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Gorean Campus, slave training, Gor, Gorean
Castes of Gor
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Gorean Castes & Occupations "It is the codes which separate men from sleen and larls," (Slave Girl of Gor p.227) High Castes The High Castes are more educated than the Low Castes, often being taught the Second Knowledge. Members also are not as superstitious as those of the Low Castes, since they know more. Their speech accent is more refined. Even High Caste people can be illiterate. The ability to read and write does not necessarily limit an individual’s ability to perform their work. Or course, this depends on the caste. For instance, it would be a distinct disadvantage for a scribe to be illiterate, since they are the record keepers, accountants and historians. On the other hand, many warriors are proud of being illiterate. Initiate: First of the High Castes, they are the supposed representatives of the Priest-Kings in Gorean society. They are responsible for guiding the spiritual life of Goreans through their rituals and prayers to the Priest-Kings. Some are rumored to have the ability to call down the wrath of the Priest-Kings, or the dreaded "Flame Death," upon those who commit blasphemous acts or who conspire against the Priest-Kings. They are recognized by their white robes, their shaven heads and faces, and their refusal to eat meat or imbibe alcohol. They are also required by their caste codes to be celibate. They tend to be learned and well read, although they are feared and often distrusted by those of the lower castes. Their caste color is white.   Scribe: This is the second most important of the High Castes. There are various divisions and rankings, from simple copiers to savants. There are a number of sub-castes including lawyers, scholars, record keepers, teachers, clerks, historians, accountants, geographers, and cartographers. Much of the copy work, lower-order clerical work, trivial account keeping is done by slaves. The scribes help render the Gorean language more uniform. They are accepted as arbiters of such matters and stipulate that certain pronunciations and grammatical formations are preferred over others. This is usually done at the Sardar Fairs when the caste comes together in great numbers. Their caste color is blue.   Builder:  This is the third caste in line of importance of the High Castes. This caste includes such sub-castes as Architect, Draftsman, Stonemason and others. In general, they are the builders and inventors of Gor. The Glass of the Builders, a telescope, is one of their inventions. They also created the energy bulb, a special type of light bulb, over a century ago. With help from the Physician's Caste, they also developed the slave goad. In general, only free men are allowed to build on Gor. Only the city of Port Kar was constructed by slaves. The Builder Caste can also verify the authenticity of gold. Though this is an important caste, little is told about it in the books. Their caste color is yellow and their symbol is a metal angle square.   Physician: Fourth of the High Castes, this is the caste of those who concern themselves with the healing arts. Surgeons, apothecaries, medical researchers and health practitioners are all members of this caste. They are universally recognized as non-combatants during time of war. Their caste color is green.   Warrior: Fifth and lowest of the High Castes, this caste includes infantry, tharlarion cavalry, and tarnsmen. They are known to have one of the strictest sets of caste codes in use on Gor. Members of this caste comprise the military branch of Gorean government. Their caste color is scarlet.   Low Castes The Low Castes are not as educated as the High Castes, they receiving the First Knowledge and High Castes receiving the Second Knowledge. Lower Castes are also superstitious. They will not use their real name, but use a "use name." This is to prevent wizards and sorcerers from using spells and rituals against them. Their speech accent is different than High Castes, though higher of the Low Castes, like the artisans, may have a speech accent closer to the High Castes. Many Lower Caste members are illiterate, not being able to read or write. Animal Handler: The books do not state such a general caste exists. Specific castes do exist for certain animals, but the books do not support any connection between these separate castes. Artisan: The books do not state such a general caste exists. An artisan is simply a manually skilled worker. That would apply for many different castes. The term "artisan" was used in the books, in a general sense but never in a context that would show it was an actual caste. Artist: The books do not state such a general caste exists. Art is very important to Goreans. Logically, there might be an Artist Caste with various sub-castes depending on the medium of the artist, such as painting or sculpture. It is also true that many artists do not sign or identify their works because they feel that the art itself is important and not the creator. The artist is pleased and thankful that the art chose to speak through him. As the artist often chooses to focus attention on the art and not himself, then maybe such men would not choose to form an actual caste. That might be contrary to their beliefs about the importance of the art and the unimportance of the artist. Assassin: This caste is comprised of those who kill strictly for pay. Once common throughout Gor, their existence has long been suppressed, though they still appear occasionally. They refuse to use poison to dispatch their enemies. They consider it the mark of an amateur. They are required by their caste codes to renounce all ties of friendship and family. In addition, they claim no Home Stone. Almost universally despised and feared by other castes. Their caste color is black. Baker: This is caste is responsible for making the varied baked goods of Gor, from breads to pastries. The books do not indicate that there are definitely sub-castes of this caste. Potentially, there could be sub-castes that specialized in certain types of baked goods, such as Bread-Makers or Pie-Makers. Their caste colors are yellow and brown. Bargemen: Some of the bargemen of the Cartius River claim to be a caste and this claim is accepted by some and rejected by others. These bargemen ferry people across the river for a fee. There are no caste colors given. Bleacher: This caste is responsible for bleaching fabrics to make them white. There are no caste colors given. Bounty Creditor: This position is identified as part of the Merchant Caste, though it is unclear if it is a sub-caste or simply a type of position. These individuals purchase a person's debts from other merchants at a discounted rate, and then attempt to collect the face value of the debts from the debtors. They are a form of debt collector, speculating on their ability to get someone to pay. They are very tenacious in their work. Bounty creditors wear white and gold, the caste colors of a merchant. Bounty Hunter: The books do not state if this is an actual caste or sub-caste. Bounty hunters hunt down men for a fee. As proof of their success, they often save the head of their target. If their targets are very general, they may not be too particular in the identity of the head they obtain. For example, if they receive a bounty for any citizen of a specific city, they might not be too careful in ensuring that all of their heads come from just citizens. The man who pays their bounty fees may have difficulty determining if a head does belong to the specific city and often will pay the bounty hunter despite this dilemma. It is possible that Bounty hunters are similar to mercenaries, simply hired men who may or may not have a caste. Some may have once belonged to the Warrior Caste and others may simply have found a talent in man hunting. There are no caste colors given for these men. Brewer: This caste is responsible for the brewing of certain alcoholic beverages, such as paga, ale and mead. There are no caste colors given. Butcher: This is not specifically stated to be a caste in the books, though it seems a logical choice. Such a caste would be a low caste and be responsible for the preparation and cutting of varied meats for the consumption of Goreans. There are no caste colors given. Camp Singer: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Charcoal Maker: This caste provides one of the two common fuels on Gor, the other being wood. There are no caste colors given in the books for this caste. Cloth Worker: This caste produces and works on cloth and cloth products. The Rug Maker Caste is a sub-caste of this caste. The Weaver Caste is a sub-caste of the Rug Maker Caste. Carders and dyers are sub-castes of the Weaver Caste. Other sub-castes may exist of the Cloth Worker Caste. There are no caste colors given. Rug Maker: This caste is obviously responsible for the making of rugs. It is a sub-caste of the Cloth Worker Caste, though the rug makers like to consider themselves a separate caste. The Weaver Caste is a sub-caste of the Rug Maker Caste. The Castes of Carders and Dyers are sub-castes of the Weaver Caste. The rugs of Tor are quite famous, similar to the Persian rugs of Earth. It can take over a year for five years, working together, to complete some of these rugs. Carders memorize rug patterns and some carders are even blind. Patterns can be quite complex and are passed down through the generations. These rugs are made on simple looms and each knot is hand-tied by a Free Woman, not a slave. The more intricate rugs may have as many as 400 knots within a square hort. These rugs are also dyed many different colors and most of the dyes used are derived from natural plant or animal products. There are no caste colors given. Weaver: This caste is responsible for the weaving of different items, especially rugs. The Weaver Caste is a sub-caste of the Rug Maker Caste which is a sub-caste of the Cloth Worker's Caste. There are no caste colors given. Carder: The Carder Caste is a sub-caste of the Weaver Caste, which is a sub-caste of the Rug Maker Caste. The Rug Maker Caste is a sub-caste of the Cloth Maker Caste. They are responsible for the memorization of rug patterns. There are no caste colors given in the books for this sub-caste. Dyer: This is caste is responsible for the creation of various colored dyes, especially for the use on cloth and other fabrics. The Dyer Caste is a sub-caste of the Weaver Caste which is a sub-caste of the Rug Maker Caste. The Rug Maker Caste is a sub-caste of the Cloth Maker Caste. There are no caste colors given in the books for this sub-caste. Cosmetician: This is caste produces and sells cosmetics of various types to Free Women and slaves. Most Free Women rarely wear cosmetics except for the bold ones, though there are certain cities, such as Ar, where Free Women do commonly use cosmetics. Many cosmeticians treat their Free Women clients almost like slaves. Cosmetics for slaves are much more common across Gor. For example, there are one hundred and eleven basic shades of slave lipstick and there are even flavored lipsticks. The toenails and fingernails of slaves are rarely painted though it does occur. There are no caste colors given. Craftsman: There is a book reference that lists a number of craftsmen in a city but the passage does not specify if each of these craftsmen is a caste or a sub-caste. Now, other passages make it clear that some of these craftsmen are part of a caste or sub-caste. For example, the carders, dyers of cloth, weavers of rugs, potters, and weapon smiths are clearly part of a caste or sub-caste. Thus, it seems likely that the other craftsmen would also be castes or sub-castes. These craftsmen would include carvers, varnishers, table makers, gem cutters, jewelers, tanners, makers of slippers, toolers of leather, and glaziers. If they are castes or sub-castes, there is no idea what their caste colors would be. Drover: The books do not state such a caste exists. A drover simply transports herd animals back and forth between areas. As this is essentially only herding, then it may not be a caste at all, as herding is not generally considered to be a caste. Entertainer: This is not specifically stated to be a caste in the books. Some have tried to gather into this alleged caste various other castes and professions that do not belong to any caste, such as musicians, artists, poets, sculptors, singers, magicians and more. This is not accurate. Musicians, poets, and singers have their own separate castes though they are similar in many ways. They are full castes and not sub-castes. Other entertainers, such as those in carnivals like magicians, mimes, acrobats and such, are usually casteless. They are outcasts and rogues who band together in a traveling group. Such people are denied any form of honorable burial. They must wander frequently, making a meager living, and trying to stay ahead of their creditors and possibly the magistrates. Fishermen: The books do not state that there are any specific sub-castes of this caste. It is possible that there could be sub-castes, differentiated by the location of the fishing, the type of fishing and the type of fish sought. For example, there could be sub-castes for Thassa, river and lake fishing. There could be sub-castes for shellfish and whaling, but that is all just speculation. There are no caste colors given. Goat Keeper: This caste is responsible for the care and breeding of Gorean goats. There are no caste colors given. Hairdresser: Hairdressers treat their Free Women clients almost like slaves. Upswept hairdos are reserved for Free Women or high slaves, as it is a mark of status. Free Women sometimes even buy wigs or falls, though they desire only the hair of other Free Women. Usually slave hair is worn long and loose, or confined in some simple way as with a ribbon or wooden fillet. They have little need for a hairdresser. Many Masters even cut their own girls' hair. There are no caste colors given. Healer: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples responsible for medical skills and knowledge. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Lamplighter: The books do not state such a caste or sub-caste exists. At night, many men carry their own light source such as a torch or lamp, as many city streets are dark and unlit. On those streets where there are tharlarion-oil lamps, the lights are tended by those who reside on that specific street. They are not maintained by city workers. On major city streets, the city may maintain the lamps but there is no indication this work is done by a specific caste. Leather Worker: They work with leather, creating a variety of different products. Leather workers are also responsible for the piercing of the ears and noses of slave girls. For ears, they use long needles with no anesthetic. They then fix two tiny steel rods, with threaded ends, through the holes. To each end of the rods, they thread a tiny steel disk to hold the rods in the holes. The rods can then be removed in four days. To pierce a nose, they use a small punch to create the hole. There are no caste colors given. There is also a leather worker clan of the Wagon Peoples. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Harness Maker: This is a part of the Leather Worker Caste and is likely considered a sub-caste. Not only do they create harnesses but they also produce other items that would be associated with harnesses such as saddles, bridles, reins, hobblings, and tethers. They make such harnesses for animals of all types, including slaves. There are no caste colors given. Saddle Maker: This is caste is likely a sub-caste of the Leather Worker Caste. They produce the saddlery, harness and tack used to manage all of the various riding and draft beasts of Gor. There is some confusion, as the Harness Maker Caste is said to also produce saddles. Thus, it is possible that saddle-makers are a sub-caste of the Harness Maker. There are no caste colors given. Magistrate: There are numerous magistrates in the Gorean cities including aediles, archons, praetors, prefects and quaestors. The exact powers and abilities of these different magistrates are not explicitly stated within the books. These magistrate positions are taken from ancient Greek and Roman magistrates. There is also no indication whether magistrates form their own caste, are a sub-caste of another, or are simply positions. The books do state that magistrates are an "office" and that they must wear the robes and fillets of that office. They also carry wands of their office. As an office, that might indicate they are only a position. Since they are legal officials, it is possible that they might belong to the Scribe Caste. There are merchant magistrates, praetors, mentioned in the books and they wear white robes trimmed with gold and purple. This would indicate that at least that type of magistrate is part of the Merchant Caste. Mercenary: The books do not state such a caste exists. Mercenaries may be either men from the Warrior Caste or men from other castes who are familiar with the use of weapons. Most mercenaries are loyal only to gold and thus cannot be fully trusted. Merchant: Many within the caste consider themselves a high caste. Many merchants shave their heads and they are seldom trained in the martial arts. It is clear that there are a number of sub-castes of the merchants. The Slaver Caste is legally a sub-caste of the Merchant Caste, though they consider themselves a separate caste. The books do not give a list of the other sub-castes. In general, merchants sell items that they do not produce. If someone produces the item that they are selling, they would belong to a caste different from the Merchant Caste. . Their caste colors are white and yellow (sometimes called gold. Usually, they wear white robes that are trimmed with gold. One of the only aspects of their caste code that is depicted in the books is that they ensure that they are always paid. They do not give away anything for free. Haggling is very important to them and many are quite skillful in it. They have developed and help enforce Merchant Law, the only common set of laws and agreements existing among the Gorean cities. They also are responsible for arranging and administering the four great Sardar fairs. The Merchant Caste often wields great power through their financial resources. This power may be used to gain political power as well. Influence can be gained through more than simple bribery. The extension or refusal of credit can affect a city's high council. It can also affect public opinion. Moneylender: This is a sub-caste of the Merchant Caste. They are responsible for loaning money and credit. There are no caste colors given. Slaver: A sub-caste of the Merchant Caste that deals in human merchandise. Their caste colors are blue and yellow. Metal Worker: This is a caste primarily of smiths of various sorts. They include simple blacksmiths up to craftsmen who work in gold and silver making jewelry. These smiths often form specific sub-castes such as the Goldsmith and Silversmith. Many caste members cut their hair short and commonly wear a tunic, leather apron and cap. A popular saying of this caste is,   "Where would the dwellers of cities be without us?" (Dancer of Gor, p.293)   This is a way of saying that the utilities and workings of metal are essential for a high civilization. There are no caste colors given. Locksmith: Locksmiths also belong to Metal Workers caste and likely form a sub-caste. Most entry doors on Gor have locks, generally hand-crafted and highly ornate. They are usually set in the center of the door and control a long bolt. Most are pin-tumbler locks. There are other types of locks including the disk lock, cylinder locks, padlocks, ring locks and combination locks. Most locks on slave collars are cylinder locks, either pin or disk varieties. There are six pins or disks, one for each letter in the word, “kajira.” Most locks are metal but there are wooden ones. Combination locks are rare, the most common ones having a set of lettered rings. It is a capital offense for a locksmith to make an unauthorized copy of a key. Some locks are protected against intruders. Knife locks release a blade, or even several, if tampered with but they are useless against someone who knows what to look for. Poison locks have tiny pins that jut out, usually coated with kanda paste. A pit lock opens a pit beneath the opener. The pit may be filled with dangerous animals, knives or such. Sleeve locks cannot be picked. The sleeve prevents the direct entry of a wire or pick. Within the sleeve is a plug, a rounded, metal cone, which must be unscrewed before the key can be inserted. A wire or pick could not turn the cone. Milk Vendor: The cities have vendors of bosk milk, a milk man who makes his rounds with a two-wheeled cart and ringing a bell. It is unknown if they are an actual caste or sub-caste. They may possibly be related to the Peasant or Merchant Caste. There are no caste colors given. Miller: This caste is responsible for operating the mills that grind the grains of Gor. There are no caste colors given. Municipal Servant: The books do not state such a general caste exists. Cities do provide a number of public services such as laundries, kitchens and nurseries but there is no indication that the employees at these places belong to any specific castes. Musician: This is caste shares some similarities with the Singer and Poet Castes. A musician is not required to be literate as there is no written music on Gor. Melodies are simply passed on down the generations through teachers and families. Musicians may travel freely across Gor and are welcomed into nearly any city. By tradition and custom, musicians are commonly not enslaved though this does not have the power of law.    "There is a saying to the effect that he who makes music must, like the tarn and the Vosk gull, be free." (Kajira of Gor, p.298)   Musicians may still be killed, tortured or exiled, as that does not violate custom or tradition. There is no indication that the separate musical instruments form their own sub-castes but there is a prestige ranking for the different instruments. Czehar musicians have the most prestige, and then come the flute, kalika, drums and miscellaneous instruments. One of the best czehar players on Gor is Lysander of Asperiche. Not everyone who can play a musical instrument belongs to this caste. Even slaves can learn how to play these instruments. There are no caste colors given.   Peasant: This is the lowest of all castes. Yet, economically, the base of life is the peasant and they are often known as the "Ox on which the Home Stone Rests." They provide much of the food for the cities, towns and villages of Gor. The people of the cities have a very low opinion of peasants. A peasant is seen 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;" (Raiders of Gor, p.3)   This is not accurate, though, as peasants have their own sense of nobility and honor. They have pride in their position, their land and their freedom. A peasant who is actively engaged in agricultural pursuits is said to be "one who makes fields fruitful." This appellation is sometimes used for peasants not actively engaged in such as an honor. Many peasants wear clothing that is little more than coarse sacking and go around barefoot. It is not unusual for peasants to keep their livestock in their homes during the cold winter. Most farmhouses for livestock are painted yellow with blue trim, the same colors as the Slaver Caste. In these buildings though, the yellow predominates and slavers tend to more equally distribute the colors. Peasants are often quite skilled with the staff and longbow (also known as the peasant bow). Despite this skill, peasants are seldom used, except in emergencies, in the armed forces of a city. Peasants are known for being very strict with their slaves. They prefer slaves who are large and more muscular so that they can work hard. Such slaves possess rope collars rather than metal ones. The peasants have their own caste codes like any other caste. The code exists not to control the lives of the peasants but to allow their community to operate effectively. One section of their codes states:   "Neither a plow, nor a bosk, nor a girl may one man take from another, saving with the owner's saying of it..." (Slave Girl of Gor, p.226).   The sexual use of another's slave, without their explicit permission, is not considered a violation of this caste code principle. Permission to sexually use the slaves of others is implicit in the customs of the peasants. It is considered a brief use without any intent to injure or dishonor the slave's owner. A "taking" in the context of the code means an action intended to cause harm to the owner's rights or honor. The intent of the offender is critical to this principle. Peasants have begun to have some problems due to the growing institution of the "great farm." A great farm is either owned by a wealthy individual or a company. This company may often generate its capital from investors. The intent of the great farm is to organize agricultural pursuits on a grander scale and take away such pursuits from the independent peasant. These great farms try to purchase farms from the peasants and sometimes resort to strong-arm tactics to convince recalcitrant peasants to sell. If the peasants do sell their land, they will seek out new land where they can start again. Their caste codes discourage them from moving to a city. In the city, their skills would be largely useless anyways. They would need to find an alternative occupation to support themselves. Perfumer: This caste is responsible for the production and sale of perfumes for Free Women and slaves. Slave perfumes, which come in hundreds of varieties, usually have a heavier scent and are more sensual than Free Women perfumes. Many perfumers though treat their Free Women clients almost like slaves. This does not prevent Free Women from flocking to the more famous perfumers. They are usually clean-shaven and their caste colors are white and yellow. Perfumes come in a few different categories. There are common perfumes, hundreds that are known to all perfumers. There are often likely to be the least expensive perfumes. There are then certain perfumes that are unique to a perfumer's house. These perfumes may be purchased by anyone but they can only be obtained at that particular house. These are sometimes called signature perfumes, though that is not fully accurate. True signature perfumes form the third category. These are perfumes unique to a particular customer and not available to anyone else. These perfumes are blended by hand from secret recipes. These recipes are developed through consultation with the client and some experimentation to create exactly the type of perfume desired by the client. A wealthy woman might possess up to fifteen different signature perfumes. These signature perfumes are very expensive. Players: This caste is made of those who have dedicated their lives to the furtherance of the Gorean game of kaissa. It is a rare caste, but one which is found and supported in almost any city. Members of this caste are granted blanket immunity to prosecution and slavery, and are highly regarded based upon their level of skill. They wear distinctive hooded robes in their caste colors. The caste colors are checkered red and yellow. Poet: This is caste appears very similar to the Singer Caste. A singer or poet is considered   "a craftsman who make strong sayings, I" (Outlaw of Gor, p.103)   A singer or poet is not required to be literate and some great men in these castes have been illiterate. Many Goreans have superb memories and receive mnemonic training. Music and poetry is often memorized, never written down, and passed down from teacher to student. Singers and poets are thought to be happy individuals and their castes have greater prestige than the Pot Maker and Saddle Maker Castes.   "A handful of bread for a song" is a traditional invitation extended to singers and poets. (Outlaw of Gor, p.104)   The saying does not mean that a singer or poet will only receive bread or food for his performance. An ubar may extend this invitation and then reward the singer or poet with a silver or gold. Overall, singers and poets do not live luxurious lives but they will never starve or need to beg. Singers and Poets have their place in Gorean society, one that is considered quite important.   "He has his role to play in the social structure, celebrating battles and histories, singing of heroes and cities, but also he is expected to sing of living, and of love and joy, not merely of arms and glory; and, too, it is his function to remind the Goreans from time to time of loneliness and death, lest they should forget that they are men." (Outlaw of Gor, p.104) Singers and poets may travel freely across Gor and are welcomed into nearly any city. By tradition and custom, singers and poets are commonly not enslaved, though this does not have the power of law. In addition, singers and poets may still be killed, tortured or exiled, as that does not violate custom or tradition. There are no caste colors given.  There are two famous poets mentioned in the books. The poet Tesias wrote the Oracles of the Talender. Pentilicus Tallux, a famous poet from Ar, is known for his poems in the delicate trilesiac form and for two sensitive and intimate dramas. Trilesiac seems to be a form of Gorean poetry but there is no description as to its type. Pot-Maker: This is caste is responsible for making pottery of different types, often using kilns to prepare the pottery. There are no caste colors given. Rencer: A slightly higher caste than the Caste of Peasants, this is the caste of those who dwell in the various marshes and swamps of Gor and who harvest rence, a Gorean plant similar to Earth rice. They reside on great floating man- made islands amidst the marshes and are highly territorial and secretive. They are known for their adoption and usage of the peasant bow in combat. Sailor: The books do not indicate that this is definitely a caste or sub-caste. It is logical to assume that this could be a caste. Such a caste might include sub-castes such as river sailors and Thassa sailors. Salt Hunter: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples obviously responsible for locating salt. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Scarrer: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples responsible for creating the important scars that mark the men of the Wagon Peoples. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Ship Builder: Shipwrights may form their own caste, though it seems logical that they could be a sub-caste of the Builder Caste. Other craftsmen that contribute to the building of a ship, such as sail-makers, rope-makers, pulley- makers, oar-makers, sawyers, and carpenters are all not their own caste or sub-caste. In Port Kar, they basically form guilds and not castes. This may apply to other port cities as well, though that is not a given. Singer: This caste very similar to the Poet Caste. A Singer or poet is considered   "a craftsman who make strong sayings, I" (Outlaw of Gor, p.103)   A Singer or poet is not required to be literate and some great men in these castes have been illiterate. Many Goreans have superb memories and receive mnemonic training. Music and poetry is often memorized, never written down, and passed down from teacher to student. Singers and poets are thought to be happy individuals and their castes have greater prestige than the Pot Maker and Saddle Maker Castes.   "A handful of bread for a song" is a traditional invitation extended to singers and poets. (Outlaw of Gor, p.104)   The saying does not mean that a singer or poet will only receive bread or food for his performance. An ubar may extend this invitation and then reward the singer or poet with a silver or gold. Overall, singers and poets do not live luxurious lives but they will never starve or need to beg. Singers and poets have their place in Gorean society, one that is considered quite important. "He has his role to play in the social structure, celebrating battles and histories, singing of heroes and cities, but also he is expected to sing of living, and of love and joy, not merely of arms and glory; and, too, it is his function to remind the Goreans from time to time of loneliness and death, lest they should forget that they are men." (Outlaw of Gor, p.104) Singers and poets may travel freely across Gor and are welcomed into nearly any city. By tradition and custom, singers and poets are commonly not enslaved though this does not have the power of law. In addition, Singers and poets may still be killed, tortured or exiled, as that does not violate custom or tradition. There are no caste colors given. Sleen Trainer: This is caste is responsible for the care, breeding and training of sleens, a feline-like animal that can be trained for many various different functions such as herding, tracking and guarding. Their caste colors are brown and black. Tarn Keeper: This is caste is responsible for the care, breeding and training of the tarns, the aerial mounts of Gor. Tarn keepers often crop their hair short and it appears that their caste color is brown, as they wear brown leather. Their leather may be streaked with colors if they support one of the racing tarn factions. They also wear caps and the color of the tassel on that cap may also match the color of their tarn racing faction. Tavern Owner: These individuals are part of the Merchant Caste, though it is unknown if they form an actual sub-caste or not. There are no caste colors given. They may simply wear the colors of the Merchant Caste. Tharlarion Keeper: This caste is responsible for the care, breeding and training of the mighty tharlarions, a common mount on Gor, especially in those areas that have not yet mastered the tarn. There are no caste colors given. Thieves: There are few thieves on Gor and they are punished severely if caught. For a first offense, the penalty is commonly an ear notching. Such a notching would be quite visible, unless covered by one's hair, and would mark one as a former thief. For a second offense, the penalty is determined by the sex of the thief. If the thief is a man, he will have his right hand severed. If the thief is a woman, she will be enslaved. Thus, only a man has a chance to commit a third offense as a Free Person. The penalty for that offense is the loss of the left hand and both feet. There is a Caste of Thieves in Port Kar, the only one known of its type on Gor. Not only are thieves allowed to exist, but it is even considered an honorable profession. Their skills are held in high repute. The thieves are proud and sons often follow in the footsteps of their father. Even women may belong to this caste and freely practice its skills. The caste is very territorial and dole out specific territories to its members. They also will hunt down thieves who choose not to belong to the caste. Caste members wear a brand on their right cheek, the infamous Thief's Scar. It is a tiny, three-pronged brand burned into the face in back of and below the right eye, over the cheekbone. It does seem strange that a thief who relies on not being caught should advertise their affiliation so openly. Maybe it is considered more of a challenge that way, a method of culling out the weak and foolish. Ear notching and mutilation are not punishments in Port Kar for thievery, but, there are sanctions, some quite severe, for thieves who are caught. It is legally permitted for someone to kill a thief if you can catch that thief within one Ahn of the theft. It would obviously behoove a thief to make someone else aware of the theft so that third party could attest to the proper tolling of the Ahn. Otherwise, if only the thief knew when the theft occurred, and the victim killed the thief after the Ahn had passed, there would be no one to attest to the fact that the killing was not legal. After an Ahn has passed, then if a thief is caught he must be turned over to the police of the city arsenal. A trial will be held on the charges. If a male thief is then found guilty, he would be sentenced to hard labor in the arsenal or on the wharves, for a time period of one week to one year. If a female thief is then found guilty, she would be sentenced to serve in a penal brothel for a time period of one week to one year. Torturer: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples and only they have such a clan. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans. Torturers are very well trained in the arts of detaining life and interrogation. They wear hoods when engaged in their work unless their victim has been sentenced to death. Torturers do hire themselves out to non-Wagon People, especially to ubars and initiates, though anyone could possibly hire one. The torturers are not assassins. They only perform their work on prisoners and captives. Urt Hunter: The books do not specifically state that this is a caste or sub-caste. The books only mention urt hunters in Port Kar and this might be because Port Kar is the only known port city that has numerous canals running through it. Urt hunters try to keep the urt population in the canals down. They usually use a pronged urt spear and some type of bait, often a slave girl. The hunters row out into the canals. The slave girl who will be used as bait has a long rope, maybe twenty feet long, around her neck and it is tied to the bow ring. The kajira will jump into the water and splash around to attract urts. It is cheaper to use slave girls than a side of tarsk. Live verr are sometimes used as bait but they are not as effective. Urts usually approach their intended prey with their snout and eyes above water. You can thus detect an approaching urt and that should give the slave girl sufficient time to return to the boat before she is attacked. Not all girls are so lucky though. The hunter will then try to spear the urt. Some men will turn their own girls over to an urt hunter for discipline. A few days of being used as bait for urts will almost assuredly make them much more obedient. Vart Trainer: The books do not specifically state that such a caste or sub-caste exists. It is clear that certain men on Tyros do train varts to be used as weapons. This would be a special skill and thus it seems logical that it could form a caste. Vintner: This caste is responsible for making wine and wine-based products. Their caste colors are white and green and they commonly wear a white tunic with a representation in green cloth of leaves about the collar and down the sleeves. Waste Collector: The books do not state such a caste or sub-caste exists. Male slaves, not free people, are commonly used to bring waste products from the cities to the carnariums outside the city walls. Woodsman: This is caste is known as the Carriers of Wood. They provide one of the essential fuels of Gor, the other being charcoal. They commonly wear a short, sleeveless robe with a leather region on the back and shoulders to protect them from their loads of wood. They also commonly wear leggings to protect their legs as they work in brush. They are responsible for chopping down trees and carrying the wood to market. Before they begin to chop down a tree, they will talk to the tree. They will tell the tree what the wood will be used for and then they will ask its forgiveness. It is a lonely caste and they often do not see other people for long stretches of time. Woodsmen are usually very strong and can carry quite heavy loads of wood, strapped to their back and held in place by two straps held in their hands. A typical load might be six feet high and four feet wide. Such a load would be difficult even for many warriors to carry. There are no caste colors given. Year Keeper: This is not a Gorean caste. It is a clan of the Wagon Peoples responsible for memorizing the names of the Wagon People's years. Some are so skilled that they can recite several thousand consecutive years. All male Wagon People are expected to be skilled in war, hunting and herding. Some also then specialize in an additional duty and these duties are grouped into clans.
used with permission & thanks to Janus of Gor
GOREAN CAMPUS
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