Merchant Caste Guidelines 11/22/00:
All registered merchants are expected to follow the Merchant laws as depicted in the scrolls of John Norman. All applicants to Caste must have a Homestone or be in process of swearing to one unless not of age yet. Any Merchant over the age of 17 is allowed to be a registered caste member. A child born into the caste who wishes to register, may do so with nonparticipating status until they reach the age of majority. Their reg number will carry a "C" at the end until they reach 17, it may then be removed and full status is awarded. [Nomads mentions specifically that they may not practice til majority age is reached. Raiders mentions majority age as 17]. Those seeking registration to the Caste of Merchants shall either be born of the Caste, or have gained approval from their City Administrator/Ubar to change castes and be accepted into their Local Merchants Caste. Letters of approval/acceptance must accompany the application.

Registration/Professional Courtesy:
"The Merchant Caste does not allow dual registration, this includes subcastes of the Merchant Caste." All Merchants are encouraged to be registered within the Gor wide caste. Referrals by registered merchants will be made only to other registered Merchants. A list of Merchants, their wares and selling area will be published on the Merchant Caste Web Site.

Base Prices:
Official base prices for all commodities represented would be set using the prices paid in the books whenever possible. When that is not possible, the price will be determined by comparison to known prices. Official base prices will be fixed, however, widespread SL's (wars between cities) may affect the base price used in some areas. These prices will be sent to all registered members as they are compiled.

Weights/Measures/Shaved Coins:
Each city should have Merchant's Foot and Stone in the Chamber Council in the Central Cylinder that is available for Merchants to verify their own personal measuring devices. One may be found in the merchant tent at each of the Sardar faires. The use of shaved or underweight coins is illegal throughout Gor. Anyone found guilty of such will be brought before the chairs. Suspension of registration or loss of merchant license is possible.

FW who are collared (and in some cases men) lose all caste rights (slaves have no caste) and their position within the caste is forfeited. Slaves who have been freed are welcome to join so long as their papers of manumission are in order.

Gorean Rapid Aging Syndrome** [GORAS]:
A longstanding basic rule of roleplay has been that the proper aging of one's character is 3 mun months equals one Gorean year. Realistically, if you age your character it affects not only your character but the characters of others your character would interact with, whether they are PC or NPC. While the Caste does not seek to police members on the aging of characters, if, during the pending period of registration, a complaint comes before the Chairs that a character has been rapidly aged from a registered member that has had interaction with your character, said rapidly aged character will be registered as a child, with a "C" after their registration number, with non-voting status until the age of majority is attained. This guideline, of course, impacts your standing only within the Gorwide Caste and has no impact on the guidelines of your individual City. If they wish to accept you as an adult, that is their business.

Election process:
An election committee will be put into place 1 month before the elections are due to be held.

Reasons for committee:
1. For appearances - It keeps things neat and tidy especially if there is any unrest within the Caste [which has been seen in other castes not in this one]. No question of tampering favoritism or anything of the like can be declared. It encourages people to participate by actively seeking candidates for the positions that need to be filled. Finally, it takes the concerns of the upcoming election off the shoulders of the present council.

2. General information about the committee: There is normally three. They are appointed by the Chairs of the Caste. They serve normally two terms. They are normally Nonchair members. They actively seek out candidates, thru nominations within the caste, also decreeing if a candidate qualifies to run for office [ie: registered merchant, not a restore/delete character, for GHC reps, making sure the person plays by the GHC gaming format]. They set up and run the election; including collection of ballots and counting the ballots then sending the results to the three chairs and caste scribe. The memberships hall be notified of election results via scroll no later than 1 day after the elections have ended. They of course may be notified sooner if results are in.

Elections are held every Gorean year* [6 earth months September and March, then again in September to complete the cycle]. Nominations for the caste seats are asked for from the membership of registered merchants.Those nominated are then asked if they are willing to run for the seat. Ballots are printed and sent to the membership. They have 5 days to respond with their votes. Once the voting has been terminated, the votes counted and those elected notified ASAP but no later than 24 earth hours after the voting is closed. In order to keep the caste running smoothly, the outgoing chairs will meet with the incoming elected reps to let them know of anything pending. To keep the ideas fresh, no one person may be elected more that 2 consecutive elections for the same seat. One may be nominated for another position within the caste and run.

Seats of the caste:
1st chair: Rresponsible for the day to day running of the caste. Keeps the caste informed of GHC changes and with a bi-weekly newsletter with any info they need to be aware of.

2nd chair: Assists and covers the duties of the first chair when they are out of the realm or should they need help. Complaints from the public about merchants come to this chair, an investigation is held regarding the complaint and brought to the chairs for a hearing. Any complaint not accompanied by a log will not be heard. Also, periodically looks at the guidelines and recommends to the other chairs any changes necessary. Oversees elections and voting within the caste.

3rd chair: Handles applications and registrations of potential merchants. Making sure the web Mistress is kept informed of all new merchants.

2 GHC representatives and alternates: They represent the caste at the GHC meetings [held every other Sun eve 10pm eastern] taking the caste vote back to the GHC meetings. The 1st rep is responsible for keeping the 1st chair of the caste informed of vote results at the GHC meeting.

Lower court Judge: This is a GHC seat as well. This person represents the merchants caste in the GHC court.

Restore/Delete characters:
The Merchants Caste does not encourage restore/delete characters, however, due to mun circumstances, it is possible that any of us might, at some point, have legitimate need to utilize this option. Restore/delete SN's may NOT hold elected office within the caste. This is unfair if your char need be notified for any reason. If you must use this option, please scroll the chairs to let them know you are a r/d char.

(1) No flaming of fellow merchants allowed. That is petty. Disputes should be settled in an adult manner between the parties, not involving the caste as a whole. Caste mail strings MAY NOT be used for such and anyone doing so will be removed from the list of registered merchants.

(2) We are trying to make sure that merchants are fairly represented in Gor. Please respond to mailings and be active in the caste. An active caste is a strong caste!

(3) When mail is sent by a chair, it should be read and responded to if appropriate. Deleting of caste mail is greatly frowned upon. It happens accidentally, but repeated deletings will result in removal from the mail string.

(4) There is honor among merchants. We do try to make a coin and some price gauging is expected, especially in times of war. The customer, to have some fun and to think they got a 'bargain" may attempt to barter the price down. This is of course, up to the individual merchant if he or she wishes to participate. Some basic guidelines to bartering:

The customer would roll 1d5:
1 = 10% below base
2 = 5% below base
3 = base
4 = 5% above base
5 = 10% above base

Guidelines submitted to the caste for ratification on 11/18/00 and voted in on 11/22/00. They have been submitted to the GHC for ratification in respect for the GHC gaming players. Written by Casandra Tuel and Sabina Mikorlis.
*Ratified by the membership May, 2001.
**GORAS [Gorean Rapid Aging Syndrome] voted in 9/03.

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