Gorean waters are rich
with life and color. Like the rest of this untamed planet, Thassa
(the sea) and its multiple branches are home to creatures of prehistoric
proportion as well as the smaller yet sometimes more dangerous forms
of nature's beauties. Whether one explores the tharlarion-swarming
swamps of the Vosk's Delta, the icy waters of the northern hemispheres
or the rainbow of moving life in the Gorean tropics, beauty is seldom
free of danger.
had smelled these even at sea. One smell that I did not
smell to a great degree was that of fish. Many fish in these
tropical waters are poisonous to eat, a function of certain
forms of seaweed on which they feed. The seaweed is harmless
to the fish but it contains substances toxic to humans.
The river fish on the other hand, as far as I know, are
generally wholesome for humans to eat....
---Explorers of Gor, 6:109
A fanged, carnivorous marsh eel of the Jungle waters of
the Schendi region.
nodded, shuddering. Such blood might attract the bint, a
fanged, carnivorous marsh eel, or the predatory, voracious
blue grunt, a small, fresh-water variety of the much larger
and familiar salt-water grunt of Thassa....
---Explorers of Gor, 24:267
A carp of the Delta of the Vosk. Mentioned in Raiders
my right, some two or three feet under the water, I saw
the sudden, rolling yellowish flash of the slatted belly
of a water tharlarion, turning as it made its swift strike,
probably a Vosk carp or marsh turtle....
---Raiders of Gor, 1:1
A shellfish of the Tamber Gulf, its shell is used in the
making of jewelry.
looked at him steadily. "They are probably false stones,"
I said, "amber droplets, the pearls of the Vosk sorp, the
polished shell of the Tamber clam, glass colored and cut
in Ar for trade with ignorant southern peoples."
---Nomads of Gor, 3:20
Mentioned in Marauders of Gor, no description is given.
contained as well the separated oil of the Thentis needle
tree; an extract from the glands of the Cartius river urt;
and a preparation formed from a disease calculus scraped
from the intestines of the rare Hunjer Long Whale, the result
of the inadequate digestion of cuttlefish....
---Marauders of Gor, 8:114
Described as voracious, eels are mentioned as existing in the
various waters of Gor as well as in many estate ponds in
a number of varieties. Only one of those, the dock eel,
is extensively described. The dock eel is a four foot
long black eel that follows
in one bite.
me the water was swarming with eels. The blood from
my back, I realized, running down the blade and dripping
into the water, had attracted them.
---Guardsman of Gor, 16:129
was only dimly conscious of the wetness of my back.
Then something wet and heavy, slithering; leapt upward
out of the water, and splashed back. My leg
felt stinging. It had not been able to fasten its
jaws on me.
looked downward. Two more heads, tapering, menacing,
solid, were emerged from the water, looking up at me.
Then, streaking from under the water, suddenly breaking
its surface, another body, some four feet in length, about
eight or ten pounds in weight, leapt upward....
of Gor, 16:130
knew that the fastening of those jaws, in a fair bite,
could gouge ounces of flesh from a man's body....
---Guardsman of Gor, 16:131
Many estates, particularly country estates, have pools
in which fish are kept. Some of these pools contain voracious
eels, of various sorts, river eels, black eels, the spotted
eel, and such, which are Gorean delicacies. Needless
to say a bound slave, cast into such a pool, will be
---Magicians of Gor, 25:428
From the fresh waters of the rainforest regions of Schendi, the
most common variety of this amphibian/fish (has both lungs and gills)
is described as tiny (6 inches), bulbous eyed and capable of living
both in and out of the water. The second description of this creature
is referred to as a similar yet 'giant' version of the first.
was interested in the fauna of the river and the rain
forest. I recalled, sunning themselves on exposed roots
near the river, tiny fish. They were bulbous eyed and
about six inches long, with tiny flipperlike lateral fins.
They had both lungs and gills. Their capacity to leave
the water, in certain small streams, during dry seasons,
enables them to seek other streams, still flowing, or
pools. This property also, of course, makes it possible
for them to elude marine predators and, on the land, to
return to the water in case of danger. Normally they remain
quite close to the water. Sometimes they even sun themselves
on the backs of resting or napping tharlarion. Should
the tharlarion submerge the tiny fish often submerges
with it, staying close to it, but away from its jaws.
Its proximity to the tharlarion affords it, interestingly,
an effective protection against most of its natural predators,
in particular the black eel, which will not approach the
sinuous reptiles. Similarly the tiny fish can thrive on
the scraps from the ravaging jaws of the feeding tharlarion.
They will even drive one another away from their local
tharlarion, fighting in contests of intraspecific aggression,
over the plated territory of the monster's back. The remora
fish and the shark have what seem to be, in some respects,
a similar relationship. These tiny fish, incidentally,
are called gints.
---Explorers of Gor, 29:299-300
creature which had surfaced near us, perhaps ten feet
in length, and a thousand pounds in weight, was scaled
and had large, bulging eyes. It had gills, but it, too,
gulped air, as it had regarded us. It was similar to the
tiny lung fish I had seen earlier on the river, those
little creatures clinging to the half-submerged roots
of shore trees, and, as often as not, sunning themselves
on the backs of tharlarion, those tiny fish called gints.
Its pectoral fins were large and fleshy.
---Explorers of Gor, 43:384
Carnivorous fish found in a number of varieties, from the great
speckled grunt and the white grunt, whose tiny black eggs are a
delicacy, to the northernmost white bellied grunt, the salt water
variety of which is always described as large. Its southern cousin,
the small fresh water blue grunt, found in waters of the Schendi
region, is said to be particularly voracious in the hours that precede
its mating period.
ran to the stern that I might watch. Half out of the water,
then returning to it, I saw a great speckled grunt, four-gilled.
It dove, and swirled away....
---Slave girl of Gor, 22:359-360
blue grunt is particularly dangerous during the daylight
hours preceding its mating periods, when it schools. Its
mating periods are synchronized with the phases of Gor's
major moon, the full moon reflecting on the surface of
the water somehow triggering the mating instinct. During
the daylight hours preceding such a moon, as the restless
grunts school, they will tear anything edible to pieces
which crosses their path. During the hours of mating,
however, interestingly, one can move and swim among them
---Explorers of Gor, 24:267
from the lake circulated through the city and fed this
moat. In it, as had been demonstrated, by the hurling
of a haunch of tarsk into the waters, crowded and schooling,
were thousands of blue grunt. This fish, when isolated
and swimming free in a river or lake, is not particularly
dangerous. For a few days prior to the fullness of the
major Gorean moon, however, it begins to school. It then
becomes extremely aggressive and ferocious. The haunch
of tarsk hurled into the water of the moat, slung on a
rope, had been devoured in a matter of Ihn....
---Explorers of Gor, 53:432
white-bellied grunt, a large game fish which haunts the
plankton banks to feed on parsit fish....
---Marauders of Gor, 4:59
each guest there were tiny slices of tospit and larma,
small pastries, and in a tiny golden cup, with a small
golden spoon, the clustered, black, tiny eggs of the white
---Fighting Slave of Gor, 22:275-276
A tiny blind white fish of the brine pits at Klima
are often attracted to the salt rafts, largely by the
vibrations in the water, picked up by their abnormally
developed lateral-line protrusions, and their fernlike
craneal vibration receptors, from the cones and poles.
Too, though they are blind, I think either the light,
or the heat, perhaps, from our lamps, draws them. The
tiny eyeless heads will thrust from the water, and the
fernlike filaments at the side of the head will open and
lift, orienting themselves to one or the other of the
lelt is commonly five to seven inches in length. It is
white and long-finned....
---Tribesmen of Gor, 16:247
Known simply as the Marsh Moccasin, it is a rare, poisonous, triangular
headed snake found in the waters of the Vosk marsh areas, described
as dark and five feet in length.
saw a narrow, dark shape, about five feet long, like a
slowly undulating whip, glide past. A small triangular
head was almost level with the water surface. I did not
think there had been much danger, but there was some possibility
that the movements of her legs in the water might have
attracted its attention.
"That is a marsh moccasin," I said.
"Are they poisonous," she asked.
"Yes," I said.
"I never saw one before," she said.
"They are not common," I said, "even in
---Vagabonds of Gor, 26:267
From the Vosk's Delta.
girls had prepared the repast, which, for the war camp,
was sumptuous indeed, containing even oysters from the
delta of the Vosk, a portion of the plunder of a tarn
caravan of Ar, such delicacies having been intended for
the very table of Marlenus, the Ubar of that great city
itself. I served the food, and poured the wines, and kept
their goblets filled, remaining as much in the background
---Captive of Gor, 15:301
Silver striped fish of the northern waters. A staple of Torvaldslanders,
it is used raw in the gruel of bond maids. The fish is used
in trade, salted or dried.
men with the net drew it up. In it, twisting and flopping,
silverish, striped with brown, squirmed more than a stone
of parsit fish. They threw the net to the planking and,
with knives, began to slice the heads and tails from the
---Marauders of Gor, 4:61
Said to be the swiftest predator in Thassa, it is a large, fanged
aquatic mammal more common to the northern waters and hunted for
its pelts, and is found in many varieties. It is described as measuring
as much as 20 feet in length and weighing as much as a 1000 pounds.
The four most common are the black, the brown, the flat nosed and
the tusked sea sleens. Other varieties, and/or descriptions, include
the rogue sleen, and a reference to 'the white spotted sea sleen'.
behind them, in a rich swirling cloak of the fur of the
white, spotted sea sleen, sword in hand, looking wildly
about, was another man, one I did not know.
---Raiders of Gor, 18:300
sea sleen, vicious, fanged aquatic mammals, apparently
related to the land forms of sleen, are the swiftest predators
to be found in Thassa; further, they are generally conceded
to be the most dangerous; they tend, however, to frequent
northern waters. Occasionally they have been found as
far south, however, as the shores of Cos and the deep
inlets of Tyros.
---Slave Girl of Gor, 22:360
interestingly, come northward with the parsit, their own migrations
synchronized with those of the parsit, which forms for them their
principal prey. The four main types of sea sleen found in the polar
seas are the black sleen, the brown sleen, the tusked sleen and
the flat-nosed sleen. There is a time of year for the arrival of
each, depending on the waves of the parsit migrations. Not all members
of a species of sleen migrate. Also, some winter under the ice,
remaining generally dormant, rising every quarter of an Ahn or so
to breathe. This is done at breaks in the ice or at gnawed breathing
---Beasts of Gor, 2:38
whispered Imnak, in his own kayak, a few feet from that
which I was using, which belonged to Akko.
The head of a sleen, glistening, smooth, emerged from
the water. It was a medium-sized, adult sea sleen, some
eight feet in length, some three to four hundred pounds
---Beasts of Gor, 22:280
I think, is a rogue sleen," said Imnak. "It
is a broad-head, and they are rare in these waters in
the fall. Too, see the gray on the muzzle and the scarring
on the right side of the head, where the fur is gone?"
"Yes," I said.
"I think it is a rogue," he said.
---Beasts of Gor, 22:283
line snapped out from its tray darting under the water.
In moments the harpoon shaft and foreshaft bobbed to the
surface, but the bone harpoon head, its line taut, turning
the head in the wound, held fast. I played the line as
I could. The animal was an adult, large-sized broad-head.
It was some eighteen to twenty feet in length and perhaps
a thousand pounds in weight....
---Beasts of Gor, 22:285
The term saurian simply means 'lizard' and would thus
refer to a reptile. One variety of these rather rare marine
'monsters', said to be an unusual sight and rather harmless
although impressive by its size, is described as long-necked,
small headed and paddle-finned; a list which would remind
the reader of plesiosaurus, a species of predatory marine
reptile that arose in the Triassic period and continued
into the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
plesiosaur had a small, short head, a long, snakelike neck,
a broad, solid body, and a short tail. Its sharp interlocking
teeth were well equipped for catching fish, and its four
paddlelike legs were similar to those of a marine turtle.
In total length, Plesiosaurus ranged from 10 to 60 ft (318
m). The Plesiosaurus is an example of one of the two lines
of marine reptiles produced in the order Sauropterygia.
The other line evolved into forms which include Pliosaurus,
some of which possessed short necks and gigantic skulls;
the most extreme example, that of the Kronosaurus, had the
largest known reptile skull, reaching 9 ft (2.7 m) in length.
And it is in fact the Kronosaurus
that we are reminded of, in the mention of the more common fish-like
saurian, described as having a long-toothed snout and a silent,
aggressive nature and said to be far more dangerous.
after Kronos, Greek god of time who ate his own children,
Kronosaurus was not a dinosaur, but a short-necked pliosaur
of the Early Cretaceous period. It is described as being
approximately 13 meters long, and having teeth the size
of bananas. It roamed the inland sea hunting ichthyosaurs,
plesiosaurs, turtles and large fish, and was the most ferocious
and largest sea creature of its time. Kronosaurus has a
skull up to 2m long and swam through the water using its
large flippers, but had to surface regularly as it was an
air breathing animal.
and sometimes marine saurians, sometimes trail the ships,
to secure discarded garbage and rob the lines of the fishermen.
The convoy, by its size, had doubtless attracted many
such monsters. I had seen, yesterday, the long neck of
a marine saurian lift from the waters of gleaming Thassa,
It had a small head, and rows of small teeth. Its appendages
were like broad paddles. Then it had lowered its head
and disappeared. Such beasts, in spite of their frightening
appearance, are apparently harmless to men. They can take
only bits of garbage and small fish. Certain related species
thrive on crustaceans found among aquatic flora. Further,
such beasts are rare. Some sailors, reportedly, have never
seen one. Far more common, and dangerous, are certain
fishlike marine saurians, with long, toothed snouts; they
are silent and aggressive, and sailors fear them as they
do the long-bodied sharks....
---Slave Girl of Gor, 22:360
Found in the marshes; the nine gilled shark is eel-like,
long and narrow.
them would be the almost eel-like, long-bodied, nine-gilled
Gorean marsh sharks.
---Raiders of Gor, 6:58
Found in the rivers;
the black shark of the fresh waters of Gor.
saw the flash of a triangular, black dorsal fin.
looked out, pointing after it. 'A river shark,' she cried, excitedly....
---Captive of Gor, 8:79
Found in the brine
pits of salt mines; the white, blind, nine gilled shark.
saw the broad, blunt head, eyeless, white....
the whitish back, near the high dorsal fin, there was
a long scar. Part of the dorsal fin itself was rent, and
At the top of the food chain in the pits, a descendant,
dark-adapted, of the terrors of the ancient seas, stood
the long-bodied, nine-gilled salt shark.
---Tribesmen of Gor, 16:249
Found in the more
northern waters of Thassa; the white shark.
cried out with fear. One of the men shouted with anger.
Rising from under the grunt swiftly was a long-bodied
shark, white, nine-gilled. It tore the grunt from the
line and bore it away. Other dorsal fins, of smaller sharks,
trailed it, waiting....
---Slave Girl of Gor, 22:360
recalcitrant girl may be kept on the oar for hours. There
is also, however some danger in this, for sea sleen and
the white sharks of the north occasionally attempt to
tear such a girl from the oar....
---Marauders of Gor, 4:66
the Forkbeard went to her and taught her to check the
scoop, with her left hand, for snails, that they not be
to me he held one of the snails, whose shell he crushed
between his fingers, and sucked out the animal, chewing
and swallowing it. He then threw the shell fragments overboard.
are edible,' he said. "And we use them for fish bait.'
---Marauders of Gor, 4:62
A giant shellfish of the Vosk's Delta, large enough for
a man to sit it and said to produce pearls. The blood
of the sorp, is used as a dye.
sat upon a giant shell of the Vosk sorp, as on a sort
of throne, which, for these people, I gather it was.
---Raiders of Gor, 3:14
Ho-Hak looked at the man who wore the headband of pearls
of the Vosk sorp.
---Raiders of Gor, 3:21
I found I desperately wanted the respect of this calm,
strong man, he most of all, he once a slave, who sat before
me on the throne, that shell of the giant Vosk sorp.
---Raiders of Gor, 3:23
hair was blond and straight, tied behind her with a ribbon
of blue wool, from the bounding Hurt, dyed in the blood
of the Vosk sorp....
---Marauders of Gor, 1:1-2
(Water and Marsh Tharlarion are included in the Reptiles
Mainly described in those books that speak of the northern territories;
whales of different varieties would appear to be similar to the
whales of earth in proportion to the rest of the Gorean fauna, and
of similar use to those who hunt them.
Bluish white spotted, blunt-finned whale found in the waters of
the far north. Its bones are used by Red Hunters in the making of
and building materials.
weeks ago, some ten to fifteen sleeps ago, by rare fortune,
we had managed to harpoon a baleen whale, a bluish, white-spotted
blunt fin. That two whales had been taken in one season
was rare hunting, indeed. Sometimes two or three years
pass without a whale being taken.
---Beasts of Gor, 20:265
A rare toothed whale of the northern waters.
scent, I knew, a distillation of a hundred flowers, nurtured
like a priceless wine, was a secret guarded by the perfumers
of Ar. It contained as well the separated oil of the Thentis
needle tree; an extract from the glands of the Cartius
river urt; and a preparation formed from a disease calculus
scraped from the intestines of the rare Hunjer Long Whale,
the result of the inadequate digestion of cuttlefish.
Fortunately, too, this calculus is sometimes found free
in the sea, expelled with feces....
---Marauders of Gor, 8:114
not more than a dozen feet from the boat, driving upward,
rearing vertically, surging, expelling air in a great
burst of noise, shedding icy water, in a tangle of lines
and blood, burst the towering, cylindrical tonnage of
the black Hunjer whale.
---Beasts of Gor, 18:258
reached out with my hand and pushed against the side of
the mammal. The Hunjer whale is a toothed whale.
---Beasts of Gor, 18:259
Four-fluked baleen whale of the northern waters.
they managed to secure the northern shark, sometimes even
the toothed Hunjer whale or the less common Karl whale,
which was a four-fluked, baleen whale....
---Beasts of Gor, 2:36
Also known as the songfish from the whistling sounds
of its mating call, this poisonous spined salt water fish
is found in the waters of Port Kar.
fish is a tiny, delicate fish, blue, about the size of
a tarn disk when curled in one's hand; it has three or
four slender spines in its dorsal fin, which are poisonous;
it is capable of hurling itself from the water and, for
brief distances, on its stiff pectoral fins, gliding through
the air, usually to evade the smaller sea-tharlarions,
which seem to be immune to the poison of the spines. This
fish is also some times referred to as the songfish because,
as a portion of its courtship rituals, the males and females
thrust their heads from the water and utter a sort of
blue, four-spined wingfish is found only in the waters of
Cos. Larger varieties are found farther out to sea. The
small blue fish is regarded as a great delicacy, and its
liver as the delicacy of delicacies.
---Nomads of Gor, 9:84-85