The stone-flagged floors are slippery with blood and the hot winds that sigh through the tunnels and chambers of the training schools carry the scent of sweat and desperation from distant cells. A hundred or more men eat, sleep and fight within the prisons of the arena, as most here never leave except to climb the steps to the sand above, where the death-hungry roars of the crowd echo down into the dripping vaults below. Iron rings on iron, shields clash and the crack of whips enforces a bellowed command from a displeased weapon master. In these stygian depths, a warrior will learn the skills he needs to stay alive. He will learn them or he will die. Either at the hands of his fellow gladiators or by the blades of his next opponent.