You have traveled for many pasangs across the grassy Plains of Turia. Past the gleaming city, through the grasses. Soon, over the rise, you hear the sounds of the great shaggy bosk. The sound reverberates through the ground. There are so many of them. There have to be tens of thousands, maybe more. As you clear the rise you see them. There is a veritable ocean of massive hairy animals. There are so many that they dip over the horizon. Dotted in between the animals are small islands of riders. These are the famed Outriders of the Tuchuks. You are now in hostile territory. You are now in the Lands of the Tuchuks. Fierce mounted warriors, the Tuchuks are ever vigilant. Not only are they tending their herds, but each small group is on patrol. They watch for those that would take what is theirs. They watch for those that will try and interfere with their way of life. Be wary when you approach them. Remember, this is their land, not yours. One misstep could cost you your life.

Now the rider in front of me lifted the colored chains from his helmet, that I might see his face. It was a white face, but heavy, greased; the epicanthic fold of his eyes bespoke a mixed origin. I was looking on the faces of four men, warriors of the Wagon Peoples. On the face of each there were, almost like corded chevrons, brightly colored scars. The vivid coloring and intensity of these scars, their prominence, reminded me of the hideous markings on the faces of mandrills; but these disfigurements, as I soon recognized, were cultural, not congenital, and bespoke not the natural innocence of the work of genes but the glories and status, the arrogance and prides, of their bearers. The scars had been worked into the faces, with needles and knives and pigments and the dung of bosks over a period of days and nights. Men had died in the fixing of such scars. Most of the scars were set in pairs, moving diagonally down from the side of the head toward the nose and chin. The man facing me had seven such scars ceremonially worked into the tissue of his countenance, the highest being red, the next yellow, the next blue, the fourth black, then two yellow, then black again. The faces of the men I saw were all scarred differently, but each was scarred. The effect of the scars, ugly, startlingk terrible, perhaps in part calculated to terrify enemies, had even prompted me, for a whild moment, to conjecture that what I faced on the Plains of Turia were not men, but perhaps aliens of some sort, brought to Gor long ago from remote worlds to serve some now discharged or forgotten purpose of Priest-Kings; but now I knew better; now I could see them as men; and now, more significantly, I recalled what I had heard whisperd of once before, in a tavern in Ar, the terrible Scar Cods of the Wagon Peoples, for each of the hideous marks on the face of these men had a meaning, a significance that could be read by the Paravaci, the Kassars, the Kataii, the Tuchuks as clearly as you or I might read a sign in a window or a sentence in a book. At that time I could read only the top scar, the red, bright, fierce cordlike scar that was the Courage Scar. It is always the highest scar on the face. Indeed, without that scar, no other scar can be granted. The Wagon Peoples value courage above all else. Each of the men facing me wore that scar.

Nomads of Gor...pages 15-16

The wagons of the Wagon Peoples are, in their hundreds and thousands, in their brilliant, variegated colors, a glorious sight. Surprisingly the wagons are almost square, each the size of a large room. Each is drawn by a double team of bosk, four in a team, with each team linked to its wagon tongue, the tongues being joined by tem-wood crossbars. the two axles of the wagon are also of tem-wood, which perhaps, because of its flexiblity, joined with the general flatness of the southern Gorean plains, permits the width of the wagon. The wagon box, which stands almost six feet from the ground, is formed of black, lacquered planks of tem-wood. Inside the wagon box, which is square, there is fixed a rounded, tentlike frame, covered with the taut, painted, varnished hides of bosks. These hides are richly colored. and often worked with fantastic designs, each wagon competing with its neighbor to be the boldest and most exciting. the rounded frame is fixed somewhat within the square of the wagon box. so that a walkway, almost like a ship's bridge, surrounds the frame. the sides of the wagon box, incidentally, are, here and there, perforated for arrow ports, for the small horn bow of the Wagon Peoples can be used to advantage not only from the back of a kaiila but, like the crossbow, from such cramped quarters. One of the most striking features of these wagons is the wheels, which are huge, the back wheels having a diameter of about ten feet; the front wheels are, like those of the Conestoga wagon, slightly smaller, in this case, about eight feet in diameter; the larger rear wheels are more difficult to mire; the smaller front wheels, nearer the pulling power of the bosk, permit a somewhat easier turning of the wagon. These wheels are carved wood and, like the wagon hides, are richly painted. Thick strips of boskhide form the wheel rims, which are replaced three to four times a year. The wagon is guilded by a series of eight straps, two each for the four lead animals. Normally, however, the wagons are tied in tandem fashion, in numerous long columns, and only the lead wagons are guided, the others simply following, thongs running from the rear of one wagon to the nose rings of the bosk following, sometimes as much as thrity yards behind, with the next wagon; also ,too, a wagon is often guided by a wman or boy who walks beside the lead animals with a sharp stick.

Nomads of 30-31

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