The town of Aranaxium is unique in the land of Traykon. The ancient manor overlooking the sleepy little township is actually the not-so-secret headquarters of a guild of ruthless killers. The Assassin's Guild, known to the outside world as "The Guild", is the reason why this town has remained autonomous from it's founding. General consensus is that it would cost more in lives and resources to drive the assassins out of their home than any ruler is willing to sacrifice. Due to this, the town of Aranaxium has never suffered under the rule of some foreign power or local monarch.
The guild leaders are a shadowy group of individuals who keep their identities secret and guide the guild with ruthless efficiency. No one has knowingly met with the leaders of the guild and survived. When people want to approach the guild, they simply send an emissary to this town to let their need by known. Someone from the guild will contact the person wanting the contract directly. Many people have tried to impersonate members of the guild over the centuries, all of them have died horrible deaths.
The Guild was operating during the time of Valislad. It was one of the few "civilized" areas north of the Dragon Mountains. After the fall of Valislad, The Guild survived. Refugees fled north from the grand cities and centers of knowledge and commerce. Soon, whole kingdoms rose up around Araxanium. Petty rulers and grant tyrants fought for control in the power vacuum that arose from the fall of such a large kingdom. The Guild thrived.
Today, the guild is just as powerful as it was in ancient days. The Guild fosters a loyalty in its members that transcends familial bonds. Training is provided to guild members that molds them into ruthless killing machines. Many guild members were once orphans or street urchins who were "discovered" but current members and initiated into the guild. This makes the guild more of a safe haven and home to its members than a place of work.
When an assassin is not working on a contract or when he is recovering from wounds, he stays at the manor in Araxanium. Guests are allowed in the manor but are watched closely. Fighting is forbidden within the guild unless it is sanctioned by the guild leaders.
Contracts created by the guild are always in proportion to the target. If some farmer wants his neighbor eliminated, then he can expect to pay the equivalent of near 100 gold. If a merchant wants his greatest rival slain, then he should expect to pay around 10,000 gold. If a monarch wants the king who is pressuring him eliminated, then the cost goes in excess of 100,000 gold.