Caste of Scribes
Here are relevant references from the Books where the Caste of Scribes is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
"Ho!" cried Torm, that most improbable member of the Caste of Scribes, throwing his blue robes over his head as though he could not bear to see the light of day.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 36
I sensed that a certain distrust existed between the Caste of Scribes and the Caste of Initiates.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 40
I was specially drilled in the Code of the Warrior Caste.
"It's just as well," said Torm. "You would never make a Scribe."
. . .
I was also instructed in the Double Knowledge - that is, I was instructed in what the people, on the whole, believed, and then I was instructed in what the intellectuals were expected to know. Sometimes there was a surprising discrepancy between the two. For example, the population as a whole, the castes below the High Castes, were encouraged to believe that their world was a broad, flat disk. Perhaps this was to discourage them from exploration or to develop in them a habit of relying on commonsense prejudices something of a social control device.
On the other hand, the High Castes, specifically the Warriors, Builders, Scribes, Initiates, and Physicians, were told the truth in such matters, perhaps because it was thought they would eventually determine it for themselves, from observations such as the shadow of their planet on one or another of Gor's three small moons during eclipses, the phenomenon of sighting the tops of distant objects first, and the fact that certain stars could not be seen from certain geographical positions; if the planet had been flat, precisely the same set of stars would have been observable from every position on its surface.
I wondered, however, if the Second Knowledge, that of the intellectuals, might not be as carefully tailored to preclude inquiry on their level as the First Knowledge apparently was to preclude inquiry on the level of the Lower Castes. I would guess that there is a Third Knowledge, that reserved to the Priest-Kings.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 41
The Scribes, of course, are the scholars and clerks of Gor, and there are divisions and rankings within the group, from simple copiers to the savants of the city.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 44
I did learn, casually from a Scribe, not Torm, that slaves were not permitted to impart instruction to a free man, since it would place him in their debt, and nothing was owed to a slave.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 46
The Chamber of the Council is the room in which the elected representatives of the High Castes of Ko-ro-ba hold their meetings. Each city has such a chamber. It was in the widest of cylinders, and the ceiling was at least six times the height of the normal living level. The ceiling was lit as if by stars, and the walls were of five colors, applied laterally, beginning from the bottom - white, blue, yellow, green, and red, caste colors. Benches of stone, on which the members of the Council sat, rose in five monumental tiers about the walls, one tier for each of the High Castes. These tiers shared the color of that portion of the wall behind them, the caste colors.
The tier nearest the floor, which denoted some preferential status, the white tier, was occupied by Initiates, Interpreters of the Will of the Priest-Kings. In order, the ascending tiers, blue, yellow, green, and red, were occupied by representatives of the Scribes, Builders, Physicians, and Warriors.
Torm, I observed, was not seated in the tier of Scribes, I smiled to myself. "I am," Torm had said, "too practical to involve myself in the frivolities of government," I supposed the city might be under siege and Torm would fall to notice.
I was pleased to note that my own caste, that of the Warriors, was accorded the least status; if I had had my will, the warriors would not have been a High Caste. On the other hand, I objected to the Initiates being in the place of honor, as it seemed to me that they, even more than the Warriors, were nonproductive members of society. For the Warriors, at least, one could say that they afforded protection to the city, but for the Initiates one could say very little, perhaps only that they provided some comfort for ills and plagues largely of their own manufacture.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Pages 61 - 62
The Home Stone of a city is the center of various rituals. The next would be the Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna, the Life-Daughter, celebrated early in the growing season to insure a good harvest. This is a complex feast, celebrated by most Gorean cities, and the observances are numerous and intricate. The details of the rituals are arranged and mostly executed by the Initiates of a given city. Certain portions of the ceremonies, however, are often allotted to members of the High Castes.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 68
"The women of the Walled Gardens know whatever happens on Gor," she replied, and I sensed the intrigue, the spying and treachery that must ferment within the gardens. "I forced my slave girls to lie with soldiers, with merchants and builders, physicians and scribes," she said, "and I found out a great deal." I was dismayed at this - the cool, calculating exploitation of her girls by the daughter of the Ubar, merely to gain information.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 108
To my delight, even Torm, of the Caste of Scribes, appeared at the tables. I was honored that the little scribe had separated himself from his beloved scrolls long enough to share my happiness, only that of a warrior. He was wearing a new robe and sandals, perhaps for the first time in years.
Tarnsman of Gor Book 1 Page 217
Four times a year, correlated with the solstices and equinoxes, there are fairs held in the plains below the mountains, presided over by committees of Initiates, fairs in which men of many cities mingle without bloodshed, times of truce, times of contests and games, of bargaining and marketing.
Torm, my friend of the Caste of Scribes, had been to such fairs to trade scrolls with scholars from other cities, men he would never have seen were it not for the fairs, men of hostile cities who yet loved ideas more than they hated their enemies, men like Torm who so loved learning that they would risk the perilous journey to the Sardar Mountains for the chance to dispute a text or haggle over a coveted scroll. Similarly men of such castes as the Physicians and Builders make use of the fairs to disseminate and exchange information pertaining to their respective crafts.
Outlaw of Gor Book 2 Page 47
And it seemed strange to me that this rebellion, this willingness to pursue the right as they saw it, independently of the will of the Priest-Kings, had come not first from the proud Warriors of Gor, nor the Scribes, nor the Builders nor Physicians, nor any of the high castes of the many cities of Gor, but had come from the most degraded and despised of men, wretched slaves from the mines of Tharna.
Outlaw of Gor Book 2 Page 170
I shall deliver this manuscript to some member of the Caste of Scribes whom I shall find at the Fair of En'Kara at the base of the Sardar.
Outlaw of Gor Book 2 Page 245
I would stop briefly at the fair, for I must purchase food for the journey into the Sardar and I must entrust a leather-bound package to some member of the Caste of Scribes, a package which contained an account of what had occurred at the City of Tharna in the past months, a short history of events which I thought should be recorded.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 8
Further, members of castes such as the Physicians and Builders use the fairs for the dissemination of information and techniques among Caste Brothers, as is prescribed in their codes in spite of the fact that their respective cities may be hostile. And as might be expected members of the Caste of Scribes gather here to enter into dispute and examine and trade manuscripts.
My small friend, Torm of Ko-ro-ba, of the Caste of Scribes, had been to the fairs four times in his life. He informed me that in this time he had refuted seven hundred and eight scribes from fifty-seven cities, but I will not vouch for the accuracy of the report, as I sometimes suspect that Torm, like most members of his caste, and mine, tends to be a bit too sanguine in recounting his numerous victories. Moreover I have never been too clear as to the grounds on which the disputes of scribes are to be adjudicated, and it is not too infrequently that both disputants leave the field each fully convinced that he has had the best of the contest. In differences among members of my own caste, that of the Warriors, it is easier to tell who has carried the day, for the defeated one often lies wounded or slain at the victor's feet. In the contests of scribes, on the other hand, the blood that is spilled is invisible and the valiant foemen retire in good order, reviling their enemies and recouping their forces for the next day's campaign. I do not hold this against the contests of scribes; rather I commend it to the members of my own caste.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Pages 8 - 10
It took not much time to purchase a small bundle of supplies to take into the Sardar, nor was it difficult to find a scribe to whom I might entrust the history of the events at Tharna. I did not ask his name nor he mine. I knew his caste, and he knew mine, and it was enough. He could not read the manuscript as it was written in English, a language as foreign to him as Gorean would be to most of you, but yet he would treasure the manuscript and guard it as though it were a most precious possession, for he was a scribe and it is the way of scribes to love the written word and keep it from harm, and if he could not read the manuscript, what did it matter perhaps someone could someday, and then the words which had kept their secret for so long would at last enkindle the mystery of communication and what had been written would be heard and understood.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 15
My Chamber Slave's accent had been pure High Caste Gorean though I could not place the city. Probably her caste had been that of the Builders or Physicians, for had her people been Scribes I would have expected a greater subtlety of inflections, the use of less common grammatical cases; and had her people been of the Warriors I would have expected a blunter speech, rather belligerently simple, expressed in great reliance on the indicative mood and, habitually, a rather arrogant refusal to venture beyond the most straightforward of sentence structures.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 52
Gorean, I might note, is somewhat similar, and though I speak Gorean fluently, I find it very difficult to write, largely because of the even-numbered lines which, from my point of view, must be written backwards. Torm, my friend of the Caste of Scribes, never forgave me this and to this day, if he lives, he undoubtedly considers me partly illiterate. As he said, I would never make a Scribe. "It is simple," he said. "You just write it forward but in the other direction."
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Pages 100 - 101
"Yes," he said, "I suppose that I am brave." He looked at the Older Tarl. "You must not tell other members of the Caste of Scribes," he cautioned.
I smiled to myself. How clearly Torm wished to keep caste lines and virtues demarcated.
"I will tell everyone," said the Older Tarl kindly, "that you are the bravest of the Caste of Scribes."
"Well," said Torm, "thus qualified, perhaps the information will do no harm."
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 303
Once safely down Torm came over to me and reached up and touched my shoulder.
"I believed you," he said.
"I know," I said, and gave his sandy-haired head a rough shake. He was, after all, a Scribe, and had the proprieties of his caste to observe.
Priest-Kings of Gor Book 3 Page 304
It might be mentioned, for those unaware of the fact, that the Caste of Merchants is not considered one of the traditional five High Castes of Gor the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. Most commonly, and doubtless unfortunately, it is only members of the five high castes who occupy positions on the High Councils of the cities.
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Page 84
another wore the blue of the Caste of Scribes,
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 3
At his right hand there was a Scribe, an angular, sullen man with deep eyes, with and stylus. It was Caprus of Ar, Chief Accountant to the House of Cernus. He lived in the house and seldom went abroad in the streets. It was with this man that Vella had been placed, her registration, papers and purchase having been arranged. In the House of Cernus, after the sheet, bracelets, leash and collar had been removed, agents of House of Cernus had checked her fingerprints against those on the papers.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 40
"These men are the champions among male slaves at hook knife," said Cernus. He scarcely glanced up from the game board at which he sat across from Caprus, of the Caste of Scribes, Chief Accountant of the House.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 86
"He is one of us," she said. "He holds me to no close schedule, and lets me leave the house when I wish. Yet I suppose I should report in upon occasion."
"Are there other assistants to him?" I asked.
"He manages several Scribes," she said, "but they do not work closely with him. There are some other girls, as well, but Caprus is permissive, and we come and go pretty much as we please."
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 107
One girl was dictating from a piece of record paper held in her hand and the other girl was copying it rapidly on a second piece of record paper. The speed with which this was done informed me that some form of shorthand must be being used. Elsewhere in the room there were some free men, Scribes I gathered though they were stripped to the waist, who were inking, using a silk-screen process, large sheets of layered, glued rag paper. One of them held the sheet up inspecting it, and I saw that it was a bill, which might be pasted against a public building, or on the public boards near the markets. It advertised a sale. Other such sheets, hanging on wires, proclaimed games and tarn races.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 113
I looked to the area of the Administrator and saw the Hinrabian disgustedly turning away, dictating something to a scribe, who sat cross-legged near the throne, a sheaf of record papers in his hand.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 141
Many castes, incidentally, have branches and divisions. Lawyers and Scholars, for example, and Record Keepers, Teachers, Clerks, Historians and Accountants are all Scribes.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 208
Shortly thereafter Maximus Hegesius Quintilius was found dead, poisoned by the bite of a girl in his Pleasure Gardens, who, before she could be brought before the Scribes of the Law, was strangled by enraged Taurentians, to whom she had been turned over; it was well known that the Taurentians had greatly revered Maximus Hegesius Quintilius, and that they had felt his loss perhaps as deeply as the common Warriors of Ar.
. . .
The Scribes of the Central Cylinder examined the records and, to their horror, discrepancies were revealed, in particular payments to members of the Hinrabian family for services it was not clear had ever been performed;
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Pages 233 - 234
And Caprus seemed in a good humor; that perhaps was significant, betokening an end in sight for my mission. In thinking about this I realized what a brave man Caprus was, and how little I had respected his courage and his work. He had risked much, probably much more than I. I felt ashamed. He was only a Scribe, and yet what he had done had taken great courage, probably more courage than that possessed by many Warriors.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 237
There is little love lost between Physicians and Initiates, even as is the case between Scribes and Initiates.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 266
"Your calendar is well kept," I said. "Worthy of a Scribe."
"I am a Scribe," said the man. He reached under himself to hold forth for my inspection a shred of damp, rotted blue cloth, the remains of what had once been his robes.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 277
Scribes at nearby tables endorsed and updated papers of registration, that the ownership of the girls be legally transferred from the state to individual citizens.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 396
From time to time a warrior would add further booty to this catch, dragging or throwing his capture rudely among the others. These rencers were guarded by two warriors with drawn swords. A scribe stood by with a tally sheet, marking the number of captures by each warrior.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 54
The Ubars were represented on the council, to which they belonged as being themselves Captains, by five empty thrones, sitting before the semicircles of curule chairs on which reposed the captains. Beside each empty throne there was a stool from which a Scribe, speaking in the name of his Ubar, participated in the proceedings of the council. The Ubars themselves remained aloof, seldom showing themselves for fear of assassination.
A scribe, on table before the five thrones, was droning the record of the last meeting of the council.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 126
I had discovered, to my pleasure, that the girl Luma, whom I had saved from Surbus, was of the Scribes. Her city had been Tor.
Being of the Scribes she could, of course, read and write.
"Can you keep accounts?" I had asked her.
"Yes, Master," she had responded.
I had made her the chief scribe and accountant of my house.
Each night, in my hall, before my master's chair, she would kneel with her tablets and give me an accounting of the day's business, with reports on the progress of various investments and ventures, often making suggestions and recommendations for further actions.
This plain, thin girl, I found, had an excellent mind for the complicated business transactions of a large house. She was a most valuable slave. She much increased my fortunes.
I permitted her, of course, but a single garment, but I allowed it to be opaque, and of the blue of the Scribes. It was sleeveless and fell to just above her knees. Her collar, however, that she might not grow pretentious, was of simple steel. It read, as I wished, I BELONG TO BOSK.
Some of the free men in the house, particularly of the scribes, resented that the girl should have a position of such authority. Accordingly, when receiving their reports and transmitting her instructions to them, I had informed her that she would do so humbly, as a slave girl, and kneeling at their feet. This mollified the men a good deal, though some remained disgruntled. All, I think, feared that her quick stylus and keen mind would discover the slightest discrepancies in their columns and tally sheets, and, indeed, they seemed to do so. I think they feared her, because of the excellence of her work and because, behind her, stood the power of the house, its Captain, Bosk from the Marshes.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Pages 130 - 131
A small fire was burning to one side, where a lamp with candle had been knocked to the floor, in the rush toward the door.
Chairs lay knocked over, furniture was broken. The floor was covered with papers.
The scribe at the central table, that before the empty thrones, stood numb behind the table.
Other scribes came and stood with him, looking from one to the other. To one side, cowering, stood several of the Page boys.
. . .
"Gather up and guard the book of the Council," I told the Scribe who had been at the great table.
"Yes, Captain," said he, leaping to seize it up.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Pages 143 - 144
"I am going to the arsenal," I said. I turned to one of the captains. "Have scribes investigate and prepare reports on the extent of the damage, wherever it exists. Also have captains ascertain the military situation in the city. And have patrols doubled, and extend their perimeters by fifty pasangs."
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 148
"I now ask the table scribe," said Samos, "to call the roll of Captains."
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 158
Several committees were formed, usually headed by scribes but reporting to the council, to undertake various studies pertaining to the city, particularly of a military and commercial nature.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 159
I took my chair. "I petition," said I to the scribe, as though it might be an ordinary meeting, "to address the council."
The scribe was puzzled.
The captains looked up.
Speak," said the Scribe.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Pages 255 - 256
"Were you truly of the scribes?" asked the man.
"Yes," said Inge, startled.
"The refinement of your accent," he said, "suggested the scribes."
"Thank you, Master," said Inge, lowering her head.
Captive of Gor Book 7 Page 195
an intent, preoccupied scribe, lean and clad in the scribe's blue, with a scroll, perhaps come north for high fees to tutor the sons of rich men;
Hunters of Gor Book 8 Page 41
It was Luma, the chief scribe of my house, in her blue robe and sandals. Her hair was blond and straight, tied behind her head with a ribbon of blue wool, from the bounding Hurt, died in the blood of the Vosk sorp. She was a scrawny girl, not attractive, but with deep eyes, blue; and she was a superb scribe, in her accounting swift, incisive, accurate, brilliant;
. . .
Few scribes, I expected, were so skilled in the supervision and management of complex affairs as this light, unattractive, brilliant girl.
Marauders of Gor Book 9 Pages 1 - 2
Ivar, like many of those in the north, was a passable reader, but took care to conceal this fact. He belonged to the class of men who could hire their reading done for them, much as he could buy thralls to do his farming. It was not regarded as dignified for a warrior to be too expert with letters, such being a task beneath warriors. To have a scribe's skills would tend to embarrass a man of arms, and tend to lower his prestige among his peers.
Marauders of Gor Book 9 Page 231
The Companion Contract, thus, had been duly negotiated, with the attention of scribes of the law from both Fortress of Saphronicus and the Confederation of Saleria. The Companion Journey, then, when the auspices had been favorable, as they promptly were, these determined by the inspection of the condition and nature of the liver of a sacrificial verr, examined by members of the caste of Initiates, had begun.
Slave Girl of Gor Book 11 Page 111
"In Gorean," said Bosk, "the most frequently occurring letter is Eta. We might then begin by supposing that the combination of blue and red signifies an Eta."
"I see," said Samos.
"The next most frequently occurring letters in Gorean," said Bosk, "are Tau, Al-Ka, Omnion and Nu. Following these in frequency of occurrence are Ar, Ina, Sbu and Homan, and so on."
"How is this known?" asked Samos.
"It is based upon letter counts," said Bosk, "over thousands of words in varieties of manuscripts."
"These matters have been determined by scribes?" asked Samos.
"Yes," said Bosk.
"Why should they be interested in such things?"
"Such studies were conducted originally, at least publicly, as opposed to the presumed secret studies of cryptographers, in connection with the Sardar Fairs," said Bosk, "at meetings of Scribes concerned to standardize and simplify the cursive alphabet. Also, it was thought to have consequences for improved pedagogy, in teaching children to first recognize the most commonly occurring letters."
"I was taught the alphabet beginning with Al-Ka," smiled Samos.
"As was I," said Bosk. "Perhaps we should first have been taught Eta."
"That is not the tradition!" said Samos.
"True," admitted Bosk. "And these innovative scribes have had little success with their proposed reforms. Yet, from their labors, various interesting facts have emerged. For example, we have learned not only the order of frequency of occurrence of letters but, as would be expected, rough percentages of occurrence as well. Eta, for example, occurs two hundred times more frequently in the language than Altron. Over forty percent of the language consists of the first five letters I mentioned, Eta, Tau, Al-Ka, Omnion and Nu."
Slave Girl of Gor Book 11 Pages 383 - 384
In traversing the street I saw the fellow from the polar basin, he stripped to the waist, with fur trousers and boots. He was dealing with a large fellow, corpulent and gross, who managed one of the booths. There was a thin scribe present as well behind the counter.
Beasts of Gor Book 12 Page 50
"You are not of the scribes," I said. "Look at your hands."
We could hear the flame of the lamp, tiny, soft, in the silence of the tent.
His hands were larger than those of the scribe, and scarred and roughened. The fingers were short. There was no stain of ink about the tips of the index and second finger.
Beasts of Gor Book 12 Page 104
There are several barbarian languages spoken on Gor, usually in more remote areas. Also, some of the dialects of Gorean itself are almost unintelligible. On the other hand, Gorean, in its varieties, serves as the lingua franca of civilized Gor. There are few Goreans who cannot speak it, though with some it is almost a second language. Gorean tends to be rendered more uniform through the minglings and transactions of the great fairs. Too, at certain of these fairs, the caste of scribes, accepted as the arbiters of such matters, stipulate that certain pronunciations and grammatical formations, and such, are to be preferred over others.
Beasts of Gor Book 12 Page 154
Many Gorean letters have a variety of pronunciations, depending on their linguistic context. Certain scribes have recommended adding to the Gorean alphabet new letters, to independently represent some of these sounds which, now, require alternative pronunciations, context-dependent, of given letters. Their recommendations, it seems, are unlikely to be incorporated into formal Gorean.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Pages 9 - 10
Two men from the desk of the nearest wharf praetor, he handling wharves six through ten, a scribe and a physician, boarded the ship. The scribe carried a folder with him. He would check the papers of Ulafi, the registration of the ship, the arrangements for wharfage and the nature of the cargo.
. . .
The scribe noted the physician's report in his papers and the physician, with a marking stick, initialed the entry.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Pages 117 - 120
Geographers and cartographers, of course, are members of the Scribes.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 213
"Surely Shaba will have others of his caste with him, geographers of the scribes," I said.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 237
The men with him, I suspected, or most of them, were members of his own caste, geographers of the scribes, perhaps, but men inured to hardships, perhaps men who had been with him in his explorations of Ushindi and Ngao, men he trusted and upon whom he could count in desperate situations, caste brothers.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 251
"I am a scribe, and a man of science and letters," said Shaba.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 431
"He is Ngumi," said Shaba. "He is courageous, indeed. We did not know if he would get through."
"I did not know a scribe could be so courageous," I said.
"There are brave men in all castes," said Shaba.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 433
"I am grateful," had said Ramani of Anango, who had once been the teacher of Shaba. I had delivered to him, and to two others of his caste, the maps and notebooks of Shaba. Ramani and his fellows had wept. I had then left them, returning to my lodgings. Copies would be made of the maps and notebooks. They would then be distributed by caste brothers throughout the cities of civilized Gor. The first copies that were made by anyone had already, however, been made, by the scribes of Bila Huruma in Ushindi.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 454
Tenalion then turned to a bound, dark-haired woman who had been standing on the platform, her head down, her hair over her eyes. He thrust her from the platform. "Ten copper tarsks," he said to a scribe at a small table nearby, with papers and a box of coins. The scribe counted out ten copper tarsks to a fellow at the table.
Fighting Slave of Gor Book 14 Page 380
Such breedings commonly take place with the slaves hooded, and under the supervision of the master, or masters. In this way the occurrence of the breeding act can be confirmed and authenticated. Sometimes a member of the caste of scribes is also present, to provide certification on behalf of the city.
Blood Brothers of Gor Book 18 Page 319
"Scribes from the treasure rooms will be along shortly," he said, "to gather in and account for the cloths and coins.
Kajira of Gor Book 19 Page 95
This hairdo here, on Crystal, with the bun in the back, is favored by many free women of the scribes.
Kajira of Gor Book 19 Page 292
"Disgusting! Disgusting!" cried the free woman, one veiled and wearing the robes of the scribes, standing in the audience. "Pull down your skirt, you slave, you brazen hussy!"
"Pray, do withdraw, noble sir, for you surprise me unawares, and of necessity I must improvise some veiling, lest my features be disclosed," cried the girl upon the stage, Boots Tarsk-Bit's current Brigella. I had seen her a few days earlier in Port Kar.
"Pull down your skirt, slut!" cried the free woman in the audience.
"Be quiet," said a free man to the woman. "It is only a play."
"Be silent yourself!" she cried back at him.
"Would that you were a slave," he growled. "You would pay richly for your impertinence."
"I am not a slave," she said.
"Obviously," he said.
"And I shall never he a slave," she said.
"Do not be too sure of that," he said.
Players of Gor Book 20 Page 121
"Even if it were," said another fellow, "you apparently did not see the theft, and do not have clear evidence, even of a circumstantial nature, that he is the culprit." The fellow who had said this wore the blue of the scribes. He may even have been a Scribe of the law.
Mercenaries of Gor Book 21 Page 244
"Why would one think of her in the terms of a Ubara?" I asked. "Sworn from Marlenus, she is no longer his daughter."
"I am not a scribe of the law," he said. "I do not know."
Mercenaries of Gor Book 21 Page 265
Most Goreans, incidentally, do not attribute lightning and thunder to the grinding of the flour of Priest-Kings. They regard such things as charming myths, which they have now outgrown. Some of the lower castes, however, particularly that of the peasants, and particularly those in outlying villages, do entertain the possibility that such phenomena may be the signs of disunion among Priest-Kings and their conflicts, the striking of weapons, the rumbling of their chariots, the trampling of their tharlarion, and such. Even more sophisticated Goreans, however, if not of the Scribes or Builders, have been noted to speculate that lightning is the result of clouds clashing together in the sky, showering sparks, and such.
Renegades of Gor Book 23 Pages 18 - 19
The reform of chronology is proposed by a small party from among the caste of scribes almost every year at the Fair of En'Kara, near the Sardar, but their proposals, sensible as they might seem, are seldom greeted with either interest or enthusiasm, even by the scribes. Perhaps that is because the reconciliation and coordination of chronologies, like the diction and convolutions of the law, are usually regarded as scribal prerogatives.
Renegades of Gor Book 23 Page 347
The traditional high castes of Gor are the Initiates, Scribes, Builders, Physicians and Warriors.
Renegades of Gor Book 23 Page 368
"Who knows?" I said. "Perhaps a scribe would buy you to clean his chamber and keep his papers in order."
"What?" she said.
"You can read, can't you?" I said.
"Yes!" she said.
"And to serve him in other ways," I said.
"Scribes," she said, in disappointment, "are weak."
"Not all of them," I said, "as you might discover under his whip."
Vagabonds of Gor Book 24 Page 231
Indeed, several fellows I have known, of the scarlet caste, take pains to conceal their literacy, seemingly ashamed of an expertise in such matters, regarding such as befitting scribes rather than warriors.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 76
"Are you a legal slave, my child?" asked one of the counselors, a scribe of the law.
"No, Master," said the woman.
"You are then a legally free female?" asked the scribe.
"Yes, Master," she said.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 138
As I have mentioned, there were scribes on, or near, the dais with Talena. Lists were being kept, and referred to. One list, for example, had the names of the women upon it, in the order in which they ascended the platform. It was from this list that one of the scribes announced the names.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 140
The scribes put their marking sticks away. They closed their wood-bound tablets, tying them shut.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 155
"Have you read," I asked, "the Manuals of the Pens of Mira, Leonora's Compendium, the Songs of Dina, or Hargon's The Nature and Arts of the Female Slave?"
"No, Master," she said, eagerly. Such texts, and numerous others, like them, are sometimes utilized in a girl's training, particularly by professional slavers. Sometimes they are read aloud in training sessions by a scribe, a whip master in attendance.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 193
Official clocks are adjusted, of course, according to the announcements of scribes, in virtue of various astronomical measurements, having to do with the movements of the sun and stars.
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Page 358
I have known extremely intelligent men on Gor, incidentally, who could not read. Illiteracy, or, more kindly, an inability to read and write, is not taken on Gor as a mark of stupidity. These things tend rather, in many cases, to be associated with the caste structure and cultural traditions. Some warriors, as I have indicated earlier, seem to feel it is somewhat undignified for them to know how to read, or, at least, how to read well, perhaps because that sort of thing is more in the line of, say, the scribes. One hires a warrior for one thing, one hires a scribe for another. One does not expect a scribe to know the sword. Why, then, should one expect the warrior to know the pen?
Magicians of Gor Book 25 Pages 393 - 394
I saw two officers beginning to examine the lines of captives. One had a grease pencil. They were followed by a scribe with a tablet, who made jottings as they proceeded down the line. Information pertaining to captives and slaves, their dispositions, and such, is sometimes marked on their bodies. The upper surface of the left breast is often used for this. The pertinent information, displayed in this manner, so conveniently and prominently, is easily read.
Witness of Gor Book 26 Page 433
One of the men with the officer, the captain, was clad not in the gear of war, but wore a blue tunic, and carried, on two straps, slung now beside him, a scribe's box. It was flat and rectangular. Pens are contained, in built-in-racks, within it. Depending on the box, it may contain ink, or powdered ink, to be mixed with water, the vessel included, or flat, disklike cakes of pigment, to be dampened, and used as ink, rather as water colors. In it, too, in narrow compartments, are sheets of paper, commonly lined paper or rence paper. A small knife may also be contained in such boxes for scraping out errors, or a flat eraser stone. Other paraphernalia may also be included, depending on the scribe, string, ostraka, wire, coins, even lunch. The top of the box, the lid, the box placed on a solid surface, serves as a writing surface, or desk.
Witness of Gor Book 26 Pages 492 - 493
"Do you wish a record of this, Captain?" asked the fellow in the blue tunic, he with the scribe's box, on its straps, slung at his left side.
"No," said the captain. "Keep no record of this.
Witness of Gor Book 26 Page 495
Needless to say, caste members do not always wear the caste colors. For example, a scribe would normally wear his blue when working but not always when at leisure.
Witness of Gor Book 26 Page 519
Earlier in the day, after having been at the pool, and having been fed and watered, she, and those who had been in her ankle coffle, were conducted to an exhibition cage, one of more than perhaps fifty or sixty. While they stood outside the cage, roped together by the ankle, lot numbers were inscribed, with a grease pencil, or marker, on their left breasts. The left breast is used in such matters as most men are right-handed. Records were kept, regarding the lot numbers and names. Those girls who did not have names were given names, for clerical purposes, which might or might not be kept on them after a sale. Some of the names were lovely. All were suitable for female slaves. The matter was supervised by a scribe, with a clipboard, to which were attached several sheets of paper.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 400
She had been 'Auta' before, but the scribe had not cared for that name, and had given her the name 'Renata'. So now she was Renata.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 408
She dared to lift her head a little, but she saw neither Mirus nor Selius Arconious within the enclosure. She did see, this frightening her, and she quickly put down her head, the scribe who had interviewed her in the exhibition cage, and three guardsmen, with him, not one but three, all approaching.
Her apprehensions were much increased when she became aware that they had stopped in her vicinity.
Ellen, trembling, pressed her forehead down into the sand.
"117, Kajira Ellen," said the scribe.
"Yes, Master," said Ellen.
"Dismiss your girls, save this one," said the scribe.
"Return to the area of preparation," said the exterior whip master.
Immediately, with a rustle of bells, and the clinkings of necklaces and bangles, the other slaves hurried to their feet and went into the area of preparation.
"Master?" asked Ellen.
"Strip yourself, completely," said the scribe.
"Yes, Master," said Ellen.
"Help her," said the scribe.
One of the guardsmen undid the halter, behind her back, and pulled it away. One of the other two guardsmen whistled softly. "Nice," he said. Ellen, flushing, lifted aside the necklaces and the bracelet and, embarrassed, though a slave, unhooked the swirling skirt of dancing silk. "The veil, there, Masters," she said. "That was mine to wear, too." In this way she had purchased a moment's modesty. Then the veil was put beside her, and on it were laid the halter, the necklaces and bracelet. She looked up and, meeting the stern eyes of the scribe, lifted away the skirt, folded it, and, head down, placed it, too, beside her.
"Bells," said the scribe.
Ellen sat then in the sand, and drew up her left leg, to attempt to remove the bells. She was at this time naked, save for the bells. Her fingers fumbled. The knots seemed too close, too tight. She struggled, and began to weep.
"On your belly," said the scribe.
One of the guardsmen, then, crouching beside her, bending her leg, lifting it by the ankle, pressing it closely against her body, so closely she whimpered, undid the bells. With a jangle they were flung to the bit of garb and the few adornments beside her. She remained, of course, on her belly, but put her leg down. Her head was turned to the right, her left cheek in the sand.
"Well, little Ellen," said the scribe. "You danced well."
"Thank you, Master," whispered Ellen, frightened.
"But I thought it strange," said the scribe, "when I heard your number called in the camp, summoning you to a dancing circle, and, indeed, one so high as the ba-ta circle. I seemed to recall the number, and, accordingly, as is my wont in such instances, checked my records, which I have with me."
Ellen was silent, lying in the sand, the feet of the men about her.
"According to my records," said the scribe, looming over her, tall in his blue robes, she could see but the hem of his robe and his sandals, "you responded negatively when queried as to your ability to dance. Perhaps my records are in error?"
I think we may grant, even within this narrative, despite the possible risk of a seeming impropriety, hopefully not one punishable, that Ellen had at least average, or reasonable, intelligence. Certainly her life on Earth, her education, her attainments, her position, and such, suggest as much. More coercively, perhaps, we might note that intelligence ranks high among the selection criteria of Gorean slavers, of which, as noted earlier, we may assume that Mirus was one. I think that it is seldom that stupid women are brought to Gor. The Gorean master, you see, looks for high intelligence in a female slave. It is one of his pleasures to take a highly intelligent woman, even a brilliant woman, provided, of course, that she is attractive, would be of interest in chains, is likely to squirm well in the furs and such, and teach her her womanhood, a lesson which is too often neglected in the education of a free female, either on Gor or Earth. He delights then to take such an interesting, lovely, remarkable creature in hand and, step by step, with great patience, reduce her to an unquestioning, passionate, obedient chattel. The more intelligent she is, of course, the better slave she is likely to make; I assume that that is obvious; she is likely to be more aware of the subtlest and almost unspoken desires of her master; she is less likely to make errors which might displease him; and she is likely to be not only hot, devoted and dutiful, as the saying is, but inventive and zealous, conscientious and creative, intelligently desperate to please, in her unrelieved, categorical servitude. Also, I suppose that there is just more pleasure in owning an intelligent woman than in owning one who is less intelligent. She is a greater prize to have at one's feet. Too, the average Gorean master wants a woman he can talk to, seriously talk to, one with whom, in a sense, he can share his life. It is not unusual for a master to speak of numerous matters with his female slave, politics, culture, music, history, philosophy, and such, almost as though she might be his equal, though she is likely to be kneeling before him, naked, and back-braceleted. In this way she is not likely to forget that she is a female. Afterwards he can put her in pleasure chains, and, as it pleases him, turn her once again into a begging, submitted, conquered, spasmodic, writhing slave. A dull woman, you see, is not of great interest, whether in a collar or not. An interesting woman, on the other hand, is not the less interesting in a collar; indeed, she is more interesting in a collar.
"No, Master," said Ellen. "Your records are correct. I denied that I knew dance." She supposed that the question had been a trap, but, even had it not been, even if the scribe's question had been innocently, honestly, motivated, she thought it wisest to answer truthfully. As a slave she feared the penalties for prevarication, the least of which might be a severe whipping.
"Then," said the scribe, "it appears that you are a lying slave."
"No, Master," she wept. "I answered as honestly as I could. I am a slave girl. I would not dare to lie to a free man!"
"You said you could not dance, and yet with my own eyes, and to my pleasure, I may add, I saw you dance."
"I cannot dance!" cried Ellen.
There was laughter, from the scribe, and from one of the guardsmen, and from the two whip masters who had now come forth from the area of preparation.
"It is true," said Ellen. "I did not so much dance, as act to music. And I have seen dancers, in the circles. I tried to imitate them! I tried to do well! Then I felt myself taken by the music, and I could not help myself. Then, as though held in its chains, I found myself dancing. I had been captured by the music. I had no recourse but to obey it, Masters! I did not know I could dance, if dance I did."
"You danced," said the scribe.
"You had lessons?" said the scribe.
"No, Master," said Ellen.
"But you have seen slaves dance?"
"Yes, Master," wept Ellen.
"And you learned from them?"
"Perhaps something, Master."
"And surely, as a slave," said the scribe, "you upon occasion, naked, in secret, had swayed before a mirror?"
"Yes, Master," whispered Ellen. She recalled that she had done this, not only on Gor, but even on Earth, as a frustrated female intellectual, more than once, in anguish, and curiosity, and embarrassment, in the privacy of her apartment, the shades drawn, far above the distant pavement, far above the dismal, crowded, gray streets below. She had wanted to see herself as she might be, and wanted to be, as a beautiful, natural creature, and to see herself, as well, as that creature might appear, beggingly presenting itself, beggingly displaying itself, in all the lure of the dance, to a member of the opposite sex, to a man. Once, to her astonishment, she had found herself whispering to the mirror. "I am here. Where are you, my master? I am ready for a collar. I want a collar. Come, collar me, my master!" She wondered how many slaves danced thusly in such small, lonely apartments, their slave needs starved, longing for a master.
"Then you have not only made observations, from which you perhaps learned something, but you have practiced," said the scribe.
"Yes, Master," wept Ellen.
"I think I shall have you remanded for the liar's brand," said the scribe.
"Do not have it put on me, please, Master!" begged Ellen, terrified.
"I would think that a good whipping would be sufficient," said a voice, "say, ten lashes."
Ellen started, keeping her head down.
"Who are you?" asked the scribe.
"I am called 'Selius'," said the voice.
Ellen dared to look up, from her belly, half buried in the sand, into which it seemed she would crawl, as though to hide. Her fingers dug into the sand, at the sides of her head. It was Selius Arconious!
"Perhaps you are right," said the scribe. "I myself was inclined to be lenient, though I suppose the liar's brand would be appropriate for her."
Ellen dug her fingers into the sand, in terror.
"I did, as doubtless did we all, enjoyed her performance, and that should count for something, I suppose," said the scribe, "and I, besides, upon reflection, am inclined to grant that she may not have fully understood her latent talents in the matter."
"It is instinctive in a woman," said the guardsman. "They are all slaves, with or without their collars. They are all born to dance the dances of slaves. Such things are in their belly from birth."
"True," said Selius Arconious. "But she was stupid not to understand this."
"Yes," agreed the guardsman.
Ellen bit her lip in anger, remaining quiet on her belly amongst the feet of the men.
"Surely she should at least have qualified her answer, or have been more candid, or more speculative, with our fellow here," said Arconious, indicating the scribe.
"Agreed," said the guardsman.
"I am inclined to forget the matter," said the scribe. "All in all, I do not think the little slut was trying to mislead us."
Ellen gasped softly with relief.
"But she did mislead you," said Selius Arconious.
"Inadvertently, unintentionally," suggested the scribe.
"Then she is stupid," said Selius Arconious.
"Granted," said the scribe.
Ellen dug her fingers into the sand.
"Apparently," said Selius Arconious, "those of Cos are indulgent with their slaves."
"We do not have that reputation," said the scribe, unpleasantly.
"Too, intentionally or not," said Selius Arconious, "she has made a fool out of you, and of Cos."
"No, Masters!" whispered Ellen, frightened.
"Were you given permission to speak?" inquired Selius Arconious.
"No, Master," said Ellen. "Forgive me, Master!"
"You see how stupid she is," said Selius Arconious.
"Yes," said the scribe.
"I did not know that Cos accepted stupidity in her slaves," said Selius Arconious.
"We do not," said the scribe. "Whip!"
The whip of the exterior whip master was handed to the scribe, who gave it to one of the attending guardsmen.
Of the other two guardsmen one took Ellen's wrists and drew them forward, holding them, and the other took her ankles, and, holding them tightly, drew them back, this extending her legs. In this way she was stretched at full length, on her belly, and held, vulnerably, in the sand. "What do you think should be her punishment?" asked the scribe.
"I would think fifteen lashes," said Selius.
Ellen sobbed in misery.
"Ten for the stupidity of imperiling the integrity of your records," said Selius Arconious, "and another five for the stupidity of daring to speak without permission."
Ellen saw the shadow of the guardsman, the arm lift, the hand holding the whip. She shut her eyes tightly, in misery.
But the blow did not fall.
She opened her eyes. Selius Arconious had interposed himself, and his hand rested on the arm of the guardsman, staying its blow. The guardsman, puzzled, lowered his arm.
"I will buy the strokes," said Selius Arconious. "I would suppose that a tarsk-bit a stroke would be sufficient, as the slave is stupid, rather than willful or wayward."
"That is acceptable," said the scribe. "Fifteen tarsk-bits."
"Done," said Selius Arconious.
Ellen heard the tiny sounds of small coins. She saw the whip returned to the exterior whip master.
The scribe distributed some of the coins to the attending guardsmen. "Good," said one of them. Such coins would buy more than one round of paga.
"So," thought Ellen. "How cleverly Selius Arconious demeans me! He knows I hate him, that I cannot stand him, that I loathe him! Now he whom I intensely despise chooses to interfere! From where has he come? Why is he here? By what right does he interpose himself betwixt a slave and an agent of her master, the state of Cos? How he humiliates me! So now I should be grateful to him? With what contempt he buys away my whipping! How better could he show his contempt for me? How better could he impress my vulnerability, my nothingness, my slavery, upon me? And so he wishes to put me in his debt, me, whom he so scorns! Am I now supposed to be grateful to him, for this act of calculated humiliation. I loathe him! I loathe him!" "You may belly," said the scribe, "and express your gratitude to your benefactor."
Ellen, who well understood her condition, needed not be reprimanded or kicked, nor required a suggestion, or command, to be repeated, but squirmed immediately, prostrate, on her belly, to Selius Arconious, and, putting down her head, her hair falling about his sandals, kissed his feet.
"Thank you, Master," she said, bitterly, angrily.
"Your gratitude may be premature, my dear," said Selius Arconious.
Ellen lifted her head a little, puzzled. Selius Arconious stepped back, away from her.
"Kneel up, slut," said the scribe. "Lift your wrists, crossed."
Ellen, kneeling up, lifting her wrists, crossed, flushed. She was obeying, and kneeling, a naked slave, in the presence of Selius Arconious, whom she hated.
She felt her wrists lashed together, at one end of a leather tether.
She was pulled to her feet.
She looked at Selius Arconious.
"I have always thought that you were a slave," he said, "and now I see that you are."
She looked down, angrily. Then she looked up, for her wrists were lifted, by the scribe, he hecking the confining knots which bound them.
"There is no more dancing or serving for you this night, 117, Ellen," said the scribe. "You are being taken to the slave cages. There you will wait. You will be sold tomorrow night." "She is a slut, meaningless and stupid," said Selius Arconious. "I recommend that she be confined straitly."
"I will see that she is put into one of the tiniest of the slave cages," said the scribe. "By tomorrow night she will beg to run to the block."
The slave's tether was then handed to a guardsman.
Ellen, turning about, cast an angry glance at Selius Arconious, who regarded her impassively. She turned away, angrily.
Then she was led away.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Pages 450 - 456
Ellen followed in line, in pain, almost hobbling, scarcely able to walk. The scribe of the exhibition cages and silken enclosure, it seems, had certainly been wrong about one thing. When she was taken from the cage she would not run to the block. She could scarcely walk to it.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 461
Common Gorean, you see, does not use an "Arabic notation," but represents various numbers by letters, combinations of letters, and such. Most figuring is done on an abacus. It is said, interestingly, that some of the higher castes, for example, the Scribes and Builders, have a secret notation which facilitates their calculations.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Pages 471 - 472
She heard herself described in some detail, by the auctioneer's assistant, who read from papers, presumably extracted from scribes' records. Various measurements were iterated matter-of-factly, for example, those of her bosom, waist and hips, and those of her neck, wrists and ankles, the latter primarily of interest with respect to the dimensions of appropriate identificatory or custodial hardware, the collar, wrist rings and ankle rings.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 483
The love of a free woman, should they be capable of love, is very different from the love of a slave. The free woman must have her respect, her self-esteem, her dignity. She must consider how her friends will view her, and the match, and what they will think of her, and say of her. She must consider her assets, her properties, and their protection. All details of contracts must be arranged, usually with the attention of scribes of the law.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 704
To many Gorean males this seemed almost incomprehensible, but, we note, many languages are spoken on Gor, though obviously, because of the standardizations agreed upon by the caste of Scribes, meeting at the great fairs, Gorean is the most common.
Kur of Gor Book 28 Page 36
Let scribes, they say, be adept with letters, and such, for that is their business, little scratches and marks on scrolls, and such.
Swordsmen of Gor Book 29 Page 2
Colors in the Gorean high cultures, as in most cultures, have their connotations or symbolisms. Too, in the Gorean high culture, certain colors tend to be associated with certain castes, for example green with the Physicians, red, or scarlet, with the Warriors, yellow with the Builders, blue with the Scribes, white with the Initiates, and so on.
Swordsmen of Gor Book 29 Page 146
"West," said Andronicus, once of Tabor, once of the Scribes. Andronicus was no stranger to the Second Knowledge. He could read.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 130
Even a brilliant woman, witty and articulate, learned, of the high Scribes, collared, her blue robes exchanged for a rag, must apply herself to new studies, the use of her lips and tongue, of her small fingers and glossy hair.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 292
"He is a Scribe," said the stranger. "You can tell from his robes."
"You know something of Earth!" she cried.
"I am familiar with the second knowledge," I said.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 465
"He is privy to the second knowledge," said the stranger. "See his robes. He is a Scribe."
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 469
The tunic I had prescribed for her today was the tiny one, of blue rep-cloth. It would not hurt for idlers and passers-by to guess, from the color of her scrap of clothing, that she was a Scribe's girl.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 479
And how fetching she was, barefoot, in the brief, ragged tunic of blue rep-cloth.
She had clutched the coins in her hand.
Had she been natively Gorean she would probably have carried them in her mouth.
When the fellows in the market saw the color of the tunic they would guess, I supposed, and correctly, that she was the property of a Scribe.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 488
With Demetrion were his aides, also of the Merchants, and two Scribes, one of which was Phillip, my superior in the registry.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 491
Demetrion's aides were as reluctant as he to stoop to retrieve the small, but weighty sack. The two Scribes, as well, looked away. Little love is lost between the Scribes and Merchants. The Scribes is a high caste and the Merchants is the richest caste. Each therefore regards itself as superior to the other, and each, then, would be reluctant to seem to lower itself before the other. I would have been quite willing to retrieve the sack and deliver it to Demetrion, but Phillip, my superior, was in his party, and there is, of course, the dignity, and the prestige, of the caste to maintain.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 493
Many Goreans, particularly of the lower castes, and some of the Warriors, a high caste, cannot read. Literacy is accepted in the lower castes, but not encouraged. There are Peasants who have never seen a written word. Some Warriors take pride in their inability to read, regarding that skill as unworthy of them, as being more appropriate to record keepers, tradesmen, clerks, and such, and some who can read take pains to conceal the fact. Swords, not words, rule cities, it is said. And some Goreans feel that reading is appropriate only for the less successful, those too poor to have their reading done for them, their letters written for them, and such. Slaves, unless formerly of high caste, are often illiterate. And barbarian slaves are seldom taught to read. This produces the anomaly that many barbarian slaves, who are generally of high intelligence, will be literate in one or more of the barbarian languages, but illiterate in Gorean. Indeed, they are often kept so, deliberately, that they may be all the more helpless, as slaves, and know themselves all the better as mere slaves. Needless to say, all members of my caste, even from childhood, are taught to read.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 516
In a few moments I had made my way to a vendor's cart and purchased some wrappings of food. I spent a bit more than I had intended, an extra tarsk-bit or two, but, in this manner, I thought, I might demonstrate the munificence of the Caste of Scribes, apparently a munificence well beyond that of warriors, mariners, the common oarsman, the newly rich, and such, a munificence, to be sure, commonly exercised within judicious limits.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 548
"Should I not be bound and leashed?" asked the slave.
"Your master retained the sirik," I said.
"You have no binding fiber, no leash?" she asked.
"I am a Scribe," I said.
"Do not Scribes have slaves?" she asked.
"This one does not," I said.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 550
"You have treated me well," said Callias. "You were kind in the tavern. You offered me money. You befriended me. You gave me lodging. I am grateful."
"It is nothing," I said.
He pressed into my hand a tiny beadlike object.
"No," I said.
"Yes," he said.
"Low Scribes do not have such things," I said.
"Be the first," he said.
"I cannot accept this," I said. My view of rich men, and, in particular, of Cosians, was in the process of being suddenly and radically transformed. They were, after all, were they not, generous and noble sorts?
"Would you dishonor me, by refusing?" he asked.
"No," I said.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 553
I removed the Scribe's satchel, my purse, the Scribe's robes, and lay upon the comforter and, on one elbow, regarded the slave.
"Do you know much of Scribes?" I asked.
"Only that they make me serve well in the alcove," she said.
"But that is not unusual, is it?" I asked. "With fellows of any caste?"
"No, Master," she said.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 568
I had spent several years in the household of my teacher, who would accept no pay, because, for our caste, knowledge is priceless. One day he had said to me, "You may leave now," and I knew then that I was of the Scribes.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 569
"I am a poor man," I said, "a low Scribe, one who labors in the registry. I could not afford you."
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 574
The standardization of Gorean is accomplished largely in virtue of the meetings of Scribes four times a year on the neutral ground of the great seasonal fairs held in the vicinity of the Sardar itself. This tends to standardize lexicons and prevent phonetic drift.
Conspirators of Gor Book 31 Page 142
I saw a lovely-legged, long-haired girl in a brief blue tunic. I did not know if that were because her master favored the blue, or if he might be a scribe.
Conspirators of Gor Book 31 Page 314
"I do not even know the caste of my Master," I said.
"It is what I wish it to be," he said, "a Metal Worker a Forester, a Poet, or Singer, a Cloth Worker, a Peasant, a Scribe, such things."
"I do not understand," I said.
"It is sometimes convenient to be of one caste, sometimes of another."
"It is a disguise," I said.
"Of course," he said. "In some ventures, in some pursuits, it is well to blend in, to attract less attention."
Conspirators of Gor Book 31 Page 660
The last, who wore blue carried a marking board, and pencil.
Smugglers of Gor Book 32 Page 58
From the yard of a dark building, behind the wharves, through a double wooden gate, wide enough to exit a wagon, a scribe, in his blue work tunic, carrying a tablet, had emerged.
Smugglers of Gor Book 32 Page 82
Two days later, I was halted in my work, and knelt, on the dock, in the presence of a stately fellow with blue robes, who carried a clipboard. He was of the caste of Scribes.
Smugglers of Gor Book 32 Page 169
A potter such as Epicrates, as many in the lower castes, would usually deal in tarsk-bits, or copper tarsks. Indeed, much transaction amongst the lower castes was done in terms of barter. A member of some of the lower castes might seldom see a silver tarsk. Even amongst the lower orders of the high castes some of the Builders and Scribes might see a year's wages in terms of a handful of silver tarsks.
Plunder of Gor Book 34 Page 366
Whereas most of those present were clad in variations of the Merchant colors, the next group most prominent, or abundant, was the Scribes. I recognized them from their blue robing. Some were standing, their scribe kits slung over their shoulders.
These kits were rectangular, shallow boxes snapped shut or tied closed with blue ribbon. They contained pens, ink, and sheets of rence paper. When opened and turned, the lid provided a writing surface. I had seen occasional scribes on the streets, at given corners, where they, for their fee, usually in tarsk-bits, would read or transcribe letters. Many Goreans of the lower castes could not read and write. Interestingly, some Goreans of the upper castes, notably the Warriors, prided themselves on their lack of "letters," regarding reading and writing as scribes' work and beneath their dignity. I think few of them would have regarded the "pen" as "mightier than the sword." Their pen, so to speak, was the sword, and their ink, blood. Certainly in any contest of the pen against the sword, one supposes it might be judicious to wager on the sword. It tends to be longer and sharper, and often dictates what the pen will write. Four members of the scribes were seated at a table to the side, their papers before them.
Plunder of Gor Book 34 Page 432
As I may have indicated before, considerable differences may exist within a given caste. For example, a given merchant, such as Mintar, of Ar may be the master of a thousand enterprises and another may be an itinerant peddler; and one scribe may be a city's most esteemed jurist, selling his advice for gold, while another ekes out a living on some street in the Metellan district, reading and writing letters for tarsk-bits at the behest of the illiterate.
Plunder of Gor Book 34 Pages 434 - 435
I heard the slaver's scribe, at his desk before the block, reading, droning, describing the next offering, my hair and eye color, my height and weight, my current name, my collar size, wrist-and-ankle-ring sizes, my training, of some weeks, which was largely restricted to what were regarded as essentials, an estimate of my fluency in Gorean, and such. I was, of course, illiterate.
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Page 25
In the tavern merchants may conduct business over a drink; mariners may regale rapt auditors with accounts of fabulous voyages; slavers may confer on sales and projected raids; at another table, a scribe may sit, ready to write or read letters.
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Page 123
a dangling blue scroll, or a dangling tablet with a stylus or pen, commonly stands for a scribe,
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Page 139
Most slaves are not taught to read. An exception seems to be the slaves of scribes. I do not know why that is. Perhaps they wish their slaves to be special, or of assistance to them, or such. Also, if they wish to discard her, literacy is likely to improve her market value. Or perhaps they merely regard a capacity to read as very precious and they wish to share it with others, even meaningless slaves.
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Page 146
Too, later, a scribe went past, his kit on its strap over his shoulder. He was calling out, in a droning, chanting voice, to see if anyone might wish something read or something written.
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Pages 331 - 332
"Do you take us for scribes?" said Miles, apparently offended.
"No, no, forgive me," said Dorna.
This exchange will be better understood if it is understood that many Goreans cannot read, particularly in the lower castes, and, interestingly, in the scarlet caste, the caste of Warriors, as well, a high caste. Indeed, who would be so bold as to claim that the Warriors was not a high caste? It would help, too, to understand that, unlike on my former world, an inability to read is not taken as particularly regrettable or shameful. One does not expect the metal worker to be skilled at baking or the baker to be adept at metal work. So why should bakers and metal workers be expected to be skillful or adept at reading and writing, the expertise of the scribe? Indeed, some castes rather look down on the scribes. What do scribes know about baking or metal work? Indeed, some Goreans who can read, particularly amongst the Warriors, feign an inability to read, considering it embarrassing or unseemly for their caste.
Quarry of Gor Book 35 Pages 333 - 334
Many Goreans deemed it sufficient that Scribes could read. Reading was for Scribes.
"Serve me well," says the assassin to his dagger, the woodsman to his ax, the fisherman to his net and trident, the scribe to his pen, the warrior to his sword.
"Noble merchant," said a short fellow, squinting up at the boards, "I am no Scribe, no learned man, nor one familiar with figures and accounts, such as yourself."
"Nicomachos advised the scribes what to post," said a bystander, who had overheard our conversation.
"These credentials," said the taller scribe, bending over the papers strewn on the desk before him, "seem in order."
"They are in order," I said. "Can you not recognize the high seal of Ar?"
I trusted that he had never seen the high seal of Ar.
"It is only," said a shorter scribe, whose robes were of a darker blue, "we expected the envoy of Ar to be somewhat different."
As I left the chamber, I passed the shorter of the two scribes, he of the darker blue robes, that suggesting a certain priority in his caste.
"I cannot read, Master," said Iris. Most female slaves cannot read. There tend to be two general exceptions to this. Most Gorean free women of high caste can read; thus, if such a woman finds her neck locked in the collar, one will have a literate slave. Second, the female slaves of scribes are taught to read. I am not sure why this is so. Some say it is to enable the slave to better serve their masters in their work. Others suspect that scribes have the eccentric notion that reading is a wonderful pleasure, in which they wish all rational creatures to share. Beyond that, much depends on the individual master. I can read Gorean but not easily as it is written and printed "as the bosk plows," namely, alternate lines differ, a line written from left to right being followed by one written right to left, and so on. I have been told both lines "go forward," but merely in opposite directions.
"I see your tunics are yellow and white," had said the keep scribe one morning some days ago, looking toward us, away from his standing desk, in the small, first-floor office.
"Passage to and from the city is free," said Seremides.
"Yes," said the Baker, "officially, but, from some lesser folk, the gatesmen demand a gratuity."
"We will not give it," said Seremides.
"Then you will not enter," said the Baker.
"We will pay it," I said.
"You will have no choice," said the Baker.
"That is corruption, bribery, graft," said Seremides.
"Clearly," I said.
"I do not know," said the Baker. "I am not a Scribe of the Law."
Thanks to the indulgence of the Ubara, Talena, these indiscreet patriots were proclaimed to be misguided zealots more in need of pity and instruction than corporal chastisement, such as impalement. Thus Talena, in a notable act of clemency, to the relief and delight of most of Ar's more accommodating citizens, remanded them to the care of selected physicians and scribes, in various facilities, to be cured of improper, unhealthy thoughts.
"Merchants buy and sell," said the Tarnkeeper. "Initiates eschew beans and charge for prayers and spells. Scribes ink scrolls, Builders build, Physicians heal, Bakers bake, Metal Workers work metal, Leather Workers work leather, Players battle on the kaissa board, Warriors, in the kaissa of steel, battle on the field and in the sky.
"The board is still wet," I observed.
"It will be dried shortly," said a scribe, with his flat, closed kit, slung from his shoulder, presumably containing scribal paraphernalia, paper, seals, pens, ink, and such. Occasionally they also contain a flask of paga. The lid of the kit, folded back, provides the scribe with a writing surface.
At this point a scribe's boy in a blue tunic climbed the ladder and, moving about on the walkway, wiped the board dry with a large, soft cloth.
"In this way," said the scribe with whom I was conversing, "news may be changed quickly and easily."
"Which may not be so easily accomplished with flyers, posters, circulated papers, parchments, and such," I said.
"Precisely," said he.
When the lad had finished his work, he descended the ladder, and, shortly thereafter, two serious-appearing fellows in scribe's blue, whose mien suggested indubitable reliability and unquestionable gravitas, ascended to the walkway. One, who seemed senior, carried notes, and the other carried a small pot of writing fluid and a wide brushlike pen. The seemingly senior fellow read from the notes he carried, and the other fellow painted the letters on the board.
"Have you heard of a Scribe of the Law, a man named Hemartius?" I asked.
"I may need a scribe, a scribe of the law," I said. "You are the only one I know in Ar."
On the platform with the four heralds were two scribes, standing, before a table on which reposed, amongst a miscellany of other objects, some papers, a bottle of ink, and a feathered pen.
"Now," said Hemartius, gesturing toward the Scribes' table, "the signings, and stampings, the affixing of the state seals, and all is done."
"You are certain that this is all legal?" I said.
"Certainly," he said. "Somewhat unusual or eccentric, perhaps, but all legal."
Decius Albus signed the document for Ar, in a large, vigorous, sharply angled script. I almost feared he might thrust the scratching pen through the rence paper. I hoped that that would not void the document. I then signed where I was told to sign, and the two scribes stamped the document, and affixed seals, and then, as witnesses, added their own signatures in a small, neat hand.
"It is done, noble client," said Hemartius.
"Decius Albus builds a weighty case against our client," said Hemartius. "With each witness, one following another, each more dreadfully potent than the former, he draws together the cords of his net, ever more tightly."
"Certainly," I said, "he seems well versed in even the subtlest points of the law."
"He has the finest legal minds in Ar behind him," said Hemartius.
"All except one," I said. "Hemartius of Ar."
"Do not mock me, gentle friend," he said.
"I do not mock you," I said.
"Even were I a Centius of Cos or a Scormus of Ar of the law," he said, "I could do little with an impenitent, uncooperative, refractory client whose guilt is overwhelmingly, publicly manifest."
Hemartius gathered together some papers, ordered them, evened the edges, and placed them in his scribe's kit.
These two men were accompanied by some scribes of the law and clerks of the court.
"I now ask my learned colleague, the honorable and noble Hemartius of Ar, to sketch out the purport of the couching laws in question."
"Their purport," said Hemartius, seemingly half stunned, "and, indeed, their letter, is well known in Ar, not only to the scribes of the law but to all free persons in the city. Their intent is to discourage wayward free women from shaming themselves, their Home Stone, and their city by forming liaisons with male slaves. Can you imagine the shame and horror of a free woman in the arms of a male slave?"
"Hemartius, I have learned," said Ruffio, "is now the chief scribe of the law in the court of the Ubar."
A number of individuals, other than the mercenaries and my party, were gathered about, curious and attentive, dock workers, loiterers, warehousemen, beggars, accounting scribes, street gamblers, local and foreign mariners, and such. Clearly a relatively large altercation of blades appeared to be in the offing, and such an altercation promises much in the way of entertainment, and, not unoften, a certain amount of profitable scavenging afterward.