tagReviews & EssaysGorean Locales Ch. 05

Gorean Locales Ch. 05

byJoseki Ko©

n Norman created the world of Gor in the late 1960's and early 1970's in a series of 25 books. These books were written on a level for adults to be able to understand the philosophy he was trying to convey. Many people became infatuated with the philosophy and began to develop and insert many of the Gorean ways and beliefs into their daily lives. These are locations from his books.


This infamous port is the home port of the famed black slavers of Schendi, a league of slavers well known for their cruel depredations on shipping, but it is also a free port, administered by black merchants, and its fine harbor and its inland markets to the north and east attract much commerce. It is thought that an agreement exists between the merchants of Schendi and the members of the league of black slavers, though I know of few who have proclaimed this publicly in Schendi and lived. The evidence, if evidence it is that such an agreement exists, is that the black slavers tend to avoid preying on shipping which plies to and from Schendi. They conduct their work commonly in more northern waters, returning to Schendi as their home port.


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 Gorean, except as a place both remote and exotic.

South Central

Cartius River:

The Thassa (or Northern) Cartius is located far south of Ar and feeds into the Vosk. It was formerly the southern border of the Empire of Ar. It flows west by northwest, enters the rain forests and empties into Lake Ushindi. The Cartius Proper is as wide as the Vosk, and is surrounded by rain forests for much of its length. The Subequatorial Cartius flows southeast splitting into the Upper and Lower Fayeen Rivers.


The word Nyoka means 'serpent', in Schendi dialect. This may be a descriptive name for which this river was named. The Nyoka river, south of the Kamba river, flows westward out of Lake Ushindi into Schendi Harbor, 200 pasangs upriver from Schendi point.

Lake Ushindi:

Large lake in the jungles. "Ushindi" is a word in the inland dialect, not in Gorean, and it means "victory." It received its name for some victory, over two hundred years ago, on its shores. The name of the tiny kingdom or ubarate that won that victory is unknown. This lake is drained by two rivers, the Kamba and Nyoka. To the west of Lake Ushindi are floodlands, marshes and bogs. Much of their water drains into this lake. Further east, past the marshes and bogs, is Lake Ngao. Shaba, a Scribe and Cartographer, was the first civilized man to circumnavigate Lake Ushindi. In certain areas of Lake Ushindi that are frequented by vicious tharlarion there are high poles without platforms. Certain criminals may be rowed out to these poles and left there, clinging to them for their very lives. The black Ubar, Bila Huruma, uses these poles to decrease crime within his ubarate.

Quotes from the books on Ar

A High Walled City-State between the Vosk and Cartius Rivers

" 'Yes,' said the Older Tarl, '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 the Ubar of all Gor.'"

Book 1, Tarnsman of Gor, page 64

" The city of Ar must have contained more than a hundred thousand cylinders, each ablaze with the lights of the Planting Feast. I did not questions that Ar was the greatest city of all known Gor."

Book 1, Tarnsman of Gor, page 76

"She tossed her head back and laughed. 'Are you of Gor or not? I have never seen my father except on the days of public festivals. High Caste daughters in Ar are raised in the Walled Gardens, like flowers, until some highborn suitor, preferably a Ubar or Administrator, will pay the bride price set by their fathers.'

'You mean you never knew your father?' I asked.

'Is it different in your city, Warrior?'

'Yes,' I said, remembering that in Ko-ro-ba, primitive though it was, the family was respected and maintained. I then wondered if that might be due to the influence of my father, whose Earth ways sometimes seemed at variance with the rude customs of Gor.

'I think I might like that,' she said."

Book 1, Tarnsman of Gor, page 114

"Ar, beleaguered and dauntless, was a magnificent sight. Its splendid, defiant shimmering cylinders loomed proudly behind the snowy marble ramparts; its double walls, the first three hundred feet high; the second, separated from the first by twenty yards, four hundred feet high-walls wide enough to drive six tharlarion wagons abreast on their summits.

Every fifty yards along the walls rose towers, jutting forth so as to expose any attempt at scaling to the fire of their numerous archer ports.

Across the city, from the walls to the cylinders and among the cylinders, I could occasionally see the slight flash of sunlight from the swaying tarn wires, literally hundreds of thousands of slender, almost invisible wires stretched in a protective net across the city. Dropping the tarn through such a maze of wire would be an almost impossible task. The wings of a striking tarn would be cut from its body by such wires."

Book 1, Tarnsman of Gor, page 162

"Since the siege of Ar, when Pa-Kur, Master Assassin, had violated the limits of his caste and had presumed, in contradiction to the traditions of Gor, to lead a horde upon the city, intending to make himself Ubar, the Caste of Assassins had lived as hated, hunted men, no longer esteemed mercenaries whose services were sought by cities, and, as often by factions within cities."

Book 2, Outlaw of Gor, page 72

"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. Times is reckoned 'Constanta Ar', or 'from the founding of Ar.' The 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."

Book 2, Outlaw of Gor, page 179

"Most quivas, incidentally, are wrought in the smithies of Ar."

Book 4, Nomads of Gor, page 124

"In some cities, including Ar, an unchained male slave is almost never seen; there are, incidentally, far fewer male slaves than female slaves; a captured female is almost invariably collared; a captured male is almost invariably put to the sword"

Book 5, Assassin of Gor, page 51

"The free woman was a tall woman, large. She wore a great cape of fur, of white sea-sleen, thrown back to reveal the whiteness of her arms. Her kirtle was of the finest wool of Ar, dyed scarlet, with black trimmings."

Book 9, Maurauders of Gor, page 156

"I had seen Ar at various times before. Such a sight I was accustomed to. It would not move me, as it might others, the first time to look upon it.

'Incredible' said a man.

'Marvelous!' said another.

'I had not realised how vast was the city' said one of the men.

'It is large' said another fellow.

'There is the central cylinder' said a man pointing.

The high uprearing walls of the city some hundred feet or more in height stretched into the distance. They were now white. We could see a great gate too and the main road leading to it the Viktel Aria. Within the gamut of those walls, so lofty and mighty, rose thousands of buildings, and a veritable forest of ascendant towers, of diverse heights and colours. Many of thesetowers, I knew were joined by traceries of soaring bridges, set at different levels. I did not forget the house of Cernus, the stadium of tarns, the stadium of blades. I had not forgotten the streets, the baths, the shops, the broadnoble avenues, with their fountains, the narrow twisting streets, little more than darkened corridors,shieded from the sun of the lower districts..."

Book 21, Mercenaries of Gor, page 255

"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 on 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. 'Of the Priest-Kings say this is worth more than gold and silver,' said a wise man, 'it must be true.' 'Yes,' said the people. '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."

Book 22, Dancer of Gor, page 302

"Ar is the largest city of known Gor, larger even, I am sure, than Turia, in the far south. She has some forty public gates, and I suppose, some number of restricted smaller gates, secret gates, posterns, and such. Long ago, I had once entered the city through such a passage."

Book 25, Magicians of Gor, pages 9 - 10

"The discipline of a slave may be attended to by any free person, otherwise she might do much what she wished, provided only her Master did not learn of it. The legal principle is clear, and has been upheld in several courts, in several cities, including Ar."

Book 25, Magicians of Gor, page 122

" 'Give me the note,' he said, irritatedly.

'Perhaps her master has not yet given her a name?' I said.

'You can see she carries a note!' said the fellow, gesturing to Lavinia.

'Give me the note,' I said to Lavinia

'It is private!' she said.

I put out my hand, and she put the note in my hand.

'It is nothing,' I said, glancing at the note, and handling it back to Lavinia.

'Let me see!' he said.

'You dispute my word?' I said, eagerly.

'No!' he said.

'Draw!' I said. My hand went to my tunic.

'I am unarmed!' he said. It is the law! We of Ar may not carry weapons.'

'Let us then adjudicate our differences with our bare hands.' I said.

'You are drunk!' he said, stepping back.

'If true, that will give you an advantage,' I said.

'It is unseemily for free men to squabble before a female slave,' he said.

'I shall send her away then,' I said."

Book 25, Magicians of Gor, page 380

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