Quotes about the Gorean City of Port Lydius
Lydius is a port city controlled by the Merchant Caste. It is a city of contrasts, combining the roughness of the north regions with the luxuries and civilization of the cities to the south. For example, it is one of the only cities in the northern regions that possesses public baths. Lydius contains a mint and this mint is the only one within a thousand pasangs of Torvaldsland. Many Gorean cities own or rent buildings in Lydius. Thus, the population of Lydius contains a diverse mix of different origins and cultures. . Much wood and hides are brought down the Laurius River to be sold in Lydius. The nearest major town to the east of Lydius is Vonda of the Salerian Confederation. One of the taverns of Lydius given in the books is the tavern of Sarpedon.
Lydius is a bustling, populous trade center located at the estuary of the Laurius River. Many cities maintain warehouses and small communities in Lydius. Many goods, in particular wood, wood products, and hide, make their way westward on the Laurius, eventually landing at Lydius, later to be embarked to the south on the ships of various cities, lines and associations. The population of Lydius, as one might expect, is a mixed one, consisting of individuals of various races and backgrounds.
(Players of Gor.. pg 12)
Lydius is one of the few cities of the north which has public baths, as in Ar and Turia, though much smaller and less opulent. It is a port of paradoxes, where one finds, strangely mingled luxuries and gentilities of the south with the simplicities and rudenesses of the less civilized north. It is not unusual to encounter a fellow with a jacket of sleen fur, falling to his knees, sewn in the circle stitch of Scagnar, who wears upon his forehead a silken headband of Ar. He might carry a double-headed ax, but at his belt may hang a Turian dagger. He might speak in the accents of Tyros, but startle you with his knowledge of the habits of wild tarns, knowledge one would expect to find only in one of Thentis.
Those of Lydius pretend to much civilization, and are fond of decorating their houses, commonly of wood, with high, pointed roofs, in manners they think typical of Ar, of Ko-ro-ba, of Tharna and Turia, but to settle points of honor they commonly repair to a skerry in Thassa, little more than forty feet wide, there to meet opponents with axes, in the manner of those of Torvaldsland.
—Hunters of Gor, page 45
“The governance of Lydius, under the merchants, incidentally, is identical to that of the exchange islands, or free islands, in Thassa. Three with which I was familiar, from various voyages, were Tabor, Teletus and, to the north, offshore from Torvaldsland, Scagnar. Of these, to be honest, and to give the merchants their due, I will admit that Tabor and Teletus are rather strictly controlled. It is said, however, by some of the merchants there, that this manner of caution and restriction, has to some extent diminished their position in the spheres of trade. Be that as it may, Lydius, though not what you would call an open port, was indulgent, and permissive.”
“The representative of the Merchants, to whom I reported my business, and to whom I paid wharfage, asked no questions. He did not even demand the proof of registration of the Tesephone of Tabor. The Merchants, who control Lydius, under merchant law, for it is a free port, like Helmutsport, and Schendi and Bazi, are more interested in having their port heavily trafficked than strictly policed.”
Economy and Trade
“At the mouth of the Laurius, where it empties into Thassa, is found the free port of Lydius, administered by the merchants, an important Gorean caste. From Lydius goods may be embarked for the islands of Thassa, such as Teletus, Hulneth and Asperiche, even Cos and Tyros, and the coastal cities, such as Port Kar and Helmutsport, and, far to the south, Schendi and Bazi. And, from Lydius, of course, goods of many sorts, though primarily rough goods, such things as tools, crude metal and cloth, brought on barges, towed by tharlarion treading on log roads, following the river, are brought to Laura, for sale and distribution inland.”
“Captive of Gor” page 59
Lydius: free port administered by Merchants, at the mouth of the Laurius where it empties into the Thassa. Goods, primarily rough goods like tools, crude metal and cloth are shipped from this port to many islands and coastal cities.
(Book 7: Captive of Gor, page 59)
I put a silver Tarsk, of Tharna, on the scale.
He changed his weight.
“Debased,” said he. “It is only three-quarters weight.”
“Tharna, too,” I said, “is apparently tampering with her coinage.”
“The worst,” said Ivar Forkbeard, “is likely to be the coinage of Lydius.”
“I expect so,” I said.
I smiled. The ransom money of Gurt of Kassau would, doubtless, be largely composed of the stamped coin of Lydius. The only mint at which gold coins were stamped within a thousand pasangs was in Lydius, at the mouth of the Laurius.
Thurnock and I continued to make our ways through the crowds at the waterfront.
We passed great piles of rough goods, which, later, would be loaded on barges, for transport upriver to Laura, tools, metals, woolens. We passed, too, through goods which had been brought downriver from Laura, and would pass through Lydius, bales of sleen fur, and bundles of panther hides and tabuk pelts. There would be better prices on sleen fur, of course, in Laura itself. Too, from Laura, much in evidence, were great barrels of salt, stacks of lumber, and sleds of stones, on wooden runners, from the quarries to her east. We also saw cages filled with the blond village girls, taken on raids to the north, they too, in their cages brought on the barges downriver from Laura. They would not be sold in Lydius, but, the cages emptied, would be taken by sea, chained in the holds of slave ships, to southern markets. We also passed a chain of male slaves, brought downriver from Laura, shaven-headed wretches, taken somewhere in the forests by fierce panther girls. They had probably been sold near Laura, or along the river..
We continued along the docks of Lydius, satisfying our curiosity as to the port. We passed some fortified warehouse, in which space is available to merchants. In such places, there would be gems, and gold, silks, and wines and perfumes, jewelries and spices, richer goods not to be left exposed on the docks.
I glanced about myself, in the crowds, as we worked our way through them. I saw a blond giant from Torvaldsland, with braided hair, in shaggy jacket; a merchant from Tyros, hurrying, perfumed and sleek; seamen from Cos, and Port Kar, mortal enemies, yet passing one another without thought in the streets of Lydius; a black woman, veiled in yellow, borne in a palanquin by eight black warriors, perhaps from as far south as Anango or Ianda; two hunters, perhaps from Ar, cowled in the heads of forest panthers; a wood cutter from one of the villages north of Lydius, his sticks bound on his back; a peasant, from south of the Laurius, with a basket of suls; an intent, preoccupied scribe, lean and clad in the scribe’s blue, with a scroll, perhaps come north for high fees to tutor the Sons of rich men; a brown-clad, hearty fellow from Laura, some two hundred pasangs upriver; a slaver, with the medallion of Ar over his robes; two blond slave girls, clad in brief white, bells on their left ankles, walking together and laughing, speaking in the accents of Thentis; I saw even a warrior of the Tuchuks, from the distant, treeless plains of the south, though I did not know him; it was not by the epicanthic fold that I recognized him; it was by the courage scars, high on his angular cheekbones.
Hunters of Gor pages 41-42