High Castes of Gor

A Warrior of Gor

The High Castes are more educated than the Low Castes, often being taught the Second Knowledge. Members also are not as superstitious as those of the Low Castes, since they know more. Their speech accent is more refined. Even High Caste people can be illiterate. The ability to read and write does not necessarily limit an individual’s ability to perform their work. Or course, this depends on the caste. For instance, it would be a distinct disadvantage for a scribe to be illiterate, since they are the record keepers, accountants and historians. On the other hand, many warriors are proud of being illiterate. 

Initiate:
 First of the High Castes, they are 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.

Religious matters on this world tend to be rather carefully guarded by the Caste of Initiates, who allow members of other castes little participation in their sacrifices and ceremonies.
Tarnsman of Gor     Book 1     Page 40

The Goreans generally, though there are exceptions particularly the Caste of Initiates, do not believe in immortality.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 22



Scribe:
This is the second most important of the High Castes. There are various divisions and rankings, from simple copiers to savants. There are a number of sub-castes including lawyers, scholars, record keepers, teachers, clerks, historians, accountants, geographers, and cartographers. Much of the copy work, lower-order clerical work, trivial account keeping is done by slaves. The scribes help render the Gorean language more uniform. They are accepted as arbiters of such matters and stipulate that certain pronunciations and grammatical formations are preferred over others. This is usually done at the Sardar Fairs when the caste comes together in great numbers. Their caste color is blue.

I met many Goreans, other than Torm, in these weeks free Goreans, mostly of the Caste of Scribes and the Caste of Warriors. 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



Builder:
 This is the third caste in line of importance of the High Castes. This caste includes such sub-castes as Architect, Draftsman, Stonemason and others. In general, they are the builders and inventors of Gor. The Glass of the Builders, a telescope, is one of their inventions. They also created the energy bulb, a special type of light bulb, over a century ago. With help from the Physician’s Caste, they also developed the slave goad. In general, only free men are allowed to build on Gor. Only the city of Port Kar was constructed by slaves. The Builder Caste can also verify the authenticity of gold. Though this is an important caste, little is told about it in the books. Their caste color is yellow and their symbol is a metal angle square.

The road, like most Gorean roads, was built like a wall in the earth and was intended to last a hundred generations. The Gorean, having little idea of progress in our sense, takes great care in his building and workmanship. What he builds he expects men to use until the storms of time have worn it to dust. Yet this road, for all the loving craft of the Caste of Builders which had been lavished upon it, was only an unpretentious, subsidiary road, hardly wide enough for two carts to pass.
Outlaw of Gor     Book 2     Page 25


Physician:
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. They are universally recognized as non-combatants during time of war. Their caste color is green.

“My father,” she said, “was of the Caste of Physicians.”So I thought to myself, I had placed her accent rather well, either Builders or Physicians, and had I thought carefully enough about it, I might have recognized her accent as being a bit too refined for the Builders.
Priest-Kings of Gor     Book 3     Page 62



Warrior:
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.

“I am of the warriors,” he told me, “which is a high caste. I have been educated in the second knowledge, so I know of your world. Your accent marked you as barbarian.”

I looked up at him.

“I know you are of the world which you call Earth,” he said.
Captive of Gor     Book 7     Page 334