Ar: The City of Ar, known as ‘Glorious Ar’ by many, is the greatest and the richest of Gor’s cities – though Turia or Cos might dispute the claim. No other city has scaled such great heights – or fallen so far.
The wealthiest, most powerful and most popular of the great cities of civilized Gor, Ar long had designs on imperial conquest of the whole world and under its great Ubar, Marlenus, made great strides towards succeeding in this goal bringing many other cities under the sway and control of Ar until they rebelled in the horde of Pa-Kur and were granted freedom at the end of that battle.
Since that peak, the city has fallen by degrees until its ultimate humiliation, occupation by the forces of Cos, betrayed from within and held by mercenaries in the employ of its greatest enemy. Though Ar is now, again, free having revolted against these forces it is a long climb back to its old glories.
Ar’s walls are marble clad, built in two great defensive rings. The outer ring is some three-hundred feet tall while the inner wall towers a further hundred feet, to allow defenders to rain fire upon any force that might occupy the outer wall. These walls are broad enough to accommodate a wagon and have watch-towers every fifty feet along them, guarded at all hours. The city also used to be protected by the Zone of Desolation, a broad swathe of burnt and salted Earth where no enemy could hope to find game or supplies. Despite having been discontinued some fifty years ago now, the zone is still somewhat desolate and thin on game. The walls of the city are said to be impregnable and only cunning has truly seen them breached. There is, or was, a secret way into the city through tunnels from the Dar Kosis pits, but few would dare the pits simply to gain access to the city.
Ar’s cylinders are the tallest, none taller than the Cylinder of Justice, topped by a silver spike for the impaling of traitors. Its baths are the finest. Its streets paved with gold in the legends and envy of the other cities of Gor. Ar’s ways still dominate civilized Gor, even if the city lacks the power it once did.
In Ar high caste daughters are raised in safety and seclusion, in walled gardens, to protect them from Ar’s many enemies who might take them for ransom or slavery. They are trained, there, to be political tokens, companioned to wealthy or powerful men from other cities to maintain Ar’s power.
Famous places in Ar include:
- Alley of the Slave Brothels of Ludmilla (secretly, once, in the control of Talena)
- Aulus/Flute Street
- Avenue of the Central Cylinder (leading to the Ubar’s palace and the government district)
- Avenue of Turia (a broad street lined with Tur trees, decorated with fountains and home to exclusive shops)
- Belled Collar (a paga tavern owned by Busebus)
- Clive Street
- Distict of Metellus (an impoverished district)
- Emerald Street
- Harmadius Street
- Jewelled Ankle Ring (a paga tavern)
- Kettle Market (a cheap market near the Peasant’s Gate)
- Perfumed Rope (a paga tavern)
- Pleasure Silk (a paga tavern)
- Silver Cage (a paga tavern)
- Six Towers (a wealthy area in the shade of six high cylinders)
- Stadium of Blades (a gladiatorial stadium where low castes and slaves fight and wrestle)
- Street of Brands
- Street of Chance (home to gambling houses).
- Street of Coins
- Street of Pots (a potters area)
- Street of Stones
- Tarn Court (a wide, trellis-covered area)
- Tavern of Two Chains (a paga tavern)
- Teiban Street (leading to Teiban Market)
- Teiban Sul Market (a vegetable market)
Ar is, without question, the greatest city of Gor. Even after the occupation and uprising in recent years the city still has a grandeur and weight of history to it which – as with the great cities of Earth – you don’t have to be familiar with in order to absorb, simply by standing in it. The city also bustles with new energy, reborn by its defeat and driven by the indomitable will of its Ubar the city is – again – lean and hungry and were I the rest of the Gorean cities that would worry me far more than a secure and complacent Ar. Cos, in particular – and with good reason – arouses much of the ire of the people of Ar and some great revenge cannot lie too far into the future. Still, Ar is not the power it once was and Cos weakened itself critically in its pursuit of conquest. As a result men as a whole are now weak on Gor and the Kurii must certainly be planning to exploit that weakness in some way.