“I trod a walkway beside a canal, my sea bag over my shoulder. The air was damp. Here and there small lamps, set in niches, high in stone walls, or lanterns, hung on iron projections, shed small pools of light on the sides of buildings and illuminated, too, in their secondary ambiance, the stones of the sloping walkway on which I trod, one of many leading down to the wharves.”
The city of Port Kar was constructed with little concern for order. It is a very crowded city, with residences often closely abutting each other. This problem of crowding has also meant that there are few gardens or courts in Port Kar. The space is often too valuable to spare for such luxuries. Each such residence is strongly fortified as the citizens often must worry about other residents attacking them. These buildings are not towers, the most common style of Gorean building. Like the Venice of Earth, Port Kar contains hundreds of canals which act as its roads for travel throughout the city. Some planning did go into the city through, especially on the outer perimeter. The structures that look out on this perimeter have been constructed to act as a defense to the city. These structures primarily have no windows, though they might possess arrow slits. The outer walls are commonly several feet thick to prevent someone from easily breaking them down. The roof tops often have crenellated parapets to protect bowmen and defenders on those roofs. The canals that open into the Vosk delta are also protected against invasion. Heavy iron gates have been placed into the water, partially raised out of the water so that they are visible. One of these gates is known as the Northeast Delta Gate. Another oddity about Port Kar is that it is the only Gorean city that was constructed by slaves. Slaves are generally not permitted to build anything on Gor, especially important matters such as cities.
Outside of the city limits, Port Kar claims sovereignty over the entire Vosk delta. In actuality, Port Kar is unable to effectively control this huge region. Port Kar did situate log outposts on the edges of the delta. These outposts were used primarily by Slavers and trained sleen patrols. Port Kar once sent Warriors to collect tribute and taxes from the Rencers that live in the marshes. Port Kar sought rence paper, women for slaves, and male children for slaves on their galleys. Port Kar was very brutal in its treatment of the Rencers and thus the Rencers would reciprocate that brutality if they happened to capture a resident of Port Kar. They would commonly bind their prisoner and toss them to the marsh tharlarion. But after Tarl Cabot visited the Rencers in Raiders of Gor, and proved to them the efficacy of the long bow, the Rencers decided to adopt the long bow as a weapon against their enemies. Port Kar then became much warier of the Rencers and eventually they formed more of a truce. Thus, some in Port Kar use Rencer bowman as auxiliaries.
Port Kar has many taverns including such places as the Four Chains, Veminium, Kailiauk, Slaves of Ar and the Silver of Tharna. The Four Chains, owned by Procopius Minor, is located near Pier Sixteen between two warehouses. It is a dirty place, with roughly twenty paga kajirae and an infamous reputation for brawls, cheap paga and hot slaves.
“..It is a vast, disjointed mass of holdings, each
almost a fortress, piled almost upon one another, divided and crossed by
hundreds of canals. “
The caste of thieves was important to Port Kar, and even honored. It represented a skill which in the city was held in high repute. Indeed, so jealous of their prerogatives were the caste of thieves that they often hunted thieves who did not belong to the caste, and slew them, throwing their bodies to the urts in the canals.