The city of Ko-ro-ba is the first Gorean city we encounter in the Gor novels. In Tarnsman of Gor, Tarl Cabot is first brought to this city when he is taken from Earth by a ship of the Priest-Kings. It will become Tarl’s first Home Stone and is one of the High Cities of Gor. Despite its initial importance, the books actually do not describe Ko-ro-ba in much detail. We know only a few of its citizens. We also know little of what has transpired in Ko-ro-ba during much of the latter part of the series.
The word “Ko-ro-ba” is an archaic expression for a village market, thus likely showing the age of this mighty city. It is also known sometimes as the City of Cylinders or the Towers of the Morning. The latter designation was given to it by an ancient poet, one who sung the glories of many different Gorean cities. These names show that the cylinders of Ko-ro-ba seem to be impressive, maybe even more so than the cylinders of other cities. As most Gorean cities consist of cylinders, there must be some reason why Ko-ro-ba is named so.
Ko-ro-ba lies high in the northern temperate latitudes, not too far from the Thassa shore. The Sardar is located over one thousand pasangs away. Ko-ro-ba is located northwest of Ar, on the other side of the Vosk River, and the Thentis Mountains. A tarn from Ko-ro-ba could reach the city of Thentis in one day though a wagon would take the better part of a Gorean month. It also takes about three days by tarn to travel from the Vosk River to Ar. Northeast of Ko-ro-ba is the city of Laura that is about two hundred pasangs inland of the Thassa shore. These distances and travel times help us to determine the general location of Ko-ro-ba.
Ko-ro-ba sits in the midst of hills, a few hundred feet or so above sea level. This is not a mountainous area, but one of gently sloping rises. The road to the city does wind up a rather steep ascent to a series of ridges. This steepness does bother some merchants and others who must traverse this road with heavy burdens. The road is also marked by cylindrical pasang stones each inscribed with the sign of Ko-ro-ba and the approximate pasang count to the city walls. There are grain fields some pasangs away from the city located toward the Vosk and Tamber Gulf.
White walls surround the city, enclosing the myriad cylinders and towers. These cylinders and towers are of varying sizes and colors, joined by narrow bridges that arch between them. None of the bridges have railings and some may be as high as one thousand feet off the ground. By day, this is a colorful vision almost like a multi-hued spider web. At night, the city is also as colorful. First, there would be peasant fires lit in the areas surrounding the city. Then, there would be large beacon fires on the city walls to mark the passage for tarnsmen. Within the city, there would be lanterns on the bridges. The cylinder compartments would also have lit lamps of a hundred colors burning brightly. Lamp codes may be used to tell others of the latest news and gossip.
My thoughts on Ko-ro-ba:
At the time of my visit the city was under construction with half of the buildings still unfinished. SO a full review was not possible 😦
The rebuilding of the city of Ko-Ro-Ba has begun. Each place of stone was placed by those that are Free. People of Gor has come from all corners of the lands adding stones to the walls. Not one stone was placed by the hands of slaves. Thousands have come to restore the beauty of the city of Ko-Ro-Ba.
My ranking on Ko-ro-ba: