Rence Growers
           Tax Collectors    Signals
           The Vosk Delta    The Marshes    Port Kar
Rence Islands
Free Men
Free Women
           Rence    Rence Paper    Fishing and Hunting    Trade
Culture and Traditions
           Festival    The Free Women Dance    Food and Drinks
           Tarl's Influence
           gant    Domestic Gant    Leech    Moccasin
           Turtle    Needle fly    Quala    Shark    Domestic Tarsk
           Thalarion    Ul    Vosk Carp     Zarlit Fly


"The rence growers, in spite of the value of their product, and the value of the articles taken in exchange for it, and the protection of the marshes, and the rence and fish which give them ample substenance, do not have an easy life. Not only must they fear the march sharks and the carnivorous eels which frequent the lower delta, not to mention the various species of aggressive water tharlarion and the winged, monstrous, hissing, predatory Ul, but they must fear, perhaps most of all, men, and of these, most of all, the men of Port Kar."
"Raiders of Gor" page 8

Tax Collectors

"As I have mentioned, Port Kar claims the suzerainty of the delta. Accordingly, frequently, bands of armed men, maintaining allegiance to on or the other of the warring, rival Ubars of Port Kar, enter the delta to, as they say, collect taxes. The tributes exacted, when the small communities can be found, are customarily harsh, often whatever of value can be found; typically what is demanded is great stocks of rence paper for trade, sons for oarsmen in cargo galleys, daughters for Pleasure Slaves in the taverns of the city."
"Raiders of Gor" page 8/9

"I had heard there had not been general hostilities among rence growers for more than fifty years; their communities are normally isolated from one another, and they have enough to worry about contending with “tax collectors” from Port Kar, without bothering to give much attention to making life miserable form one another."
"Raiders of Gor" page 14


"At one point the girl stopped the craft, and the others did too. She, and one or two of the others, then put back their heads and uttered a kind of piping whistle, the call of the marsh gant. This answered from various points about us, most of which were several yards away. Soon other rence craft, with their curved prows and sterns, had joined us. The rence growers, I had learned, communicate by means of such signals, disguised as the cries of marsh gants."
"Raiders of Gor" page 13


The Vosk Delta

"On river barges, for hundreds of pasangs, I had made my way down the Vosk, but where the mighty Vosk began to break apart and spread into its hundreds of shallow, constantly shifting channels, becoming lost in the vast tidal marshes of its delta, moving toward gleaming Thassa, the Sea, I had abandoned the barges, purchasing from rence growers on the eastern periphery of the delta supplies and the small rush craft which I now propelled through the rushes and sedge, the wild rence plants."
"Raiders of Gor" page 5

"No one had been found who would guide me into the delta of the Vosk. The bargemen of the Vosk will not take their wide, broad-bottomed craft into the delta. The channels of the Vosk, to be sure, shift from season to season, and the delta is often little more than a trackless marsh, literally hundreds of square pasangs of estuarial wilderness. In many places it is too shallow to float even the great flat-bottomed barges and, more importantly, a path for them would have to be cut and chopped, foot by foot, through the thickets of rush and sedge, and the tangles of marsh vine. The most important reason for not finding a guide, of course, even among the eastern rence growers, is that the delta is claimed by Port Kar, which lies within it, some hundred pasangs from its northwestern edge, bordering on the shallow Tamber gulf, beyond which is gleaming Thassa, the Sea."
"Raiders of Gor" page 5/6

"Never has a slave girl escaped from canaled Port Kar, protected on one side by the interminable, rush-grown delta of the Vosk, on the other by the broad tides of the Tamber Gulf, and beyond it, the vast, blue, gleaming, perilous Thassa."
"Assassin of Gor" page 305

"The Vosk is a mighty river which flows westward, emptying into a vast rence delta, finding its way eventually to Thassa, the sea." "
"Slave Girl of Gor" page 248

The Marshes

"The channels of the Vosk, to be sure, shift from season to season, and the delta is often little more than a trackless marsh, literally hundreds of square pasangs of estuarial wilderness. In many places it is too shallow to float even the great flat-bottomed barges and, more importantly, a path for them would have to be cut and chopped, foot by foot, through the thickets of rush and sedge, and the tangles of marsh vine."
"Raiders of Gor" page 5

"I was not particularly surprised at finding a bit of rep-cloth tied on the rence plant, for the delta is inhabited. Man has not surrendered it entirely to the tharlarion, the Ul and the salt leach. There are scattered, almost invisible, furtive communites of rence growers who make out their livelihood in the delta, nominally under the surzerainty of Port Kar. The cloth I found had probably been a trail mark for some rence growers."
"Raiders of Gor" page 6

"Then I stopped short, for tied to a rence plant before me now was a sheaf of red cloth. I then knew that the two pieces of cloth I had encountered earlier had not been simple trail marks but boundary signs, warnings. I had come into an area of the delta where I was not welcome, into a territory that must be claimed by some small community, doubless of rence growers."
"Raiders of Gor" page 8

"Instantly there was a great cry from all sides, and, breaking through the rushes and sedge, dozens of rence craft, bound with marsh vine, thrust into view, each poled by one man, with another in the prow, a two- or three-pronged marsh spear uplifted. It was pointless to unsheath my sword, or to take up a weapon. From the safety of the yards of marsh water separating me from my enemies I could have been immediately slain, lost in a thicket of the two- or three-pronged marsh spears."
"Raiders of Gor" page 11

Port Kar
For details see Port Kar


"A given rence island usually holds about fifty or sixty persons."
"Raiders of Gor" page 17

"The rence islands, on which the communites of rence growers dwell, are rather small, seldom more than two hundred and fifty feet. They are formed entirely from the interwoven stems of the rence plants and float in the marsh. They are generally about eight to nine feet thick and have an exposed surface above the water of about three feet; as the rence stems break and rot away beneath the island, more layers are woven and placed on the surface. Thus, over a period of months, a given layer of rence, after being the top layer, will gradually be submerged and forced dower and lower until it, at last, is the deepest layer and, with its adjacent layers, begins to deteriorate.
"Raiders of Gor" page 13

"To prevent an unwanted movement of the island, there are generally several tethers, of marsh vine, to strong rence roots in the vicinity. It is dangerous to neter the water to make a tether fast because of the predators that frequent the swamp, but several men do so at a time, once man making fast the tether and the others, with him beneath the surface, protecting him with marsh spears, or pounding on metal pieces or wooden rods to drive away, or at least to disconcert and confuse, too inquisitive, undesired visitors, such as the water tharlarion or the long-bodied, nine-gilled marsh shark. When one wishes to move the island the tethers are simply chopped away, and the community divides itself into those who will handle the long poles and those who will move ahead in rence craft, cutting and clearing the way. Most of those who handle the poles gather on the edges of the island, but within the island there are four deep rectangular wells through which the long poles may gain additional leverage. These deep center wells, actually holes cut in the island, permit its movement, though slowly when used alone, without exposing any of its inhabitants at its edges, where they might fall easier prey to the missile weapons of foes."

"In times of emergency the inhabitants of the island gather behind wickerlike breastworks, woven of rence, in the area of the center wells; in such an emergency the low-ceilinged rence huts on the island will have been knocked down to prevent an enemy from using them for cover, and all food and water supplies, usually brought from the eastern delta where the water is fresh, will be stored within; the circular wickerlike breastworks then form, in the center of the island, a more or less defensible stronghold, particularly against the marsh spears of other growers, and such. Ironically, it is not of much use against an organized attack of well armed warriors, such as those of Port Kar, and those against whom it might be fairly adequate, other rence growers, seldom attack communites like their own."

"Incidentally, when the island is to be moved under siege conditions, divers leave the island by means of the well and, in groups of two and three, attemp to cut a path in the direction of escape; such divers, of course, often fall prey to underwater predators and to the spears of enemies, who thrust down at them from the surface. Sometimes an entire island is abandoned, the community setting it afire and taking to the marsh in their marsh skiffs. At a given point, when it is felt safe, several of these skiffs will be tied together, forming a platform on which rence may be woven, and a new island will be begun."
"Raiders of Gor" page 13/14

"I do not think it wise for Rencers," said Ho-Hak, "to be over long in Port Kar. Under the cover of darkness we shall depart." "My thanks to you and your people," said I. "The rence islands, now confederated," said Ho-Hak, are yours." "I thank you," I said, "Ho-Hak." "We can never repay you," he said, "for having once saved many of us from those of Port Kar, and for having taught us the lesson of the great bow."
"Raiders of Gor" page 301

"In the last few years, the use of the peasant bow, beginning in the vicinity of the tidal marshes, had spread rapidly eastward throughout the delta. The materials for the weapon and its missiles, not native to the delta, are aquired through trade. Long ago the rencers had learned its power. They had never forgotten it. By means of it they had become formidable foes. The combination of the delta, with its natural defenses, and the peasant bow, made the rencers all but invulnerable."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 127/8


"She followed me into the hut. It was eight feet long and five feet wide. Its ceiling was continuous with its wall, and in its curve, stood not more than four feet from the rence surface of the island. The rence hut is commonly used for little else than sleeping. She struck together, over a copper bow, a bit of steel and flint, the sparks falling into some dried petals of the rence. a small flame was kindled into which she thrust a bit of rence stem, like a match. The bit of stem took the fire and with it she lit a tiny lamp, also sitting in a shallow copper bowl, which burned tharlarion oil. She set the lamp to one side. Her few belongings were in the tiny hut. There was a bundle of clothing and a small box for odds and ends. There were two throwing sticks near the wall, where her sleeping mat, of woven rence, was rolled. There was another bowl and a cup or two, and two or three gourds. Some utensils were in the bowl, a wooden stirring stick and a wooden ladle, both carved from rence root. The rence knife, with which I had cut rence, she had left in the packet in her rence craft. There were also, in one corner, some coils of marsh vine."
"Raiders of Gor" page 32

"I heard the squealing of a domestic tarsk running nearby, its feet scuttling in the woven rence of the island, as on a mat. A child was crying out, chasing it."
"Raiders of Gor" page 16


"He sat upon a giant shell of the Vosk sorp, as on a sort of throne, which, for these people, I gather it was."
"Raiders of Gor" page 15

"He wore a sleeveless tunic of rence cloth, like most of the rence growers."
"Raiders of Gor" page 15

"There was a rusted, heavy iron collar riveted about the neck of Ho-Hak, with a bit of chain dangling from it. I gathered that the rence growers did not have the tools to remove it. Ho-Hak might have worn it for years. He was doubtless a slave, probably escaped from the galleys of Port Kar, who had fled to the marshes and been befriended by rence growers. Now, years later, he had come to a position of authority among them."
"Raiders of Gor" page 15

"Ho-Hak’s right ear twitched. His ears were ususual, very large, and with extremely long lower lobes, drawn lower still by small, heavy pendants set in them. He had been a slave, doubtless, and doubtless, judging by the collar, and the large hands and broad back, had served on the galleys, but he had been an unusual slave, a bred exotic, doubtless originally intended by the slave masters for a destiny higher than that of the galley bench."
"Raiders of Gor" page 15

"So," I asked, "what is to be my fate?" "We did not ask you here," said Ho-Hak. "We did not invite you to cross the line of the blood mark." "Return to me my belongings," I said, "and I shall be on my way and trouble you no longer." Ho-hak smiled. The girl beside me laughed, and so, too, did the man with the headband, he who had not been able to bend the bow. Several of the others laughed as well. "Of custom," said Ho-Hak, "we give those we capture who are of Port Kar a choice." "What is the choice?" I asked. "You will be thrown bound to the marsh tharlarion, of course," said Ho-Hak. I paled. "The choice," said Ho'Hak, "is simple." He regarded me. "Either you will be thrown alive to the march tharlarion or, if you wish, we will kill you first." I struggled wildly against the marsh vine, futilely. The rence growers, without emotion, watched me. I fought the vine for perhaps a full Ehn. Then I stopped. The vine was tight. I knew I had been perfectly secured. I was theirs. The girl beside me laughed, as did the man with the headband, and certain of the others. "There is never any trace of the body," said Ho-Hak. I looked at him. "Never," he said."
"Raiders of Gor" page 21


"The women of rence growers, when in their own marshes, do no veil themselves, as is common among Gorean women, particularly of the cities. Moreover, they are quite capable of cutting rence, preparing it, hunting for their own food and, on the whole, of existing, if they wish it, by themselves. There are few tasks of the rence communities which they cannot perform as well as men. Their intelligence, and the work of their hands, is needed by the small communities. Accordingly they suffer little inhibitiion in the matters of speaking out and expressing themselves."
"Raiders of Gor" page 18

"Her gaze was clear; she had a dark blondish hair and blue eyes; her legs were a bit short, and her ankles somewhat thick; her shoulders were a bit wide perhaps, but lovely. She wore a brief, sleeveless garment of yellowish-brown rence cloth; it was worn well away from both shoulders to permit her freedom of movement; the brief skirt had been hitched up about her thighs that it might in no way bind her in her hunting. Her hair was tied behind her head with a strip of purple cloth, dyed rep-cloth. I knew then she came of a community that had contact to some degree, direct or indirect, with civilized Goreans."
"Raiders of Gor" page 10


"I have seen slaves", he said. "There are slaves in your village?" I asked. "No", he said, "but I was once taken to Ven by my father. There I saw slaves.".
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 351

"There are some slaves in the Delta", he said, "here and there, but I have not seen them". "Your mother would not approve?" I asked. "No", he said. "Perhaps there are some in the village of Tanrum?" I suggested. "The women there", he said, "are all kept slaves. It was done to them two years ago. "I see," I said. "My mother will not let me go to that village," he said, "but the older man from my village go."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 351

"What are you thinking of?" I asked. "Nothing," he said. "Do you care to speak of it?" I asked. "I was thinking of my father and mother," he said. "Oh?" I said. "And how my father is held in, inhibited and frustrated, by my mother."(...) "You are thinking," I said, "of how she would look at your father's feet, branded and in a collar." "I love her very much," he said, "but it is where she belongs." "I have no doubt about it," I said. "Perhaps I shall speak to my father," he said. "The decision, of course, is his." I said. "If women were there," I said, it would certainly be easier for their sons to become men." "True." he said. Mothers in Tharna, of course, are kept as slaves. Indeed, they are not merely kept as slaves; they are slaves."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 355



"The plant itself has a long, thick root, about four inches thick, which lies horizontally under the surface of the water; small roots sink downward into the mud from this main root, and several “stems,” as many as a dozen, rise from it, often of the length of fifteen to sixteen feet from the root; it has an excrescent, usually single floral spike."
"Raiders of Gor" page 7

"The plant has many uses besides serving as a raw product in the manufacture of rence paper…from the stem the rence growers can make reed boats, sails, mats, cords and a kind of fibrous cloth; further it's pith is edible and for the rence growers is, with fish, a staple in their diet; the pith is edible both raw and cooked; some men, lost in the delta, not knowing the pith edible, have died of starvation in the midst of what was, had they known it, an almost endless abundance of food."
"Raiders of Gor" page 7

"The pith is also used, upon occasion, as a caulking for boat seams, but tow and pitch, covered with tar or grease, are generally used."
"Raiders of Gor" page 7

"In the stem of the girl's rence craft, she poling the craft from the stern, I knelt, cutting rence. It was late in the year to cut rence but some quantities of the rence are cut during the fall and winter and stored on covered rence rafts until spring. These stores of rence are not used for adding in the making of rence paper, but in the weaving of mats, for adding to the surface of the island, and for the pith, used as a food. "Cut there," said the girl, moving the rush craft into a thicket of rence. One holds the stem of the plant in the left hand and, with the right, with a small, curved, two-inch knife makes a diagonal upward stroke. We were towing a small rence raft and there was already much rence upon it. We had been cutting since before dawn. It was now late in the afternoon. I cut again, dropping the tufted, flowered head of the rence stem in the water, and then I tossed the stem onto the raft of rence, with the piles of others."
"Raiders of Gor" page 26

“One holds the stem of the plant in the left hand and, with the right, with a rence knife, a small, curved, two-inch knife makes a diagonal upward stroke.”
"Raiders of Gor" page 27

Rence Paper

"Rence paper is made by slicing the stem into thin, narrow strips; those near the center of the plant are particularyly favored; one layer of strips is placed longitudinally, and then a shorter layer is placed latitudinally across the first layer; these two surfaces are then soaked under water, which releases a gluelike substance from the fibers, melding the two surfaces into a single, rectangular sheet; these formed sheets are then hammered and dried in the sun; roughness in removed by polishing, usually with a smooth shell or a bit of kailiauk horn; the side of a tharlarion tooth may also be used in this work. The paper is then attached, sheet to sheet, to form rolls, usually about twenty sheets to a roll. The best paper is on the outside of the roll, always, not to practice deceit in the quality of the roll but rather to have the most durable paper on the outside, which will take the most weathering, handling and genteral wear."
"Raiders of Gor" page 7

Fishing and Hunting

"The cries of the marsh gants were about us now. I saw that her hunting had been successful. There were four of the birds tied in the stern of the craft."
"Raiders of Gor" page 10

"I heard a bird some forty or fifty yards to my right; it sounded like a marsh gant, a small, horned, web-footed aquatic fowl, broad-billed and broad-winged. Marsh girls, the daughters of rence growers, sometimes hunt them with throwing sticks."
"Raiders of Gor" page 4

"She was standing on a small skiff of rence, not larger than my own rush craft, about seven feet long and two feet wide, fastened together, as mine was, with marsh vine; it, like mine, had a slightly curved stern and prow. In her hand was a curved throwing stick, used for hunting birds. It is not a boomerang, which would be largely useless among the sedges and rushes, but it would, of course, float, and might be recovered and used indefinitely. Some girls are quite skilled with this light weapon. It stuns the bird, which is then gathered from the water and tied, alive, in the craft. The birds are later, on the rence islands, killed and cooked.
"Raiders of Gor" page 9


"The rence growers market their product either at the eastern or western end of the delta. Sometimes rence merchants, on narrow marsh craft rowed by slaves, enter some pasangs into the delta to negotiate the transactions, usually from the western edge, that bordering the Tamber Gulf. Rence paper is, incidentally, not the only type of writing material used on Gor. A milled linen paper is much used, large quantities of which are produced in Ar, and vellum and parchment, prepared in many cities, are also popular."
"Raiders of Gor" page 6/7


Rencers Festivals

"Normally, as I may have mentioned, these communities are isolated from one another, but it was now near the Autumnal Equinox, and the month of Se’Kara was shortly to begin. For rence growers, the first of Se’Kara, the date of the Autumnal Equinox, is a time of festival. By that time most of the year’s rence will have been cut, and great stocks of rence paper, gathered in rolls like cord wood and covered with woven rence mats, will have been prepared. Between Se'Kara and the winter solstice, which occurs on the first of Se'Var, the rence will be sold or bartered, sometimes by taking it to the edge of the delta, sometimes by being contacted by rence merchants, who enter the delta in narrow barges, rowed by slaves, in order to have first pick of the product."
"Raiders of Gor" page 17

"The first of Se’Var is also a date of festival, it might be mentioned, but this time the festival is limited to individual, isolated rence islands. With the year’s rence sold, the communities do not care to lie too closely to one another; the primary reason is that, in doing so, they would present too inviting a target for the “tax collectors” of Port Kar."
"Raiders of Gor" page 17

"It is seldom, even in Se’Kara, that so many rence islands would gather for festival. Usually it would be two or three. At such times there is drinking of rence beer, steeped, boiled and fremented from crushed seeds and the whitish pith of the plant; singing; games; contests and courtship, for the young people of the rence islands too seldom meet those of the other communities."
"Raiders of Gor" page 18

"I had been aroused at dawn by Telima, and unbound, that I might help in the preparations for festival. In the early morning the other rence islands, four of them, which had been tethered close by, were poled to the one on which I was kept, and now, joined by flat rence rafts, acting as bridges, they had been tied to one another, now forming, for most practical purposes, a large single island. I had been used in the fastening of the bridges, and in the drawing up and tying of rence craft on the shore, as other rencers, from distant islands, arrived for festival. I had also been used to carry heavy kettles of rence beer from the various islands to the place of feasting, as well as strings of water gourds, poles of fish, plucked gants, slaughtered tarks, and baskets of the pith of rence. Then, about the eighth Gorean hour, Telima had ordered me to the pole, where she bound me and placed on my head the garland of rence flowers. I had stood at the pole the long morning, subject to the examination, the stares, and the blows and abuse of those who passed by."
"Raiders of Gor" page 40/41

"The morning was spent variously by the rencers. The men had sat in council with Ho-Hak, and there had been much discussion, much argument, even shouting. The women who had men were busied with the preparation of the feast. The younger men and women formed opposite lines, shouting and jeering at one another delightedly. And sometimes one or the other boy, or girl, would rush to the opposite line to strike at someone, laughing, and run back to the other line. Objects were thrown at the opposite line, as well as jocose abuse. The smaller children played together, the boys playing games with small nets and reed marsh spears, the girls with rence dolls, or some of the older ones sporting with throwing sticks, competing against one another."
"Raiders of Gor" page 41

"It was now about the twelfth Gorean hour, well past noon. I had been examined earlier by the girls who would compete for me. Ho-Hak, with Telima, had summoned them away for the contests. Most of these took place in the marsh. From where I was bound, over the low rence huts and between them, I could see something of what went on. There was much laughter and shouting, and cheering and crying out. There were races, poling rence craft, and skill contests maneuvering the small light craft, and contests with net and throwing stick. It was indeed festival. At last, after an Ahn or so, the group, the girls, the men watching, the judges, turned their several rence craft toward the island, beaching them and fastening them on the woven-mat shore.(...) The men sat cross-legged in the outer circles, and, in the inner circles, in the fashion of Gorean women, the women knelt. There were children about the periphery of the circles but many of them were already asleep on the rence. There had beeen much talking and singing. I gathered it was seldom the rencers, save for those on a given island, met one another. Festival was important to them."
"Raiders of Gor" page 42/3

The Free Women Dance

"Then, suddenly, the crowd stopped clapping and singing.
There was silence.
Then there came a drumming sound, growing louder and louder, a man pounding on a hollowed drum of rence root with two sticks, and then, as suddenly as the singing and clapping, the drum, too, stopped.
And then to my astonishment the rence girls, squealing and laughing, some protesting and being pushed and shoved, rose to their feet and entered the clearing in the circle.
The young men shouted with pleasure.
One or two of the girls, giggling, tried to slip away, fleeing, but young men, laughing, caught them, and hurled them into the clearing of the circle.
Then the rence girls, vital, eyes shining, breathing deeply, barefoot, bare-armed, many with beads worn for festival, and hammered copper bracelets and armlets, stood all within a circle.
The young men shouted and clapped their hands.
I saw that more than one fellow, handsome, strongfaced, could not take his eyes from Telima.
She was, I noted, the only girl in the circle who wore an armlet of gold.
She paid the young men, if she noticed them, no attention."
"Raiders of Gor" page 44/5

"The rence communities tend to be isolated. Young people seldom see one another, saving those from the same tiny community. I remember the two lines, one of young men, the other of girls, jeering and laughing, and crying out at one another in the morning.
Then the man with the drum of hollow rence root began to drum, and one fellow had bits of metal, strung in a circular wire, and another a notched stick, played by scraping it with a flat spoon of rence root.
It was Telima who began first to pound the woven rence mat that was the surface of the island with her right heel, lifting her hands, arms bent, over her head, her eyes closed.
Then the other girls, too, began to join her, and at last even the shiest among them moved pounding, and stamping and turning about the circle. The dances of rence girls are, as far as I know, unique on Gor. There is some savagery in them, but, too, they have sometimes, perhaps paradoxically, stately aspects, stylized aspects, movements reminiscent of casting nets or poling, of weaving rence or hunting gants. But, as I watched, and the young men shouted, the dancers became less stylized, and became more universal to woman, whether she be a drunken housewife in a suburb of a city of Earth or a jeweled slave in Port Kar, dances that spoke of them as women who want men, and will have them. To my astonishment, as the dances continued, even the shiest of the rence girls, those who had to have been forced to the circle, even those who had tried to flee, began to writhe in ecstasy, their hands lifted to the three moons of Gor.
It is often lonely on the rence islands, and festival comes but once a year.
The bantering of the young people in the morning, and the display of the girls in the evening, for in effect in the movements of the dance every woman is nude, have both, I expect, institutional roles to play in the life of the rence growers, significant roles analogous to the roles of dating, display and courtship in the more civilized environments of my native world, Earth.
It marks the end of a childhood when a girl is first sent to the circle."
"Raiders of Gor" page 45/6

"Suddenly, before me, hands over her head, swaying to the music, I saw the dark-haired, lithe girl, she was so marvelous, slender legs in the brief rence skirt; her ankles were so close together that they might have been chained; and then she put her wrists together back to back over her head, palms out, and though she wore slave bracelets.
Then she said, "Slave," and spit in my face, whirling away.
I wondered if it might be she who was my mistress.
Then another girl, the tall, blond girl, she who had held the coil of marsh vine, stood before me, moving with excruciating slowness, as though the music could be reflected only from moment to moment, in her breathing, in the beating of the heart.
"Perhaps it is I," she said, "who am your mistress."
She, like the other, spit then in my face and turned away, now moving fully, enveloped in the music's flame.
One after another of the girls so danced before me, and about me, taunting me, laughing at their power, then spitting upon me and turning away.
The rencers laughed and shouted, clapping, chering the girls on in the dance.
But most of the time I was ignored, as much as the pole to which I was bound.
Mostly these girls, saving for a moment or two to humiliate me, danced their beauty for the young men of the cicles, that they might be desired, that they might be much sought.
After a time I saw one girl leave the circles, her head back, hair flowing down her back, breathing deeply, and scarcely was she through the circles of rencers, but a young man followed her, joining her some yards beyond the circle. They stood facing one another in the darkness for an Ehn or two, and then I saw him, gently, she not protesting, drop his net over her, and then, by this net, she not protesting, he led her away. Together they disappeared in the darkness, going over one of the raft bridges to another island, one far from the firelight, the crowd, the noise, the dance.
Then, after some Ehn I saw another girl leave the circle of the dance, and she, too, was joined beyond the firelight by a young man and she, too, felt a net dropped over her, and she, too, was led away, his willing prize, to the secrecy of his hut.
The dance grew more frenzied.
The girls whirled and writhed, and the crowd clapped and shouted, and the music grew ever more wild, barbaric and fantastic.
And suddenly Telima danced before me.
I cried out, so startled was I by her beauty.
It seemed to me that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, and before me, only slave, she danced her insolence and scorn. Her hands were over her hand and, as she danced, she smiled, regarding me. She cut me with her beauty more painfully, more cruelly, than might have the knives of a torturer. It was her scorn, her contempt for me she danced. In me she aroused agonies of desire but in her eyes I read that I was but the object of her amusement and contempt.
And then she unbound me.
"Go to the hut," she said.
I stood there at the pole.
Torrents of barbaric music swept about us, and there was the clapping and the shouting, and the turning, and the twisting and swirling of the rence girls, the passion of the dance burning in their bodies.
"Yes," she said. "I own you."
She spat up into my face.
"Go to the hut," she said."
"Raiders of Gor" pages 49/51

Food and Drinks

"Before the feast I had helped the women, cleaning fish and dressing marsh gants, and then, later, turning spits for the roasted tarsks, roasted over rence-root fires, kept on metal pans, elevated above the rence of the islands by metal racks, themselves resting on larger pans. During most of the feast I have been used in the serving, particularly the serving of the girls who had competed for me, one of whom had won me, which one I did not know." "Raiders of Gor" page 44

"I had carried about bowls of cut, fried fish, and wooden trays of roated tarsk meat, and roasted gants, threaded on sticks, and rence cakes and porridges, and gourd flagons, many times replenished, of rence beer."
"Raiders Gor" page 44

"In the morning, before dawn, she had placed in my mouth a handful of rence paste."
"Raiders of Gor" page 28

"In a moment the woman had returned with a double handful of wet rence paste. When fried on flat stones it makes a kind of cake, often sprinkled with rence seeds."
"Raiders of Gor" page 25

"At such times there is drinking of rence beer, steeped, boiled and fremented from crushed seeds and the whitish pith of the plant; singing; games; contests and courtship, for the young people of the rence islands too seldom meet those of the other communities."
"Raiders of Gor" page 27

Tarl's Influence

"Some of the men of the rencers, with their small shields or rence wicker, fought, but their marsh spears were not match for the stell swords and war spears of Gor. When they offered resistance they were cut down."
"Raiders of Gor" page 51

"Ho-Hak looked at the man who wore the headband of pearls of the Vosk sorp. "With such a bow," he said to that man, "we might live free in the marsh, free of Port Kar." "It is a weapon of peasants," said the man with the headband, he who had been unable to bend the bow. "So?" asked Ho-Hak. "I," said the man, "am of the Growers of Rence. I, for one, am not a Peasant." "Nor am I!" cried the girl. The others, too, cried their assent. "Besides," said another man, "we do not have metal for the heads of arrows, nor arrow wood, and Ka-la-na does not grow in the marsh. And we do not have cords of strength enough to draw such bows." "And we do not have leather," added another. "We could kill tharlarion," said Ho-Hak, "and obtain leather. And perhaps the teeth of the marsh shark might be fashioned in such a way as to tip arrows." "There is no Ka-la-na, no cord, no arrowwood," said another. "We might trade for such things," said Ho-Hak. "There are peasants who live along the edges of the delta, particularly to the east." The man with the headband, he who had not been able to bend the bow, laughed. "You, Ho-Hak," said he, "were not born to rence." "No," said Ho-Hak. "That is true." "But we were," said the man. "We are Growers of the Rence." There was a murmur of assent, grunts and shiftings in the group. "We are not Peasants," said the man with the headband. "We are Growers of the Rence!" There was an angry cry of confirmation from the group, mutterings, shots of agreement. Ho-Hak once again sat down on the curved shell of the great Vosk sorp, that shell that served him as a throne in this domain, an island of rence in the delta of the Vosk."
"Raiders of Gor" page 20

"I, too, lifted my hand, acknowledging their salute. And I lifted my hand, too, to Ho-Hak, the rencer. I saw how his men used their bows. I had little doubt that having been taught the might of the great bow in the marshes, when I had freed them from the slavers in the barges, they had traded for the weapons and now had made them their own, and proudly, as much as the peasants. I did not think the rencers would any longer be at the mercy of the men of Port Kar. Now, with weapons and courage, perhaps for the first time, they were truly free men, for they could now defend their freedoms, and those who cannot do this are not truly free; at best they are fortunate."
"Raiders of Gor" page 300

"At the foot of the keep we met Thurnock, Clitus and Ho-Hak. We embraced. "You have learned the lesson of the great bow well, I said to Ho-Hak. "You well taught it to us, Warrior," said Ho-Hak. Thurnock and Clitus, with Thura and Ufa, had gone for aid to the rencers, traditionally enemies of those of Port Kar. And the rencers, to my astonishment, had come to risk their lives for me."
"Raiders of Gor" page 301

"I had not known, incidentally, that the rencers now made use of slave hoods. They perhaps obtained them through trade, as well as additionnal women. Many things had changed since I had been in the marsh, long ago. Some rencers even charged tolls to freight moving through the marsh. Also, it was not always easy to transport female slaves through the marsh now. Rencers had apparently discovered their delights."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 243


Marsh Gants

"I heard a bird some forty or fifty yards to my right; it sounded like a marsh gant, a small, horned, web-footed aquatic fowl, broad-billed and broad-winged. Marsh girls, the daughters of rence growers, sometimes hunt them with throwing sticks."
"Raiders of Gor" page 4

"The cries of the marsh gants were about us now. I saw that her hunting had been successful. There were four of the birds tied in the stern of the craft."
"Raiders of Gor" page 10

Domestic Marsh Gants

I heard some domestic marsh gants making their piping call. They wandered freely on the island, leaving it to feed, then returning later. Wild marsh gants, captured, even as young as gantlings, cannot be domesticated; on the other hand, eggs, at the hatching point, gathered from floating gant nests, are sometimes brought to the island; the hatchlings, interestingly, if not permitted to see an adult gant for the first week of their life, then adopt the rence island as their home, and show no fear of human beings; they will come and go in the wild as they please, feeding and flying, but will always, and frequently, return to the rence island, their hatching place; if the rence island, however, should be destroyed, they revert entirely to the wild; in the domesticated state, it will invariably permit themselves to be picked up and handled.
"Raiders of Gor" page 16/7

Marsh Leech

"rubbery, about 4 inches long; it attaches itself to plants in the marsh or float free in the water. They are edible."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 236

Marsh Moccasin

"We saw a narrow, dark shape, about five feet long, like a slowly undulating whip, glide past. A small triangular head was almost level with the water surface. I did not think there had been much danger, but there was some possibility that the movements of her legs in the water might have attracted its attention. "That is a marsh moccasin," I said. "Are they poisonous," she asked. "Yes," I said. "I never saw one before," she said. "They are not common," I said. "even in the delta."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 267

Marsh Turtle

"turning as it made a swift strike, probably a Vosk carp or marsh turtle."
"Raiders of Gor" page 1

Needle Flies

"Most sting flies, or needle flies, as the men from the south call them, originate in the delta, and similar places, estuaries and such, as their eggs are laid on the stems of rence plants. As a result of the regularity of breeding and incubation times there tends, also, to be peak times for hatching. These peak times are also in part, it is thought, a function of a combination of natural factors, having to do with conditions in the delta, such as temperature and humidity, and , in particular, the relative stability of such conditions. Such hatching times, as might be supposed are carefully monitored by rencers. Once outside the delta the sting flies, which spend most of their adult lives as solitary insects, tend to disperse. Of the millions of sting flies hatched in the delta each summer, usually over a period of four or five days, a few return each fall, to begin the cycle again.(...) there could now be no mistaking the steadily increasing volume of sound approaching from the west. It seemed to fill the delta. It is produced by the movement of the wings, the intense, almost unimaginably rapid beating of millions upon millions of small wings.(...) The sting of the sting fly is painful, extremely so, but it is usually not, unless inflicted in great numbers, dangerous. Several stings, however, and even a few, depending on the individual, can produce nausea. Men have died from the stings of the flies but usually in such cases they have been inflicted in great numbers. A common reaction to the venom of the fly incidentally is a painful swelling in the area of the sting. A few such stings about the face and render a person unrecognizable. The swelling subsides, usually, in a few Ahn."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 161/2


"these are often used for hunting light game, such as the brush-maned, three-toed Qualae,"
"Raiders of Gor" page 4

Marsh Shark

"There are several varieties of shark on Gor; the marsh and river sharks as well as the salt shark that inhabits the brine pits of Klima. The marsh shark is eel-like, long, and has nine gills. The river shark is black with triangular dorsal fins and lives in the fresh waters of Gor. The salt shark is white, blind, and also has a dorsal fin and is nine gilled."
"Raiders of Gor" page 58

Domestic Tarsk

"I heard the squealing of a domestic tarsk running nearby, its feet scuttling in the woven rence of the island, as on a mat. A child was crying out, chasing it."
"Raiders of Gor" page 16


"A huge thalarion, seeing the image on the water, half rose from the marsh, jaws clashing, and then dropped back into the water."
"Raiders of Gor" page 92


"Only one creature in the marshes dares to outline itself against the sky, the predatory Ul, the winged thalarion."
"Raiders of Gor" page 1

"Also, at night, crossing the bright disks of Gor's three moon, might occasionally be seen the silent, predatory shadow of the Ul, a giant pterodactyl ranging far from its native swamps in the delta of the Vosk."
"Outlaw of Gor" page 26

"I had also seen then, as I had come closer, the small head of the creature, small considering the size of its body, and the span of its wings, lift up, above the rence, with its long narrow, toothed jaws, like a long snout or bill, with that long, narrow extension of skin and bone in the back, balancing the weight of the long, narrow jaws, contributing, to, given the creature's weight and general ungainliness in structure, to stability in flight, particularly in soaring. (...) It had opened its wings, suddenly. The span must have been twenty-five to thirty foot Gorean. Then it closed them, folding them back, against its body. (...) It uttered a hissing, grunting sound, expelling air from its lungs. It had a long, snakelike tail, terminating with a flat, spade like structure. This tail lashed, the spade like structure dashing sand about. This tail, with its termination, too, I think, had its role to play in flight, primarily one of increasing stability. (...) Again it opened its wings. These are of skin and stretch from the jointed, hind legs, clawed, of the creature to an extremely long, fourth digit on its clawed hand. (...) It is little wonder, I thought, that many take the predatory Ul, the winged tharlarion, to be the monarch of the delta."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 179

Vosk Carp

"turning as it made a swift strike, probably a Vosk carp or marsh turtle."
"Raiders of Gor" page 1

Zarlit Fly

"I did see a large, harmless zarlit fly, purple, about two feet long with four translucent wings, spanning about a yard, humming over the surface of the water, then alighting and, on its pad like feet, daintily picking its way across the surface."
"Raiders of Gor" page 5

"The zarlit fly is very large, about two feet long, with four large, translucent wings, with a span of about a yard. It has large, pad like feet on which, when it alights, it can rest on the water, or pick its way delicately across the surface. Most of them are purple. Their appearance is rather formidable and can one a nasty turn in the delta, but happily, one soon learns they are harmless, at least to humans."
"Vagabonds of Gor" page 160

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