A panthan is a Martian soldier of fortune. Traveling from place to place, they fight for whoever is willing to buy their services. Most Red Martian men who get stuck behind enemy lines will pose as panthans to avoid being questioned by locals. Prince Carthoris of Helium, for instance, posed as the panthan Turjun when he and Kar Komak ended up in Dusar, as Dusar was at that time preparing for the possibility of a war with Helium. Many of the former members of the Holy Therns became panthans after John Carter exposed their cult as a fraud.The downside of being a panthan is that panthans are automatically drafted into the local military if they happen to enter a kingdom at war. When Carthoris was posing as Turjun, he was drafted into the army of Dusar.