The Gorean Caste System

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

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

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

Gorean Castes Gorean castes are divided into two categories, High castes and Low castes. There are five "High Castes" in place within Gorean society. They are listed below, ranked according to their prominence in Gorean government:

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

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

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

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

Caste of Warriors: Fifth and lowest of the High Castes. This caste includes infantry, tharlarion cavalry, and tarnsmen. They are known to have one of the strictest sets of caste codes in use on Gor. Members of this caste comprise the military branch of Gorean government. Their caste color is Scarlet.

Low Castes Caste of Merchants: This is a very broad caste, and contains literally hundreds of sub-castes. Those who are of this caste are concerned with the sell and trade of merchandise for a profit. There are almost as many sub-castes of the Merchant caste as there are products to be sold; a few notable ones include the caste of Slavers and the caste of Spice Merchants. The caste colors of the caste of Merchants are White and Gold.

Caste of Slavers: the sub-caste of the Merchants, one who deals in human merchandise; their caste colors are Blue and Yellow.

Caste of Moneylenders: An additional sub-caste of the Merchants; these are those who engage in the trade and speculation of money for a profit, and the only product they handle is money. They are the bankers of Gor.

Caste of Bakers: Another very broad caste, which consists of hundreds of sub-castes. Generally, those who are members of this caste are those who prepare sa-tarna, or vegetarian food, in any of a hundred thousand forms. Their caste colors are Orange and Brown.

Caste of Butchers: This caste, in conjunction with the caste of Bakers, is responsible for maintaining the majority of the Gorean industries involved with food service. This caste and its many sub-castes concern themselves with the acquisition and preparation of sa-tassna, all forms of edible Gorean meat.

Caste of Winemakers: This caste concern itself the professional production of most fruit based Gorean alcohol.

Caste of Brewers: This caste concerns itself with the production of most grain based Gorean alcohol.

Caste of Sailors: This caste includes several dozen sub-castes, each with its own specialty. There is a sub-caste of the caste of Sailors known as the caste of Bargemen, those who propel and steer the great river barges upon the freshwater waterways of Gor.

Caste of Fishermen: A sub-caste of the caste of Sailors, they are concerned with harvesting the vast variety of Gorean aquatic life for human consumption. There are additional sub-castes of this caste, including the Castes of River Fishermen and the caste of Thassa Fishermen. The caste of Net Makers, an artisan caste, is often considered a sub-caste of the caste of Fishermen.

The Caste of Artisans: This is a very broad caste which includes hundreds of sub-castes. Since any production of hand-made goods, no matter its use, is considered by the typical Gorean to be a work of art, this caste is very broad indeed.

Caste of Pot Makers: A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. They are involved in the production of containment vessels. Their caste colors are Brown and Green.

Caste of Saddle Makers: A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. They produce the saddlery, harness and tack used to manage all of the various riding and draft beasts of Gor. Their caste color is Tan.

Caste of Metal Workers: A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. They are concerned with the production of most metal items fabricated upon Gor. Sub-castes of this caste include the caste of Sword makers and the caste of Armorers, who produce the various shields and helmets in use upon Gor. Additionally, there seems to be a wide-spread sub-caste of the caste of Metal Workers which serves in a similar capacity to a blacksmith or farrier, repairing wagon wheels and shoeing Gorean draft and riding beasts. Their caste color is Gray.

Caste of Cloth Workers: A very large and expansive caste, containing numerous sub-castes. Concerned with the professional production of woven cloth for the use of the Gorean populace.

Caste of Rug Makers: A sub-caste of the caste of Cloth Workers, with several smaller sub-castes. Concerned with the professional production of woven rugs for the use of the Gorean populace. Members of this caste, however, usually regard themselves to be an independent caste, separate from the Cloth Workers.

Caste of Weavers: A sub-caste of the caste of Rug Makers. Concerned with the professional production of textiles for the textile industry.

Caste of Carders: A sub-caste of the caste of Weavers. Concerned with the professional production of woven cloth for the textile industry.

Caste of Dyers: A sub-caste of the caste of Weavers. Concerned with the professional staining and coloring of cloth for the textile industry.

Caste of Clothiers: A sub-caste of the Caste of Weavers, which produces articles of Gorean clothing.

Caste of Dress Makers: A sub-caste of the caste of Clothiers which produces female garments.

Caste of Rope makers: A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. Produces rope, binding fiber, thread and cordage of all types.

Caste of Leather Workers: A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. Concerned with the fabrication of various leather goods from animal hides of all types.

Caste of Torturers: clan of Torturers (Wagon Peoples): Not a common Gorean caste, found only among the Wagon People of the far south. Considered to be a sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. One must therefore suppose that those of the Wagon Peoples consider the application of Torture to be an art form. Their caste colors are Black and Red.

Caste of Players : This caste is made of those who have dedicated their lives to the furtherance of the Gorean game of Kaissa. A rare caste, but one which is found and supported in almost any city. A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans, due to the fact that most Goreans consider the playing of Kaissa to be an art form. Members of this caste are granted blanket immunity to prosecution and slavery, and are highly regarded based upon their level of skill. They wear distinctive hooded robes in their caste colors. Caste colors: Checkered.



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