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THE PLANET GOR
           Gor    The Counter Earth    The Shield Theory    The Priest-Kings    The Kurii   
           A New World    Gravity    Population    Technology   

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THE PLANET GOR

"It was a world of which Homer might have sung, singing of the clashing of the metals of men and the sweetness of the wine-dark sea."
"Fighting Slave of Gor" Page 89 Gor

"'Gor,' he said, 'is the name of this world. In all the languages of this planet, the word means Home Stone.' He paused, noting my lack of comprehension. 'Home Stone,' he repeated. 'Simply that.'"
"Tarnman of Gor" page 26

"'It is the occasional dream of a conqueror or statesman,' he said, 'to have but a single Supreme Home Stone for the planet.' Then, after a long moment, not looking at me, he said, 'It is rumored that there is such a stone, but it lies in the Sacred Place and is the source of the Priest-Kings' power.'"
"Tarnman of Gor" page 28

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The Counter Earth

"As he spoke, my father often referred to the planet Gor as the Counter-Earth, taking the name from the writings of the Pythagorean who had first speculated on the existence of such a body. Oddly enough, one of the expressions in the tongue of Gor for our sun was Lar-Torvis, which means The Central Fire, another Pythagorean expression, except that it had not been, as I understand it, originally used by the Pythagorean to refer to the sun but to another body. The more common expression for the sun was Tor-tu-Gor, which means Light Upon the Home Stone."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 28

"My father then spoke to me of the world on which I found myself. He said, from what he could learn from the Initiates, who claimed to serve as the intermediaries of Priest-Kings to men, that the planet Gor had originally been a satellite of a distant sun, in one of the fantastically remote Blue Galaxies. It was moved by the science of the Priest-Kings several times in its history, seeking again and again a new star."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 32

"But surely," I protested, "its existence could be discovered. One can't hide a planet the size of the Earth in our own solar system! It's impossible!"
"You underestimate the Priest-Kings and their science," said my father, smiling.
"Any power that is capable of moving a planet--and I believe the Priest-Kings possess this power--is capable of effecting adjustments in the motion of the planet, such adjustments as might allow it to use the sun indefinitely as a concealing shield."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 33

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The Shield Theory

"There was another possibility I mentioned to my father--perhaps the planet had been in our system all the time, but had been undiscovered, unlikely though that might be, given the thousands of years of study of the skies by men, from the shambling creatures of the Neander Valley to the brilliant intellects of Mount Wilson and Palomar. To my surprise, this absurd hypothesis was welcomed by my father.
"That," he said with animation, "is the Theory of the Sun Shield." He added, "That is why I like to think of the planet as the Counter-Earth, not only because of its resemblance to our native world, but because, as a matter of fact, it is placed as a counterpoise to the Earth. It has the same plane of orbit and maintains its orbit in such a way as always to keep The Central Fire between it and its planetary sister, our Earth, even though this necessitates occasional adjustments in its speed of revolution."
"But surely," I protested, 'its existence could be discovered. One can't hide a planet the size of the Earth in our own solar system! It's impossible!"
"You underestimate the Priest-Kings and their science," said my father, smiling. "Any power that is capable of moving a planet--and I believe the Priest-Kings possess this power--is capable of effecting adjustments in the motion of the planet, such adjustments as might allow it to use the sun indefinitely as a concealing shield."
"The orbits of the other planets would be affected," I pointed out.
"Gravitational perturbations," said my father, "can be neutralized." His eyes shone. "It is my belief," he said, "that the Priest-Kings can control the forces of gravity, at least in localized areas, and, indeed, that they do so. In all probability their control over the motion of the planet is somehow connected with this capacity. Consider certain consequences of this power. Physical evidence, such as light or radio waves, which might reveal the presence of the planet, can be prevented from doing so. The Priest-Kings might gravitationally warp the space in their vicinity, causing light or radio waves to be diffused, curved, or deflected in such a way as not to expose their world."
I must have appeared unconvinced.
"Exploratory satellites can be similarly dealt with," added my father. He paused. "Of course, I only propose hypotheses, for what the Priest-Kings do and how it is done is known only to them."
I drained the last sip of the heady wine in the metal goblet.
"Actually," said my father, "there is evidence of the existence of the Counter-Earth."
I looked at him.
"Certain natural signals in the radio band of the spectrum," said my father.
My astonishment must have been obvious.
"Yes," he said, "but since the hypothesis of another world is regarded as so incredible, this evidence has been interpreted to accord with other theories; sometimes even imperfections in instrumentation have been supposed rather than admit the presence of another world in our solar system."
"But why would this evidence not be understood?" I asked.
"Surely you know," he laughed, "one must distinguish between the data to be interpreted and the interpretation of the data, and one chooses, normally, the interpretation that preserves as much as possible of the old world view, and, in the thinking of the Earth, there is no place for Gor, its true sister planet, the Counter-Earth."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 33/5

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The Priest-Kings

"Who are the Priest-Kings?" I asked.
My father faced me, and he seemed troubled, as if he might have said more than he intended. Neither of us spoke for perhaps a minute.
"Yes," said my father at last, "I must speak to you of Priest-Kings." He smiled.
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 28

""The Priest-Kings," said my father, "maintain the Sacred Place in the Sardar Mountains, a wild vastness into which no man penetrates. The Sacred Place, to the minds of most men here, is taboo, perilous. Surely none have returned from those mountains.""
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 29/30

"My father then explained to me something of the legends of the Priest-Kings, and I gathered that they seemed to be true to this degree at least--that the Priest-Kings could destroy or control whatever they wished, that they were, in effect, the divinities of this world. It was supposed that they were aware of all that transpired on their planet, but, if so, I was informed that they seemed, on the whole, to take little note of it.
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 30

"My speculation, however," said my father, "is that the Priest-Kings are indeed men--men much as we, or humanoid organisms of some type--who possess a science and technology as far beyond our normal ken as that of our own twentieth century would be to the alchemists and astrologers of the medieval universities."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 29

"I myself was hatched," said Misk, "before we brought our world into your solar system." He looked down at me. "That was more than two million years ago," he said."
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 118

"Indeed, it is through the control of gravity that the Priest-Kings had, long ago, brought their world into our system, an engineering feat that might have been otherwise impossible without perhaps the draining of the gleaming Thassa itself for its hydrogen nuclei."
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 241

"We keep in touch with the earth," said Misk, "for it might, in time, become a threat to us and then we would have to limit it, or destroy it or leave the solar system."
"Which will you do?" I asked.
"None, I suspect," said Misk. "According to our calculations, which may of course be mistaken, life as you know it on the earth will destroy itself within the next thousand years."
I shook my head sadly.
"As I said," went on Misk, "man is sub rational. Consider what would happen if we allowed him free technological development on our world."
I nodded. I could see that from the Priest-Kings' point of view it would be more dangerous than handing out automatic weapons to chimpanzees and gorillas. Man had not proved himself worthy of a superior technology to the Priest-Kings. I mused that man had not proved himself worthy of such a technology even to himself.
"Indeed," said Misk, "it was partly because of this tendency that we brought man to the Counter-Earth, for he is an interesting species and it would be sad to us if he disappeared from the universe."
"I suppose we are to be grateful," I said.
"No," said Misk, "we have similarly brought various species to the Counter-Earth, from other locations.""
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 125

"From Sarm's point of view of course your utilization there was simply to curtail the spread of the Empire of Ar, for we prefer humans to dwell in isolated communities. It is better for observing their variations, from the scientific point of view, and it is safer for us if they remain disunited, for being rational they might develop a science, and being sub rational it might be dangerous for us and for themselves if they did so."
"That is the reason then for your limitations of their weaponry and technology?"
"Of course," said Misk."
"Priest-Kings of Gor" page 123/4

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The Kurii

"We know little about that species called the Kur. We do know it is blood - thirsty, that it feeds on human flesh and that it is concerned with glory. "It is not unlike men," had once said Misk to me, a PriestKing. This story, in its way, has no clear beginning. It began, I suppose, some thousands of years ago when Kurii, in internecine wars, destroyed the viability of a native world. Their state at that time was sufficiently advanced technologically to construct small steel worlds in orbit, each some pasangs in diameter. The remnants of a shattered species then, as a world burned below them, turned hunting to the plains of the stars. We do not know how long their hunt took. But we do know the worlds, long ago, entered the system of a slow revolving, medium-sized yellow star occupying a peripheral position in one' of nature's bounteous, gleaming, strewn spiral universes. They had found a quarry, a world.
They had found two worlds, one spoken of as Earth, the other as Gor."
"Beasts of Gor" page 1

"The Priest-kings, for thousands of years, had defended the system of the yellow star against the depredations of the prowling Kurii. Fortunes had shifted perhaps dozens of times, but never had the Kurii managed to establish a beachhead on the shores of this beautiful world. But some years ago, in the time of the Nest War, the power of the Priest-Kings was considerably reduced. I do not think the Kurii are certain of this, or of the extent of the reduction. I think if they knew the truth in these matters the code words would flash between the steel worlds, the ports would open, and the ships would nose forth, turning toward Gor. But the Kur, like the shark and sleen, is a cautious beast. He prowls, he tests the wind, and then, when he is certain, he makes his strike."
"Beasts of Gor" page 1

"Kurii, as I have indicated, are rational animals. The strategies seemed elementary, but sound. The full extent of the strategy, however, I suspected, was known only on the steel worlds, the steel worlds in space on which it had doubtless been constructed and from which, perhaps, it might be conducted. If Kurii native to Gor could, within the laws of Priest-Kings, not violating technology restrictions, much advance the Kurii cause on the planet, those on the ships had little to lose and much to gain. It was even possible that Priest-Kings, a usually consistent form of life, might permit the Kurii conquest of Gor rather than surrender their accustomed neutrality. I could imagine the words on Misk’s translator, one after the other, ticked off mechanically, “We have given our word.” But if Priest-Kings, eventually, should halt the invasion, that, too, might be of interest to the Kurii of the steel ships, remote, prowling outside the fifth ring, that of the planet on Earth called Jupiter, that on Gor called Hersius, after one of Ar’s legendary heroes. Not only would the decision to halt the invasion be in violation of the practices and commitments of Priest-Kings, which would doubtless create dissension in the Nest, producing a leverage the Kurii might be able to exploit, but, if the invasion were halted, it being a large movement, complex, its termination might provide useful data on the nature and disposition of the powers of the Priest-Kings. It might provide the equivalent of drawing a sniper’s fire, using a dupe or fool to do so, in order to ascertain his position. In the Nest War, when the Priest-Kings had been locked in internecine warfare, their powers had been severely reduced and disrupted. The Nest itself had been severely damaged. I knew that ships of Priest-Kings flew, but I knew little of their numbers, or power, or of the retained power in general of the delicate, tall, golden masters of Gor. I thought it quite likely that they would be unable to resist a full-scale invasion. Probes, I had learned from Misk, had become increasingly frequent. Slave raids on Earth, I recalled, had become a matter of course, routine. These were small matters in the scope of planetary politics but were indicative. In just the past few days we had encountered, even in far Torvaldsland, two Earth females, suitably collared, Peggy Stevens of Connecticut, Honey Cake, and the girl, Leah, of Canada. The movements of Kurii and their allies were becoming bolder. Their boldest move had begun most recently, the gathering of the Gorean Kurii, the initiation of the march to the south, the incursion into lands of human habitation, the beginning of the invasion from the north. This was the boldest and most fearful probe of the Kurii of the ships, directed toward humans but doubtless, in fact, a testing of the will and nature of Priest-Kings their true foes. If Priest-Kings permitted the conquest of Gor, perhaps over a generation or two, by Kurii, they would have lost the security of their own base; they would become an island in the midst of a hostile sea; it would then be a matter of time until the end, until adequate weaponry could be smuggled to Gor, or built upon it, to destroy them. This would now be no simple matter of policing primitive weapons, crude attempts at the art of gunnery or explosives, but of protecting themselves against perfected weapons of great technological power. Sooner or later, if Gor fell to native Kurii, those of the ships would destroy the denizens of the Sardar. Earth, too, then, would inevitably fall. Earth was so proud. It had managed to put a handful of men, for a few hours, on the surface of its moon. The Kurii, for more than twenty thousand years at least, had possessed deep-space capability."
"Marauders of Gor" page 216/7

"The Kuriu, I gathered, did not wish to fight their way to more fertile lands south, but to reach them easily, thus conserving their numbers and, in effect, cutting Torvaldsland from the south. There was little to be gained by fighting an action the length of Torvaldsland, and little to be lost by not doing so, which could not be later recouped when power in the south had been consolidated. I had strong doubts, of course, as to whether a Kur invasion of the south was practical, unless abetted by the strikes of Kur ships from the steel worlds. The point of the probe, indeed, might be to push Kur power as far south as possible, and, perhaps, too, for the first time, result in the engagement of the forces of Priest-Kings to turn them back. This would permit an assessment of the power of Priest-Kings, the extent and nature of which was largely unknown to the Kurii, and, perhaps, to lure them into exposing themselves in such a way that a space raid might be successfully launched. All in all, I expected the invasion of the south was, at this point, primarily a probe. If it was successful, the Priest-Kings, to preserve men on the planet might be forced to intervene, thus breaking their own laws. If the Priest-Kings did not do this, perhaps for reasons of pride, their laws having been given, then, in effect, Gor might become a Kur world, in which, given local allies, the Priest-Kings might finally be isolated and destroyed. This was, to my knowledge, the boldest and most dangerous move of the Others, the Kurii, to this date. It utilized large forces on Gor itself, largely native Kurii in its schemes. Kurii from the ships, of course, as organizers, as officers, might be among them. And doubtless there would be communication with the ships, somehow. This march might be the first step in an invasion, to culminate with the beaching of silver ships, in their thousands, raiders from the stars, on the shores of Gor. It was possible, of course, that the Kurii would attack Torvaldsland when well within it, without large forces marshaled against them. Once within the country, before an army could be massed against them, they might cut it to pieces, farm by farm."
"Marauders of Gor" page 176

"The great plan of the Others, of the Kurii of the steel worlds, their most profound and brilliant probe of the defenses of Priest-Kings, had failed. Native Kurii, bred from ship’s survivors over centuries, would not, it seemed, if limited to the primitive weapons permitted men, be capable of conquering Gor, isolating the Priest-Kings in the Sardar, until they could be destroyed, or, alternatively, be used to lure the Priest-Kings into a position where they would be forced to betray their own weapons laws, arming men, which would be dangerous, or utilizing their own significant technology, thereby, perhaps, revealing the nature, location and extent oftheir power, information that might then be exploited at a later date by the strategists of the steel worlds. The plan had been brilliant, though careless of the value, if any, placed on Kurii life. I supposed native Kurii did not command the respect of the educated, trained Kurii of the ships. They were regarded, perhaps, as a different, lesser, or inferior breed, expendable in the strategems of their betters. The failure of the Kurii invasion, of course, moved the struggle to a new dimension. I wondered what plans now, alternate plans doubtless formed years or centuries ago, would now be implemented. Perhaps, already, such plans were afoot. I looked at the ragged line of defeated, shackled Kurii. They had failed. But already, I suspected, Kurii, fresh, brilliant, calculating, masters in the steel worlds, in their command rooms, their map rooms and strategy rooms, were, even before the ashes in this remote valley in the north had cooled, engaged in the issuance of orders. I looked about at the field of battle, under the cloudy sky. New coded instructions, doubtless, had already been exchanged among the distant steel worlds. The Kur is a tenacious beast. It seems well equipped by its remote, savage evolution to be a dominant life form. Ivar Forkbeard and Svein Blue Tooth might congratulate themselves on their victory. I, myself, more familiar with Kurii, with the secret wars of Priest-Kings, suspected that men had not yet heard the last of such beasts."
"Marauders of Gor" page 267/8

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A New World

"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.
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. Wondering at my predicament, I turned back to the table. I strode over to it and nearly bruised my thigh on the stone structure. I felt for a moment as though I must have stumbled, have been dizzy. I walked around the room. I leaped to the top of the table almost as I would have climbed a stair in the alumni house. It was different, a different movement. Less gravity. It had to be. The planet, then, was smaller than our earth, and, given the apparent size of the sun, perhaps somewhat closer to it."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 23

"I looked up and saw the three moons of Gor, the large moon and the two small ones, one of the latter called the Prison Moon, for no reason I understood."
"Assassin of Gor" page 170

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Gravity

"It was somewhat heavier in its Southern Hemisphere and was shaped somewhat like the Earth - like a rounded, inverted top. The angle of its axis was somewhat sharper than the Earth's, but not enough to prevent its having a glorious periodicity of seasons. Moreover, like the Earth, it had two Polar Regions and an equatorial belt, interspersed with northern and southern temperate zones. Much of the area of Gor, surprisingly enough was blank on the map, but I was overwhelmed trying to commit as many of the rivers, seas, plains, and peninsulas to memory as I could."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 43

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Population

"The ancestors of some of them might have been Chaldeans or Celts or Syrians or Englishmen brought to this world over a period of centuries from different civilizations. But the children…and their children eventually became simply Gorean."
"Tarnman of Gor" page 45

"It was an English name, but such are not unknown on Gor, having been passed down, perhaps, for more than a thousand years, the name of an ancestor, perhaps brought to Gor by Priest-Kings in what might have been the early Middle Ages of Earth. I knew the Voyages of Acquisition were of even much greater antiquity."
"Nomads of Gor" page 67/8

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Technology

"There is at least one area, however," said my father, "in which the Priest-Kings do take a most active interest in this world, and that is the area of technology. They limit, selectively, the technology available to us, the Men Below the Mountains. For example, incredibly enough, weapon technology is controlled to the point where the most powerful devices of war are the crossbow and lance. Further, there is no mechanized transportation or communication equipment or detection devices such as the radar and sonar equipment so much in evidence in the military establishments of your world.
"On the other hand," he said, "you will learn that in lighting, shelter, agricultural techniques, and medicine, for example, the Mortals, or the Men Below the Mountains, are relatively advanced."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 31

"I would have supposed that armor, or chain mail perhaps, would have been a desirable addition to the accoutrements of the Gorean warrior, but it had been forbidden by the Priest-Kings. A possible hypothesis to explain this is that the Priest-Kings may have wished war to be a biologically selective process in which the weaker and slower perish and fail to reproduce themselves. This might account for the relatively primitive weapons allowed to the Men Below the Mountains. On Gor it was not the case that a cavern-chested toothpick could close a switch and devastate an army. Also, the primitive weapons guaranteed that what selection went on would proceed with sufficient slowness to establish its direction, and alter it, if necessary."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 48

"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. Age, on Gor, interestingly, was regarded, and still is, by the caste of Physicians as a disease, not an inevitable natural phenomenon. the fact that it seemed a universal disease did not dissuade the caste from considering how it might be combated. Accordingly the work of centuries was turned to this end. Many other diseases, which presumably flourished centuries ago on Gor, tended to be neglected, as less dangerous and less universal then that of aging. A result tended to be that those less susceptible lived on, propagating their kind.
At any rate disease is now almost unknown among the gorean cities, with the exception of the dreaded Dar-Kosis disease or the holy disease, research upon which is generally frowned upon by the caste of initiates who insist the disease is a visitation of the displeasure of the Priest-Kings on its recipients.
I also think that the Gorean success in combating aging may be partly do to the severe limitations on the technology of the human beings on the planet. Priest-Kings have no wish that men become powerful enough on Gor to challenge them for the supremacy of the planet. they believe, perhaps correctly, that man is a shrewish animal which, if it had the power, would be likely to fear Priest-Kings and attempt to exterminate then. Be that as it may , the Priest-Kings have limited man severely on this planet in many respects, notably in weaponry, communication and transportation. On the other hand, the brilliance which men might have turned into destructive channels was then diverted, almost of necessity, to other fields, most notably medicine, though considerable achievements have been accomplished in the production of translation devices, illumination, and architecture."
"Assassin of Gor" page 30

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