Port Kar, squalid, malignant Port Kar, scourge of gleaming Thassa,
Tarn of the Sea, is a vast, disjointed mass of holdings, each almost
a fortress, piled almost upon one another, divided and crossed by hundreds
of canals. It is, in effect, walled, though it has few walls as one
normally thinks of them. Those buildings which face outwards, say,
either at the delta or along the shallow Tamber Gulf, have no windows
on the outward side, and the outward walls of them are several feet
thick, and they are surmounted, on the roofs , with crenellated parapets.
The canals which open into the delta of the Tamber were, in the
last few years, fitted with heavy, half-submerged gates of bars.
In Port Kar, incidentally, there are none of the towers often encountered
in the northern cities of Gor. The men of Port Kar had not chosen
to build towers. It is the only city of Gor I know of which was built
not by free men, but by slaves, under the lash of masters. Commonly,
on Gor, slaves are not permitted to build, that being regarded as
a privilege to be reserved for Free Man..
Politically, Port Kar is a chaos, ruled by several conflicting Ubars,
each with his own following, each attempting to terrorize, to govern
and tax to the extent of his power. Nominally beneath these Ubars,
but in fact much independent of them, is an oligarchy of merchant
princes, Captains, as they call themselves, who, in council, maintain
and manage the great arsenal, building and renting ships and fittings,
themselves controlling the grain fleet, the oil fleet, the slave
fleet, and others.
There is even, in Port Kar, a recognized caste of Thieves, the only
such I know of on Gor, which, in the lower canals and perimeters
of the city, has much power, that of the threat and the knife. They
are recognized by the Thief's Scar, which they wear as caste mark,
a tiny three-pronged brand burned into the face in back of below
the eye, over the right cheekbone.
One might think that Port Kar, divided as she is , a city in which
are raised the thrones of anarchy, would fall easy prey to either
the imperialism or the calculated retaliations of other cities, but
it is not true. When threatened from the outside the men of Port
Kar have, desperately and with the viciousness of cornered urts,
well defended themselves. Further, of course, it is next to impossible
to bring large bodies of armed men through the delta of the Vosk,
or, under the conditions of the marsh, to supply them or maintain
them in a protracted siege.
The delta it self is Port Kar's strongest wall.
The nearest solid land, other than occasional bars in the marshes,
to Port Kar lies to her north, some one hundred pasangs distant.
This, area, I supposed, might theoretically be used as a staging
area, for the storing of supplies and the embarkation of an attacking
force in barges but the military prospects of such a venture were
decidedly not promising. It lay hundreds of pasangs from the nearest
Gorean city other, of course, then Port Kar. It was open territory.
It was subject to attack by forces beached to the west from the tarn
fleets of Port Kar, through the marsh itself by the barges of Port
Kar, or from the east or north, depending on the marches following
the disembarkation of Port Kar forces. Further, it was open to attack
from the air by means of the cavalries of mercenary tarnsmen of Port
Kar, of which he has several. I knew one of these mercenary captains,
Ha-Keel, murderer, once of Ar, whom I had met in Turia, in the house
of Saphrar, a merchant, Ha-Keel alone commanded a thousand men, tarnsmen
all. And even if an attacking force could be brought into the marsh,
it was not clear that it would, days later, make its way to the walls
of Port Kar.
It might be destroyed in the marshes. And if it should come to the
walls, there was little likelihood of its being effective. The supply
lines of such a force, given the barges of Port Kar and her tarn
cavalries, might be easily cut. The nearest solid land was about
one hundred pasangs to the north, but it was open land, and there,
on the edges of the delta, there were log outposts of Port Kar, where
slave hunters and trained sleen, together, patrolled the marshes'
Raiders Of Gor
Inside of Port Kar are many places one can go to partake of the cities delights, one of the most famous and frequently inhabited is The Jewel of Gleaming Thassa. It is known for it's highly trained dancers and The Jewel trains the best slave girls in all of Gor. That is heresay of course, but comes from a very reliable source. One coming to Port Kar should take the time to visit The Jewel of Gleaming Thassa.