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Home Stone



Here is my narrative on this subject.


I wish you well,
Fogaban



The Home Stone.

The topic of the Home Stone is momentous.

By momentous, I mean, no other topic spoken of among Goreans carries more weight or significance.

It is never to be taken lightly, or joked about.
In fact,
There is a saying on Gor, a saying whose origin is lost in the past of this strange planet, that one who speaks of Home Stones should stand, for matters of honor are here involved, and honor is respected in the barbaric codes of Gor.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 27

Now, I am well aware that there are deep seated emotions, feelings, opinions, thoughts and mind sets when it come to Home Stones.

So much so that this topic can lead to harsh comments, hurt feelings and if in person, even lead to blows.

That is not the purpose of this narrative.

My intention is, instead, to present to you what the books have to say.
To urge you to get -your- books out of the back room or off the shelf, and then, please, compare what I show you here with what you may have heard before.
And finally, just reason with me on what the books tells us.

Perhaps you are a slave reading this. Or perhaps your slave has asked you about Home Stones.

You may wonder if it is proper that slaves be involved in a discussion of the Home Stone.

Yes, the Home Stone is shown to be discussed with slaves, for the slave is not stupid.
It is not that the slave cannot understand the import of the Home Stone, it is only that, as a slave, the slave does not, or cannot, claim a Home Stone as their own.
In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 410

"So do not concern yourself with Home Stones," he said. "They are beyond your ken. You are only a slave."
"Yes, Master," she said.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 117 - 118

Also understand, you can be so squeaky-clean righteous that your teeth glint when you smile, or you can be the most vile, retched, son of a bitch walking on the face of Gor, and you both deserve a Home Stone.

What do I mean by that?

Do not confuse the Home Stone with personal worth or integrity, honor or reputation.

I'll explain this further on, so be thinking about that.


Now, if nothing else, there are two points I wish to convey to you.

At least these two points, from this whole narrative, I hope you will remember.

This is Point 1

The words Home and Stone are ALWAYS SEPARATED and the H and S are ALWAYS CAPITALIZED.

Never once will you ever find them within the books shown differently.
Never are they combined into one word.
Never are they shown with a lowercase h and s.

If you ever see these two words combined or not capitalized, now you know just how wrong that is.

By properly referring to the Home Stone correctly, you show the respect and honor to what is most sacred to a Gorean.

To do otherwise is to belittle and disgrace this upmost fundamental Gorean concept.


Carefully read this next quote.
It truly has more significance on how we act and interact as Goreans, than anything else I can say.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the man of Earth and the Gorean is that the Gorean has a Home Stone, and the man of Earth does not. It is difficult to make clear to a non-Gorean the significance of the Home Stone, for the non-Gorean has never had a Home Stone, and thus cannot understand its meaning, its reality. I think that I shall not try to make clear what is the significance to a Gorean of the Home Stone. It would be difficult to put into words; indeed, it is perhaps impossible to put into words; I shall not try. I think this is one of the saddest things about the men of Earth, that they have no Home Stone.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 213 - 214


And then, perhaps this quote, speaks more volumes than all else here.
If you have a Home Stone, I need not speak. If you do not have a Home Stone, how could you understand, what I might say?
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 145


How serious does a Gorean consider one who is simply carrying a Home Stone?
He circled me, widely. "Beware," he said, "I carry a Home Stone."
I stood back and made no move to draw my weapon. Though I was of the caste of warriors and he of peasants, and I armed and he carrying naught but a crude tool, I would not dispute his passage. One does not lightly dispute the passage of one who carries his Home Stone.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 1


And this quote:
"Beware," cried the driver through the rain to the men below me, beside the wagon. "I carry a Home Stone in this wagon."
The three men looked at one another, and then backed away. They would not choose to do business with one who carried a Home Stone, even though they were three to two.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 9



Even the name of Gor itself, in all the languages of the planet, means Home Stone.
The common expression for the sun is Tor-tu-Gor, and it means Light Upon the Home Stone.

Home Stones can be various, of different colors, shapes, and sizes.
Many of them are intricately carved but they can also be small, rather insignificant looking.

Regardless of size or shape, where a man sets his Home Stone, he claims, by law, that land for himself.
When you think of a city and its Home Stone, what mental image comes to your mind?

In other words, what -is- the city?
Is it the walls, the buildings, the timbers and the stones?
No.
Instead the city is defined by its Home Stone.

What do I mean?
I mean that if all of the walls, all the buildings, all the timbers and all the stones were flattened, destroyed, gone - but the Home Stone remained, the city would still live.

On the other hand.

If the Home Stone were to be moved somewhere else, all of the walls and the buildings and the timbers and the stones, exactly as they are, would -not-be the city.

Here are some examples of this:

Ar, for a time, kept within the city, the Home Stones of cites it had conquered.
By doing so, Ar, so to speak, held the life of these other cites.
The other cites still stood, there were walls and shops and homes and fields and people still lived there, but there was no life without the Home Stone. The stones and timbers were nothing.

After the defeat of Pa-Kur, the Home Stones of these twelve cities were returned, and those men who had served from those cities were allowed to return to their cities rejoicing.


Now, one of the more poignant quotes on this:
I looked at my father. "I am sorry," I said, "that Ko-ro-ba was destroyed."
My father laughed. "Ko-ro-ba was not destroyed," he said.
I was puzzled, for I myself had looked upon the valley of Ko-ro-ba and had seen that the city had vanished.
"Here," said my father, reaching into a leather sack that he wore slung about his shoulder, "is Ko-ro-ba," and he drew forth the small, flat Home Stone of the City, in which Gorean custom invests the meaning, the significance, the reality of a city itself. "Ko-ro-ba cannot be destroyed," said my father, "for its Home Stone has not perished!"
My father had taken the Stone from the City before it had been destroyed. For years he had carried it on his own person.
I took the small stone in my hands and kissed it, for it was the Home Stone of the city to which I had pledged my sword, where I had ridden my first tarn, where I had met my father after an interval of more than twenty years, where I had found new friends, and to which I had taken Talena, my love, the daughter of Marlenus once Companion.
"And here, too, is Ko-ro-ba," I said, pointing to the proud giant, the Older Tarl, and the tiny, sandy-haired scribe, Torm.
"Yes," said my father, "here too is Ko-ro-ba, not only in the particles of its Home Stone, but in the hearts of its men." And we four men of Ko-ro-ba clasped hands.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 304


Notice, despite the fact the city had vanished, Ko-ro-ba lived because, as Tarl's father said, "Ko-ro-ba cannot be destroyed, for its Home Stone has not perished!"

And too, the city lived in the hearts of those men of that city.

Another example:
"Bring the Home Stone of the city," commanded Kamchak, and the stone, oval and aged, carved with the initial letter of the city, was brought to him.
He lifted the stone over his head and read fear in the eyes of the two men chained before him.
But he did not dash the stone to the floor. Rather he arose from his throne and placed the stone in the chained hands of Phanius Turmus. "Turia lives," said he, "Ubar."
Tears formed in the eyes of Phanius Turmus and he held the Home Stone of the city to his heart.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 333 - 334

a city cannot die while its Home Stone survives.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 2

"It does not count, I trust," I asked, "being your camp, as part of the realm of Ar?"
Marlenus laughed. "No!" he said. "Ar is where the Home Stone of Ar lies!"
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 142

What of a city that does not have a Home Stone?
"And what of Port Kar?" I asked.
"She has no Home Stone," said one of the men.
I smiled. It was true. Port Kar, of all the cities on Gor, was the only one that had no Home Stone. I did not know if men did not love her because she had no Home Stone, or that she had no Home Stone because men did not love her.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 250


Ok, this is the second point I want you to take away from this narrative:

As I showed you from the books, a hut or a huge group of buildings is not truly alive without a Home Stone. Just as much as the place will die if that Home Stone leaves or is broken.

But nowhere is the thought of Home Stone and City synonymous.
In other words they are not one in the same.

For the sake of my argument, to get you to think on this point, think of the Home Stone as the Heart of the city

Does that make sense?

Now, if you can replace the word Heart for Home Stone in every reference you make, you are giving proper honor to THE most sacred thing which is Gorean.

What do I mean?
Have you read somewhere else where someone says;

The Home Stone of city is recruiting all castes
We welcome you to our Home Stone
Before you enter - Read the Rules of our Home Stone

Can you replace the word Heart with the words Home Stone in any of those examples?

Think the next time you are going to use Home Stone in a sentence.
Will Heart work instead?
If not, don't use Home Stone.


Does this Life, this aura, this heart apply only to cities?
I looked at the Home Stone in the hut. In this hut, for it was here that his Home Stone resided, Thurnus was sovereign. In this hut, even had he been a lowly man or beggar, he, because of the presence in it of his Home Stone, was Ubar. A palace without a Home Stone is but a hovel; a hovel which contains a Home Stone is a palace.
In this house, this hut, this palace, Thurnus was the supremacy. Here he might do as he pleased. His rights in this house, his supremacy in this place, was acknowledged by all guests. They shared the hospitality of his Home Stone.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 142


How about the Home Stone you claim?
How important is it to you?
"Describe to me," said he, "the Home Stone of Ar."
She looked down, confused. She could not do so.
"I cannot," she stammered.
"Shall I have you taken before the magistrates of Ar," he inquired, "to substantiate your claim of citizenship?"
"No," she said, "no!" She looked at him, terrified. To claim a Home Stone as one's own when it is not is a serious offense among Goreans.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 394-395

Can you describe the Home Stone you claim?


What about the Citizenship Ceremony?
"Ar," said one, "is no more."
"She perished in the delta," said another.
"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


Does this apply to women also?
Of course it does.
The free woman is a person; she is a citizen; she has standing before the law; she has a Home Stone; she is noble, lofty, and exalted. The slave, on the other hand, is a property, an animal.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 538

Gorean free women can be difficult and troublesome. But the pain that Gorean men will accept from their free women, in deference to their freedom, and their sharing of a Home Stone, they do not, and will not, accept in their slaves.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 712


Those that share a common Home Stone, look after and protect every one else who shares their Home Stone.
"Commonality of Home Stone extends beyond concepts with which you are familiar, such as shared citizenship, for example. It is more like brotherhood, but not so much in the attenuated, cheap, abstract sense in which those of Earth commonly speak glibly, so loosely, of brotherhood. It is more analogous to brotherhood in the sense of jealously guarded membership in a proud, ancient family, one that has endured through centuries, a family bound together by fidelity, honor, history and tradition."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 117 - 118

"If you are interested in this sort of thing from the Gorean viewpoint," I said, "free men and women are usually attentive to the thoughts and feelings of one another. Not only are they free, but they may even share a Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 354

Two soldiers who would cut one another down with their steel blades for an acre of fertile ground will fight side by side to the death for the Home Stone of their village or of the city within whose ambit their village lies.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 27


Women are protected;
To make this matter more clear, and to be fairer to the customs of Gor, it should be noted that any woman, any woman whatsoever with whom one does not share a Home Stone, is understood to be fair game for the capture loop.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 55


There is pride in the city;
Goreans tend to keep their streets very well. The streets are, after all, the streets of their city, and their city is, after all, the place of their Home Stone.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 381


What of someone who has no Home Stone?
"You have no Home Stone," said the bearded man.
I shuddered. In such a fashion he had informed the small fellow that he was not such that one need keep faith with him. There is a Gorean saying that only Priest-Kings, outlaws and slaves lack Home Stones. Strictly, of course, that is an oversimplification. For example, animals of all sorts, such as tarsks and verr, as well as slaves, do not have Home Stones. Too, anyone whose citizenship, for whatever reason, is rescinded or revoked, with due process of law, is no longer entitled to the protections and rights of that polity's Home Stone. That Home Stone is then no longer his. This suggested to me, again, that the small fellow might have been cast out of Tharna, perhaps exiled or banished.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 388


Wait!
Who has no Home Stone?
The retched, evil, disgusting people?

No, only Priest-Kings, outlaws and slaves.

Can someone who has been banned, or in other words, lost rights to the Home Stone ever get these back ?
Yes:
"Why would one think of her in the terms of a Ubara?" I asked. "Sworn from Marlenus, she is no longer his daughter."
"I am not a scribe of the law," he said. "I do not know."
"I do not think she has a Home Stone," I said.
"Gnieus Lelius permitted her to kiss the Home Stone," he said. "It was done in a public ceremony. She is once again a citizeness of Ar."
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 265


This next quote is rather lengthy, but I believe it speaks more to this subject, from the books themselves, than I can adequately express.
I wondered about the Home Stones of Gor. Many seem small and quite plain. Yet for these stones, and on account of these stones, these seemingly inauspicious, simple objects, cities have been built, and burned, armies have clashed, strongmen have wept, empires have risen and fallen. The simplicity of many of these stones has puzzled me. I have wondered sometimes how it is that they have become invested with such import. They may, of course, somewhat simply, be thought of as symbolizing various things, and perhaps different things to different people. They can stand, for example, for a city, and, indeed, are sometimes identified with the city.

They, have some affinity, too, surely, with territoriality and community. Even a remote hut, far from the paved avenues of a town or city, may have a Home Stone, and therein, in the place of his Home Stone, is the meanest beggar or the poorest peasant a Ubar. The Home Stone says this place is mine, this is my home. I am here. But I think, often, that it is a mistake to try to translate the Home Stone into meanings.

It is not a word, or a sentence. It does not really translate. It is, more like a tree, or the world. It exists, which goes beyond, which surpasses, meaning. In this primitive sense the Home Stone is simply that, and irreducibly, the Home Stone. It is too important, too precious, to mean. And in not meaning, it becomes, of course, the most meaningful of all. It becomes, in a sense, the foundation of meaning, and, for Goreans, it is anterior to meaning, and precedes meaning. Do not ask a Gorean what the Home Stone means because he will not understand your question. It will puzzle him. It is the Home Stone.

Sometimes I think that many Home Stones are so simple because they are too important, too precious, to be insulted with decoration or embellishment. And then, too, sometimes I think that they are kept, on the whole, so simple, because this is a way of saying that everything is important, and precious, and beautiful, the small stones by the river, the leaves of trees, the tracks of small animals, a blade of grass, a drop of water, a grain of sand, the world.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 485 - 486


Some believe that a person will have more than one Home Stone. This theory is based on this one sentence:
But not only is it the case that each city has its Home Stone. The simplest and humblest village, and even the most primitive hut in that village, perhaps only a cone of straw, will contain its own Home Stone
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 23

They focus on the word and. That both the village AND the hut contain its own Home Stone.
Is this proof that everyone has two Home Stones, one in their personal dwelling and yet another in the village, town or city in which they live?

Here again, we need to reason on the overall theme of what all the books tell us of Home Stones.
We need to read quotes about Home Stones in context.
And the quote given to support multiple Home Stones is no exception.

The very next sentence following the above quote goes on to say:
My Home Stone was the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba, that city to which I had seven years ago pledged my sword.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 23

If indeed, as fundamental as the Home Stone is to every Gorean, Tarl had more than one, why does he state "my Home Stone", singular? Why did he not say something like 'In my case I have the Home Stone of my personal dwelling and the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba.'?


In doing further research on this theory, I also found where Tarl's father said this in Book 1, page 27:
"I shall show you someday," he said, "my own small Home Stone, which I keep in my chambers."

Did Matthew then go on to tell his son that Tarl needed to get his own, personal Home Stone?
No, instead, Matthew goes on to say this:
"and someday it may be yours." His eyes seemed moist. He added, "If you should live to earn a Home Stone."

Nowhere else, in all of the more than 165 quotes within the books where the Home Stone is referenced, is the concept of multiple Home Stones shown.

If it is that multiple Home Stones are the norm, and as important as the Home Stone is, the theory of multiple Home Stones would be shown throughout the series.


So now, I'll end this with one last thought. Think carefully on the full depth and meaning of these two, simple sentences:
"Do you love the city so?" I asked.
Samos smiled. "It is the place of my Home Stone," he said.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 301





Supporting References

"Gor," he said, "is the name of this world. In all the languages of this planet, the word means Home Stone." He paused, noting my lack of comprehension. "Home Stone," he repeated. "Simply that.
"In peasant villages on this world," he continued, "each hut was originally built around a flat stone which was placed in the center of the circular dwelling. It was carved with the family sign and was called the Home Stone. It was, so to speak, a symbol of sovereignty, or territory, and each peasant, in his own sovereign."
"Later," said my father, "Home Stones were used for villages, and later still for cities. The Home Stone of a village was always placed in the market, in a city, on the top of the highest tower. The Home Stone came naturally, in time, to acquire a mystique, and something of the same hot, sweet emotions as our native peoples of Earth feel toward their flags became invested in it."
My father had risen to his feet and had begun to pace the room, and his eyes seemed strangely alive. In time I would come to understand more of what he felt. Indeed, there is a saying on Gor, a saying whose origin is lost in the past of this strange planet, that one who speaks of Home Stones should stand, for matters of honor are here involved, and honor is respected in the barbaric codes of Gor.
"These stones," said my father, "are various, of different colors, shapes, and sizes, and many of them are intricately carved. Some of the largest cities have small, rather insignificant Home Stones, but of incredible antiquity, dating back to the time when the city was a village or only a mounted pride of warriors with no settled abode."
My father paused at the narrow window in the circular room and looked out onto the hills beyond and fell silent.
At last he spoke again.
"Where a man sets his Home Stone, he claims, by law, that land for himself. Good land is protected only by the swords of the strongest owners in the vicinity."
"Swords?" I asked.
"Yes," said my father, as if there were nothing incredible in this admission. He smiled. "You have much to learn of Gor," he said. "Yet there is a hierarchy of Home Stones, one might say, and two soldiers who would cut one another down with their steel blades for an acre of fertile ground will fight side by side to the death for the Home Stone of their village or of the city within whose ambit their village lies.
"I shall show you someday," he said, "my own small Home Stone, which I keep in my chambers. It encloses a handful of soil from the Earth, a handful of soil that I first brought with me when I came to this world - a long time ago." He looked at me evenly. "I shall keep the handful of earth you brought," he said, his voice very quiet, "and someday it may be yours." His eyes seemed moist. He added, "If you should live to earn a Home Stone."
I rose to my feet and looked at him. He had turned away, as if lost in thought. "It is the occasional dream of a conqueror or statesman," he said, "to have but a single Supreme Home Stone for the planet." Then, after a long moment, not looking at me, he said, "It is rumored there is such a stone, but it lies in the Sacred Place and is the source of the Priest-Kings' power."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 26 - 28


The more common expression for the sun was Tor-tu-Gor, which means Light Upon the Home Stone.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 28


"You must learn," Torm had said matter-of-factly, "the history and legends of Gor, its geography and economics, its social structures and customs, such as the caste system and clan groups, the right of placing the Home Stone, the Places of Sanctuary, when quarter is and is not permitted in war, and so on."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 40


The Code of the Warrior was, in general, characterized by a rudimentary chivalry, emphasizing loyalty to the Pride Chiefs and the Home Stone. It was harsh, but with a certain gallantry, a sense of honor that I could respect. A man could do worse than live by such a code.


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


"And there," he said, poking downward with his finger, "is the city of Ar, hereditary enemy of Ko-ro-ba, the central city of Marlenus, who intends to be Ubar of all Gor."
"This has something to do with me?" I asked.
"Yes," said the Older Tarl. "You are going to Ar. You are going to steal the Home Stone of Ar and bring it to Ko-ro-ba."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 64


The power of Marlenus, or much of it, lay in the mystique of victory that had never ceased to attend him, acting like a magic spell on his soldiers and the people of his city. Never defeated in combat, Ubar of Ubars, he had boldly refused to relinquish his title after a Valley War some twelve years ago, and his men had refused to withdraw from him, refused to abandon him to the traditional fate of the overambitious Ubar. The soldiers, and the Council of his city, had succumbed to his blandishments, his promises of wealth and power for Ar.
Indeed, it seemed their confidence had been well placed, for now Ar, instead of being a single beleaguered city like so many others on Gor, was a central city in which were kept the Home Stones of a dozen hitherto free cities. There was now an empire of Ar, a robust, arrogant, warlike polity only too obviously involved in the work of dividing its enemies and extending its political hegemony city by city across the plains, hills, and deserts of Gor.
In a matter of time Ko-ro-ba would be forced to match its comparative handful of tarnsmen against those of the Empire of Ar. My father, in his office as Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, had attempted to develop an alliance against Ar, but the free cities of Gor had, in their pride and suspicion, their almost fanatical commitment to protecting their own independent destinies, refused the alliance. Indeed, they had, in the fashion of Gor, driven my father's envoys from their Council Chambers with the whips normally used on slaves, an insult which, at another time, would have been answered by the War Call of Ko-ro-ba. But, as my father knew, strife among the free cities would be the very madness which Marlenus of Ar would welcome most; better even that Ko-ro-ba should suffer the indignity of being thought a city of cowards. Yet if the Home Stone of Ar, the very symbol and significance of the empire, could be removed from Ar, the spell of Marlenus might be broken. He would become a laughingstock, suspect to his own men, a leader who had lost the Home Stone. He would be fortunate if he was not publicly impaled.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 65 - 66


The, Home Stone of Ar, like most Home Stones in the cylinder cities, was kept free on the tallest tower, as if in open defiance of the tarnsmen of rival cities. It was, of course, kept well guarded and at the first sign of serious danger would undoubtedly be carried to safety. Any attempt on the Home Stone was regarded by the citizens of a city as sacrilege of the most heinous variety and punishable by the most painful of deaths, but, paradoxically, it was regarded as the greatest of glories to purloin the Home Stone of another city, and the warrior who managed this was acclaimed, accorded the highest honors of the city, and was believed to be favored by the Priest-Kings themselves.
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     Pages 67 - 68


And now, down there, somewhere in that monstrous blaze of light, was a humble piece of stone, the Home Stone of that great city, and I must seize it.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 76


I lunged for the center of the platform, breaking under my foot a small ceremonial basket filled with grain, kicking from my path a Ka-la-na container, splashing the fermented red liquid across the stone surface. I raced to the pile of stones at the center of the platform, the girl's screaming in my ears. From a short distance away I heard the shouts of men and the clank of arms as warriors raced up the stairs to the roof. Which was the Home Stone? I kicked apart the rocks. One of them must be the Home Stone of Ar, but which? How could I tell it from the others, the Home Stones of those cities which had fallen to Ar?
Yes! It would be the one that would be red with Ka-la-na, that would be sprinkled with the seeds of grain! I felt the stones in frenzy, but several were damp and dotted with the grains of Sa-Tarna. I felt the heavily robed figure dragging me back, tearing at my shoulders and throat with her nails, pitting against me all the fury of her enraged body. I swung back, forcing her from me. She fell to her knees and suddenly crawled to one of the stones, seized it up, and turned to flee. A spear shattered on the platform near me. The guards were on the roof!
I leaped after the heavily robed figure, seized her, spun her around and tore from her hands the stone she carried.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 79


"And the Home Stone of Ar?" I asked.
"In the saddle pack," she said, confirming my expectation. I had locked the pack when I had placed the Home Stone inside, and the pack is an integral part of the tarn saddle. When she had spoken, her voice had burned with shame, and I sensed the humiliation she felt at having failed to save the Home Stone. So now the tarn was gone, returned to his natural wild state, the Home Stone was in the saddle pack, and I had failed, and the daughter of the Ubar had failed, and we stood facing one another on a green knoll in the swamp forest of Ar.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 89


The officer continued; "Marlenus lost the Home Stone, the Luck of Ar. He, with fifty tarnsmen disloyal to the city, seized what they could of the treasury and escaped. In the streets there is civil war, fighting between the factions that would master Ar. There is looting and pillaging. The city is under martial law."
Unresisting, the girl extended her wrists, and the soldier snapped slave bracelets on them light, restraining bracelets of gold and blue stones that might have served as jewelry if it had not been for their function. She seemed unable to speak. In a moment her world had crumbled. She was nothing now but the abominated daughter of the villain in whose reign the Home Stone, the Luck of Ar, had been stolen. Now she, like all other members of the household of Marlenus, slave or free, would be subjected to the vengeance of the outraged citizens, citizens who had marched in the processions of the Ubar in the days of his glory, carrying flasks of Ka-la-na wine and sheaves of Sa-Tarna grain, singing his praises in the melodious litanies of Gor.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 102


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


With the spear blade I cut into the locked saddle pack. It contained, as I'd known it would, the Home Stone of Ar. It was unimpressive, small, flat, and of a dull brown color. Carved on it, crudely, was a single letter in an archaic Gorean script, that single letter which, in the old spelling, would have been the name of the city. At the time the stone was carved, Ar, in all probability, had been one of dozens of inconspicuous villages on the plains of Gor.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 144


In the hours that remained before the tarn returned to his nest, I used the binding fiber and bowstrings to repair, as well as I could, the harness and saddle. By the time my great mount had settled again on his ledge, I had finished my work, even to restoring the gear in my saddle pack. Almost as an afterthought I had included the Home Stone of Ar, that simple, uncomely piece of rock that had so transformed my destiny and that of an empire.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 145


One of the tarnsmen of Marlenus thrust his hand in my hair and forced my lips down to his sandal. I forced my head up and kept my back straight, my eyes granting my captor no satisfaction.
. . .
Around his neck he wore the golden chain of the Ubar, carrying the medallionlike replica of the Home Stone of Ar. In his hands he held the Stone itself, that humble source of so much strife, bloodshed and honor. He held it gently, as though it might have been a child.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 153 - 154


"You are he who stole the Home Stone of Ar," said Marlenus.
"Yes," I said.
"It was well done," said Marlenus, looking at the Stone, holding it so the light reflected variously from its worn surface.
I waited, kneeling at his feet, puzzled that he, like the others in his camp, evinced no interest in the fate of his daughter.
"You realize clearly that you must die," said Marlenus, not looking at me.
"Yes," I said.
Holding the Home Stone in both hands, Marlenus leaned forward.
"You are a young and brave and foolish warrior," he said. He looked into my eyes for a long time, then leaned back against his rough throne.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 154 - 155


"What can you, a simple tarnsman, know of these things?" he asked. "But I, Marlenus, though a warrior, was more than a warrior, always more than a warrior. Where others could see no more than the codes of their castes, where others could sense no call of duty beyond that of their Home Stone, I dared to dream the dream of Ar that there might be an end to meaningless warfare, bloodshed, and terror, an end to the anxiety and peril, the retribution and cruelty that cloud our lives - I dreamed that there might arise from the ashes of the conquests of Ar a new world, a world of honor and law, of power and justice."
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 155


The eyes of Marlenus flashed. "No," he said. "But Ar will fall. The Initiates can only mumble prayers to the Priest-Kings, arrange the details of their meaningless, innumerable sacrifices. They crave political power, but can't understand it or manipulate it. They will never withstand a well-mounted siege. They will never keep the city."
"Can't you enter the city and take power?" I asked. "You could return the Home Stone. You could gather a following."
"Yes," said Marlenus. "I could return the Home Stone - and there are those who would follow me - but there are not enough, not enough. How many would rally to the banner of an outlaw? No, the power of the Initiates must first be broken."
"Do you have a way into the city?" I asked.
Marlenus looked at me narrowly. "Perhaps," he said.
"Then I have a counterplan," I said. "Strike for the Home Stones of those cities tributary to Ar they are kept on the Central Cylinder. If you seize them, you can divide Pa-Kur's horde, give the Home Stones to the contingents of the tributary cities, provided they withdraw their forces. If they do not, destroy the Stones."
"The soldiers of the Twelve Tributary Cities," he said, "want loot, vengeance, the women of Ar, not just their Stones."
"Perhaps some of them fight for their freedom, for the right to keep their own Home Stone," I said. "Surely not all of Pa-Kur's horde are adventurers, mercenaries." Noting the Ubar's interest, I went on. "Besides, few of the soldiers of Gor, barbarians though they might be, would risk the destruction of their city's Home Stone - the luck of their birthplace."
"But," said Marlenus, frowning, "if the siege is lifted, the Initiates will be left in power."
"And Marlenus will not resume the throne of Ar," I said. "But the city will be safe." I looked at Marlenus, testing the man. "What is it, Ubar, that you hold dearest - your city or your title? Do you seek the welfare of Ar or your private glory?"
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Pages 171 - 172


The Home Stones of the Twelve Tributary Cities were returned, and those men who had served Pa-Kur from those cities were allowed to return to their cities rejoicing.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 215


I opened the leather bundle. In it I found the scarlet tunic, sandals and cloak which constitute the normal garb of a member of the Caste of Warriors. This was as it should be, as I was of that caste, and had been since that morning, some seven years ago, when in the Chamber of the Council of High Castes I had accepted weapons the hands of my father, Matthew Cabot, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, and had taken the Home Stone of that city as my own.
For the Gorean, though he seldom speaks of these things, a city is more than brick and marble, cylinders and bridges. It is not simply a place, a geographical location in which men have seen fit to build their dwellings, a collection of structures where they may most conveniently conduct their affairs.
The Gorean senses, or believes, that a city cannot be simply identified with its material elements, which undergo their transformations even as do the cells of a human body.
For them a city is almost a living thing, or more than a living thing. It is an entity with a history, as stones and rivers do not have history; it is an entity with a tradition, a heritage, customs, practices, character, intentions, hopes. When a Gorean says, for example, that he is of Ar, or Ko-ro-ba, he is doing a great deal more than informing you of his place of residence.
The Goreans generally, though there are exceptions particularly the Caste of Initiates, do not believe in immortality. Accordingly, to be of a city is, in a sense, to have been a part of something less perishable than oneself, something divine in the sense of undying. Of course, as every Gorean knows, cities too are mortal, for cities can be destroyed as well as men. And this perhaps makes them love their cities the more, for they know that their city, like themselves, is subject to mortal termination.
This love of their city tends to become invested in a stone which is known as the Home Stone, and which is normally kept in the highest cylinder in a city. In the Home Stone, sometimes little more than a crude piece of carved rock, dating back perhaps several hundred generations, to when the city was only a cluster of huts by the bank of a river, sometimes a magnificent and impressively wrought, jewel-encrusted cube of marble or granite, the city finds its symbol. Yet to speak of a symbol is to fall short of the mark. It is almost as if the city itself were identified with the Home Stone, as if it were to the city what life is to a man. The myths of these matters have it that while the Home Stone survives, so, too, must the city.
But not only is it the case that each city has its Home Stone. The simplest and humblest village, and even the most primitive hut in that village, perhaps only a cone of straw, will contain its own Home Stone, as will the fantastically appointed chambers of the Administrator of so great a city as Ar.
My Home Stone was the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba, that city to which I had seven years ago pledged my sword. I now eager to return to my city.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Pages 21 - 23


"I mean you and your Home Stone no harm," I said. " I have no money and cannot pay you, but I am hungry."
"A warrior takes what he wishes," said the man.
"I do not wish to take anything from you," I said.
He regarded me, and I thought the trace of a smile cracked through the stubbled leather of his broad face.
"I have no daughter," he said. "I have no silver, and no, goods."
"Then I wish you prosperity," I laughed, "and will be on my way." I passed him and continued down the road.
I had moved but a few steps when his voice arrested me. It was hard to understand the words, for those of the lonely Caste of Woodsmen do not often speak.
"I have peas and turnips, garlic and onions in my hut," said the man, his bundle like a giant's hump on his back.
"The Priest-Kings themselves," I said, "could not ask for more."
"Then, Warrior," said the man, issuing Gor's blunt invitation to a low caste dinner, "share my kettle."
"I am honored," I said, and I was.
Whereas I was of high caste and he of low, yet in his own hut he would be, by the laws of Gor, a prince and sovereign, for then he would be in the place of his own Home Stone. Indeed, a cringing whelp of a man, who would never think of lifting his eyes from the ground in the presence of a member of one of the high castes, a crushed and spiritless churl, an untrustworthy villain or coward, an avaricious and obsequious pedlar often becomes, in the place of his own Home Stone, a veritable lion among his fellows, proud and splendid, generous and bestowing, a king be it only in his own den.
Indeed, frequent enough were the stories where even a warrior was overcome by an angry peasant into whose hut he had intruded himself, for in the vicinity of their Home Stones men fight with all the courage, savagery and resourcefulness of the mountain larl. More than one are the peasant fields of Gor which have been freshened with the blood of foolish warriors.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Pages 28 - 29


"Submit," said the man.
"I do not," I said.
"Then be it so," he said, "you are henceforth condemned to wander the world alone and friendless, with no city, with no walls to call your own, with no Home Stone to cherish. You are henceforth a man without a city, you are a warning to all not to scorn the will of the Priest-Kings - beyond this you are nothing."
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 42


Chronology in Ar is figured, happily enough, not from its Administrator Lists, but from its mythical founding by the first man on Gor, a hero whom the Priest-Kings are said to have formed from the mud of the earth and the blood of tarns. Time is reckoned "Contasta Ar", or "from the founding of Ar." The current year, according to the calendar of Ar, if it is of interest, is 10,117. Actually I would suppose that Ar may not be a third of that age. Its Home Stone, however, which I have seen, attests to a considerable antiquity.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 179


I did not object to the time I spent with Sarm, however, for he taught me far more of the Nest in a much shorter time than would have otherwise been possible. With him at my side I had access to many areas which would otherwise have been closed to a human.
One of the latter was the power source of the Priest-Kings, the great plant wherein the basic energy is generated for their many works and machines.
"Sometimes this is spoken of as the Home Stone of all Gor," said Sarm, as we walked the long, winding, iron spiral that clung to the side of a vast, transparent blue dome. Within that dome, burning and glowing, emitting a bluish, combustive refulgence, was a huge, crystalline reticulated hemisphere.
"The analogy, of course," said Sarm, "is incorrect for there is no Home Stone as such in the Nest of Priest-Kings, the Home Stone being a barbarous artifact generally common to the cities and homes of Gorean humans."
I was somewhat annoyed to find the Home Stones, taken so seriously in the cities of Gor that a man might be slain if he did not rise when speaking of the Home Stone of his city, so airily dismissed by the lofty Sarm.
"You find it hard to understand the love of a man for his Home Stone," I said.
"A cultural oddity," said Sarm, "which I understand perfectly but find slightly preposterous."
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Pages 143 - 144


I looked at my father. "I am sorry," I said, "that Ko-ro-ba was destroyed."
My father laughed. "Ko-ro-ba was not destroyed," he said.
I was puzzled, for I myself had looked upon the valley of Ko-ro-ba and had seen that the city had vanished.
"Here," said my father, reaching into a leather sack that he wore slung about his shoulder, "is Ko-ro-ba," and he drew forth the small, flat Home Stone of the City, in which Gorean custom invests the meaning, the significance, the reality of a city itself. "Ko-ro-ba cannot be destroyed," said my father, "for its Home Stone has not perished!"
My father had taken the Stone from the City before it had been destroyed. For years he had carried it on his own person.
I took the small stone in my hands and kissed it, for it was the Home Stone of the city to which I had pledged my sword, where I had ridden my first tarn, where I had met my father after an interval of more than twenty years, where I had found new friends, and to which I had taken Talena, my love, the daughter of Marlenus once Companion.
"And here, too, is Ko-ro-ba," I said, pointing to the proud giant, the Older Tarl, and the tiny, sandy-haired scribe, Torm.
"Yes," said my father, "here too is Ko-ro-ba, not only in the particles of its Home Stone, but in the hearts of its men." And we four men of Ko-ro-ba clasped hands.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 304


He circled me, widely. "Beware," he said, "I carry a Home Stone."
I stood back and made no move to draw my weapon. Though I was of the caste of warriors and he of peasants, and I armed and he carrying naught but a crude tool, I would not dispute his passage. One does not lightly dispute the passage of one who carries his Home Stone.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Page 1


"Bring the Home Stone of the city," commanded Kamchak, and the stone, oval and aged, carved with the initial letter of the city, was brought to him.
He lifted the stone over his head and read fear in the eyes of the two men chained before him.
But he did not dash the stone to the floor. Rather he arose from his throne and placed the stone in the chained hands of Phanius Turmus. "Turia lives," said he, "Ubar."
Tears formed in the eyes of Phanius Turmus and he held the Home Stone of the city to his heart.
"In the morning," called Kamchak, "we return to the wagons."
"You will spare Turia, Master?" asked Aphris, wondering, knowing the hatred he had borne the city.
"Yes," said he, "Turia will live."
Aphris looked at him, not understanding.
I myself was startled, but would not speak. I had thought that Kamchak might destroy the stone, thus breaking the heart of the city, leaving it in ruins in the minds of men. It was only at that time, as he held court in the palace of Phanius Turmus that I realized he would permit the city its freedom, and its soul. I had hitherto only understood that Turians might perhaps return to the city, and that its walls would be left standing. I had not understood that it would be permitted to retain a Home Stone.
Nomads of Gor     Book 4     Pages 333 - 334


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.
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Page 2


"But why has this been done to me?" I asked. "It seems unworthy of the hand of a Ubar."
"Have you forgotten," asked he, "the law of the Home Stone?"
I gasped.
"Better surely banishment than torture and impalement."
"I do not understand," said Elizabeth.
"In the year 10,110, more than eight years ago, a tarnsman of Ko-ro-ba purloined the Home Stone of the city."
"It was I," I told Elizabeth.
She shuddered, for she knew the penalties that might attach to such a deed.
"As Ubar," said Hup, "it would ill become Marlenus to betray the law of the Home Stone of Ar."
"But he gave no explanation," I protested.
"An Ubar gives no accounting," said Hup.
"We fought together," said I, "back to back. I helped him to regain his throne. I was once the companion daughter."
"I say because I know him," said Hup, "though I might die from the saying of it, Marlenus is grieved. He is much grieved. But he is Ubar. He is Ubar. More than man, more than Marlenus, he is Ubar of my city, of Ar itself."
I looked at him.
"Would you," asked Hup, "betray the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba?"
My hand leaped to the hilt of my sword.
Hup smiled. "Then," said he, "do not think Marlenus, whatever the price or cost, his grief, his dream, would betray that of Ar."
"I understand," I said.
"If a Ubar does not respect the law of the Home Stone, what man shall?"
"None," said I. "It is hard to be Ubar."
Assassin of Gor     Book 5     Pages 406 - 407


Gorean warriors, generally drawn from the cities, are warriors by blood, by caste; moreover, they are High Caste; the peasants, isolated in their narrow fields and villages, are Low Caste; indeed, the Peasant is regarded, by those of the cities, as being little more than an ignoble brute, ignorant and superstitious, venal and vicious, a grubber in the dirt, a plodding animal, an ill-tempered beast, something at best cunning and treacherous; and yet I knew that in each dirt-floored cone of straw that served as the dwelling of a peasant and his family, there was, by the fire hole, a Home Stone; the peasants themselves, though regarded as the lowest caste on all Gor by most Goreans, call themselves proudly the ox on which the Home Stone rests, and I think their saying is true.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 3


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


"What is your caste?" I asked.
"I am of the peasants," he said proudly. It was a large, broad man, with yellow, shaggy hair. His hair, too, was sheared at the base of his neck; he, too, wore a collar of hammered iron.
"Do you have a city?" I asked.
"I had a free holding," he said proudly.
"A Home Stone?" I asked.
"Mine own," he said. "In my hut."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 84


"And what of Port Kar?" I asked.
"She has no Home Stone," said one of the men.
I smiled. It was true. Port Kar, of all the cities on Gor, was the only one that had no Home Stone. I did not know if men did not love her because she had no Home Stone, or that she had no Home Stone because men did not love her.
The officer had proposed, as clearly as one might, that the city be abandoned to the flames, and to the ravaging seamen of Cos and Tyros.
Port Kar had no Home Stone.
"How many of you think," I asked, "that Port Kar has no Home Stone?"
The men looked at one another, puzzled. All knew, of course, that she had no Home Stone.
There was silence.
Then, after a time, Tab said, "I think that she might have one."
"But," said I, "she does not yet have one."
"No," said Tab.
"I," said one of the men, "wonder what it would be like to live in a city where there was a Home Stone."
"How does a city obtain a Home Stone?" I asked.
"Men decide that she shall have one," said Tab.
"Yes," I said, "that is how it is that a city obtains a Home Stone."
The men looked at one another.
"Send the slave boy Fish before me," I said.
The men looked at one another, not understanding, but one went to fetch the boy.
I knew that none of the slaves would have fled. They would not have been able to. The alarm had come in the night, and, at night, in a Gorean household, it is common for the slaves to be confined; certainly in my house, as a wise precaution, I kept my slaves well secured; even Midice, when she had snuggled against me in the love furs, when I had finished with her, was always chained by the right ankle to the slave ring set in the bottom of my couch. Fish would have been chained in the kitchen, side by side with Vina.
The boy, white-faced, alarmed, was shoved into my presence.
"Go outside," I told him, "and find a rock, and bring it to me."
He looked at me.
"Hurry!" I said.
He turned about and ran from the room.
We waited quietly, not speaking, until he had returned.
He held in his hand a sizable rock, somewhat bigger than my fist. It was a common rock, not very large, and gray and heavy, granular in texture.
I took the rock.
"A knife," I said.
I was handed a knife.
I cut in the rock the initials, in block Gorean script, of Port Kar.
Then I held out in my hand the rock.
I held it up so that the men could see.
"What have I here?" I asked.
Tab said it, and quietly, "The Home Stone of Port Kar"
"Now," said I, facing the man who had told me there was but one choice, that of flight, "shall we fly?"
He looked at the simple rock, wonderingly. "I have never had a Home Stone before," he said.
"Shall we fly?" I asked.
"Not if we have a Home Stone," he said.
I held up the rock. "Do we have a Home Stone?" I asked the men.
"I will accept it as my Home Stone," said the slave boy, Fish. None of the men laughed. The first to accept the Home Stone of Port Kar was only a boy, and a slave. But he had spoken as a Ubar.
"And I!" cried Thurnock, in his great, booming voice.
"And I!" said Clitus.
"And I!" said Tab.
"And I!" cried the men in the room. And, suddenly, the room was filled with cheers and more than a hundred weapons left their sheaths and saluted the Home Stone of Port Kar. I saw weathered seamen weep and cry out, brandishing their swords. There was joy in that room then such as I had never before seen it. And there was a belonging, and a victory, and a meaningfulness, and cries, and the clashing of weapons, and tears and, in that instant, love.
I cried to Thurnock. "Release all the slaves! Send them throughout the city, to the wharves, the taverns, the arsenal, the piazzas, the markets, everywhere! Tell them to cry out the news! Tell them to tell everyone that there is a Home Stone in Port Kar!"
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 250 - 252


Even from where I was I could hear, beyond the holding, the cries that there was a Home Stone in Port Kar, and could see torches being borne along the narrow walks which, in most places, line the canals.
"Ubar," I heard, and I turned to take Telima in my arms.
"Will you not fly?" she begged, tears in her eyes.
"Listen," I told her. "Hear them? Hear what they are crying outside?"
"They are crying that there is a Home Stone in Port Kar," she said, "but there is no Home Stone in Port Kar. Everyone knows that."
"If men will that there be a Home Stone in Port Kar," I said, "then in Port Kar there will be a Home Stone."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 253


We heard the cry about us sweeping the city, like a spark igniting the hearts of men into flame, that now in Port Kar there was a Home Stone.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 253 - 254


Then, slowly, from my robes, I removed the object which I had hidden there. No one spoke. All eyes were upon me. I slowly unwrapped the silk.
"It is the Home Stone of Port Kar," said the boy.
The men were silent.
Then Samos said, "Port Kar has no Home Stone."
"Captains," said I, "accompany me to the steps of the hall."
They followed me, and I left the chamber of the council, and, in a few moments, stood on the top of the broad marbled steps leading up to the hall of the Council of Captains.
"It is Bosk," cried the people. "It is Bosk, Admiral!"
I looked out into the thousands of faces, the hundreds of torches.
I could see the canals far away, over the heads of the people, crowded even to the distant waters bordering the great piazza. And in those waters beyond there were crowded hundreds of boats, filled with men, many of them holding torches, the flames' reflection flickering on the walls of the buildings and on the water.
I said nothing, but faced the crowd for a long moment.
And then, suddenly, I lifted my right arm, and held in my right hand, high over my head, was the stone.
"I have seen it!" cried a man, weeping, "I have seen it! The Home Stone of Port Kar!"
"The Home Stone of Port Kar!" cried thousands. "The stone!"
There were great cheers, and cries, and shouts, and the lifting of torches and weapons. I saw men weep. And women. And I saw fathers lift their sons upon their shoulders that they might see the stone.
I think the cries of joy in the piazza might have carried even to the moons of Gor.
"I see," said Samos, standing near to me, his voice indistinct in the wild cries of the crowd, "that there is indeed a Home Stone in Port Kar."
"You did not flee," I said, "nor did the others, nor have these people."
He looked at me, puzzled.
"I think," I said, "that there has always been a Home Stone in Port Kar. It is only that until this night it had not been found."
We looked out over the vast throng, shaken in its jubilation and its tears.
Samos smiled. "I think," said he, "Captain, you are right."
Near to me, tears in his eyes, shouting, was the slave boy Fish. And I saw tears, too, in the eyes of the vast crowds, with their torches, before me.
There was much shouting, and a great crying out.
"Yes, Captain," said Samos, "I think that you are right."
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Pages 257 - 258


Further, when the ships of Cos and Tyros turned upon these round ships I did not think they would find them common foes. Each was rowed either by citizens of Port Kar or by eager slaves, armed and unchained, that they might, if they chose, fight for their freedom and the Home Stone of a city.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 262


"A seaman truly worthy of Port Kar," said Samos.
"Do you love the city so?" I asked.
Samos smiled. "It is the place of my Home Stone," he said.
I grinned.
Raiders of Gor     Book 6     Page 301


"It does not count, I trust," I asked, "being your camp, as part of the realm of Ar?"
Marlenus laughed. "No!" he said. "Ar is where the Home Stone of Ar lies!"
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 142


He turned to face me, wildly. He saw that my blade was now drawn.
"You are not of Ar!" he cried.
"It would be better for you," said I, "if I were."
"You are mad," he cried. "Mad!"
"My Home Stone," I told him, "was once the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba. Will it be you, Sarus, who will come first against me?"
Hunters of Gor     Book 8     Page 276


"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


Ar, populous and wealthy, the greatest city of known Gor, was regarded as a symbol of quality in merchandise. The stamp of Ar, a single letter, that which appears on its Home Stone, the Gorean spelling of the city's name, was often forged by unscrupulous tradesmen and placed on their own goods. It is not a difficult sign to forge. It has, however, in spite of that, never been changed or embellished; the stamp of Ar is a part of its tradition.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 112


Gor is a perilous world, and particularly so, perhaps, for beautiful women. It is seldom that they, if not protected by a city and a Home Stone, escape the slave collar, the brand, the chains of a master.
Marauders of Gor     Book 9     Page 291


"Only in a collar can a woman be truly free," I said. It was a Gorean saying. History on Earth, long ago, had taken a turning away from the body, from nature, from the needs of men and women, from genetically linked psycho-biological realities; this turning away, ultimately and inevitably, had produced an unloved, exploited, polluted planet swarming with miserable populations of unhappy, petty, self-seeking, frustrated animals; the human being of Earth had no Home Stone; this turning away had never taken place on the planet Gor.
Tribesmen of Gor     Book 10     Page 75


To one side, against the wall of the hut, there rested, on a small table, a piece of plain, irregularly shaped rock, which Thurnus, years earlier, when first he had founded the farm, later to be the community, of Tabuk's Ford, had taken from his own fields. He had, one morning, years ago, bow upon his back and staff in hand, seed at his thigh, after months of wandering, come to a place which had pleased him. It lay in the basin of the Verl. He had been driven from his father's village, for his attendance upon a young free woman of the village. Her brother's arms and legs had he broken. His woman had followed him. She had become his companion. With him, too, had come two young men, and two other women, who saw in him, the young, rawboned giant, the makings of a caste leader. Months had they wandered. Then, following tabuk, in the basin of the Verl, he had come to a place which had pleased him. There the animals had forded the river. He had not followed them further He had driven the yellow stake of claimancy into the dark soil, near the Verl, and had stood there, his weapons at hand, beside the stake, until the sun had reached the zenith and then, slowly, set. It was then he had reached to his feet and picked up the stone, from his own fields. It now rested in his hut. It was the Home Stone of Thurnus.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 139 - 140


I looked at the Home Stone in the hut. In this hut, for it was here that his Home Stone resided, Thurnus was sovereign. In this hut, even had he been a lowly man or beggar, he, because of the presence in it of his Home Stone, was Ubar. A palace without a Home Stone is but a hovel; a hovel which contains a Home Stone is a palace.
In this house, this hut, this palace, Thurnus's was the supremacy. Here he might do as he pleased. His rights in this house, his supremacy in this place, was acknowledged by all guests. They shared the hospitality of his Home Stone.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Page 142


Clans, because of practical limitations on mobility, are usually associated, substantially, with a given city; the caste, on the other hand, is transmunicipal or intermunicipal. These remarks would not be complete without mentioning Home Stones. Perhaps the most significant difference between the man of Earth and the Gorean is that the Gorean has a Home Stone, and the man of Earth does not. It is difficult to make clear to a non-Gorean the significance of the Home Stone, for the non-Gorean has never had a Home Stone, and thus cannot understand its meaning, its reality. I think that I shall not try to make clear what is the significance to a Gorean of the Home Stone. It would be difficult to put into words; indeed, it is perhaps impossible to put into words; I shall not try. I think this is one of the saddest things about the men of Earth, that they have no Home Stone.
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 213 - 214


"You understand further, of course," said he, "that under Gorean merchant law, which is the only law commonly acknowledged binding between cities, that you stand under separate permissions of enslavement. First, were you of Ar, it would be my right, could I be successful, to make of you a slave, for we share no Home Stone. Secondly, though you speak of yourself as the Lady Elicia of Ar, of Six Towers, you are, in actuality, Miss Elicia Nevins of the planet Earth. You are an Earth girl and thus stand within a general permission of enslavement, fair beauty quarry to any Gorean male whatsoever."
Earth girls had no Home Stones. No legalities, thus, were contravened in capturing them and making of them abject slave girls.
"The first to capture you owns you," he said. "Prepare to be leashed as a slave." He unlooped the long leash at his belt, with its slip ring and snap lock.
"Wait," she said, extending her hand.
"Yes?" he said.
"Beware of leashing me in this city," she said. "I am truly of Ar!"
"Describe to me," said he, "the Home Stone of Ar."
She looked down, confused. She could not do so.
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.
"You claim to be of Ar," said he. "Yet you cannot describe her Home Stone. Explain to me then in precise detail the ceremony of citizenship, or, perhaps, the performances enacted upon the Planting Feast."
"I cannot," she stammered.
"Shall I have you taken before the magistrates of Ar," he inquired, "to substantiate your claim of citizenship?"
"No," she said, "no!" She looked at him, terrified. To claim a Home Stone as one's own when it is not is a serious offense among Goreans. Elicia Nevins shuddered. She had no wish to be impaled upon the walls of Ar. "Mercy, Warrior!" she begged.
"Are you of Ar?" he asked.
"No," she said, "I am not of Ar."
Slave Girl of Gor     Book 11     Pages 394 - 395


"Cowards!" she cried.
The captain turned to face her. "I am not a coward, Lady," said he. "But neither am I a fool."
"Cowards!" she cried.
"Before I send men against one such as he," said the officer, "it will be to defend a Home Stone."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 116


The free woman glared at the man who had captured her. "Free me, now!" she said.
He looked at her, fingering the knife he had taken from her.
The free woman squirmed in her bonds, frightened. She looked at me. "You are free," she said, "protect me!"
"What is your Home Stone?" I asked.
"That of Lydius," she said.
"I do not share it," I said.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 127


"How do you work your living?" I asked. "Are you a bandit?"
"No," said he. "I am a trader. I trade north of Ax Glacier for the furs of sleen, the pelts of leem and larts."
"A lonely work," I said.
"I have no Home Stone," he shrugged.
I pitied him.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 128


Little love is lost betwixt the castes of warriors and assassins. Each deems himself the superior of, and the natural foe, of the other. The sword of the warrior, commonly, is pledged to a Home Stone, that of the assassin to gold and the knife.
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 136


"What is your Home Stone?" I asked.
"Do you think I am fool enough to talk with you?" he snarled.
"Assassins, as I recall," I said, "have no Home Stones. I suppose that is a drawback to caste membership, but if you did have Home Stones, it might be difficult to take fees on one whose Home Stone you shared."
Beasts of Gor     Book 12     Page 359


"It is of Port Kar," he said. He had, too, pressed his thumb against the coin, on both sides, feeling the ship, and, on the reverse, the sign of Port Kar, its initials, in the same script that occurred on her Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 139


"Is there no hope for my world?" she asked.
"Very little," I said. "Perhaps, here and there, men will form themselves into small communities, where the names of such things as courage, discipline and responsibility may be occasionally recollected, communities which, in their small way, might be worthy of Home Stones. Such communities, emerging upon the ruins, might provide a nucleus for regeneration, a sounder, more biological regeneration of a social structure, one not antithetical to the nature of human beings."
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 333


"If you are interested in this sort of thing from the Gorean viewpoint," I said, "free men and women are usually attentive to the thoughts and feelings of one another. Not only are they free, but they may even share a Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Page 354


They had declared themselves slaves. The slave herself, of course, once the declaration has been made, cannot revoke it. That would be impossible, for she is then only a slave. The slave can be freed only by one who owns her, only by one who is at the time her master or, if it should be the case, her mistress. The legal point, I think, is interesting. Sometimes, in the fall of a city, girls who have been enslaved, girls formerly of the now victorious city, will be freed. Technically, according to Merchant Law, which serves as the arbiter in such intermunicipal matters, the girls become briefly the property of their rescuers, else how could they be freed? Further, according to Merchant Law, the rescuer has no obligation to free the girl. In having been enslaved she has lost all claim to her former Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor     Book 13     Pages 409 - 410


I think the explanation for the Gorean political arrangements and attitudes in the institution of the Home Stone. It is the Home Stone which, for the Gorean marks the center. I think it is because of their Home Stone that the Gorean tends to think of territory as something from the inside out, so to speak, rather than from the outside in. Consider again the analogy of the circle. For the Gorean the Home Stone would mark the point of the circle's center. It is the Home Stone which, so to speak, determines the circle. There can be a point without a circle, but there can be no circle without its central point. But let me not try to speak of Home Stones. If you have a Home Stone, I need not speak. If you do not have a Home Stone, how could you understand, what I might say?
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 145


She resided now in Vonda, in a tiny, dingy holding, where she, as a citizeness of that city, would have, at least against foreign creditors, the protection of its Home Stone.
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 233


"I do not know how I can ever thank you, Lady Florence," breathed the Lady Melpomene.
"It is nothing," said the Lady Florence, "for we are sharers of a Home Stone and are, too, fast friends."
Fighting Slave of Gor     Book 14     Page 275


"Perhaps, now," she said, squirming in the assistant's grip, "you will have this ruffian unhand me."
He regarded her.
She shuddered. Her Home Stone was not that of Lara, times were troubled, and Strobius was master in his own inn.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Page 44


"Remember," I told her, "you have no Home Stone."
"What are you telling me," she asked, "that I keep a civil tongue in my head?"
"It would not hurt," I told her.
"Oh, yes!" she said. "I know! I have no Home Stone! You might just tear the sheet from me. You might just throw me down in the threshold, on the stones, under the lantern, and rape me, and re-enslave me!"
"I could!" I said, angrily.
"You would not dare," she said.
"Do not tempt me," I said, in fury.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Pages 92 - 93


"Is she a slave?" she asked.
"No," I said. I had freed her.
"That is unfortunate," she said.
I shrugged.
"Does she have a Home Stone?" she asked.
"No," I said.
"Then enslave her!" she said.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Pages 110 - 111


When a Gorean city founds a colony, usually as a result of internal overpopulation or political dissension, the potential colonists, typically, even before leaving the mother city, develop their own charter, constitution and laws. Most importantly, from the Gorean point of view, when the colony is founded, it will have its own Home Stone. The Home Stone of Port Cos, significantly, was not the Home Stone of Cos. Ar's Station, on the other hand, did not have its own Home Stone, but its Home Stone remained that of Ar. This is not to deny, of course, that the colony will not normally have a close tie with the mother city. It usually will. There are too many bonds, cultural and historical, between them, for this not to be the case.
Rogue of Gor     Book 15     Page 266


Tasdron reached into his pouch. "I am sure that you recognize this," he said. He held, in his hands, two pieces of rock.
"The topaz!" said Aemilianus.
"The topaz!" said Calliodorus.
"What you do not know," said Tasdron, "is that long ago, over a century ago, this stone, unbroken, was the Home Stone of Victoria."
We were startled. There was silence in the room.
"Over a hundred years ago," said Tasdron, "it was carried away by pirates, and broken. Since that time Victoria has not had a Home Stone. What had once been our Home Stone served then as nothing more than a pledge symbol among the buccaneers of the river. In a few days we of the council of Victoria will go down to the river. There, from the shore of the Vosk, we shall select a common stone, not much unlike others. That, then, shall be the new Home Stone of Victoria."
There were tears in my eyes.
"What of the topaz?" asked Aemilianus.
"It has been broken," said Tasdron. "No longer may it serve as a Home Stone."
"Why have you brought it here?" asked Calliodorus.
"Ar's Station and Port Cos," said Tasdron, "are mighty powers on the river. I brought it here that I might give one half to you, Aemilianus, and one half to you, Calliodorus. In all that may later ensue, whatever it may be, do not forget that you once fought together, and once were comrades."
Tasdron then gave half of the topaz to Aemilianus and the other half to Calliodorus.
"My thanks," said Aemilianus.
"My thanks," said Calliodorus.
Then Aemilianus looked at Calliodorus. "Let us never forget the topaz," he said.
"We will not," said Calliodorus.
Guardsmen of Gor     Book 16     Pages 271 - 272


The community of those who had been Waniyanpi, of course, was not identified with a particular area of land, and certainly not with a territory occupied under the conditions of a leased tenancy. It now, in the Gorean fashion, for the first time, tended to be identified with a Home Stone. The community could now, if it wished, the Home Stone moving, even migrate to new lands. In Gorean law, allegiances to a Home Stone, and not physical structures and locations, tend to define communities.
Blood Brothers of Gor   Book 18   Pages 473 - 474


It had been determined that my Home Stone, if I had one, was not that of Venna, or Ar, or of one of their allies. I was then, in any case, it seemed, without money, without credentials, fair game for the slaver's block.
Kajira of Gor     Book 19     Page 219


To be sure, many of its contingents were composed of mercenaries sworn to the temporary service of diverse fee captains, and not Cosian regulars. It is difficult to manage such men. They do not fight for Home Stones. They are often little more than armed rabbles. Many are little better than thieves and cutthroats.
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Pages 29 - 30


She had, it seemed, for whatever reason, presumably opportunism or greed, betrayed the pledge of her Home Stone. In the case of a man this can be a capital offense. She was not a man, however, but a female. It was thus, doubtless, that she had not been placed on a proscription list, but only on a seizure list. It was her sex which had saved her. Had she been a man she would have been hung.
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 141


"Why would one think of her in the terms of a Ubara?" I asked. "Sworn from Marlenus, she is no longer his daughter."
"I am not a scribe of the law," he said. "I do not know."
"I do not think she has a Home Stone," I said.
"Gnieus Lelius permitted her to kiss the Home Stone," he said. "It was done in a public ceremony. She is once again a citizeness of Ar."
Mercenaries of Gor     Book 21     Page 265


Caste is extremely important to most Goreans, even when they do not all practice the traditional crafts of their caste. It is one of the "nationalities" of the Gorean, so to speak. Other common "nationalities," so to speak, are membership in a kinship organization, such as a clan, or phratry, a group of clans, or a larger grouping yet, a tribe or analogous to a tribe, a group of phratries, and a pledged allegiance to a Home Stone, usually that of a village, town or city. It seems that in the distant past of Gor these kinship allegiances were, in effect, political allegiances, or generated political allegiances, which, later, interestingly, as life became more complex, and populations more mobile, became separated. Kinship structures do not now figure strongly in Gorean public life, although in some cities divisions of the electorate, those free citizens entitled to participate in referenda, and such, remain based on them.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 293


Usually, of course, the free labor is paid, and with more than provisions and shelter, either from public or private funds. Any city in which free laborers tended to be systematically robbed of their employments in virtue of imbonded competition would doubtless be inviting discontent, and perhaps, eventually, revolution. Besides, the free laborers share a Home Stone with the aristocracies of these cities, the upper castes, the higher families, the richer families, and so on. Accordingly, because of this commonality of the Home Stone, love of their city, the sharing of citizenship, and such, there is generally a harmonious set of economic compromises obtaining between the upper castes, and classes, and the lower castes, and the labor force, in general. Happily, most of these compromises are unquestioned matters of cultural tradition. They are taken for granted, usually, by all the citizens, and their remote origins, sometimes doubtless the outcome of internecine strife, of class war, of street fighting and riots, of bloody, house-to-house, determinations in the past, and such, are seldom investigated, save perhaps by historians, scribes of the past, some seeking, it seems, to know the truth, for its own sake, others seemingly seeking lessons in the rich labyrinths of history, in previous human experience, what is to be emulated, and what is to be avoided. Some think that out of such crises came the invention of the Home Stone. There are, of course, several mythical accounts of the origin of the Home Stone. One popular account has it that an ancient hero, Hesius, once performed great labors for Priest-Kings, and was promised a reward greater than gold and silver. He was given, however, only a flat piece of rock with a single character inscribed upon it, the first letter in the name of his native village. He reproached the Priest-Kings with their niggardliness, and what he regarded as their breach of faith. He was told, however, that what they gave him was indeed worth far more than gold and silver, that it was a "Home Stone." He returned to his native village, which was torn with war and strife. He told the story there, and put the stone in the market place. "If the Priest-Kings say this is worth more than gold and silver," said a wise man, "it must be true." "Yes," said the people. "Whose Home Stone is it"?" asked the people, "yours or ours?" "Ours," responded Hesius. Weapons were then laid aside, and peace pledged. The name of the village was "Ar." It is generally accepted in Gorean tradition that the Home Stone of Ar is the oldest Home Stone on Gor.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Pages 301 - 302


Whereas in the cities, where the rights of citizenship are clearest, where the sways of custom and tradition tend to be jealously guarded, where the influence of Home Stones is likely to be most keenly felt, free labor has generally held its own, the same cannot be said for all rural areas of Gor, particularly areas which fall outside the obvious jurisdiction or sphere of influence of nearby cities. Too, it is difficult to be a citizen of a city if one cannot reach it within a day's march.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 302


"I have taken five chains," said the fellow. "I spared the guards. You may have them back, if you wish. There were two hundred and fifty men, exactly on the chains. I am recruiting one hundred and seventy-seven of them. Some I am freeing, because they are from Brundisium, whose Home Stone, before my outlawry, was mine. The rest I will sell back to you for, I think, something in the neighborhood of what you paid for them."
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 356


"You have no Home Stone," said the bearded man.
I shuddered. In such a fashion he had informed the small fellow that he was not such that one need keep faith with him. There is a Gorean saying that only Priest-Kings, outlaws and slaves lack Home Stones. Strictly, of course, that is an oversimplification. For example, animals of all sorts, such as tarsks and verr, as well as slaves, do not have Home Stones. Too, anyone whose citizenship, for whatever reason, is rescinded or revoked, with due process of law, is no longer entitled to the protections and rights of that polity's Home Stone. That Home Stone is then no longer his. This suggested to me, again, that the small fellow might have been cast out of Tharna, perhaps exiled or banished.
Dancer of Gor     Book 22     Page 388


"Beware," cried the driver through the rain to the men below me, beside the wagon. "I carry a Home Stone in this wagon."
The three men looked at one another, and then backed away. They would not choose to do business with one who carried a Home Stone, even though they were three to two.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 9


They had seemed like good fellows. I recalled that the brigands, after having descended to prey upon them, had been prepared to withdraw, hearing that the wagon carried a Home Stone. Those with a Home Stone in their keeping are commonly formidable adversaries. Few men will knowingly interfere with the progress of such a person, let alone threaten or attack them. Warning them that he carried a Home Stone indicated that the driver suspected their intentions. It had been that announcement, too, which had encouraged me to enter into the matter. I wondered if the driver had actually been carrying a Home Stone or if his assertion had been merely a trick to discourage predation.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Pages 20 - 21


"Ar's Station is gone," I said to Aemilianus.
"No," he said. "Its Home Stone survives."
"It was taken from the city?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "Weeks ago it was smuggled from the city, and sent south to Ar, where, if all went well, it must now be."
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 341


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


Cosians, I assure you, are not overly fond of traitresses. One who is willing to betray her own Home Stone would presumably not hesitate to betray someone else's.
Renegades of Gor     Book 23     Page 390


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.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 267


"Ar," said one, "is no more."
"She perished in the delta," said another.
"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


That slaves are often barefoot says much, incidentally, for the cleanliness of Gorean streets and the usual paucity of litter. Goreans tend to keep their streets very well. The streets are, after all, the streets of their city, and their city is, after all, the place of their Home Stone.
Vagabonds of Gor     Book 24     Page 381


"No one must be permitted to again revile the Home Stone of Ar's Station!" said Marcus.
"Come away from here," I said. I pulled him from the knot of men, to the side.
I looked back to the enclosure within which was the Home Stone of Ar's Station, it resting on the plank, supported by the two terra-cotta vats. There were at least ten guards in the vicinity, as well as perhaps fifty to a hundred men.
"I do not think you are likely, at this time," I said, "to seize the Home Stone by force. Even if you could cut your way to it, you would not be likely to get more than a few feet with it, before you were brought down, by spear or quarrel, if not by blade."
"I can die in the attempt of its rescue," he said, grimly.
"Yes, I suppose you could," I said, "and probably without much difficulty, but if your intent is its rescue, and not your death in its attempted rescue, this is not the time to strike."
He looked at me, angrily.
"You have many of the virtues of the warrior," I said, "but there is yet one you must learn - patience."
"It is not your Home Stone," he said.
"And that," I said, "is perhaps why it is easier for me to consider these matters with more objectivity than you."
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 69 - 70


Also, given the xenophobia common on Gor, often obtaining among cities, the distrust of the stranger, the contempt for the outsider, and such, there is a special ease in a master's relating to a foreign slave, one with whom he has never shared a Home Stone.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 173


I was pleased to see that not all the youth of Ar were in the keeping of Cos, that in the hearts of some at least there yet burned the fire called patriotism. Too, I recalled some would take the oath of citizenship only facing their Home Stone, now in far-off Cos. Others, in the streets and alleys, I speculated, could teach their elders courage.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 236


The truly dangerous peasant weapon is the peasant bow, or great bow. It is in virtue of that weapon that thousands of villages on Gor have their own Home Stones.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 245


It must have been in the neighborhood of the twentieth Ahn. By now Milo and Lavinia must have left the city. Too, Boots Tarsk-Bit, with his troupe, would be on his way north, perhaps on the Viktel Aria. Somewhere, hidden among their belongings, would be an obscure item, a seeming oddity, a stone. To look at it one might not know it from many other stones. And yet it was different from all other stones; it was special. I wondered about the Home Stones of Gor. Many seem small and quite plain. Yet for these stones, and on account of these stones, these seemingly inauspicious, simple objects, cities have been built, and burned, armies have clashed, strongmen have wept, empires have risen and fallen. The simplicity of many of these stones has puzzled me. I have wondered sometimes how it is that they have become invested with such import. They may, of course, somewhat simply, be thought of as symbolizing various things, and perhaps different things to different people. They can stand, for example, for a city, and, indeed, are sometimes identified with the city. They, have some affinity, too, surely, with territoriality and community. Even a remote hut, far from the paved avenues of a town or city, may have a Home Stone, and therein, in the place of his Home Stone, is the meanest beggar or the poorest peasant a Ubar. The Home Stone says this place is mine, this is my home. I am here. But I think, often, that it is a mistake to try to translate the Home Stone into meanings. It is not a word, or a sentence. It does not really translate. It is, more like a tree, or the world. It exists, which goes beyond, which surpasses, meaning. In this primitive sense the Home Stone is simply that, and irreducibly, the Home Stone. It is too important, too precious, to mean. And in not meaning, it becomes, of course, the most meaningful of all. It becomes, in a sense, the foundation of meaning, and, for Goreans, it is anterior to meaning, and precedes meaning. Do not ask a Gorean what the Home Stone means because he will not understand your question. It will puzzle him. It is the Home Stone. Sometimes I think that many Home Stones are so simple because they are too important, too precious, to be insulted with decoration or embellishment. And then, too, sometimes I think that they are kept, on the whole, so simple, because this is a way of saying that everything is important, and precious, and beautiful, the small stones by the river, the leaves of trees, the tracks of small animals, a blade of grass, a drop of water, a grain of sand, the world. The word 'Gor', in Gorean, incidentally, means 'Home Stone'. Their name for our common sun, Sol, is 'Tor-tu-Gor' which means 'Light upon the Home Stone'.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Pages 485 - 486


"Sell them out of the city," said the officer. Women wept.
"Do you wish a record of this, Captain?" asked the fellow in the blue tunic, he with the scribe's box, on its straps, slung at his left side.
"No," said the captain. "Keep no record of this. They have shamed the city, and the Home Stone. Let them go their way. Let them not be remembered. Let it be, in the records of the city, as though they had never been."
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 495


They were to be sold out of the city, I recalled. They would find themselves then at the mercy of strangers. Gone would be their privileged status, that of the free woman. Gone would be the protection of the law, of guardsmen, of the shared Home Stone.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 500


"Hold!" said the pit master. "Know that these women are the property of the state of Treve! You are within the walls of Treve. You are sheltered by her Home Stone. You cannot deal with the property of Treve with impunity."
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 549


"You are a captain," said the leader of the strangers to the officer of Treve. "You hold rank in this city. Why would you defend this monster?"
"We share a Home Stone," said the officer.
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 560


"I give you my word," said the officer, "within the rights of my code, and sworn in the name of the Home Stone itself, that if you shall accomplish upon yourself this injustice, I shall see that she will be free to follow you, whether it be from this ledge, or by the cord or knife."
"No!" cried the pit master.
"It is so sworn."
Witness of Gor     Book 26     Page 653


Rank, distance and hierarchy are ingredient in Gorean social arrangements. The intricate stratification of society tends to produce social stability. The myth that all are equal when obviously they are not tends to ferment unrest. Each desires to climb the invisible ladder he claims does not exist. In Gorean society, with its emphasis on locality and neighborhood, with its diverse Home Stones, each with its own history and traditions, with its many castes and subcastes, each with its acknowledged privileges and rights, and obligations, respected by all, political upheavals, social disruptions, are not only rare, but to most Goreans almost incomprehensible. There is little cause for such things, little interest in them, little place for them. They just do not fit. In Gorean society there is no nameless, faceless, anonymous, ponderous, swarming many ruled by a secret few. Too richly formed, too proud, too self-respecting, too intricately structured, too much like nature herself, is Gorean society for that. Too, there are the codes, and honor.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 69 - 70


"You are very beautiful," he said. "You know that, don't you?"
"Perhaps," she whispered.
"So it is very natural that you would wish to show your beauty," he said. "It is natural that it would give you great pleasure to do so. Surely, too, you must rejoice in the happiness, and pleasure, that the sight of it brings to others."
"But it could also bring me into great peril, could it not, Master?" she asked.
"Yes," he said, "particularly on this world. It makes you an object of enormous interest, of almost uncontrollable desire. This is particularly dangerous for you, inasmuch as you are only a slave. It is not as though you were a free person, and had a Home Stone."
"A Home Stone, Master?"
"Commonality of Home Stone extends beyond concepts with which you are familiar, such as shared citizenship, for example. It is more like brotherhood, but not so much in the attenuated, cheap, abstract sense in which those of Earth commonly speak glibly, so loosely, of brotherhood. It is more analogous to brotherhood in the sense of jealously guarded membership in a proud, ancient family, one that has endured through centuries, a family bound together by fidelity, honor, history and tradition." "I see," she whispered.
"So do not concern yourself with Home Stones," he said. "They are beyond your ken. You are only a slave."
"Yes, Master," she said.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Pages 117 - 118


"Yes," said the girl. "As the master he is all, as the master he is everything."
"In his own hovel, even the peddler is a Ubar," said a girl from the right.
"If he has a Home Stone," said another.
"Yes," said the first girl.
"Does Targo, I mean, the master, have a Home Stone?" asked Ellen.
"We do not know, little she-urt," said one of the girls. "He has not permitted us to rummage through his pack."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 229


"What has honor to do with this?" he asked, puzzled. "We are not fellow citizens. We do not share a Home Stone. Too, even if we had been fellow citizens, you are now no longer a citizen, but a slave. Too, even if we had once shared a Home Stone, you are now without the rights of the Home Stone, having been enslaved. In addition, you are merely a female."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 275


On her old world, in what had been her city of residence, unauthorized scrawlings, blatant obscenities, defiling letterings, ignorant vandalisms and such were common, these things exhibiting hatred, incivility, a disrespect for property, a petty, ugly desire to defile, to destroy and such, but they were, as far as she knew, rare in Gorean cities. In Gorean cities, you see, there are Home Stones. As a slave, of course, she could not have a Home Stone, no more than any other animal. Her master, however, Portus Canio, she knew, had a Home Stone. His Home Stone was the Home Stone of Ar. "Do not linger here, slave girl," whispered a man, passing her. "Yes, Master," she said, and hurried on. The next time she passed the wall, the scrawled triangle had been removed.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 302


"You have heard of the Delta Brigade," said Portus.
"It is a myth," said Arconious.
"What do you know of it?" asked Portus.
"Little, if anything," said Arconious.
"It is an organization," said Portus, "formed largely, but not entirely, from veterans of the great disaster of the Vosk delta, where they were betrayed by treason in high places, denied supplies, abandoned, left to die, who muchly suffered in their retreat from the delta, and found themselves despised and humiliated when they returned to their city, held in contempt, and spat upon, despite their sharing of its Home Stone. Later, as you know, the gates of Ar were opened to the Cosians and their mercenary allies, again by insufferable treason in high places, under delusory pretenses of friendship and alliance."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 336


"The forces of occupation are not all Cosian," said Portus. "Indeed, the greater portion of these forces are mercenaries in the pay of Cos. Their loyalty is not to the Home Stones of Jad or Temos but to the purse of their paymaster, gross Lurius of Jad. They have been supported largely by the routine, methodological looting of Ar, but the mercenaries are many and impatient and Ar grows poorer, and there is only so much silver, so much gold, so many women, only so much wealth which can be seized and distributed."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 337


In any event, aware of her status and station the Gorean free woman, particularly if of high caste, commonly regards herself, and is culturally justified in doing so, as a very special and superior creature, one generally aloof and unapproachable, one commonly lofty and exalted. She has, after all, a Home Stone.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 495


"Death to the traitress!" said a man. "Death to the Ubara!"
"She shall know the penalties for betraying the Home Stone, those to be suitably inflicted upon a traitorous free person," said a man.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 519


"You see then," said Selius Arconious, "that you no longer have any claim to her."
"Of course not," said Portus Canio. "That is clear. On the other hand, we do share a Home Stone."
"Very well," said Selius Arconious. "She is yours. I give her to you."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 520


"Can one trust one of Port Kar?" asked Selius Arconious.
"He is with us, for whatever reason," said Portus Canio.
"In Port Kar," said the red-haired man, he like a larl, "there is now a Home Stone."
"I did not know," said Selius Arconious. "Forgive me."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 523


On Gor, it might be mentioned, that some of these things might be better understood, women tend to be regarded as goods and prizes, as loot and booty, particularly if one does not share a Home Stone with them.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 530


The free woman is a person; she is a citizen; she has standing before the law; she has a Home Stone; she is noble, lofty, and exalted. The slave, on the other hand, is a property, an animal.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 538


"You are less than an urt of Ar," said Portus Canio, "for you have betrayed your Home Stone."
"Not at all," said the officer. "It is only that his Home Stone is not yours. His is, you see, far more valuable. It is gold."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 608


They still think of her as a woman of the enemy. This is, however, a mistake. She is not free. Thus, she can no longer be a woman of the enemy. Now she is only another slave. She would remain a slave, incidentally, even if she were to be returned to her original city. Indeed, there, she would be treated with great cruelty, perhaps even slain. In becoming a slave, you see, she has dishonored its Home Stone. She would beg piteously not to be returned to that city. There she could expect nothing better than a paga tavern or brothel. You can imagine her misery, in such a situation, finding herself at the mercy of spurned suitors, and such. And perhaps she would be purchased by a free woman who was once her rival and enemy, to be her serving slave. Better to wear her collar at the feet of foreign masters, scions of the city whose warriors or raiders first acquired and stripped her. Women understand such things.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 628


"I am a merchant of Ar," said Mirus, "dealing in various commodities, including slaves."
"An urt of Ar," said the officer.
"No," said Selius Arconious, bound at the wheel. "He may reside in Ar, but he is not of Ar. He has no Home Stone."
He is jealous, thought Ellen.
"I see," said the officer. "Then he is not even an urt of Ar?"
"No," said Selius Arconious. He cast a look at Mirus. Mirus might have been powerful, and rich, but the look directed upon him, though that of a mere tarnster, was one of superiority, of condescension, the look that one with a Home Stone might bestow upon one not so favored.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 633


"Perhaps," said Selius Arconious, wonderingly, "you are worthy of a Home Stone."
"Someday," said Mirus, "I should like to be worthy of one."
"What will you do, where will you go?" asked Selius Arconious.
"I will beg a tarpaulin and place my wounded fellow upon it, and draw him in that fashion to Brundisium. I think I cannot return to Ar. I think I must begin again, but as one of your world, not of mine."
"I think, then," said Selius Arconious, "that you are indeed worthy of a Home Stone."
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 647


Gorean free women can be difficult and troublesome. But the pain that Gorean men will accept from their free women, in deference to their freedom, and their sharing of a Home Stone, they do not, and will not, accept in their slaves.
Prize of Gor     Book 27     Page 712


For example, whereas I am not clear on the nature of "Home Stones," or their meaning, if any, it would be unusual, as I understand it, for a woman to be enslaved by a man with whom she shares a Home Stone. She might, of course, be enslaved for vagrancy, misdemeanors, or crimes. Too, it is generally accepted that a man may enslave a woman who has insulted him or in some way treated him badly, but this option is seldom acted upon, it seems, if a Home Stone is shared. Interestingly, Gorean free women are commonly proud, haughty, insolent, arrogant and outspoken. They often treat males with contempt and ridicule. One supposes then that they are relying on the assumed protection of a common Home Stone.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 54


To make this matter more clear, and to be fairer to the customs of Gor, it should be noted that any woman, any woman whatsoever with whom one does not share a Home Stone, is understood to be fair game for the capture loop.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 55


The codes do, you see, recommend respect for the status of the free female, if not for the female herself. To be sure, the codes make it abundantly clear that this pertains only to females with whom one shares a Home Stone.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 60


"The great bow?"
"Certainly not," said Peisistratus. "We are not peasants."
"It is one of the most fearsome weapons on Gor," said Cabot. "How else do you suppose ten thousand small villages from Torvaldsland to Turia, from Thentis to Schendi, have retained the liberty of their Home Stones for centuries?"
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 289


"But one can rape a free woman?"
"Surely," he said, "and the penalties for that can be grievous, particularly if a Home Stone is shared."
"What is a Home Stone, Master?" she asked.
"You are a slave and may not have one," he said. "Do not concern yourself with the matter."
"Yes, Master."
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Pages 322 - 323


"Gor is dangerous, Lady!" said Cabot. "You are attractive, and you have no city, no village, no Home Stone. You might end up in the markets."
"In the markets?" she said.
"Being sold," he said.
Kur of Gor     Book 28     Page 704


"She is pretty," he said.
"She is not muchly trained," I said, "and there are doubtless thousands who would bring higher prices."
"Still, she is very pretty," he said.
"Do you wish to challenge for her?" I asked.
"No," he said. "I have a better."
Unless there should be some misunderstanding here, one might observe that such challenges are not frequent, and normally require almost a ritual of circumstances. For example, aside from the usual impropriety of challenging one with whom one might share a Home Stone, Gorean honor militates against, if it does not wholly preclude, casual or unprovoked challenges.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 27


"How is it that a forester," I said, "claims as his the Home Stone of Port Kar?"
"I once lived there," he said, "before I took caste. At that time, long ago, there were few, if any, castes in Port Kar. She had no Home Stone. She was a den of thieves, as it was said, a lair of cutthroats, and such, a stinking maze of canals at the marshes, squalid and foul, and malignant."
"And without honor," I said.
"Yes," said he, "and without honor."
"I think once she had no Home Stone," I said.
"That is true," he said. "Can you conceive of a city, a town, a village, a hamlet, without a Home Stone?"
"There are probably such places," I said.
"Then," said he, "that changed. In a moment of crisis, in a time of confusion and terror, when a vulnerable Port Cos awaited the onslaught of the combined fleets of Tyros and Cos, the word spread, the startling mysterious word, a word like the flash of lightning, a word striking through the darkness, a word as mighty as the rallying of a thousand battle horns, as swift as the flight of a tarn, that there was now a Home Stone in Port Kar."
"Jewel of Gleaming Thassa," I said.
"Tatrix of the Sea," said he.
"So you chose caste, that of the foresters, and came here, to serve the Home Stone hundreds of pasangs away?"
"The Home Stone of Port Kar may be served here as well as at the gulf, as well as in the shops of the arsenal, as well as on the wharves, as well as on the decks and benches of her ships."
"True," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 33


"You have a Home Stone here somewhere?" I said to Pertinax. Usually the Home Stone is displayed in a place of honor. I did not, however, detect its presence. In his own hut, if it has a Home Stone, it is said that even a beggar is a Ubar.
"This is an outpost hut," said Pertinax, "a temporary place, a mere domicile of convenience. I have no Home Stone here."
"But elsewhere?"
"My Home Stone," he said, "is the Home Stone of Port Kar."
"Of course," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 54


"I will not be instructed by a slave," said Constantina, adding, quickly, "such a slave."
"Then you will be stripped and instructed by my belt," I said.
"I protest," said Pertinax.
"You have no Home Stone here," I said.
"It is my hut," he said.
"I am not sure of that," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 60


I was aware of the usual dispositions of their female agents, once they had fulfilled their purposes. They would not be returned to Earth, with the promised emoluments of their service, riches, at least. This might lead to complications, a request for explanations, inquiries, and such. Kurii, as many predators, are fond of concealment, until they act. Too, their female agents could not be well integrated into Gorean society, with its orderings, its clan and caste arrangements, its rank, distance, and hierarchy. Such women did not even have the protection of a Home Stone.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 75


"I think," I said, "that you are indeed a free woman, but, you must remember, you are one of Earth, not Gor. There is a considerable difference. For example, you have no Home Stone."
"What is a Home Stone?" she said.
"Surely you have heard of them," I said.
"Yes," she said, "but I do not understand them."
"I am not surprised," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 86


As you are a free woman," I said, "even though one of Earth, I have treated you with some circumspection. In the codes such matters are gray, for it is commonly supposed that a Home Stone would be shared. If you were a slave, of course, whether of Earth or not, the matter would not even come up.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 88


Too, he was not Gorean. He knew not the ways of Gor. He had no clan, no caste, no Home Stone.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 167


Those brought to Tarncamp were, I had gathered from Pertinax, mercenaries, bandits, brigands, thieves, murderers, wanderers, low men, cast-off men, men lost from Home Stones, and such.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 244


Indeed, the Gorean woman is well aware that outside the compass of her Home Stone, outside a certain circuit of civility, beyond comfortable environs in which her loftiness, nobility, and preciousness are unquestioned, she is likely to be viewed not so much as an esteemed fellow citizen and an untouchable, lovely adornment to a grateful polity than as booty, quarry, prey, and prize, an item to be seized, branded, and collared, and then kept or sold, as a master might please.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 286


There are men, and cities, which gold can buy. Thus it is noted in the "Diaries," usually attributed to Carl Commenius of Argentum. Similar sayings are not unknown. "The sharpest of swords has an edge of gold." "More gates answer to a key of gold than one of iron." "What can be purchased with gold need not be bought with blood." And so on.
There are always jealousies, resentments, hatreds, and factions in cities, and the clever will exploit them to his own advantage.
Much will be sacrificed by many for position and power.
How often are Home Stones betrayed!
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 320


"They are mercenaries," said Lord Nishida, "and the dregs of such, chosen for skill and venality, brought from a hundred cities, from the ruins and rubble of Ar, from the alleys of Besnit and Harfax, from the wharves of Brundisium and Schendi, men without Home Stones, thieves, outlaws, murderers, outcasts, ronen, men carried by the currents, men whose word is worthless, men of no lords, save a stater or tarn disk of gold."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 502


In the disruptions and chaos ensuing upon the loss of the Home Stone, leagues of cities, enemies to Ar, under the leadership of an Assassin, Pa-Kur, marched on the troubled, disunited city.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 11


It was true that Talena was no longer of Ar, as she had betrayed its Home Stone. She was now without a Home Stone, a fugitive, no longer protected by law.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 16


I was thus, I supposed, the captive of pirates, for pirate crews are often diversely origined, often recruited from a medley of cast-offs, fugitives, ruffians, murderers, brigands, and such. This surmise, as it turned out, was substantially correct, but was inexact, and over simple. Better put, they were lost men, scattered men, hunted men, men with few resources, outlaws, vagabonds, wanderers, many without a Home Stone, perhaps even having dishonored or betrayed it, rude men, rough men, dangerous men, mercenaries, of a sort, recruited by mysterious leaders, in an obscure cause, which few understood.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 34


"My Home Stone," I said, "is that of Jad."
He regarded me. "That, too," he said, "is mine."
"You must," said Lord Nishida, addressing me, "be prepared to forswear your Home Stone."
"One of us is to die?" I asked.
"Yes," said Lord Nishida.
"Have you forsworn the Home Stone?" I asked Philoctetes.
"No," he said.
"Then," said I, "stand at my back and we will die together."
"You are serious?" he asked.
"Yes," I said, turning my back to him, facing those about, my sword ready. I saw several of the men about look at one another, and then draw their weapons.
"You are Callias?" asked Philoctetes.
"Yes," I said, puzzled. I could not see him behind me. I did not sense him at my back.
It occurred to me, suddenly, that the back of my neck was open to his blade.
"Hail, Callias!" I heard, from Philoctetes. "Hail, Callias!" cried men about, and the swords which had been drawn were lifted, in salute. I spun about and saw that Philoctetes did not now seem as he had before. He stood straight, and powerful, solid on his feet. He had wiped something from his face, a pale salve or such, and it seemed ruddier now. The blade he had returned to a fellow behind him. "Hail Cos," he said, and we embraced.
"Excellent," said Lord Nishida. "It came about as I had expected."
"I could not kill one whose Home Stone I shared," I said.
"We thought not," said Lord Nishida.
"I did not forswear my Home Stone," I said.
"From yesterday," said Lord Nishida, "we did not think you would, but we did not know."
"Philoctetes played his role well," observed Tarl Cabot.
"What if I had forsworn my Home Stone?" I asked.
"That would have been a great disappointment," said Lord Nishida. "Our journey is long and dangerous, and we will have need of men who will not forswear their Home Stones."
"What if I had fought?" I asked.
"You would not have fought," said Lord Nishida, touching the unusual, curved hilt of one of the swords in his sash, "for I would have cut off your head, before the blades could touch."
"Welcome," said Tarl Cabot, "to the ship's company."
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Pages 110 - 111


The rape of a free woman with whom one shares a Home Stone, on the other hand, is a very serious offense. Fellows have been tortured, and publicly impaled, for that sort of thing.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 124


Were it not for the security of their Home Stones, one supposes there would be few free women in a Gorean city.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 152


But amongst them as well were landless men, younger sons, men without Home Stones, bandits, pirates, adventurers, soldiers of fortune, thieves, fugitives, wanted men, cutthroats, fugitives from Ar, such as Seremides, and others.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 173


"Callias fought with us, and well," said Cabot, indicating me.
"Of course," said Lord Nishida. "He has, as I recall, what you speak of as a Home Stone."
"Yes," said Cabot, "he has a Home Stone."
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 178


The body of Seremides shook with tears.
"Stop it," I said. "You are a man."
Whereas Warriors, or men, might weep, as under the snake, which would draw tears from rocks, or weep as might larls in raging grief, if a city falls, a fellow is slain, or a Home Stone dishonored, this was unseemly.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 245


Another discouragement of slave theft, aside from commonalities of Home Stone, and such, is that slaves, particularly in the high cities, tend to be abundant, and cheap.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 272


Some men will betray a Home Stone before a tarn disk, being more willing to forsake the one than the other.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 364


"We came for gold, and we have it," said another. "There is nothing to keep us here."
"Honor!" I cried.
"Do not speak of honor," said a fellow. "Many here have betrayed Home Stones."
"Or been cast from our gates in the name of Home Stones," snarled another.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 444
Not every man, of course, will accept bounty, particularly on a woman. Callias, of Jad, was a warrior, an oarsman, at one time an officer. Bounty hunters are commonly low warriors, men without Home Stones, brigands, assassins, villains, thieves, reprobates, the recklessly impecunious, gamblers, the dishonored.
Mariners of Gor     Book 30     Page 535


I wonder sometimes if you see things as they are. You value your lives, surely, and your Home Stones, and your fellows, but I wonder if you value your world, truly, or, perhaps better, value it enough. Perhaps you will value it more if you could see it, if only for a moment through the eyes of another, one astonished, one from a quite different world, a world which was much like a charnel house or a smoke house, a world with little pride, but much vanity, a world of crowding, scrambling about, cruelty, hating, treachery, hypocrisy, pollution, noise, corruption, foulness a world muchly lacking in pride, and honor a world without Home Stones.
I suppose you find that strange, a world without Home Stones.
Indeed, I wonder if you believe me, that there could be such a world, one without Home Stones.
It does exist.
I am not permitted to lie.
I am collared.
Conceive then, if you can, a world such as that from which I was obtained, a world without Home Stones, a world so meaningless, so forlorn, so petty, so empty. What are we worthy of, we, we without Home Stones? To such as those with Home Stones, of what value could such as we be? I touch my collar, and suspect. Of what else could we be good for? I look in the mirror, and understand.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 4


I was not a free woman, a person, a citizen, the possessor of a Home Stone.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 89


You betrayed your Home Stone, as much as Talena of Ar or Flavia of Ar. You cast your lot with the occupation, abetting their crimes, conniving with the enemy, flattering officers, feasting and jesting, profiteering, exploiting a starving citizenry, battening on the misery of a confused, leaderless, beaten, subdued populace."
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 115


"Surely worth something," said the auctioneer. "She is a barbarian, a mere barbarian. She has been harvested from the slave world for one purpose, and one purpose only, to serve your pleasure, wholly, in all ways. It is all she is for. She has no Home Stone. She has never had a Home Stone.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 144


"My Home Stone," she said, "is that of Ar."
Menon nodded. Although his establishment was within the walls of Ar, it was not likely he shared its Home Stone. As he was of the Peasants, I supposed his Home Stone, the community stone, so to speak, not that of his domicile would be that of some village in the environs of Ar.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 159


It is probably difficult for one of my former world to understand the awesome dignity and importance, the social and cultural status, of the Gorean free woman, for she possesses a Home Stone, a status incomparably far above that of the usual free woman of my former world. Accordingly, it would be difficult for one of my former world to understand the cataclysmic reversal of fortune involved should such a creature, formerly so powerful, exalted, and revered, suddenly find herself stripped and collared, a caught beast, helpless at a stranger's feet. No longer is she a man's equal, or superior, the haughty, protected possessor of a Home Stone, but a master's property.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 205


"A Ubar, a great lord, a potentate," said the beast, "does not companion casually or lightly. There are slaves for that sort of thing, hundreds, scattered about in various pleasure gardens. He companions to forge alliances, protect borders, acquire cities, extend dominions, obtain access to trade routes, a port on the shores of Thassa. You are unknown, and unconnected, you bring no cities or armies into his grasp no fleets, or cavalries of tarns. You do not even have a Home Stone."
I knew little of Home Stones, at that time.
Nor would I be permitted one, as I was a slave. Sleen, kaiila verr, and such, other animals, too, have no Home Stones.
"I see," said the Lady Bina. "Things would then be difficult."
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Pages 228 - 229


"Perhaps if I presented myself at the Central Cylinder," she said.
"I would not do so," said the beast. "You lack a Home Stone."
"So?" she said.
"You might be collared," he said. "sometimes unauthorized women are rounded up and held for bidding, house biddings, thence to be distributed amongst the various slave houses of the city."
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 230


Master Grendel, as the Lady Bina apparently was not was well aware of the possible jeopardy in which an unguarded free woman might find herself on Gor. Too, she had no Home Stone, no family, no clan, no caste.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 232


"My Home Stone," said he, "is that of Harfax."
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 313


As one from a different world, a grayer, more dismal, more crowded, more polluted world, a mass world of homogenized humanity, a world in which excellence is suspect, and must be concealed, a world of cunning and greed, of envy and duplicity, of hatred and fanaticism, a world alien to honor, a world without Home Stones,
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 586


I was sure that the Kurii did not realize the possible consequences which might attend denying kajirae to Gorean males, men accustomed, almost from the ceremony of citizenship when they are allowed to hold and kiss the Home Stone, to having such conveniences inexpensively at hand.
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 586


One might risk one's life or die for a free woman because she is free, or because a Home Stone is shared, or because it is expected, or because it is thought to be a duty, or a matter of honor, but why might one risk one's life for, or die for, a slave?
Conspirators of Gor     Book 31     Page 652


As it was, men of Ar tried to prevent the remnants of the occupying forces fleeing and hundreds of sympathizers and collaborators from leaving the city. Bands of mercenaries not quartered outside the city often had to fight their way to the countryside. Even in the open fields they were pursued and hunted, sometimes from the sky by tarnsmen of Ar, no longer enrolled in the sorry task of protecting uniformed looters and policing a sullen, resentful citizenry with which they shared a Home Stone.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 38


They seemed most interested in men who had retained their weaponry, and their pride. On the other hand, honor, the allegiance to a Home Stone, the promise of loyalty, and such, did not seem a requirement for the service contemplated. Some prospects they bought from prison for gold, some waiting execution. They seemed particularly interested in strong, agile, savage, dangerous men.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 42


How different were the women of Earth from them, those of Earth lacking Home Stones, with their brazenly unveiled features, their openly displayed ankles, the pleading silk of their secret lingerie, so fit for slaves. They were not Gorean free women.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 46


The free individual has caste, clan, and Home Stone.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 59


Ships were being hired, and men recruited, not merely shipsmen, pilots, helmsmen, oarsmen, and such, but men-at-arms, as well, hundreds, mercenaries, many lacking Home Stones, many perhaps indistinguishable from ruffians, vagabonds, brigands, thieves, and cutthroats.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 70


It was true that many Gorean males found the pride and pretensions of free women annoying. Certainly it was easier to deal with women in their place, at one's feet, in collars.
I would not have behaved as I did, of course, if my Home Stone had been that of Brundisium. Had that been the case, it would have been expected that I would endure uncomplainingly, and graciously, the contumely of the women, however prolonged and unpleasant it might be, for they were free, and a Home Stone would have been shared. Anything else would be not only improper, but, I supposed, unconscionable. On the other hand, not all Gorean males are patient with women, even those with whom a Home Stone might be shared. I wondered, sometimes, why free women occasionally so hazarded themselves before men. Were they exploiting their freedom, or testing its limits? Did they not know that they were women, and in the presence of men? Perhaps, as the saying is, they were "courting the collar."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Pages 79 - 80


Surely the culture marks great differences between us. The free woman is a person, a citizen, and may possess a Home Stone; we are animals and properties, marked and collared as such, and we lack Home Stones, for such are denied to beasts.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 96


Except on a round ship and even on many of those, mariners do not welcome the presence of a free woman. Such, it is said, sow discord. Such are to be respected, but, in time, men grow hungry. It is a strain, even on a well-trained sleen, to circle meat it is forbidden to touch. The matter worsens, of course, if the free woman insists on the privileges of the deck, or, say, if she is careless of how she stands when the wind whips her robes, and matters may become intolerable indeed should she delight herself with certain pleasures not unknown to occasionally appertain to her sex, usually harmlessly, flirting with, or teasing, taunting, and tormenting men, confident in the inviolability of her freedom, perhaps in the possession of a shared Home Stone, and such.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 106


Common slave names, at least on the continent, were such as Tula, Bina, Lana, Leila Lita, and such. Commonly, too, the slave has but a single name, but she may be more clearly specified as, say, Tula, the slave of Flavius, of such and such a street or district. Barbarian slaves are commonly given barbarian names, for example, Amanda Amber, April, Beryl, Ethel, Tracy, Heather, Rose, Vivian, Victoria, Jocelyn, Stephanie, and such. Such names will mark her as barbarian, and suggest that she is born for the collar, as opposed to a Gorean woman of caste and Home Stone, and may be treated accordingly.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Pages 125 - 126


How is it that there is such a difference between the free woman and the slave, and then, again, that there is no difference? A radical distinction is drawn between the Gorean free woman, with caste and Home Stone, and the slave.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 126


"You do not know what it is to be free," she said, "for you were never a Gorean free woman. You cannot know the freedom we have, the pride the nobility, the splendor, the power, the raiment, the veiling, the dignity! Men defer to us. They step aside. They make way for us. They will not sit in our presence without permission. We have Home Stones! Did you have a Home Stone?"
"No," I said.
"I thought not," she said.
"Not everyone has a Home Stone," I said.
"Beasts, misfits, vagabonds, exiles, repudiated men, scoundrels, outlaws, and such," she said, and then, lowering her voice, whispered, "and perhaps Priest-Kings."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Pages 158 - 159


"It is a matter of honor to return an escaped slave to her master," I said.
"If a Home Stone is shared, or such," she said.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 224


"I would suppose," said Axel, "that the prisoners will be collared."
"Do you doubt it?" I asked.
"I am not sure of it," he said.
"You think they will be freed?" I asked. It seemed absurd to think of freeing a woman, certainly once you had a chain on her.
"Certainly not," he said.
"Then?" I said.
"I fear so," he said.
"I see," I said.
"They are free, and share no Home Stone," he said.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 360


Some here, I speculated, might even be of the caste of Warriors, though in such a case, perhaps renegades or exiles, possibly men who had fared badly in city revolutions, even men who may have forsworn Home Stones or betrayed codes, desperate men, dangerous men.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 469


"If I am not to be sold," I said, "why are we going to Victoria?"
"It is the town of my Home Stone," he said.
"You have a Home Stone?" I said.
"Of course," he said.
"I do not have one," I said.
"Certainly not," he said. "You are a slave, a purchasable beast.
Beasts do not have Home Stones."
"I see," I said.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 549


Also, allegiance to a Home stone, and frequent internecine warfare, tends to keep the Gorean population decentralized, so that ambition and intelligence does not, over time, gravitate toward particular cities, say, larger, wealthier population centers, to the detriment of other municipalities.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 103


"I am a free woman, wrongly caged!" I said. "I crave rescue. Be understanding, be noble, be kind. Buy me, restore me to freedom!"
Small eyes peered down at me, from within folds of fat.
"I doubt we shared a Home Stone," he said. "And even so, if we once did, we no longer do. That is all in the past. It is gone. It is wiped away. You are now nothing. You are now a slave. You are marked."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Pages 117 - 118


Even a lowly peddler, I would learn, if a Home Stone is shared, thinks nothing of expecting a free meal and a night's lodging from a high merchant, who may own caravans, mines, and fleets.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 118


Despite the exalted status of free women, who are equal to men in the holding of a Home Stone, can hold money and property in their own right, may found, organize, and manage businesses, may occupy positions of importance and authority even to the occupancy of thrones, and who may enter into relationships, or discontinue them, much as they please, the Free Companionship requiring an annual renewal, Gor is essentially a man's world.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 143


It was interesting to me, from Earth, that there seemed to be little, if any, resentment on Gor for the fact that a rich man might have a thousand slaves and a poor man but one, if that. Indeed, the poor man seems most likely to admire the rich fellow and wish that he, too, had such good fortune. Indeed, the poor man seems pleased that someone has a thousand slaves, better that than no one, and is inclined to wish that he, too, was so well off. He has never been convinced that the thousand slaves were stolen from him by the rich man, particularly as he never had a thousand slaves to steal. Too, he may share a Home Stone with the rich man, which means he is more likely to view the rich man as a fellow and compatriot than a thief and enemy. Too, the rich man often supports public spectacles and events, such as song dramas, readings, kaissa competitions, civic banquets, and such. Indeed, in harbor cities, rich men, doubtless to their annoyance, are often expected to underwrite the repair of docks, the construction of galleys, and so on.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 151


"Phyllis," said Lysander, "serve Tullius Quintus, our guest, our associate and dear friend, welcome in our midst, though we share no Home Stone."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 162


Much in my bondage was mysterious, and much in my master seemed to me mysterious. For example, I was not at all sure that his Home Stone was truly that of Ar. Months ago he had seemed unaware that heavy traffic on the streets of Ar was prohibited during daylight hours. Also, he had occasionally asked questions, and inquired directions, of passers-by, on the streets and in the squares, the answers to which I would have supposed would be well known to a native of the city.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 182


Given such considerations, and the consequent difficulty, frequently recognized, of obtaining justice, satisfaction, or vengeance, as the case may be, one can well understand the existence of an order of men, itinerant, independent, dedicated, armed, and skilled, for hire. Such men may, for example, pursue a fugitive from city to city with impunity regardless of caste, warfare, and Home Stone. Few will interfere with the hunting Assassin, sable-clad, dagger on brow, passing amongst them, going quietly about his work. Similarly, few would challenge the wind, or the dark sky from which lighting might strike.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 233


Amongst applicants might be found the dishonored and failed, the disappointed and abandoned, the despised and hated, the hopeless and resigned, the mocked and ridiculed, ones who have fled from Home Stones, who have repudiated codes, perhaps fugitives who seek a sanctuary behind dark walls, possibly seekers of thrills, possibly mercenaries intent on bartering steel for gold, without compunction, perhaps those seeking approval for their pathological instincts that, suitably exercised, will be condoned, even celebrated.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 235


Similarly, smugglers, if apprehended, are often dealt with harshly, by impalement, or servitude in the mines, quarries, or galleys. This policing is commonly done by representatives of the "vintners" of Thentis, but it is sometimes hired out to the caste of Assassins, which constitutes the nearest thing to an international police force on Gor, a force subject neither to the constraints of walls, borders, or Home Stones.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 404


"Too, of course," he said, "she may be investigated by means of her Home Stone, her family, her friends, her connections, her doings, her address, and so on."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 471


On his right was Drusus Andronicus, long-armed, handsome, and stalwart, in suitable scarlet, betokening his caste, who stood high in the house, and, on his left, clad openly, brazenly, unapologetically, in the hues of the night, was Tyrtaios, of the caste whose members acknowledge no Home Stone, the caste of Assassins.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 545


Associated with freedom is standing, respect, dignity, prestige, status, privileges, and power, and acknowledged claims and rights. One is a person, and, in favored cases, a citizen, and may even possess a Home Stone.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 573


The soldiers doubtless took it for granted that the small, graceful figure passing through their ranks was that of a compatriot, a woman of Ar, one with whom they shared a Home Stone. If they had thought her of a foreign city she might not have made it past the capture straps of the first man at arms. The awe with which the free woman of one's own city is regarded, reinforced by habit, training, custom, and tradition, does not at all apply to the free women of another city, unless perhaps a close ally, nor, indeed, does it even apply to a woman of one's own city, should she have been reduced to bondage.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Pages 573 - 574


"I trust," said Decius Albus, clutching the railing of the box, "your Home Stone is that of Glorious Ar."
"No," she said.
"Of our ally, Venna?" he said.
"No," she said.
"What, then, is your Home Stone?" he asked.
"I have no Home Stone," she said.
"Kill her!" cried Decius Albus,
. . .
"Sword her, to the blade, strike her!" howled Decius Albus to a man at arms before the stands.
"Noble one," he cried, in protest. "She is a woman, a free woman!"
"She has no Home Stone!" screamed Decius Albus, beside himself in fury. "Kill her!"
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Pages 576 - 577


I did not think it had been wise for the Lady Bina to acknowledge her lack of a Home Stone, and, in particular, her lack of that of Ar.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 583


"We can learn much from our human friends," he said. "A man has the right to enslave a woman he finds displeasing."
This assertion surely required considerable qualification. For example, there is the matter of a shared Home Stone that would militate against such things. similarly, certain cities are allied, some cities are colony cities founded by emigrants from a mother city and so on.
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 585


"You will return with me to the wagon," he said. "I doubt that Grendel can be torn from the side of Eve, and both may prove to be of assistance to the Lady Bina, and will surely serve to guard her on her return to the wagon, in case any of the fellows recollect she lacks a Home Stone."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 589


"They cannot stay together," she said, holding me. "It is dangerous. Their Home Stones differ. They do not share caste. Each must go his own way."
Plunder of Gor     Book 34     Page 641














The Usurper
In The Usurper, the fourth installment of the Telnarian series, readers return to the saga of Otto, once a gladiator sentenced to die, now a ruthless warrior on his way to becoming king. This galaxy-spanning series features all of the excitement, combat, and erotic adventure John Norman is known for.
Available March 3, 2015

The Usurper
(The Telnarian Histories)
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