House of Malkinius

Description of the Main Hall

You enter the main hall of the House of Malkinius through a corridor on the north side of the building from the outside, finally turning left or south into the hall. On the wall to your left are four purple curtains, each covering an area about six feet wide. Between each curtain is a slave ring mounted on the wall about two feet from the floor. You realize you have just walked along the back side of whatever the purple curtains conceal. At the far end of this wall is a narrow wooden door.

In front of the center two curtains is a rectangular sand pit some fifteen feet long by 10 wide. Two slave posts adorn the sand. One in front of each of the center curtains. They are not simple shafts of wood, but drilled and fitted for a variety of uses and attachments.

On the east wall are two red curtains, each about six feet high by three feet wide. To their right is the auction block itself. The dark stained wood floor is about four feet from the floor of the room. It stretches along the wall for at least 30 feet. Its rounded front extends a good twenty feet into the room. The floor is raked slightly with the back about six inches higher than the front giving all a good view of it without seeming to tilt forward. In the center is another slave post. This one a simple post eight feet tall with slave rings on all four sides at the top and also half way down. The back wall is painted with a view of sky and clouds from a bright Gorean day. There is a short series of steps leading down along the wall to the left. There are two doors at each end on the stage which lead into a back area.

Set into the south side of the block opposite the stairs are several lockable cabinets. Various types of Gorean whips are hung on pegs between the stage and the door to the south of the block, though none are higher than the level of the stage. There is a small locked door opening into the area under the stairs. In front of the curved area of the auction block are set furs where slaves await being called to serve a Master. Several dark slave rings, colored to blend in to the wood, await use behind the serving furs.

To the south of the auction block is a door leading into a back area. The south wall holds those things needed for serving, a door to the kitchen and a fireplace. First comes shelves with the utensils needed for serving food and drink of various sorts. Next is a tall wine rack with eight shelves holding bottles of wine racked neck down, mostly Ka-la-na, as well as a few bottles of various less common beverages. Two small casks, one above the other, sit next to the wine rack. The top one holds mead and the other ale from the north so that visitors from the cold northern climes might find appropriate hospitality.

In front of the wine and storage racks is a serving or staging counter with shelves in back for the storage of spices, sugars and other small utensils. Also under the counter is a cask for fresh water and a basin for soiled goblets and plates. The counter is a staging area for the serving of food and drink.

Continuing to the right, a door leads into the kitchens. A large, squat amphorae of Paga sits on a counter, beneath which are bowls and pitchers for the serving of Paga. Next comes the fireplace. It is mostly used for the heating of Paga, Kal-da and the Black wine of Thentis. Small amounts of cooking might be done here or items kept warm on the wall racks within the fireplace. Directly opposite the entrance doorway and to the right of the fireplace is a small stack of firewood for the fireplace.

On the mantelpiece is a small wooden box with an image of mountains carved around the outside. On it is an open slave collar marked with the name of his house. Near it is an unmarked wooden box about one foot on each side. Next to it is a similar box in dark wood, held closed by a brass hasp and lock. A small leather bag, tied tightly shut, sits atop this box. On the right side of the mantlepiece is a flat box about a foot long and six inches wide and high, with a plain silver cup sitting on it, turned upside down.

Along the western wall there are slave rings spaced about every six feet and three feet from the floor. Set high into the wall are windows allowing light to enter and illuminate the auction block in the evenings. In front of the wall are two wooden tables with benches on each side. Four large strong warriors, or six lesser men could sit comfortably to each bench. In between the benches and the auction block is a low, eight foot diameter round table surrounded by furs for sitting in the style of many Paga Taverns.

Between the benches and the fireplace is a large wickerwork chair reserved for the Master of the House. It has furs to either side and one in front of him. It is constructed around a heavy wooden frame. There is a slave ring set into the front leg on each side. Nearby are two stools and extra furs where Free Men or Women might sit or kneel to converse with Malkinius.

While the walls of the hall are currently whitewashed, plans are being made to have frescoes in appropriate designs painted on them. The only exception, is the area behind the auction block. The room is lit from three chandeliers lit with Tharlion oil lamps hung from heavy ropes which extend to pulleys on the western wall and down to cleats where they are tied off. There is enough rope that they can be lowered to a comfortable height for lighting or extinguishing. Unless there is an auction or other activity, the center chandelier is seldom lit and the northern one may have only half its lamps lit.

The room is designed not only for auctions, a time when the furniture would be rearranged and extra seating would be brought in, but especially for the training of slaves in the various sorts of serving environments they might encounter. The only thing the room lacks that many places have is a cold room or a place for the storage of ice. The back areas are currently off limits while construction continues.

Revised 17/10/01