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"They are the people who inhabit the area north of the Northern Woods of Gor; in appearance and culture, they are similar to the Norse People of Earth The Men of Torvaldsland Many of them were giants, huge men, inured to the cold, accustomed to war and the labor of the oar, raised from boyhood on steep, isolated farms near the sea, grown strong and hard on work, and meat and cereals. Such men, from boyhood, in harsh games had learned to run, to leap, to throw the spear, to wield the sword, to wield the axe, to stand against steel, even bloodied, unflinching. Such men, these, would be the hardest of the hard, for only the largest, the swiftest and finest might win for themselves a bench on the ship of a captain, and the man great enough to command such as they must be first and mightiest among them"
"Marauders of Gor" page 38

"Toward the front of the temple, behind the rail, and even at the two doors of the temple, by the great beams which close them, stood the men of Forkbeard. Many of them were giants, huge men, inured to the cold, accustomed to war and the labor of the oar, raised from boyhood on steep, isolated farms near the sea, grown strong and hard on work, and meat and cereals. Such men, from boyhood, in harsh games had learned to run, to leap, to throw the spear, to wield the sword, to wield the axe, to stand against steel, even bloodied, unflinching. Such men, these, would be the hardest of the hard, for only the largest, the swiftest and finest might win for themselves a bench on the ship of a captain, and the man great enough to command such as they must be first and mightiest among them, for the men of Torvaldsland will obey no other, and that man had been Ivar Forksbeard.
"Marauders of Gor"

"The men of Torvaldsland, unlike most Gorean men, do not permit themselves tears. It is not cultural for them to weep. But I heard him sob once. I did not, of course, let him know that I had heard this sound. I would not shame him."
"Marauders of Gor" page 138 ?

"The men of Torvaldsland are rovers and fighters, and sometimes they turn their prows to the open sea with no thought in mind other than seeing what might lie beyond the gleaming horizon. In their own legends they think of themselves as poets, and lovers and warriors. They appear otherwise in the legends of others. In the legends of others they appear as blond giants, breathing fire, shattering doors, giants taller than trees, with pointed ears and eyes like fire and hands like great claws and hooks; they are seen as savages, as barbarians, as beasts blood-thirsty and mad with killing, with braided hair, clad in furs and leather, with bare chests, with great axes which, at a single stroke, can fell a tree or cut a man in two. It is said they appear as though from nowhere to pillage, and to burn and rape, and then, among the flames, as quickly, vanish to their swift ships, carrying their booty with them, whether it be bars of silver, or goblets of gold, or silken sheets, knotted and bulging with plate, and coins and gems, or merely women, bound, their clothing torn away, whose bodies they find pleasing."
"Hunters of Gor" Page 257

"The man of Torvaldsland never leaves his house unless he is armed; and, within his house, his weapons are always near at hand, usually hung on the wall behind his couch, at least a foot beyond the reach of a bond-maid whose ankle is chained. Should she, lying on her back, look back and up she sees, on the wall, the shield, the helmet, the spear and ax, the sword, in its sheath, of her master. They are visible symbols of the force by which she is kept in bondage, by which she is kept only a girl, whose belly is beneath his sword."
"Hunters of Gor" Page 141

"Ivar, like many of those in the north, was a passable reader, but took care to conceal this fact. He be-longed to the class of men who could hire their reading done for them, much as he could buy thralls to do his farm-ing. 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. Many of the north, then, were rather proud of their illiteracy, or seml-illiteracy. It was expected ofthem. It honored them. His tools were not the pen and parchment, but the sword, the bow, the ax and spear."
"Marauders of Gor" Page 230

"Besides simple runes, the boy in the north is also taught tallying, counting, addition and subtrac-tion, for such may be of use in trading or on the farm. He is also taught weighing. Much of his education, of course, con-sists in being taken into a house, and taught arms, hunting and the sea. He profits, too, from the sagas, which the skalds sing, journeying from hall to hall."
"Marauders of Gor" Page 230



Ivar Forkbeard

"I knew this man of Torvaldsland only by reputation. He was a rover, a great captain, a pirate, a trader, a warrior. It had been he, and his men, who had freed Chenbar of Tyros, the Sea Sleen, from a dungeon in Port Kar, breaking through to him, shattering his chains with the blunt hammerlike backs of their great, curved, single-bladed axes. He was said to be fearless, and mighty, swift with sword and axe, fond of jokes, a deep drinker, a master of pretty wenches, and a madman. But he had taken in fee from Chenbar’s weight in the sapphires of Shendi. I did not think him too mad.
"Marauders of Gor" Page 26

“Forkbeard then, grinning, slung his ax over his left shoulder, dropping it into the broad leather loop by which it may be carried, its head behind his head and to the left. This loop is fixed in a broad leather belt worn from the left shoulder to the right hip, fastened there by a hook, that the weight of the ax will not turn the belt, which fits into a ring in the master belt.”
"Marauders of Gor" page 50

"Then from his chests, within the hall, he had given me a long, swirling cloak of the fur of sea sleen; a bronze-headed spear; a shield of painted wood, reinforced with bosses of iron; the shield was red in color, the bosses enameled yellow; a helmet, conical, of iron, with hanging chain, and a steel nosepiece, that might be raised and lowered in its bands; and, too, a shirt and trousers of skin; and, too, a broad ax, formed in the fashion of Torvaldsland, large, curved, single-bladed; and four rings of gold, that might be worn on the arm."
"Marauders of Gor" page 57

"Forkbeard’s ship, or serpent, as they are sometimes called, was approximately eighty Gorean feet in length, with a beam of some ten feet Gorean. His ship, like most of the northern ships, did not have a rowing frame, and the rowers sat within the hull proper, facing, of course, aft. The thole ports, I noted, had covers on the inside, on swivels, which permitted them to be closed when the ship was under sail. The sail was quite different from the southern ships, being generally squarish, though somewhat wider at the bottom. The mast, like that of the southern ships, could be lowered. It fitted into two blocks of wood, and was wedged into the top block by means of a heavy diagonal plug, driven tight with hammers. The northern ship carries one sail, not the several sails, all lateens, of the southern ships, which must be removed and replaced. It is an all-purpose sail, hung straight from a spar of needle wood. It can be shortened or let out by reefing ropes. At its edges, corner spars can hold it spread from the ship. I doubted that such a ship could sail as close to the wind as a lateen-rigged ship, but the advantages of being able to shorten or let out sail in a matter of moments were not inconsiderable. The sail was striped, red and white. The ship like most of the northern ships, was clinker built, being constructed of overlapping planks, or strakes, the frame then fitted within them. Between the strakes, tarred ropes and tar served as calking. Outside the planks, too, was a coating of painted tar, to protect then from the sea, and the depredations of ship worms. The tar was painted red and black, in irregular lines. The ship, at night,, mast down with such colourings, moving inland on a river, among the shadows, would be extremely difficult to detect. It was a raider’s ship. The clinker-built construction, as opposed to the carvel construction of the south, with flush planking, is somewhat more inclined to leak, but is much stronger in the high waters of the north. The clinker construction allows the ship to literally bend and twist, almost elastically, in a vicious sea; the hull planking can be bent more than a foot Gorean without buckling. The decking on the ship is loose, and may be lifted or put to one side, to increase cargo space. The ship, of course, is open. To protect goods or men from the rain or sun a large rectangle of boskhide, on stakes, tentlike stretched to cleats on the gunwales, is sometime used. This same rectangle of boskhide may be used, dropped between the gunwales, to collect rainwater. At night the men sleep on the deck, in waterproof bags, sewn from the skins of the sea sleen; in such a bag, also, they store their gear, generally beneath their bench. In some such ships, the men sit not on benches, but on their own large, locked sea chests, fixed in place, using them as benches. When, in the harbour, the ship rested on its moorings, the shields, overlapping, of its men were hung on the sides; this was another indication of peaceful intent. The shields were round, and of wood, variously painted, some reinforced with iron bands, others with leather, some with small bronze plates. In battle, of course, such shields are not hung on the side of the ship; they would obstruct the thole ports; but even if oars were not used they would be within the hull, at hand; why should a crewman expose himself to missile fire to retrieve a shield so fastened? Also, of course, when the ship is under sail they are not carried on the side, for the waves, always a menace in a ship with a low freeboard, would strike against them, and perhaps even tear them from the ship. (...) Another feature of the northern ships is that they have, in effect, a prow on each end. This permits them to be beached, on rollers, more easily. They can be brought to land in either direction, a valuable property in the rocky, swift northern waters. Furthermore this permits the rowers, in reversing positions on the benches, to reverse the direction of the ship. This adds considerably to the manoeuvrability of the craft. It is almost impossible to ram one of the swift ships of the north.
"Marauders of Gor" page 32/33

Svein Blue Tooth

"Svein Blue Tooth was the high jarl of Torvaldsland, in the sense that he was generally regarded as the most powerful. In his hall, it was said he fed a thousand men. Beyond this his heralds could carry the war arrow, it was said, to ten thousand farms. Ten ships he had at his own wharves, and, it was said, he could summon a hundred more "He is your Jarl?" I asked. "He was my Jarl," said Ivar Forkbeard. "The wergild must be high," I speculated."
"Marauders of Gor" page 93

Thorgard of Scagnar

"The helmets of the north are commonly conical, with a nose-guard, that can slip up and down. At the neck and sides, attached by rings, usually hangs a mantle of linked chain. The helmet of Thorgard him-self, however, covered his neck and the sides of his face. It was horned."
"Marauders of Gor" page 73

Gorm of Kassau

"Gorm was bare-chested and barefoot. He wore trousers of the fur of sea sleen. About his neck was a golden chain and pendant, doubtless taken once from a free woman of the south.
"Marauders of Gor" page 37


“We saw, too, many chieftains, and captains, and minor Jarls, in the crowd, each with his retinue. These high men were sumptuously garbed, richly cloaked and helmeted, often with great axes, inlaid with gold.”
"Marauders of Gor" page 142

"All men of Torvaldsland, incidentally, even if otherwise unarmed, carry a knife at their master belt. The sword, when carried, and it often is, is commonly supported might be mentioned, the common Gorean practice. It can also, of course, be hung, by its sheath and sheath straps, form the master belt, which is quite adequate, being a stout heavy belt, to hold it. It is called the master belt, doubtless, to distinguish it from the ax belt and the sword belt, and because it is, almost always worn. A pouch, of course, and other accoutrements my hang, too, from it. Gorean garments, generally, do not contain pockets. Some say the master belt gets its name be cause it is used sometimes in the disciplining of bond-maids. This seems to be a doubtful origin for the name. It is true, however, questions of the origin of the name aside, that bond-maids, stripped, are often taught obedience under its lash."
"Marauders of Gor" page 50/51.

"He wore beneath his cloak yellow wool, and a great belt of glistening black, with a gold buckle, to which was attached a scabbard of oiled, black leather; in this scabbard was a sword, a sword of Torvaldsland, a long sword, with a jeweled pommel, with double guard."
"Marauders of Gor" Page 172

"Men were now running from the palisade and the fields down to the dock. They were bare-headed, and wore shaggy jackets. Some wore trousers of skin, others tunics of dyed wool."
"Marauders of Gor" page 48



"In the northern villages, and in the forest towns, and northward on the coast the woman do not veil themselves, as is common in the cities to the south."
"Marauders of Gor" page 25

" free women of the north regard themselves as superior to sex; many are frigid, at least until carried off and collared; they often insist that, even when they have faces and figures that drive men wild, that it is their mind on which he must concentrate his attentions; some free men, to their misery, and the perhaps surprising irritation of the female, attempt to comply with this imperative; "
"Marauders of Gor" page 155

The Blue Tooth did not gainsay her. The woman of the Jarl had spoken. Free women in the north have much power. The Jarl’s Woman, in the Kaissa of the north, is a more pow-erful piece than the Ubara in the Kaissa of the south. This is not to deny that the Ubara in the south, in fact, exercises as much or more power than her northern counterpart. It is only to recognize that her power in the south is less ex-plicitly acknowledged.
"Marauders of Gor" page 191


"The free woman was a tall woman, large. She wore a great cape of fur, of white sea-sleen, thrown back to reveal the whiteness of her arms. Her kirtle was of the finest wool of Ar, dyed scarlet, with black trimmings. She wore two brooches, both carved of the horn of kailiauk, mounted in gold. At her waist she wore a jewelled scabbard, protruding from which I saw the ornamented, twisted blade of a Turian dagger; free women in Torvaldsland commonly carry a knife; at her belt, too, hung her scissors, and a ring of many keys, indicating that her hall contained many chests or doors; her hair was worn high, wrapped about a comb, matching the brooches, of the horn of kailiauk; the fact that her hair was worn dressed indicated that she stood in companionship; the number of keys, together with the scissors, indicated that she was mistress of a great house. She had gray eyes; her hair was dark; her face was cold, and harsh."
"Marauders of Gor" page 156

"Accordingly, to her astonishment, Bera, who had been the companion of Svein Blue Tooth, discovered suddenly that she was only one wench among others. From a line, as part of his spoils, the Blue Tooth picked her out. She had displeased him mightily in recent years. Yet was the Blue Tooth fond of the arrogant wench. It was not until he had switched her, like any other girl, that she understood that their relationship had undergone a transformation, and that she was, truly, precisely what she seemed to be, now his bond-maid."
"Marauders of Gor" page 277/8


"Hilda sat in a great curule chair, carved with the sign of Scagnar, a serpent-ship, seen frontally. On each post of the chair, carved, was the head of a snarling sleen. She smiled, coldly. I reached for another vial. She wore rich green velvet, closed high about her neck, trimmed with gold."
"Marauders of Gor" page 112

A simple FW at The Thing

The stake in this challenge was the young man's sister, a comely, blond lass of fourteen, with braided hair. She was dressed in the full regalia of a free woman of the north. The clothes were not rich, but they were clean, and her best. She wore two brooches; and black shoes. The knife had been removed from the sheath at her belt; she stood straight, but her head was down, her eyes closed; about her neck, knotted, was a rope, it fastened to a stake in the ground near the dueling square. She was not otherwise secured. "Forfeit the girl," said Bjarni of Thorstein Camp, addressing the boy, "and I will not kill you." "I do not care much for the making women of Torvaldsland bond," said Ivar. "It seems improper," he whispered to me. "They are of Torvaldsland!"
"Marauders of Gor" pag 147



"If the thrall had been nothing in Torvaldsland before, he was now less than nothing; his status was now, in effect, that of the southern, male work slave, found often in the quarries and mines, and, chained, on the great farms. He, a despised animal, must obey instantly and perfectly, or be subject to immediate slaughter."
"Marauders of Gor" Page 91

“If you are washed and readied,” said a young thrall, col-lared, in a kirtle of white wool, “it is permissible to present yourselves before the high seat of the house, before my master, Svein Blue Tooth, Jarl of Torvaldsland.”
" Marauders of Gor" age 115

"Men in the fields wore short tunics of white wool; some carried hoes; their hair was close cropped; about their throats had been hammered bands of black iron, with a welded ring attached. They did not leave the fields; such a departure, without permission, might mean their death; they were thralls."
"Marauders of Gor" Page 49

"Male thralls turned the spits over the long fire; female thralls, bond-maids, served the tables." "Marauders of Gor" Page 116

"(...) among them stood, too, thralls. Their heads were not lower than those with whom they stood. Among them was the lad called Tarsk, formerly Wulfstan of Kassau, to whom Thyri had once been given for the night. In the night of the attack he, at the Forkbeard's encampment near the thing field, with an ax, had slain a Kur. I remembered finding the carcass of the animal beneath the fallen, half-burned canvas of the Forkbeard's tent. Thralls are not permitted to touch the war arrow, but they are permitted to kneel to those who have. Wulfstan had handed the Forkbeard the ax, disarming himself, and had then knelt before him, putting his head to his feet. Thralls may be slain for so much as touching a weapon. He had taken dirt from beneath the feet of the Forkbeard and, kneeling, had poured it on his head. "Rise, Thrall," had said the Forkbeard. The young man had then stood, and straightly, head high, before the Forkbeard. The Forkbeard threw him back the ax. "Carry it," said the Forkbeard."
"Marauders of Gor" page 238



"Give Gorm back the scoop," said the Forkbeard, "and then carry water to my men." "Yes," she said. The Forkbeard looked at her. "Yes," she said "—my Jarl." To the bond-maid the meanest of the free men of the North is her jarl.
"Marauders of Gor" page 63

Bond-maid circle

"He then drew with the handle of his ax a circle, some twenty feet in diameter, in the dirt floor of the circle. It was a bond-maid circle."
"Marauders of Gor" page 44

"Go to the bond-maid circle," said Ivar Forkbeard, indicating the circle he had drawn in the dirt. The women cried out in misery. To enter the circle, if one is a female, is, by the laws of Torvaldsland, to declare oneself a bond-maid. A woman, of course, need not to enter the circle of her own free will. She may, for example, be thrown within it, naked and bound. Howsoever she enters the circle, voluntarily, or by force, free or secured, she emerges from it, by the laws of Torvaldsland, as a bond-maid."
"Marauders of Gor" page 44

"Two of the men of Torvaldsland had, from their left shoulder to their right hip, that their right arms be less I impeded, a chain formed of slave bracelets; each pair of bracelets locked at each end about one of the bracelets of another pair, the whole thus forming a circle. Now they removed this chain of bracelets, and, one by one, removed the pairs, closing them about the small wrists, behind their backs, of the female captives, now bond-maids."
"Marauders of Gor" page 46

Like the bond-maids, she had been fed only on cold Sa-Tarna porridge and scraps of dried parsit fish."
"Marauders of Gor" page 56

Bond-maid gruel

"The bond-maids did not much care for their gruel, unsweetened, mud-like Sa-Tarna meal; with raw fish."
"Marauders of Gor" page 65

"Tomorrow night," said Ivar Forkbeard to her, " I shall have your ransom money." She did not deign to speak to him, but looked away. Like the bond-maids, she had been fed only on cold Sa-Tarna porridge and scraps of dried parsit fish."
"Marauders of Gor" page 56

"Another of the bond-maids was then freed to mix the bond-maid gruel, mixing fresh water with Sa-Tarna meal, and then stirring in the raw fish."
"Marauders of Gor" pages 63/4

Shark Bait

"In this punishment, the girl, clothed or unclothed, is bound tightly on an oar, hands behind her, her head down, toward the blade. When the oar lifts from the water she gasps for breath, only in another moment to be submerged again. A recalcitrant girl may be kept on the oar for hours. There is also, however, some danger in this, for sea sleen and the white sharks of the north occasionally attempt to tear such a girl from the oar. When food is low it is not unknown for the men of Torvaldsland to use a bond-maid, if one is avail-able on the ship, for bait in such a manner. The least pleasing girl is always used. This practice, of course, encourages bond-maids to vie vigorously to please their masters."
"Marauders of Gor" page 36

"When food is low it is not unknown for the men of Torvaldsland to use a bond-maid, if one is available on the ship, for bait in such a manner. The least pleasing girl is always used. This practice, of course, encourages bond-maids to vie vigorously to please their masters. An Ahn on the oar is usually more than sufficient to make the coldest and proudest of females an obedient, eager-to-please bond-maid. It is regarded as second only to the five-lash Gorean slave whip, used also in the south, and what among the men of Torvaldsland is called the whip of the furs, in which the master, with his body, incontrovertibly teaches the girl her slavery."
"Marauders of Gor" page 36

"A recalcitrant girl may be kept on the oar for hours. There is also, however some danger in this, for sea sleen and the white sharks of the north occasionally attempt to tear such a girl from the oar."
"Marauders of Gor" page 66

Torvaldsland Collar

"He took her hair and threw it forward, and thrust her neck against the left side of the anvil. Over the anvil lay the joining ends of the two pieces of the collar. The inside of the collar was separated by a quarter of an inch from her neck. I saw the fine hairs on the back of her neck. On one part of the collar are two, small, flat, thick rings. On the other is a single such ring. These rings, when the wings of the collar are joined, are aligned, those on one wing on top and bot-tom, that on the other in the center. They fit closely to-gether, one on top of the other. The holes in each, about three-eighths of an inch in diameter, too, of course, are per-fectly aligned. The smith, with his thumb, forcibly, pushed a metal rivet through the three holes. The rivet fits snugly. “Do not move your head, Bond-maid,” said the smith. Then, with great blows of the iron hammer, he riveted the iron collar about her throat. A man then pulled her by the hair from the anvil and threw her to one side. She lay there weeping, a naked bond-maid, marked and collared.
"Marauders of Gor" page 87

Torvaldsland Brand

"The brand used by the Forkbeard, found rather frequently in the north, consisted of a half circle, with, at its right tip, adjoining it, a steep, diagonal line. The half circle is about an inch and a quarter in width, and the di-agonal line about an inch and a quarterin height. The brand is, like many, symbolic. In the north, the bond-maid is some-times referred to as a woman whose belly lies beneath the sword.
"Marauders of Gor" page 87


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