We have all seen what passes for Panthers these days, the romanticized versions of what life is like as an outcast. This is a travesty, to be honest, because what is currently being portrayed as the social norm is NOT what the books would tell. It is not Gor. With that in mind, I think it is time that some light was shed on the harsh reality of the factual existence of a Panther.
With this in mind, let’s begin at the beginning and take a look at what a Panther IS:
A Panther, above all things, is a runaway slave. A SLAVE, pure and simple. Nothing more and nothing less. This reality lends itself to the understanding that not only does a Panther find herself in the position where her mere survival is her sole interest, but also means that she fights with herself time and again. She is imbued with all the needs, desires, and urges that any other slave possessess. The need for a man, his touch, his domination is NOT lost in her, but for whatever reason she has chosen such, she does not wish to give in to these needs, desires and urges. She is a brazen thing, a wild animal just like any other, only her struggles begin inside and carry beyond that.
A Panther is a lonely creature, solitary, forced into being an outcast by her choices made. Certainly, Panthers would gather together and the reasons for such are twofold. One, simple survival. Survival against the harsh climes and tough times was absolutely necessary. It stands to reason when understood in the context that there is safety in numbers, though those numbers were usually very small. It was necessary for it to be so, for a large number would attract the attentions of the men, their worst fear. Two, it provided the necessary social interactions that would allow them to make it another day, that might hold their urges at bay long enough to see another sunrise without a collar on their neck. It would lend them the strength to face their inner demons, as it were.
A Panther is a frightened, skittish, prideful, selfish animal. Yes, animal. She has sacrificed much to be in her position. She lives with the constant terror that she may be found. A sort of Mad Max meets US Marshals thing. She is always jumpy, ever watchful, deeply terrified that she may be found. Unlike what is seen now, a Panther would NOT be lounging on a dockside talking trash to men, she would be hiding away in her trees praying to the Kings that she was not seen. Prideful, oh yes! Very prideful creatures. After all, for as much as she fears the men, she also revels in the thought that she has escaped them. She has trumped their domination and she struts her stuff as near an equal as she could ever be. Selfish, oh yes, her safety was her main concern. Every breath she took and thought she had was for herself above all others. When push came to shove, a Panther would honestly not think twice about sacrificing a pack member to save herself. It is a harsh thought, but so was Gor.
A Panther was a Huntress, yes, but she did not do so foolishly. *IF* a panther wished to hunt *a* man, she would do so only with the pack beside her. Panthers were women, they did not have formal weapons training, they did NOT have the strength of a man, nor his ability. If one man happened into her forest, the pack would consider taking him down. They might trap him, and they might capture him, but it would take ALL of them to get him boud, to drag him off and keep him under their control. If a group of men were found in the forests, Panther’s would scatter, they would flee and hide unless they were extremely well versed in actions, and then they would only fight just enough to get themselves to safety. Survival of the fittest applies here, because if a pack member were to fall, she would be considered weak by the tribe. There would be no heroic rescues, she would be gone, that simple.
All of that said, let’s take a look at what a Panther was NOT:
A Panther was not an attention seeking skank. She did NOT seek out men. She ran from them. She did NOT lounge around in public places issuing challenges. She did NOT threaten men with collar for fun.
A Panther was NOT a trained warrior. She was not capable of standing on her own against a trained male. She possessed only what knowledge in weapons that hunting for food would provide, or whatever she had learned under a seasoned Panther, but even then, such training was lacking in the extreme.
A Panther was NOT Xena, Warrior Princess with strength granted by the Kings themselves. The book states that women possessed the strength of a twelve year old boy, and that was strong for a woman. It is important to remember that in all things. Panthers would rely on cunning and speed, not brute strength and a skill they wouldn’t have.
A Panther was NOT a lovey-dovey sister-poo sort of person, she did not have that mentality. There was no all for one, one for all creedo to which they all adhered. A tribe was NOT a sorority with secret handshakes and public outings.
A Panther was NOT prone to fighting alongside men, never EVER would this happen. Not ever, in any circumstance.
There is a lot more to be said, intricacies that could be addressed, but that will come with time and experience. This guide is just a rough outline, a brief overview into the REAL world of Panther existence.
This is not fair, no. This is harsh, yes. This is not romantic, comforting or terribly attractive… But this IS Gor.
Source : Khryssiene Lubitsch, 2007
BTB Panther Girls
DISCLAIMER: The RP Guides are free to share! I just demand that my Name (Violetta Daviau) keeps in the NCs / Copies and is being mentioned as creator. The classes and guides are to not being altered.
In this guide I would like to gather lore, thoughts and realism derivations that may allow over time to compile a guide for players of the panther girl role to be a viable BTB addition to SL Gor and lose the often unfair, often though also not so unfair but rather sadly well deserved, reputation as bad players, cutsies, saddists, city raiders, lesbos, man haters, cap whores, and whatever else they get told. It shall help turning “GE Pannies” into “BTB Panther Girls” – GE/BTB not as term for sim classification in this context, but as a categorization of the panther girl player’s mind and roleplay. One important thing in my opinion is that one may not forget that panther girls don’t stand for themselfes. They are a part of the Gorean Community, they interact with others, often also non-panther girls, i.e. city people, villagers, outlaws, eventually even torvaldslanders. So one part of the guide should also be for those that interact with panthers, telling them what they can expect when facing a panther, also to tell panther girls of course what they can expect from others. For me this thread is meant also as a try to bring back some serious panther girl roleplay to SL Gor, in this context BTB Gor, where it feels and felt for me in the last months that the role is being much discredited and that more and more – also really great – panther players vanish, either into GE Gor or, even worse, into slavery. Please help me so to compile this, maybe even spread this, and to keep it in a mature discussion. I want and hope to be able to accept any opinion, yet please keep the books in mind, keep in mind how little panther girls are described in them, and how realism would fill the gaps which the books leave.
- Society Internal
- Society Within And Towards Gor
- Panther Girls As Slaves
- Panther Girls Enslave
- Panther Raiding & Fighting
- Contacts with others
In SL Gor we see the common panther girl usually clad in some kind of fur or leather bikini, often versions that reveal or direct focus more than that they conceal. Given above quote it might though be more realistic for a panther girl to cover herself more. “Brief Tunics” are for the opinion of a Gorean about clothing related dignity already very revealing. I assume that the ones written about above are a bit longer than slave kamisks, maybe going to the middle of the thighs or even to the knees, covering eventually the entire chest with not too much cleavage, free arms. Reasons that speak for this try of interpretation: Panthers move through a thick and dense wilderness. There are sharp thorns from which they would protect their skin, the sun maybe not everywhere reaches the ground so it is cool/cold. Goreans consider the display of belly buttons as slave-like. Given Panther Girls despise especially female slaves, they might not want to display themselfes like a slave. Being stripped is also for a Panther Girl humiliating. If she wears barely anything anyways, how could that concept still work? Panthers are, even if some would not admit it, women in the end, escaped free women or run away slaves. Sewing and Tanning would surely be a woman’s work which the Panther Girls so had learned while still living in the society. Means: They would be able to craft somewhat quality leather/fur outfits (spinning/weaving fabrics would though certainly be too much efford in the wilderness, compare to earthen wild tribes) In the end my personal perception would be that those scant bikinis are more fitted for Talunas or for very poor and alone panther girls that do not have the safety of a well hidden camp. Also: According to the above quotes, it appears that panther girls are not so very pale (their skin is exposed to the sun anyways), that they eventually not necessarily wore boots (“I saw a pair of slim, tanned ankles”) and that they used golden arm-/bracelets/necklaces.
The most obvious weapons of a panther girl are spear and bow, assumingly rather self crafted ones, maybe with stone tips even. If the band is someone established and at least remotely close to a tradepost, village or city, I would assume that they could also trade for steel tools like arrow heads, spear heads, daggers. Due to men often, not always, relying rather on spear and sword – in the northern forests I would expect mainly the central Gorean shortsword or the torvaldslander broad sword – I could also imagine that some panther girls kept the blades of the men they had defeated and enslaved. Surely they would, if so, train a bit on their own – it is neither given that every scribe or physician, even male, would be more skilled with a sword, and not every outlaw is a born/trained fighter either.
Often we hear the word tribe being used in SL Gor and all kinds of fancy names, Sa here, Tre’sha there, Sang ching chung. In the books, people though do not talk about tribes but about bands, and the band is usually called like their leader: Verna’s Band, Hura’s Band. Given with leader changes in SL it is not easy to reform groups, there is always the risk of losing people. I would assume so that a band in SL Gor can well have two names, e.g. “Sa Tor, the girls of Kara’s band” or such. According to
Panther girls live in the northern forests. They do not live in torvaldslands, they do not live at the Vosk or in the shadow of Ar’s walls, they do not live in the Vosk delta and if they are in the jungles, they are not panther girls but talunas. The camp of Verna is described as a gathering of crude huts at a very remote location in the northern forests, surrounded by a sleen fence only. The question for this topic though is if panther girls would not also live in other sceneries if they can find them, i.e. if they find a place that renders the tedious building of huts unneeded for panther girls. In the end it is heavy work and panther girls usually do not have a lot of builder tools or good tools at all. They are also surely not trained to build houses due to their past as FW or kajirae. In my perception so, a panther band living in caves, ruins, tents, eventually even more difficult to build encampments like treehouses could be realistic still. Would a band though of about 15 women build a war camp with palisades and battlements, maybe even towers? That I would consider rather unlikely, given also that they have to or will move on at some point anyways. Would they find such a fortified camp and inhabit it then for a summer? IF they would find it, surely yes, but who would build such a camp deep and remote in the northern forests and then abandon it?
What can be seen at least in these quotes is that panther girl bands can indeed have various sizes. A good average though surely is the given number of 15 members – in SL terms active people on somehow matching timezones/playshifts. Hura’s band is said to be about 100 girls, but she was also tweaked, “pimped”, by Marlenus of Ar. To enter a band, at least Verna’s band, one has to slay another panther girl. This – being clearly impractible in SL Gor – can be discussed about if it is an exception in Verna’s band, given Verna is the rolemodel of the most fierce panther girl, or if it is common that way. Also panther girls seem, surely with gaining experience, to have very good senses and thus also skills in the wilderness that includes to craft all kind of things by products nature alone offers them. How relasitic so is it for others that roam the forests, to have similar skills? A Torvaldslander maybe feels that the wind will turn on the Thassa ocean, but can he smell a hiding sleen or panther girl? Can a city warrior differ the soft motions of grass leafs and bushwork due to a panther girl sneaking through it from the normal sounds of the forest? What happens if a panther girl gets enslaved? How does her band react to it.
Panther girls are – like most of the people of the world Gor – sexually straight oriented. As Gor stresses the stereotype basics of the genders, and panther girls forsake themselfes to live together with men, their needs stay unfullfilled, making them crave for sexual experiences, those mostly being released when the band made a captive and the three moons of Gor are about to stand high over the northern forests.
Society Within And Towards Gor
Panther girls are outlawed, by own choice: Either kajirae that ran away or free women that fled from being enslaved or forced into a free companionship or similar. They hate men as it appears, but in real fear just to meet their true master. Why is that? Gor is set up as a very basic society, in which the genders are reduced to their very stereotypes, also, as percieved by many, to the liking of men. Not judging if that is good or bad, it means that also panther girls are in truth women that wish to find such a strong, protecting, demanding man whom they can love and who loves them too as his true kajira. The path to find that though is often a very hard and eventually deadly one, filled with humiliation and shame. Panther girls have the desire to be seen as equal to men, and to act towards this desire is easier than to follow the hope of finding the true master. The reduction to the basics of nature also means that panther girls are usually straight oriented, and they do feel their physical needs as many women do on Gor. They just cannot go into the civilized areas of Gor to aquire that need fullfilled, as – being outlawed and being desired in collars – they would be made slaves faster than they could turn to flee once more. They hate men for what men could make of them, not the slave itself, but the woman that accepts her feminity and her needs even if it means to kneel and cater to a man. Also men hunt panther girls, seeing them as a tremendous trophy, as a marvellous slave due to them expecting that, once broken into slavery, a former panther girl would release all her suppressed sexuality, feminity on him. Else some men, outlaws, share the living grounds with panther girls, at times it goes peacefully, at times one snags the other and puts them to the block. Also trading happens, mostly for wares (e.g. at night with city merchants outside the walls) but also – like the examples of Marlenus/Hura and Rask/Verna show – for services. This means too that panther girls and men can actually work together, even fight alongside, often surely with the risk for the panther girls to end in slavery themselfes too, but that is pretty normal for Gor. If a 2 man group would work aside 15 panther girls on e.g. a caravan raid, it could well be that the 2 men get collared as well in the run of the events. As for panther band / panther band alliances happening or not I need to yet find quotes.
Panther Girls As Slaves
Panther girls are precious prizes, trophies, when captured, and bring much honor to the name of the captor. They are not easy to capture, and even if they fell, they need yet to be broken, which is not easy neither. Marlenus did not manage to break Verna, although he would surely be able, he feared that this wonderfull prize would be tainted, and as his hunter pride was turned into love that he would take the glow off her. Yet even without those emotions, Verna shows that she can endure a lot, while many other women that are caught in the fields, do not even require a weapon drawn or a clear threat spoken. They try to babble proudly, the man barks once, and the woman submits. Not so with this panther girl who endured quite a lot more. Surely though also a panther girl is not unbreakable, for if she would be, her fate would not be the collar, but the impaler.
Panther Girls Enslave
Panther girls despise slavery, they sell slaves once those are not to their liking anymore. The first part of the last sentence surely says that slavery under panther girls is a very cruel and for a slave not much fullfilling but rather degrading slavery, the later part is commonf for Goreans all over the different kinds. All free rid themselfes of slaves they grew tired of in one way or another, stating this about panther girls means nothing special. I personally neither have found quotes that clearly say that panther girls would not hold female slaves. I would just assume that their fate is even more cruel within the band, more humiliating as panther girls have a deep inner fear of being made slave and for that hate men and slaves.
Panther Raiding & Fighting
There are barely any references about fighting panther girls at all, so for this topic there comes a lot of speculation from all sides, leading to mega alliances of panther bands on the one side and the complete raid ban of e.g. city sims on the other side. Due to the lack of quotes in the books about it – and I consider that books being a limit rather than a guide to the culture and realism of Gor is a very flawed approach – one can only try to interpret and consider a possible reality on a world like Gor. 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 teritory, 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 we have two prominent Goreans already 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 bigger encampments or settlements (that I have found, so correct me if I am wrong please), at least not alone. This is where I think considerations about realism has to kick in: While panther girls are not of 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), they can well be compared to wild tribes itself, a bit more skilled in some aspects of civilization, a bit less skilled in other aspects. Panther girls 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 themselfes to be in bulletproof advantage. So I personally believe that their attacks within their own territory would be looking remotely like an attack of Robin Hood’s band: 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, I believe that also Robin Hood would be a good, yet remote comparison. He and his band would never attack a fortress with many soldiers as long as being only few themselfes. They would sneak in disguised rather. Yet, if there is a reason, they would try to find someone “to rally the bands” and go in big force. This way an attack on a town even could be valid, yet to amass enough to have a chance to take over Ar is very unlikely. Also an attack on a small village somewhere is – in my eyes – quite possible. A panther girl band can exceed 15 members as well, and given they are all combatative, they could consider an attack on a village as possibly successfull. Villages though in SL are often not made as one would expect them in a world like Gor, even with given descriptions: In a village one would expect mostly low caste people, non combatative, like merchants (also tavern keepers, rarely slavers) and a lot of peasants. While peasants are said to be main users of long bows and also battle staffs, they surely do not have them always at hand. Villages are mostly protected by the city under which laws they stand, and need to hope for warriors from the nearest garrison to arrive should enemies approach – and near can mean still many pasangs. A village would very unlikely have a big garrison of warriors within its own confines, a village would unlikely have more of a wall than a wooden pallisade or sleen fence at max. Even the next Physician might be away half a day of a tharlarion cart ride. So while still, for BTB Gor in SL, panther girl raiding should be more a special event, one also needs to consider that the “prey side” is often made up wrongly. In BTB SL every man but maybe physicians are combatative, villages often have huge walls and tons of Warriors, barely one plays trade caravans. One should consider to make panther raiding a concession to SL really. Defensively also it is hard for panther girls, people use cam and radars to find camps and sims and script possibilities are just too low to hide a panther girl camp properly. This so would have to be another concession to playability in SL.
Contacts with others
Tradeposts are the spot where panther girls come to to trade with others, be it male outlaws or merchants from civilized Gor.