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         Location    The City    Cylinders    Lodgings    Streets    Transportation   
         Government    Citizenship Ceremony    Economy    Medicine   
         Destruction of Ko-ro-ba    Rebuilding Ko-ro-ba   

         Mathew Cabot    Torm    Old Tarl   

         Life in Ko-ro-ba    Free Women and Castes    Free Companionship   

         The Pens   

         A Funeral    Bread, Salt and Fire   

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"An ancient poet, who incredibly enough to the Gorean mind had sung the glories of many of the cities of Gor, had spoken of Ko-ro-ba as the Towers of the Morning, and it is sometimes spoken of by that name. The actual word Ko-ro-ba itself, more prosaically, is simply an expression in archaic Gorean referring to a village market."
"Outlaw of Gor" page 39


"Ko-ro-ba lay in the midst of green and rolling hills, some hundreds of feet above the level of the distant Tamber Gulf and that mysterious body of water beyond it, spoken of in Gorean simply at Thassa, the Sea. Ko-ro-ba was not set as high and remote as for example was Thentis in the mountains of Thentis, famed for its tarn flocks, but it was not a city of the vast plains either, like the luxurious metropolis of Ar, or of the shore, like the cluttered, crowded, sensuous Port Kar on the Tamber Gulf.
Whereas Ar was glorious, a city of imposing grandeur, acknowledged even by its blood foes; whereas Thentis had the proud violence of the rude mountains of Thentis for its setting; whereas Port Kar could boast the broad Tamber for her sister, and the gleaming, mysterious Thassa beyond, I thought my city to be truly the most beautiful, its variegated lofty cylinders rising so gently, so joyfully, among the calm, green hills.
An ancient poet, who incredibly enough to the Gorean mind had sung the glories of many of the cities of Gor, had spoken of Ko-ro-ba as the Towers of the Morning, and it is sometimes spoken of by that name. The actual word Ko-ro-ba itself, more prosaically, is simply an expression in archaic Gorean referring to a village market."
"Outlaw of Gor" Page 39

"Shortly before he made me one of his girls, some two or three days before, he had been attacked by outlaw tarnsmen, some four days journey north by northeast from the city of Ko-ro-ba, which lies high in the northern temperate latitudes of the planet Gor, which is the name of this world. He was bound, traveling over the hills and meadowlands east and north of Ko-ro-ba, for the city of Laura, which lies on the banks of the Laurius river, some two hundred pasangs inland from the coast of the sea, called Thassa."
"Captive of Gor" Page 59

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The City

"I could not lean far enough outside the window to see the ground. In the distance I could see hills covered by some type of green vegetation, but I could not determine whether or not it was grass.
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 23

"Whereas Ar was glorious, a city of imposting grandeur, acknowledged even by blood foes; whereas Thentis had the proud violence of the rude mountains of Thentis for its setting; whereas Port Kar could boast of broad Tamber for its sister, and the gleaming, mysterious Thassa beyond, I thought my city to be truly the most beautiful, its variegated lofty cylinders rising so gently, so joyfully, among the calm, green hills. An ancient poet, who incredibly enough to the Gorean mind had sung of the glories of many of the cities of Gor, had spoken of Ko-ro-ba as the Towers of the Morning, and it is sometimes spoken of by that name. The actual word Ko-ro-ba itself, more prosaically, is simply an expression in archaic Gorean referring to a village market."
"Outlaw of Gor" Page 39

"Ko-ro-ba, I thought, Ko-ro-ba. I was drowsy. We had approached the city in the early morning and Targo had permitted us to leave the wagons to look upon it, in the morning sun. The city, the sun reflecting on its walls and towers, was very beautiful. It is sometimes called The Towers of the Morning, and perhaps justifiably so."
"Captive of Gor" Page 171


"I rose from the stone table, which was indeed what it was, and went to the window. I looked out and saw the sun--our sun it had to be. It seemed perhaps a fraction larger, but it was difficult to be sure. I was confident that it was our own brilliant yellow star. The sky, like that of the earth, was blue. My first thought was that this must be the earth and the sun's apparent size an illusion.
Obviously, I was breathing, and that meant necessarily an atmosphere containing a large percentage of oxygen. It must be the earth. But as I stood at the window, I knew that this could not be my mother planet. The building in which I found myself was apparently one of an indefinite number of towers, like endless flat cylinders of varying sizes and colours, joined by narrow, colourful bridges that arched lightly between them."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 22/3

"We ascended a spiral staircase inside the cylinder and climbed for what must have been dozens of apartment levels. At last we emerged on the flat roof of the cylinder. The wind swept across the flat, circular roof, tugging one towards the edge. There was no protective rail."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 50

"The Older Tarl and I had made a round of taverns in the various cylinders, and I recall toddling precariously, singing obscene camp lyrics along different narrow bridges, about a yard wide without rails, and the earth somewhere below--how far I had no idea at the time. If we were on the high bridges, it would have been more than a thousand feet away."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 60

"When I returned to Ko-ro-ba with Talena, a great feast was held and we celebrated our Free Companionship. A holiday was declared, and the city was ablaze with light and song. Shimmering strings of bells pealed in the wind, and festive lanterns of a thousand colours swung from the innumerable flower-strewn bridges. There was shouting and laughter, and the glorious colours of the castes of Gor mingled equally in the cylinders."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 216/7

"I myself, when Centius of Cos was in Ko-ro-ba, might have played him on the bridge near the Cylinder of Warriors for only a pair of copper tarn disks."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 28

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"I seemed to be lying on some hard, flat object, perhaps a table, in a circular room with a low ceiling some seven feet high. There were five narrow windows, not large enough to let a man through; they rather reminded me of ports for bowmen in a castle tower, yet they admitted sufficient light to allow me to recognize my surroundings.
There was a tapestry to the right, a well-woven depiction of some hunting scene, I took it, but fancifully done, the spear--carrying hunters mounted on birds of a sort and attacking an ugly animal that reminded me of a boar, except that it appeared to be too large, out of proportion to the hunters. Its jaws carried four tusks, curved like scimitars. It reminded me, with the vegetation and background and the classic serenity of the faces, of a Renaissance tapestry I had once seen on a vacation tour I had taken to Florence in my second year at the University.
Opposite the tapestry--for decoration, I assumed--hung a round shield with crossed spears behind it. The shield was rather like the old Greek shields on some of the red--figured vases in the London Museum. The design on the shield was unintelligible to me. I could not be sure that it was supposed to mean anything. It might have been an alphabetic monogram or perhaps a mere delight to the artist. Above the shield was a suspended helmet, again reminiscent of a Greek helmet, perhaps of the Homeric period. It had a somewhat 'Y'--shaped slot for the eyes, nose, and mouth in the nearly solid metal. There was a savage dignity about it, with the shield and spears, all of them stable on the wall, as if ready, like the famous colonial rifle over the fireplace, for instant use; they were all polished and gleamed dully in the half--light.
Aside from these things and two stone blocks, perhaps chairs, and a mat to one side, the room was bare; the walls and ceiling and floor were smooth as marble, and a classic white. I could see no door in the room. I rose from the stone table, which was indeed what it was, and went to the window."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 22

"A panel in the wall slid sideways, and a tall red-haired man, somewhere in his late forties, dressed much as I was, stepped through."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 24

"'Look,' he cried in actual despair, waving his blue-robed arms hopelessly at the messiest chamber I had seen on Gor. His desk, a vast wooden table, was piled with papers and pots of ink, and pens and scissors and leather fasteners and binders. There was no square foot of the chamber that did not contain racks of scrolls, and others, hundreds perhaps, were piled like cordwood here and there. His sleeping mat was unrolled, and his blankets must not have been aired for weeks. His personal belongings, which seemed to be negligible, were stuffed into the meanest of the scroll racks.
One of the windows into Torm's chamber was quite irregular, and I noted that it had been forcibly enlarged. I imagined him with a carpenter's hammer, angrily cracking and banging away at the wall, chipping away the stone that more light might enter his room. And always under his table a brazier filled with hot coals burned near the feet of the scribe, perilously close to the scholarly litter with which the floor was strewn."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 37

"In the morning I awoke on the sleeping mat in the corner of my apartment, cold and shivering. It was shortly before dawn. I turned off the power switch on the mat and folded back its blanket sides. It was chilly to the touch now, because I had set the chronometrical temperature device to turn to cold an hour before the first light. One has little inclination to remain in a freezing bed. I decided I disapproved of the Gorean devices for separating mortals from their beds as much as I loathed the alarm clock radios of my own world. Besides, I had a headache like the beating of spears on a bronze shield, a headache that drove all lesser considerations, such as the attempt on my life yesterday, from my mind. The planet might be exploding and a man would stop to remove a burr from his sandal. I sat up, cross- legged, on the mat, which was now returning to room temperature. I struggled to my feet and staggered to the laving bowl on the table and splashed some water in my face."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 60

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"The caravan, wagon by wagon, made its way slowly toward Ko-ro-ba’s Street of the Field Gate, which is the southernmost gate of the city.
But we had been unable to move as rapidly as we had wished. the streets, even at that hour, were crowded. We could sense that there was a holiday atmosphere.
“What is it?” I had asked Inge.
“I do not know,” she had said.
We heard the driver cursing and shouting at the crowds, but we could make little progress.
Indeed, other wagons, we gathered, merchant wagons and those of peasants, too, were blocked in the streets.
Foot by foot we moved toward the Street of the Field Gate, and then, at last, came that street.
In the wagons, with the canvas tied down, chained, we listened to the crowds."
"Captive of Gor" Page 208/9

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"In your veins must flow the blood of your father, once Ubar, War Chieftain, now Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, this City of Cylinders.'
I was surprised, for this was the first time I had known that my father had been War Chieftain of the city, or that he was even now its supreme civil official, or, for that matter, that the city was named Ko-ro-ba, a now archaic expression for a village market."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 58

"The Chamber of the Council is the room in which the elected representatives of the High Castes of Ko-ro-ba hold their meetings. Each city has such a chamber. It was in the widest of cylinders, and the ceiling was at least six times the height of the normal living level. The ceiling was lit as if by stars, and the walls were of five colors, applied laterally, beginning from the bottom--white, blue, yellow, green, and red, caste colors. Benches of stone, on which the members of the Council sat, rose in five monumental tiers about the walls, one tier for each of the High Castes. These tiers shared the color of that portion of the wall behind them, the caste colors.
The tier nearest the floor, which denoted some preferential status, the white tier, was occupied by Initiates, Interpreters of the Will of Priest-Kings. In order, representatives of the Scribes, Builders, Physicians, and Warriors occupied the ascending tiers, blue, yellow, green, and red."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 61

"In the center of the amphitheater was a throne of office, and on this throne, in his robe of state--a plain brown garment, the humblest cloth in the hall--sat my father, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, once Ubar, War Chieftain of the city. At his feet lay a helmet, shield, spear, and sword."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 62

In the room was a table, and on the table was a set of maps. The Older Tarl immediately went to the maps, and, calling me to his side, began to pore over them, pointing out this mark and that. '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 Ubar of all Gor.'
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 64

"In a matter of time Ko-ro-ba would be forced to match its comparative handful of tarnsmen against those of the Empire of Ar. My father, in his office as Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, had attempted to develop an alliance against Ar, but the free cities of Gor had, in their pride and suspicion, their almost fanatical commitment to protecting their own independent destinies, refused the alliance. Indeed, they had, in the fashion of Gor, driven my father's envoys from their Council Chambers with the whips normally used on slaves, an insult which, at another time, would have been answered by the War Call of Ko-ro-ba. But, as my father knew, strife among the free cities would be the very madness which Marlenus of Ar would welcome most; better even that Ko-ro-ba should suffer the indignity of being thought a city of cowards. Yet if the Home Stone of Ar, the very symbol and significance of the empire, could be removed from Ar, the spell of Marlenus might be broken. He would become a laughing-stock, suspect to his own men, a leader who had lost the Home Stone. He would be fortunate if he was not publicly impaled."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 66

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Citizenship Ceremony

"In the center of the amphitheater was a throne of office, and on this throne, in his robe of state a plain brown garment, the humblest cloth in the hall, sat my father, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, once Ubar, War Chieftain of the city. At his feet lay a helmet, shield, spear, and sword. "Come forward, Tarl Cabot," said my father, and I stood before his throne of office, feeling the eyes of everyone in the chamber on me. Behind me stood the Older Tarl. I had noted that those blue Viking eyes showed almost no evidence of the previous night. I hated him, briefly. The Older Tarl vas speaking. "I, Tarl, Swordsman of Ko-ro-ba, give my word that this man is fit to become a member of the High Caste of Warriors." Then, beginning with the lowest tier, each member of the Council spoke in succession, giving his name and pronouncing that he, too, accepted the word of the blond swordsman. When they had finished, my father invested me with the arms which had lain before the throne. About my shoulder he slung the steel sword, fastened on my left arm the round shield, placed in my right hand the spear, and slowly lowered,the helmet on my head. "Will you keep the Code of the Warrior?" asked my father. "Yes," I said, "I will keep the Code." "What is your Home Stone?" asked my father. Sensing what vas wanted, I replied, "My Home Stone is the Home Stone of Ko-ro-ba." "Is it to that city that you pledge your life, your honor, and your sword?" asked my father. "Yes," I said. "Then," said my father, placing his hands solemnly on my shoulders, "in virtue of my authority as Adminstrator of this city and in the presence of the Council of High Castes , I declare you to be a Warrior of Ko-ro-ba.
My father was smiling. I removed my helmet, feeling proud as I heard the approval of the Council, both in voice and by Gorean applause, the quick, repeated striking of the left shoulder with the palm of the right hand. Aside from candidates for the status of Warrior, none of my caste was permitted to enter the Council armed. Had they bee armed, my caste brothers in the last tier would have struck their spear blades on their shields. As it was, they smote their shoulders in the civilian manner." "Tarnsman of Gor" pages 62/3

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"The only two cities, other than Ar, which I knew that Treve did not periodically attack were mountainous Thentis, famed for its tarn flocks, and Ko-ro-ba, my own city. (...)
The cessation of attacks on Ko-ro-ba began during the time my father, Matthew Cabot, was Ubar of that city.
He organized a system of far-flung beacons, set in fortified towers, which would give the alarm when unwelcome forces entered the territory of Ko-ro-ba. At the sight of raiders one tower would set its beacons aflame, glittering by night, or dampen it with green branches by day to produce a white smoke, and this signal would be relayed from tower to tower. Thus when the tarnsmen of Treve came to the grain fields of Ko-ro-ba, which lie for the most part some pasangs from the city, toward the Vosk and Tamber Gulf, they would find her tarnsmen arrayed against them. Having come for grain and not war, the men of Treve would then turn back, and seek out the fields of a less well-defended city.
There was also a system of signals whereby the towers could communicate with one another and the city. Thus if one tower failed to report when expected the alarm bars of Ko-ro-ba would soon ring and her tarnsmen would saddle and be aflight."
"Priest-Kings of Gor" Page 62/3

"All Ko-ro-ba seemed aflame with fury.
Four caravans had fallen spoils to the fierce, swiftly striking tarnsmen of Treve. And his men had fired dozens of fields, destroying Sa-Tarna grains. The smoke of two of these fields had been visible even from the high bridges of Ko-ro-ba herself.
Ko-ro-ban tarnsmen flew at all hours, in the high sun, in the cold morning, at dusk, even when the beacon fires burned upon the lofty walls, flew patterned sorties, and irregular sorties, but never did they find the elusive, marauding band of the terrible Rask of Treve."
"Captive of Gor" Page 189/190

"The men of Skjern seldom ventured as far south, or as much inland, as Ko-ro-ba, the Towers of the Morning. Haakon, with his tarnsmen, it seemed, came in peace. They paid for their entry into the city, claiming to need supplies for ventures in trading. Their weapons, for they were a goodly number of warriors from a distant state, were surrendered at the great gate, to be returned to them upon their departure. In Ko-ro-ba the scabbards of Haakon of Skjern and his men would, by the order of the city, be empty. What was there to fear of a Haakon of Skjern with an empty scabbard?"
"Captive of Gor" Page 198

"Too, there seemed nothing menacing in the way in which Haakon spent his time in Ko-ro-ba. He seemed truly to be arranging for supplies, and his men, in their leisure, gambled and drank in the inns and taverns of the city, spending their time striking up acquaintances with men here and there, other tarnsmen, mostly men like themselves, from other cities, now, too, by coincidence within the walls of Ko-ro-ba."
"Captive of Gor" Page 199

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"The Player was a rather old man, extremely unusual on Gor, where the stabilization serums were developed centuries ago by the Caste of Physicians in Ko-ro-ba and Ar, and transmitted to the Physicians of other cities at several of the Sardar Fairs."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 29

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The Destruction of Ko-ro-ba

"My business with the Priest-Kings is simple, as are most matters of honor and blood. For some reason unbeknown to me they have destroyed my city, Ko-ro-ba, and scattered its peoples. I have been unable to learn the fate of my father, my friends, my warrior companions, and my beloved Talena, she who was the daughter of Marlenus, who had once been Ubar of Ar--my sweet, fierce, wild, gentle, savage, beautiful love, she who is my Free Companion, my Talena, forever the Ubara of my heart, she who burns forever in the sweet, lonely darkness of my dreams. Yes, I have business with the Priest-Kings of Gor.
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 14/5

“Why not simply bring me here?” I challenged. “Why destroy a city?”
“To conceal our motivation from Sarm,” said Misk.
“I don’t understand,” I said.
“Occasionally on Gor we destroy a city, selecting it by means of a random selection device. This teaches the lower orders the might of Priest-Kings and encourages them to keep our laws.”
“But what if the city has done no wrong?” I asked.
“So much the better,” said Misk, “for the Men below the Mountains are then confused and fear us even more-but the members of the Caste of Initiates, we have found, will produce an explanation of why the city was destroyed. They invent one and if it seems plausible they soon believe it.
For example, we allowed them to suppose that it was through some fault of yours--disrespect for Priest-Kings as I recall that your city was destroyed.”
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 123

"My father took me by the shoulders. “My son,” he said, “the people of Ko-ro-ba were scattered and none could be together and no stone of that city might stand upon another stone.”
“But you are here,” I said, “three men of Ko-ro-ba.”
“We met here,” said the Older Tarl, “and since it seemed the world would end we decided that we would stand together one last time—in spite of the will of Priest-Kings-that we would stand together one last time as men of Ko-ro-ba.”
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 302

"I looked at my father. “I am sorry,” I said, “that Ko-ro-ba was destroyed.” My father laughed. “Ko-ro-ba was not destroyed,” he said.
I was puzzled, for I myself had looked upon the valley of Ko-ro-ba and had seen that the city had vanished.
“Here,” said my father, reaching into a leather sack that he wore slung about his shoulder, “is Ko-ro-ba,” and he drew forth the small, flat Home Stone of the City, in which gorean custom invests the meaning, the significance, the reality of a city itself. “Ko-ro-ba cannot be destroyed, said my father, “for its Home Stone has not perished!”
My father had taken the Stone from the City before it had been destroyed. For years he had carried it on his own person.
I took the small stone in my hands and kissed it, for it was the Home Stone of the city to which I had pledged my sword, where I had ridden my first tarn, where I had met my father after an interval of more than twenty years, where I had found new friends, and to which I had taken Talena, my love, the daughter of Marlenus, once Ubar of Ar, as my Free Companion.
“And here, too, is Ko-ro-ba,” I said, pointing to the proud giant, the Older Tarl, and the tiny, sandy-haired scribe, Torm.
“Yes,” said my father, “here too is Ko-ro-ba, not only in the particles of its Home Stone, but in the hearts of its men.”
And we four men of Ko-ro-ba clasped hands."
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 304

Rebuilding Ko-ro-ba

“I understand,” said my father, “from what you have told us, that now once more a stone may stand upon a stone, that two men of Ko-ro-ba may once again stand side by side.”
“Yes,” I said, “that is true.”
My father and the Older Tarl and Torm exchanged glances. “Good,” said my father, “for we have a city to rebuild.”
“How will we find others of Ko-ro-ba?” I asked.
“The word will spread,” and my father, “and they will come in tows and threes from all corners of Gor, singing, each carrying a stone to add to the walls and cylinders of their city.”
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 304/5

"In the distance he could see the white walls, and some of the towers of the city of Ko-ro-ba, which was being rebuilt. It is an old word in Gorean, Ko-ro-ba, meaning a village market, though few considered the archaic meaning. Kuurus looked on the city. It had once been destroyed by Priest-Kings, but now it was being rebuilt. Kuurus was not much interested in such matters. His was the Caste of Assassins. He had been called to this place. In the early part of the eighth Gorean hour the distant white walls took the sun and blazed like light in the green hills. The Towers of the Morning, thought Kuurus, the Towers of the Morning."
"Assassin of Gor" page 1

"These men of Ko-ro-ba, he knew, when their city had been destroyed by Priest-Kings, had been scattered to the ends of Gor but, when permitted by Priest-Kings, they had returned to their city to rebuild it, each bearing a stone to add to its walls. It was said, in the time of troubles, that the Home Stone had not been lost, and it had not. And even Kuurus, of the Caste of Assassins, knew that a city cannot die while its Home Stone survives. Kuurus, who would think little of men on the whole, yet could not despise such men as these, these of Ko-ro-ba."
"Assassin of Gor" page 3

"As you might have surmised," said Misk, "your city is being rebuilt. Those of Ko-ro-ba have come from the corners of Gor, each singing, each bearing a stone to add to the walls. For many months, while you labored in our service in the Land of the Wagon Peoples, thousands upon thousands of those of Ko-ro-ba have returned to the city. Builders and others, all who were free, have worked upon the walls and towers. Ko-ro-ba rises again."
I knew that only those who were free would be permitted to make a city. Doubtless there were many slaves in Ko-ro-ba but they would be allowed only to serve those who raised the walls and towers. Not one stone could be placed in either wall or tower by a man or woman who was not free."
"Assassin of Gor" page 60

"We crossed the partially rebuilt walls, Elizabeth and I, and found ourselves among cylinders, many of which were in the process of reconstruction. In an instant we were surrounded by Warriors on tarnback, the guard, and I raised my hand in the sign of the city, and drew on the four-strap, taking the tarn down.
I had come home."
"Assassin of Gor" page 73

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Mathew Cabot

"A panel in the wall slid sideways, and a tall red-haired man, somewhere in his late forties, dressed much as I was, stepped through. I hadn't known what to expect, what these people would be like. This man was an earth man, apparently. He smiled at me and came forward, placing his hands on my shoulders and looking into my eyes. He said, I thought rather proudly, 'You are my son, Tarl Cabot.'"
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 24

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"It seemed that Torm was always cold or, at best, never quite warm enough. The hottest days would be likely to find him wiping his nose on the sleeve of his blue robes, shivering miserably and lamenting the price of fuel. Torm was of slight build and reminded me of an angry bird which enjoys nothing so much as scolding squirrels. His blue robes were worn through in a dozen spots, only two or three of which had been ineptly attacked by thread. One of his sandals had a broken strap that had been carelessly knotted back together. The Goreans I had seen in the past few weeks had tended to be meticulous in their dress, taking great pride in their appearance, but Torm apparently had better things on which to spend his time. Among these things, unfortunately, was berating those like myself who were hapless enough to fall within the ambit of his wrath.
Yet, in spite of his incomparable eccentricities, his petulance and exasperation, I felt drawn to the man and sensed in him something I admired--a shrewd and kind spirit, a sense of humor, and a love of learning, which can be one of the deepest and most honest of loves. It was this love for his scrolls and for the men, who had written them, perhaps centuries before, that most impressed me about Torm. In his way, he linked this moment, himself, and me with generations of men who had pondered on the world and its meaning. Incredible as it may seem, I did not doubt that he was the finest scholar in the City of Cylinders, as my father had said."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 37/8

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Old Tarl

'He's fast enough,' said the man who had cast the spear. 'I shall accept him.' This was my introduction to my instructor in arms, whose name was also Tarl. I shall call him the Older Tarl. He was a blond Viking giant of a man, a bearded fellow with a cheerful, craggy face and fierce blue eyes, who strode about as though he owned the earth on which he stood. His whole body, his carriage, the holding of his head bespoke the warrior, a man who knew his weapons and, on the simple world of Gor, knew that he could kill almost any man who might stand against him. If there was one outstanding impression I gathered of the Older Tarl in that first terrifying meeting, it was that he was a proud man, not arrogant, but proud, and rightfully so. I would come to know this skilled, powerful, proud man well."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 46/7

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Life in Ko-ro-ba

'He was a Ubar of Ubars,' she said. She hesitated for a moment. 'The life of a Ubar is uncertain.' She gazed thoughtfully at the grass. 'He must have known it would happen sometime.'
'Did he speak to you about it?' I asked.
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."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 114

"I remember the days in Ko-ro-ba fondly, though there were certain problems.
Or perhaps one should say, simply, there was Elizabeth. Elizabeth, besides speaking boldly out on a large number of delicate civic, social and political issues, usually not regarded as the Province of the fairer sex, categorically refused to wear the cumbersome Robes of Concealment traditionally expected of the free woman. She still wore the brief, exciting leather of a Tuchuk wagon girl and, when striding the high bridges, her hair in the wind, she attracted much attention, not only, obviously, from the men, but from women, both slave and free. (...)
I do not know whether or not Elizabeth's continued presence in Ko-ro-ba would have initiated a revolution among the city's free women or not. Surely there had been scandalized mention of her in circles even as august as that of the High Council of the City. My own father, Administrator of the City, seemed unnerved by her."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 73/7

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Free Women and Castes

"I had seen few women, but knew that they, when free, were promoted or demoted within the caste system according to the same standards and criteria as the men, although this varied, I was told, considerably from city to city."
"Tarnsman of Gor" Page 44

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Free Companionship

"Talena looked into my eyes. "What will you do with me?" she asked. "I will take you to Ko-ro-ba," I said, "to my city" "As your slave?" she smiled. "If you will have me," I said, "as my Free Companion." "I accept, Tarl of Ko-ro-ba by," said Talena with love in her eyes. "I accept you as my Free Companion." "If you did not." I laughed, "I would throw you across my saddle and carry you to Ko-ro-ba by force."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 213

"She laughed as I swept her from her feet and lifted her to the saddle of my giant tarn. In the saddle, her arms were around my neck, her lips on mine. "Are you a true warrior?" she asked, her eyes bright with mischief, testing me, her voice breathless. "We shall see," I laughed. Then, in accord with the rude bridal customs of Gor, as she furiously but playfully struggled, as she squirmed and protested and pretended to resist, I bound her bodily across the saddle of the tarn. Her wrists and ankles were secured, and she lay before me, arched over the saddle, helpless, a captive, but of love and her own free will. The warriors laughed, Marlenus the loudest. "It seems I belong to you, bold Tarnsman," she said. "What are you going to do with me?" In answer, I hauled on the one-strap, and the great bird rose into the air, higher and higher, even into the clouds, and she cried to me, "Let it be now, Tarl," and even before we had passed the outermost ramparts of Ar, I had untied her ankles and flung her single garment to the streets below, to show her people what had been the fate of the daughter of their Ubar."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 213

"When I returned to Ko-ro-ba with Talena, a great feast was held and we celebrated our Free Companionship. A holiday was declared, and the city was ablaze with light and song. Shimmering strings of bells pealed in the wind, and festive lanterns of a thousand colours swung from the innumerable flower-strewn bridges. There was shouting and laughter, and the glorious colours of the castes of Gor mingled equally in the cylinders. Gone for the night was even the distinction of master and slave, and many a wretch in bondage would see the dawn as a free man. To my delight, even Torm , of the Caste of Scribes, appeared at the tables. I was honoured that the little scribe had separated himself from his beloved scrolls long enough to share my happiness, only that of a warrior. He was wearing a new robe and sandals, perhaps for the first time in m years. He clasped my hands, and, to my wonder, the little scribe was crying. And then in his joy, he turned to Talena and in gracious salute lifted the symbolic cup of Ka-la-na wine to her beauty."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 349

"Talena and I swore to honour that day as long as either of us lived. I have tried to keep that promise, and I know that she has done so as well. That night, that glorious night, was a night of flowers, torches, and Ka-la-na wine, and late, after sweet hours of love, we fell asleep in each other's arms."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 349

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The Pens

"Moreover, it was his intention to have his girls receive some training, probably in the pens of Ko-ro-ba, before taking them southeast to Ar."
"Captive of Gor" Page 60

"I stood to one side. My hand went to my right ear. “Do not touch your ear, Slave,” snapped the leather worker.
“No, Master,” I said.
“Stand against the wall, El-in-or,” said Targo.
“Yes, Master,” I said, and went to the side of the large slave room in the public pens of Ko-ro-ba."
"Captive of Gor" Page 158

"In private pens of Ko-ro-ba, where we were taken daily for training, we were taught to wear the garment. A master might require it of us. It is said that only a man knows how to tie a Turian camisk on a girl properly. There are many such saying on Gor."
"Captive of Gor" Page 160

"I hoped that we would have a good lunch. The food was better in the private pens, where we were trained, than in the public pens of Ko-ro-ba, areas of which were available for rent to passing slavers, where we were housed at night. In the public pens, state slaves are kept as well as the merchandise of slave caravans passing through the city. A master of the city, of course, who might be leaving the city temporarily, could also rent space in the public pens, to board his slaves, there. Most masters, however, if inclined to board their slaves, would do so at the private pens, where the food and facilities were better. Another reason for a master to board a slave at the private pens, of course, is that she might, while there, be given training, or further training, that she might be more delicious slave to him upon his return. Indeed, even if a master does not leave the city, it is not unknown for him to send a girl to the private pens, that her value to him, and to others, if she be sold, might be improved. Girls, incidentally, do not care to be boarded. Life in the pens, intentionally, is made hard. When released from the pens, a girl is almost always desperately eager to please her master, that she not be returned to them, for further training."
"Captive of Gor" Page 162

"We trained during the day, commonly in private facilities, under the tutelage of pleasure slaves, but in the evening we would be returned to the long tiers of cages in the public pens. These cages are heavily barred, and the bars are rather, irritatingly, widely set, but we cannot squeeze between them. The cages are strong enough to hold men, which, doubtless, sometimes they do. Straw is spread on the metal plating which is the floor. There are four girls to a cage. I shared mine with Ute, Inge and Lana. We are supposed to keep our own cage clean, but Lana and I let Inge and Ute do this work. We are too valuable to do such work.
I did not care particularly for the wooden bowls of stew and bread we commonly had at the public pens, but I was hungry and ready to eat even such, and with enthusiasm. In vegetables and fruits, and, if our group had trained, acceptably, after the evening meal, before being returned, hooded, to the public pens, we would be given candies or pastries, or, sometimes, a swallow of Ka-la-na wine. Once Inge had broken down in training, and wept, and we had been denied our little delicacies. When we reached the cage at the public pens Lana and I had beaten her, preventing Ute from interfering.
"Captive of Gor" Page 162/3

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"The female state slave of Ar wears a brief, gray slave livery, with matching gray collar, Save for the color it is identical with most common slave livery. About her left ankle is normally locked a gray steel band, to which five simple bells of gray metal, are attached. Many years ago, in Ar and Ko-ro-ba, and several of the other northern cities, the common slave livery had been white but diagonally striped, in one color or another; gradually over the years this style had changed; the standard livery was also, now, commonly, slashed to the waist; as before, it remained sleeveless; these matters, as generally in the cut of robes and style of tunics, undergo the transitions of fashion."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 393

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A Funeral

"The logs had been prepared and carefully placed. There were hundreds of them, trimmed and squared, mostly of Ka-la-na wood, from the sweet-smelling wine trees of Gor. They crossed one another in the intricate traditional patterns, spaces between to permit the rush of air, forming a carefully structured, tiered, truncated pyramid.
Kuurus observed, curious as the last log was placed by two men in the red of Warriors.
Then free women, veiled and in Robes of Concealment, each carrying a jar or canister, approached the structure. Even from where Kuurus waited he could smell the perfumed oils, the unguents and spices, which the women, climbing and moving about the pyramid slowly, as though on stairs, sprinkled about or poured over the wood.
Beyond the wood, toward the City, Kuurus could see the procession. He was surprised for, judging from the colors of the garments of those who marched, it contained men of many castes, perhaps all castes of the city, only that he did not see among them the white of the Caste of Initiates. That puzzled Kuurus, for normally men of the Initiates are prominent in such events. (...)
The procession did not chant, nor sing, for this was not a time for such things, nor did it carry boughs of Ka-la-na, nor were the sounds of the sista or tambor heard in the sunlight that morning. At such a time as this Goreans do not sing nor speak. They are silent, for at such a time words mean nothing, and would demean or insult; in such a time there can be for Goreans only silence, memory and fire.
The procession was, led by four Warriors, who supported on their shoulders a framework of crossed spears, lashed together, on which, wrapped in the scarlet leather of a tarnsman, lay the body.
Kuurus watched, unmoved, as the four Warriors carried their scarlet burden to the height of the huge, sweet-smelling, oil-impregnated pyre.
Averting their eyes the Warriors threw back the scarlet leather that the body might lie free on the spears, open to the wind and sun.
He was a large man, Kuurus noted, in the leather of a Warrior. The hair, he remarked, was unusual.
The procession and those who had been earlier at the pyre now stood back from it, some fifty yards or so, for the oil-impregnated wood will take the torch quickly and fiercely. There were three who stood near the pyre; one wore the brown robes of the Administrator of a City, the humblest robes in the city, and was hooded; another wore the blue of the Caste of Scribes, a small man, almost tiny, bent now with pain and grief; the last was a very large man, broad of back and shoulder, bearded and with long blond hair, a Warrior; yet even the Warrior seemed in that moment shaken.
Kuurus saw the torch lit and then, with a cry of pain, thrown by the Warrior onto the small mountain of oiled wood. The wood leaped suddenly alive with a blaze that was almost a burst of fire and the three men staggered backward, their forearms thrown across their eyes. (...)
The men and women of Ko-ro-ba stood circled about the pyre, neither moving nor speaking, for better than two Ahn. After about half an Ahn the pyre, still fearful with heat and light, had collapsed with a roar, forming a great, fiercely burning mound of oil-soaked wood. At last, when the wood burned only here and there, and what had been the pyre was mostly ashes and glowing wood, the men of a dozen castes, each carrying a jar of chilled wine, moved about, pouring the wine over the fire, quenching it. Other men sought in the ashes for what might be found of the Warrior. Some bones and some whitish ash they gathered in white linen and placed in an urn of red and yellow glass. Kuurus knew that such an urn would be decorated, probably, since the man had been a Warrior, with scenes of the hunt and war. The urn was given to him who wore the robes of the Administrator of the City, who took it and slowly, on foot, withdrew toward Ko-ro-ba, followed by the large blond Warrior and the small Scribe. The ashes, Kuurus judged, since the body had been wrapped in the scarlet leather of a tarnsman, would be scattered from tarnback, perhaps over distant Thassa, the sea."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 3/4

Bread, Salt and Fire

"It is hard to know what would be fitting payment for the great services rendered by Gladius of Cos, in my cause."
I said nothing.
"Or for the great services rendered by Tarl of Ko-ro-ba, in the songs called Tarl of Bristol."
It was true. Marlenus, and Ar, owed me much, though I wished little.
"Therefore," said Marlenus, "prepare to receive your dues."
I stood before him, and looked into the eyes of Marlenus, that larl among men, Ubar of Ar, he, Ubar of Ubars.
Those fierce eyes in that mighty face regarded me.
To my astonishment bread, and salt, and a small, flaming brand were brought to him.
There were shouts of dismay from those assembled.
I could not believe my eyes.
Marlenus took the bread and broke it apart in his large hands. "You are refused bread," said Marlenus, placing the bread back on the tray.
There were shouts of astonishment in the court.
Marlenus had taken the salt, lifted it from the tray, and replaced it. "You are refused salt," he said.
"No!" came the shouts from hundreds of voices. "No!"
Marlenus then, looking at me, took the small brand of fire in his hand. There was a leaf of fire, bright yellow, at its tip. He thrust the brand into the salt, extinguishing it. "You are refused fire," he said.
There was silence in the court of the Ubar.
"You are herewith, by edict of the Ubar," said Marlenus, "commanded from the city of Ar, to depart before sundown of this day, not to return on pain of penalty of torture and impalement."
Those assembled could not believe their ears or eyes. "Where is the girl, Vella?" I asked.
"Depart from my presence," decreed Marlenus.
My hand was at the hilt of my sword. I did not draw my weapon, but my mere gesture had caused a hundred swords to leap from the sheath.
I turned, the room seeming to swirl about me, black and startling, and, scarcely feeling the tiles beneath my feet, departed from the court of the Ubar."
"Assassin of Gor" Page 404/5

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