Oasis Of Two Scimitars

A Gorean RP In The Tahari
 
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 Warrior Basics

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PostSubject: Warrior Basics   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:11 pm


Of all the five Gorean High Castes, the most romanticized and probably the most often misinterpreted caste is the scarlet caste... the Caste of Warriors. Too many foolish young men seem compelled to pronounce themselves "warriors" simply because they like to think of themselves as dangerous, mysterious and chivalrous. This not only is an insult to those who truly are of that caste, it tends to result in the delivery of many such braggarts to the Cities of Dust by the able hands of those who truly know and follow the codes.

Although upon the world of Gor Warrior is a social caste title, in truth social position tends to matter little in dictating who shall be true warriors. Nor does physical size determine who may consider themself a warrior. The fact of the matter is that being a warrior is almost completely dependent upon learning, and maintaining, a specific "mindset" which applies to all things in your life, a set of rules which you strive to live by.



Code

Your word is your bond and should be upheld at all cost.
If a non-outlaw asks to be collared, you must collar or kill that person. 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.
Honor your opponent in victory or defeat.
Pledge loyalty with due consideration, for you must honor your commitments.
He who cannot think is not a man and neither is he who can only think.
The only death fit for a warrior is in battle. Warriors do not kill themselves or aid others in doing so.
Sword loyalty is the bond of fidelity to an Ubar, a military sovereign. 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.
The only honorable reply to a challenge is to accept it promptly.
Warriors do not break their sworn word.
If you lift a weapon against a warrior, he is permitted by his codes to kill you.
Poisoned steel is against the codes.
Do not enter battle with sadness or self-pity, even if you are in an unwinnable battle.
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.
Warriors have a common Home Stone. Its name is battle.
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.
Without the Codes, Men are no better then Beasts.


Honor

First and foremost among the traits of any warrior is his honor. It is his singularly most precious possession... once lost or damaged, it can only be regained through rigorous trial or longterm atonement, and sometimes not even then. A warrior's honor is a beautiful, fragile, powerful, and often fleeting thing, and so it is the responsibility of the warrior to maintain it at all costs. The concept of a warrior's honor is difficult to put into words, especially for those who have never sought it or possessed it. It is a highly personal matter.
Perhaps the best way to explain honor is through example, and comparison. The honor of a Gorean warrior is similar in many respects to what some would define as "character." For example:

A Gorean warrior values highly such personal traits as courage, determination, and honesty. He even values these traits when they are manifested by enemies, and will admire and respect such an enemy even when locked in deadly combat with him. Through the very act of engaging in combat, and fighting honorably, with the respect for one who dares to take up arms against him, a warrior acknowledges the belief that honor transcends even boundary lines of caste, city and code. This is character; this is honor.

When all persons in a room defer to the judgement of one individual, due to respect of his wisdom and/or fear of his weaponry, they are, in effect, doing him honor. It is not the weaponry in itself which is feared...without the hand which wields it, a weapon is merely an object, an empty symbol. What makes a weapon fearsome is the certain knowledge that the person who carries it is willing to use it when necessary. When those who meet a warrior know that he is prepared to instantly enforce his decisions and defend his personal code at all cost, then it would be foolish for any to stand in his way unless they, too, have declared such an objective. You may not agree with a warrior, but any attempt by you to prevent him from taking action will have immediate consequences. A warrior is prepared to face those consequences at any time. Others honor his commitment, and take it seriously, whether they agree with it or not. In fearing the warrior, they do him honor.

When a warrior is taken at his word by others, and earnestly fulfills every vow, every promise, every letter of his codes though perhaps none are at hand to enforce his adherence to these things, then, too, he is said to be a man of honor.

When in the course of combat his enemy is reduced by chance or circumstance to defeat, and is stripped of the means by which to die well in service to his codes, an honorable warrior will, if possible, provide his enemy with an opportunity to stand and be counted until the bitter end. This, also, is honor.

It should be remembered that those who disregard honor and behave dishonorably, through lies, treachery, or other such base acts, have in effect abandoned their right to honorable treatment by men(and women) of honor. If identified as being without honor, such dishonorable persons are seldom treated with respect or afforded the right to an honorable end.



Your Word

One of the greatest and most important points of personal honor is a person's word. This is the yardstick whereby personal honor may be measured. Naturally, it is not always wise to tell the truth, and in certain circumstances the unfailing adherence to veracity can cause great complications, the death or injury of the speaker not withstanding. However, there is a difference between always telling the truth and breaking one's word.

A person's word, is, quite literally, his word of honor. Personally, I am just as willing to bend or stretch the truth as the next man...indeed, oftimes "the truth" is entirely a matter of personal opinion and viewpoint. But when a person offers his or her hand to another and "shakes on it", or even simply looks another in the eye and pledges his or her word that something is a certain way, or swears that something will be done, then that is the formal pledge of the swearer's word of honor. If one pledges his or her word in such a fashion and then breaks faith often enough, then in a short time that person's "word of honor" will come to mean nothing... in short, no one will trust that person or take any stock in what he or she says. Excuses do not exist in such matters... if you pledge your word, you had better be telling the truth. If you swear on your honor to do something, you had better fulfill the promise. If that proves impossible, then you had better take necessary steps to remedy the situation. To do otherwise is to lose honor in the eyes of your peers. To lose honor is to lose the faith of those who honor you.



Respect

Another aspect of honor, and a fundamental tool in the use and practice of the Gorean Warrior's codes, is respect. Respect is a valuable device whereby honor may be done to another by you, but it is also the means whereby a warrior may maintain his status and indeed his very life, through wise application of this particular concept. A warrior does not like a brace of caged sleen, in fact he probably fears them to some extent. But that fear is not blind, thoughtless terror...it takes the form of respect: the respect for a thing which can do you harm. A warrior might not fear to place his arm in such a cage of beasts, but respect of the animals' abilities and ferociousness, and the certain knowledge that he performs such an action at great peril to his own well-being, will prevent him from doing so. A warrior may honor such a beast with a swift death, or through blood ritual after the hunt... this is simply because he admires the creatures deadliness and strength of spirit. But more than he honors it, he respects it for what it can do to him.

A Warrior respects anything which can harm him or his fellows, or is beyond his direct control. He also respects beauty and skill, as well as any talent and ability which requires time and talent to perfect... the cunning strategic mind of the Master Kaissa Player, the skill of the musician who strums the Kalika, the beautiful and intricate patterns of a delicate tapestry. It takes great skill to throw a spear accurately and far... it takes no less skill for a belled pleasure slave to dance superbly for her Master's pleasure. While a Free Man might not honor a slave, he can certainly respect her talents and well-tuned slave nature.



Duty

One of the primary parts of the Gorean Warrior's daily life is service, or duty. Service is any act which is performed on the behalf of another...another Warrior, the general of an army, or a free person in need of aid. Duty is the sense of responsibility which compels a Warrior to serve another, and it is also the manner by which he prioritizes such service. To so serve is to "do one's duty" in the classic sense, that is, to faithfully serve the people or institutions to whom one has pledged his service.



Life and Death

~Gorean Pragmatism~

It is important, when considering the mentality of the Gorean Warrior, to remember that Gor is a deadly place, filled with savage creatures, not the least of which is man. The law of "survival of the fittest" is in constant practice there, and the entire culture of Gor is founded upon that principle. Each Gorean is the result of a culmination of countless centuries of selective breeding, in which the weaker and less adaptive elements of human stock have been culled from the populace, and the strong strain of those who have survived has become the majority of the planetary population. This is actively reflected in basic Gorean philosophy, as well as a fundamental part of that planet's own culture. In short, survival is never taken for granted; the very act of day to day living is prized and much appreciated; and the most ruthless facts of life are brought home to Goreans on a daily basis. Goreans feel that all things which are weak deserve to be enslaved or eliminated, leaving only the proud and strong in their place.



Gold and Steel

~Gorean Tactical Thinking~

Tactical thinking is a large part of the Gorean Warrior mindset... tactics of thought, tactics of combat, tactics of battle. Most Gorean Warriors will debate these subjects for many ahn, sometimes applying their own personal techniques and strategies to a long session over the Kaissa board. But all in all, despite the many subtle variations espoused by different Warriors from the various cultures and areas of Gor, a single dictum, common to all Gorean Warriors, seems to remain the centerpiece of Gorean tactical philosophy. It can be written as: Do what seems best to you; expend as little effort as possible to achieve the maximum gain; and do not fear to try something new and different, should it seem wise to do so.

When a Gorean Warrior says "there exists nothing but gold and steel" what he is saying is that when all matters of human existence are pared down to their essentials, these two items are the absolute sum in the equation... the final driving forces whose interaction impacts his life to the greatest extent. A Gorean likes to get down to basics in such a fashion; not only does it remind him not to waste his time on foolish pursuits, it also allows him the luxury of forgetting trivialities and concentrating upon the most important things which currently exist in his life, whether those things consist of leading tarnsmen in an attack on an enemy cylinder or correctly lacing his sandals in preparation for a long march.

This, then, is an interpretation of the mindset of the basic Gorean Warrior. Do not pronounce yourself a Warrior unless you understand and are prepared to accept these dictims. To do otherwise is to ensure that your stay on Gor will be either short and unpleasant, or lengthy and unfulfilling.



Sub Groups

Tarnsmen

These are people who Fight from Tarnback, masters of the mighty War Tarn, not people who can ride Tarns. Draft Tarns and Racing Tarns are ridden by anyone, but does not make a Man a Tarnsman.

Calvary

Tharlarion and Kaiila Calvary. The High Tharlarion, not saddle tharlarions, draft tharlarions, or racing tharlarions. These men fight with lances and spears while mounted on one of these beasts.

Archery

Bowmen, Spearmen, and Crossbowmen, experts in ranged combat. Archers, whether Bowmen or Crossbowmen have an advantage, they can not be attacked back. This advantage lasts as long as the opponents do not engage in melee range, and a sufficient supply of ammunition is kept available. Crossbow's have increased hitting power and a successful hit on both dice will knock an opponent down, causing them to lose an attack from stun. Bola's - Bola throwers inflict no killing damage,and can not take shelter behind a barricade, but a successful attack with both dice disables the opponent until they can untangle themselves.



Quotes

"The Code of the Warriors, in general, is characterized by a rudimentary chivalry, emphasizing loyalty to pride, chiefs and the home stone. It is harsh, but with a certain gallantry, a sense of honor that I could respect. A man could do worse than live by such a code."
-p.41, Tarnsman of Gor

"It is seldom wise, incidentally, to impugn, or attempt to manipulate, the honor of a Gorean."
-p.297, Mercenaries of Gor

"One who speaks of homestones should stand, for matters of honor are here involved"
-p.27, Tarnsman of Gor

"In the codes of the warriors, there is a saying; 'Be strong, and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits."
-p.10, Marauders of Gor

"I would not have thought Sauros of Tyros would have used poisoned steel," I said. Such a device, like the poisoned arrow, was not only against the codes of the warriors, but, generally, was regarded as unworthy of men. Poison was regarded as a woman's weapon.
-p.18, Marauders of Gor

"The Gorean is suspicious of the stranger, particularly in the vicinity of his native walls. Indeed, in Gorean the same word is used for both stranger and enemy."
-p.49, Outlaw of Gor

"Warriors, it is said in the codes, have a common Home Stone. Its name is battle."
-p.343, Renegades of Gor

"Steel is the coinage of the Warrior... with it he purchases what pleases him."
-p.10, Marauders of Gor


2004 Copy write DaemonStorm
Parts of this essay are by _Marcus_ of Ar
(used with permission of the author)


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