Violetta Daviau

A blogging roleplayer in Second Life

Raiding and Fighting

Book Quotes:

“It is not uncommon for panther girls to first make contact,” said Rim, smiling, “with a hunting arrow in the back.”
~ Hunters of Gor Page 79

“I have information,” I said, “that, soon, there are more panther girls entering this portion of the forest. It might be well to withdraw before their arrival.”
Marlenus laughed. “They are the girls of Hura,” he said. “They are in my hire.”
Verna cried out with rage.
He looked down at Verna. “I thought they might prove useful in hunting for this one,” he said. He indicated Verna with his foot.
“But this one,” said Marlenus, reaching out and shaking Mira’s head with his large hand, “was the most useful of all.” He laughed. “With my gold, Hura has increased her band to many girls. It will be the strongest band in the forest. And, with my gold, I have purchased our Mira the lieutenancy in that band.”
~ Hunters of Gor Page 141

“What occurs in the forest at the camp of Marlenus?” I asked.
“An attack!” she whispered.
“By the men of Tyros,” I said, “and who?” I pulled her hair back, exposing her throat more. She felt the blade press.
“Panther girls!” she whispered. “More than a hundred of them! The girls of the band of Hura!”
~ Hunters of Gor Page 187

This afternoon I had come to the camp of Marlenus. Its gate had swung in the wind. Its pilings, forming its stockade, had been broken in various places, and burned in others. There were sharpened logs about, fallen, some blackened by fire. The tents had been struck, and were gone. In some places there was burned canvas, indicating that a given tent might have been set afire. There were boxes and debris about, and scattered ashes. I noted that most of the blackening on the stockade pilings was on the inside, indicating that the enemy had fired them from within. There was no sign of the gate’s having been splintered or broken.

At the height of the feast some dozen or so panther girls would have overpowered the guards at the gate, presumably drunken, and opened the gate. Then, at a given signal, the panther girls within, abetted by the men of Tyros without, would have, with clubs and ropes, and the butts of their spears, sprung to the attack. By treachery within and force from without the camp would have been swept. Beyond the palisade several bodies had been dragged. Already some of them had been mauled by sleen and other predators. I had examined the bodies. The men of Ar had given a good account of themselves. Yet, altogether there were not more than forty fallen, including some who had apparently been wounded, and whose throats had been cut. Twenty-five of the fallen wore the yellow of Tyros.
The attack had apparently taken the camp by complete surprise, and had been devastating and successful.
~ Hunters of Gor Pages 190-191

Summary

Panther women fight usually as a group to raise their chances of success, they fight cunningly and hideously. An open duel with men, especially warriors in their bloom of training, makes absolutely no sense for them, they cannot win and they know it. So they attack in groups bigger than the defenders, they attack from behind, they attack with hideous tricks and surprise.
Foremost there are no quotes that indicate that a panther woman band would raid a city or village, which in itself makes no sense – panther girl bands, usually consisting of about 15 women, can never beat a village or city, even attacking a small hamlet at night is really a high risk for them and the outlook on reward rather small in comparison.
While it seems yet that panther women of various bands do not ally but are rather protective about their domain, it does appear – twice even – that panther women enter the service of men, even if fighting is included.

Advises for SL roleplay

Regarding alliances:
Panther girl bands are territorical, they claim their hunting grounds and surely do not want anyone else hunt in there – not only because of the need for the prey, the natural resources, and maybe also the pride of a big domain, but also surely because of the fact that they hide their encampment in their hunting grounds and do not want other bands to spoil its location to e.g. men that then come to enslave them. Yet with Marlenus and Rask, also the person in Smugglers who never appears by name, we have Gorean men that work together with panther girls, which could lead to the conclusion that panther girls can well ally with men for certain purposes. A mutual vigilance and distrust will surely stay in place, and the weaker faction in terms of numbers or skills always risks to be collared in the end. So even if using the books as a limiting factor, one can well say that panther girls do not ally with each other, but that they ally with groups of men now and then, that men even care for bands to grow in strength if it uses them.

Regarding raiding itself: The main reference is that Hura’s band, tasked and pimped by Marlenus, seeks to raid Verna’s camp to capture her for him. It is said that panther girls hunt and enslave and/or kill people that enter their hunting grounds. There is no reference of panther girls attacking settlements, at least not stationary ones. This is where I think considerations about realism has to kick in:

Panther girls, while not comparable to any of the interpretations of earthen amazons (ranging from a tribe of women in the South American Amazonas area to a clan of she-warriors in ancient Greece), are outlaws on Gor. They are skilled in aspects of wilderness and enslave others. They commonly try to hide in the wilderness, to appear in sight when and how they want, and surely it is realistic that they want it only if they consider themselves to be in bulletproof advantage.
So I personally believe that their attacks within their own territory would be looking remotely like this: Out of cover, from behind, as surprise attacks with higher numbers and already drawn weapons, be it on single wandering victims or small caravans. SL Gor is fishy in the aspect because people do not take the hit of an arrow as serious wound and the drawing of a weapon is just a button click. In real one would see the hand move to the weapon, and in that moment already an arrow would be in the chest of the one trying to draw clear, a deadly or at least highly painfull wound.

In terms of raids on settlements and encampments:
In SL Gor usually caravans, travel itself, is not played out but FTB’ed. So, while people just forbid panther woman raids on settlements like villages, fortresses or cities, which is plausible and correct, they defuse any danger for themselves by FTB’ing any travel. By that they take away from other players and skip a lot of realism – commonly most Goreans stay within the walls of their homestone and travel at max once in their life, then to the Sardars as pilgrims.

There is no real reason for panther women to attack villages etc., so I advise to abstain from it even if it hurts. Overall it will just create drama, will have a tremendously negative impact on the reputation of the entire role and its players. And as caravans and such are usually not played, it leaves usually only self defense and panther vs panther raids. Stay amongst yourselves, capture some single men now and then, and keep it drama free.