~Laws of the Lands~
~~ Merchant Laws ~~
"You’re going to be branded," he said, "and put in a collar."
I regarded him with disbelief.
"But so, too, will the other girls," he said. "You will all have your brands and collars."
I could not speak.
"Such things are prescribed by merchant law," he said.”
~Dancer of Gor, page 62~
~The fact that I now realized I was subject to theft frightened me, but it, too, like many other things, seemed an attachment of my condition, a simple consequence of what I was. I recalled hearing now, in the house, of "capture rights," respected in law. I had originally thought these rights referred to the acquisition of free women but I had later realized they must pertain, more generally, to the acquisition of properties in general, including slaves. I had not thought much about such things, in a real, or practical sense, until now, now that I was outside of the house. I tried to recall my lessons. Theft, or capture, if you prefer, conferred rights over me. I would belong to, and must fully serve, anyone into whose effective possession I came, even if it had been by theft. The original master, of course, has the right to try to recover his property, which remains technically his for a period of one week. If I were to flee the thief, however, after he has consolidated his hold on me, for example, kept me for even a night, I could, actually in Gorean law, be counted as a runaway slave, from him, even though he did not technically own me yet, and punished accordingly. Analogies are that is not permitted to animals to challenge the tethers on their necks, or flee the posts within which they find themselves penned, that money must retain its value, and buying power, regardless of who has it in hand, and so on. Strictures of this sort, of course, do not apply to free persons, such as free women. A free woman is entitled to try to escape a captor as best she can, and without penalty, even after her first night in his bonds, if she still chooses to do so. If she is enslaved, of course, then she is subject to, and covered by, the same customs, practices and laws as any other slave. The point of these statutes, it seems, it to keep the slave in perfect custody, at all times, and to encourage boldness on the part of males. After the slave had been in the possession of the their, or captor, for one week she counts as being legally his. To be sure, the original maser may attempt to steal her back. A popular sport with young men is trying "chain luck." This refers to the capture of women, either free or bond, viewed as a sport. In war, of course, women of this world, slave and free, like silver and gold, rank high as booty.”
~Dancer of Gor, pages 95 & 96~
“Ten days now I had been with the "black chain of Ionicus." Never before, however, had I been assigned to this crew. Two girls, commonly, are assigned to each crew. The "black chain," as a whole, consisted of several such groups, most of some fifty men. The other chains of Ionicus, the "red chain," the "yellow chain," and so on, were at other locations, not in the neighborhood of Venna. Ionicus was on of the major masters of work chains. He himself resided, I understood, in Telenus, the capital of Cos, where his company had its headquarters. His work chains, however, were politically neutral, understood under merchant law as hirable instruments. They might, accordingly, and sometimes did, work for both sides in given conflicts. The tarsk of gold is the symbol of such men.”
~Dancer of Gor, page 322~
"What is it?" I asked. It was a delicate mark, almost floral,
about an inch and a half high and a half inch, or so, wide.
"It is my brand," she said.
"It was put on me in Cos," she said, "with a white-hot
iron, two years ago."
"Terrible," I whispered.
"Girls such as I must expect to be marked,"' she said. "It is
in accord with the recommendations of merchant law."
"Merchant law?" I asked.
"Yes, Mistress," said the girl.”
~Kajira of Gor, page 46~
“The laws of Ar, incidentally, do not require a similar visible token of bondage on the bodies of male slaves, or even any distinctive type of garments. The historical explanation of this is that it was originally intended to make it difficult for male slaves to make contact with one another and to keep them from understanding how numerous they might be. On the other hand, male slaves are not numerous, at least within the cities, as opposed to the great farms or the quarries, and they are, in fact, usually collared.”
~Kajira of Gor, page 268~
“The fairs, too, however, have many other functions. For example, they serve as a scene of caste conventions, and as loci for the sharing of discoveries and research. It is here, for example, that physicians, and builders and artisans may meet and exchange ideas and techniques. It is here that Merchant Law is drafted and stabilized. It is here that songs are performed, and song dramas. Poets and musicians, and jugglers and magicians, vie for the attention of the crowds. Here one finds peddlers and great merchants. Some sell trinkets and others the notes of cities. It is here that the Gorean language tends to become standardized. These fairs constitute truce grounds. Men of warring cities may meet here without fear. Political negotiation and intrigue are rampant, too, generally secretly so, at the fairs. Peace and war, and arrangements and treaties, are not unoften determined in a pavilion within the precincts of the fairs.”
~Beasts of Gor, page 44~
"It is my understanding, following merchant law, and Tahari custom," I said, "that I am not a slave, for though I am a prisoner, I have been neither branded nor collared, nor have I performed a gesture of submission."
~Tribesmen of Gor, page 196~
“Nela had been a slave since the age of fourteen. To my surprise she was a native of Ar. She had lived alone with her father, who had gambled heavily on the races. He had died and to satisfy his debts, no others coming forth to resolve them, the daughter, as Gorean law commonly prescribes, became state property; she was then, following the law, put up for sale at public auction; the proceeds of her sale were used, again following the mandate of the law, to liquidate as equitably as possible the unsatisfied claims of creditors. She had first been sold for eight silver tarsks to a keeper of one of the public kitchens in a cylinder, a former creditor of her father, who had in mind making a profit on her.”
~Assassin of Gor, page 164~