Tarl Cabot



Marlenus looked down at me. "What can you, a simple tarnsman, know of these things?" he asked. "But I, Marlenus, though a warrior, was more than a warrior, always more than a warrior. Where others could see no more than the codes of their castes, where others could sense no call of duty beyond that of their Home Stone, I dared to dream the dream of Ar-- that there might be an end to meaningless warfare, bloodshed, and terror, an end to the anxiety and peril, the retribution and cruelty that cloud our lives - I dreamed that there might arise from the ashes of the conquests of Ar a new world, a world of honor and law, of power and justice." Tarnsman of Gor, page155

I opened the leather bundle. In it I found the scarlet tunic, sandals and cloak which constitute the normal garb of a member of the Caste of Warriors. This was as it should be, as I was of that caste, and had been since that morning, some seven years ago, when in the Chamber of the Council of High Castes I had accepted weapons from the hands of my father, Matthew Cabot, Administrator of Ko-ro-ba, and had taken the Home Stone of that city as my own. Outlaw of Gor, page 21,22

Like most members of my Caste, more than the monstrous tarns, those carnivorous hawk like giants of Gor, I dreaded such creatures as the tiny ost, that diminutive, venomous reptile, orange, scarcely more than a few inches in length, that might lurk at one's very sandal and then, without provocation or warning, strike, its tiny fangs the prelude to excruciating torment, concluding only with sure death. Among warriors, the bite of an ost is thought to be one of the most cruel of all gates to the Cities of Dust; far preferable to them are the rending beak, the terrible talons of a tarn. Outlaw of Gor, page118

Had I now become so much the Gorean warrior that I could disregard the feelings of a fellow creature, in particular those of a girl, who must be protected and cared for? Could it be that I had, as the Codes of my Caste recommended, not even considered her, but merely regarded her as a rightless animal, no more than a subject beast, an abject instrument to my interests and pleasures, a slave? Priest-Kings of Gor, page 47, 48

If it turned out badly, what I did, I would have no defense other than that I did what I did for my friend for him and for his brave kind, once hated enemies, whom I had learned to know and respect. There is no loss of honor in failing to achieve such a task, I told myself. It is worthy of a warrior of the caste of Warriors, a swordsman of the high city of Ko-ro-ba, the Towers of the Morning. Nomads of Gor, page 8

I stood back and made no move to draw my weapon. Though I was of the caste of warriors and he of peasants, and I armed and he carrying naught but a crude tool, I would not dispute his passage. One does not lightly dispute the passage of one who carries his Home Stone. Nomads of Gor, page 1

"But I am of the Caste of Warriors," I said, "of a high city and we do not stain our spears for the stones of men not, even such stones as these. "You dare to tempt me," I said, feigning anger, "as if I beyond the dreams of a man, were of the Caste of Assassins or a common thief with his dagger in the night." I frowned at him. "Beware," I warned, "lest I take your words as insult." Nomads of Gor, page 20, 21

"Since I am Ubar of Ar," said Cernus to me, "and of the Caste of Warriors"

There was mirth at the tables, but a look from Cernus silenced it in a moment.

"I am concerned," continued Cernus, "to be fair in all matters and thus propose that we wager for your freedom."

I looked up in surprise.

"Bring the board and pieces," said Cernus. Philemon left the room. Cernus looked down at me and grinned. "As I recall, you said that you did not play." Assassin of Gor, page 317,318

"You have nothing," said I, "Cernus." I regarded him evenly. "You have lost all."

"Do not strike me," he begged. "Do not strike me!"

"But," I laughed, "you are first sword of the House of Cernus. You are even, I hear, of the Caste of Warriors."

"Do not strike me!" he whimpered. Assassin of Gor, page 382

“My city,” I said, “was the city of Ko-ro-ba. It is sometimes called the Towers of Morning.”

“Surrender,” whispered Sarus.

“Long ago,” I said, “I dishonored my caste, my Home Stone, my blade. Long ago, I fell from the warriors. Lone ago, I lost my honor.” Hunters of Gor, page 275

But I recalled that I had, in the stockade of Tyros, recollected the matter of honor. I had entered the stockade alone, not expecting to survive. It was not that I was the friend of Marlenus of Ar, or his ally. It was rather that I had, as a warrior, or one once of such as caste, set myself the task of his liberation. Marauders of Gor, page 5


"It is you who wear the scarlet," he said. "I am only a poor porter."

"Surely you have heard things," I said. I sheathed my knife. I sensed it might be making the fellow nervous.

"I have heard there are thousands of Cosians, their auxiliaries, and their mercenaries, at Ar´s Station," he said. "Of that is true, they must outnumber the regulars in Ar´s Station by as many as ten to one."

"Equipment, supplies?" I asked.

"They brought with them the devices for siege work from Brundisium," he said. "I suppose that, too, must be the source of their supplies."

That seemed to me to make sense. If it were true, however, why had Ar´s tarnsmen not attempted to interdict these supply routes? If they had, I had heard nothing of it.

"The fighting at Ar´s Station, by report, has been lengthy and fierce," said the man. "Her walls are defended by common citizens as well as soldiers. The Cosians, I think, did not expect such resistance.

I supposed not.

"You are of the red caste," said the fellow. "Why is Cos interested in Ar´s Station?"

"I am not fully sure," I said, "but there could be various reasons, and some of them would seem obvious. As you know much of the friction between Cos and Ar has to do with their economic competitions in the Vosk Basin. Taking Ar´s Station would, in a stroke, diminish the major citadel of Ar´s Salerian Confederation and the Vosk League. Renegades of Gor, page33  

In particular I find it difficult to write. In defense I might point out that I can print Gorean fairly well, and can sign my name with a deftness which actually suggests to those who do not know better that I am fully literate in the language. In further defense I might point out that many warriors, for no reason that is clear to me, seem to take pride in a putative lack of literacy. Indeed, several fellows I have known, of the scarlet caste, take pains to conceal their literacy, seemingly ashamed of an expertise in such matters, regarding such as befitting scribes rather than warriors. Thus, somewhat to my embarrassment, I found I fitted in well with such fellows. I have known, incidentally, on the other hand, several warriors who were quite unapologetic about literacy interests and capacities, men who were, for example, gifted historians, essayists and poets. Magicians of Gor, page 76

“He is from the place called “Earth”, too,” said Marcus. Marcus, of high caste, was familiar with various tenets of the second knowledge, such things as the roundness of his world, its movement in space, and the existence of other planets. On the other hand he remained sceptical of many of these tenets as he found them offensive to common sense. He was particularly suspicious of the claim that the human species had an extraterrestrial origin, namely, that it did not originate on his own world, Gor. It was not that he denied there was a place called “Earth” but he thought it must be somewhere on Gor, perhaps east of the Voltai Range or south of the Tahari. Marcus and I had agreed not to discuss the issue. I had no ready response, incidentally, to his suggestion that the human race might have originated on Gor and then some of these folks, perhaps transported by Priest-Kings, had been settled on Earth. Indeed, although I regarded this as quite unlikely, it seemed an empirical possibility. For example, anthropoidal fossils can be found on Gor, as well as on Earth, and so on. At any rate, Marcus found it much easier to believe that magic existed than that his world was round, that it moved, and that there might be other worlds rather like it here and there in the universe. In fact, in his philosophy, so to speak, the universe was still of somewhat manageable proportions. Sometimes I rather envied him. Magicians of Gor, page 295, 296

"You are of the Warriors," he said.
"It is true," I said. Never had I been divested of the scarlet. Let who would, with steel, dispute my caste with me.
"Well," said the man on the dais. "It is late, and we must all retire. You must be up before dawn." Tribesmen of Gor, Page 218

   He is a captain, a guardsman of Port Cos,” said Callimachus. “He is skilled with the sword. He is shrewd, I regard Him as a good officer.”

   “It was he, was it not,” I asked, “who acceded to your command in Port Cos, following your being relieved of your duties?”

   “It was,” smiled Callimachus, “but I assure you I shall not hold that against him, nor will it interfere with my capacity to work closely with him.”

   “If he chooses to work with you”. I said.

   “Of course,” shrugged Callimachus.

   “Do you think he will remember you?” I asked.

   “I would think so,” said Callimachus, ruefully.

   “It was evidence brought against Callisthenes in Port Cos five years ago by Callimachus,” said Tasdron, “which cost him an early promotion, a matter of minor peculation.”

   “Such things are not unknown,” said Callimachus, “but I chose not to accept them in my command.”

   “I understand,” I said. I had a respect for caste honor. Honor was honor, in small things as well as great. Indeed, how can one practice honor in great things, if not in small things? Rogue of Gor, page 231

I am of the Caste of Warriors, and it is in our codes that the only death fit for a man is that in battle, but I can no longer believe that this is true, for the man I met once on the road to Ko-ro-ba died well, and taught me that all wisdom and truth does not lie in my own codes. Priest-Kings of Gor, page 14


Yet such times are good in the life of a warrior, times to be alone, to think.
He who cannot think is not a man, so saith the codes. Yet neither, too, they continue, is he who can only think. Vagabond of Gor, page 65

“Hear,” said Labienus to his men. “He is of the Warriors.”
“He says he is,” said a fellow, glumly.
“What is the 97th Aphorism in the Codes?” inquired Labienus.
“My scrolls may not be those of Ar,” I said. To be sure, the scrolls should be, at least among the high cities, in virtue of conventions held at the Sardar Fairs, particularly the Fair of En´Kara, much in agreement.
“Will you speak?” asked Labienus.
“Remove the female,” I said.
“He is a Warrior,” said one of the men.
One of the men lifted the bound Ina in his arms, one hand behind the back of her knees, and the other behind her back, and carried her from where we were gathered. In a few moments he returned.
“The female is now out of earshot?” inquired Labienus, staring ahead.
“Yes,” said the fellow, “and she will stay where I left her, on her back, as I tied her hair about the base of a stout shrub.”
“The 97th Aphorism in the Codes I was taught,” I said, “is in the form of a riddle: “What is invisible but more beautiful than diamonds?”
“And the answer?” inquired Labienus.
That which is silent but deafens thunder.”
The men regarded one another.
“And what is that?” asked Labienus.
“The same,” said I, “as that which depresses no scale but is weightier than gold.”
“And what is that?” asked Labienus.
“Honor,” I said.
“He is of the Warriors,” said a man. Plenius turned away, stricken.
Vagabond of Gor, page 305

They did so. I was now pleased that they did this. I was not certain, really, of the responses of Marcus. He was not a fellow of Earth, but a Gorean. Too, he was of the Warriors, and his codes, in a situation of this sort, their weapons drawn, entitled him, even encouraged him, to attack, and kill. Players of Gor, page 169


The distinction, of course, is between belonging to the caster of slavers and being a slaver. Whereas members of the caste of slavers are slavers, not all slavers are members of the caste of slavers. For example, I am not of the slavers, but in Port Kar I am know as Bosk, and he known as many things, among them pirate and slaver. Too, both Marcus and myself were of the warriors, the scarlet caster, and as such were not above taking slaves. Such is not only permitted in the codes, but encouraged by them. “The slave is a joy and a convenience to the warrior.” Neither of us, of course, was a member of the caste of slavers. It, incidentally, is sometimes regarded as a subcaste of the merchants, and sometimes as an independent caste. It does have its own colors, blue and yellow, whereas those of the merchants are yellow and white, or gold and white. Players of Gor, page 315

I took no note of the raised staff. I could, of course, at that point, have killed him. Players of Gor, page 315