Exotic: Certain slaver houses spend generations breeding slaves for particular traits. Usually this is simply a ‘bred slave’, chosen for beauty, submission and responsiveness. More rarely slaves are bred with an eye to collectors or other purposes. Some have been bred for a particular deformity or physical trait, some for things as exotic as stripes or poisonous saliva glands.
Another form of exotic is a slave girl raised in total isolation from men in perfect and absolute innocence. These are purchased for victory feasts and the first they know of men is serving, wholly, at that event. Many of these slaves, traumatized by their experience, commit suicide.
I have seen slaves with gigantic ears, slaves with unnatural body shapes that would put the most pneumatic adult star on Earth to shame, male slaves with generous ‘equipment’ that rendered them freaks, dwarfs and giants, even eyeless slaves bred for pale, blindness. Gorean breeding lines for exotic slaves seem as strange and twisted as what we have done to dogs and cats on Earth. In a café in Tor I was transfixed by a dancing exotic they had, a girl in scraps of scarlet silk who moved like liquid but was striped, head to toe, a mix of creamy white and dark skin such as you could not tell which were the stripes and which were the skin. She was beautiful and fascinating.
NB: I am given to understand some people are having a profoundly negative reaction to this entry.
It’s not my job, as a game designer working with someone else’s IP, to change it to make it more (or less) palatable, but to present what’s there. Exotic slaves and isolation slaves are part of that game world. It is, of course, fantasy and not real (why this needs constant pointing out I have no idea) and if your reaction is negative (as it would be for any of us in real life) then a game empowers you to do something about it. A fictional world will often contain harsh elements, villainous deeds and things outside of our experience. Even different moral systems than our own that offend our sensibilities.
If one were to set a game in ancient mesoamerican societies it would be disingenuous to avoid the practices of human sacrifice etc that went on in those societies, even though these things outrage our morality in our context. That’s historical, but we’ve seen people and societies do far worse in history from genocide and torture to inquisitorial slayings and witch burnings. We’ve seen knowledge destroyed, we’ve seen slavery (throughout history and even – in some forms – into today).
Gor is an exotic, savage, dangerous and often morally challenging world and despite having humans in it, is an alien world and its society is based upon ideas that our modern society has rejected or challenged – taken to extremes. This is part of what makes it so interesting to me as a fictional world, that it is so different and so challenging. The idea that I have some sort of ‘moral duty’ to warp the Gorean world presented in the books to meet the standards of people who can’t (apparently) tell real from fictional is ludicrous, as is the idea that the events or societies in a work of fiction necessarily reflect upon the people who enjoy those books – or write them.
Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ presents an evangelical, totalitarian state – that doesn’t mean that that’s something that she supports or endorses despite setting a story there. Media often contains things that are challenging, difficult or even worse – consider the entire horror genre as an example. That doesn’t mean they endorse or support everything, or anything, presented in there.
This kind of thing shouldn’t need be said. It’s like labeling a packet of peanuts ‘may contain nuts’.