About Magicians And Magic of Gor

Illusions or a marvelous phenomena?



Red hair stood upon the shores of Mariposa Isle. The sea breeze blowing softly through her curls that fell upon her bare shoulders. She peered at the ominous looking ruin in the distance, she thought to herself. How did the Zima come to be here? Was it true what she had heard from the Ja Lina? That Sa’ arka , the founder of Zima had returned to find her former apprentices had summoned a demon from the abyss and had become enslaved by it?  She frowned, in her youth she had been an painter and artisan, the daughter of farmers, the lower castes were known to believe in the validity and efficacy of magic, Goreans like her believed in such matters as telepathy, shape-changing, curses and other powerful spells.


She recalled that once, in the great library of Ko-ro-ba she had found a tattered black leather bound book entitled “The arts Goetia” , her slender fingers had roamed through the yellowed pages. It had been the terrifying images that had stopped her reading any further, this book on the summoning and binding of spirits , demons , to the services of the ritual magician. Beware though, as those tortured souls of the Zima had found out, the slightest mistake in the process and you may be cursed , bound to the demon’s service yourself.

“The magicians of Anango are famed on Gor. If you wish to have someone turned into a turtle or something, those are the fellows to see. To be sure, their work does not come cheap. The only folks who are not familiar with them, as far as I know, are the chaps from far-off Anango, who have never heard of them.”  Magicians of Gor, Pg 259


I heard a fellow advertising the booth of a thought reader. This reader probably read coins. One, presumably without the knowledge of the reader or a confederate, selects one coin from several on a tray or platter, usually tarsk bits, and then, holding it tightly in his hand, concentrates on the coin. Then, after the coin has been replaced on the tray or platter, the thought reader turns about and, more often than not, far more than the probabilities would suggest, locates the coin. One then loses ones tarsk bit. If the reader selects the wrong coin, one receives all the tarsk bits on the tray or platter, usually several. I assumed there must be some sort of trick to this, though I did not know what it was.


Goreans, on the other hand, often accept, rather uncritically, in my mind, that the reader can actually read thoughts, or usually read them. They reason that if one fellow can see farther than another, and such, why cant someone, similarly, be able to “see” thoughts. Similarly, less familiar with tricks, prestidigitation, illusions, and such, than an Earth audience, some Goreans believe in magic. I have meet Goreans who really believed, for example, that a magician can make a girl vanish into thin air and then retrieve her from the same. They accept the evidence of their senses, so to speak. The taking of auspices, incidentally, is common on Gor before initiating campaigns, enterprises, and such. Many Goreans will worry about such things as the tracks of spiders and the flights of birds. Similarly, on Earth, there is a clientele, particularly in uncertain, troubled times, for those who claim to be able to read the future, to tell fortunes, and such.


You may want a budding career as a haruspex. You could take your show on the road to the Turian plains. You could hit up all the Tuchuk camps. I hear they give their fortune teller’s much respect. Make sure you have a shiny crystal ball though. It makes it look more legit and anyway, do you really want to slit open animals to gaze into their intestines?

A haruspex is a kind of Tuchuk shaman who reads portents  and  tells the future, as well as furnishing various amulets and potions to  women who  seek magical protection or intercession. One particularly popular  object is a  coloured string, which receives its magical powers from the  sequence of knots  tied into it by the haruspex. 

The haruspexes, the readers of bosk blood and verr livers, surely would not be unaware of these, let us say, larger, graver omens.
-Nomads of Gor, pg. 13

I heard a haruspex singing between the wagons; for a piece of meat he would read the wind and the grass; for a cup of wine the stars and the flight of birds; for a fat-bellied dinner the liver of a sleen or slave.
The Wagon Peoples are fascinated with the future and its signs and though, to hear them speak, they put no store in such matters, yet they do in practice give them great consider- ation. I was told by Kamchak that once an army of a thousand wagons turned aside because a swarm of rennels, poisonous, crablike desert insects, did not defend its broken nest, crushed by the wheel of the lead wagon. Another time, over a hundred years ago, a wagon Ubar lost the spur from his right boot and turned for this reason back from the gates of mighty Ar itself.
-Nomads of Gor, pg. 27-28o

…the women of the Wagon Peoples, it might be mentioned, are not permitted to pray; many of them, however, do patronize the haruspexes, who, besides foretelling the future with a greater or lesser degree of accuracy for generally reasonable fees, provide an incredible assemblage of amulets, talismans, trinkets, philters, potions, spell papers, wonder- working sleen teeth, marvelous powdered kailiauk horns, and colored, magic strings that, depending on the purpose, may be knotted in various ways and worn about the neck.
-Nomads of Gor, pg. 28 p

MAGICIANS of ANAGO – Wizards or Conmen?

My friend, the actor, magician, impresario and whatnot, Boots Tarsk-Bit, once narrowly escaped an impalement in Besnit on the charge of using false dice. He was, however, it seems, framed. At any rate the charges were dismissed when a pair of identical false dice turned up in the pouch of the arresting magistrate, the original pair having, interestingly, at about the same time, vanished.
Magicians of Gor     Book 25     Page 59

“Anango, like Asperiche, is an exchange, or free, island in Thassa, administered by members of the caste of merchants. It is, however, unlike Asperiche, very far away. It is far south of the equator, so far south as to almost beyond the ken of most Goreans, except as a place both remote and exotic. The jungles of the Anangoan interior serve as the setting for various fanciful tales, having to do with strange races, mysterious plants and fabulous animals. The “magicians of Anango,” for what it is worth, seem to be well known everywhere on Gor except in Anango. In Anango itself it seems folks have never heard of them.”
“Players of Gor” page 130/13



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