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Gorean Warriors
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Gorean Warriors Warrior Caste The Warrior Caste is one of the five High Castes on Gor, though it is the least of the High Castes. Red, or scarlet, is the color of the Warrior Caste and Warriors often wear red tunics to denote their status. The usual garb of a Warrior is a scarlet tunic, sandals and cloak. The books do not explicitly state that there are any subcastes to the Warrior Caste but it seems reasonable that some do exist such as Tarnsmen and Tharlarion Cavalrymen. It can be difficult at times to differentiate between what would be considered an actual subcaste and what would simply be considered a different position. A City Guardsman may simply be a possible position and not an actual subcaste. It generally seems that subcastes possess certain skills that others may not. Being a City Guardsman does not really take special skills but obviously a Tarnsman would. The Gorean term for a Warrior is "rarius" and the plural form is "rarii."  A rarius denotes any type of Warrior and not just a member of the Warrior Caste. The warriors of the Wagon Peoples, Torvaldsland and other such cultures are rarii. This term was never used to refer to a woman in any of the novels. A pride consists of a hundred Warriors. It appears to be an older term that has fell out of use by the timeframe of the novels. In Gor's past, there were once Pride Chiefs who ruled rather than the Ubars and Administrators of today. It is unknown if Pride Chiefs still exist. For further information on the Warrior Caste, see Ubar Luther's scroll on the topic. Warrior Code The conduct of the Red Caste is governed primarily by the Warrior Code. The Warrior Code is a rudimentary form of chivalry, emphasizing loyalty to the Pride Chiefs and the Home Stone. It is harsh but with a certain gallantry and sense of honor. All Warriors are supposed to obey this code. The code is never fully laid out in the novels but many important details were given. More information about the Warrior Caste Codes was given in the novels than for any other Caste. Certain quotes help to delineate the importance of the Codes to Warriors. "What are the codes? They are nothing, and everything. They are a bit of noise, and the steel of the heart. They are meaningless and all significant. They are the difference. Without the codes men would be Kurii." (Beasts of Gor, p. 340)   "What is it to be a warrior? It is to keep the codes. Nothing else matters." (Beasts of Gor, p.340)   "One does not speak to a slave of the codes." (Beasts of Gor, p. 340) Yet, a number of Goreans acknowledge that the Codes may not be absolute. There may arise situations not covered by the Codes. Or there may arise times when a Warrior feels he must violate his Codes for some reason or another. A couple quotes illustrate this viewpoint. "...all wisdom and truth does not lie in my own codes." (Priest-Kings of Gor, p. 14) "...all truth and reality is not written in one's own codes."  (Raiders of Gor, p.310) Warrior Code Specifics Here are some of the items that are specifically included in the Warrior Codes in the novels. This is not an exhaustive list of everything in their Caste Codes. Code: The only honorable reply to a challenge is to accept it promptly. (Warriors do not back down from challenges. They face such matters with bravery.) Code: One who has shed your blood, or whose blood you have shed, becomes your sword brother, unless you formally repudiate the blood on your weapons. This is part of a bond shared by Warriors that overcomes city barriers. It is a matter of Caste that supersedes allegiances. It is a showing of respect for those who this Caste. Code: Warriors do not break their sworn word. Code: The only death fit for a warrior is in battle. Code: If you want another's slave, you must challenge for her and meet your opponent with the weapon of his choice. This is also known as the claim of sword-right. Code: He who cannot think is not a man and neither is he who can only think. Code: Warriors do not kill themselves or aid others in doing so. (Suicide is not an option for a warrior.) Code: "I had been so much a fool as to be sad. That is not the mood in which to enter battle, even the battle which one knows one cannot win, even the ultimate battle in which one knows is doomed to defeat. Do not be sad. Better to take the field with laughter, with a joke, with a light thought, with a buoyant thought, or to go forward with sternness, or in fury, or with hatred, or defiance, or calculation, but never with self pity, never with sadness. Never such things, never them!" (Vagabonds of Gor, p. 446) Code: When a women kneels, lifts her hands up with wrists crossed, and submits to a warrior, custom demands that he either accepts the submission or slays the captive. Code: If a warrior accepts a woman as a slave, it is prescribed that, at least for a time at his discretion, she be spared. But if she is in the least bit displeasing, she may be immediately killed. Code: In times of crisis, a war chief, or Ubar, is named whom rules without check and by decree until he decides the crisis has passed. Sword loyalty is the bond of fidelity to a Ubar. It is not sworn lightly. When an Ubar is thought unfit, the sword loyalty is dishonored and the Ubar may be deposed by his own warriors. Those who don't surrender are usually deserted by their men. When the men don't desert, the Ubar then rules as a tyrant. Code: Warriors have a common Home Stone. Its name is battle. Code: The slave is a joy and a convenience to the warrior. Taking slaves is not only permitted, it is encouraged. Code: If you lift a weapon against a warrior, he is permitted by his codes to kill you. (Do not draw a weapon against a warrior unless you are prepared for battle.) Code: There is nothing in the codes that explicitly demands resistance to brigands. Code: Poisoned steel is against the codes. Code: The oath of disownment is an irreversible ceremony. You essentially disown a family member so that they lose their family and caste. Basically you make the pronouncement with your hand on the hilt of your sword. Code: 97th Aphorism of the Warrior Codes: "What is invisible but more beautiful than diamonds?" The answer is "Honor." Other answers could include "that which is silent but deafens thunder" and "that which depresses no scale but is weightier than gold." Code: Even warriors long sometimes for the sight of their own flags, atop friendly walls, for the courtyards of their keeps, for the hearths of their halls. Warrior Sayings There are also sayings of the warriors which may or may not be actual parts of the codes but which are commonly followed. “warriors might affect the scarlet, and that one who wore the grimed gray of a peasant, one barefoot, and armed only with the great staff, might be of the scarlet caste. It is not the uniform which makes the warrior, the soldier." (Magicians of Gor, p. 129) "There are no mere points of honor." (Vagabonds of Gor, p. 63) "Tears are not unbecoming to the soldier. The soldier is a man of deep passions, and emotion. Many men cannot even understand his depths. Do not fear your currents and your powers. In the soldier are flowers and storms. Each is a part of him, and each is real. Accept both. Deny neither." (Guardsman of Gor, p. 238) "No one can take the scarlet from you, once it is granted, unless it be by the sword." (Tribesman of Gor, p. 218) "There is no incompatibility between letters and arms. The greatest soldiers are often gifted men." (Mercenaries of Gor, p. 48) "Many are the causes of Gor and so too, many are the captains. Many captains choose their causes on the scales of merchants, weighing their iron against gold." (Mercenaries of Gor, p. 48) "Steel can always command a price." (Explorers of Gor, p. 86) "Causes exist that men may fight." (Guardsman of Gor, p. 16) "War is a perilous and exhilarating sport, a game of warriors and Ubars." (Vagabonds of Gor, p. 18) "It is no dishonor to surrender." (Beasts of Gor, p. 421) "There is a time and place for speaking, as there is a time and place for steel." (Slave Girl of Gor, p. 269) "Not everyone who is of the Warriors knows that he is of the Warriors." (Rogue of Gor, p. 317) "Is it not a paradox? Men need us in order to bring about a world in which we may be scorned and disregarded...Men seldom recall whom it was who brought them the fruits of victory." (Beasts of Gor, p. 31) "I had heard warriors say that they would rather be poisoned by a woman than slain by an arrow." (Raiders of Gor, p. 4) "The steel, as is often the case, had seemed to think for itself." (Savages of Gor, p. 92) "The cynical, mercantile mind will never understand the mind of the soldier." (Explorers of Gor, p. 229)
used with permission & thanks to Janus of Gor
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