There is nothing more threatening to a panther girl’s freedom from the collar than a group of Gorean Warriors.
‘I am of Torvaldsland by birth,’ the Rarius said to Gladius as he sipped his Turian Wine, ‘but after many years amongst my people, I moved to the City of Thentis and was accepted by the Red Caste of that city.’ In Gor the Warriors are of the Red Caste, one of the five high castes of the society and they wear the color of scarlet with pride. Gladius looked at him a moment, examining his face and hands as he drank his wine. His hands were rough, his arms showed a few small scars of past battles, the Rarius continued ‘I have captured a Panther girl and intend to show her at my feast, have her dance and beg for my collar’
That night, at a great feast, he displays the Panther Girl, now suitably attired by his sisters in the diaphanous, scarlet dancing silks of Gor. Bells have been strapped to her ankles, and she is bound in slave bracelets. Proudly, he presents her to his parents, his friends and warrior comrades.
Then, to the festive music of flutes and drums, the Panther Girl is forced to kneel. The young Warrior approaches her, bearing a slave collar, its engraving proclaiming his name and city. The music grows more intense, mounting to an overpowering barbaric crescendo, which stops suddenly, abruptly. The room is silent, absolutely silent, except for the decisive click of the collar lock.
It is a sound the Panther Girl will never forget.
As soon as the lock closes, there is a great shout, congratulating, saluting the young Warrior. He returns to his place among the tables that line the low-ceilinged chamber, hung with glowing brass lamps. He sits in the middle of his family, his closest well-wishers, his sword comrades, cross-legged on the floor in the Gorean fashion behind the long, low wooden table, laden with food, which stands at the head of the room.
Now all eyes are on the Panther Girl.
The restraining slave bracelets are removed. She rises. Her feet are bare on the thick, ornately wrought rug that carpets the chamber. There is a slight sound from the bells strapped to her ankles. She is angry, defiant. Though she is clad only in the almost transparent scarlet dancing silks of Gor, her back is straight, her head high. She is determined not to be tamed, not to submit, and her proud carriage bespeaks this fact. The spectators seem amused. She glares at them. Angrily she looks from face to face. There is no one she knows, or could know, because she has been taken from a hostile Panther tribe, she is a woman of the Forest. Fists clenched, she stands in the center of the room, alone, all eyes upon her, beautiful in the light of the hanging lamps.
She faces the young Warrior, wearing his collar.
“You will never tame me!” she screams.
Her outburst provokes laughter, skeptical observations, some good-natured hooting.
“I will tame you at my pleasure,” replies the young Warrior, and signals to the musicians.
The music begins again. The Panther Girl hesitates, she hisses. There is a slave whip on the wall, the Warrior uncurls the whip and lashes her at her feet. Then, to the barbaric, intoxicating music of the flute and drums, she is forced to dance for her captor, the bells on her ankles marking each of her movements, the movements of a Panther Girl stolen from her Forests, who must now live to please the bold stranger whose binding fiber she had felt, whose collar she wore.
About the Gorean Warrior code and honor:
First and foremost among the traits of any warrior is his honor. It is his singularly most precious possession. Once lost or damaged, it can only be regained through rigorous trial or long-term atonement, and sometimes not even then. A Gorean warrior values highly such personal traits as courage, determination, and honesty. He even values these traits when they are manifested by enemies, and will admire and respect such an enemy even when locked in deadly combat with him.
One of the greatest and most important points of personal honor is a person’s word. Naturally, it is not always wise to tell the truth, and in certain circumstances the unfailing adherence to veracity can cause great complications, the death or injury of the speaker not withstanding. However, there is a difference between always telling the truth and breaking one’s word. A person’s word, is, quite literally, his word of honor.
Another aspect of honor, and a fundamental tool in the use and practice of the Gorean Warrior’s codes, is respect. Respect is a valuable device whereby honor may be done to another by you, but it is also the means whereby a warrior may maintain his status and indeed his very life, through wise application of this particular concept. A Warrior respects anything which can harm him or his fellows, or is beyond his direct control. He also respects beauty and skill, as well as any talent and ability which requires time and talent to perfect. It takes great skill to throw a spear accurately and far. It takes no less skill for a bellied pleasure slave to dance superbly for her Master’s pleasure. While a Free Man might not honor a slave, he can certainly respect her talents and well-tuned slave nature.
One of the primary parts of the Gorean Warrior’s daily life is service, or duty. Service is any act which is performed on the behalf of another. Another Warrior, the general of an army, or a free person in need of aid.
It is important, when considering the mentality of the Gorean Warrior, to remember that Gor is a deadly place, filled with savage creatures, not the least of which is man. The law of “survival of the fittest” is in constant practice there, and the entire culture of Gor is founded upon that principle.
Do what seems best to you; expend as little effort as possible to achieve the maximum gain; and do not fear to try something new and different, should it seem wise to do so.
The Gorean Warrior is placed fifth among the High Castes. The Caste of Warrior, whose color is scarlet, includes infantry, tharlarion cavalry, and tarnsmen. They have the strictest set of Caste Codes on Gor. Members of this Caste comprise the military branch of Gorean Government, up to an including a Ubar, although not the City Administrator.
Gorean caste lines largely follow birth and occupation, though not always. Those born of a mixed-caste companionship, retain the caste of their father.
Women can and are of the Warrior Caste. However, such does not make them Warriors. There is a difference. Birth right into a caste does not preclude that person of being permitted to practice the caste craft. Additionally just because a woman is a specific caste does not mean she was allowed to practice certain things within the craft. For example, a woman of the Metal Workers would not be permitted to work iron, but might be permitted to paint the iron, transport and market it.
It can be safely assumed that women were not allowed to practice the craft of the Warriors. There is, however, a quote from Mercenaries which quite matter-of-factly puts to rest that women of the Warrior Caste are neither warrior, nor allowed to bear arms as a warrior, nor wear insignia of a warrior.
Amongst those of the Warriors, there is a comraderie, a brotherhood, amongst those in which blood has been shed by another of the caste, known as being a sword brother.
Quotes from the Gorean novels:
“On the other hand, the High Castes, specifically the Warriors, Builders, Scribes, Initiates, and Physicians, were told the truth in such matters, perhaps because it was thought they would eventually determine it for themselves, from observations such as the shadow of their planet on one or another of Gor’s three small moons during eclipses, the phenomenon of sighting the tops of distant objects first, and the fact that certain stars could not be seen from certain geographical positions; if the planet had been flat, precisely the same set of stars would have been observable from every position on its surface.” –Tarnsman of Gor, page 27
“The tier nearest the floor, which denoted some preferential status, the white tier, was occupied by Initiates, Interpreters of the Will of the Priest-Kings. In order, the ascending tiers, blue, yellow, green, and red, were occupied by representatives of the Scribes, Builders, Physicians, and Warriors.” –Tarnsman of Gor, page 44
“I was pleased to note that my own caste, that of the Warriors, was accorded the least status…” –Tarnsman of Gor, page 44
“‘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, page 93
“In it I found the scarlet tunic, sandals and cloak which constitute the normal garb of a member of the Caste of Warriors.” –Outlaw of Gor, page 11
“I am of the Caste of Warriors, and it is in our codes that the only death fit for a man is that in battle, but I can no longer believe that this is true, for the man I met once on the road to Ko-ro-ba died well, and taught me that all wisdom and truth does not lie in my own codes.” –Priest-Kings of Gor, page 7
“Probably her caste had been that of the Builders or Physicians, for had her people been Scribes I would have expected a greater subtlety of inflections, the use of less common grammatical cases; and had her people been of the Warriors I would have expected a blunter speech, rather belligerently simple, expressed in great reliance on the indicative mood and, habitually, a rather arrogant refusal to venture beyond the most straightforward of sentence structures. ” –Priest-Kings of Gor, page 48
“‘Yes,’ laughed Verna, ‘according to the codes of the warriors and by the rites of the city of Ar, no longer is Talena kin or daughter of Marlenus of Ar.'” –Hunters of Gor, page 144
“In the codes of the warriors, there is a saying: ‘Be strong, and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits.'” –Marauders of Gor, page 10
“‘I would not have thought Sarus of Tyros would have used poisoned steel,’ I said. Such a device, like the poisoned arrow, was not only against the codes of the warriors, but, generally, was regarded as unworthy of men. Poison was regarded as a woman’s weapon.” –Marauders of Gor, pages 19-20
“It was not regarded as dignified for a warrior to be too expert with letters, such being a task beneath warriors. To have a scribe’s skills would tend to embarrass a man of arms, and tend to lower his prestige among his peers. Many of the north, then, were rather proud of their illiteracy, or semi-illiteracy. It was expected of them. It honored them. His tools were not the pen and parchment, but the sword, the bow, the ax and spear.” –Marauders of Gor, page 243
“Sword loyalty is a bond of fidelity sworn to the Ubar. Gorean warriors seldom break this bond. It is not sworn lightly. It is sworn only to those who are thought fit to be Ubar. When the Ubar is thought to be unfit, it is thought, too, he has dishonored the pledge of sword loyalty. It is not then uncommon for him to die beneath the steel of his outraged men.” –Slave Girl of Gor, page 122
“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, page 136
“‘Do you think I cannot tell one Kur from another?’ I asked. Warriors are trained in acute observation and retention. The recognition and comprehension of a detail, sometimes subtle, can sometimes make a difference between life and death.” –Beasts of Gor, page 351-352
“Here we might note a distinction between laws and codes. In the codes of the warriors, if a warrior accepts a woman as a slave, it is prescribed that, at least for a time, an amount of time up to his discretion, she be spared. If she should be the least bit displeasing, of course, or should prove recalcitrant in even a tiny way, she may be immediately disposed of.” –Players of Gor, page 17
The Four Cornerstones of the Gorean Warrior:
The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.
Habitual moderation in the indulgence of the appetites or passions.
Accumulated philosophic learning, a wise attitude or course of action of the teachings of the ancient wise men.
Conformity to a standard of right, a particular moral excellence…..Manly strength or courage which is a commendable quality or trait.