Ar is the greatest city on Gor and the most detailed
city within the novels. Ar is the setting or focal point for many of the
books, from Tarnsman of Gor to Magicians of Gor. It stands as a symbol for
the ideal Gorean city, a model for other cities to emulate. Only Turia, in
the southern hemisphere, comes close at matching the size and grandeur of
Ar. Ar is also a city with a turbulent history, a place that has even attracted
the specific attention of the mysterious Priest-Kings. The ultimate fate
of Ar stands in question at the end of Magicians of Gor, the 25th book, due
to the unfortunate cessation of the series. Hopefully, additional novels
will be published to resolve this matter and answer the questions we have
concerning the future of Ar, Marlenus, Talena and many
Ar is situated in the northern hemisphere of Gor, in the lower temperate
latitudes. Temperate means essentially that it has a mild climate. Thus,
in the winter it will only have occasional snows and more often cold rains.
The summer heat will generally not run to extremes either. The spring and
fall will seem to be longer seasons than the summer and winter due to the
On the northern border of Ar is a swamp forest, the home of the Swamp
Spiders, also known as the Spider People. These are large, intelligent spiders
who inhabit enormous, complex webs that stretch across the terrain. They
are generally a peaceful race who refuse to harm other rational creatures,
even in self-defense. Unfortunately for the Spider People, the people of
Ar have no such compunctions. They hunt and slay the Spider People to obtain
Cur-lon Fiber, apparently derived from their web material, similar to spider
silk. The Fiber is used in the mills of Ar though its actual uses are not
described. This is also one of the only areas that was left untouched when
Marlenus created his Margin of Desolation.
Further north of Ar, after three days ride by tarn, forming its northern
border, is the mighty Vosk River. The Sardar Mountains are a five day ride
by tarn from Ar. The Vosk River, about forty pasangs wide, is one of the
largest rivers on Gor. You must cross the Vosk to travel to the northern
cities such as Thentis and Ko-ro-ba. Most of the river towns are located
on the northern bank because of Ar's Margin of Desolation. Nearly all of
the river towns on the Vosk have recently declared their independence and
formed the Vosk League. For a long time, Ar and Cos battled for control of
the Vosk and its towns. The formation of the Vosk League has significantly
lessened the control of both Ar and Cos.
Around 10114 C.A., Ar established a trading station on the southern
bank of the Vosk River, Ar's Station. Ar's Station was considered an outpost
of Ar and not an official colony. This meant that it did not have a Home
Stone of its own and shared the Home Stone of Ar. Ar did not permit Ar's
Station to join the Vosk League. Ar feared losing their control on the Vosk
if Ar's Station joined the League. The later conquest of Ar's Station by
Cos, and Ar's failure to aid them, has soured most of the town against Ar.
In addition, the traitors within Ar accused Ar's Station of collaborating
with Cos and willingly surrendering their city to Cos. It seems certain that
in the future Ar's Station will sever its ties to Ar.
Northeast of Ar, a few pasangs away, are the Fulvian Hills, foot
hills of the Voltai Range. This is also the location of the villa districts
of Ar, the site of many small, white-washed villas. A number of small roads
wind through the hills connecting the often isolated villas. To the northeast
and the east of Ar are the Voltai Mountains. The lights and tallest cylinders
of Ar are visible from certain locations within the Voltai. Men from Ar journey
to the Voltai to hunt larls. The Voltai is also the location of Ar's enemy,
Southeast of Ar will eventually lead below the Voltai Mountain range
but it is not a direction that men commonly travel as it leads into the desert
regions of the Tahari. The southern border of Ar is delineated by the Cartius
River, a river that derives its name from the direction it lies from Ar,
using the Gorean compass. The Cartius flows west by northwest and was once
though to be a tributary of the Vosk though it is not. The tarnsmen patrols
of Ar do not venture south of the Cartius. South of the Cartius leads to
the lands of the southern hemisphere like Turia and the Plains of the Wagon
Peoples. Southwest of Ar are a number of sul fields. The agriculturist Appanius,
who once owned the seduction slave Milo, possesses fields here. West of Ar
you will eventually reach Thassa though it is over one thousand pasangs away.
Ar is a landlocked city and that is partially why they consider the Vosk
River to be so important.
Ar was once surrounded by a large, barren region called the Margin
of Desolation. When Marlenus first became Ubar of Ar, he devastated a large
region surrounding Ar out to about three hundred pasangs, about 210 miles.
Nearly all of the vegetation was cut down, wells were filled in, and fertile
land was salted. T here remained only a few isolated groups of trees on the
borders of Ar and the swamp forest. This desolate region became an "invisible
wall" to protect Ar from attack. It created a barren zone that would prevent
invading armies from using the land to resupply themselves. Armies would
need to bring their own supplies which would add to the difficulty of any
attack. As the average daily march of an army is about forty pasangs, it
would mean an invading army had to march for over seven days through this
But sometime after the events of Assassin of Gor, when Marlenus was
once again Ubar of Ar, he decided to eliminate the Margin of Desolation.
The lands were made fertile once again, new wells were dug, animals were
transplanted to populate this region, and Peasants were allowed to take up
residence. Despite this rebirth, the region still retains its name. The
elimination of this barren region was a cause for concern for a number of
northern cities. They felt it signaled that Marlenus intended to expand his
empire northward. This fear, in part, led to the eventual formation of the
The primary road that leads out from Ar is the Viktel Aria, a name
that translates into "Ar's Triumph" or "The Triumph of Ar." It is also known
as the Vosk Road because it is the most direct route from Ar to the Vosk
River. The road ends at Ar's Station on the Vosk. The Viktel Aria is a well-built
military road, with close-fitting stones. It is wide enough to allow wagons
and tharlarions to travel down it. It is also marked with pasang stones so
that one can ascertain their position on the road and the distance to certain
cities, villages or crossroads. Deep ditches line most of the sides of the
Viktel Aria, except where other roads intersect. These ditches are a defense
against invaders, preventing them from easily bringing supply wagons onto
the road. Ar is very cognizant of the fact that an effective army requires
adequate supplies to function well.
There are a number of roads that intersect the Vosk Road. The Holmesk
Road leads from the Vosk Road to Holmesk, the winter camp of the army of
Ar. The Eastern Way, also called the Treasure Road, may also link up to the
Vosk Road. The Eastern Way links the western cities with Ar and the city
of Torcodino is located on this road. The Argentum Road leads from the city
of Argentum and travels east to the Vosk Road. You must then turn south to
Ar. There are other roads that intersect the Vosk Road but they are not named
or described in the books.
There are a number of hurt ranches situated outside of Ar though
no description of their actual location is given. These are large, fenced
ranches where hurts are raised for their wool. The hurts are commonly herded
by trained sleen and sheared by kajiri.
The Ka-la-na orchards of Ar, located outside the city, are famous
for producing excellent fruit. Boleto is a well-known vintner and is famous
for the production of several good, medium-grade Ka-la-nas. His "Nectar of
the Public Slave Gardens" is a popular brand of Ka-la-na served in Ar's public
There are several Dar-Kosis pits located outside the city. These
pits are meant to house the contagious victims of the dreaded Dar-Kosis.
The pits are built like wells though they are quite large, about 100 feet
deep and 200 feet wide. There are caves dug into the walls of the pits, the
living areas of the infected, and usually a cistern in the center of each
pit to provide water. One of these pits contains a secret passage into Ar,
a passage that proceeds under the city walls. In this pit, there is a valve
hidden in the cistern that opens a passage one of the walls. There is another
valve on the other side of the wall so that it can be closed behind you.
The tunnel leads to a tarn cot and then to stairs leading into the Central
Cylinder of Ar. This may be only one of several secret passageways into Ar.
There are an unknown number of cities and villages located outside
Ar that are under the hegemony of Ar. Most of these places though are not
specifically named, described or located. These include the Twelve Tributary
Cities. One named village under the control of Ar is called Minus. Most of
the major settlements are likely located past the Margin of Desolation, at
least three hundred pasangs from Ar. But, since the Margin has been allowed
to be resettled, there are at least a few villages located within that zone.
Ar is the most populous city on Gor though there are not fully accurate
figures for its exact population. An accurate census of its population does
not seem to be a concern. A reasonable estimate of its free citizens is thought
to be about two and three million. There is also approximately another quarter
of a million non-citizens who reside in the city. In addition, there is also
approximately a quarter of a million slaves, primarily women. This means
that roughly 15% of the female population of Ar are slaves, a percentage
much greater than the Gorean norm of 2% to 3%. Please remember that these
figures reflect only the population of the city itself and does not include
the population of all of the lands under the control of Ar.
Ar is far more than a simple city. It is a small empire in its own
right, a central city that controls twelve other cities, the Twelve Tributary
Cities. These cities came under the hegemony of Ar during the early reigning
years of Marlenus. Some of these cities are located north of Ar but no
description, name or location is given for these twelve cities. The Home
Stones of these cities are kept in the Central Cylinder of Ar. Some of these
cities aided Master Assassin Pa-Kur when he besieged Ar, hoping to gain their
independence. They failed and remain under the hegemony of Ar.
The actual physical size of Ar is never given though it must be quite
large, containing thousands of cylinders. It is at the very least, several
pasangs in diameter. Ar is surrounded by double walls of stone, though parts
of those walls were destroyed by Cos during the events of Magicians of Gor.
The stones were transported elsewhere for construction work. The outer wall
was about three hundred feet high while the inner wall was about four hundred
feet high. The two walls were separated from each other by a distance of
about sixty feet. Every fifty yards on the walls was located a guard tower.
Each wall was very wide, sufficient for six tharlarion-driven wagons to travel
side by side. After the events of Assassin of Gor, the city walls were painted
white so that the sun would cause a glare to bother anyone attempting to
attack or besiege the city. At night, fires were lit at certain areas on
the walls to act as beacons for tarnsmen. Tarn wires were often kept in place
over the city to prevent raiding tarnsmen from entering the city.
There are a number of gates in the walls to permit entrance into
Ar. There are forty public gates and an unknown number of smaller gates where
entrance is restricted. There are even some secret gates, known only to a
few. The great gate of Ar, the largest of all of the gates, leads directly
to the Viktel Aria. Within the city, the great gate open onto the Avenue
of the Central Cylinder and heads north to the Central Cylinder itself. The
great gate is made of strong wood and is plated with metal. Unfortunately
this gate was destroyed by Cosians in Magicians of Gor. It appears that the
great gate is a sun gate, which means it is only open from dawn to dusk.
At night, it closes and would-be entrants must seek out another gate. The
Tarn Gate is Ar's west gate. The rest of the gates are not named in the books.
Districts of Ar
A small number of districts of Ar were named and/or described in
the books. The districts are akin to neighborhoods, sections of the city
united often by a common purpose or theme. The list of districts, along with
the streets and structures of Ar, could allow someone to create a basic map
of Ar. Some liberties would need to be taken to place certain locations that
were not more fully described in the books.
Anbar District: The Anbar is one of the most dangerous districts
in the city. It is located south of the Plaza of Tarns and there are a number
of insulae in the district. This would also be considered one of the poorer
districts in the city.
Metallan District: This district is located southeast of the district
of the Central Cylinder, west of the Avenue of Turia and south of the Plaza
of Tarns. It is a low class district thought not poverty striken. There are
a number of insula here. It is a distance from the major avenues of central
Ar and thus has acquired a reputation as a place for secret assignations
to occur. Demetrios Street is located here.
Street of Brands: This is not a street but actually a district within
Ar, located near the Avenue of Turia. Many of the shops and buildings in
this district concern slave sales and items connected with slavery, both
wholesale and retail. You can rent or board slaves here, attend slave auctions,
get slaves trained or purchase a myriad of slavry equipment.
Street of Coins: This is also not a street but a district where banking
in various forms is conducted including money changing, loans, letters of
credit and more.
Trevelyan District: This district is one of the most dangerous ones
in Ar. It is located east of the Avenue of the Central Cylinder. This would
also be considered one of the poorer districts in the city.
Other Districts: Certain other areas are considered districts, based
on some central feature of the area. These though are less likely to be
considered "named" districts. "District" is used in a more descriptive form
simply to identify a general area surrounding the structure. For example,
the district of the Central Cylinder is simply the area around that cylinder
and generally does not refer to a specifically named district like the Anbar
Streets of Ar
A small number of streets of Ar were named and/or described in the
books and they are listed here. There are many more streets in Ar than the
ones presented here. Some streets in Ar do not even have specific names.
Other streets have multiple names. This can make it difficult traveling through
Ar if you are unfamilar with the area. In addition, it is illegal for
non-citizens to make maps of the city.
Alley of the Slave Brothels of Ludmilla: This is a reasonably large
street in the Street of Brands district. It is located behind the Avenue
of Turia, a walk of only two or three ehn. It can be accessed through a crevice
between two buildings on the Avenue of Turia. There are many brothels on
this street and the street is named for a prominent owner of such brothels.
Ludmilla owns brothels including the Chains of Gold, supposedly the best
and most expensive brothel in Ar. She also owns some cheap tarsk-bit brothels
such as the Silken Cords, the Scarlet Whip, the Slave Racks and the Tunnels.
The insula of Achiates also lies on this street. Harness Street crosses this
Aulus Street: This street is situated in the vicinity of Tarn Court.
The word "aulus" means "flute" so the street may also be referred to as Flute
Street. Aulus borders the Pentilicus Tallux theater. Several blocks east
of Aulus is a vegetable and fruit market at Tarn Court.
Avenue of the Central Cylinder: This is the largest and grandest
street in Ar. It is more than four hundred feet wide and dominated by the
Central Cylinder at one end. Though the street is paved, there are many trees
planted on its sides. There are also frequent fountains, making this a beautiful
street. Like the Avenue of Turia, most of the shops are very expensive and
exclusive, partially due to the very high rents for shops on this avenue.
There are also public boards and state boards on this street, places for
notices and advertisements. The state boards are for official city business.
The shop of Philebus, who specializes in Turian silk, is located on this
Avenue. Both Silver Street and Clive Street lead off this avenue. Clive Street
leads off to the west.
Avenue of Turia: This is one of the major avenues in Ar and is located
in the Street of Brands district, east of the Metallan District. It is lined
with Tur trees and that is how it acquired its name. It is a wide street
with many fountains. It is well known for its exclusive shops for the wealthy.
Harness Street and Wagon Street both lead off of this Avenue. From the Central
Cylinder, you head and take a left onto Wagon Street and that will lead you
to the Avenue of Turia.
Boulveard of Teiban: Teiban, a north/south street, borders the Teiban
Sul Market on its western side. At the northwest corner of the Market, Teiban
and Clive Street intersect. At the southwest corner of the Market, Teiban
and Venaticus intersect.
Clive Street: This street leads west off the avenue of the Central
Cylinder. It borders the Teiban Sul Market on the north. At the northwest
corner of the Market, Clive intersects the Boulevard of Teiban. Headed west
on Clive, you will also connect to Hermadius Street and then Emerald Street,
which leads south off of Clive.
Demetrios Street: This street is located in the Metallan district.
The insula of Torbon is on this street.
Emerald Street: This street has a number of food shops. The street
leads south off of Clive street and it leads to the Plaza of Tarns. You can
turn right off Emerald, headed west, onto Tarn-Gate Street.
Gate Street: This street leads to the Plaza of Tarns.
Harness Street: This street was once the location of several harness
makers and thus it acquired its names. It is a side street off the Avenue
of Turia and it also crosses the Alley of the Slave Brothels of Ludmilla.
It is an east/west street that leads east to Wall Road.
Hermadius Street: This is a small, north/south street that leads
to the Plaza of Tarns. It intersects with Clive Street and Silver Street
also leads off of it.
Lorna Street: This is a busy street.
Plaza of Tarns: The Plaza is located north of the Anbar and Metallan
districts. Several streets lead into the Plaza including, Emerald Street,
Gate Street, Hermadius Street, and Tarn-Gate Street.
Silver Street: This street leads to the Avenue of the Central Cylinder
and is also located off of Hermadius Street.
Street of Pots: This street is likely named for having a number of
Pot Makers work and reside there.
Street of Tarns: This street has a number of shops and buildings
associated with tarns, including boarding tarns, training, tarn equipment,
tarn rental and more.
Tarn Court: This is a wide street that proceeds east/west. It is
located near Aulus Street. A vegetable and fruit market is held there and
the market area is covered by vine-covered trellises that provide some beneficial
Tarn-Gate Street: This street leads directly from the Tarn Gate to
the Plaza of Tarns.
Varick Street: This street is located west of Aulus Street.
Venaticus Street: This east/west street borders the Teiban Sul Market
on its southern side. At the southwest corner of the Teiban Sul Market, Venaticus
intersects Teiban. Venaticus leads east toward the Avenue of the Central
Wagon Street: This east/west street is located south of Venaticus
and leads off the Avenue of the Central Cylinder. This street can be followed
east to the Avenue of Turia and to the Street of Brands. There are a number
of depots of fee carts and slave lockers here.
Wall Road: This is the longest street in the city and it circles
the perimeter of the inside of the walls surrounding Ar. This road is a
convenience to the citizens who wish to easily travel across Ar and it more
importantly allows troops to be moved rapidly from point to point.
Structures of Ar
A number of buildings, shops, residences and other structures located
within the city of Ar were named or described in the books. These would
complement any street map of Ar one could devise. Please remember that there
are many, many more buildings, shops, residences and other structures located
in Ar than are noted here. I have only tried to include items that are
specifically named in the books. I did not include items such as the palestrae,
carnariums, etc. that exist inside or just outside the city but are not
specifically named or located.
Aurelius, House of: This is a Slave House that specializes in the
rental, buying and selling of slave dancers.
Brothels: Ar has a number of brothels, of various types. They range
from cheap ones costing only a tarsk bit to luxurious places costing several
gold tarns. Many of them are located on the Alley of the Slave Brothels of
Ludmilla. Ludmilla owns brothels including the Chains of Gold, supposedly
the best and most expensive brothel. She also owns some cheap tarsk-bit brothels
such as the Silken Cords, the Scarlet Whip, the Slave Racks and the
Capacian Baths: These baths are said to be the finest on Gor. They
cater to all budgets and have bath girls costing one copper up to a silver.
For that price, you can use the kajira for as long as you wish, limited only
by the bath's closing time. The Capacian has dozens of different pools, differing
in shape, size, décor, temperature and even the scent of the water.
Some of the different pools include the Pool of Blue Flowers, Pool of the
Tropics, Pool of Ar's Glories, Pool of the Northern Forests, Pool of the
Splendor of the Hinrabians and the Pool of the Blue Flowers. In the Pool
of the Blue Flowers, the water temperature is kept cool. There is a translucent
bluish dome overhead. The room is filled with the fragrance of Veminium flowers
and the walls, columns, and bottom of the pool are all decorated with
representations of the Veminium. There are many plants here as well, hiding
a number of nooks and glades. The Capacian is within walking distance of
the Stadium of Tarns.
Central Cylinder: This is the largest Cylinder in Ar, reaching over
one thousand feet into the sky. It is almost a city in of itself. It is situated
in the center of a circular park, among trees, vegetation and fountains.
Primary entry is gained through two massive doors, wide enough for a several
tharlarion to pass. The Cylinder houses the offices of many different city
agencies and organizations such as the war office. It is the meeting place
for the High Council of the City. In addition, it contains the living quarters
of the ruler of Ar, be it Ubar or Administrator. The interior of the Cylinder
varies. You may find spiraling stairways or gradients. You may find marbled
floors or carpeted areas. Energy lamps are more common than torches or lanterns.
There are arrow ports in certain sections of the walls. There are vast dungeons
and underground passages beneath the Cylinder. The roof is round and appears
to emit a blue light from beneath it. In the center of the roof is a low,
round platform, where the Home Stone of Ar is kept. Though it appears to
be left in the open, it is well guarded. The Home Stones of the Twelve Tributary
Cities are also kept in this Cylinder.
Claudius, House of: This is a prestigious slave auction
Curulean: This is the most prestigious slave auction house in all
of the city. From the outside, it resembles several tiers of disks, surrounded
by a circling portico with lofty fluted columns. It is covered by a domed
ceiling with metal, shuttered vents that slaves can open to allow in air.
Inside, there is a tiered amphitheater, with a background color of red. Around
the interior walls and on the floor are numerous mosaics depicting a variety
of scenes, stories and events connected with the institution of slavery.
These includes scenes of hunting, capture, enslavement, training, sale, dance,
and submission. One series of mosaics depicts a slave raid from the initial
planning phases to the successful return on tarn by the Slavers. The series
continues through the registration and training of these girls and on to
their auction at the Curulean. Finally, the series presents a hypothetical
history of these slaves who have now find happiness with their masters. The
area is lit by energy bulbs. There are special seats set aside for important
personages. During an auction, vendors of food and drinks will pass through
the tiers and musicians will play music. There is a strongly barred gate
at the rear of the Curulean for deliveries. The Curulean also contains many
other different rooms and offices such as for medical exams, facilities to
wash slaves, the offices of market officials, rooms containing slavery supplies
and more. The slaves are kept in underground, holding cells. There are also
exposition cells where the public can view the merchandise for sale that
The central feature of the Curulean is its great auction block. This central,
semi-circular block is about fifteen feet high and forty feet in diameter.
A set of stairs lead to the top of the block that is commonly covered with
sawdust, out of tradition. The block is painted blue and yellow, the caste
colors of the Slavers, and ornately carved. The carving, painted white, shows
the figures of nine slave girls. They represent the legendary first nine
girls that were ever enslaved when Ar was but a small village many thousands
of years ago. As the girls have rope collars, it is claimed that Ar did possess
the skills of metal working at that time. It is also part of the legend that
these slaves were forced to breed sons for the men of Ar. This seems unusual
in that Goreans rarely breed with their slaves as the offspring of a slave
is commonly considered a slave. When a girl is sold on this block, most of
the energy bulbs, except the ones directed at the block, will be dimmed or
It is many a slave's dream to be sold from the great block of the Curulean.
Chances are that the slave will be bought by a wealthy Master. A slave rarely
sells for less than two gold tarns on the great block, a hefty sum when you
consider most slaves sell for silver or even copper tarsks. A beautiful women
of High Caste might even sell for as much as fifty gold tarns. The Curulean
has a number of sideblocks as well as the central block. Kajirae sold from
these side blocks sell for less than they do on the central block.
Cylinder of Builders: Though not mentioned in the books, it is very
likely this building exists as the other High Castes have their own
Cylinder of Documents: This building contains legal and official
Cylinder of Initiates: This building contains the offices and residences
of the Initiate Caste.
Cylinder of Justice: This building is made of white marble and has
a flat roof, about a hundred yards in dimater. The roof is surmounted by
a fifty-foot high, silver impaling spear that can be raised and lowered.
This building is for legal matters though it is unknown if it is only for
the civil courts, the Initiate courts, or both.
Cylinder of Physicians: This building contains the offices and residences
of the Physician's Caste.
Cylinder of Scribes: Though not mentioned in the books, it is very
likely this building exists as the other High Castes have their own
Cylinder of Warriors: This building contains the offices and residences
of the Warrior's Caste. It is also known as the Towers of the
Decorative Marble: At various locations throughout the city there
are decorative works of marble, including on the Avenue of the Central Cylinder,
the Central Cylinder itself and the Cylinder of Justice. Many of these marble
works depict historical events.
Enterprises of Aemilianus: This business is located in the Plaza
of Tarns and one of its lines of business is the supply of Feast
Fountain of Hesius: This is said to be impressive but its decsiption
and location are not given in the books. Possibly it contains a statue or
mural of Hesius.
Four Lamps Bridge: This is one of the only bridges named in the books.
It is located about four bridges away from the Cylinder of the
Grain Cylinders: These are large cylinders meant to store excess
grain, especially against a siege.
Hinrabian Kilns: These are vast, walled kilns which provide much
of the source of the bricks used in the city. They are owned in large part
by the Hinrabian family, who are prominent among the Builders.
House of Records: This appears to be a different location than the
Cylinder of Documents. Some official city records are kept at this location.
The building has a displuviate atrium, open to the sky, that sheds rainwater
Kelsius, House of: This is a Slave House that specializes in the
rental, buying and selling of slave dancers.
Oneader, House of: He is a Merchant who also has a house in
Philebus, Shop of: Located on the Avenue of the Central Cylinder,
this shop specializes in the sale of Turian silks. The shop is accessed through
a narrow door that leads to an inner courtyard, open to the sky, so that
the shop can display its wares in natural light.
Public Auction Houses: The city has five public slave auction houses.
These houses are licensed and taxed.
Publius, House of: This is a slave auction house located in the Ar
Street of Brands. It is a minor house, commonly selling cheap slaves in
Publius, Shop of: This shop sells veil pins. It is unknown if it
sells other wares as well.
Siege Reservoirs: These are large cylinders meant to store water,
especially against a siege.
Stadium of Blades: This is an arena for gladiatorial combat in Ar,
located over a pasang away from the Tallux Theater. These combats are often
to the death. They most often involve criminals and poor mercenaries, prizes
of gold and amnesty offered. Kazrak banned such contests when he became
Administrator. Warriors rarely participate. There are large training schools
in Ar for such warriors and beasts. The Stadium is sometimes flooded for
sea fights, the water filled with marine predators. The tarn races are more
popular though and usually have different crowds in attendance. Normal salute
is "Hail (name), Ubar of Ar. We who are about to die salute you." The normal
season for these combats finished at the end of Se'Kara. Beneath the stands
are numerous holding areas for animals, criminals and other
Stadium of Tarns: This is an arena for tarn racing in Ar, a more
popular activity than the gladiatorial combats though they do garner different
crowds. Tarn racing is similar in some ways to the chariot racing in ancient
Rome. Tarn racers in Ar commonly belong to different colored factions though
there are some independent racers. An attempt to form a new faction is expensive
and if the factions does not win a substantial proportion of the races in
the first two seasons, by law they are no longer recognized. Supporters will
wear faction patches, sewn onto the left shoulder, representing the color
they support, including blue, orange, green, red, gold, yellow, silver and
steel. These patches may be cheap rep cloth or even expensive silk. Most
racing fans will stay for all of the races during an event. The Ubar's Race
is the final race of the Love Feast and is considered an important
Tabidian Towers: This collection of seventeen cylinders are considered
to be one of the finest residential districts in Ar.
Tabron, Shop of: Tabron is a worker of silver.
Taverns: Some of the taverns listed in the books include: Tavern
of Two Chains, The Pleasure Silk, The Jeweled Ankle Ring, The Perfumed Rope,
The Silver Cage, and The Belled Collar. The Belled Collar is owned by Busebius.
There is also the tavern of Spindius, located near the great gate. It is
a cheap and smelly place frequented by strangers amd small Merchants. There
is also the Green Tarn tavern, a place that favors the green faction of tarn
racers. The proprietor is Kliimus, a genial man who is bald and red-nosed.
The entire tavern is themed in green so that the paga slaves wear green silks
and much of the place is decorated green. There is much racing memorabilia
as well including have racing lists, results, and pictures of tarns and famous
riders. It is located close to the Stadium of Tarns. Though the books do
not mention it, there may be similar taverns that cater to different colored
Teiban Sul Market: This market is never actually described though
it appears to be large based on its location and surrounding streets. It
is likely this is a produce market, possibly specializing in suls. Clive
Street borders it on the north, Venaticus Street on the south and the Boulevard
of Teiban borders it on the west.
Theater of Pentilicus Tallux: This may be the largest theater in
Ar, over one hundred ayrds wide and twenty yards deep. It has a roofed stage
and lends itself easily to large-scale productions. But, the theater also
perform many smaller productions so that only the center portion of the stage
is often used. The complete stage could handle at least one thousand actors.
The stage is strong and well made and could even support tharlarion-driven
wagons atop it. The theater is named after a famous poet of Ar who lived
over one hundred years ago. He was known for his poems in the delicate, trilesiac
form and for two sensitive dramas. The theater is located over a pasang away
from the Stadium of Blades.
Ar is thought to be the oldest settlement on Gor, over 10,000 years
old. Its actual age may be less than that but we will likely never know.
Legend states that Ar was founded by Hesius, the mythical first man on Gor.
The Ar calendar thus dates itself from this legendary founding. Years are
reckoned as "Contasta Ar" which means "from the founding of Ar." Tarnsman
of Gor begins in 10109 Contasta Ar (C.A.) and Magicians of Gor ends in 10131
C.A. Hesius figures into much of the mythology of Ar and he may be the same
person as that of Hersius, another legendary hero of Ar. Hesius has given
his name to the second month in the Ar calendar. The planet Jupiter is called
Hersius by Goreans, after a legendary hero of Ar. This may simply be a mispelling
The Home Stone of Ar is thought to be the oldest Home Stone of Ar.
It even figures into a common Gorean myth about the origin of the Home Stone.
The Home Stone of Ar is a small, flat stone with a dull brown color. A crude
carving, in an archaic Gorean script, of the letter "al-ka" is inscribed
on the stone. It is not visually impressive but its great antiquity is very
impressive. Here is one of the origins of that Home Stone.
"One popular account has it that an ancient hero, Hesius, once performed
great labors for Priest-Kings, and was promised a reward greater than gold
and silver. He was given, however, only a flat piece of rock with a single
character inscribed upon it, the first letter in the name of his native village.
He reproached the Priest-Kings with their niggardliness, and what he regarded
as their breach of faith. He was told, however, that what they gave him was
indeed worth far more than gold and silver, that it was a 'Home Stone.' He
returned to his native village, which was torn with war and strife. He told
the story there, and put the stone in the market place.
"If the Priest-Kings say this is worth more than gold and silver,"
said a wise man, "it must be true."
"Yes," said the people.
"Whose Home Stone is it?" asked the people, "yours or ours?"
"Ours." responded Hesius.
Weapons were then laid aside, and peace pledged. The name of the village
was Ar." (Dancer of Gor, p.302)
Not much else is known about Ar's history prior to the reign of Marlenus,
Ubar of Ar. We know that the first ubarate of Ar was of Titus Honorious though
the year or even time frame of his ubarate is unknown. But for nearly 10,000
years of history that has passed, we know so very little.
The first major historical event we learn anything about, with an
actual time frame, is the Valley War. We do not know when the war started,
only that it ended around 10098 C.A. with victory for Ar. Marlenus became
Ubar during this war and was already known for never having been defeated
in combat. We do not know who ruled Ar prior to Marlenus becoming Ubar. We
also do not know who Ar was fighting during this war. Ar may have acquired
some of the Twelve Tributary Cities during this war. After the war, Marlenus
refused to give up his position as Ubar. The Warrior Caste supported him
as Ubar. Marlenus promised power and wealth to the High Council and other
important figures in Ar. They greedily accepted his promises and permitted
him to remain as Ubar. During subsequent years, Marlenus enaged in a number
of wars until he had conquered a total of twelve cities, the Twelve Tributary
Marlenus has a vision for Ar and himself. He wishes to be the Ubar
of all of Gor, creating a united empire of Ar that would cover all of known
Gor. In talking to Tarl Cabot, who had stolen the Home Stone of Ar, Marlenus
said, "I risked my life a thousand times and gave the years of my youth to
the vision of Ar and its empire, that there might be on all Gor but one language,
but one commerce, but one set of codes, that the highways and passes might
be safe, that the peasants night cultivate the fields in peace, that there
might be but one Council to decide matters of policy, that there might be
but one supreme city to unite the cylinders of a hundred, severed, hostile
cities---and all this you have destroyed." (Tarnsman of Gor, p.155) He continued
speaking, "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 the
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, p.155) His dreams though
have been thwarted by the Priest-Kings who do not want such a mighty empire
In 10110 C.A., Tarl Cabot of Ko-ro-ba purloined the Home Stone of
Ar. This was orchestrated behind the scenes by the Priest-Kings who did not
wish Ar to expand any further. Ubar Marlenus had to flee the city in disgrace,
taking only a force of fifty tarnsmen with him. The Initiate Caste took control
of Ar in his absence. Pa-Kur, Master Assassin of Ar, then amassed a huge
army to conquer the city, to install himself as Ubar. Though the Initiates
eventually surrendered to Pa-Kur, his victory was very short-lived as he
was overthrown by Tarl Cabot, Marlenus and forces from Ko-ro-ba and Thentis.
After Pa-Kur's defeat, Marlenus was officially exiled from the city and he
trekked to the Voltai Mountains with a group of loyal Warriors. Kazrak, a
Warrior of Port Kar, was made the temporary Administrator of Ar, in reward
for helping to secure the aid of Ko-ro-ba and Thentis against
Several years later, Kazrak was voted out of office and then banished
from the city. He made many enemies during his short reign, especially in
the Initiate and Merchant Castes. Kazrak had levied taxes on the Initiates
and upheld some rulings of the administrative courts over the Initiate courts.
He also tried to stop monopolies of the Merchants. Om, the High Initiate
of Ar, was murdered and he had been on good terms with Kazrak. The new High
Initiate was Complicius Serenus, someone not so friendly to Kazrak. During
a Harvest Feast, Complicius Serenus divined the liver of a sacrificial white
bosk and stated that the omens were against Kazrak. Soon after that, Kazrak
was deposed. Kazrak and Sana of Thentis, his Free Companion, left the city
and may have founded a settlement on an island in Thassa, farther north than
Cos and Tyros. The newly elected Administrator was Minus Tentius Hirnabius,
a member of a well known and respected family, prominent among the
Around 10119 C.A., Administrator Minus resigned, forced out by
circumstances arranged by Cernus, a Slaver. Cernus owned the largest slave
house in Ar, possesing close to six thousand slaves, and it was also more
than thirty generations old. Between the Houses of Cernus and Portus, they
handled 70% of the slave trade in Ar. Cernus was eventually elevated to the
Warrior Caste and soon after was elevated to Ubar of Ar. Cernus was allied
with the Kurii and wanted to seize control Ar. His machinations were successful
but he was soon after deposed himself, subsequently being murdered by a Kur.
Marlenus returned at this time to regain control of Ar as Ubar and the people
welcomed him back. Ar began to prosper once again.
Sometime around 10122 C.A., the exact year being unclear, Ar and
Treve were involved in a terrible war, one of the bloodiest tarn wars ever.
The war was fought in the skies over the Voltai Mountains. Treve was barely
able to turn back the forces of Ar but they lost many tarnsmen. Ar would
never forgot how Treve held them off and Treve would never forget what it
cost them to hold back Ar. After that war, Treve and Ar chose not to engage
each other in battle for several years. Neither side wanted a repeat of their
But, around 10129 C.A., Marlenus and a specially chosen military
force decided to journey to the Voltai to engage in a punitive attack against
Treve. Unfortunately, we do not know the outcome of that raid. Allegedly,
Witness of Gor, book #26, will deal with the fate of Marlenus and his men
against Treve. All we do know is that he does not return to Ar for at least
two years while Cos is conquering the city. In his stead, Gnieus Lelius,
High Councilor and First Minister of Ar, was appointed Regent of Ar. In the
absence of Marlenus, traitors within Ar allowed Cos to capture the city.
Talena, the daughter of Marlenus, was one of those traitors and she was appointed
Ubara of Ar.
Tarl Cabot visits Ar during this time and desires to oust the Cosians
from Ar. He and his friend Marcus formed the "Delta Brigade" as a ruse to
harass the Cosians. They committed acts of sabotage and left a "delka" sign
behind. Others, unconnected to Tarl or Marcus, began to emulate them. Cos
soon believed that the Delta Brigade was a large and well-organized resistance
group. Tarl Cabot also ensnared Talena, through the Couching Law of Ar, and
legally enslaved her. But, he made her his secret slave, and allowed her
to continue to rule Ar as Ubara. Tarl wanted to continue his battle against
Cos and told Talena he would come to claim her one day. The last book of
the series, Magicians of Gor, ends around this point.
Power of Ar
Ar has been ruled over the last twenty years by Administrators, Ubars
and Ubaras. There are several symbols of power within the city, meant for
the rulers of Ar. There is the Crown of Ar, a a crown of Tur leaves, that
may be worn only by a Ubar or Ubara. An Administrator may not be appropriate
for this crown though that is not clear in the books. There is also a golden
chain that bears a medallion-like replica of the Home Stone of Ar. This is
worn around the neck of the ruler and again, it is not clear if it is appropriate
only for a Ubar or also for an Administrator. Finally, there is the signet
ring of Ar that bears the seal of the city. Marlenus gave this ring to Verna,
a panther girl leader, who he wished to make his Ubara. She refused his offer
to be Ubara but took the ring. The signet ring acts as the word of the Ubar
of Ar and gives its bearer great power, the power within Ar to do almost
anything one wishes. Marlenus has not seen Verna again since he gave her
the ring back in Hunters of Gor.
Due to its aggressive nature, its desire to extend the hegemony of
its empire, Ar has garnered many enemies. Ar is basically a land power, probably
the strongest land power on Gor. Its naval power is weak, limited to a few
ships on the Vosk River. Ko-ro-ba is a hereditary enemy of Ar and it was
Tarl Cabot of Ko-ro-ba who was able to steal the Home Stone of Ar. Treve
and Ar have a long and bloody history. The future of that conflict awaits
the publication of the next Gorean novel, Witness of Gor. Cos and Tyros,
major maritime powers, are also enemies of Ar. The four cities of the Salerian
Confederation, located on the Olni River, are also considered enemies of
Ar. The Confederation fears and distrusts Ar, worried that Ar may seek to
extend its control over the north, and thus maintains close relations with
But, Ar does have a number of allies though the Cosians have conquered
a number of them recently. Argentum is an ally of Ar. When Corcyrus sought
to conquer Argentum, Ar supported its ally and it was Corcyrus that was conquered
instead. Brundisium, a major port on the coast of Thassa, was once an ally
of Ar but was corrupted and then conquered by Cos. Torcodino, located south
of Brundisium, was also once an ally of Ar but chose to eventually ally with
Cos. Ar may have other allies that were not yet mentioned in the
Ar's Station was formed to give Ar more of a presence on the Vosk
River. Ar claims hegemony over the southern shore of the Vosk but that claim
is disputed by Cos and Tyros. Cos and Tyros have both supported pirates on
the Vosk against Ar. The creation of the Salerian Confederation, generally
allied with Cos, has also contested Ar's power on the Vosk and in the northern
regions. During the events of Fighting Slave of Gor and Rogue of Gor, there
were some military engagements between Ar and members of the Salerian
Confederation, spurred on by Cos. Ar was basically victorious though neither
side truly wanted to engage in an all out war. The Confederation would prefer
to be left alone though Cos would like it to attack Ar.
The formation of the Vosk League though has ended much of the piracy
on the Vosk. Ar did not permit Ar's Station to join the League, making it
the only major town on the Vosk that did not join. Ar feared losing its power
on the Vosk if Ar's Station acquired independence through the League. The
Cosian war against Ar would break ties between Ar and Ar's Station. Traitors
within Ar allowed Cos to freely attack Ar's Station. They then claimed that
Ar's Station had willing turned their city over to the Cosians. Ar took the
Home Stone of Ar's Station and brought it to Ar for all to revile. Tarl Cabot,
with the aid of the illusionist Boots Tarsk-Bit, would recover the Home Stone,
switching a false stone for it.
The effects of the Cosian War will reverberate for many years to
come. It has devastated Ar in many ways. Many Warriors of Ar have perished
including over 45,000 Warriors that were lost within the Vosk Delta, sent
there on a wild goose chase by traitors within Ar. The city's defenses continue
to be dismantled including its great gate and walls. Artwork has been destroyed,
especially items representing the history of Ar. A number of their free women
have been enslaved. Though Talena rules as Ubara, the Cosians are actually
controlling the city and Talena has been made the secret slave of Tarl Cabot.
The treasury of Ar will likely be looted by the Cosians.
Prior to the Cosian war, Ar had a formidable military force. Their
forces included tarnsman, tharlarion cavalry, infantry, siege engineers,
and more. The infantry of Ar wear scarlet caps with yellow tassels. Their
tarnsmen are the equivalent of any other city on Gor, including the expert
tarnsmen of Treve and Thentis. Patrols of three tarnsmen guard the borders
of Ar. The total military force of Ar probably contained between 50,000 and
100,000 men. Over half that number were lost during the Cosian war, mostly
in the Vosk Delta during the events of Vagabonds of Gor.
The Taurentians are the elite palace guard and they are independent
of the normal military organization of Ar. Candidates must meet strict
prerequisites and will receive special training as swordsmen and bowmen.
They wear purple cloaks and helmets. They were disbanded by Marlenus in 10119
C.A, because of their aid to Cernus, but would be restored during the war
with Cos in 10130 C.A.. There are about 2500 Taurentians in Ar currently
though they are now led by a traitor. There is a common myth that the Taurentians
are indolent and spoiled but this is far from the truth. "Such men, with
their internal espirit de corps, their identification with their own units,
their allegiance to their personal commanders, their status, privileges and
skills, their proximity to the delicate fulcrums of power, hold in their
hands the power to enthrone and dethrone ubars." (Mercenaries of Gor,
The power of Ar encompasses far more than just its military forces.
It wields power in many more subtle ways as well. Because Ar is seen as the
ideal, the epitome of quality, style and progress, it is often emulated by
other cities. The products of Ar are generally regarded as being of high
quality. Those goods are marked with the stamp of Ar, the first letter of
the city's name, the "al-ka," to verify their place of origin. Unfortunately
there are unscrupulous individuals who are willing to forge the stamp of
Ar and pass off shoddy merchandise as quality goods. The styles of Ar, in
clothing, customs, etiquette, architecture and much more are closely watched
by other cities. Again, they emulate the styles of Ar, trying to be seen
as sophisticated and on the cutting edge. Thus, the influence of Ar is extensive,
even when they do not try to be influential. Those in power of Ar though
cannot fail to understand these subtles influences. They understand that
what they do in Ar is often likely to spread to other cities.
For example, when Marlenus introduced a pierced ear kajira at a function,
everyone began to want pierced eared girls as well. Pierced ears were once
thought as degrading but kajirae soon became proud of them. Though the style
originated more in Turia, it did not spread much in the north until after
Marlenus introduced it into Ar.
The calendar of Ar is a popular choice among the cities of Gor. It
numbers its years Contasta Ar (C.A.), from the founding of Ar. Years are
calculated from vernal equinox to vernal equinox. The second month of the
year is called Hesius and the third month is called Camerius. The other months
have not been specifically named.
The Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna is a complex holiday celebrated by
most Gorean cities, including Ar. It is celebrated early in the growing season,
timed to occur when all three moons are full, and it is basically a prayer
to insure a good harvest. The Initiates arrange and execute all of the intricate
details though certain portions are also allocated to the High Castes. The
Feast centers on the Home Stone and that is where most, if not all, of the
portions of the ceremony are performed. A Builder will go to the Home Stone
and place a metal angle square there, praying for the prosperity of his caste
during the coming year. A Warrior will place his weapons before the Home
Stone. The Scribe and Physician probably also put symbols of their Caste
at the Home Stone though the books do not describe what those symbols would
be. At the finale of the Feast, a member of the Ubar's family will go to
the Home Stone at night and cast grain and Ka-la-na on the Home Stone, praying
for an abundant harvest. The only potential danger during these rituals is
that the Caste member is left alone with the Home Stone. The guards remain
back so the person can be alone in prayer. This security gap permitted Tarl
to steal the Home Stone of Ar.
Kajuralia, also known as the Holiday of Slaves or Festival of the
Slaves, occurs in most northern cities once a year except for Port Kar. The
date differs from city to city. In some cities, it is celebrated on the last
day of the Twelfth Passage Hand. But, in Ar and other cities, it is celebrated
on the last day of the fifth month, the day before the Love Feast. In some
ways, this holiday is similar to April Fool's Day on Earth. Slaves are permitted
to play tricks and pranks upon free persons, generally without any repercussions.
The slave will announce "Kajuralia" once the trick or prank is over. Slave
do remember though that they are still only slaves and they are still subject
to discipline if a free person wishes.
The "Love Feast" is the common name for the Fifth Passage Hand. It
occurs in late summer and is the greatest period for the sale of slaves.
This Hand is also a time of great feasting, tarn races and games. It is
interesting that Kajuralia, the slave holiday, is followed by a major sales
season for slaves. A kajira should consider that fact during Kajuralia as
if she goes too far, she may find herself for sale during the Love
The birthday celebration of Marlenus, Ubar of Ar, is a city-wide
holiday. It is unknown when his birthday occurs.
Ar is also in the forefront of fashion and innovation concerning
slaves. For example, it is common for slaves to be depilated, for their body
hair to be removed. Such depilation does not occur in all of the cities of
The state slaves of Ar wear a gray, sleeveless tunic with a matching
gray collar. They also wear on their left ankle a gray, steel band with five
gray, metal bells. At various times, the garb may change in fashion, sometimes
getting shorter or longer, sometimes adding colored trim, decreasing or
increasing the number of bells and more.
Ar has numerous laws revolving around slavery. You can see my Laws
and Legal Principles scroll, #2, for a list of common slave laws. I will
only address a few items here but understand that the laws concerning slavery
are quite extensive.
Fingerprinting and toe printing of slaves is done in Ar.
It is the law that all female slaves must wear a visible token of
their slavery such as a collar. Male slaves do not have to wear such a token
yet unchained male slaves are rarely seen in the city. The vast majority
of male slaves in Ar are work slaves.
The Couching Law of Ar states: "Any free woman who couches with another's
slave, or readies herself to couch with another's slave, becomes herself
a slave, and the slave of the slave's master." (Magicians of Gor, #25, p.7)
This basically means that a free woman can't have sex with male slaves she
does not own. It does not prevent her from having sex with a slave she does
own. It also means that she only has to prepare to have sex with someone
else's slave to be in violation. Actual sex is not a requirement. Special
seduction slaves are used by some owners to trap free women. Milo, from Magicians
of Gor, is a prime example of a seduction slave. Tarl Cabot uses him to entrap
Talena and enslave her by this law. The Couching Law has likely been adopted
by other cities but there are definitely some cities that do not have such
The law of Ar states that any free person may discipline any slave.
A slave that resists such discipline is subject by law to torture and impalement.
The idea behind this is that a slave might get bold and insolent, worried
only that her master might learn of it. Trying to locate a slave's master
in a city of millions could be difficult and time consuming. This law still
does not mean that a free person may permanently damage someone else's slave.
That is still illegal. The only permissible discipline would be something
that did not permanently injure the slave.
Accent: The people of Ar generally have a gentle, liquid accent,
one identifiable to people from other cities.
Anthem of Ar: This is a song of the victories of Ar. It is likely
sung at many public events, especially military ones.
Aria: This is a Gorean word of possession that means "of Ar." For
example, the "Viktel Aria" means "Ar's Triumph" or "The Triumph of
Dar-Kosis: This is a terrible and highly contagious disease, one
of the few for which there is no cure. It similar to leprosy in a number
of ways. The Initiates consider it a Holy Disease, an instrument of the
Priest-Kings to punish those who displease them. It is heresy to shed their
blood though they can be stoned. Initiates will not let the Physicians search
for a cure. Some Physicians in Ar once tried to secretly seek a cure. They
were making good ground when a minor Physician, fired for incompetence, snitched
to the Initiates. The Physicians had developed a strain of urts resistant
to the disease. A serum was made from their blood and injected into other
animals. Those animals could not be infected. The Initiates first requested
the High Council of Physicians to cease the research but they refused. The
Initiates then asked the High Council of the City to act but Marlenus urged
the Council to refuse. The Council followed the advice of Marlenus and rebuffed
the request of the Initiates. The Initiates then hired some men to attack
the Cylinder of Physicians and destroy the research. The hired men accomplished
their task, destroying the research and killing some of the
Dina: This is a beautiful flower, indigenous to the northern temperate
zones and rare in the southern lands. Its design is also used as a slave
brand and "dina" is sometimes used as a slave name. It is also known as the
"slave flower" though the exact derivation of that appelation is unknown.
There is a story that an ancient Ubar of Ar captured the daughter of a fleeing
enemy in a field of dinas. He enslaved her there, looked upon the lush field
and called her Dina. It is also said that it may be be called "slave flower"
because ".., It is, though delicate and beautiful, a reasonably common,
unimportant flower; it is also easily plucked, being defenseless, and can
be easily crushed, overwhelmed and, if one wishes, discarded." (Slave Girl
of Gor, p.62)
Free Women: In Ar, free women commonly wear cosmetics though that
is rare in most other cities. Free women are encouraged to wear Robes of
Concealment and veils though this is not a legal requirement.
High Initiate: The High Initiate of Ar considers himself to be the
Supreme Initiate of all Initiates on Gor though the High Initiates of the
other cities do not view him as so. He claims to have received his position
directly from the Priest-Kings. Prior to the events of Assassin of Gor, the
High Initiate of Ar was a man named Om. Om's later murder would in part lead
to Kazrak, Administrator of Ar, being deposed. Om was very cognizant of the
proper place of the Initiate Caste on Gor. He stated that the Initiates "wait
for man" as he is not yet ready "to believe in himself." "We speak not to
man's heart," said Om, "but only to his fear. We do not speak of love and
courage, and loyalty and nobility-but of practice and observance, and the
punishment of the Priest-Kings-for if we so spoke, it would be that much
harder for man to grow beyond us. Thus, unknown to most members of my caste,
we exist to be overcome, thus in our way pointing the way to man's greatness."
(Priest-Kings of Gor, p.300-1)
Kaissa: Kaissa is very popular in Ar and prior to Beasts of Gor,
Ar had their own version of Kaissa. Since that time they have adopted the
new Standard Version. In the old Ar version, there was a City used instead
of a Home Stone. The City needed to be placed within seven moves instead
of ten. Spear Slaves were used instead of Spearmen. That changed in part
because men felt that slaves had no right to be on the kaissa board. The
Assassin was also a piece on the Ar kaissa board which does not exist in
the Standard Version. The city Kaissa championship of Ar is the second most
important Kaissa tournament on Gor, second only to the En'Kara Fair. The
Players who wins the Ar championship is thought to be the most likely victor
in the En'Kara Fair. The Ar championship is held about six weeks prior to
the En'Kara Fair. There are large boards located near the Central Cylinder
that contain annotations of important Kaissa matches. The high bridge near
the Central Cylinder is also the place of honor for the best Kaissa player
in the city. Kaissa players often stake out bridges to play and there is
a definite ranking involved over who is permitted to play on which bridge.
Scormus of Ar, a Master Player, was Ar's champion for a number of years and
held the high bridge. His mother is Sura, a slave, and his father is Hup
the fool. Hup also plays as well as a Master Player and beat Scormus in 10119
C.A. In 10125 C.A., Scormus played Centius of Cos at the En'Kara fair and
lost. After that, Scormus went into hiding, out of shame, and ended up,
disguised, in a traveling carnival troupe. In 10130 C.A., Scormus chooses
to leaves the carnival and returns to Ar though nothing further is known
about him after that.
Money: The gold tarn disk of Ar is one of the most respected units
of currency on Gor. Most cities will accept it as valid currency. Ar is an
expensive city to reside in, much more expensive than other cities. There
are poorer sections within the city but overall the cost of living is quite
high. There are numerous shops that cater to the wealthy and rents are often
expensive except in places like the insulae. Paga: This popular fermented
drink, comes in many varieties and Ar is known for having several excellent
brews. The paga of the brewery of Temus of Ar is one well respected