Gorean Chronicles: Worldbook Entry ‘P’



Plays: Goreans love entertainment but actors and roustabouts are not well regarded. Gorean plays tend to tell well worn and familiar stories and many of them are bawdy comedies. They draw from a series of stock characters that include The Golden Courtesan, The Pedant, The Comic Father, The Timid Captain (with huge mustache and comedy sword), The Young Lovers, The Desirable Heiress, The Saucy Maidens, The Comic Servants, The Pompous Merchant, The Swaggering Soldier, The Fortune Teller, The Parasite, The Wily Peasant, The Physician and the Slave. The Magicians of Anango are often invoked to provide some fairytale qualities to the stories and the parts of women are usually played by slaves. Wandering companies of actors include sideshows and other acts, Kaissa players, acrobats and stage magicians and one member of a troupe may have several skills.

To me, many of the plays in their bawdy and trickster sense of humor, reminded me of Chaucer’s stories or some of the older, naughtier versions of fairy tales. They are not particularly highbrow but they are fun little farces and often the audience participates as much as the actors. I think the Gorean distrust of traveling entertainers is similar to their distrust of magicians. To dress up or appear to be something that you are not is as unsettling to them as making a coin vanish.