbed with water and bosk urine, which contains ammonia as it's cleaning agent; all were armed, usually with ax or sword; some wore their helmets; others had them, with their shields, slung at their back. At the thing, to which each free man must come, unless he work his farm alone and cannot leave it, each man must be present, for the inspection of his Jarl's officer, a helmet, shield and either sword or ax or spear, in good condition.
. . .
We saw, too, many chieftains, and captains, and minor Jarls, in the crowd, each with his retinue. These high men were sumptuously garbed, richly cloaked and helmeted, often with great axes, inlaid with gold. Their cloaks were usually scarlet or purple, long and swirling, and held with golden clasps. They wore them, always, as is common in Torvaldsland, in such a way that the right arm, the sword arm, is free.
Their men, too, often wore cloaks, and, about their arms, spiral rings of gold and silver, and, on their wrists, jewel-studded bands.
In the crowd, too, much in evidence, were brazen bond-maids; they had been brought to the thing, generally, by captains and Jarls; it is not unusual for men to bring such slaves with them, though they are not permitted near the law courts or the assemblies of deliberation; the voyages to the thing were not, after all, ventures of raiding; they were not enterprises of warfare; there were three reasons for bringing such girls; they were for the pleasure of men; they served, as display objects, to indicate the wealth of their masters; and they could be bought and sold.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 142 - 143


"Let us watch duels," said the Forkbeard. The duel is a device by which many disputes, legal and personal, are settled in Torvaldsland. There are two general sorts, the formal duel and the free duel. The free duel permits all weapons, there are there are no restrictions on tactics or field. At the thing, of course, adjoining squares are lined out for these duels. If the combatants wished, however, they might choose another field. Such duels, commonly, are held on wave-struck skerries in Thassa. Two men are left alone; later, at nightfall, a skiff returns, to pick up the survivor. The formal duel is quite complex, and I shall not describe it in detail. Two men meet, but each is permitted a shield bearer; the combatants strike at one another, and the blows, hopefully, are fended by each's shield bearer; three shields are permitted to each combatant; when these are hacked to pieces or otherwise rendered useless, his shield bearer retires, and he must defend himself with his own weapon alone; swords not over a given length, too, are prescribed. The duel takes place, substantially, on a large, square cloak, ten feet on each side, which is pegged down on the turf; outside this cloak there are two squares, each a foot from the cloak, drawn in the turf. The outer corners of the second of the two drawn squares are marked with hazel wands; there is this a twelve-foot-square fighting area; no ropes are stretched between the hazel wands. When the first blood touches the cloak the match may, at the agreement of the combatants, or in the discretion of one of the two referees, be terminated; a price of three silver tarn disks is then paid to the victor by the loser; the winner commonly then performs a sacrifice; if the winner is rich, and the match of great importance, he may slay a bosk; if he is poor, or the match is not considered a great victory, his sacrifice may be less. These duels, particularly of the formal variety, are sometimes used disreputably for gain by unscrupulous swordsmen. A man, incredibly enough, may be challenged risks his life among the hazel wands; he may be slain; then, too, of course, the stake, the farm, the companion, the daughter, is surrendered by law to the challenger. The motivation of this custom, I gather, is to enable strong, powerful men to obtain land and attractive women; and to encourage those who possess such to keep themselves in fighting condition. All in all I did not much approve of the custom. Commonly, of course, the formal duel is used for more reputable purposes, such as settling grievances over boundaries, or permitting an opportunity where, in a case of insult, satisfaction might be obtained.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 145 - 146


We passed one fellow, whom we noted seized up two bars of red hot metal and ran some twenty feet, and then threw them from him.
"What is he doing?" I asked.
"He is proving that he has told the truth," said the Forkbeard.
"Oh," I said.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 150 - 151


We saw thralls, too, in the crowd, and rune-priests, with long hair, in white robes, a spiral ring of gold on their left arms, about their waist a bag of omens chips, pieces of wood soaked in the blood of the sacrificial bosk, slain to open the thing; these chips are thrown like dice, sometimes several times, and are then read by the priests; the thing-temple, in which the ring of the temple is kept, is made of wood; nearby, in a grove,
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 152


Religious rune stones are repainted by rune-priests on the vigil of the feast-season of Odin, which on Gor, takes place in the fall.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 230


In the feast-season of Odin a fine skald is difficult to bring to one's hall. One must bid high. Sometimes they are kidnapped, and, after the season's singing, given much gold and freed.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 231




 


The 25th of Se'Kara
To The Top

I wondered how many men would claim to have fought on the twenty-fifth of Se'Kara, abroad on Thassa. I smiled. This day would doubtless be made holiday in Port Kar. And those who had fought here would be, in years to come, as comrades and brothers.
. . .
I supposed that in time to come men might, on this holiday, show their wounds to slaves and wondering children, saying to them, "These I had in Se'Kara."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 280


The only fully floating market authorized by the Council of Captains occurs in a lakelike area near the arsenal. It is called the Place of the Twenty-Fifth of Se'Kara, because of the monument there, rising from the water. On the twenty-fifth of Se'Kara in Year One of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, the year 10,120 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar, a sea battle took place in which the fleet of Port Kar defeated the fleets of Cos and Tyros. The monument, of course, commemorates this victory. The market forms itself about the monument.
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Page 60




 


Procession to the Sea
To The Top

The next matter for consideration was the negotiation of a dispute between the sail-makers and the rope-makers in the arsenal with respect to priority in the annual Procession to the Sea, which takes place on the first of En'Kara, the Gorean New Year. There had been a riot this year. It was resolved that henceforth both groups would walk abreast.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 134




 


Carnival
To The Top

Outside, in the canal traffic, I heard a drum, cymbals and trumpets, and a man shouting. He was proclaiming the excellencies of some theatrical troupe, such as the cleverness of its clowns and the beauty of its actresses, probably slaves. They had performed, it seems, in the high cities and before Ubars. Such itinerant troupes, theatrical troupes, carnival groupings, and such, are not uncommon on Gor. They consist usually of rogues and outcasts. With their wagons and tents, often little more than a skip and a jump ahead of creditors and magistrates, they roam from place to place, rigging their simple stages in piazzas and squares, in yards and markets, wherever an audience may be found, even at the dusty intersections of country crossroads. With a few boards and masks, and a bit of audacity, they create the mystery of performance, the magic of theater. They are bizarre, incomparable vagabonds. They are denied the dignity of the funeral pyre and other forms of honorable burial.
The group outside, doubtless on a rented barge, was not the first to pass beneath the narrow windows of the house of Samos this evening. There were now several such groups in the city. Their hand-printed handbills and hand-painted posters, the latter pasted on the sides of buildings and on the news boards, were much in evidence.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 9


At dawn on the day of the vernal equinox a ceremonial greeting of the sun takes place, conducted usually by the Ubar or administrator of the city. This, in effect, welcomes the New Year to the city. In Port Kar this honor fell to Samos, first captain in the Council of Captains, and the council's executive officers. The completion of this greeting is signified by, and celebrated by, a ringing of the great bars suspended about the city. The people then, rejoicing, issue forth from their houses. The brak bushes are burned on the threshold and the pitch is washed away. There are processions and various events, such as contests and games. It is a time of festival. The day is one of celebration.
. . .
Such troupes, incidentally, must petition for the right to perform within a city. Usually a sample performance, or a part of a performance, is required, staged before the high council, or a committee delegated by such a council. Sometimes the actresses are expected to perform privately, being "tested," so to speak, for selected officials. If the troupe is approved it may, for a fee, be licensed.
No troupe is permitted to perform within a city unless it has a license. These licenses usually run for the five days of a Gorean week. Sometimes they are for a specific night or a specific performance. Licenses are commonly renewable, within a given season, for a nominal fee. In connection with the fees for such matters, it is not uncommon that bribes are also involved. This is particularly the case when small committees are involved in the approvals or given individuals, such as a city's Entertainment Master or Master of Revels. There is little secret, incidentally, about the briberies involved. There are even fairly well understood bribery scales, indexed to the type of troupe, its supposed treasury, the number of days requested for the license, and so on. These things are so open, and so well acknowledged, that perhaps one should think of them more as gratuities or service fees than as bribes. More than one Master of Revels regards them as an honest perquisite of his office.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Pages 10 - 11


Outside I could hear the sounds of yet another troupe traversing the canal, with its raucous cries, its drums and trumpets. There had been several such troupes, theatrical troupes, carnival troupes, this evening. It was now only two days to carnival, to the Twelfth Passage Hand.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 30


We then pushed off, thrusting against the steps with the port oars. In a moment, with unhurried strokes, we were making our way down the canal, back toward my holding. The canal was dark now. In two days, however, it would be lit with lanterns, thrust out on jutting poles from the bordering, clifflike houses, and strung with garlands and flags. It would then he the time of the Twelfth Passage Hand, the time of carnival.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 38


"Master!" laughed she who seemed to be a naked, collared slave, flinging her arms about my neck, pressing her lips fervently, deliciously, to mine.
"Oh!" she cried, as my hands checked her thighs. She was truly a slave. The brand was on her left thigh, high, just under the hip. Sometimes free women, during the time of carnival, masquerading as slaves, run naked about the streets.
I slid my hands possessively up her body and then, between my thumbs and fingers, held her under the arms, half lifting her, half pressing her to me. I then returned her kiss. "Master!" she purred, delighted. I then turned her about and, with a good-natured, stinging slap, sped her on her way. She disappeared, laughing, among the crowds.
"Paga, mate?" inquired a mariner.
I took a swig of paga from his bota and he one from mine.
I stepped to one side, nearly trampled by a gigantic figure on stilts.
I was jostled by a fellow blowing on a horn.
There might easily have been fifteen thousand people in the great piazza, the largest in Port Kar, that before the hall of the Council of Captains. It was ringed with booths, and platforms, and stages and stalls, and booths, and platforms and stalls, too, with colorful canvas, with their eccentrically carved wood, with their fluttering flags, and signs, like standards, illuminated by lamps and torches, throngs gathered about them, and flowing between them, bedecked and studded the piazza's inner precincts.
Here it seemed there were a thousand things for sale and a hundred shows. Sweating men, stripped to the waist, with wands tipped with cylinders of oil-drenched, flaming wool, appeared to swallow fire. Jugglers performed awesome tricks with rings, balls and sticks. Clowns tumbled; acrobats spun and leapt, and climbed, one upon the other, until, abetted by the gravity of Gor, they swayed thirty feet above the crowd. One man somersaulted on a strand of tarn wire strung between posts. Another fellow had a dancing sleen.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Pages 39 - 40


The man who had spoken was not masked, nor was I. On the other hand, masks are common at carnival time. Many in the crowd wore them. Popular, too, at this time, it might be mentioned, are bizarre costumes. Such things, maskings, and disguisings, and dressing up, sometimes in incredible and wild fashions, are all part of the fun of carnival. Indeed, at this time, there are even parades of costumes, and prizes are awarded, in various categories, for most ingenious or best costume. Most of the dressing up, of course, is not done for the sake of winning prizes but just, so to speak, for carnival, just for the fun of it. It is something that is done at carnival time. To be sure, I suppose there are various psychological benefits, too, other than the simple fun and pleasure of it, attendant on the maskings and disguisings. They might, for example, give one an opportunity to try out new identities, to relieve boredom, to break up routines, to release tension, and so on. They also provide one with an opportunity for foolery, jokes, pranks and horseplay. Who was that fellow, for example, who poured paga on one's head? And who, the free woman might wonder, was that fellow who gave her so sudden, so unexpected, so fierce a pinch? Indeed, perhaps she is fortunate that her very veil was not lifted up and her lips pressed by those of a stranger, or was it a stranger? And who are those fellows in the robes of the caste of physicians, apparently administering medicines to one another, after which they leap and roll about, seemingly in great distress? Are they physicians? It seems more likely they are sawyers or sailmakers from the arsenal. Carnival, too, with its freedom and license, is often used by both men and women as a time for the initiation of affairs, and for arrangements and assignations, the partners often not even being known to one another. In such relationships another advantage of the mask is clearly demonstrated, its provision of anonymity to the wearer, should he or she desire it.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Pages 41 - 42


Three fellows walked by supporting swirling carnival figures. These particular constructions had huge, stuffed, bulbous, painted heads, and great flowing robes. They were some nine feet tall. They are supported on a pole and the operator, holding the pole, supporting the figure, is concealed within the robes. He looks out through a narrow, gauze-backed, rectangular opening in the robes. The figures bobbed and nodded to the crowd.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 42


"I shall have to trouble you for your sword, Sir," said one of the Arsenal Guards, on duty here tonight.
"No," had said another. "Do you not recognize him? That is Bosk, the Admiral, he of the Council of Captains."
"Forgive me, Captain," had said the man. "Enter as you are."
"No," I said. "It is perfectly all right." I surrendered my sword to him, and the knife, too, I commonly carried, a quiva, a Tuchuk saddle knife, balanced for throwing. I myself had voted in the council for the checking of weapons before entering the piazza during carnival. The least I could do, it seemed to me, was to comply with a ruling which I myself had publicly supported.
I remembered now where I had seen the man who had spoken to me near the platform of the magician. He had been waiting near one of the checking points opening onto the piazza, that point through which I had entered. It was there that I had seen him.
The checking of the weapons is accomplished as follows: One surrenders the weapons and the guard, in turn, tears a ticket in two, placing one half with the weapons and giving you the other half. This ticket is numbered on both ends. In reclaiming the weapons one matches the halves, both with respect to division and number. My half of the ticket was now in my wallet. The ticket is of rence paper, which is cheap in Port Kar, owing to its proximity to one of Gor's major habitats for the rence plant, the vast marshes of the Vosk's delta.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 43


A free woman, in swirling robes of concealment, veiled, appeared before me. "Accept my favor, please!" she laughed. She held forth the scarf, teasingly, coquettishly. "Please, handsome fellow!" she wheedled. "Please, please!" she said. "Please!"
"Very well," I smiled.
She came quite close to me.
"Herewith," she said, "I, though a free woman, gladly and willingly, and of my own free will, dare to grant you my favor!"
She then thrust the light scarf through an eyelet on the collar of my robes and drew it halfway through. In this fashion it would not be likely to be dislodged.
"Thank you, kind sir, handsome sir!" she laughed. She then sped away, laughing.
She had had only two favors left at her belt, I had noted. Normally in this game the woman begins with ten. The first to dispense her ten favors and return to the starting point wins. I looked after her, grinning. It would have been churlish, I thought, to have refused the favor. Too, she had begged so prettily. This type of boldness, of course, is one that a woman would be likely to resort to only in the time of carnival. The granting of such favors probably has a complex history. Its origin may even trace back to Earth. This is suggested by the fact that, traditionally, the favor, or the symbolic token of the favor, is a handkerchief or scarf. Sometimes a lady's champion, as I understand it, might have borne such a favor, fastened perhaps to a helmet or thrust in a gauntlet.
It is not difficult, however, aside from such possible historical antecedents, and the popular, superficial interpretations of such a custom, in one time or another, to speculate on the depth meaning of such favors. One must understand, first, that they are given by free women and of their own free will. Secondly, one must think of favors in the sense that one might speak of a free woman granting, or selling, her favors to a male. To be sure, this understanding, as obvious and straightforward as it is, if brought to the clear light of consciousness, is likely to come as a revelatory and somewhat scandalous shock to the female. It is one of those cases in which a thing she has long striven to hide from herself is suddenly, perhaps to her consternation and dismay, made incontrovertibly clear to her. In support of the interpretation are such considerations as the fact that these favors, in these games, are bestowed by females on males, that, generally, at least, strong, handsome males seem to be the preferred recipients of such favors, that there is competition among the females in the distribution of these favors, and that she who first has her "favors" accepted therein accounts herself as somewhat superior to her less successful sisters, at least in this respect, and that the whole game, for these free women, is charged with an exciting, permissive aura of delicious naughtiness, this being indexed undoubtedly to the sexual stimulations involved, stimulations which, generally, are thought to be beneath the dignity of lofty free women.
In short, the game of favors permits free women, in a socially acceptable context, by symbolic transformation, to assuage their sexual needs to at least some small extent, and, in some cases, if they wish, to make advances to interesting males. There is no full satisfaction of female sexuality, of course, outside of the context of male dominance. I wondered what the free woman whose favor I wore would look like, stripped and in a collar. How would she look, how would she act, I wondered, if slave fires had been lit in her belly. I did not think she would then be distributing silken scarves to make known her needs to men. She must then do other things, such as putting a bondage knot in her hair, offering them wine or fruit, dancing naked before them, or kneeling before them, whimpering and whining for attention, licking and kissing at their feet and legs.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Pages 44 - 45


I saw a large figure walking by. It might have stalked off one of the long, narrow, roofed stages of Ar, such as serve commonly for serious drama, spectacle and high comedy. It wore the cothornoi, a form of high platformlike boots, a long robe padded in such a way as to suggest an incredible breadth of shoulder, a large, painted linen mask, with exaggerated features, which covered the entire head, and the onkos, a towering, imposing headdress. Such costumes are often used by major characters in serious dramas. This exaggeration in size and feature, I take it, is intended to be commensurate with their importance. They are, at any rate, made to seem larger than life. I did not know if the fellow were an actor or simply someone adopting such a costume, all in the fun of carnival. As he walked away I noted that the mask had a different expression on the back. That device, not really very common in such masks, makes possible a change of expression without having recourse to a new mask.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 52


The purple booths are normally maintained by slavers, used as locations in which girls, usually higher-quality slaves, none expensive merchandise, may be inspected and tried by bonafide buyers or their agents. Such booths are usually set up in the courtyards of slavers' houses and at special times, generally in the neighborhood of holidays and festivals. At other times, of course, such girls may be examined and tested in private chambers in the slavers' houses. The purple booths set up now in the piazza, however, had to do with the time of carnival. They were, in effect, good-will and promotional devices, donated to the festivities, for the pleasures of free men, by the houses of various slavers. The house of Samos, for example, provided the first five booths, each complete with its furnishings, including a charming occupant.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 65


"Paga?" inquired a fellow.
"Of course," I said. It was carnival.
We exchanged swigs, I from his bota, he from mine. Then he turned aside, to offer paga to another. I stepped back, while one of the gigantic fellows, on stilts, stalked by. I was jostled. I checked my wallet. It was intact.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 75




 


Disownment Ceremony
To The Top

"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."
I lay, stunned. According to irreversible ceremonies, both of the warriors and of the city of Ar, Talena was no longer the daughter of Marlenus. In her shame she had been put outside his house. She was cut off. In law, and in the eyes of Goreans, Talena was now without family. No longer did she have kin. She was now, in her shame, alone, completely. She was now only slave, that and nothing more.
"Does Talena know?" I asked.
"Of course," said Verna. "We informed her immediately."
"That was kind of you," said I, bitterly.
"We gagged her first," said Verna, "that we might not be annoyed by her outcries."
"Did she not wish proof?" I asked.
"Anticipating such a desire," laughed Verna, "we had written confirmation of the enactment, signed with the seal of Marlenus himself. Further, documents proclaiming the disowning, officially notarized with the seals of Ar and Marlenus, will soon be posted in all the major Gorean cities."
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 131


She had been the daughter of a Ubar. But she had been disowned.
She, while slave, could not even stand in companionship.
She, even if freed, without family, and, by the same act, without caste, would have a status beneath the dignity of the meanest peasant wench, secure in the rights of her caste.
Even if freed, Talena would be among the lowest women on Gor. Even a slave girl has at least a collar.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 135


Marlenus looked up. "Put her from your mind," he said. "She is unworthy of a free man."
I nodded. It was true what he had said. Talena, once the beautiful daughter of a great Ubar, shamed and disowned, was now nothing. No longer did she have family. No longer did she have position, wealth and power. She was now nothing. She now had only her beauty, and that wore a brand. Even if she were freed she would not, in virtue of the disownment, have a caste. The lowest peasant wench on Gor, secure in her caste fights, would be far above her. Talena, once the marvelous and beautiful Talena, was now nothing. She was nothing, nothing.
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 164


"Are you aware," I asked, "that against you, on his sword and on the medallion of Ar, Marlenus swore the oath of disownment?"
"I do not believe it," she said.
"You are no longer his daughter," I said. "You are now without caste, without Home Stone, without family."
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 12 - 13


When Talena, the daughter of Marlenus of Ar, Ubar of Ar, had, in a missive to him, begged her freedom, he had, on his sword and on the medallion of Ar, sworn against her the oath of disownment. As a consequence, she was no longer of high birth, no longer his daughter. I had had Samos free her and transmit her to Ar. There she lived, free but of no status; she was no longer recognized, in the sight of its Home Stone, as a citizen of Ar; she had not even the collar of a slave girl for her identity; she was kept sequestered by Marlenus in the central cylinder, that his shame not be publicly displayed upon the high bridges of the city.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 350 - 351




 


Funeral Ceremony
To The Top

Beyond the wood, toward the City, Kuurus could see the procession. He was surprised for, judging from the colors of the garments of those who marched, it contained men of many castes, perhaps all castes of the city, only that he did not see among them the white of the Caste of Initiates. That puzzled Kuurus, for normally men of the Initiates are prominent in such events.
These men of Ko-ro-ba, he knew, when their city had been destroyed by Priest-Kings, had been scattered to the ends of Gor but, when permitted by Priest-Kings, they had returned to their city to rebuild it, each bearing a stone to add to its walls. It was said, in the time of troubles, that the Home Stone had not been lost, and it had not. And even Kuurus, of the Caste of Assassins, knew that a city cannot die while its Home Stone survives. Kuurus, who would think little of men on the whole, yet could not despise such men as these, these of Ko-ro-ba.
The procession did not chant, nor sing, for this was not a time for such things, nor did it carry boughs of Ka-la-na, nor were the sounds of the sista or tambor heard in the sunlight that morning. At such a time as this Goreans do not sing nor speak. They are silent, for at such a time words mean nothing, and would demean or insult; in such a time there can be for Goreans only silence, memory and fire.
The procession was, led by four Warriors, who supported on their shoulders a framework of crossed spears, lashed together, on which, wrapped in the scarlet leather of a tarnsman, lay the body.
Kuurus watched, unmoved, as the four Warriors carried their scarlet burden to the height of the huge, sweet-smelling, oil-impregnated pyre.
Averting their eyes the Warriors threw back the scarlet leather that the body might lie free on the spears, open to the wind and sun.
He was a large man, Kuurus noted, in the leather of a Warrior. The hair, he remarked, was unusual.
The procession and those who had been earlier at the pyre now stood back from it, some fifty yards or so, for the oil-impregnated wood will take the torch quickly and fiercely. There were three who stood near the pyre; one wore the brown robes of the Administrator of a City, the humblest robes in the city, and was hooded; another wore the blue of the Caste of Scribes, a small man, almost tiny, bent now with pain and grief; the last was a very large man, broad of back and shoulder, bearded and with long blond hair, a Warrior; yet even the Warrior seemed in that moment shaken.
Kuurus saw the torch lit and then, with a cry of pain, thrown by the Warrior onto the small mountain of oiled wood. The wood leaped suddenly alive with a blaze that was almost a burst of fire and the three men staggered backward, their forearms thrown across their eyes.
Kuurus bent down and picked up a stalk of grass and chewed on it, watching. The reflection of the fire, even in the sunlight, could be seen on his face. His forehead began to sweat. He blinked his eyes against the heat.
The men and women of Ko-ro-ba stood circled about the pyre, neither moving nor speaking, for better than two Ahn. After about half an Ahn the pyre, still fearful with heat and light, had collapsed with a roar, forming a great, fiercely burning mound of oil-soaked wood. At last, when the wood burned only here and there, and what had been the pyre was mostly ashes and glowing wood, the men of a dozen castes, each carrying a jar of chilled wine, moved about, pouring the wine over the fire, quenching it. Other men sought in the ashes for what might be found of the Warrior. Some bones and some whitish ash they gathered in white linen and placed in an urn of red and yellow glass. Kuurus knew that such an urn would be decorated, probably, since the man had been a Warrior, with scenes of the hunt and war. The urn was given to him who wore the robes of the Administrator of the City, who took it and slowly, on foot, withdrew toward Ko-ro-ba, followed by the large blond Warrior and the small Scribe. The ashes, Kuurus judged, since the body had been wrapped in the scarlet leather of a tarnsman, would be scattered from tarnback, perhaps over distant Thassa, the sea.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Pages 2 - 3


"Let them enter the palace of Priest-Kings," he said.
I now heard the singing, the chanting, of initiates from outside the door. Twelve of them had gone down to the ship, with candles, to escort the body of Ivar Forkbeard to the temple. Two now entered, holding candles. All eyes craned to see the procession which now, slowly, the initiates singing, entered the incense-filled temple.
Four huge men of Torvaldsland, in long cloaks, clasped about their necks, heads down, bearded, with braided hair, entered, bearing on their shoulders a platform of crossed spears. On this platform, covered with a white shroud, lay a body, a large body. Ivar Forkbeard, I thought to myself, must have been a large man.
"I want to see him," whispered the blond girl to the woman with whom she stood.
"Be silent," hushed the woman.
I am tall, and found it not difficult to look over the heads of many in the crowd.
So this is the end, I thought to myself, of the great Ivar Forkbeard.
He comes in death to the temple of Priest-Kings, that his bones may be anointed with the grease of Priest-Kings.
It was his last will, now loyally, doggedly, carried out by his saddened men.
Somehow I regretted that Ivar Forkbeard was dead.
The initiates, chanting, now filed into the temple with their candles. The chant was taken up by the initiates, too, within the sanctuary. Behind the platform of crossed spears, heads down, filed the crew of Forkbeard. They wore long cloaks; they carried no weapons; no shields, they wore no helmets.
Weapons, I knew were not to be carried within the temple of Priest-Kings.
They seemed beaten, saddened dogs. They were not as I had expected the men of Torvaldsland to be.
"Are those truly men of Torvaldsland?" asked the blonde girl, of the older woman, obviously disappointed.
"Hush," said the older woman. "Show reverence for this place, for Priest-Kings."
"I thought they would be other than that," sniffed the girl.
"Hush," said the older woman.
"Very well," said the girl, irritably. "What weaklings they seem."
To the amazement of the crowd, at a sign from the High Initiate of Kassau, two lesser initiates opened the gate to the white rail.
Another initiate, sleek, fat, his shaved head oiled, shining in the light of the candles, carrying a small golden vessel of thickened chrism went to each of the four men of Torvaldsland, making on their foreheads the sign of the Priest-Kings, the circle of eternity.
The crowd gasped. It was incredible honor that was being shown to these men, that they might, themselves, on the platform of crossed spears, carry the body of Ivar Forkbeard, in death penitent, to the high steps of the great altar. It was the chrism of temporary permission, which, in the teachings of initiates, allows one not consecrated to the service of Priest-Kings to enter the sanctuary. In a sense it is counted an anointing, though an inferior one, and of temporary efficacy. It was first used at roadside shrines, to permit civil authorities to enter and slay fugitives who had taken sanctuary at the altars. It is also used for workmen and artists, who may be employed to practice their craft within the rail, to the enhancement of the temple and the Priest-King's glory.
Ivar Forkbeard's body was not anointed as it was carried through the gate in the rail.
The dead need no anointing. Only the living, it is held, can profane the sacred.
The four men of Torvaldsland carried the huge body of Ivar Forkbeard up the steps to the altar, on the crossed spears. Then, still beneath the white shroud, they laid it gently on the highest step of the altar.
Then the four men fell back, two to each side, heads down. The High Initiate then began to intone a complex prayer in archaic Gorean to which, at intervals, responses were made by the assembled initiates, those within the railing initially and now, too, the twelve, still carrying candles, who had accompanied the body from the ship through the dirt streets of Kassau, among the wooden buildings, to the temple. When the initiate finished his prayer, the other initiates began to sing a solemn hymn, while the chief initiate, at the altar, his back turned to the congregation, began to prepare, with words and signs, the grease of Priest-Kings, for the anointing of the bones of Ivar Forkbeard.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Pages 36 - 38




 


Free Companion Ceremony
To The Top

In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony. This sort of thing, however, varies considerably from city to city. In some cities the girl is unveiled, though not disrobed, of course, during the public ceremony. The friends of the male may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty, and their celebration of the good fortune of their friend.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 107


A free woman's name, of course, tends to remain constant. A Gorean free woman does not change her name in the ceremony of the Free Companionship. She remains who she was. In such a ceremony two free individuals have elected to become companions. The Earth woman, as a consequence of certain mating ceremonials, may change her last name. The first and other names, however, tend to remain constant. From the Gorean point of view the wife of Earth occupies a status which is higher than that of the slave but lower than that of the Free Companion. The
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 365


It seemed unlikely that Pa-Kur would be so politically naive as to use the girl before she had publicly accepted him as her Free Companion, according to the rites of Ar.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 176


Talena looked into my eyes. "What will you do with me?" she asked.
"I will take you to Ko-ro-ba," I said, "to my city."
"As your slave?" she smiled.
"If you will have me," I said, "as my Free Companion."
"I accept you, Tarl of Ko-ro-ba," said Talena with love in her eyes. "I accept you as my Free Companion."
"If you did not," I laughed, "I would throw you across my saddle and carry you to Ko-ro-ba by force."
She laughed as I swept her from her feet and lifted her to the saddle of my giant tarn. In the saddle, her arms were around my neck, her lips to mine. "Are you a true warrior?" she asked, her eyes bright with mischief, testing me, her voice breathless.
"We shall see," I laughed.
Then, in accord with the rude bridal customs of Gor, as she furiously but playfully struggled, as she squirmed and protested and pretended to resist, I bound her bodily across the saddle of the tarn. Her wrists and ankles were secured, and she lay before me, arched over the saddle, helpless, a captive, but of love and her own free will. The warriors laughed, Marlenus the loudest. "It seems I belong to you, bold Tarnsman," she said, "What are you going to do with me?" In answer, I hauled on the one-strap, and the great bird rose into the air, higher and higher even into the clouds, and she cried to me, "Let it be now, Tarl," and even before we had passed the outermost ramparts of Ar, I had untied her ankles and flung her single garment to the streets below, to show her people what had been the fate of the daughter of their Ubar.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 213 - 214


When I returned to Ko-ro-ba with Talena, a great feast was held and we celebrated our Free Companionship. A holiday was declared, and the city was ablaze with light and song. Shimmering strings of bells pealed in the wind, and festive lanterns of a thousand colors swung from the innumerable flower-strewn bridges. There was shouting and laughter, and the glorious colors of the castes of Gor mingled equally in the cylinders. Gone for the night was even the distinction of master and slave, and many a wretch in bondage would see the dawn as a free man.
To my delight, even Torm, of the Caste of Scribes, appeared at the tables. I was honored that the little scribe had separated himself from his beloved scrolls long enough to share my happiness, only that of a warrior. He was wearing a new robe and sandals, perhaps for the first time in years. He clasped my hands, and, to my wonder, the little scribe was crying. And then, in his joy, he turned to Talena and in gracious salute lifted the symbolic cup of Ka-la-na wine to her beauty.
Talena and I swore to honor that day as long as either of us lived. I have tried to keep that promise, and I know that she has done so as well. That night, that glorious night, was a night of flowers, torches, and Ka-la-na wine, and late, after sweet hours of love, we fell asleep in each other's arms.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 216 - 217




 


Coming of Age / Citizenship Ceremony
To The Top

Young men and women of the city, when coming of age, participate in a ceremony which involves the swearing of oaths, and the sharing of bread, fire and salt. In this ceremony the Home Stone of the city is held by each young person and kissed. Only then are the laurel wreath and the mantle of citizenship conferred. This is a moment no young person of Ar forgets. The youth of Earth have no Home Stone. Citizenship, interestingly, in most Gorean cities is conferred only upon the coming of age, and only after certain examinations are passed. Further, the youth of Gor, in most cities, must be vouched for by citizens of the city, not related in blood to him, and be questioned before a committee of citizens, intent upon determining his worthiness or lack thereof to take the Home Stone of the city as his own. Citizenship in most Gorean communities is not something accrued in virtue of the accident of birth but earned in virtue of intent and application. The sharing of a Home Stone is no light thing in a Gorean city.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 394


The education, however, of the Tharnan youth differs on a sexual basis. The boys are raised to be men, and masters, and the girls to be women, and slaves. The boys, as a portion of the Home Stone Ceremony, take an oath of mastery, in which they swear never to surrender the dominance which is rightfully theirs by nature. It is in this ceremony, also, that they receive the two yellow cords commonly worn in the belt of a male Tharnan. These cords, each about eighteen inches long, are suitable for the binding of a female, hand and foot. In the same ceremony the young women of Tharna are also brought into the presence of the Home Stone. They, however, are not permitted to kiss or touch it. Then, in its presence they are stripped and collared. They are then, by the young men, bound with the yellow cords, so that they will know their feel. Afterwards, they are usually conducted home by one of the young men, often he whose cords have bound them, and who may be interested in their acquisition, on his leash, usually to the home of their mother's owner, usually their father, to whom, in virtue of such a ceremony, they now legally count as slave, who will see to their disposition, or sale.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Pages 267 - 268


"I am surprised to hear such sentiments," I said, "from those who must once have held and kissed the Home Stone of Ar." This was a reference to the citizenship ceremony which, following the oath of allegiance to the city, involves an actual touching of the city's Home Stone. This may be the only time in the life of a citizen of the City that they actually touch the Home Stone. In Ar, as in many Gorean cities, citizenship is confirmed in a ceremony of this sort. Nonperformance of this ceremony, upon reaching intellectual majority, can he a cause for expulsion from the city. The rationale seems to be that the community has a right to expect allegiance from its members.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 303


Marcus and I were on the Avenue of the Central Cylinder, the major thoroughfare in Ar.
"The major blow," said he, "was doubtless the movement of the Home Stone to Telnus."
This had been admitted on the public boards at last. Originally it had been rumored, which rumors had been denied, that only a surrogate for the stone had appeared in the Planting Feast. Later, however, when the ceremony of citizenship, in which the Home Stone figures, was postponed, speculation had become rampant. There had been demands by minor Initiates, of smaller temples, outside the pomerium of the city, first, for the ceremonies to be conducted, and, later, these ceremonies not taking place, for the Home Stone to be produced. In the furor of speculation over this matter the secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the city had remained silent. At last, in view of the distinct unrest in the city, and the possible danger of riots and demonstrations, a communication was received from the Central Cylinder, jointly presented by Talena, Ubara of Ar; Seremides, captain of the guard; Antonius, executive officer of the High Council; Tulbinius, Chief Initiate; and Myron, Polemarkos of Temos, to the effect that Ar might now rejoice, as in these unsettled times Lurius of Jad, in his generosity and wisdom, at the request of the governance of Ar, and in the best interests of the people and councils of Ar, had permitted the Home Stone to be brought to Telnus for safekeeping. A surrogate stone was subsequently used for the ceremony of citizenship. Certain youth refused then to participate in the ceremony and certain others, refusing to touch the surrogate stone, uttered the responses and pledges while facing northwest, toward Cos, toward their Home Stone.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 162 - 163




 


Capture Ceremony
To The Top

Something of the nature of the institution of capture, and the Gorean's attitude toward it becomes clear when it is understood that one of a young tarnsman's first missions is often the capture of a slave for his personal quarters. When he brings home his captive, bound naked across the saddle of his tarn, he gives her over, rejoicing, to his sisters, to be bathed, perfumed and clothed in the brief slave livery of Gor.
That night, at a great feast, he displays the captive, now suitably attired by his sisters in the diaphanous, scarlet dancing silks of Gor. Bells have been strapped to her ankles, and she is bound in slave bracelets. Proudly, he presents her to his parents, his friends and warrior comrades.
Then, to the festive music of flutes and drums, the girl kneels. The young man approaches her, bearing a slave collar, its engraving proclaiming his name and city. The music grows more intense, mounting to an overpowering, barbaric crescendo, which stops suddenly, abruptly. The room is silent, absolutely silent, except for the decisive click of the collar lock.
It is a sound the girl will never forget.
As soon as the lock closes, there is a great shout, congratulating, saluting the young man. He returns to his place among the tables that line the low-ceilinged chamber, hung with glowing brass lamps. He sits in the midst of his family, his closest well-wishers, his sword comrades, cross-legged on the floor in the Gorean fashion behind the long, low wooden table, laden with food, which stands at the head of the room.
Now all eyes are on the girl.
The restraining slave bracelets are removed. She rises. Her feet are bare on the thick, ornately wrought rug that carpets the chamber. There is a slight sound from the bells strapped to her ankles. She is angry, defiant. Though she is clad only in the almost transparent scarlet dancing silks of Gor, her back is straight, her head held high. She is determined not to be tamed, not to submit, and her proud carriage bespeaks this fact. The spectators seem amused. She glares at them. Angrily she looks from face to face. There is no one she knows, or could know, because she has been taken from a hostile city, she is a woman of the enemy. Fists clenched, she stands in the center of the room, alone, all eyes upon her, beautiful in the light of the hanging lamps.
She faces the young man, wearing his collar.
"You will never tame me!" she cries.
Her outburst provokes laughter, skeptical observations, some good-natured hooting.
"I will tame you at my pleasure," replies the young man, and signals to the musicians.
The music begins again. Perhaps the girl hesitates. There is a slave whip on the wall. Then, to the barbaric, intoxicating music of the flute and drums, she dances for her captor, the bells on her ankles marking each of her movements, the movements of a girl stolen from her home, who must now live to please the bold stranger whose binding fiber she had felt, whose collar she wore.
At the end of her dance, she is given a cup of wine, but she may not drink. She approaches the young man and kneels before him, her knees in the dictated position of the Pleasure Slave, and, head down, she proffers the wine to him. He drinks. There is another general shout of commendation and well wishing, and the feast begins, for none before the young man may touch food on such occasions. From that moment on, the young man's sisters never again serve him, for that is the girl's task. She is his slave.
As she serves him again and again throughout the long feast, she steals glances at him, and sees that he is even more handsome than she had thought. Of his courage and strength she has already had ample evidence. As he eats and drinks with gusto on this occasion of his triumph, she regards him furtively, with a strange mixture of fear and pleasure. "Only such a man," she tells herself, "could tame me."
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Pages 51 - 53


I supposed it quite probable that Claudia Hinrabius had been abducted, though it would not be the only possible explanation for her absence. The institution of capture is universal, to the best of my knowledge, on Gor; there is no city which does not honor it, provided the females captured are those of the enemy, either their free women or their slaves; it is often a young tarnsman's first mission, the securing of a female, preferably free, from an enemy city, to enslave, that his sisters may be relieved of the burden of serving him; indeed, his sisters often encourage him to be prompt in the capture of an enemy wench that their own tasks may be made the lighter; when the young tarnsman, if successful, returns home from his capture flight, a girl bound naked across the saddle, his sisters welcome her with delight, and with great enthusiasm prepare her for the Feast of Collaring.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 159


It is a favorite sport of tarnsmen to streak their tarn over an enemy city and, in such a fashion, capture an enemy girl from one of the city's high bridges, carrying her off, while the citizens of the city scream in fury, shaking their fists at the bold one. In moments her garments flutter down among the towers and she is his, bound on her back across the saddle before him, his prize. If he is a young tarnsman, and she is his first girl, he will take her back to his own city, and display her for his family and friends, and she will dance for him, and serve him, at the Collaring Feast. If he is a brutal tarnsman, he may take her rudely, should he wish, above the clouds, above her own city, before even his tarn has left its walls. If he should be even more brutal, but more subtly so, more to be feared by a woman, he will, in the long flight back to his city, caress her into submission, until she has no choice but to yield herself to him, wholly, as a surrendered slave girl. When he then unbinds her from the saddle rings, she, so devastatingly subdued, well knows herself his.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 228




 


Collaring Ceremony
To The Top

This was the day of my collaring.
I was not permitted cosmetics.
Kneeling within, slave girls preparing me, I looked through the tied-back opening of the tent of the women. Outside, I could see men, and girls, passing back and forth. The day was sunny and warm. There were soft breezes.
Today Elinor Brinton would be collared.
I had been coached in the simple collaring ceremony of Treve. Ena, the high girl, who wore the garment of white, had not been much pleased that I did not have a caste, and could not claim a familiar city as my place of origin. "But it cannot be helped," she said.
Accordingly, it had been decided that I should identify myself by my actual city, and by my barbarian title and name. In the ceremony then I should refer to myself as
Miss Elinor Brinton of New York City. I smiled to myself. I wondered how often, on this rude world, I would have the opportunity to so refer to myself. The proud Miss Elinor Brinton, of New York City, seemed so far away from me. And yet I knew she was not. I was she. Miss Elinor Brinton, incredibly, incomprehensibly, found herself kneeling in a barbarian tent, on a distant world, myself, being prepared for her collaring. The fact that New York City was of Earth, and that Treve was of Gor, would not even enter into the ceremony. Scarcely anything would enter into the ceremony save that I was female, and he was male, and that I would wear his collar.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Pages 269 - 270


"Assume the posture of female submission," I told her. She did so, kneeling back on her heels, her arms extended, wrists crossed, her head between them, down. She was weeping.
"Repeat after me," I told her, "'I, once Miss Elizabeth Cardwell, of the planet Earth '"
"I, once Miss Elizabeth Cardwell of the planet Earth " she said.
"' herewith submit myself, completely and totally, in all things '"
" herewith submit myself, completely and totally, in all things "she said.
"' to he who is now known here as Hakim of Tor '"
" to he who is now known here as Hakim of Tor "she said.
"' his girl, his slave, an article of his property, his to do with as he pleases '"
" his girl, his slave, an article of his property, his to do with as he pleases," she said.
Hassan handed me the collar. It was inscribed 'I am the property of Hakim of Tor'. I showed it to the girl. She could not read Taharic script. I read it to her. I put it about her neck. I snapped it shut.
"'I am yours, Master,'" I said to the girl.
She looked up at me, tears in her eyes, her neck in my locked collar. "I am yours. Master," she said.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 359




 


La kajira Ceremony
To The Top

I recalled how she had kissed the whip frightened, to be sure, but, too, seemingly gratefully. She had placed her soft lips upon if gently, truly, fully, and had kissed it tenderly, deferently. In short, she had kissed it well. She had then completed the small ceremony, as instructed, saying "La kajira."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 6


A bit later, a small ceremony, or what I took to be a small ceremony, was enacted. A coiled whip was placed to my lips. I was told to kiss the whip and say, 'La kajira', with which instructions I readily complied.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 28




 


Submission Ceremony
To The Top

"I know what you are waiting for," said the daughter of the Ubar, strangely calm after her earlier fury unnaturally calm, it seemed to me. I didn't understand her. What was it she thought I was waiting for? Then, to my astonishment, the daughter of the Ubar Marlenus, daughter of the Ubar of Ar, knelt before me, a simple warrior of Ko-ro-ba, and lowered her head, lifting and extending her arms, the wrists crossed. It was the same simple ceremony that Sana had performed before me in the chamber of my father, back at Ko-ro-ba the submission of the captive female. Without raising her eyes from the distinct voice "I submit myself."
Later I wished that I had had binding fiber to lash her so innocently proffered wrists. I was speechless for a moment, but then, remembering that harsh Gorean custom required me either to accept the submission or slay the captive, I took her wrists in my hands and said, "I accept your submission."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 93 - 94


Then he removed his hands from her shoulders and, as the crowd cried out, she sank in abject misery at his feet and performed the ceremony of submission, kneeling, lowering the head and lifting and extending the arms, wrists crossed.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 160


"Are you familiar with any of the rituals of enslavement?" I asked.
"I, Sidney Anderson, of Earth," she said, "submit myself to Tarl Cabot, of Gor, as a slave, completely, his to do with as he pleases."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 184




 


Ritual of Looking Into the Blood
To The Top

Then, soberly, though I acknowledged it as a superstition, I performed the Gorean ritual of looking into the blood. With my cupped hands I drank a mouthful of blood, and then, holding another in my hands, I waited for the next flash of lightning.
One looks into the blood in one's cupped hands. It is said that if one sees one's visage black and wasted one will die of disease, if one sees oneself torn and scarlet one will die in battle, if one sees oneself old and white haired, one will die in peace and leave children.
The lightning flashed again, and I stared into the blood. In that brief moment, in the tiny pool of blood I held, I saw not myself but a strange face, like a globe of gold with disklike eyes, a face like none I had ever seen, a face that struck an eerie terror into my heart.
The darkness returned, and in the next flash of lightning I examined the blood again, but it was only blood, the blood of a sleen I had killed on the road to Ko-ro-ba. I could not even see myself reflected in surface. I drank the blood, completing the ritual.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 38


I shared bits of the heart of the sleen with my men, and, together, cupping our hands, we drank its blood in a ritual of sleen hunters.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 14




 


Ritual of the Rug and Cords
To The Top

"What is the significance of the rug and cords?" I asked.
"In ancient days, in Tharna," said Lara, "things were different than they are today."
And then, in the slaver's tent, Lara, who had been Tatrix of Tharna, told me something of the strange history of her city. In the beginning Tharna had been much as other cities of Gor, in which women enjoyed too few rights. In those days it had been a portion of the Rites of Submission, as practiced in Tharna, to strip and bind the captive with yellow cords and place her on a scarlet rug, the yellow of the cord being symbolic of talenders, a flower often associated with feminine love and beauty, the scarlet of the rug being symbolic of blood, and perhaps of passion.
He who had captured the girl would place his sword to her breast and utter the ritual phrases of enslavement. They were the last words she would hear as a free woman.

Weep, Free Maiden.
Remember your pride and weep. Remember your laughter and weep. Remember you were my enemy and weep. Now you are my helpless captive. Remember you stood against me.
Now you lie at my feet.
I have bound you with yellow cords.
I have placed you on the scarlet rug.
Thus by the laws of Tharna do I claim you. Remember you were free.
Know now you are my slave.
Weep, Slave Girl.

At this point the captor would untie the girl's ankles and complete the rite. When she rose from the rug to follow him, she was, in his eyes and hers, a slave.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Pages 204 - 205




 


Ritual of the Spear Casting
To The Top

It was the ritual of the spear casting.
The spear of he who was one of my captors seemed to leap upward and away, caroming from the oblique, lifted surface of the stranger's shield. The spear, caroming from the shield, flew more than a hundred feet away, dropping in the grass, where it stood fixed, remote and useless, the butt of its shaft pointing to the sky. The stranger's spear had penetrated the shield of he who was one of my captors, and the stranger, bracing the shaft between his arm and body, had lifted his opponent's shield and turned, throwing it and his opponent, who had not the time to slip from the shield straps, to the ground at his feet. The stranger's blade, now, loosed from its sheath, under the opponent's helmet, lay at his throat.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 23



 


Slave Rituals
To The Top

"The captive awaits her captor," she said.
"You may now bow your head, submissively," I said.
She did so, frightened.
I then regarded her. She was lovely in this position of submission.
. . .
"You may raise your head," I said.
She lifted her head.
I saw that she would attempt boldness.
"Is your little ritual finished?" she asked.
"Put your head down again," I said.
She did so, quickly, frightened.
"Ritual," I said, "is important. It is fulfilling, and meaningful. It is beautiful. It is symbolic, mnemonic and instructive. It establishes protocols. It expresses, defines and clarifies conditions. It is essential to, and ingredient within, civilization. Similarly, do not overlook the significance and value of symbolism. Even chains on a slave are often largely symbolic. Where is she to run to, slave-clad, collared and marked? She would be promptly returned to her master."
"Yet her chains are chains, and they are real, and they hold her helplessly, and perfectly," she said, head down.
"True," I said.
She shuddered.
"What are various slave rituals?" I asked.
"The kissing and licking of the master's feet, she said, "the bringing to him of his whip or sandals, in one's teeth, on all fours, kneeling, prostration before him, the performance of obeisances, such things."
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 213


The standard phrase we are permitted is the ritual phrase, "Buy me, Master."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 56


The licking and kissing of the master's feet is a familiar behavior on the part of a slave girl. It is a ritual, like kissing the whip which is symbolic of submission. But these behaviors, or rituals, are often rich and complex. For example, we are taught the licking and kissing of a man's whip in such a way that he may be driven mad with passion. Too, of course it has its effect on the slave, as well. The kissing of the feet is also, obviously, symbolic of submission, and is rich in significance. For example, it indicates that the slave is her owner's animal. It is often a placatory behavior. It may also express contrition, gratitude, and a slave's love. Too, it is a way in which to place oneself before the master, and plead for attention.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Pages 61 - 62


The switch was then held a few inches before the face of Emerald, who bent forward and kissed it, and then, unbidden, licked it, carefully, delicately, tenderly. Memories flooded back upon me, as I had witnessed the preceding ritual. I recalled a warehouse, on a far world, when not a switch, but a whip had been held before me, as I had lain on my back, bound helplessly, and I had lifted my head a little and kissed it. "La Kajira," I had said, as I had been bidden.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 347


Ritual phrases are often required of a slave. One of the most common is, "Buy me, Master." Sometimes along the side of a road, where a number of slaves, neck-chained, may be knelt for inspection and possible sale, the slave is expected to lift her head and, as she is examined, utter the phrase, "Buy me, Master." This phrase is not that unusual on slave shelves, and such, as well.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 460


The ritual of kissing the whip can be a lovely ritual. In it, one acknowledges one's submission, one's subjection to the mastery. It can be very beautiful. The whip itself, of course, is a symbol of the mastery.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 536




 


Holding Together Grass and Earth
To The Top

Suddenly the Tuchuk bent to the soil and picked up a handful of dirt and grass, the land on which the bosk graze, the land which is the land of the Tuchuks, and this dirt and this grass he thrust in my hands and I held it.
The warrior grinned and put his hands over mine so that our hands together held the dirt and the grass, and were together clasped on it.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 26


"What fool is this!" she demanded of Kamchak.
"No fool," said Kamchak, "but Tarl Cabot, a warrior, one who has held in his hands with me grass and earth."
"He is a stranger," she said. "He should be slain!"
Kamchak grinned up at her. "He has held with me grass and earth," he said.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 32


"You would risk," I asked, "the herds the wagons the peoples?" Both Kamchak and I knew that Priest-Kings were not lightly to be disobeyed. Their vengeance could extend to the total and complete annihilation of cities. Indeed their power, as I knew, was sufficient to destroy planets.
"Yes," said Kamchak.
"Why?" I asked.
He looked at me and smiled. "Because," said he, "we have together held grass and earth."
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 52


"Once you spared my life, and we held grass and earth together, and from that time, even had you been outlaw and knave, I would have died for you,
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 325


"Never forget," said Kamchak, "that you and I have together held grass and earth."
"I will never forget," I said.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 343




 


The Comminglings Of Blood
To The Top

Cuwignaka's knife moved on his own forearm, and then on mine, and then on Hci's.
"You cannot be a member of the Sleen Soldiers of the All Comrades," had said Hci, "for you are not Kaiila, and you do not know our dances and mysteries, the contents of our medicine bundles."
"There is another thing," had said Cuwignaka, "which can be done."
"Do it," had said Hci.
Cuwignaka held his arm to mine, and then I held my arm to that of Hci, and then Hci, in turn, held his arm to that of Cuwignaka. Thus was the circle of blood closed.
"It is done," said Cuwignaka.
"Brothers," I said.
"Brothers," said Hci.
"Brothers," said Cuwignaka.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 475




 


Sharing Salt
To The Top

"I have never seen this, to this extent, in another man." He looked at me. "Who are you?" he asked.
I placed salt on the back of my right wrist. "One who shares salt with you," I said.
"It is enough," he said.
I touched my tongue to the salt in the sweat of his right wrist, and he touched his tongue to the salt on my right wrist. "We have shared salt," he said.
He then placed in my hand the golden tarn disk, of Ar, with which I had purchased my instruction.
"It is yours," I said.
"How can that be?" he asked.
"I do not understand," I said.
He smiled. "We have shared salt," he said.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 60


"I am coming with you," I said.
"Save yourself," said he.
"I am coming with you," I said.
"We have not even shared salt," he said.
"I shall accompany you," I said.
He looked at me, for a long time. Then he thrust back the sleeve of his right hand. I pressed my lips to the back of his right wrist, tasting there, in the sweat, the salt. I extended to him the back of my right wrist, and he put his lips and tongue to it.
"Do you understand this?" he asked.
"I think so," I said.
"Follow me," said he. "We have work to do, my brother."
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Pages 184 - 185


"Help me," I said.
"There is no hope," said he.
"We have shared salt," I said.
"I will help you," said Hassan.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 263


"No," he said. Then he looked at me. "Once," he said, "I had two brothers." He clasped me about the shoulders. There were tears in his eyes. "Now," he said, "now I have only one."
We had shared salt at Red Rock, on a burning roof.
"My brother," I said.
"My brother," he said.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 326




 


Sharing Paga
To The Top

"Have some paga," it said. It indicated the bottles and glasses to one side.
I went to the shelves and, looping the dart-firing weapon over my shoulder, by its stock strap, poured two glasses of paga. I gave one of the glasses to Zarendargar, who accepted it, and retained the other. I went to sit, cross-legged, before the dais, but Zarendargar indicated that I should share the dais with him. I sat near him, cross-legged, as a Warrior sits.
"You are my prisoner," I said to him.
"I think not," he said. He indicated, holding it, the small metallic device which had lain beside him on the dais. It nestled now within his left, tentacled paw.
"I see," I said. The hair rose on the back of my neck.
"Let us drink to your victory," he said. He lifted his glass.
"A victory to men and Priest-Kings."
"You are generous," I said.
"But a victory is not a war," he said.
"True," I said.
We touched glasses, in the manner of men, and drank. He put aside his glass.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Pages 420 - 421


"Come with us," I said.
"No," it said. I could see the blood emerging from the large body of the animal.
"We can transport you," I said.
"I will kill any who approach me," it said.
"As you will," I said.
"I am Zarendargar, Half-Ear, of the Kurii," it said. "Though I am in disgrace, though I have failed, I am yet Zarendargar, Half-Ear, of the Kurii."
"I will leave you alone now," I said.
"I am grateful," it said. "You seem to know our ways well."
"They are not dissimilar to the ways of the warrior," I said.
I poured him a glass of paga, and left it near him on the dais.
I then turned away and went to the portal of the chamber. He wished to be left alone, to bleed in the darkness, that no one might see or know his suffering. The Kurii are proud beasts.
I turned at the portal. "I wish you well, Commander," I said.
No response came from the translator. I left.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 423


"What do you think?" asked Samos.
"I once shared paga with Zarendargar," I said.
"I do not understand," said Samos.
. . .
"Shall see you at the meeting of the Council in two days," he said.
"No," I said.
"I do not understand," said Samos.
"Zarendargar is in great danger," I said.
"We may rejoice in that," said Samos.
"The Death Squad is already on Gor," I said.
"It would seem so," said Samos.
"How many do you think there are?" I asked.
"Two," said Samos.
"Surely," I said, "there would be more." I did not think only two Kurii would be sent to dispatch one such as Zarendargar.
"Perhaps," said Samos.
"I once shared paga with Zarendargar," I said.
Samos stepped forth onto the deck of the barge, at the stern. He looked up at me, startled. It seemed no longer was he concerned that our camaraderie of the morning might be noted. "What madness do you contemplate?" he whispered.
"Surely Zarendargar must be warned," I said.
"No!" said Samos. "Let him be slain as expeditiously as possible!"
"I do not think, in such a case, Kurii are inclined to slay expeditiously," I said.
"It is none of your affair," said Samos.
"Those affairs are mine which I choose to make mine," I said.
. . .
"I wish you well," he said.
"I wish you well," I said. I turned away.
"Wait," he said.
I turned back to face him.
"Be careful," he said.
"I will," I said.
"Tarl," he said, suddenly.
I turned back to face him, again.
"How is it that you could even think of doing this?" he asked.
"Zarendargar may need my assistance," I said. "I may be able to aid him."
"But why, why?" he asked.
How could I explain to Samos the dark affinity I shared with one whom I had met only in the north, and long ago, with one who, clearly, was naught but a beast? I recalled the long evening I had once spent with Zarendargar, and our lengthy, animated conversations, the talk of warriors, the talk of soldiers, of those familiar with arms and martial values, of those who had shared the zest and terrors of conflict, to whom crass materialisms could never be more than the means to worthier victories, who had shared the loneliness of command, who had never forgotten the meanings of words such as discipline, responsibility, courage and honor, who had known perils, and long treks and privations, to whom comfort and the hearth beckoned less than camps and distant horizons.
"Why, why?" he asked.
I looked beyond Samos, to the canal beyond. The urt hunter, with his girl and boat, rowing slowly, was taking his leave. He would try his luck elsewhere.
"Why?" asked Samos.
I shrugged. "Once," I said, "we shared paga."
Savages of Gor     Book 17     Pages 65 - 71


Once Zarendargar and I, in the north, as soldiers, had shared paga.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Pages 253 - 254


"It is Zarendargar, Half-Ear," I said.
"Who is Zarendargar?" asked Cuwignaka.
"One with whom I once, long ago, and in a far Place, shared paga," I said.
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 302


"They did not expect you to come to the Barrens," he said.
"Of course not," I said.
"That was a serious miscalculation on their part," he said. "But perhaps they could not be blamed for it. They could not know something which I knew."
"What is that?" I asked.
"That once, long ago," he said, "we shared paga."
Blood Brothers of Gor     Book 18     Page 479


"You saved the life of Zarendargar, War General of the Kurii, in the Barrens," said Samos.
"Perhaps," I said. "I am not really sure of it."
"That was your avowed intention, was it not, in entering the Barrens?" asked Samos.
"Yes," I said. "I wished to warn him of the Death Squad searching him out. On the other hand, as it turned out, he anticipated the arrival of such a group. He might have survived anyway. I do not know."
"Also, as I understand it," said Samos, "you had dealings with him in the Barrens, and ample opportunity there to attempt to capture or kill him."
"I suppose so," I admitted.
"But you did not do so," said Samos.
"That is true," I said.
"Why not?" asked Samos.
"Once we shared paga," I said.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 72


I did not regret what I had done in the case of Zarendargar. Once we had shared paga.
Players of Gor     Book 20     Page 74


"Where is Zarendargar?" asked Cabot. It was, after all, he who had doubtless planned and brought to fruition the raid on the Prison Moon.
"He is your friend?" inquired Arcesilaus.
"Yes," said Cabot.
"Interesting," said Pyrrhus.
"We shared paga," said Cabot.
"A great honor," said Arcesilaus.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 126


"Where is Zarendargar?" asked Cabot.
The bluntness, the suddenness, of this question, startled Peisistratus. He looked uneasily back at the two Kurii behind them.
"I do not know," he said.
"Tell me," said Cabot.
"He is not in the Steel World," said Peisistratus. "He was removed from the domain of Agamemnon, under custody, seven days ago."
"He was merely used to bring me to the Steel World?" said Cabot.
"I fear so," said Peisistratus. "He was intent to rescue a friend, with whom it is told he had once shared paga, to save him from death or dishonor at the hands of Priest-Kings, a noble endeavor, but instead he brought him unwittingly into the grasp of Agamemnon."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 171


"Kurii do not look for nobility and honor from humans," said Lord Grendel.
"I have shared paga with Zarendargar," said Cabot.
"Forgive me," said Lord Grendel.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 377


"What is the name of this foreign general, so adept, so feared, so renowned and terrible?" asked Cabot.
"Zarendargar," said a Kur.
"It is said he asked for you," said a Kur.
"Do you know him?" asked a Kur.
"Yes," said Cabot.
"How can that be?" asked a Kur.
"Once," said Cabot, "long ago, in another place, far away, we shared paga."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 602




 


Rite of the Claws of Sleen
To The Top

"Tup Ladletender and I, as young men," he said, "have fished and hunted sleen. Once I saved his life. We are brothers by the rite of the claws of sleen." Thurnus lifted his forearm where one might see a jagged scar. Ladletender, too, raised his arm, his sleeve falling back. On his forearm, too, there was such a scar. It had been torn by the claw of a sleen, in the hand of Thurnus; the same claw, in the hand of Ladletender, had marked the arm of Thurnus, their bloods had mingled, though they were of the peasants and merchants. "He now, has, too saved my life," said Thurnus. "I am pleased to have had the opportunity," said Ladletender.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11    Pages 235 - 236



 


Priest-Kings
To The Top

"I have much to speak of with Priest-Kings," I said. "If the one whom you call the Mother is chief among you, I wish to see her."
Sarm rested back on his posterior appendages. His antennae touched one another in a slightly curling movement. "None may see the Mother save her caste attendants and the High Priest-Kings," said Sarm, "the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Born."
"Except on the three great holidays," said Misk.
Sarm's antennae twitched angrily.
"What are the three great holidays?" I asked.
"The Nest Feast Cycle," said Misk, "Tola, Tolam and Tolama."
"What are these feasts?" I asked.
"They are the Anniversary of the Nuptial Flight," said Misk, "the Feast of the Deposition of the First Egg and the Celebration of the Hatching of the First Egg."
"Are these holidays near?" I asked.
"Yes," said Misk.
"But," said Sarm, "even on such feasts none of the lower orders may view the Mother only - Priest-Kings."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 87


"It is near the Feast of Tola," said Sarm, "and it is a time of pleasure and hospitality in the Nest of Priest-Kings, a time in which Priest-Kings are well disposed to all living things, whatever be their order."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 131




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