Teslik & Sip Root Gorean Medicine

Gorean Roleplay for the Caste of Physicians

Where did the information come from?

Note: Every effort has been made to ensure that the supporting quotes are applicable in content and context. 

The Caste of Physicians

1.)  The Caste of Physicians is one of the five high castes and is designated to heal in ‘a Gorean Home Stone’.

The High Castes, specifically the Warriors, Builders, Scribes, Initiates, and Physicians. (Tarnsman of Gor)

“He who is a Singer must sing; he who weaves the beautiful rugs of Ar or Tor must weave; the Physician must heal; the Builder build; the Merchant buy and sell; and the Warrior must fight.” (Assassin of Gor)

2.)  Caste of Physicians membership is determined by:

A) Birth into the Caste of Physicians,

“Caste membership of the children born of such a union is a function of the caste of the father.” (Slave Girl of Gor)

B) Approval to change caste by the local authority based on skills mastered and acceptance by caste.

I knew that the Gorean Caste lines though largely following birth were not inflexible, and that a man who did not care for his Caste might be allowed by the High Council of his city, an approval usually contingent on his qualifications for the work of another Caste and the willingness of the members of the new Caste to accept him as a Caste Brother. (Priest Kings of Gor)

C) Companionship for a woman: to companion to a male Physician and take on his caste

“Normally mating takes place among caste members, but if the mating is of mixed caste, the woman may elect to retain caste, which is commonly done, or be received into the caste of the male companion.” (Slave Girl of Gor)

3.)  Female physicians perform caste work. In general they are only allowed full practice after producing two children for the caste.

“A notable exception to the generalization that women of a given caste normally do not engage in caste work is the Caste of Physicians, whose women are commonly trained, as are the boys, in the practice of medicine. Even the physicians, however, normally do not admit their women to full practice until they have borne two children.” (Fighting Slave of Gor)

4.)  The Caste of Physicians is based on a hierarchical system within the cities.

In the fourth and fifth year of the reign of Marlenus, said he, regarding me evenly, “I was first in my caste in Ar.” (Assassins of Gor)

5.)  Physicians are trained; an apprenticeship is served.

Though one is commonly born into a Caste one is often not permitted to practice the caste craft until a suitable apprenticeship has been served. (Fighting Slave of Gor)

6.)  Those practicing medicine or healing without caste status will not be supported by the Caste of Physicians .

“I do not think then I should be held accountable under the charge of attempting to deceive with respect to caste,” she said. “For example, I engaged in no business under false pretenses, and I never claimed explicitly to be of a caste other than my own.” It seemed to me that she did have a point here. The legal problems connected with intent to deceive with respect to caste, of course, problems of the sort which presumably constitute the rationale of the law, usually come up in cases of fraud or impersonation, for example, with someone pretending to be of the Physicians. (Renegades of Gor)

7.)  Physicians will be evaluated on an ongoing basis for fitness for Caste based on skills, intelligence and application.

Unfortunately, for spite and for gold, word of our work was brought to the High Initiate, by a minor Physician discharged from our staff for incompetence. (Assassin of Gor)

I did not know at that time but this indicated he was of the caste of physicians. That is a high caste. If I had known he was of high caste I might have been a great deal more frightened than I was. Most Goreans take caste very seriously. It is apparently one of the socially stabilizing forces on Gor. It tends to reduce the dislocations, disappointments and tragedies inherent in more mobile structures, in which men are taught that they are failures if they do not manage to make large amounts of money or excel in one of a small number of prestigious professions. The system also helps to keep men of energy and high intelligence in a wide variety of occupations, this preventing the drain of such men into a small number of often artificially desiderated occupations, this tending then to leave lesser men, or frustrated men, to practice other hundreds of arts the survival and maintenance of which are important to a superior civilization. Provisions for changing caste exist on Gor, but they are seldom utilized. Most Goreans are proud of their castes and the skills appropriate to them. Such skills, too, tend to be appreciated by other Goreans, and are not looked down on. (Dancer of Gor)

8.)  If there are no Physicians are available, emergency First Aid may be applied by non-Physicians.

“I will help you,” said Hassan.  Using the dagger as an awl, punching through the flesh, and the long lacing from the lance head, while Hassan held together the edges of the ripped furrows, I crudely sewed together the rent, bloodied meat before me.  Once T’Zshal opened his eyes. “Let me die,” he begged.  “I thought you once made the march to Klima,” I said.  “I did,” said T’Zshal.  “March again to Klima,” I told him. The fists of the kennel master clenched. A bit later he slept.  I leaned back from the body of T’Zshal. “You would not qualify as one of the Caste of Physicians,” said a man behind me. (Tribesmen of Gor)

She continued to look at the wound on her leg.  “I do not think I could stand to bring a lower price than Tende or Alice,” she said.  “What a slave you are,” I said.  “Yes, Master,” she said.  “Have no fear,” I said. “Your value on the sales block has not been reduced.”  “Thank you, Master,” she said. I then rose to my feet and walked a few yards away, to a fan palm. From the base of one of its broad leaves I gathered a double handful of fresh water. I returned to the girl and, carefully, washed out the wound. She winced. I then cut some leaves and wrapped them about it. I tied shut this simple bandage with the tendrils of a carpet plant. (Explorers of Gor)

Caste Codes

1.)   Caste Codes apply to the entire range of medical specialties and health services evidenced in Gor where High Castes are present.

The Caste of Physicians is a large, complex caste, and deals with a number of specialties which have to do with medicine and health. For example, individuals those of Earth might consider doctors, nurses, medical technicians, nutritionists, surgeons, medical researchers, pharmacists, physicians’ assistants, dentists, veterinarians, and so on, would all be physicians, or “of the Caste of Physicians,” on Gor. (Beasts of Gor)

2.)   It is expected there will be little deviation in the Caste of Physicians Codes between cities with knowledge shared even between hostile cities during the fairs. Enforcement of the codes for the Physicians Caste will be determined by caste brethren and High Council of the Home Stone.

”My scrolls may not be those of Ar,”” I said. To be sure, the scrolls should be, at least among the high cities, in virtue of conventions held at the Sardar Fairs, particularly the Fair of En’Kara, much in agreement. (Vagabonds of Gor)

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. (Priest-Kings of Gor)

The Cylinder of Initiates demanded that the High Council of the Caste of Physicians put an end to our work, not only that it be discontinued but that our results to that date be destroyed. The Physicians, I am pleased to say, stood with us. (Assassin of Gor)

3.)   Gorean Physicians share knowledge amongst their own. This is done regularly and a widely accepted practice.

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)

4.)   Gorean Physicians do not share Medical Knowledge with others outside the Caste. Additionally, care should be taken in recording and storage of medical information.

On the other hand, I suspect that they fear too broad a dissemination of the Caste knowledge. Physicians, interestingly, perhaps for a similar reason, tend to keep records in archaic Gorean, which is incomprehensible to most Goreans. (Magicians of Gor)

5.)   Physicians may be employed by those able to fund their services (Cities, Slave Houses and wealthy households) and draw a wage for their employment or collect coin for services rendered.

“No longer,” said he. “I left the Cylinder of Physicians and the next day took service in the House of Cernus, where I have been for many years. I am content here. I am well paid.  I have much gold, and some power, and my pick of Red Silk Girls. What man could ask for more?” (Assassin of Gor)

A physician entered the booth, with his kit slung over the shoulder of his green robes. He began to attend to the merchant.  “You will live,” he assured the merchant.  I recalled the assailant. I recalled the turning of the blade in his hand. I remembered the coolness of his subterfuge at the back of the booth, waiting beside the rent canvas for me to thrust through it, thus locating myself and exposing myself for the thrust of the knife.  I held the object wrapped in fur in my hands. I did not look at it.  I knew what it would contain.  When the physician had finished the cleansing, chemical sterilization, and dressing of the merchant’s wounds, he left. With him the majority of the watchers withdrew as well. The scribe had paid the physician from a small iron box, taken from a locked trunk, a tarsk bit. (Beasts of Gor)

6.)   Medical technology and equipment is sandwiched between the deliberate primitive culture restricted by the Priest Kings and very selective areas of advancement that are permitted. Medicine was one of those areas.

Here on this world, where men seemed so proud, so untamed, so unbroken, so free, so mighty, so hot-blooded, on this world seemingly so primitive, so splendid and barbaric, on this world of leather, and silk and iron, not of plastics and synthetic fibers, of heat and love, not of tepidity and hypocrisy, of ardor and skill, not of boredom and gadgetry, on this world where men had mastered monsters and seemed ready, at a word, to adjudicate disputes with edged weapons, I knelt before a dais, naked and collared, as a barbarian slave girl. Yet I could not have been brought here except in virtue of an obviously advanced technology. It was almost as though I had been somehow magically flung into the past, into a world quite different from my own, a world whose ways I must speedily learn and in which I must learn, if I would survive, to be obedient and pleasing. (Witness of Gor)

On the other hand, the brilliance which men might have turned into destructive channels was then diverted, almost of necessity, to other fields, most notably medicine, though considerable achievements have been accomplished in the production of translation devices, illumination and architecture.  (Assassin of Gor)

“On the other hand,” he said, “you will learn that in lighting, shelter, agricultural techniques, and medicine, for example, the Mortals, or the Men Below the Mountains, are relatively advanced.” He looked at me—amused, I think. “You wonder,” he said, “why the numerous, rather obvious deficits in our technology have not been repaired—in spite of the Priest-Kings. It crosses your mind that there must exist minds on this world capable of designing such things as, say, rifles and armored vehicles.” (Tarnsmen of Gor)

The instruments he used, the tests he performed, the samples he required were not unlike those of Earth. Of special interest to me was the fact that this room, primitive though it might be, was lit by what, in Gorean, is called an energy bulb, an invention of the Builders. I could see neither cords nor battery cases. Yet the room was filled with a soft, gentle, white light, which the physician could regulate by rotating the base of the bulb. Further, certain pieces of his instrumentation were clearly far from primitive. For example, there was a small machine with gauges and dials. In this he would place slides, containing drops of blood and urine, flecks of tissue, a strand of hair. With a stylus he would note readings on the machine, and, on the small screen at the top of the machine, I saw, vastly enlarged, what reminded me of an image witnessed under a microscope. He would briefly study this image, and then make further jottings with his stylus. (Captive of Gor)

7.)   Physicians engage in research and the development of medicines in various forms.  Most notable are the stabilization serum, slave wine, and releasers but a host of other minor and advanced medicines is expected rather than Herbology.  The ingredients should be carefully guarded and only shared with others of the Caste of Physicians.

Age, on Gor, interestingly, was regarded, and still is, by the Castes of Physicians as a disease, not an inevitable natural phenomenon. The fact that it seemed to be a universal disease did not dissuade the caste from considering how it might be combated. (Assassin of Gor)

“For many years,” said Flaminius, “and this was even before 10,110, the year of Pa-Kur and his horde, I and others worked secretly in the Cylinder of Physicians. We devoted our time, those Ahn in the day in which we could work, to study, research, test and experiment. (Assassin of Gor)

On the first day I had been examined, given some minor medicines of little consequence, and the first shot in the Stabilization Series. (Captive of Gor)

From these raids the Wagon Peoples obtain a miscellany of goods which they are willing to barter to the Turians, jewels, precious metals, spices, colored table salts, harnesses and saddles for the ponderous tharlarion, furs of small river animals, tools for the field, scholarly scrolls, inks and papers, root vegetables, dried fish, powdered medicines, ointments, perfumes and women, customarily plainer ones they do not wish to keep for themselves;… (Nomads of Gor)

Drawers in the side of the wagon contained, too, mysteries of goods, such as threads, cloths, scissors, thimbles, buttons and patches, brushes and combs, sugars, herbs, spices, packets of salt, and vials of medicine. (Slave Girl of Gor)

When Kamchak had finished he held out his right hand and a man, not a Tuchuk, who wore the green robes of the Caste of Physicians, thrust in his hand a goblet of bosk horn; it contained some yellow fluid. Angrily, not concealing his distaste, Kutaituchik drained the goblet and then hurled it from him. (Nomads of Gor)

8.)   The essential contribution to Gorean life from the Caste of Physicians is developing and administering the Stabilization Serum, this is made available to all as treatment for the “drying & withering” disease.  It is recommended injections are given mid 20s in the small of the back just above the left hip.  A series of four daily shots are needed with effectiveness tested on the fifth day.  Halting loss of vitality, stamina and age lasts several hundred years.

The physicians of Gor, it seemed, had addressed themselves to the conquest of what had hitherto been a universal disease, called on Gor the drying and withering disease, called on Earth, aging. (Slave Girl of Gor)

The Stabilization Serums, which are regarded as the right of all human beings, be they civilized or barbarian, friend or enemy, are administered in a series of injections, and the effect is, incredibly, an eventual, gradual transformation of certain genetic structures, resulting in indefinite cell replacement without pattern deterioration. These genetic alterations, moreover, are commonly capable of being transmitted. (Assassin of Gor)

On the other hand, most Gorean slave girls, she had gathered, were as though in their early twenties. Most of the older women, she gathered, had been returned to that point and stabilized there. (Prize of Gor)

On the first day I had been examined, given some minor medicines of little consequence, and the first shot in the Stabilization Series. On the second, third and fourth day I received the concluding shots of the series. On the fifth day the physician took more samples.  “The serums are effective,” he told the guard. (Captive of Gor)

9.)   The demeanor of a Gorean Physician can be described as that of a skilled professional.

Flaminius then stood up and faced us. He was instantly again the Physician, cool and professional. (Assassin of Gor)

“I,” said Parp. “The operation is not as difficult as you might expect and I have performed it many times.”  “He is a member of the Caste of Physicians,” said Kusk, “and his manual dexterity is superior even to that of Priest-Kings.” (Priest-Kings of Gor)

10.)  When examining slaves basic veterinarian services suffice without the regard normally afforded a Free man or woman.

Though the physician was not unkind I felt that he treated me as, and regarded me as, an animal. When I was not being examined, he would dismiss me to the side of the room, where I would kneel, alone, on the boards, until summoned again. They discussed me as though I were not there. (Captive of Gor)

As a sidelight on the Gorean world it might be noted, in passing, that this sort of fellow, as he was working on a slave, who is an animal, would also be expected to be an expert in matters pertaining to the needs of other animals, as well, for example, bosk, kaiila, verr, tarsks, and such. His specialty within the Caste of Physicians would be what those of Earth would be likely to consider veterinary medicine. (Beasts of Gor)

“Good,” said Flaminius. Then he reached into the cage and took her by the hair, twisting it. “Do you beg to be trained as a slave girl?” he asked. “Yes,” she said, in pain, “yes!” “Yes what?” inquired the Physician.  “Yes,” she said, weeping, “—Master!”  Flaminius then stood up and faced us. He was instantly again the Physician, cool and professional. (Assassin of Gor)

11.)  Physicians are well educated and use refined speech.

“The purpose of this is to retain a high level of intelligence in the caste. Professional women, it is well understood, tend not to reproduce themselves, a situation which, over time, would be likely to produce a diminution in the quality of the caste. Concern for the future of the caste is thus evinced in this limitation by the physicians on the rights of their women to participate without delay in the caste craft. The welfare of the caste, typically, takes priority in the Gorean mind over the ambitions of specific individuals. The welfare of a larger number of individuals, as the Goreans reason, correctly or incorrectly, is more important than the welfare of a smaller number of individuals. I do not argue this. I only report it.” (Fighting Slave of Gor)

“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)

12.)  The Caste of Physicians wear green, their caste colour, with only few notable exceptions.

There was also a man in the green of the Caste of Physicians, standing at one side, writing notes on a slip of record paper. He was a large man, smooth-shaven. (Assassin of Gor)

Tamirus approached me. He wore green robes. I did not know at that time but this indicated he was of the Caste of Physicians. (Dancer of Gor)

“And if I dressed in such a manner that my caste would not be clear,” she said, “it is no more than many women do upon occasion. Surely some women even reserve the caste robes and colors for such things as formal occasions, and some even for ceremonial functions.” (Renegades of Gor)

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. Goreans are fond of color and style in their raiment. They tend to be careful of their appearance and often delight in looking well. (Witness of Gor)

Authors and editorial control: Dren Bernard and Kaitlin Eiren on behalf of Teslik & Sip Root.  

Please submit suggestions and feedback to our Forums.  We value your input and experiences.

Second Life is a trademark of Linden Research, Inc.  The authors are not affiliated with or sponsored by Linden Research.
Gor is based on the novel series written by John Norman.  No infringement is intended. The authors are not affiliated with or sponsored by John Norman.