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The Gorean Caste System



Gorean society is divided into "Castes." Each profession or occupation comprises its own caste, and each caste is ranked according to its particular place in Gorean societal interaction. Many of the castes contain within their sphere several distinct sub-castes, particular to the precise activity and requirements of the profession involved. For instance, the caste of slavers is considered to be a sub-caste of the larger and more comprehensive caste of merchants. Slavers sell merchandise, but they restrict their dealings to a particular type of merchandise, namely slaves. Castes are hereditary, meaning that a person is born into the caste of his or her father. Although the caste structure is rather rigid in its requirements, it is possible for a person to alter his or her caste, or to "raise" or "lower" his or her caste according to personal ability and aptitude.
All Goreans belong to a particular caste, with the exception of three types of persons: slaves, Outlaws, and Priest-Kings.




CASTE CODES

Each caste maintains a series of beliefs and rules for its members, which are followed when one is practicing one's profession. These are called the caste's "codes" and deal mainly with matters specific to that particular profession; i.e, a member of the caste of merchants would follow his or her caste codes in regards to maintaining a profitable trade, presenting merchandise in an honest fashion, haggling, etc. Each caste's codes are different.




CASTE COLORS

Many of the major castes of Gor have their own unique "Caste Color." This color is often used by members of that caste to display outwardly that they are associated with the caste which that color represents. Such things as banners, flags, and even buildings will often be of a certain color to show caste alliance. Goreans will often wear clothing of their caste color which makes it known at a glance that they are members of a particular caste. A widely recognized symbol for a member of the Gorean warrior caste is a scarlet tunic, for example, while a scribe would wear robes of his own caste color, blue.

*************************************************************** *xxx]======----- The Karian Notes, Section 03A -----======[xxx* *xxx]======----- Gorean Castes -----======[xxx* *************************************************************** One of the most important aspects which Gorean culture and civilization is based upon is that of caste. Simply put, this means that each person is born into a place, or station in life, and knows absolutely thier position in the social hierarchy thereby. While it is not impossible to move from one caste to another, it is very uncommon, because the Gorean is not only accepting of thier caste, but extremely proud of it, knowing that no matter how menial or exalted it may appear, each of the castes performs a critical function in society, without which that society would be in danger of collapse. In ircGor, many select a caste to claim as thier own. Obviously on Earth, there is no such caste system in place, but we can find analogies for ircGor which match our real life positions. For instance, one who works in a retail store might claim to be of the Merchants, while another who is a paramedic will claim to be of the Physicians, or one who is in the military, call the caste of the Warriors, his own. All Goreans have a caste, based on birth and profession, except for four groups; Priest-Kings, outlaws, slaves, and Dar-Kosis victims (Gor's version of lepers). Priest-Kings are considered above the caste system, outlaws and slaves are considered beneath the caste system, and Dar-Kosis victims are considered completely outside of it. There are five High Castes, a representitive of each sits on the 1:42 Council of each City. There are numerous Lower Castes, thier precise ranking between them has never been completely clear, and certain varies not only from City to City, but in various times as well, as one caste might increase in prominence. In most Cities, the Five High Castes, the Council, elect one person to be Administrator of the City. In war-time, the Council will elect an Ubar, or War-Chief, to lead them. The Ubar (or Ubara if a woman) has absolute dictatorial control of the City. Here follows a short list of the Gorean castes, the colours which are associated with each, and the comparative social ranking;
High Castes
Rank.....Caste.....Colours
1 Initiates White
2 Scribes Blue
3 Builders Yellow
4 Physicians Green
5 Warriors Red

Low Castes
Rank.....Caste.....Colours
1 Assassin Black
2 Slavers Blue/Yellow
3 Merchants Gold/White
4 Wood Carriers Brown/Black
5 Charcoal Makers Black/Grey
6 Tarn Keepers Grey/Green
7 Poets Aqua/Red
8 Singers Aqua/Red
9 Pot Makers Brown/Green
10 Saddle Makers Tan
11 Metal Workers Steel Grey
12 Lamp Lighter Striped Green/White/Red
13 Players Checkered Red/Yellow
14 Peasants Brown

* Note that this list is by no means inclusive, nor are the ranks a wholly accurate listing. There are many more castes, and the only ones generally accepted as the listed ranking are that the Assassins are the top ranked Lower Caste (due in large part to fear which is associated with them) followed by the Slavers and and the Merchants. The Peasants are considered the lowest ranked caste, a fact which they are inordinately proud of, as they consider themselves to be "Ox upon which the Homestone rests", knowing full well that without them, Gorean society collapses. Understand that these castes and their social rankings are a matter of great import to the Gorean, frequently the centerpiece for political activism or intrigue as one caste strives for prominence over another, or a sub-group within a caste agitates for it's recognition as an independant caste, able to make it's own rules and guidelines. In this latter case, usually primary controlling group within a caste does not wish to let the sub-group leave, simply because the more people it governs, the more powerful and prestigious the caste is (the exception to this is that of the the largest caste, the Peasants).



THE CASTS

Gorean castes are divided into two categories, High castes and Low castes.They are listed below, ranked according to their prominence in Gorean government:




HIGH CASTES



CASTE of INITIATES

First of the High Castes. The supposed representatives of the Priest-Kings in Gorean society. They are responsible for guiding the spiritual life of Goreans through their rituals and prayers to the Priest-Kings. Some are rumored to have the ability to call down the wrath of the Priest Kings, or the dreaded "Flame Death," upon those who commit blasphemous acts or who conspire against the Priest Kings. They are recognised by their white robes, their shaven heads and faces, and their refusal to eat meat or imbibe alcohol. They are also required by their caste codes to be celibate. They tend to be learned and well-read, although they are feared and often distrusted by those of the lower castes.
Their caste color is WHITE.

*************************************************************** *xxx]======----- The Karian Notes, Section 03B -----======[xxx* *xxx]======----- Gorean Castes: Initiates -----======[xxx* *************************************************************** The Caste of Initiates serves a unique position in Gor, it is accounted the Highest of the High Castes, and claims to be the direct voice and interpretation of the word of the Priest-Kings themselves. This is the closest that Gor has to organized religion, and to be honest, some of the Initiates actually do have the words of the Priest-Kings being whispered in thier heads through means of technological implants beneath thier cranium bones. The Initiates do not serve any productive purpose on the Face of Gor, true parasites, they live off the collected earnings of those who lend them credance. As such, however, in various places and times, the Initiates have wielded great power through the extensive influence they garner amongst the general populace. It should be understood here that most Goreans consider the Priest- Kings to be very remote from thier lives. They do not think of them as Earthers think of 'Gods', but rather as other beings who inhabit Gor. All-powerful, mysterious creatures who live in the isolated and secure fastness of the Sardar Mountains, and make thier Will manifest from time to time through means of the sudden and always fatal Flame Death, and perhaps, possibly, through these Initiate fellows. Goreans consider the Priest-Kings to be both mortal, and sometimes even, guardians and allies, if they stop to consider them at all.




CASTE of SCRIBES

Second of the High Castes. They are the scholars of Gorean society, the writers and the historians. In their keeping is almost all of the accounting, record-keeping, and writing upon Gor. They tend to be serious and studious, with an attention to detail and a passion for knowledge.
Also in this caste are Mapmakers-explorers, Magistrates and Litigators.
Their caste color is BLUE.

*************************************************************** *xxx]======----- The Karian Notes, Section 03C -----======[xxx* *xxx]======----- Gorean Castes: Scribes -----======[xxx* *************************************************************** The Caste of Scribes, denoted by their blue robes, are in general the scholarly and studious caste. Scribes perform many tasks but are often specialists. Noted for their sharp and aware minds, they are the bookkeepers, accountants, historians, legal experts, compilers of data, mathematicians, and notaries. Some of the military aspects of Scribes are in logistics, mapmaking, historical reference, supply systems, pay rosters, enlistment, and any other support function they might be suited for. Scribes are not generally what one considers a sterotypical Gorean, yet they remain men of Gor. Though not Warriors, Scribes will fight to defend their homestone, their women, or their honor. To this end, many will seek some training in weapons, but not much. Also, though they are not noted for ferocity, they are Masters in their own right, and kajirae should not forget this. The training of a Scribe is mentally rigorous, involving a long childhood of learning, study, and reasoning exercises. They also learn kaissa, the Gorean form of chess, to a greater degree than most other castes. Since much legal business is conducted through Scribes, they generally consider it a wise career move to have an unimpeachable reputation, though there are rogues. Furthermore, since the Scribes are one of the High Castes, it is possible that they might one day sit on the governing council of a city, hence another good reason to ensure they have a reputation for honesty. Each Scribe has a unique sigil or seal with which he stamps his works. Written by Narnus of Port Kar




CASTE of BUILDERS

Third of the High Castes. This caste includes architects, engineers, draftsmen, stonemasons, and many other professions which concern themselves with the creation of the physical and engineering marvels of Gor.
Also in this caste are inventors and technicians who develop such works.
Their caste color is YELLOW.




CASTE of PHYSICIANS

Fourth of the High Castes. This is the caste of those who concern themselves with the healing arts. Surgeons, apothecaries, medical researchers and health practicioners are all members of this caste. Universally recognized as non-combatants during time of war.
Their caste color is GREEN.

*************************************************************** *xxx]======----- The Karian Notes, Section 03E -----======[xxx* *xxx]======----- Gorean Castes: Physicians -----======[xxx* *************************************************************** It is perhaps most frustrating to a Physician entering Gor that he has little support from his other peers. He is smaller, not hardened by war.. often busy even at times when Warriors sit bored in taverns. They have few Castebrothers, and can easily find themselves at the mercy of more physically imposing Men. And even if a Healer can get past these difficulties... they have one major obsticle. They have no Code outlined for them in the Gorean scrolls. Well... perhaps it is time we Physicians made a Code... one that can at least stand until contradicted by information in Gor books yet to be written. Perhaps what we need is a "Physician of Gor" eh, Mr Norman? That being said... I have devised a Code that those of the Caste of Mercy can adopt. And Hardcore Goreans, sit down. We Physicians do exist.. a Code does exist... we just don't know what it says. All is not Gold and Steel when one bears the Mortar and Pestle. Any Healers give your comments, suggestions for additions and deletions to Kyrerus con Kar at wayvyrn@uniserve.com, or directly to his face at #port_kar. Asterisked entries are either those things mentioned in Gorean Scrolls, or things inherent in being Gorean. If i missed any... or if I managed to think of something that already is in the Scrolls... tell me. CODE OF PHYSICIANS *1. Walk with Honour always. We are the most technologically advanced Caste on Gor, and a High Caste as well... this Honour means resonsibility. Regarding War *2. In times of War, a Physician is non-combatant. If the Warriors are the swords and shields defending the Homestone, we are the blacksmiths that keep the blade sharp and bucklar strong. If this non-combatant status is disregarded in times of war, the Caste will declare the transgressor Anethema. 3. When a Freeperson is declared Anethema, he is forbidden care from any who wear the Green. In times of war, his bones will not be mended... in times of peace his diseases will not be treated. 4. A Physician will not initiate combat. To do so shames the Caste and invites violation of our status. Transgressors will lose their Practice. Regarding Practice 5. A Physician's right to perform our art is called the Practice. A Physician may only begin his Practice once his training is complete. Unlike a Warrior who can take battlescars or a Scribe who can re-write a scroll, Physicians who fail in their duties can kill their patient. *6. A Freewoman of the Caste is permitted have a Practice. However, for reasons relating to the propagation of the Caste, a Freewoman is not allowed a Full Practice until she has born two children. A Freewoman upon the beginning of her training has locked on her left wrist Two bracelets. When the woman bears a child, one bracelet is removed. Regarding Responsibility 7. A Physician's responsibilities are as follows in descending priority: 1) The General Health of Gor 2) The General Health of one's proximity. 3) One's Homestone 4) The Health of an individual If your Homestone is Port Cos, and one is in Ar... his responsibility is to the general health of Ar.. War or no War. Physicians within an army are concidered in proximity of their army, not the city it sieges. 8. One of the responsibilities of a Physician is that of advice. Any Freeperson (or slave with proper permission) may come to a Physician and seek his advice. They can expect reasonable secrecy and discretion, the Physician's Confidence. He may discuss matters of Physician's Confidence with other Physicians, and only other Physicians. He must have the consent of the one asking of his advice before discussing it with anyone not of the Green. Matters of Physician's Confidence cannot be used for selfish gain. 9. Sometimes a patient will need to be kept in the care of a Physician for some extended period of time. A Physician connot enslave a Freeperson in his care, nor can he allow the patient to be enslaved. 10. If it is in the interest of greater health, a Physician can enact Euthanasia. An example is in the case of a fatal epidemic or plague. The killing of a violent mass murderer is not... that is the province of Warriors. 11. Alieviate suffering, stop pain, be an agent of Mercy. The Priest-Kings have blessed us with many gifts to bring Mercy to the sick, wounded, suffering. Use them as such.




*************************************************************** *xxx]======----- The Karian Notes, Section 03G -----======[xxx* *xxx]======----- Gorean Castes: Assassins -----======[xxx* *************************************************************** 12:358 Assassin Codes Will only kill if they have taken money "There is only gold and steel" In training, they are paired with another trainee, at the end of the training, one must kill the other to graduate and become an Assassin, the last impediment to the turning of their heart to stone is the slaying of one who is dear to them. They wear the Black They wear the sign of the Black Dagger on their forehead when on contract The proper title of respect is "Killer" Gold from an Assassin is called "Black Gold", or "Blood Money", most will not accept it, it is considered tainted. The killing dagger hilt is inscribed with "I have sought him, I have found him", left in body.




Ubar Luther's~*~Castes of Gor~*~
Ubar Luther's~*~The Caste of Rencers~*~
Ubar Luther's~*~Warrior Caste~*~
Ubar Luther's~*~Initiate Caste~*~
Ubar Luther's~*~Assassin Caste~*~




~*~To The Rooms~*~




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