(#14, Version 5.0)
In this scroll, I have compiled a number of educational tidbits into a single scroll. Many of these items are too small to have their own scroll at this time. Over time, this scroll will see a number of changes. Some prior items will be deleted as become part of their own scroll. Other items will be added as well.
1. Urth and Mun: These two words are quite common in the online Gorean community yet neither of these words actually exist in the novels. Earth is always referred to by Goreans as "Earth" in the books. Many Low Caste people also do not even know that Earth exists. The term "Urth" should not be used for in-character play or in profiles. Please use the term "Earth." The term "Mun" refers to the real person behind the role-play character. It is also not a term used in the books. It should also not be used for in-character play or in profiles. "Mun" is fine in OOC chats but not for role-play.
Both "Urth" and "Mun" originated in the world of science fiction/fantasy fandom. "Urth" is used in several science fiction/fantasy books as a term for Earth. "Mun" is short for "mundane" and refers to someone who is not into science fiction/fantasy. The online community has just adopted these terms for their Gorean role-play though neither term was ever used in the novels.
2. Voyages of Acquisition: Spaceships belonging to the Priest-Kings and Kurii visit Earth and sometimes bring people and items back to Gor. These spaceships have been making trips to the Earth for many thousands of years, though the ships do not make as many trips as they once did.
Thousands of years ago, a wide variety of people, animals and plants were taken from Earth by the Priest-Kings to help seed and populate Gor. Yet, within the last few hundred years, these trips have had only limited goals. The primary goal is the acquisition of Earth women as slaves. These women may retain their clothes but they normally do not retain any other personal effects. The Priest-Kings rarely bring Earthmen to Gor. The Priest-Kings also rarely bring any other items from Earth. Sometimes, a man from the Sardar who is manning the spaceships may bring back some item but this does not go any further than the Sardar. For example, one man in the Sardar brought back some tobacco on an Earth voyage. He grew it in the Sardar but it never spread to anywhere else on Gor.
This has two practical effects in role-play. First, Earthmen on Gor are very rare. There are only a handful of men on Gor who have been brought from Earth within the last few hundred years. Second, people brought from Earth will rarely, if ever, possess any Earth items brought from Earth during one of these voyages. Almost everyone arrives only in the clothes on their backs. Earth weapons are not brought to Gor during these voyages.
The Kurii spaceships to Earth have more leeway and sometimes bring Earth items to Gor. Yet, the items they choose to bring are normally in violation of the Technology and Weapon Laws of the Priest-Kings and subject to the Flame-Death. In addition though, the Kurii primarily bring Earth women to Gor and not men. Again characters from Earth, even if brought by Kurii, will rarely, if ever, possess any Earth items brought from Earth during these voyages.
3. Music: Here are a few items concerning music on Gor. Zills are finger cymbals, used primarily by kajirae dancers. The musician with the most prestige on Gor is the czehar player. The czehar is eight-stringed instrument, like a large flat oblong box, and is held across the lap when cross-legged. It is played with a horn pick. One of the best czehar players on Gor is Lysander of Asperiche. After czehar musicians, those instruments with prestige are the flutists, then the kalika, drums and then miscellaneous instruments. Bowed instruments do not exist on Gor. Written music does not exist on Gor. All music is memorized and melodies are passed down to children or students.
4. Vengeance Slavery: One interesting form of this type of slavery is the proxy slavery. In this form, a woman, totally innocent, is enslaved. This kajira stands proxy for a hated, at least temporarily inaccessible, woman. The proxy may even be given this woman's name. The master treats the proxy as if she were the woman he hates and desires. When the true woman is eventually enslaved, the proxy slave remains a slave. The proxy though is usually given away or sold at that point.
5. Earth Brands: There are two brands that almost never occur on Gor but are commonly used. These brands are the moons and the collar, and the chain and claw. The first occurs in Gorean enclaves on Earth, which serve as headquarters of agents of the Priest-Kings. It consists of a locked collar and ascending diagonally above it, extending to the right, three-quarter moons. It indicates that the girl is subject to Gorean discipline. The second brand occurs in enclaves of Kurii agents on Earth. It signifies slavery within the Kur yoke. Women branded with either of these two brands rarely, if ever, are brought to Gor. It is difficult to recruit Gorean men to go to Earth, so Priest-Kings and Kurii both hire native Earthmen for these enclaves.
6. Chemical Brand: This is a method of passing secret messages to another, akin to invisible ink. A message can be written on a body, usually that of a slave, with a special transparent fluid. Thus, the message appears to be invisible. Only the proper reagent, also a transparent liquid, can bring out the message. Once applied, the letters will appear in red on the person's skin. Special chemicals can then remove the message.
7. Gens: The gens name is the clan name, and is derived from an ancient Roman term. Clans exist on Gor and are kinship groups functioning within the caste structure but not identical to it. A clan may include people of different castes. Clans are usually associated with a city but such kinship structures do not figure strongly in public life. Females cannot pass on the gens name. It passes through the male only. Females can keep their gens in Companionship but only if it is part of the contract.
8. Spider People: Also known as the Swamp Spiders, these creatures are large, intelligent Spiders that live in the swamps north of Ar. They are large enough to be ridden. They construct Spider webs, vast networks of broad, elastic strands that form a structure about a pasang in width. The Spiders have a saliva or some similar secretion that loosens the glue on the webs. They use their leg hairs to smell their surroundings. They use translators and do not like to talk loudly. They will not harm rational creatures, even to defend themselves. But, females during mating are not gentle with male Spiders.
The city of Ar collects their webs to spin the Cur-lon Fiber used in Ar mills. They also hunt and kills many of the Spider People, leaving just enough to continue making some webs. As the men of Ar are rational, the Spiders will not fight them. The Spiders are mentioned primarily in Tarnsman of Gor. Nar is one of the Spider People who helped Tarl Cabot.
9. Urt People: The Urt People are possibly a nonhuman race though they might only be a degenerate human branch. They have a narrow, elongated face with rather large, ovoid eyes. Their eyes adjust very quickly to darkness. They are narrow shouldered and narrow chested. They have long, thin arms and short spindly legs. They commonly walk or hurry, bent over, with its knuckles often dragging on the ground. This low gait keeps it inconspicuous among migratory urt packs. Urt People live with urt packs that provide them cover and protection. Urts seldom attack them, likely due to a pack odor that allows them to mix with the urts. Urt People are capable of incredible stillness and then sudden, bursts of movement. They commonly communicate to each other by hissing squeals, resembling the noises of urts. They can speak Gorean but do so as children, usually repeating what they say twice. Their Gorean, in some respects, resembles archaic Gorean. They rarely mix with civilized folk. They do learn quickly and some people even keep them as pets. They enjoy pit fruit.
10. Gyves: This is an archaic Earth term for a fetter or shackle, especially for the leg.
11. Snow: The Red Hunters of the polar basin of the far north have this advice on eating snow. When you eat snow, first melt it thoroughly in your mouth before swallowing. This helps to preserve your body heat and prevent shock to the system.
12. Urt Hunters: In the port city of Port Kar, urt hunters are men who keep the urt population in the canals down. They use a pronged urt spear to catch the urts. Slave girls are commonly used as bait. A girl is tied to the boat by a rope. She must splash around in the water to attract the urts. Rarely, live verr are used as bait but they are more difficult to handle. They are harder to push away from the side of the boat. Few urts strike from beneath the surface of the water. They usually approach with their snout and eyes above the water. A girl can commonly get out of the water in time. If not, she must rely on the speed and skill of the hunter. Unfortunately, some girls are lost to the urts. Some kajirae may be turned over to an urt hunter as a means of discipline. After that, most girls will be begging to be pleasing.
13. Hersius: This is the Gorean name for the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is named after a legendary hero of Ar. The Steel Ships of the Kurii lay waiting near Jupiter. No other planets in our solar system have Gorean names listed in the novels. Even Earth is only referred to as Earth by the novels. A Gorean name likely exists but we have yet to see it in the series.
14. City States: There is no Gorean expression for "country" in the precise sense of a nation as we know of it. Goreans tend to think of cities and the lands they control. The city state is the basic political division on Gor. A city controls what territory it can and is surrounded by a no-man's land of open ground on every side. The notion of the fixed and absolute border is not a typical Gorean idea. The territory controlled by a city is more fluid and flexible. Cities lose and gain territory often. Jealousies, strifes, rivalries and armed conflicts tend to often separate Gorean cities. Free cities, in pride and suspicion, have an almost fanatical commitment to protecting their own independent destinies, and resist alliances.
15. Begging: For the most part, Goreans do not favor begging. Some even view it as an insult. When charity is in order, it is usually arranged by the caste or clan. Charity is a special privilege of membership in a caste. Clans depend on blood ties through the fifth degree. It is most common to see female beggars than male ones. Strays, also known as she-urts, are girls who beg and rummage through garbage in the city. They are a civic nuisances and are sometimes rounded up by city guardsmen. They have their own gangs and territories. They are technically free women though there are few to protect them. Some kajira that have been punished by ham stringing, also beg in the streets.
16. Gorean Technology: Much high technology is forbidden by the Priest Kings. No mechanized transport, communication equipment or detection gear like radar are permitted. But in the areas of lighting, shelter, agriculture techniques and medicine there are few restrictions. Violations of the technology restrictions earn you the Flame Death, where you burst spontaneously into blue flame. Here are a few items of their technology.
Reading Device: This is a metal frame with top and bottom rollers that is used to read and hold scrolls. A button is pushed to spin the scroll to its opening mark.
Translator: This machine is about the size of a portable typewriter. It is programmed for four non-Gorean languages. But, the translations are rather literal and limited to about 25,000 equivalencies. Gorean is always one of the languages in the machine. The Spider People have their own translator and the Priest-Kings have a much more advanced one.
Electric Sleeping Mat: This mat has a chronometric temperature device that can be set for hot or cold. There is also a timer on it s it can be programmed to be cold or hot at a certain time. The mat also has blanket sides.
Energy Bulbs: These are domelike bulbs that produce a clear, soft light for years without replacement. Few Goreans can afford to have them in their homes though. Few care for them anyway as Goreans prefer the light of flame, lamps, and torches. The bulbs were invented more than a century ago by the Builder's Caste.
Chronometers: These are Gorean watches and are rare on Gor. Their hands move counterclockwise and they also have a sweeping Ihn hand.
Fire Maker: This is basically a lighter. There are several varieties of this item. One of the most common is a flint-and-wheel device. It has a tiny tharlarion-oil impregnated wick and a reservoir of tharlarion oil. The wick is ignited by a spark generated from using your thumb on a small, ratcheted steel wheel that strikes a flint splinter. Other such devices use springs, pyrite, cartridges of oil-saturated moss, or other items.
17. Gorean Timeline: According to the Priest-kings of Gor, the planet of Gor was brought to our solar system from another over two million years ago. On Earth at this time, this was still a couple hundred thousand of years before the arrival of Homo Erectus. The Priest-Kings brought with them some alien species, such as the Swamp Spiders. They would also eventually begin bringing creatures from Earth to Gor. The city of Ar is thought to be the oldest civilized city on Gor. It is over 10,000 years old and its calendar is figured from the date of its mythical founding by Hesius, the alleged first man on Gor. The Kurii have had a civilization for about one hundred thousand years. They have been at war with the Priest-Kings for about twenty thousand years, thus predating the time of Gorean civilization.
This timeline is interesting for several reasons. First, Gor has been in our solar system long enough that it could have developed its own human species. Anthropoidal fossils have been found on Gor and this supports the theory that some humans originated on Gor. What would be the difference in a natural Gorean as opposed to a Gorean with Earth heritage? It is even possible that the Priest-kings helped to seed Earth with Gorean stock thus helping to create mankind on earth. They may have also sent to Earth plants or animals. Unfortunately, we may never know the truth of this.
We can also see that Gorean civilization began around the same time that civilization began on Earth. But, as the Priest-Kings more closely monitored Gor, Gor developed much differently. Why did not the Priest-kings more closely monitor Earth? The Priest-Kings did capture many Earth people over the years and bring them to Gor. Are there unexplored areas of Gor which have never had the influence of Earth? Were Goreans ever transplanted to Earth?
The Kurii have been around since before the advent of Gorean civilization. Did they have any effect on the development of Gorean or Earth civilization? Why have the Kurii chosen this solar system to remain for the last twenty thousand years? Can't they try to find a less well protected planetary system to conquer?
Finally, we can see that there have been some species on Gor who have lived far longer than the human race. As these creatures arrived with the Priest-Kings, there cultures are over two million years old. What kind of culture did the Swamp Spiders have for all those years before man arrived? What creatures may have faced extinction over those two million years? Are there unexplored areas of Gor ruled by other sentient alien species, so far unknown to the rest of Gor?
The only answer we can be sure of is that Gor is a fascinating world.
18. Claiming Land: To claim land for your own, land that is unclaimed by anyone else, you must place a yellow stake of claimancy down into the ground. You must then protect that land from before noon that day until sunset.
19. Colonization: Colonization by Gorean cities tends to resemble classical colonization. A city often founds a colony due to internal overpopulation or political dissension. The potential colonists typically develop their own charter, constitution and laws, even before leaving the city. The colony will also have its own Home Stone. The colony will retain ties with the original city though but will retain much independence as well.
Port Cos is an excellent example if this colonization. Port Cos is a city on the Vosk River. It was founded by settlers from Cos over a century ago. Its ties to Cos are largely historical and cultural, not political. It has its own Home Stone. Many officers of Port Cos were native Cosians, mercenaries or veterans of the Cosian navy. Ar's Station, on the other hand, was established around 10114 C.A., but only as an outpost and trading station on the south bank of the Vosk. It is not a true colony as it retains the Home Stone of Ar. It thus has very strong ties to Ar.
20. Bastinado: This is an English word used in the novels. In the books, it is a form of punishment that was done to free women. It refers to a beating with a stick or club, usually on the soles of the feet. The word can also refer to a stick or club.
21. Gorean Funerals: Dead Goreans may be either buried or cremated. Cremation appears generally reserved for more important individuals. Most Gorean graves are not marked with a headstone or other marker. Goreans feel that it is a man's deeds that lives on after him death. "No matter how insignificant or tiny one is, in the Gorean belief, one is an ineradicable part of history. That can never be taken from anyone." (Dancer of Gor, p.426) The first few pages of Assassin of Gor give an excellent depiction of a typical Gorean funeral pyre. The pyre is supposed to be for Tarl Cabot. Gorean funerals are very quiet and at such a time words would only demean or insult. There is only "…silence, memory and fire…" (Assassin of Gor, p.2) The Initiates are usually prominent at funerals. The Cities of Dust refer to the Gorean underworld, the place all go on their deaths.
22. Counterearth: Gor is also known by this name, a word taken from the writings of the ancient Greek, Pythagoras, who first speculated on the idea.
22. Cup Companions: These are one's trusted men.
23. Sleeve Locks: These locks are made so they 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 cannot turn the cone so they are useless in trying to open this type of lock.
24. Message Cylinder: This is a pointed and weighted cylinder from which messages can be attached. It is commonly dropped from tarnback onto the ground and due to its shape and weight, it will stick into the ground and remain erect.
25. Rite of the Claws of the Sleen: This ritual creates "brothers" between two good friends. A sleen claw is used to cut the forearm of both friends. Each man cuts the arm of the other. They then mingle their blood together.