“I have always been impressed with Ar, for it is the largest, the most populous and the most luxurious city of all known Gor. Its walls, its countless cylinders, its spires and towers, its lights, its beacons, the high bridges, the lamps, the langerns of the bridges, are unbelievable exciting and fantastic, particularly as seen from the more lofty bridges or the roofs of the higher cylinders.” (“Assassin of Gor”, page 25)
Whereas salt may be obtained from sea water and by burning seaweed, as is sometimes done in Torvaldsland, and there are various districts on Gor where salt, solid or in solution, may be obtained, by far the most extensive and richest of known Gor’s salt deposits are to be found concentrated in the Tahari. Tahari salt accounts, in its varieties, I would suspect, for some twenty percent of the salt and salt-related products, such as medicines and antiseptics, preservatives, cleansers, bleaches, bottle glass, which contains soda ash, taken from salt, and tanning chemicals, used on known Gor. Salt is a trading commodity par excellence. There are areas on Gor where salt serves as a currency, being weighed and exchanged much as precious metals. The major protection and control of the Tahari salt, of course, lies in its remoteness, the salt districts, of which there are several, being scattered and isolated in the midst of the dune country, in the long caravan journeys required, and the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining it without knowing the trails, the ways of the desert. »
« Tribesmen of Gor » page 208
« At Klima, and other such areas, salt is an industry. Thousands serve there, held captive by the desert. Klima has its own water, but it is dependent on caravans for its foods. These food stores are delivered to scouted areas some pasangs from the compounds, whence they are retrieved later by salt slaves. Similarly, the heavy cylinders of salt, mined and molded at Klima, are carried on the backs of salt slaves from storage areas at Klima to storage areas in the desert, whence they are tallied, sold and distributed to caravans. The cylinders are standardized at ten stone, or a Gorean ‘Weight,’ which is some forty pounds. A normal kaiila carries ten such cylinders, five to a side. A stronger animal carries sixteen, eight to a side. The load is balanced, always. It is difficult for an animal, or man, of course, to carry an unbalanced load. »
« Tribesmen of Gor » page 238
» (…) much of the salt at Klima comes from its famous brine pits. These pits are of two kinds, « open » and « closed. » Men, in the closed pits, actually descend and, wading, or on rafts, negotiate the sludge itself, filling their vessels and later, eventually, pouring their contents into the lift sacks, on hooks, worked by windlasses from the surface. The « harvesting » vessel, not the retaining vessel, used is rather like a perforated cone with a handle, to which is attached a rope. It is dragged through the sludge and lifted, the free water running from the vessel, leaving within the sludge of salt, thence to be poured into the retaining vessels, huge, wooden tubs. The retaining vessels are then emptied later into the lift sacks, a ring on which fits over the rope hooks. In places, the « open pits, » the brine pits are exposed on the surface, where they are fed by springs from the underground rivers, which prevents their desiccation by evaporation, which would otherwise occur almost immediately in the Tahari temperatures. Men do not last long in the open pits. »
« Tribesmen of Gor » page 239
« Besides the mines and pits of the salt districts, there are warehouses and offices, in which complicated records are kept, and from which shipments to the isolated, desert storage areas are arranged. There are also processing areas where the salt is freed of water and refined to various degrees of quality, through a complicated system of racks and pans, generally exposed to the sun. Slaves work at these, raking, stirring, and sifting. There are also the molding sheds where the salt is pressed into the large cylinders, such that they may be roped together and eventually be laden on pack kaiila. The salt is divided into nine qualities. Each cylinder is marked with its quality, the name of its district, and the sign of that district’s salt master.
Needless to say, Klima contains as well, incidental to the salt industry centered there, the ancillary supports of these mining and manufacturing endeavors, such as its kitchens and commissaries, its kennels and eating sheds, its discipline pits, its assembly areas, its smithies and shops, its quarters for guards and scribes, an infirmary for them, and so on. In many respects Klima resembles a community, save that it differs in at least two significant respects. It contains neither children, nor women. »
A caravan of merchants of the Southern Trade Alliance has made the way to the Oasis of Klima again. The path was lost for a long time.
In the distance, below, perhaps five pasangs away, in the hot, concave, white salt bleakness, like a vast, white, shallow bowl, pasangs wide, there were compounds, low, white buildings of mud brick, plastered. There were many of them. They were hard to see in the distance, in the light, but I could make them out.
«Klima, »said Hamid.
Most salt at Klima is white, but certain of the mines deliver red salt, red from ferrous oxide in its composition, which is called the Red Salt of Kasra, after its port of embarkation, at the juncture of the Upper and Lower Fayeen.
“For twenty days had we marched. Some thought it a hundred. Many had lost count. More than two hundred and fifty men had been originally in the salt chain. I did not know how many now trekked with the march. The chain was now much heavier than it had been, for it, even with several sections removed, was carried by far fewer men. To be a salt slave, it is said, one must be strong. Only the strong, it is said, reach Klima.”