City of Killers
DakMar sits like a massive rock in the exact center of the desert call Daksandis, which is located many thousands of miles from RhyDin, to the West. It is made from a black rock that seems to absorb the suns rays, and yet when, and if, you enter this massive edifice, it is cool inside.
The first view of it is from miles away, as a dark hump in the middle of absolute bleakness. As you get closer, the mass will resolve itself into a mountain of inpenitratable stone, or so it would seem. One has to be literally at the foot of this place to see the entrance which is carefully conceled.
The entrance is a massive door made of black steel, and carefully guarded. When one passes through the door, they find themselves in a long tunnel, which is fairly well lit, and empties into a large courtyard, surrounded on three sides by low buildings, containing a number of assorted workshops.
There is an eerie silence to the courtyard, and at the head of it, directly across from the tunnel entrance is the main entrance to the very heart of DakMar, rising some 1,000 feet above the courtyard, and keeping the courtyard in perpetual shadow.
In the exact center of this incredible sigh is a set of huge double doors, made of the same black steel, but with a slight differance, as in the center of each door is the Great Seal of DakMar, a dagger dripping blood with the words
" Assassiner c`est le plus court chemin." in gleaming gold around it. The handles of the doors are of the black steel, and it takes two people to open each door.
As you pass through these doors, you enter a long corridor, which is dimly lit, the shadows lending a feeling of death to the already morbid air. The walls are black stone, as is the floor, but the floor is slightly polished, and seems to hold a hint of red in its depths, as if forever stained with blood. Along the length of this hall are doors and stairs, stairs which lead up and down, to either the class rooms, the Main Sparring Hall, the Great Main Hall, living quarters, kitchens, etc...or in the unlucky event...the vast series of rooms far below, which are used for many purposes, most of them painful.
Of the rooms mentioned, the ones that hold the most importance are The Main Sparring Hall, and The Great Hall.
The Main Sparring Hall, which lies directly below the central offices of DakMar, is an impressive room, just in size alone, for it is 200 ft long and 100 ft wide, with the floor being broken into several sections, each holding a sparring ring, and assorted weapons racks.
The floor is covered in a soft dirt-like substance that mufles both foot falls and the sound of bodies hitting it...it also has a secondary purpose of absorbing the blood spilled.
The ceiling is 100 feet straight up, with the only breaks in it being a single square in the exact center, which has been known to open and deposit the bodies of those who have had a not so fun visit to the offices above.
The room is lit by both wall sconces and floor standing candle holders, that are permanatly mounted into the floor, thus preventing anybody picking them up and using them as weapons in a pinch. Along the wall directly across from the simple black oak doors that lead into it, is a long table, raised slightly above the main floor, which has nine chairs along it, the center one being the most elegant and being reserved for the current leader of DakMar, with the others being only slightly less elegant. This table is refered to as the "Masters Table". It is punishable by immediate death for any but the "Masters" to sit at the table.
The Great Hall, which is surprisingly on the same floor as the Main Sparring Hall, is actually the only other real room on this level, and the most impressive. You enter it by huge oak doors, bound with red-gold bands, and a short flight of steps lead down to the main floor of this overwhelming room.
The first thing that impresses itself on your stunned senses is the size of the room, 100 ft long and 50 ft wide. No, it's not as big as the Sparring Hall, but it is still more impressive to the senses, because of the ornateness of it. The walls are highly polished black marble, and down the center, forming an aisle 5 ft wide are massive pillars of the same marble, which are spaced five feet apart and reach up to the arched and ornately carved ceiling, 75 ft above. Down the center of the aisle is a carpet of deep blood red carpet. the aisle leads to the far end where a single alter stands, upon which rests two crimson candles in black diamond candle holders, a crystle bowl, and a simple dagger. The alter itself is of the same black marble, and is covered partially with a piece of matching blood red fabric.
On the wall behind the alter is the original Great Seal of DakMar, with the dagger blade being inlaind in white gold, the dripping blood being thousands of tiny rubies, and the words surrounding it in pure gold.
This is the room where all formal cerimonies are held. This being the case, there are no seats, and the entire room is lit by thousands of candles.
No matter where you go on the inner parts of DakMar, the one thing that remains a constant is the fact that there are always shadows. Even the Great Hall has shadows. When one goes into the outer sections though, there are windows, and even a garden or two. All of this is housed with in the great stone ediffice in the middle of a bleak and inhospitable desert.
One might well ask what purpose does this place serve? It serves two purposes, one, to teach and train assassins, and to serve as an almost impregnable base for those that have been trained. Not all though who are trained at DakMar stay at DakMar. Many chose to leave and to serve elsware, or to freelance. Both are acceptable.
One last note or two here... one, the translation of the name DakMar, it simply means "Death Mountain"....two, the translation of the name Daksandis, which means "Death Sands". Both have been around for a long time, and as testimony of how hard it is to take DakMar...the sands around it are tinted red, from some of the blood baths that have occured in the attempts to wrest it from those within. And over the years, rumors and inuendo have only added to the reputation of this place and those that reside there.
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