Archive for December, 2013


Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


by Teal Razor, slave of Captain Siri Emerald Jr., Port Olni

I am sitting downstairs in my Master’s house next to a brazier keeping warm. It is snowing on and off in Port Olni and the ground has been covered for a couple of weeks with it. I can remember the snow on earth and how it would get kinda dirty in a couple of days with a layer of soot over it.

The snow here on Gor is a different animal. Since there is no petrochemical particulate in the air, the snow remains pristine for a long while. The only discoloration on the snow are the urine pools the warriors deposit on their rounds. I figure they have to go somewhere and I have yet to see a Porta Potty inside the city of Olni. I don’t mind seeing this as it is a natural occurrence. What isn’t natural are the fantastical pictures these urine taggers leave behind. The other day, while walking to the admin cylinder, I was knocked backwards by the sight of an etching into the snow made by some pisser, of our sainted Ubar using the rear end of a tharlarion as a sexual toy. For all I know it could have been the Ubar himself who painted this tableau because not a minute later the Ubara walks by rolling her eyes and was heard to chuckle at the indecorous piss painting.

Well, so much for warriors. My mind was actually going over the arrival of the Initiate in Olni. He had been gone for more than a year. Because of his return, the Ubara wanted to see to the comfort of the Blessed One, a man called Noventum. The Temple in Olni lies outside the city gates in a lovely park by the river. I enjoy going out the back on warm days to swim in the river and ogle the Assassin’s lair. The Temple lies quite near the hidey hole in which one of our black caste members camouflages his nasty self. I never could figure out why the assassin shared the same neighborhood as the Initiate. Then it dawned on me that the representative of the Priest-Kings needs to be in proximity to the person who executes their direct orders. It helps to just “walk across the street”, so to speak, than getting in a boat or caravan or tarn. All that, just to visit the person you are giving the name of a target he is being paid to murder.

And so out of convenience was born beauty. The Temple in Olni is a stunning example of a respectful house in which to worship. The insides, from what I have determined by looking through the doorway, are lined with white alabaster. The sacrificial area has the simplicity and richness that only the use of quality stone in its construction can lend to such a solemn place. I have found the stairs leading up to the temple to be a little less than grand for such a high minded plaza. There is a nice colonnaded walkway around the building.

The Ubara set about, with her free woman friends, to clean and polish everything to a spotlessly high sheen. Slaves are not allowed in the Temple, even to clean. The circular doorway surrounds and the matching one inside the building are silver. I have always thought them quite lovely myself but I heard the initiate say they should actually be gold. Such as it is, the Ubara then turned her attention to the residence of the Initiate. In anticipation of his arrival the Blessed One sent his belongings by ship ahead of him. The contents were unloaded at the docks and carried to the building where the Initiate was to live. I was allowed into the home with some other city slaves and the Ubara’s boy. We were to help her place the pieces to have it look as pleasing as possible for the Initiate’s eyes.

I was a little disconcerted by the inactivity of the Ubara’s boy as he looked on at myself and some other small women slaves while we moved furniture from one wall to another to satisfy the Ubara’s sense of perfect placement. I greeted the thrall with glares throughout the process and he, in turn fingered the whip on his belt as he glared back at me.

The other two slaves and I cleaned and polished everything while the Ubara laid a fire for him. It had the look of quiet dignity when we finished.

The day of Noventum’s arrival was quite a confusing one. He came at a time when only the gate guard was present. The rest of the city was holed up in their homes keeping warm next to the hearth or in meeting in various rooms in government offices. The city was a virtual ghost town. The guard placed the Blessed One in front of a brazier so he could warm himself as the warrior marched off to find the Ubara. The uniformed guard burst into the basement chamber of the administration cylinder where he knew the Ubara would likely be and scared the tarsk crap out of me. I was taking down notes as the head of the Revel’s Committee droned on and on about how the Winter Solstice festival needed all of our concentration and would I please stop scratching myself. Breathlessly the guard informed the Ubara and all present that the White Caste Initiate was indeed warming his backside in the commons. He pleaded with the Ubara to come greet him.

The sainted woman rushed off, pulling her cloak around her, to see the defrosting guest in the commons. When she came back we were all startled to see that she had the Initiate in tow. He seemed like a pleasant fellow, bald and dressed all in white he matched the snow on the ground outside. The Ubara introduced the man to all and I quickly learned to refer to him as Blessed One. This was not a Master. I believe only Master’s make use of us in the furs. Initiates are not eunuchs to be sure but they put their sexual thoughts to a higher purpose.

I was quite amused when the Blessed One chimed right up in the meeting informing us of all his contacts in other cities that could help the committee in its plans. These were politely accepted by the members. I think when there are considerable distances between cities, one would have to plan a year ahead to contact friends in other towns to obtain their planning help.

I kept popping honey candies in my mouth which made the quill I was writing with kind of sticky. The Initiate raised his eyebrows at the sight of me sucking on my fingers to dissolve some of the sticky goodness from them. The meeting concluded and we all went our separate ways. I departed for the commons where the slave bell was being rung for a slave to come serve. I started serving two visitors to Olni who had delusions of grandeur. One of them was so pompous that he would not speak to me to give me his order. His other royal highness, presumably his friend, told me in no uncertain terms that he would be speaking for his majesty and proceeded to order two warm pagas.

He used the royal “we” as I walked away, all the while making comments about my rear end. I tried my best to find the nicest bowls and heated the paga up beautifully. I hurried back to the “king” and his “vassal” with a bowl of warm paga in each hand. I was greeted by a booming voice, it was coming from the Initiate. The Blessed One had found his way back to the commons and was demanding to be served by me. To say the hair turned white on my head, would have been an oxymoron as it is already platinum. I wondered whether I should just drop the bowls with a clatter on the stones and turn to fulfill his order. I was saved in a way by the two strangers who challenged the Blessed One. They shouted at him that they had been there first and he could damned well wait his turn. These royal personages declared themselves Pani. The Pani have a different belief system much like the Japanese sense of giri which connotes obligation to others whether public or private.

They did save my neck though. But, as a consequence the Initiate stormed off. It took a few days for the White Caste member to speak to me again. When he did though, it must have been after an epiphany he had regarding one slave having to face a commons full of people and deciding who gets what, when. He is really a kind man and had me take down a decree to be posted in the city. He wants all free and slave alike to knock on his residence door and feel welcome. In this time of dwindling attendance by the high caste it seems logical to appeal to the low caste who are fervent in their superstitious beliefs in the powers on high. Fresh congregants are needed to fill prayer rosters and what better way to do that, than appealing to the most faithful. He even told me he would give slave catechism classes as long as he could do it standing behind a screen so he would not have to look at the abomination we slave’s are.

As I think back on this, I am pleased at myself for establishing a bond of sorts with our new White Caste member. At least he will not blue flame me in the near future.

From the NEW VOICE OF GOR v.3 Issue 138

Tangra’s Blade – A Gorean short story

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

aurora borealis

By Lieutenant Atlas Tereshchenko – Port Olni Scarlet Caste

The ringing of metal on metal resounded through the lower market. This was the Square of the Metalworkers and here was the forge of Hamdrid. There were many smiths, all working diligently, scattered about the square at forges and anvils. It was at the back of the square one could find Hamdrid, laboring at his art. Warriors milled about this part of the square, speaking as men of war always do, a jest or jibe between friends, the passing of a bota of paga, and the latest stories of glory and honor from far afield. It was to Hamdrid that all manner of men at arms would bring their swords to be reforged, and a few would bring a desire for a new blade, and a considerable sum, to seek the efforts of Hamdrid at his forge.

That night, when all the other forges were cooling, Hamdrid was to be found next to his. Hamdrid was an immense man, stronger than any three other men combined, with a chest, shoulders and arms grown massive from driving hot metal into the shape he wanted. Beside him stood a youth, tall and strong, formed much like his father next to him. The youth worked the bellows, to fire the wood and charcoal in the forge.

“Lanmar, a bit more heat if you would son, this piece is almost ready to come to my embrace.” The young man pulled even harder against the yoke, the flames burning blue from the intense heat. Hamdrid drew the sliver of steel from the forge, and began to sing as he began to form the metal. This occurred several times throughout the early evening, Hamdrid’s companion bringing him and her son water and small bites of food. She knew better than to try and feed either of them when they were working so late. The effort consumed both of them, a son so much like a father, a father so much like his own.

Long into the darkening night the two labored over the blade, forming, folding, and drawing the steel into a form and length the young man had never seen before. “Father, this blade, for whom is it forged?” Hamdrid took the glowing shape from the forge, having tempered it once and now was busy preparing the edge “It is for Tangra, the First Sword. It is a gift to him from the Ubar himself, for his part in rescuing the Ubar and Ubara’s daughter.” Lanmar nodded, and fell back into rhythm, his Fathers hammer on the steel, matched his pull on the yoke for the forge.

The blade sat quietly, nestled in Hamdrid’s hands, where he slowly worked progressively finer and finer stones against the edge, bringing the blade to a sharpness of unequalled quality. “The effort for this blade is even beyond your normal exacting standards Father, can you tell me why? Why is this one blade so worthy of so much of your skill and heart?”

Looking up, the giant smith said simply, “It is for Tangra, and that is reason enough.” The stone began its painless journey along the edge again, and a few ehn later, Lanmar voiced another question. “You say it is for Tangra, and that is enough, but I must admit I am more a fool than I had imagined, as I cannot comprehend why that is a sufficient answer.” The young man looked at his Father, and watched as the stone slowed, then stopped. The blade glittered in the dull red light of the dying embers in the forge, and it was several ehn more before Hamdrid spoke.

“Tangra is the finest swordsman in our City, and perhaps all of Gor. Yet you will never hear him brag, or lay claim to his title out loud. No, you will find him on duty my son, or in the training arena, and nowhere else. Remember that the will to win is nothing when compared to the will to prepare.” Hamdrid turned the blade in his enormous hands, and then looked back at his son “There will come a time my son, when Tangra will face a situation where there are no options, and only one choice. On that day, when he holds this blade, he will see fear flee and courage rise, because like himself, I have placed all my effort and knowledge into this blade, it is the best of me, it possesses all the honor of my name and caste.” Lanmar sat quietly, and nodded at his Father’s words. Standing, he was about to begin cleaning the shop, when his Father’s voice rumbled through the stones.

“We may be of low Caste my son, but that does not mean we are any less honorable men.” Pointing to the forge, Hamdrid continued, “The fire heats the metal, and we temper it. Men are no less different. Some will find the fire to hot, and withdraw, while others find they are strengthened by the heat. Honor is not a cloak, nor a crown. It is nothing you should be able to take on or put off at will. Honor is our last defense, and our finest weapon. Against the edge of our honor, must we run the deeds of others, and judge if they hold as dear their honor as we hold ours.” The great smith paused, and laid the deadly blade onto a fine cloth, and wrapped it carefully.

“Tangra is a magnificent warrior. He does not require a shiny blade, but one that will not yield, will not break, will not fail when he needs it most. He needs a blade with as much honor in it, as is in him. That is why I have poured so much of myself into this sword, because Tangra fights with my honor.”

New Voice of Gor No. 133-137

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

New Voice of Gor, vol. 3, issue 137 (shorter online version)
New Voice of Gor, vol. 3, issue 136 (shorter online version)
New Voice of Gor, vol. 3, issue 135 (shorter online version)
New Voice of Gor, vol. 3, issue 134 (shorter online version)
New Voice of Gor, vol. 3, issue 133 (shorter online version)

The Road to Isfahan

Monday, December 16th, 2013


by Teal Razor, slave of Captain Siri Emerald Jr., Port Olni

Last week I made good use of the new gate and dock guards we have in Port Olni. All citizens in the city have been cautioned to use these new escorts when going to and from their homes in the country and from the docks to the gates and back again. Olni counts the protection of their citizens in the upmost quadrant of their balance sheet. These “security guards” at the gate are not highly informed of the personalities and proclivities of the current residents. This I have used to good advantage. They have not gotten my “number” yet and so accompany me where ever I need to go without playing twenty questions.

This has always annoyed me in the past as one of my Master’s sergeants or lieutenants would grill me to the point of tears…their tears….trying to find out where I was headed and for what reason I had to visit outside the gates of our fair city. Now I can sneak out with head held high to discover new places to review for this column that I am permitted to write.

I made my journey to the Port Olni docks in the company of a rather doltish fellow. He spoke not a word and seemed to be doing a cross word puzzle in his head. Gorean cross word puzzles are fun and mind numbing all at the same time. This “escort” seemed to be doing a mind numbing puzzle since I had to steer him away from the edge of the wharf as he walked ahead of me. He was so preoccupied he almost fell off into the Olni River. If someone asked him on his return, who it was that he just accompanied to the boat he would reply, “Uh, I don’t remember.”

I have my opinion that the Ubara of Port Olni hired these security guards so she could not been sneaking off three evenings a week to play Zar with her free women friends. I have seen them in the captain’s cabin in the Ubar’s boat that is tied at the dock. Seemed as though the paga was flowing into awaiting mouths. But, to each his own.

Leaving behind the blank mind of the escort, I got on the boat. The captain of the ship was very happy to see me. He loves to tell me his stories and I write them down for him on scrolls that he keeps. I hope one day he will circulate them throughout the planet for all to be informed and entertained by. I would have a goodly amount of time to devote to the writing down of his narratives as this trip was going to be a long one.

My Master joined me in time for the boat to pick up anchor and leave. My Master does all kinds of business around Gor. He loves to travel and return to Olni to regal the residents with his adventures. I actually think he is sent out as the avant-garde by the Ambassador Caste to feel out the possibility of constructing a treaty between the places he visits and Port Olni.

It took us months to travel to Isfahan. After the boat from Olni to Port Ar. We got on a caravan going south on the salt trail. My Master took his maps out every day to make corrections and new calculations on the distances between cities.

In Torcadino we proceeded south on the northern silk road to Kasra. We stayed there two days, refurbishing supplies and enjoying the baths. After that It was another boat trip on the Upper Fayeen to Isfahan which is on a plateau in the Voltai range, north of the Tahari.

I am eternally grateful to the Ubarat of Port Olni that they give my Master sufficient funds to support his clandestine travels. We journeyed in comfort and I must say in style too. One day I will describe our trip in more delicious detail.

I am writing this piece for the Goritechtural Digest from a boat back down the Upper Fayeen on our long trek back to Port Olni. I will have to stay out of my Master’s way for the extensive journey going back. He has been rather short with me of late. It may be his annoyance at me for leaving the furs in the middle of the night to go who knows where.

In Isfahan, I met the Khan who took an immediate shine to me. His lovely companion, Lady Zeralia, was amused by my serves and kept me around while my Master was off doing who knows what. I was given the grand tour of Isfahan and I am excited to report back what I saw.

The entrance faces east, the arrival point in Isfahan. From there it is a quick trip up the stairs to the main courtyard. There is an ancient tree in the courtyard said to have been planted by the first Khan. This first ruler of Isfahan. The current Khan is an earth enthusiast. There is a rumor that a man from earth lived in Isfahan once and interested the Khan in his country on earth called Hindustan. This was evident to me looking at the reconstructed images of Buddhism, Hinduism. I hid my chagrin as I took in, Buddha’s, deities of Hinduism, and prayer flags. It was all quite charming and very peaceful.

I was shown, the scribery, infirmary, private residences, merchant alley, the view of the Khan’s family residence, the red guard next to it, the city kennels and a stunner of a view to the indoor outdoor baths.

He told me that the architect, Master Stari Khron, had completed the city and now was only involved in enhancement projects. The Khan, Duryodana, led me to his throne room which is the highest point of the city. It seems the city grew up around this tower for it was the best vantage point to scope out trouble that might be approaching the tents below.

There are no tents now, just stones that are magnificently hewn in that rough way stones can be. I was delighted with what I saw and really enjoyed the musicians playing around the city. They made me want to dance. The one problem was that I was too tired to dance. You see, Isfahan progressively extends upward, a fact that becomes evident as you walk up and down stairs everywhere. Every time I thought we had arrived at a landing on a stairway, we had to keep climbing. I fear that my calve muscles now look like the legs of the log lifters in the sawmill of the Ubar in Port Olni.

After three days of this leg lifting boot camp, my Master concluded his business and we are, as I said on the boat going back down river. At this moment I am sitting across from my Master playing Zar with a thrall. His glowering and silence tell me I am in for a tongue lashing later if not more.

I cannot wait to arrive at the gates of our beautiful city of Port Olni once more. I say this because it is only there that I will be able to lose myself in the crowd and escape the glares of my angry Master.

The Destruction of the City of Tarnwald

Monday, December 9th, 2013


by Lady Wendie and Rarius Yuroki

On the third day of the fifth month of the year 10164 contasta Ar it was early afternoon, lady Wendie, scribe to the House of Yuroki, sat making notes of the days trade for the banker Yuroki . Suddenly her attention was drawn to a cloud of unusual size and appearance some pasangs from the mountains of Tarnwald . She called the slaves for her shoes, then with her slave Jill she climbed to a place which would give her the best vantage point of the phenomenon. Still a distance from the event,she was not clear from which mountain the cloud was rising. its general appearance can best be expressed as being like an umbrella pine, for it rose to a great height on a sort of trunk and then split off into branches, I imagine because it was thrust upwards by the initial blast then left unsupported as the eruption subsided, it was borne down by its own weight so that it spread out and gradually dispersed. In places it looked white, elsewhere blotched and dirty, according to the amount of soil and ash it carried with it.

As Rarius Yuroki was leaving the village near the docks of Tarnwald he was handed a message from Lady Catarina, a free woman of the city, whose house was at the foot of the huge mountain three pasangs from Tarnwald, escape for her was impossible except by boat. She was terrified by the danger threatening her.

Lady Wendie seeing people leaving, hurried to the place which everyone else was hastily leaving, gaining her ship she ordered the captain to steer a course straight for the danger zone. She was entirely fearless, describing each new movement and phase of the portent she noted down exactly as she observed them. Ashes were already falling, hotter and thicker as the ships drew near, as she neared the conflagration the ash was followed by bits of pumice and blackened stones, charred and cracked by the flames: Suddenly they were in shallow water, and the shore was blocked by the debris from the mountain.

For a moment lady Wendie wondered whether to turn back, but when the warriors advised this she refused, telling them that fortune stood by the courageous and they must make for the outskirts of Tarnwald where Her friend and employer Yuroki was with his boats.

It was clear to her that there was no serious danger until the ash cloud came nearer anchoring the boats to avoid the turbulent water she waited for her employer knowing he would come.

Rarius Yuroki had gone to the shore and placed his belongings on board ship, intending to escape if the contrary wind fell. This wind was of course full in their favour, and he was able to bring his ship “Ina” in closer.

Meanwhile on the volcano broad sheets of fire leapt high starting fires at several points, their bright glare emphasized by the darkness of night. Rarius Yuroki tried to allay the fears of his companions by repeatedly declaring that these were nothing but bonfires left by the peasants in their terror, or else empty houses on fire in the districts they had abandoned.

The citizens debated whether to stay indoors or take their chance in the open, for the buildings were now shaking as violent after shocks caused more damage, once sturdy buildings were swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside, on the other hand, there was the danger of failing pumice stones, even though these were light and porous; however, after comparing the risks they chose the latter. As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths.

Elsewhere there was daylight by this time, but they were still in darkness, blacker and denser than any ordinary night, this they relieved by lighting torches and various kinds of lamp to supplement the burning fires. Rarius Yuroki decided to go down to the docks and investigate the possibility of any escape by the river, but he found the waves still wild and dangerous.

Then the flames and smell of sulphur which gave warning of the approaching fire drove the others to take flight.

Ashes were already falling, not as yet very thickly. We looked round: a dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth like a flood.’Let us leave the dock and take our chances on the sea Yuroki shouted to his men

You could hear the shrieks of women and slaves, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying. Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.

There were people, too, who added to the real perils by inventing fictitious dangers: some reported that part of of the city walls of Tarnwald had collapsed or another parts were on fire. A gleam of light returned, but we took this to be a warning of the approaching flames rather than daylight. However, the flames remained some distance off; then darkness came on once more and ashes began to fall again, this time in heavy showers. We cleaned the ships from time to time to prevent the weight of the ash sinking the vessels.

The next morning – it was the third day of the fifth month – the proud city of Tarnwald had been completely destroyed and the thick walls and all houses were covered by black ashes. Only the village at the outskirts is left now along with the memories of the terrible night. Yuroki met with his scribe and recounted their experiences Sadness dampened their spirits at the loss of a once great city.

[from the NEW VOICE OF GOR volume 3, issue 136]