Back



Etiquette


Forms of Address  
   
Men Address Men By caste - Warrior, Healer, Merchant
  By position - Captain, Historian, Ubar
  By name - Temujin, Solus, or Minus of Ar
  By less familiar - Sir, Master, Stranger, Fellow, or Citizen.
   
Men Address Women Formal - Lady
  With name - Lady Florence
  Familiar with permission - Florence
   
Women Address Men By Caste - Warrior, Builder, Metal Worker
  By position - Castellan, Captain, Ubar
  Familiar with permission - Tavit, Bowie
  Formal - Sir
   
Women Address Women By caste - Scribe
  Position - Historian
  Formal - Lady
  By name - Lady Rhialla
  Familiar with permission - Rhialla
   
Men/Women Address Slaves girl, slave, by name, other descriptive
   
Slaves Address Men Master, other name/title as ordered.
   
Slaves Address Women Mistress, other name/title ordered
   
Slaves Address Slaves sister, brother, by name/title, other descriptive


Points of Etiquette

The following is a collection of points of etiquette which are common to Gor. Everyone, free and slave, may benefit.

Begging: For the most part, Goreans do not favor begging. Some even view it as an insult. When charity is in order, it is usually arranged by the caste or clan. Charity is a special privilege of membership in a caste. Clans depend on blood ties through the fifth degree. It is most common to see female beggars than male ones. Strays, also known as she-urts, are girls who beg and rummage through garbage in the city. They are a civic nuisance and are sometimes rounded up by city guardsmen. They have their own gangs and territories. They are technically free women though there are few to protect them. Some kajira that have been punished by ham stringing, also beg in the streets.

Children: Goreans are generally fond of children and do not inflict suffering or abuse on them. Even slave children are seldom abused and are given much freedom at least until they reach adulthood.

City-States: There is no Gorean expression for "country" in the precise sense of a nation as we know of it. Goreans tend to think of cities and the lands they control. The city state is the basic political division on Gor. A city controls what territory it can and is surrounded by a no-man's land of open ground on every side. The notion of the fixed and absolute border is not a typical Gorean idea. The territory controlled by a city is more fluid and flexible. Cities lose and gain territory often. Jealousies, strifes, rivalries and armed conflicts tend to often separate Gorean cities. Free cities, in pride and suspicion, have an almost fanatical commitment to protecting their own independent destinies, and resist alliances.

Claiming Land: To claim land for your own, land that is unclaimed by anyone else, you must place a yellow stake of claimancy down into the ground. You must then protect that land from before noon that day until sunset.

Colonization: Colonization by Gorean cities tends to resemble classical colonization. A city often founds a colony due to internal overpopulation or political dissension. The potential colonists typically develop their own charter, constitution and laws, even before leaving the city. The colony will also have its own Home Stone. The colony will retain ties with the original city though but will retain much independence as well.

Port Cos is an excellent example if this colonization. Port Cos is a city on the Vosk River. It was founded by settlers from Cos over a century ago. Its ties to Cos are largely historical and cultural, not political. It has its own Home Stone. Many officers of Port Cos were native Cosians, mercenaries or veterans of the Cosian navy. Ar's Station, on the other hand, was established around 10114 C.A., but only as an outpost and trading station on the south bank of the Vosk. It is not a true colony as it retains the Home Stone of Ar. It thus has very strong ties to Ar.

Compliments: Gorean compliments are generally meaningful for they are usually given only when deserved.

Cup Companions: These are one's trusted men.

Free Women: Free women should be treated with respect and honor. Considerable deference is due to a free woman. Free women may speak freely and without permission. They may be bold and do much of what they wish. But, free women must also beware that they possess their freedom only by the will of free men. A Ubara/Tatrix should be treated with the utmost of respect as she does wield great power in the city.

Haggling: The rule in the marketplace and in stores is that there are no fixed prices. Haggling is the order of business. If you wish to purchase an item from someone, haggle over the price. In haggling, you start your offer low and the seller starts his price high. You try to come to a reasonable price, that makes both parties pleased. Many merchants enjoy haggling as much as getting their money.

Hail: This is a form of greeting reserved for experts and champions at some matter. An expert swordsman or kaissa player would be greeted in this manner. No slave would ever be greeted in this manner. Slaves may also use this term when referring to a qualified free person. A Ubar qualifies for this form of greeting.

I Wish You Well: This is the common Gorean phrase of farewell. It may be used by free persons or slaves.

I Ask Your Favor: This is the common Gorean phrase for "please." It may also be used by free persons or slaves.

Lady: This is a term of respect used for free women, especially those of high station or Caste. It is to be used only by free persons though. A slave would not use this term.

Message Cylinder: This is a pointed and weighted cylinder from which messages can be attached. It is commonly dropped from tarn onto the ground and due to its shape and weight, it will stick into the ground and remain erect.

Paga Tavern: When a slave enters a paga tavern, she does not have to ask permission or perform any form of obeisance at the door. A slave should enter quietly and go to kneel in the serving area. A slave should not greet any free person when she enters unless her owner is present. A slave should always greet their owner, once they have gone to the serving area. A slave does need to ask permission to leave the tavern. They should first ask their owner. If the owner is not present, any free person may be asked.

Slaves who are waiting in the serving area should pay attention to see if any free person needs food or drink. If a free person requests a server, they should not have to wait if a slave is just kneeling in the serving area doing nothing. Free persons must also be patient and wait for a slave to be available if they wish refreshment if all the slaves present are currently serving others. Free women will not serve in a paga tavern under almost any circumstances.

Rite of the Claws of the Sleen: This ritual creates "brothers" between two good friends. A sleen claw is used to cut the forearm of both friends. Each man cuts the arm of the other. They then mingle their blood together

Sitting: Free men sit cross-legged. They rarely use chairs as chairs are usually reserved for special people like Administrators, Ubars and judges. Most Goreans find chairs to be uncomfortable anyways. Free women kneel to sit. Their knees are kept close together and their hands lie on their thighs, palms face down. All slaves kneel to sit, and the position of their hands and knees depend on the type of slave they are. Slaves never sit in chairs and might be whipped or even slain for sitting in them.

Slaves Addressing Free People: All slaves must address free persons as Master or Mistress. They will only address their own Master as "my" Master or Mistress. Slaves are not permitted to address any free person by their name. The privilege of using a master's name is reserved for the free woman, in particular the Free Companion. It is said that a slave girl grows bold if her lips are allowed to touch the name of her master. But, some masters prefer to hear their name said by a slave. This is commonly permitted only in private, out of the presence of free women. A slave may tell others the name of her master for explanation purposes only, such as to identify her owner.

Station: Gor is a hierarchical world where your status, station and caste are vitally important. In general, you show respect to those of superior status, station or caste. That includes free women. A free woman of High Caste deserves respect from Low Caste men. A very wealthy woman would be considered of high status and would also be due respect. Though men may consider themselves dominant over women, they still respect the ideas of status, station and caste. Men also respect men of higher standing than themselves. A City Leader would have the highest status of any and would be due respect from all.

Streets: When walking or riding down a street or road, Goreans commonly stay to the left of the road when passing others. This is done so that your sword arm, commonly the right arm, faces the person you are passing.

Tal: Tal is a common Gorean greeting. It is often accompanied with the right hand raised to shoulder level, palm inward, facing the body. This signifies that the person being greeted is not considered an enemy. The gesture shows that the hand is devoid of any weapon. As slaves are not permitted weapons, then this salute would be ludicrous. As slaves must also respect all free persons, they cannot consider any to be their enemy. Thus the salute might even be considered an insult to a free person. Slaves may use the word "Tal" as a greeting but they would not accompany it with the hand gesture. There are examples in the books of slaves using the word "Tal" as a form of greeting.

Thank You: There is no special Gorean term or phrase to thank another person. Slaves may be thanked or not, depending on the will of the free person. Many slaves are especially fearful of any master who shows them such kindness.

Ubar: Ubar is an official title. Slaves addressing a Ubar should refer to him as "Ubar" or "Master" but should not combine the two. "Master Ubar" is not a valid address. A free person's title is always considered respectful for a slave. An "Administrator" or "Regent" would be addressed as such by a slave. Most free persons should also address an Ubar by his title, and not by his name. If you have been given specific permission from the Ubar, you may then call him by his name.

Ubara: Ubara is an official title. Slaves addressing the Ubara should refer to her as "Ubara" or "Mistress" but she should not combine the two. "Mistress Ubara" is not a valid address. Most free persons should also address an Ubara by her title, and not by her name. If you have been given specific permission from the Ubara, you may then call her by her name.

Urth and Mun: These two words are quite common in the online Gorean community yet neither of these words actually exist in the novels. Earth is always referred to by Goreans as "Earth" in the books. Many Low Caste people also do not even know that Earth exists. The term "Urth" should not be used for in-character play or in profiles. Please use the term "Earth." The term "Mun" refers to the real person behind the role-play character. It is also not a term used in the books. It should also not be used for in-character play or in profiles. "Mun" is fine in OOC chats but not for role-play.

Both "Urth" and "Mun" originated in the world of science fiction/fantasy fandom. "Urth" is used in several science fiction/fantasy books as a term for Earth. "Mun" is short for "mundane" and refers to someone who is not into science fiction/fantasy. The online community has just adopted these terms for their Gorean role-play though neither term was ever used in the novels.

Counter-Earth: It is a name that Gor is also known by, a word taken from the writings of the ancient Greek, Pythagoras, who first speculated on the idea.




Back