Most of the men at the thing were free farmers, blond-haired, blue-eyed and proud, men with strong limbs and work-roughened hands; many wore braided hair; many wore
talmits of their district; for the thing their holiday best had been donned; many wore heavy woolen jackets, scrubbed with water and bosk urine, which contains ammonia as
it’s cleaning agent; all were armed, usually with ax or sword; some wore their helmets; others had them, with their shields, slung at their back. At the thing, to which each
free man must come, unless he work his farm alone and cannot leave it, each man must be present, for the inspection of his Jarl’s officer, a helmet, shield and either sword or
ax or spear, in good condition. Each man, generally, save he in the direct hire of the Jarl, is responsible for the existence and condition of his own equipment and weapons. A
man in direct fee with the Jarl is, in effect, a mercenary; the Jarl himself, from his gold, and stores, where necessary or desirable, arms the man; this expense, of course, is
seldom necessary in Torvaldsland; sometimes, however, a man may break a sword or lose an ax in battle, perhaps in the body of a foe, falling from a ship; in such a case the
Jarl would make good the loss; he is not responsible for similar losses, however, among free farmers. Those farmers who do not attend the thing, being the sole workers on
their farms, must, nonetheless, maintain the regulation armament; once annually it is to be presented before a Jarl’s officer, who, for this purpose, visits various districts.
When the war arrow is carried, of course, all free men are to respond; in such a case the farm may suffer, and his companion and children know great hardship; in leaving his
family, the farmer, weapons upon his shoulder, speaks simply to them. “The war arrow has been carried to my house,” he tells them.

We saw, too, many chieftains, and captains, and minor Jarls, in the crowd, each with his retinue. These high men were sumptuously garbed, richly cloaked and helmeted,
often with great axes, inlaid with gold. Their cloaks were usually scarlet or purple, long and swirling, and held with golden clasps. They wore them, always, as is common in
Torvaldsland, in such a way that the right arm, the sword arm, is free.Their men, too, often wore cloaks, and, about their arms, spiral rings of gold and silver, and , on their
wrists, jewel-studded bands.

Blue Tooth was a large man, bearded, with a broad, heavy face. He had blue eyes, and was blond haired. His hair came to his shoulders; there was a knife scar under his left
eye. He seemed a shrewd, highly intelligent, competent, avaricious man. I thought him probably an effective jarl. He wore a collar of fur, dyed scarlet, and a long cloak, over
the left shoulder, of purple-dyed fur of the sea sleen. He wore beneath his cloak yellow wool, and a great belt of glistening black, with a gold buckle, to which was attached a
scabbard of oiled, black leather; in this scabbard was a sword, a sword of Torvaldsland, a long sword, with a jeweled pommel, with double guard. Marauders of Gor, page 172

“How many gather?” pressed Blue Tooth.

About his neck, from a fine, golden chain, pierced, hung the tooth of a Hunjer whale, dyed blue. Marauders of Gor, page 172

The carrying of the war arrow is of great importance in Torvaldsland and men respond in number, a man upon receiving it will touch it and pledge his loyalty to it and respond, "I will

With us stood Bjarni of Thorstein Camp, and with him he who had in the formal duel carried his shield. At Bjarni’s shoulder, too, stood the young man, scarcely more than a
boy, whom he had in that duel intended to fight. With the boy, too, was his friend, who would have carried the shield for him. The war arrow had been carried. It had been
carried to the Inlet of Green Cliffs, to Thorstein Camp, from Ax Glacier to Einar’s Skerry; it had been carried to the high farms, to the lakes, to the coast; it had been carried on
foot and by swift ship; a thousand arrows, each touched to the arrow of Torvald, had been carried, and where the arrow had been carried, men had touched it, saying “I will
come.” They came. Captains and rovers, farmers, fishermen, hunters, weavers of nets, smiths, carvers of wood, tradesmen and traders, men with little more than leather and
an ax to their name, and jarls in purple cloaks, with golden pommels on their swords. And among them stood, too, thralls. Their heads were not lower than those with whom
they stood. Among them was the lad called Tarsk, formerly Wulfstan of Kassau, to whom Thyri had once been given for the night. In the night of the at-tack he, at the
Forkbeard’s encampment near the thing field, with an ax, had slain a Kur. I remembered finding the carcass of the animal beneath the fallen, half-burned canvas of the
Forkbeard’s tent. Thralls are not permitted to touch the war arrow, but they are permitted to kneel to those who have. Wulfstan had handed the Forkbeard the ax, disarming
himself, and had then knelt before him, putting his head to his feet. Thralls may be slain for so much as touching a weapon. He had taken dirt from beneath the feet of the
Forkbeard and, kneeling, had poured it on his head. “Rise, Thrall,” had said the Forkbeard. The young man had then stood, and straightly, head high, before the Forkbeard.
The Forkbeard threw him back the ax. “Carry it,” said the Forkbeard. Marauders of Gor, page 230-237-238

Across the valley, there were others, men, waiting, too. The signal would be a shield signal, taking the morning sun, a flash, and then the attack. Hundreds of war cries
would be mingled as men poured down the slopes. There were men here, too, even from Hunjer, Sjkern, Helmutsport and Scagnar itself, on whose cliffs Thorgard’s fortress
ruled. Marauders of Gor, page 239

The FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe FuryThe Fury

Like other hunters, warriors on Gor, they will drink the blood of their enemy or eat the meat as in this case. After victory, there is much rejoicing.

Ivar Forkbeard, followed by Tarl Red Hair and Wulfstan of Torvaldsland, heeled by the bond-maid, Hilda, picked his way toward the burned, looted tents of Thorgard of
Scagnar.  In the valley there burned, still, a thousand fires. Here and there, mounted on stakes, were the heads of Kurii. W stepped over broken axes, shattered poles, torn
leather, from the lodges of the Kurii. We passed a dozen men emptying kegs of ale. It had become cloudy. We heard a ship’s song from two hundred yards to our right. We
passed a group of men who had captured a Kur. A heavy block of wood had been thrust into its jaws and, with leather, bound there.  It was bleeding at the left side of its
face. Its paws had been tied together at its belly and its legs tied in leather ankle shackles. They were beating it back and forth between them with the butts of spears.
“Down! Roll over!” commanded one of the men. It was beaten to its knees and then belly. Prodded by spears it rolled over. A girl fled past us, a sleen, brown and black,
padding at her heels. I slipped once. The dirt, in many places, was soft, from the blood. We picked our way among bodies, mostly those of Kurii, for the surprise, the fury, had
been ours. We passed five men, about fire, roasting a haunch of Kur. The smell was heavy, and sweet, like blood. In the distance, visible, was the height the Torvaldsberg. I
saw Hrolf, from the East, the bearded giant who had joined our forces, asking only to fight with us, leaning on his spear, soberly, surveying the field. In a other place we saw
a framework of poles set on the field. From the crossbar, hung by their ankles, were the bodies five Kurii. Two were being dressed for the spit; two, as yet had been
untouched; blood was being drained into a helm from the neck of the fifth.

“Ivar Forkbeard!” cried the man holding the helmet. He lifted the helmet to Ivar. Over the helmet Ivar doubled and held his fist, making the sign of Thor. Then he drank, a
handed to me the helmet. I poured a drop from the helm to the reddish, muddied earth. “Ta-Sardar-Gor,” said I, “the Priest-Kings of Gor.” I looked into the blood. I saw
nothing. Only the blood of a Kur. Then I drank. “May the ferocity of the Kur be in you!” cried the man. Then, taking the helmet back, and throwing his head back, he drained it,
blood running at the side of his mouth, trickling to the fur at the collar of his jacket. Men about cheered. “Come,” said Ivar to us. “Look,” said a man nearby. He was cutting,
with a ship’s knife, a ring of reddish alloy from the arm of a fallen Kur. The knife could not cut the ring. He lifted it, obdurate and bloody. It was the only ornament the beast
wore. “A high officer,” said Ivar. “Yes,” said the man. Be hind him stood a blond slave girl, naked, her hair falling to her waist. I gathered she belonged to him. “We are
victorious!” said the man to her, brandishing the ring. Over her iron collar she wore a heavy leather Kur collar, high, heavily sewn, with its large ring. He thrust her two
wrists, before her body, into the ring he had cut from the Kur. He then tied them inside, and to, the ring. He then, from his belt, took a long length of binding fiber and,
doubling it, looped it, securing it at its center to the ring, leaving two long ends. He then threw her, on her back, over the body, head down, of the fallen Kur. He took the two
loose ends of the binding fiber and, taking them under the body of the fallen Kur, dragged her wrists, elbows bent, over and above her head; he then, bending her knees,
tied one of the loose ends about her left ankle, and the other about her right. It was the Gorean love bow. He then, regarding her, cut the Kur collar from her throat with the
ship’s knife. He threw it aside. She now wore only one collar, his. She closed her eyes. She moved, lying across it, on the body of the Kur. It was still warm. “It is we who are
victorious,” said he. She opened her eyes. “It is you who are victorious, Master,” she said. Already her hips were moving. “I am only a slave girl,” she wept. With a roaring
laugh he fell upon her. Marauders of Gor, page 260-261

Ivar turned to regard Thorgard of Scagnar. He stood proudly, bound, feet spread.
Hilda, naked, in her collar, knelt to one side and behind the Forkbeard. She covered herself with her hands as best she could, her head down.

The Forkbeard gestured to the several captive slave girls, loot from Thorgard’s tent, kneeling, wrists bound behind their backs, in their brief, mired silk, in throat coffle, those
girls Olga, light-heartedly, had secured for him. “Take them to the pen,” he said to Olga.  Olga slapped her switch in the palm of her hand. “On your feet, Slaves,” she said.
The girls struggled to their feet. “To the pen, hurry!” she snapped. “You will be given to men!” The girls began to run. As each one passed Olga, she, below the small of the
back, was expedited with a sharp stroke of the switch. Then Olga, much pleased, laughing, trotting beside them, herded the running, weeping, stumbling coffle toward the

After a victory, after winning a horrid battle against Kurii, we see that the men can be cruel, horribly so with their enemy, is that a natural thing? Is that the result of the Fury? It is
still there, men of the north were raised harsh, they are raised to survive, to take an eye for an eye and so forth. In their brutality, they can be the fairest of all as we see in this next

Now the Forkbeard returned his attention to Thorgard of Scagnar, who regarded him evenly.

“Some of his men escaped,” said Gorm. Then Gorm said, “Shall we strip him?”

“No,” said the Forkbeard.

“Kneel,” said Gorm to Thorgard of Scagnar, roughly. He prodded him with the butt of a spear.

“No,” said the Forkbeard.

The two men faced one another. Then the Forkbeard said, “Cut him loose.”

It was done.

“Give him a sword,” said the Forkbeard.

This, too, was done, and the men, and the girl, too, Hilda, stepped back, clearing a circle for the two men. Thorgard gripped the hilt of the sword. It was cloudy. “You were al-
ways a fool,” said Thorgard to the Forkbeard.

“No man is without his weakness,” said Ivar.

Suddenly, crying with rage, his beard wild behind him, Thorgard of Scagnar, a mighty foe, now armed, rushed upon the Forkbeard, who fended away the blow. I could tell the
weight of the stroke by the way it fell on the blade, and how the Forkbeard’s blade responded to it. Thorgard was an immensely strong man. I had little doubt that he could
beat the arm of a man to weakness, and then, when it was slowed, tired, no longer able to respond with sureness, with reflexive swiftness, in a great attack, he would hack
through to the body. I had seen such men fight before. Once the sheer weight of the attacker’s blows had turned and driven, inter-posed, his opponent’s sword half through
the man’s own neck. But I did not think the Forkbeard would weary. On his own ship he, not unoften, drew oar. He accepted the driving blows, like iron thunderbolts, on his
own blade, turn-ing them aside. But he struck little. Hilda, her hand before her mouth, eyes frightened, watched this war of two so mighty combatants. Too, of course, the
weight of such blows, particularly with the long, heavy swords of Torvaldsland, take their toll from the striking arm, as well as the fending arm.

Suddenly Thorgard stepped back. The Forkbeard grinned at him. The Forkbeard was not weakened. Thorgard stepped back another step, warily. The Forkbeard followed him.
I saw stress in the eyes of Thorgard, and, for the first time, apprehension. He had spent much strength.

“It is I who am the fool,” said Thorgard.

“You could not know,” said the Forkbeard.

Then Ivar Forkbeard, as we followed, step by step, drove Thorgard back. For more than a hundred yards did he drive him back, blow following blow.

They stopped once, regarding one another. There seemed to be now little doubt as to the outcome of the battle.

Then we followed further, even up the slope of the valley, and to a high place, cliffed, which overlooked Thassa.

It puzzled me that the Forkbeard had not yet struck the final blow.
At last, his back to the cliff, Thorgard of Scagnar could retreat no further. He could no longer lift his arm.

Behind him, green and beautiful, stretched Thassa. The sky was cloudy. There was a slight wind, which moved his hair and beard.

“Strike,” said Thorgard.
On Thassa, some hundreds of yards offshore, were ships. One of these I noted was Black Sleen, the ship of Thorgard. Gorm had told us that some of his men had escaped.
They had managed to flee to the ship, and make away.

Beside me, agonized, I saw the eyes of Hilda.

“Strike,” said Thorgard.

It would have been a simple blow. The men of Ivar Forkbeard were stunned.

Ivar returned to us. “I slipped,” he said.

Gorm and others ran to the cliff. Thorgard, seizing his opportunity, had turned and plunged to the waters below. We could see him swimming. From Black Sleen we saw a
small boat being lowered, rowing toward him.

“It was careless of me,” admitted the Forkbeard.

Hilda crept to him, and knelt before him. She put her head softly to his feet, and then lifted her head and, tears in her eyes, looked up at him. “A girl is grateful,” she said, “—
my Jarl.”

“To the pen with you, Wench,” said the Forkbeard.

“Yes,” she said, “my Jarl! Yes!” She leapt up. When she turned about, the Forkbeard dealt her a mighty blow, swift and stinging, with the flat of his sword. She was, after all,
only a common bond-maid. She cried out, startled, sobbing, and stumbled more than a dozen steps before she regained her balance. Then she turned and, sobbing,
laughing, cried out joyfully, “I love you, my Jarl! I love you!” He raised the weapon again, flat side threatening her, and she turned and, laughing, sobbing, only one of his
girls, fled to the pen. Marauders of Gor, page 264-266

Speaking of honor…

The ax drew back to the termination of its arc, ready for the flashing, circular, flattish sweep that would cut me in two. Then the beast stopped, puzzled. Scarcely had it seen
the flash of Tuchuk steel, the saddle knife, its blade balanced, nine inches in length, which had slipped from my sleeve, turned, and, hurled, struck him. It tottered, eyes wild,
not understanding, then understanding, the hilt protruding from its chest, stopped only by the guard, the blade fixed in the vast eight-valved heart. It took two steps
forward. Then it fell, the ax clattering on the stone. It rolled on its back. Long ago, at a banquet in Turia, Kamchak of the Tuchuks had taught me this trick. Where one may
not go armed, there it is well to go armed.

The huge chest shook. I saw it rise and fall. Its eyes turned toward me.

“I thought,” it said, “humans were honorable.”

“You are mistaken,” I said.

It reached out its paw toward me. “Foe,” it said. “Yes,” I said. The paw gripped me, and I it. Long ago, in the Sardar, Misk, the Priest-King, had told me that Priest-Kings see
little difference between Kurii and men, that they regarded them as equivalent species.

The lips of the Kur drew back. I saw the fangs. It was, I suppose, a frightening expression, terrifying, but I did not see it that way.

It was a Kur smile.

Then it died. Marauders of Gor, page 274

This quote is just awesome, one of the very many facets of men on Gor, they respect their enemy, they respect their piers and are loyal to a fault.

“I would speak!” called Svein Blue Tooth, rising to his feet, lifting a horn of mead. “Outlawry,” said he, “once pro-claimed by the hall of Blue Tooth against the person of Ivar
Forkbeard, he of Forkbeard’s Landfall, is herewith, in this hall, in this place, in the name of Svein Blue Tooth, Jarl of Torvaldsland, lifted!”

There was a great cheer.

“Charges appertaining thereto,” roared the Blue Tooth, spilling mead, “are revoked!”

There were more cheers among the ashes, the blackened, fallen timbers, of the Blue Tooth’s razed hall, amidst which the benches and tables of the feast were set. Many
were the lamps, bowls on spears, which burned, and torches, too. And brightly glowed the long fire in the hall, over which tarsk and bosk, crackling and glistening with hot
fat, roasted, turned heavily on spits by eager, laughing bond-maids.

“Svein Blue Tooth and I,” said Ivar Forkbeard, rising, spilling Hilda from his lap, “have had our differences.”

There was much laughter. The Forkbeard had had a price on his head. The Blue Tooth had sought his life.

“Doubtless,” said he, “it is possible we shall have them again.”

There was again much laughter.

“For a man, to be great, needs great enemies, great foes.” The Forkbeard then lifted his mead to Svein Blue Tooth. “You are a great man, Svein Blue Tooth,” said he, “and
you have been a great enemy.”

“I shall now,” said the Blue Tooth, “if it be within my power, prove to be so good a friend.”

Then the Blue Tooth climbed to the table’s top and stood there, and the Forkbeard, astonished, climbed, too, to the surface of the table. Then the men strode to one
another, meeting one another and, weeping, embraced.

Few eyes, I think, in the ruins of that hall, under the torchlight, beneath the stars, the height of the Torvaldsberg in the distance, illuminated in the light of the three moons,
were dry.

Svein Blue Tooth, his arms about the Forkbeard, cried out, hoarsely. “Know this, that from this day forward, Ivar Forkbeard stands among the Jarls of Torvaldsland!?’

We stood and cheered the fortune, the honor, that the Blue Tooth did unto the Forkbeard.

Ivar, no longer outlaw, now stood among the Jarls of the north.

Spear blades rang on shields. I stood proudly, strong in my happiness for the fortune of my friend. Marauders of Gor, page 279-280
Land of the Brave and the Strong. Beware lest you hear the call:
"The men of Torvaldsland are upon you!"
This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
All rights reserved.
This image was unsigned, but quite beautiful, I am not the
artist behind it and thank whomever took the time to create it.
On Honor, Free Farmers, Mercernaries and the War Arrow