WEAPONS

The Priest-Kings have enforced certain Weapon Laws on Gor. These laws limit the type of arms and armor that Goreans may use or invent. Except for the shield and helmet, no other forms of armor are permitted. There is no chain mail, plate armor or even leather armor on Gor. The leathers worn by tarnsmen and others is not a form of armor. It is more akin to heavy clothing than actual armor and is meant to protect your body from your mount. No weapon more powerful than the lance and crossbow is permitted. Firearms, gunpowder, tasers, stun guns and similar technological weapons are forbidden on Gor.

The Priest-Kings have numerous space ships that constantly scan the surface of Gor seeking violations of the Weapon Laws. They also have numerous human agents who keep them informed about what is happening. A violation of the Weapon Laws is a capital offense. The Priest-Kings use Flame Death as their method of execution. In the Flame Death, an offender is suddenly vaporized in a flash of blue fire. The Flame Death mechanism is located on a space ship as well. It might take up to a year before you are caught in violation of these laws, but eventually they will get you. The Priest-Kings do not listen to excuses from violators. They simply observe a violator and then execute him. The Kurii do however smuggle some forbidden weaponry to Gor even though they are under the same strict guidelines. But, the Kurii are willing to risk the Flame Death at times to use certain weapons and they have also be known to supply Goreans with forbidden weapons.

Helmets

Most helmets also have a crest plate on the front to affix your crest or symbol. A strike to the head with a sword or other weapon is often fatal. A helmet protects this very vulnerable area and makes the combatants rely more on skill than simply a lucky blow to the head. This is also the same reason why many gladiators in the days of ancient Rome were permitted helmets though often little other armor. The Romans wanted the battles to be tests of skill, not just luck. The Priest-Kings also want Gorean matters to be decided more by skill than luck.

Many of the less civilized lands do not use helmets or have helmets of different styles. The men of Torvaldsland have helmets that are commonly conical with a nose guard that can slip up and down. At the neck and sides, attached by rings, usually hangs a mantle of linked chain. Some of their helmets may also be horned. The Wagon People have conical, fur-rimmed helmets with a net of colored chains over the face. There are only holes in the chains for their eyes.

Assassin's Helmet

(Similar to a warrior's helmet, but black)

"All were silent. I wore the garb of the Caste of Assassins, and on the left temple of the black helmet was the golden slash of the messenger." Tarnsman of Gor, pg. 192

Captain's Helmet

"To be sure, carved in wood, high on the chair, was the helmet with crest of sleen-fur, the mark of the captain, ..." Marauders of Gor, pg. 6

Common Helmet

The common Gorean helmet is also like an ancient Greek helmet. It is made of a nearly solid metal, with a "Y" shaped slot for eyes, nose and mouth. Many helmets are cushioned with leather. They may be crested with sleen hair.

"Above the shield was a suspended helmet, again reminiscent of a Greek helmet, perhaps of the Homeric period. It had a somewhat 'Y'-shaped slot for the eyes, nose, and mouth in the nearly solid metal." Tarnsman of Gor, pg. 22

 

Helmet of the Wagon Peoples

The Wagon Peoples Helmet was a conical iron helmet fur-rimmed a net of colorful chains dangling before the face to protect leaving only an opening for the eyes.

"...he wore a conical, fur-rimmed iron helmet, a net of colored chains depending from the helmet protecting his face, leaving only holes for the eyes." Nomads of Gor, pg. 10

Northern Helmet

"The helmets of the north are commonly conical, with a nose-guard, that can slip up and down. At the neck and sides, attached by rings, usually hangs a mantle of linked chain. The helmet of Thorgard himself, however, covered his neck and the sides of his face. It was horned." Marauders of Gor, pg. 73

Knife Gauntlet

A pair of leather gauntlets, upon which are mounted knife blades. Sometimes used by gladiators in arena combats. These are seldom used as weapons of war.

"Sometimes men wrestle to the death or use the spiked gauntlets." Assassin of Gor, pg.

Shields

Some of the lands of Gor carry shields of different styles. The Wagon People use small, round leather shields that are commonly glossy and lacquered whereas the Turian and Alars shields tend to be oval shaped. Rencers use small shields of rence wicker and the shields of the natives of the jungles near Schendi tend to be long and oval. In the Ukungu region of the jungle, there is commonly a tuft of feathers fastened to one point of the shield. If it is placed at the bottom of the shield it means that you hunt animals. If it is placed at the top, then it means that you hunt humans. The shields of the Red Savages are small, round shields made of the hide of the kailiauk. They are inscribed with medicine signs. It is believed that if they are unworthy or lie, their shields will fail to protect them. The shields of Torvaldsland are circular and wooden.

Buckler

A small oval shield about 16 to 18 inches. While this shield was made of steel on earth, on Gor it is, like all other shields made of leather.

"Incidentally, Turian warriors, in order to have the opportunity to slay a foe, as well as acquire his woman, customarily choose as the weapon of combat in these encounters, buckler and dagger, ax and buckler, dagger and whip, ax and net, or the two daggers, with the reservation that the quiva, if used, not be thrown. Kamrak, however, appeared adamant on the point. "The sword," he repeated." Nomads of Gor, pg. 124

Common Shield

The most common Gorean shield is a round shield like those used by the ancient Greeks. The shield is made of concentric, generally about 24 to 36 inches in diameter, overlapping layers, usually seven, of hardened leather riveted together and bound with hoops of brass. It is fitted with a double sling for carrying on the left arm. It is usually painted boldly with a device to identify your city. Only exiles and outlaws have no shield markings. A shield requires skill to use it properly and this is likely one reason why the Priest-Kings permit their use.

"The round shield, concentric overlapping layers of hardened leather riveted together and bound with hoops of brass, fitted with the double sling for carrying on the left arm, was similarly unmarked. Normally the Gorean shield is painted boldly and has infixed in it some device for identifying the bearer's city." Outlaw of Gor, pg. 21

Turian Shield

An oval shield about 24 inches by 36 inches, this shield is also constructed of hide like it's round cousin.

" The morning sun flashed from their helmets, their long tharlarion lances, the metal embossments on their oval shields, unlike the rounded shields of most Gorean cities." Nomads of Gor, pg. 113

Axes

Torvaldslander Battle Axe

This weapon is described as a single-bladed axe of steel, with a blade of anywhere from 8 to 14 inches in width, and is mounted on a thick wooden handle usually has a wrist thong attached to the end the handle, which enables it to be more easily retained during combat.

This weapon first appears in the series in book #8, Marauders of Gor.

Torvaldslander Great Axe

Is a great, curved, single bladed axe of hardened iron with a blunt hammer-like head, it is carried in a leather loop hung from a broad leather belt worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. It is fastened there by a hook, that the weight of the ax will not turn the belt, which fits into a ring in the Master belt

Single Blade Axe

 

I knew this man of Torvaldsland only by reputation. He was a rover, a great captain, a pirate, a trader, a warrior. It had been he, and his men, who had freed Chenbar of Tyros, the Sea Sleen, from a dungeon in Port Kar, breaking through to him, shattering his chains with the blunt hammer like backs of their great, curved, single-bladed axes. He was said to be fearless, and mighty, swift with sword and axe, fond of jokes, a deep drinker, a master of pretty wenches, and a madman. But he had taken in fee from Chenbar Chenbar's weight in the sapphires of Shendi. I did not think him too mad." Marauders of Gor, page 26

Bola

A favorite weapon of the Wagon People. Fighting mainly from the backs of their kaiila, they become very proficient with the use of this weapon. used for both hunting and battle .

"Slowly, singing in a guttural chant, a Tuchuk warrior song, he began to swing the bola. It consists of three long straps of leather, each about five feet long, each terminating in a leather sack, which contains, sewn inside, a heavy, round metal weight. It was probably developed for hunting the tumit, a huge, flightless carnivorous bird of the plains, but the Wagon Peoples use it also, and well, as a weapon of war. Thrown low the long straps, with their approximate ten-foot sweep, almost impossible to evade, strike the victim and the weighted balls, as soon as resistance is met, whip about the victim, tangling and tightening the straps. Sometimes legs are broken. It is often difficult to release the straps, so snarled do they become. Thrown high the Gorean bola can lock a man's arms to his sides; thrown to the throat it can strangle him; thrown to the head, a difficult cast, the whipping weights can crush a skull. One entangles the victim with the bola, leaps from one's mount and with the quiva cuts his throat." Nomads of Gor, pg. 24

Bows and arrows

Crossbow

A standard infantry weapon of Gor. It consists of a heavy, flexible bow of tempered steel, 18" across (when drawn), mounted on a heavy wooden stock about two feet long, with a trigger mechanism built into the shaped handle. It can use several types arrows (quarrels) of spiked, smooth tipped or broad bladed quarrels, striking with enough force to penetrate wooden walls, doors or human bodies with relative ease. It has an effective range of approximately 150 yards. Slow to reload, it is commonly redrawn through use of a "goat's-foot" hook or a cranequin (bow crank). Quarrels, or "bolts," are carried by the user in a belt-case or quiver.

First appears in book #1, Tarnsman of Gor, and is afterwards seen often throughout the series.

Crossbow Cavalry

Much like the larger crossbow, instead of possessing a metal bow, it has a much lighter bow of wood or horn. Slightly smaller in size, it is still a powerful weapon. It is equipped with a metal stirrup at the firing end, allowing it to be more quickly restrung while on the back of a tarn or kaiila

"The cavalry crossbow does have an iron stirrup in which the rider, without dismounting, may insert his foot, thus gaining the leverage necessary for drawing the cable back with both hands. If the rider is right handed he usually inserts his right foot in the stirrup and leans to the right in drawing the cable; this procedure is reversed, of course, usually, if the rider is left handed. While this procedure permits the rider to reload without dismounting and tends to improve, at some cost to striking power, the bow's rate of fire, it still provides, in my opinion, no adequate compensation for the loss of rapidity of fire. I think it not unlikely that the red savage could discharge three to five shafts in the time a single quarrel could be set in the clumsier weapon. In my opinion, if the crossbow, of the lighter, more quickly loading type, had proved to be a superior missile weapon in the typical combats practiced in the Barrens the red savages would have had recourse either to it, or to something analogous to it. But they have not." Savage of Gor, pg. 96

Crossbow, standard

A standard weapon of Gor. It consists of a heavy, flexible bow of tempered steel, 18" across mounted on a heavy wooden stock about two feet long, with a trigger mechanism at the bottom. Striking with enough force to penetrate wooden walls, doors or human bodies with relative ease. It has an effective range of approximately 150 yards. Slow to reload, it is commonly redrawn through use of a goat's-foot hook or a crank.

"The crossbow is the assassin's weapon, par excellence; further, it might be mentioned that, although it takes longer to set the crossbow, a weaker man, with, say, his belt claw or his winding gear, can certainly manage to do so; accordingly, for every man capable of drawing a warrior's long bow there will be an indefinite number who can use the crossbow; lastly, at shorter distances, the crossbow requires much less skill for accuracy than the long bow." Raiders of Gor, pg. 2

Great (Peasant) Bow

A non - recurved long bow made from the wood of the ka-la-na tree or sometimes of temwood. Unstrung it is over six feet in length, and can require a pull of up to 120 lbs. The bowstring itself is usually made of hemp or sinew lashed with silk thread. The arrows of the bow are temwood, and fletched with the feathers of the vosk gull. Each such arrow is approximately three feet in length, and can be tipped with several different types of arrowheads; of these, the flight tip (a long narrow three-sided metal spike designed for extreme penetration) and the sheaf tip (a wide double or triple edged blade designed to inflict maximum tissue damage upon impact) are the most common. It is commonly carried slung or strapped over the shoulder of the archer when not in use, and is accompanied by a belt or shoulder quiver containing forty (or more) arrows. Its use requires the archer to wear a bracer of thick leather upon the forearm of his bow arm, and to use an archer's glove or leather finger tab to protect his hands and arm from the string when fired.

The bow is not commonly favored by Gorean warriors, but all must respect it. It is the height of a tall man; its back, away from the bowman, is flat; its belly, facing the bowman, is half-rounded; it is something like an inch and a half wide and an inch and a quarter thick at the center; it has considerable force and requires considerable strength to draw; many men, incidentally, even some warriors, cannot draw the bow; nine of its arrows can be fired aloft before the first falls again to the earth; at point-blank range it can be fired completely through a four-inch beam; at two hundred yards it can pin a man to a wall; at four hundred yards it can kill the huge, shambling bosk; its rate of fire is nineteen arrows in a Gorean Ehn, about eighty Earth seconds; and a skilled bowman, but not an extraordinary one, is expected to be able to place these nineteen arrows in one Ehn into a target, the size of a man, each a hit, at a range of some two hundred and fifty yards. Yet, as a weapon, it has serious disadvantages, and on Gor the crossbow, inferior in accuracy, range and rate of fire, with its heavy cable and its leaves of steel, tends to be generally favored. The long bow cannot well be used except in a standing, or at least kneeling, position, thus making more of a target of the archer; the long bow is difficult to use from the saddle; it is impractical in close quarters, as in defensive warfare or in fighting from room to room; and it cannot be kept set, loaded like a firearm, as can the crossbow;... Raiders of Gor, pg. 2

Short Bow

 

About four feet long there are a number of varieties of this bow on Gor. The best known, most popular is of course the horn bow of the Wagon People. The Red savages use one made of layered wood banded together as do the northern peoples, these are often called ship bows. While not as powerful as the long bow or cross bow they have a big advantage over the long bow in their ability to be used in tight places. Their rate of fire is much faster than the crossbow. A Wagon Person can fire twenty arrows in half an Ehn. The Red Savages use a small bow and there is no other bow that can match its rate of fire. It is very maneuverable and can be easily concealed.

"Kamchak was a skilled instructor in these matters and, freely, hours at a time, until it grew too dark to see, supervised my practice with such fierce tools as the lance, the quiva and bola. I learned as well the rope and bow. The bow, of course, small, for use from the saddle, lacks the range and power of the Gorean longbow or crossbow; still, at close range, with considerable force, firing rapidly, arrow after arrow, it is a fearsome weapon." Nomads of Gor, pp. 66-67

Arrow, Sheaf and Flight

"The Gorean sheaf arrow is slightly over a yard long, the flight arrow is about forty inches in length. Both are metal piled and fletched with three half-feathers, from the wings of the Vosk gulls.

Mixed in with the arrows were the leather tab, with its two openings for the right forefinger and the middle finger, and the leather bracer, to shield the left forearm from the flashing string." Raiders of Gor, page 68

Daggers

 

Take many forms, depending upon the needs and whims of their users, and such weapons are the most common form of side-arm used on Gor. Daggers are worn openly in a belt-sheath or concealed beneath one's clothing, often strapped to the wrist beneath the owner's sleeve, tucked into the collar behind the neck, or hidden in a boot. Used by many freewomen as a personal means of self-defense.

Garrote

 

This is usually armed with wire to cut a throat. There are two wooden handles at the ends so you can hold it safely. There is also a version without the wire that can be used to capture people without injuring them. One such variety is the girl-capture chain. It has a narrow golden chain that will choke someone without cutting their throat. You can adjust the chain by spinning one of the wooden handles.

Goad, tarn or slave

 

While not truly weapons, the tarn goad can stun. The slave goad on the other hand can kill.

"He entered my apartment, carrying a metal rod about two feet long, with a leather loop attached. It had a switch on the handle, which could be set for two positions, on and off, like a simple torch. `What is it?' I asked. 'A tarn-goad,' he replied. He snapped the switch in the barrel to the "on" position and struck the table. It showered sparks in a sudden cascade of yellow light, but left the table unmarked. He turned off the goad and extended it to me. As I reached for it, he snapped it on and slapped it in my palm. A billion tiny yellow sparks, like pieces of fiery needles, seemed to explode in my hand. I cried out in shock. I thrust my hand to my mouth. It had been like a sudden, severe electric charge, like the striking of a snake in my hand. I examined my hand; it was unhurt. 'Be careful of a tarn-goad,' said the Older Tarl. 'It is not for children." Tarnsman of Gor, pg. 50

"He scrambled to His feet, his face a mask of hate, looked about, saw the slave goad, ran to it and whipped it from the wall. I did not pursue him, not wanting to kill him. He turned and I saw, in almost one motion of his finger, the goad switch go to on, the dial rotate to the kill point. Then crouching, the goad blazing in his hand, he approached me warily." Assassin of Gor, pg. 260

Harpoon

A spear fitted with a barbed head and used with line attached to assist in retrieval.

"I grasped the long harpoon. It was some eight feet in length, some two and a half inches in diameter. Its major shaft was of wood, but it had a foreshaft of bone. In this foreshaft was set the head of the harpoon, of bone, drilled, with a point of sharpened slate. Through the drilled hole in the bone, some four inches below the slate point and some four inches above the base of the head, was passed a rawhide line, which lay coiled in the bottom of the boat. As the hole is drilled the line, when it snaps taut, will turn the head of the harpoon in the wound, anchoring it. Beasts of Gor, pg.

Knives

The Hook knife, with its small, thick curved blade, is used in some gladiatorial combats. The Sleen knife is a common weapon of the panther girls. There is a type of throwing knife, used in Ar, which is tapered on one side. It is designed for killing. All Tarn Keepers carry such a knife. The panga is a two-foot long, heavy, curve-bladed bush knife. The whip knife is a delicate weapon, unique to Port Kar. It is a whip but set into its final eighteen inches, arranged in sets of four, are twenty thin, narrow blades. Their tips vary. Some have a double-edged blade of seven to eight inches at the tip while others have a stunning lead. Other similar weapons include the curved dagger of Schendi and the Turian dagger. Some people use a sheath to hide a dagger in their sleeve.

Hook knife

The hook knife is very similar to the utility knife found on earth. A short, wide blade, narrowing to a downward curve, ending in a sharp point. When used in recreational spars, the knife remains sheathed so as not to injure the opponent. The knife is seldom used for other than stadium fighting, weather sheathed or not.

"Both were stripped to the waist. The hair of both was bound back with a band of cloth. Each carried, sheathed, a hook knife. The edges of the sheath were coated with a bluish pigment." Assassin of Gor, pg. 86

Killing knife

A throwing knife, used by the Caste of Assassins. It is much smaller than the quiva, approximately six to eight inches in length, and its blade is tapered on only one side. Sometimes used in conjunction with poison, though trained Assassins typically disdain the use of poison. It is rarely used in hand-to-hand combat, designed primarily to be thrown at the body of an unsuspecting victim.

"It was a throwing knife, of a sort used in Ar, much smaller than the southern quiva, and tapered on only one side. It was a knife designed for killing. Mixed with the blood and fluids of the body there was a smear of white at the end of the steel, the softened residue of a glaze of kanda paste, now melted by body heat, which had coated the tip of the blade. On the hilt of the dagger, curling about it, was the legend, 'I have sought him. I have found him.' It was a killing knife. 'The Caste of Assassins?' I had asked. 'Unlikely,' had said the Older Tarl, 'for Assassins are commonly too proud for poison.'" Assassin of Gor, pg. 42

Quiva

The quiva is a balanced saddle knife of the Wagon Peoples of the prairies. It is about a foot in length, double edged, and tapers to a daggerlike point. The quiva is used more as a missile weapon than a hand-to-hand weapon. It is not necessary to throw it hard as its sharpness and weight do the work for you. Most quivas are made in Ar and sold in sets of seven, as there are seven sheaths in the kaiila saddles of the Wagon Peoples. The quivas are almost always kept in their saddle sheaths. The quivas are also made differently for each tribe of the Wagon Peoples. Despite the fact that they are manufactured in Ar, the quiva is almost exclusively a weapon of the Wagon People. In the novels, Tarl Cabot is the only non-Wagon Person who ever used a quiva. Tarl even creates a carnival act out of the use of the mysterious quivas, a weapon known to few. The use of quivas outside of the Wagon Peoples should be rare. It is also rumored to be carried by most Free Women and many Warriors of different cities.

Sleen knife

This is a broad bladed, flat, double edged utility knife equipped with a simple stubby cross guard and unadorned grip . Rather than tapering down to a needle like point like the quiva it's point is more rounded.

"I saw Sheera, standing knee deep in the water, near the beach. She had now thrust her sleen knife into its belt sheath. She was a strongly bodied girl. The sun made the chains and claws at her throat gleam. 'Return again' she called, 'perhaps we will have more men to sell you.'" Hunters of Gor, pp. 32-33  

Tarn knife

This is a short bladed, single edged utility knife typically used by tarnsmen and generally included among their saddle equipment. Some knives are designed so that the blade folds into the handle for safety when not in use. Often equipped with a lanyard so that it may be lashed to the tarnsman's saddle or belt.

"I looked across to Menicius of Port Kar. His eyes darted from mine. He bent over the neck of Quarrel. I saw that He had been given another knife, a Tarn knife, of the sort carried by riders. In His right hand, ready, there was a Tarn goad." Assassin of Gor, pg. 363

Whip Knife

 

The whip knife, unique to Port Kar, is a delicate weapon. It is a whip, but set into its final 18 inches, on 5 tassels or strips of hide, arranged in sets of four, are twenty thin, narrow blades. Their tips vary. Some have a double-edged blade of seven to eight inches at the tip while others have a stunning lead.

"The important point, however, in the circumstances was that Kamras had proposed the sword as the weapon of his encounter with Kamchak, and poor Kamchak was almost certain to be as unfamiliar with the sword as you or I would be with any of the more unusual weapons of Gor, say, the whip knife of Port Kar or the trained varts of the caves of Tyros." Nomads of Gor, pg. 124

Poison

 

Poison is prohibited by the Warrior and Assassin Codes. It is most commonly a woman's weapon. Some methods of holding poison include fang rings and poison teeth. With a fang ring, you fold your hand into a fist and use your thumb to press a switch. That activates a fang of hollow steel to spring up, the fang holding some type of poison. The teeth are most common in Turia and usually contains ost venom. Ost venom and kanda paste are two of the most commonly used poisons. Ost venom can be made into a powder to poison a drink. Kanda paste can be applied to a weapon. It can also be added to liquids and has been used to poison reservoirs. Free women often conceal poisoned daggers or needles in their clothing. This can make it dangerous to try to collar a free woman. Gorean poisons are quite deadly and little is said in the novels about antidotes or preventative measures. For example, the bite of an ost leads to death within seconds. That gives one little time to prevent one's death. It is likely that the potency of the poison is lessened to some degree when it is removed from the ost and used as a powder or in a fang ring. You are likely getting a smaller dose of the poison or a more diluted form than from an actual bite. Antidotes could potentially exist though they are not explicit in the books.

Rope

Coiled rope of braided boskhide

"Kamchak was a skilled instructor in these matters and, freely, hours at a time, until it grew too dark to see, supervised my practice with such fierce tools as the lance, the quiva and bola. I learned as well the rope and bow." Nomads of Gor, pp. 66-67

Spears

Common Gorean Spear

 

The typical Gorean spear is approximately seven feet in length, with a fitted wooden handle up to two inches thick, capped by a leaf-shaped, tapering head eighteen inches in length. The handle itself is usually made from ka-la-na wood, and banded with metal near the juncture of the spear-head socket to prevent the handle from shearing when thrown.

Lance

 

The common lance is about eleven feet long and has a very narrow, lanceolate-shaped blade. The shaft is usually tem wood that is black, supple and strong. There are several varieties of lances. The Wagon Peoples use a kaiila lance, which was designed for kaiilaback and used in hunting and war. Hunting lances are longer, heavier and thicker than a war lance. Hunting lances are usually undecorated, except for maybe a knot of prairie fleer feathers. Its point is longer and narrower as it must strike deeply to pierce the heart of a kailiauk.

Alars often use such lances and use them couched due to their size. Stabbing lances, which are smaller and thicker, are used by some pedestrian nomads. The tarn lances used by the red savages are very similar to the Kaiila lance, though it is longer and more slender. Even the red hunters use hunting lances.

Kaiila Lance

 

The Wagon Peoples use a kaiila lance, which was designed for kaiilaback and used in hunting and war. The kaiila lance is not couched, but carried in the right fist. It is flexible and light. It is used for thrusting, unlike the battering ram effect of European lances. It can almost be as delicate and swift as a saber. It may even have a rider hook under the point to help dismount opponents.

Tarn Lance

 

Similar to the war lance, except that it is longer and more slender, easier use from tarnback.

"The tarn lance, it might be mentioned, as is used by the red savages who have mastered the tarn, is, in size and shape, very similar to the kaiila lance. It differs primarily in being longer and more slender." Savages of Gor chapter 1

Tharlarion lance

A thick spear, approximately ten to fourteen feet long. It has a lanceolate spear tip that attaches to a thick shaft ... at the thickest part the shaft of the lance is about four inches in width and is often fluted to lighten it. Usually carried when on the tharlarion, couched beneath the right arm of the user, the lance itself crossing over and above the neck of the mount, often supported by a lance-rest which is either attached to the saddle or worn strapped to the user's chest. Can also be thrown, though not designed for it.

"In a minute the rider appeared in view - a fine, bearded warrior with a golden helmet and a tharlarion lance." Tarnsman of Gor, pg. 115

Trident

The three-pronged spearing fork used by fishermen and sailors of the islands of Gor. Can be utilized both as a thrusting weapon and as a throwing weapon. It is also used, in conjunction with a hooked net, in various gladiatorial arenas throughout Gor. (rentiri) It is briefly described as being approximately seven feet in overall length, with prongs of 10" inches or more. Often used with a line attached, for retrieval should it be thrown.

"I could use some paga," said he. He had purchased the net in the morning with a trident, the traditional weapons of the fisherman of the western shore and the western islands." Raiders of Gor, pg. 112

War spear

One of the most common weapons on Gor, its versatility makes it a very popular weapon, used for fighting and hunting.

"The spear was a typical Gorean spear, about seven feet in height, heavy, stout, with a tapering bronze head some eighteen inches in length. It is a terrible weapon and, abetted by the somewhat lighter gravity of Gor, when cast with considerable force, can pierce a shield at close quarters or bury its head a foot deep in solid wood. With this weapon groups of men hunt even the larl in its native haunts in the Voltai Range, that incredible pantherlike carnivore which may stand six to eight feet high at the shoulder." Outlaw of Gor, pg. 21

Staff

 

This is also primarily a peasant weapon. It is commonly about six feet long and two inches wide. A skilled combatant with a staff can hold his own against most warriors with a sword. Such a staff can be quite agile and nimble in skilled hands. The staff also has practical uses such as an aid in traversing unsteady terrain or to carry suspended baskets. Thus a peasant will often have this weapon handy.

Swords

Different Gorean cultures use many different types of swords. The Alar use the spatha, a long and heavy, double-bladed sword. This is more effective from the back of a tharlarion, a common mount of the Alars. The Alars do use a short sword as well, called the sacramasax. This is similar to the gladius. The men of the Torvaldsland also use a long sword. The scimitar is commonly used in the Tahari. It is a long, curved blade that is effective from the back of a kaiila. There is even a two-handed variety called the scimitarus that is effective from tharlarion back. The saber is almost unknown on Gor as it is regarded as too long and clumsy for the close, sharp combat common to Gorean warriors. The Wagon Peoples rarely use swords. Warriors also take care of their own swords, not relying on others to do so. They will be the only ones to hone and oil their blades.

Non-Existent Swords:

A number of Earth swords do not exist in the Gorean novels. Rapiers, epees and foils do not exist. Such fencing is not a normal part of Gorean combat. Katanas and other such oriental swords also do not exist. Though there are Orientals on Gor, there is no evidence that there is a specific oriental culture that would create such weapons. Other types of European weapons such as broadswords, claymores and main-gauches also are foreign to Gor.

Longsword

The Long sword is commonly used by the warriors of Torvaldsland. Approximately 36 inches in length, the forging of these "long swords" follows the pattern of the swords in the Damascus style. In this method, many billets of steel, both hard (high carbon) and soft or flexible (tool) steel are beaten together under heat and folded back upon itself and beaten flat again. This is repeated many times. This folding creates a blade with both a tremendous amount of flexibility and also one that is virtually unbreakable. It also, when treated with a mild acid solution, reveals the pattern formed by the layers of the different steels This pattern is different from blade to blade and gives the sword it's unique appearance. This blade is used as a slashing weapon ... often it is used to batter an opponents shield to bits ... It is carried in a belt-scabbard or strapped across its user's back over his right shoulder. Most long swords are “named” blades .

"He wore beneath his cloak of yellow wool, and a great belt of glistening black, with a gold buckle, to which was attached a scabbard of oiled, black leather; in this scabbard was a sword, a sword of Torvaldsland, a long sword, with a jeweled pommel, with double guard." Marauders of Gor, pg. 172

Scimitar

A long curved sword, used either one-handed or with two-hands, depending upon the situation. Forged in the Damascus manner, it has a wickedly curved, single-edged blade, honed to razor-sharpness. Even a light stroke of a Tahari scimitar will pass effortlessly through the flesh, leaving a carved mark 1/4" inch deep in the bone beneath. The overall blade length is perhaps thirty or more inches, with an eight inch long "false-edge" across the back of the tip, for backhanded slashes. Used one handed from kailla back it is incredibly deadly; used two-handed upon the ground it is equally terrifying. The sword of choice in the Tahari, This razor sharp, curved blade is generally about 30 to 36 inches long. The back 3-8 inches has a false edge that can be sharpened for back slashes. Like the longsword it has better reach, which can be an advantage when mounted upon the kailla. Slower to draw and slower to wield than the shortsword it is still a deadly weapon.

"Djellabas and burnooses, sleeveless, hooded desert cloaks, were being sold in another stall. The burnoose can, as the djellaba cannot, because of the sleeves, be thrown back, freeing the arms. One who rides the swift kaiila, who handles the scimitar and lance, chooses the burnoose." Tribesman of Gor, pg. 50

Shortsword

The basic weapon of all warriors of Gor. Approximately twenty to twenty-two inches in length from hilt tip to blade tip, the blade is doubled-edged, and leaf shaped ... narrower at the hilt base and then widening to a width of three or four inches and then descending to a curved and pointed tip. The grip is generally either of polished wood or leather covered wood, with an oval cross-guard. The Gorean short sword is hand forged of light carbon steel. The leaf shaped blade is ideal for thrusting. Perfect for close combat, its point giving it excellent armor penetrating properties. It is generally carried, in a sheath slung over the left shoulder by means of a leather harness, but may also be worn at the hip.

Another style of short sword is the gladius. It is derived from the Earth sword of the same name. it is of Spanish origin and was widely used by the ancient Romans. It is about twenty to twenty-two inches long, double-edged, and well balanced. Its blade is so sharp that it will slice a piece of silk dropped down on it. The gladius is heavy enough to have a considerable striking force in saberlike trajectories but light enough to have some of the swiftness and play of a foil. The gladius is maneuverable enough to work its way behind the guard of a longer, heavier weapon. There are other benefits of a short sword over a longer blade as well. A gladius can clear the scabbard a fraction earlier and that can be vitally important. The short blade can also be moved with greater swiftness than a long blade. It allows you to work close to your opponent. If a swordsman with a longer weapon can not finish a battle in the first thrust or two, he will generally lose the battle. The gladius though is very ineffective, due to its smaller size, when used from the back of a mount such as a tharlarion, tarn or Kaiila.

"I supposed one of the reasons for the short blade was that it could clear the sheath a fraction of a second before a longer blade. Another advantage was that it could be moved with greater swiftness than a longer blade. The primary advantage I supposed was that it allowed the Gorean warrior to work close to his man. The brief reach of the blade tended to be more than compensated for by the rapidity with which it might be wielded and the ease with which it might work beneath the guard of a longer weapon. If the swordsman with a longer weapon could not finish the fight in the first thrust or two he was a dead man." Priest-Kings of Gor, pg 174

War Club

A carved, shaped club of wood or bone, often mounted with stone or metal projections such as sharp pieces of flint, nails or knife blades driven into the wood . This weapon is about two or three feet in length. Used mostly by the Red Savages.

"Grunt carried similar articles but he, as well, as I had not, carried such items as long nails, rivets, hatchets, metal arrowheads, metal lance points, knife blades and butcher knives. The knife blades and long nails are sometimes mounted in clubs." Savages of Gor, pg. 145

Whips

Bosk Whip

Much like an earth bull whip. Made of Bosk hide plaited together. This whip can be anywhere from 8 to 12 feet long.

"Beside him, coiled, perhaps as a symbol of power, lay a bosk whip" Nomads of Gor, pg. 43

Kurt Whip

A slave whip with five broad, pliant straps. Each strap is about two and a half feet long and one and a half inches wide. The handle is eighteen inches long. Though it may leave a welt, it doesn't permanently mark a victim.

"A stout whip, with a long handle, which might be wielded with two hands, and five dangling, soft, wide lashing surfaces, each about a yard long." Kajira of Gor, pg. 83

Snake Whip

A single-bladed whip, weighted, of leather. It is about eight feet long and half an inch to one inch thick. It is sometimes set with tiny particles of metal. It is a deadly whip and can easily strip flesh from the body. It can kill a Man.

"Heavy coil, laced with wire and flecks of iron. Used primarily on male slaves/captives." Beasts of Gor, pg. 161

 

Send mail to:
 owner@the-gorean.com
with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2004-2008 Hayal`Seyyal
Last modified: December 22, 2010