Written by: Dark Starr
Images by: Their respective owners
The Pillars of Gor are the very basis for all that is Gorean. To deny them, to not fully understand them is to do a disservice to yourself and to those who you role play with. Without the Pillars, and the understanding you are not Gorean. They may seem too “hard” to understand to those in an Earth mindset and not fun when someone just wants to shoot the bow and lay in the furs (colloquially referred to as the “Cap, Rape, Release” in Second Life) and you are welcome to disregard these prime aspect of Gor, but then if you do, you aren’t role playing Gor.
There are Three Pillars of Gor –
Home Stone, Caste and Slavery.
The Home Stone
Perhaps the most misunderstood and also the most important of concepts, is the Home Stone. The Home Stone is symbolized by an actual stone, usually ancient in origin but the Home Stone is not just a stone or a symbol. It is beyond patriotism for country or love of family. It is history, culture, tradition, hopes and dreams. These do not even begin to describe what the Home Stone is. It is your very identity and way of life. The almost total lack of understanding and near untranslatable concept of Home Stone is Second Life is shown in ‘Sim Hopping’ where months or even a year in a sim is discarded when boredom sets in or a more prestigious role is offered with a 50 prim allowance just to live someplace else. Such treason would be incomprehensible to the person of Gor. They would sooner tear out their own hearts then to betray their Home Stones in such a way. Of course as Goreans are of Human origin there are those without such loyalty and passion but would you trust a neighbor who decided to go live in another country and took National secrets that threatened your well being because they were bored in their Country?
“But I think, often, that it is a mistake to try to translate the Home Stone into meanings. It is not a word, or a sentence. It does not really translate. It is, more like a tree, or the world. It exists, which goes beyond, which surpasses, meaning. In this primitive sense the Home Stone is simply that, and irreducibly, the Home Stone. It is too important, too precious to mean. And in not meaning, it becomes, of course, the most meaningful of all.”
(Magicians of Gor, p.485)
Another issue that leads to the lack of the feeling of Home Stone is unfortunately the nature of our Sims. Most often created with the best of intentions, but faced with financial concerns, the weight of rulership and distractions, a Home Stone that is here one day may be gone the next. How can you have that loyalty and sense of Home under these circumstances? It is something to consider and not to be taken lightly.
“The sharing of a Home Stone is no light thing in a Gorean city.”
(Slave Girl of Gor, p.394)
“But let me not try to speak of Home Stones. If you have a Home Stone, I need not speak. If you do not have a Home Stone, how could you understand what I might say?”
(Fighting Slave of Gor, p.145)
Within the cities of Gor there exists a Caste System, similar to the Indian system and the medieval guilds. Your caste is your profession, your life and your honor. It is what you are born into as the Caste of the Father, raised in and it is an identity. It provides your morality and defines your code of conduct. Loyalty to the Caste is of great importance.
There are those who have no caste. Outlaws and slaves. Slaves have lost Caste if they were not born to slavery and in this meaning it includes those of Earth who are considered natural slaves. They may have had a profession but they did not have a Caste. Slaves are property. An outlaw is one who has been stripped of Caste for grievous misconduct or done the unthinkable and relinquished the Caste. Those who do not have a Caste and once did are looked at with utter disgust. There is nothing considered glamorous in being an outlaw. In Second Life the hordes of outlaws we see in their impenetrable fortresses and cities are not what would be. In fact the general law regarding outlaws in Gor is if one attempts to enter a city they have no protection. Property may be confiscated and their lives forfeit to the impaling spike. This is a far cry from what we see in Second Life.
The cultures outside of the cities do not have Castes but are not outlaws. The people of Torvaldsland, the Wagon People, the tribes of the Barrens and Tahari all do not follow the Caste system but that is their culture, they are not outlaws.
There is a possibility to change caste but it is rare, as often as a sex change and possibly looked upon with the same feelings unless it is an upward movement. Choose your Caste wisely, not because you think you look good in Blue or because Black is cool.
Slavery on Gor is not about having a mindless servant, a pet or a ready source of sex. Slavery comes in many forms. It is domestic and pleasure, punishment and biologically correct to the male dominated culture of Gor.
The institution of slavery is closely modeled to the Earth slavery that existed during the time of Rome. On Gor as it was in Rome, such things were not seen as something horrible, it was natural and slaves accepted their place in society. They were not often kept locked away under total dominance; they did not have to be. There were no movements for the end of slavery and liberty. One may choose not to own slaves but it was not looked down upon to own them.
In Second Life Gor the ratio of free women to slaves is roughly equal where in Gor of the books only approximately 3 percent of women were slaves on whole with variations in number due to wars, supply and culture.
Slaves were very infrequently pampered; a slave was given the lowest of tasks. These are not the Princess slaves we see in Second Life,wandering in pretty dancing silks and doing much as they pleased. Slaves did not wander to foreign cities out of boredom, they were far too busy for that and none would transport a slave on their own. Such a slave would be a runaway and returned or never to be seen again. Society would not collapse if not for slaves either as the majority of menial tasks was carried out by lower castes. Slavery is not just about the sex, though an owner may use any slave freely as such.
Remember not just the pleasure slave and paga slave but the farm and mill workers, the male debtors and captured opponents who would work a salt mine or row a ship. There are as many varieties of slaves as there are Castes.
Reproduced with permission from Home Stone Magazine.
Past issues are available online here: Home Stone Magazine.