You find yourself within the stucco walls of a large underground holding chamber inside what appeared to be the basement of some sort of living quarters. The various halls and sets of stairs of servants and other inhabitants were an indications of such. Torches blazed and burned with smokeless fire along the wall, lighting what would naturally be a dark space. It was cool despite the dry and warm air that was the outside world, and bare of furniture. It was in contrast to what little of this strange city that you had seen once you were taken from a the cargo hold of a caravan. There was sand from what you could make out of the distance; dunes that surrounded moorish architecture comprising of spires, residential regions, and much larger monolithic towers that made up a rather large and lavish structure. It was a castle of some kind within what appeared to be the heart of this place cut off by various layers of large walled off sections.
Several armored guard stand at the head of this as lines upon lines of people lumbered towards the center and were forced to sit upon the ground with a barking order booming from one of the weapon wielding captors. They wore chain like sheets of metal protruding from turban helmets that covered the face save for their eyes; around their neck, and down the trunk of their body with various strips of plated steel over their arms and legs. To complete the look, each helm of the soldier was dome like, save for a sharp point was tapered off towards the center, giving a vaguely fungal and onion like appearance in nature. All of them wielded a pointed spear within a grasping hand and a sheathed sword at the belt. Uniform and consistent save for their various heights and muscular fitting, there was but a single one of them whose face was revealed. He was a large Rather than letting the ringed armor cover his features, he stood several paces in front of the other soldiers. It appeared as if they were under his control. This unveiled man sported a spruce mustache and older features that betrayed experience. His skin held a sun-kissed complexion that came with many days of physical labor and outdoors. He sported a beard that was colored and peppered with greying white hairs. His hands were placed low at his hips, with a single pair of fingers tapping over the hilt of his sheathed blade even as he slowly paced back and forth across the front line of prisoners. It was as if he were inspecting what was brought before him, stroking his sand dusted fingers through out his facial hair in contemplation.
The room was silent save for the occasional murmurs and whispers from those held captive by the wrists, shackled by metal cuffs that held hands in place close to one another. They were forced to shamble through the halls of a dimly lit hall under the cover of a dark and moonless night, accompanied and corralled by cloaked, armored, and spear wielding men. They spoke a strange dialect of common. There were many of difference races couped up together of various cultural background with nearly all the same common theme; they were exotic and foreign in nature.
It was what seemed like yesterday that you were living your life within the confines of you called normality; whether it was that of a life of lavish and luxurious comfort, or striving day by day for the next meal. Whatever the case may be you had been kidnapped; drugged, beaten, tricked, sold off, or any of the combination of possibility, but regardless: you were now held prisoner among the mass of confused and frightened people that surrounded you.
It was sudden that all eyes drew upon upon the tall and imposing un-named humanoid of a man. He raised a hand through the air and began to speak. "Welcome to Alhariq Almushtaeil; the western gem within the Burning Sands." A cocky grin creased his lips before continuing, "I'm sure a lot of you have questions; some of you have no idea why you have been taken from your homes and family, while other know exactly why they are here. Some of you were specifically 'scouted out' for your 'exotic'' features, while others have a debt to honor." He said with a sour taste of arrogance thrown in his tone. Letting his features furrow back into a more much more stern expression. "I am Staff Sergeant Eadla, and by the world of our holy Sultan, King Thueban 'Ahmar; you are hereby property of our glorious leader and shall serve as such! You no longer have the rights of a freeman." The sergeant barked, letting his hand fall back down to the handle of his scabbarded saber.
The soldier paused for a moment, letting the words sink before continuing, letting a subtle sigh follow his next choice of words. "Luckily for some of you, our King has demanded that we set him up with entertainment for some up and coming guests of his. Under normal circumstances, you would be put to work immediately after receiving living quarters and be held for the remainder of your life, but our lord has graciously allowed you all the opportunity to compete and fight for your freedom. Quite literally." He said, raising his free hand up in front of his chest and rolling a hand at the wrist. "You will be divided up into teams and engage in combat. The winners will be granted citizenship and the ability to leave while the losers.. Well.." Eadla drew a line across his throat with a single finger before letting a sharp hiss escape his lips. "Alright. Round them up and take them to their rooms." With a gesture from his fingers, those armored and faceless soldiers began to break people off based on numbers.
"You. You.. You. And You! A female voice called out from under one of the masking helms and shroud like chainmail that covered her cheeks. The woman was monstrous in size with piercing hazel eyes glowering through her cover. "Follow me." She commanded before taking you with a small group of others up the stairs. The process of being 'checked in' had already begun and the gears were moving. She turned to each prisoner after guiding the small group of people throughout one of the elongated halls, stopping at a section of the wall that held a door that looked as if it were made of stone in of itself. Barking an order for you to extend out your wrists before moving to the next prisoner and unlock the shackles that kept you bound. "No funny business. You will permitted one nights worth of rest, fitted, and then you will prepare to fight." She growled.
At least your hands were free from those confining cuffs..