Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Boys and Bows

The other day I had a conversation with my first boy Wolf about the sense or nonsense of the prohibition of slaves carrying bows.

Well, first of all you have to differ between a rule and a law. To make it a rule on a SIM makes no sense at all. - Rules are there for clearing the mismatch between "what would be (im-)possible on the planet Gor (or any other planet)" and "what is possible in SL-Gor".  For instance a laser-weapon - the Priest Kings would strike the user of it out with a blue flash. So it's a no-go! Or women fighting with heavy swords, axes and spears - No, no and no! Women are weak, Gorean men are strong. Eat it! If you don't like it, change your gender. Period! Or the annoying yelling for help in group-chats (as long as you can't RP it reasonable). etc.  All those are reasonable things to clear in SIM-rules. But it was never heard of a slave dropping dead, just because she or he touched a weapon. Not by laws of nature, not by reason and not by the power of the Priest Kings.

But what about the law? Well, first of all: Although "the Gorean law" is sometimes mentioned, except the merchant law and the edicts of Priest-Kings there is no international-Gorean law system. There is no International Court of Gorean Justice. Gor - That is city-states. And the laws of a city extend no further than its walls. Speaking of "Gorean law" means that the laws of the cities are often similar, but they differ in the nuances. And a big part of the planet Gor isn't even "explored" yet (=mentioned in the books. Most parts of the maps are blank), so you don't know about the laws in the outlands.
But yes, in most cities - probably all of them - normal slaves won't be allowed to be armed. That does not mean, that they would never ever touch a weapon. Slaves touching and using weapons are often mentioned. One book is only about that ("Fighting slave of Gor"). What's important is the intention and the circumstances. What's important is also to differ between male and female slaves. Female slaves in the books sometimes submitted by free will. Male slaves normally not. What's most important is to differ between Books and SL-Gor!

In the books male slaves would either be forced to work on the fields, in the mines, on ships. Or they would be used as silk-slaves for women, but those are very few. Some used as fighting slaves in the arena. And I heard of guarding slaves, but don't know much about them (but I assume, they carry weapons like a warrior, otherwise they won't be able to guard much). In war-times some male slaves gained their freedom to defend the city together with the warriors against enemies.
There are no gay cities in the books. There won't be so many male slaves used for pleasure by male owners. And male slaves wouldn't submit by free will. - So, things are different in SL-Gor. Whoever claims for himself to "be Gorean" and to  "be by the books", better get a therapist. (Personal note: In my experience those are the worst RPers at all; boring and using non-Gorean words like "Aii" and "servery" and "Urth" to show how "Gorean" they are.) We are all there to have fun and good RP. I think, someone who's in the role of a kajirus, don't want to spend his online time with working in the mines or on the fields the whole day long, although that would be Gorean.

But back to the matter of bows. - Male slaves would be freed in war-times. Male slaves in SL-Gor normally don't want to get freed. So, where is the problem to allow the slaves of a city in war-times to wear a bow? You can assume they would be freed, would fight and later they would accept the collar again anyways. You can make a difference between the slaves in the city and visiting slaves. It even could provide a nice RP, how the city-slaves are given bows from the city-armory in war-times and trained on it... some citizens becoming nervous seeing the slaves carrying bows... not only the shadow of a war lying over the city, but also the scent of fear of a slave-riot spreading out in the lanes... Use your imagination!
Outlaw slaves, which raid a city together with their Masters, as they are ordered to, would presumptively wear bows anyways. If they are captured, they are impaled, if with or without bow. So, what's the difference to them? And in this case you only harm your own city, when you prohibit your own boys to wear bows, while the others do.
And apart from that: Any slave devoted to it's Master/Mistress, wouldn't they, when the Master/Mistress is down, grab their owner's bow or whatever weapon they can reach, to defend their owner? Or would they  - like most SIMs seem to demand - kneel aside and watch someone slaughtering their Master/Mistress, just because they are "forbidden to touch a weapon"?

So, a rule to forbid slaves wearing bows and to call a RP invalid, if they do - that's just ridiculous and stupid. A law - like it is in the books - you can do, but allow exceptions. And always remember: Laws can be broken! Just because it is forbidden by law, it doesn't mean, that they can't!

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