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.
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
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
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
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 recognised 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 practicioners 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.
Caste of Animal Handlers:
A large caste category which contains many specific sub-castes, all concerned with the use
and care of domestic animals in use upon Gor.
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 Assassins:
This caste is comprised of those who kill strictly for pay; once evident throughout Gor, their existence
has long been suppressed, though they still appear occasionally. They refuse to use poison to dispatch their
enemies (they consider it the mark of an amateur) and are required by their caste codes to renounce all ties
of friendship and family. In addition, they claim no Home Stone. Almost universally despised and feared by other
castes. Their caste color is Black.
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 Carders:
A sub-caste of the caste of Weavers. Concerned with the professional production of woven cloth for the
Caste of Charcoal Makers:
This caste concerns itself with the production of charcoal for use in Gorean forges and ovens. Caste
colors: Black and Grey.
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 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 garmenture.
Caste of Drovers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Animal Handlers. This caste concerns itself with the care and feeding of the
various draft animals in use upon Gor, as well as the task of using wagons drawn by such creatures to ship goods from
city to city.
Caste of Dyers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Weavers. Concerned with the professional staining and coloring of cloth for the
Caste of Entertainers:
A large caste category which contains many specific sub-castes, all concerned with providing
entertainment to other members of Gorean society.
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
Caste of Goat-Keepers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Animal Handlers, this caste concerns itself with the care and
maintenance of herds of Goats and other animals such as the woolly Gorean hurt.
A sub-caste of the caste of Municipal Servants. This caste is responsible for patrolling the city or village streets,
arresting those who violate local ordinances and laws, and insuring the general well-being of the citizenry. They are the
Gorean equivalent of a police force. They have no caste colors, and typically wear uniforms provided them by the city or
village in which they work, in that settlement's traditional colors.
Caste of Lamplighters:
A sub-caste of the caste of Municipal Servants.This caste concerns itself with lighting the tharlarion
oil lamps used to provide illumination to the city streets.
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 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 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 Swordmakers and the caste of Armorers, who produce
the varios 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 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.
A large caste category which contains many specific sub-castes, all concerned with providing various public
services to the inhabitants of a particular city or village. Their caste color is Gray.
Caste of Musicians:
A sub-caste of the caste of Entertainers. Often working in conjunction with the caste of Singers, this
caste concerns itself with providing and performing instrumental musical works, as well as accompaniment for those of
the caste of Singers.
Caste of Oil Makers:
This caste concerns itself with the production of various types of oil, used for purposes of lubrication and
as a burnable fuel source.
Caste of Peasants:
The lowest and most common of the castes of Gor, which is concerned with the maintenance, planting
and harvesting of the vast lands surrounding most cities which have been divided into plots and set aside for agricultural use.
These are the free farmers of Gor; although a Low caste they refer to themselves as "the Ox on Which the Home Stone Rests"
due to their vital role in the production of raw foodstuffs for Gorean society. They have rather strict caste codes, and are
considered the masters of several forms of distinctive peasant weaponry, including the quarterstaff and the Great Bow, or
"Peasant Bow." Their caste color is Brown.
To Learn more about Peasants, click Here.
Caste of Perfumers:
This caste concerns itself with the production of various types of scented perfumes, used for purposes of
esthetic appeal. Often works in conjunction with the caste of Oil Makers to produce scented oils and such. Also works with
the caste of Charcoal Makers and the caste of Spice Merchants to create incense.
Caste of Players :
This caste is made of 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, Red and Yellow.
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 Rencers:
A slightly higher caste than the caste of Peasants, this is the caste of those who dwell in the
various marshes and swamps of Gor, and who harvest Rence (a Gorean plant similar to Earth rice). They reside on great
floating man-made islands amidst the marshes and are highly territorial and secretive. Known for their adoption and usage
of the "Peasant Bow" in combat.
Caste of Ropemakers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Artisans. Produces rope, binding fiber, thread and cordage of all types.
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 independant caste, separate from the Cloth Workers.
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 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 Singers:
Also known as the Caste of Poets. Sometimes considered to be a sub-caste not of the Entertainers, but of the caste of Artisans. This is
probably because Goreans view the creation of a poem to be no different from the fabrication of any other, physical, work of
art. This caste concerns itself with the creation and performance of verbal entertainments, often set to music. Colors: Aqua and Red.
Caste of Slavers:
the sub-caste of the Merchants, one who deals in human merchandise; their caste colors are Blue
Caste of Sleen Trainers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Animal Handlers, this caste concerns itself with the care, feeding and
training of the Gorean Sleen, the six-legged furred hunting reptile of Gor.
Caste of Tarn-Keepers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Animal Handlers. This caste concerns itself with the care, feeding and
training of the Gorean tarn, the fierce winged saddle-bird of Gor. Caste colors: Grey and Green.
Caste of Thieves:
This caste is comprised of those who make their living by stealing, robbery, picking pockets, etc.; the
caste of Thieves is exclusive to the city of Port Kar. They have no recognizable caste colors, but can be indentified by a tiny,
three-pronged black tattoo on their cheekbone, similar to the footprint of a bird, which is their caste marking.
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 Vart Trainers:
This caste, a sub-caste of the caste of Animal Handlers, is exclusive to the island Ubarate of Tyros.
Members of this caste concern themselves with the care, feeding and training of the Gorean vart, a bat-like creature in use
upon Tyros, often trained and used as a weapon.
Caste of Waste Collectors:
A sub-caste of the caste of Municipal Servants. This caste concerns itself with the management
of collecting the assorted garbage and waste by-products stored in local waste bins and, in conjunction with the caste of Drovers,
seeing that it is properly disposed of in carnariums (waste pits) located beyond the city limits.
Caste of Weavers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Rug Makers. Concerned with the professional production of textiles for the
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 Woodsmen:
A large caste category which contains many specific sub-castes, all concerned with protecting and
managing the vast resources of various Gorean forests claimed by a particular city or village. They are experts in various
forms of woodcraft and are the forest hunters, forest marshals, and forest trackers of Gor. Caste Colors: Brown and Black.
Caste of Wood Carriers:
A sub-caste of the caste of Woodsmen, this caste concerns itself with the harvesting and transportation
of the trees of the Gorean forests and tree farms.