::::Serris's Guide to Becoming a Trautaru Dark Knight::::
(The Eternal Struggle For Acceptance)

                                                                                
**Disclaimer**
This guide is Copyright 2004 and is the property Serris and may not be used in 
any way shape or form unless approved by me in an email.  If you wish to use my 
guide please contact me though e-mail and I will most likly be happy to let you 
post it.

**Version History**

1.0: First stage of the guide which will be updated as e-mails are sent to me. 


>>Table of Contents<<

1.0: Introduction
1.1: Entering the Ways of the Taru
1.2: Applying the Ways of the Taru to a Drk 
1.3: Great Sword or Scythe What's a taru To Do?
1.4: Magic a Taru Drk's Greatest Ally
1.5: Enhancing Your Taruness With Subjobs
1.6: Finding Your Strength Though Abilities as a Taru Drk
1.7: Playing the Role and Living the Life
1.8: Things to Keep in Mind 
1.9: The Final Word and the Most Important Thing for a Taru Drk
2.0: Special Thanks and Contact Information

1.0: >>Introduction<<
              
This is a guide for those of you tarutaru's out there that aspire to become one 
of the greatest melee classes of all time, the dark knight(drk).  Now those of 
you thinking this class is unconventional for such a race fail to see the 
greatness that is taru.  The fun of the game is to mix up the combinations any 
way you want, and a taru drk is no exception.  So for those of you thinking of 
attempting the drk career in the form of a taru don't shy away from it.  Don't 
be discouraged by what you may have heard from others, a taru drk can and will 
exist.  That is the very same reason I chose to write this FAQ, to share the 
awesomeness of a taru drk to all and perhaps, increase their population in the 
world of FFXI.  So read on if you wish to gain the knowlege of the life of a 
Tarutaru drk and how to make the most of it.

1.1: >>Entering the Ways of the Taru Drk<<
                                                                                
Tarutaru's as is well known to many people of FFXI are prone to mass magic 
usage, the ulitmate mage really.  Smaller, more intelligent, and slightly more 
agile then a hume these little guys pack a punch with the right equipment.  
What seems to fit is a mass amount MP that should follow with such statistics 
and so it does, this is to be utilized throughout a taru's career.  To get rid 
of the magic componenent of a taru is like taking the essence of their lives 
away from them,instead of trying to get rid of the MP use it to it's maximum 
potential.  Due to this great amount of MP, HP at times can be much lower then
that of other races.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this, the most
obivious being the fact of death which seems to play a unfortunate role in
every character's time, from things to just battle damage or a terrible 
status of poison (Serket comes to mind... O.o).  That aside the only way the 
HP disadvantage can be a problem is if a taru's MP is not utilized to 
compansate.  Think in the ways of healing, support, and extra damage, these 
all compensate for such HP problems.  Items that enhance hp and take away MP
utilize MP as well if so needed.  Embrace the magic power that has been given
to you and then you will truly see the undeniable powers of a taru.
                                                                               
1.2: >>Applying the Ways of the Taru to a Drk<<
65                                                                   
Being a taru drk is alot more complicated than that of any of the other races.  
When you,as a taru take up this job you also must be fully aware of what's 
expected of you. You will be expected to do close to if not exactly the amount
of damage an elvann drk can deal out in a fight.  This at first can be a 
daunting task and a harsh reality, but fortunately with the right equipment taru
drk can do that or even more damage then an elvann in a party.  The first and 
foremost key to being a taru drk is that you have to have gil and a solid method
of getting it.  Before you go any further in this guide ask yourself if you have
these stable funds and if not take a class like blm or whm first, lvl it, and 
make some gil, you'll need it.  With that said your first and greatest priortiy
is a high damage scythe/great sword.  This amount of damage is going to be your
main strength so always go with high attack power over dex increasing weapons.
Such as barbarian scythe, which may be bad for elvann's, do to their terrible
accuracy but for taru's it only makes us more powerful.  After getting 
sufficient weaponary you should begin looking for things that increase your 
accuarcy(acc). Although your acc may be greater than all races but mithra drk's
still miss alot of the time especially with scythes/great swords. Without acc
boosting equip you'll be unable to hit and therefore any damage you maybe able
to do is useless.  Don't give into the temptation to raise your strength, we as
tarus must face the truth on this one, and that truth is: no matter how much we
boost our strength we will never have the stats of a elvann, never mind a galka.
But if we can land hits more often and and boost our raw attack power 
(Ex: Barbarian scythe which elvann drks should never use with +25 attack 
with -5 acc) tarus can surpass these things.  Next you want to buy spells for 
your drk, this is especially important for a taru drk because we are applying 
what was said above, embracing your magical ability.  This can be any range of
spells for drk but may also include others do to different sub choices and 
preferences.  The use and usefulness of these spells shall be stated in later
sections of the guide, just be aware now that these should be your 3rd 
priority. The last of your priorities is your armor, although there may be some 
exceptions to the rule (Haubergeon, Hauberk, Thick Gear) in general this should
be the least of your worries as a taru drk, although it shouldn't be ignored,
with a small amount of hp armor can make all the difference.  Taking hits in
general in a party shouldn't be something you want to do anyways unless you
have some sort of suicide wish.  Unfortunatly it's a fact of FFXI life that as
a drk you are going to take some damage, and face it, your going to die more
than once throughout your partying career, the hope is to prevent this and keep
your taru happy and alive.  So with that said if all the armor available to you
at your current level doesn't increase your attack or acc then go with the best
possible defence.  Spend whatever you have left over on this and if you really
have alot of cash to burn buy yourself some food to enhance your abilities even
further.  After this your all suited up and ready to go party and get some good
xp!

1.3: <<Great Sword or Scythe What's a Taru To Do?>>
                                                                                
I bring the great debate upon this guide about drk weapon choice, sycthes or 
great swords.  Each weapon has it's ups and downs and I will first state the 
pro's and con's of each then following with my own advice afterwards.  
Ultimately it's up to you which you choose no one is going to argue about a drk
using a great sword or a scythe unless the weaponskill holds value within a 
party skillchain, with one of the weapons.

--Great Swords--

Pros: -Faster attack speed than scythes 
      -Cheaper to buy at low levels then scythes
      -The ability to attain Spinning Slash weapon skill at level 66

Cons: -Reglularly have lower attack then scythes at the same level
      -Ridculiously expensive at higher levels
      -Weapon skills before Sickle Slash are weaker compared to scythe skills

--Scythes--

Pros: -Higher attack than great swords at the same level(generally)
      -Cheaper at higher levels then great swords (usually by a great amount)
      -Powerful weapon skills earlier then great sword such as Guillotine
      
Cons: -Very Slow in comparison to great swords
      -Can be expenisive to use at low levels
      -Spinning Slash destroys all scythe skills with higher damage overall
                                                                
Recommendations:  As a drk your weapon abilties get to great levels in both of 
these weapons, sycthe only being higher by about 1-3 points.  So as such this 
makes choosing one quite hard still because the numbers are so close.  When I 
was just starting out personally I used scythes, why? One word... Guillotine.
This is an amazing skill to say the least and is one of the most damaging 
weaponskills aside from Sidewinder at that level. I had alot of people asking
me for weaponskills (level 50+) such as Sickle Moon and other Great Sword 
skills.  So I began to level Great Sword to it's max level late in the game,
but then I found that people wanted scythe skills as well (this being before
Spinning Slash).  So what I have found is that drk's are important for damage
but also must able to skillchain correctly with other party members.  So I
say why limit yourself to one weapon? We drk's are talented in both types so
level them equally.  Pre-level 66 I suggest mainly use scythe for xp parties
and try to "skill up" Great Sword on your own time.  When you hit 66 use 
Great Sword as all parties will expect the godly damage of Spnning Slash at 
a drk's command.  From 66 on you will most likly stick to Spinning Slash 
until level 75 as it's just that damaging.  Although if you wish to solo 
after 66 I would suggest a scythe, so don't neglect to level up your scythe
after level 66.  Once again the choice is yours the guide is written for both
weapons so don't feel you must stay with this strategy.  This is purely based
on my experience and the thoughts of others.

1.4: <<Magic a Taru Drk's Greatest Ally>>

Magic, the essence of a good taru mage and and the core of a good taru drk, 
as it is well known drk's use black magic to enhance their already great attack 
power.  The problem with this is that the black magic of a drk is never used in 
a party even though it's damage potential only increases the potent melee of a 
drk.  As taru we are magically inclined with huge amounts of mp even with a 
non-mage sub.  This could possibly be one of the taru drk's greatest aspects, 
with such mp backed with the highest intelligence of all races of drks we can 
really do some damage or heal it.  What is done with this magical potential is 
truly up to the sub as well as the current level of your drk.  Regardless of 
sub there are key things that should be utilized as drk within the array of 
magic you can get, but before you go off nuking all those monsters out there 
know that you are no black mage(blm) or even red mage(rdm).  There will never 
be a time where you can out damage a blm and only at lower levels with the 
correct sub can you keep up with a rdm.  Also we as drk's with lower defense 
and a smaller hp count will want to control the amount of hate to keep the 
monster(mob) that is being fought on the tank.  So we must controlnukes and use
them at the correct times, being a drk has alot to do with hate control as well
as damage.  What we wish to through black magic is a enhancing of our melee 
damage.  With this said don't expect to do 500 damage with one spell, it's it's
just not going to happen, what we want is small amounts of damage after each 
physical swing.  By doing this each time the damage accumulates while getting
small hate gain.  Think of this: you hit a mob for 60 every attack and cast
stone each time afterwards for 6 extra damage, do this 10 times and you just
racked up another melee attack that you didn't have to do.  As an added bonus
this damage is unblockable, uncounterable, and never misses(although sometimes
resisted).  Stack this with a blm sub and watch the damage pile up.  This is a
great statagey for taru drk's until absorb spells become available, since no
other race really has the mana to do it.  Just remember small spells after every
attack, in otherwords don't cast Stone II and things like that.  These do to
little damage for the cost and take to long to cast.  Once absorb spells become
available it turns into a whole new game for us tarus.  With these taru drks
can make a scary enemy into a slightly less scary enemy by limiting their stats
and adding to their own.  It's impairitive that you aquire these spells or you
will not be casting anything after level 50 as it'll just be a waste of time and
mana.  When you aquire these spells it is your duty as a taru drk to drain that
mob of all it's stats as much as you can, as the drains wear off it is your job
to keep them there and cast them again.  There are a few exceptions as different
drains adapt to different situations, sometimes its unconventional to cast
certain drains in certain fights(Absorb Charisma comes to mind...).  Listen to
your parties needs and don't let it interfere with your skillchain if you have
one.  You will continue this draining until the end of your partying career
at level 75 as damage spells will no longer be of use to you.  I will give a
brief summery of some of the spells to get and the ones to ignore unless your
a perfectionist.

--Spells To Get--

- Elemental spells up to but not including stone II
These spells like I said give that little extra damage to your melee attacks as 
taru this constitues as using your mana effectively.
- All absorb spells (Especially Asb-DEX)
These are the core of a taru drk's magic arsenal, without these there will be no
magic using for you after these levels and all the way to level 75.
- Drain/Aspir
These spells are one of best things a drk has, and with the MP to cast them over
and over how can we taru's do without? The drain spell MP cost is very little at
high levels. It's the most damaging spell at a taru drk's disposal, and it heals
you which is great for those emergency cases.  Aspir at higher levels actually 
becomes useful when it's not resisted, being able to get back some that MP is 
always useful.
- Stun
This spell can be a saving grace for many xp parties especially against the 
notorious goblin bomb.  Super fast to cast and stops most special attacks/spells
you can't go wrong with this one.  On the downside the effectiveness of this
spell is completely upon the drk that's using, timing is critical, and it can
get tricky at times.


--Spells to Ignore--

- Elemental spells after and including Stone II
All these spells are pretty much useless as they take far to long to cast and
use a large amount of mp for the damage output. A taru drk is much better off
with smaller spells that cast faster and cost less.
- Poison/Poison II/Posionga
Near useless in party situations and even in soloing the only thing you might
want it for is pulling.  In order for this to be effective you must have a 
high enfeeble skill, which is mostly a skill that drk's hardly use depending 
on sub.  The damage this does is negelgible... but if you were to level up
your enfeble skill and make poison II stick all the time, this could be 
effective.  As of now I have seen no evidence to support this theory if 
anyone has any info please email me on this.
- Bind
Holding your opponent in a postion so they can attack you may be a cool 
thing to play around with, but in the long run our taru drk's strength lies
in our melee attacks and unless you want to unleash some high level elemental
spells at the mob (which isn't very effective anyways) your doing pretty much
nothing but halting the mobs advance which, in most cases you want when it 
comes to xp.  
- Sleep/Sleep II
Once again another ineffective spell do to a drk's enfeeble skill.  This may
save you in emergencies but chances are it's going to be resisted and give you
alot of hate leading to an untimely death for your little taru.  Leave things
like this to the rdm in your party.
- Bio/Bio II

The spell itself seems useful, damage over time and lower attack power,
unfortunatly it has one fatal flaw, it doesn't stack with Dia/Dia II which
kills any usefulness it may have had.  Most parties will ban you from using
this spell as it screws up Dia and most parties find this spell to be more 
effective then Bio.  This may not be completely true but it seems that this
is the common thought throughout parties, and as such, it should be 
ignored until opinions of it change.
- Tractor
Tractors a dead ally's body to you.  Only useful in some situations and most of
the time your rdm or whm will have this ability anyways so in theory it is 
useless to have unless you have the gil to burn on it.

1.5: <<Enhancing Your Taruness With Subjobs>>

After level 15 there is a point where your little taru can gain access to whole
new aspect of the job system through subjobs.  This shouldn't be a problem as 
we should all have the subjob option by now (hopefully.... and if not why?!?!).
Tarus have a few options that are not available to other races with such small 
MP pools to draw upon.  It may also be a good idea to read this then level 
your chosen sub to 30 and then unlock the drk job that way.  By doing this 
there is no need to go back and level a sub (Which is a painful process might I
add, thief leveling wasn't fun).  So here I'll list the taru drk subs that are
effective, and neglect listing the ones which are obviously terrible 
(ex: drk/brd).  I have personally tried most of these subs at the highest sub 
level on my drk and will give my own opinion based upon experience and the 
thoughts of others in the various parties I have been in.
                                                                                
--Drk/White Mage(whm)--
For any other race this as a sub would seem unconventonal, and in a way it is.
Most people will say that a drk's job is to maximize damage, and they're quite
right it's one the key aspects that comes with the job.  These people see taru
drk's as an imitatation elvann/galka drk, they neglect the fact that our MP 
nearly doubles most jobs at the same level and this makes white magic effective.
With this you can toss a few character's heals (as you have as much MP as a 
Hume rdm at the same level) without having to rest for a long time.  This is 
not saying that your a healer when you choose this sub but you're definately a
key support healer in times of need.  You can lessen downtime by a great 
amount with the right useage of MP which varies from party to party.  As well
your tank may be thankful when you toss him a Cure II when the main healer is 
in  mid-cast or is out of MP.  I found this sub to be effective until about 
level 40-50 when  higher level cures finally become available to whm's and 
rdm's which makes this sub obsolete.
--Drk/Black Mage(blm)--
There is alot of controversy about this sub for a Taru drk, the fact of the 
matter is it offers a wider range of spells while increasing your MP pool even
further.  With blm as a sub you should should really be employing the 
"Swing and nuke strategy" because those little add on damage spells just got a
little more potent with this sub(once again you won't be nuking like a blm, 
maybe like a rdm at low levels like pre-level 30) *See section 1.4 for more on
this*.  There are alot of taru drk's that go this way with subbing blm do to 
their previous job choice before drk (that and warrior(war) isn't fun to level
for a taru).  This sub works well at lower levels for a taru drk, although you
may get complaints for some people and partying my be a little harder as 
invites may be slim compared to that of a elvann drk/war that is so common in 
FFXI today.  The extra damage utilizes that huge mp pool tarus have and that 
additional damage never hurts.  The warp spell you get at level 34 with blm as 
a sub is very nice as it saves your precious conquest points for other things.
At higher levels you will aquire the spell Escape which is really nice if you
need to get your party out of a tough spot.  The other spells you aquire are
mostly useless, the sub is there more for magic attack power then anything 
else.  This sub is one I personally used until about level 38 as it was the 
job I had used before I moved to drk so it was convienent to sub at the time.
I would say use this as a sub for no longer then level 40 or so as it's 
usefulness to a party goes down significantly after elemental spells become
less potent and you ditch the "swing and nuke" strategy for the absorb spells.

--Drk/Red Mage(rdm)--
With this sub you get a little more enfeeble power with this sub and a mix of 
healing and damaging magic.  With this though comes the disadvantage of variety
which is less powerful spells.  Almost every spell you get in black magic you 
attain as a drk anyways and your cure spells are gimped in comparision to a whm.
The only thing that may be interesting about this sub is the use of en-spells 
such as enfire and enblizzard.  These spells will add elemental damage to your
attacks plus whatever you add on from nuking after each melee swing.  This is a
great way to rack up even more damage with an unfortunate loss of white magic.
So when taking this sub you make a choice to have less healing power and more
damage dealing capabilities.  The choice is up to you, personally I believe
sticking to blm or whm sees to have more advantages, and the fact that you
never do get refresh (one of, if not the most important magic spell a rdm has)
kind of makes this sub lack luster.  If this sub is chosen though I wouldn't
recommend taking it any further then level 40-50, when your healing spells will
become obsolete.

--Drk/Samurai(Sam)--
This is sub that should never be used pre-level 60 as the stat gains and 
abilities are lacking in comparison to other subs such as whm or blm.  The main
reason to have this sub is the ability Meditate which is gained at level 30 by
sam's.  In taking this sub you take upon yourself the responsiblity to control
your hate more-so then before and the ability to do more then one skillchain
with another party member.  What I mean by hate control is that if you fire off
two weapon skills each close to 700 damage (stacked with Souleater of course)
not only are you going to have low HP but the hate you gain from the mob is 
going to be so strong that even the best of tanks are going to have a hard time
getting it off you.  This will lead to a quick death for us taru's if not
handled properly.  The exchange is godly damage to the mob that even blm's are
gonna have a hard time topping.  Just know that if this sub is used the main 
focus should be to control your hate.  I personally would never go with this
sub just due to the hate gain and high chance of death in xp parties, with the
hate in mind and a fear of death always haunting you Meditate will never be 
fully used to it's greatest potential.  If you chose this sub and are good with
it you can take it all the way to level 75 without much compliants from anyone.

--Drk/Ninja(Nin)--
This is a typical late game setup for soloing as well as big battles with NM's
(Notorious Monsters). This is a great sub to have for such things but in a party
it lacks usefulness towards enhancing your job.  Until level 74 your stuck with
the slow Utsusemi Ichi (Blink ninja spell) so that also kinda takes a bit away
from it's luster.  In parties as a taru drk you shouldn't be getting hit at all
or very little, that's the tank's job, so Blink is usless.  All the other 
ninjitsu spells you get aren't very effective due to your low skill level in 
using them.  The Dual weild is nice to have but is nothing compared to a good 
scythe or great sword (unless you have a kraken club).  So personally I wouldn't
recommend this sub for partying or even solo really until level 74+ where it
becomes super useful.

--Drk/Warrior(War)--
This is the most common sub for all drk's pre-level 60.  The most useful things
about this sub are the stat bonuses and the all important Double Attack ability
attained when your drk reaches level 50.  War will increase your strength and
vitality which helps out with many aspects of a taru drk's job.  It also has
useful abilities such as Berserk, and as mentioned above Double Attack.
Berserk is helpful in that it raises attack power slightly and if used before a
weapon skill causes slightly more damage then normal.  Double Attack is the main
reason for subbing war as it improves attack power as you may attack two times
every attack phase, and well as can give you to chances to hit and more TP in
the long run, as such it's a very effective sub to have for all drk's not
exculding taru drk's.  With all these extras there are drawbacks one of these
being the ability to Provoke.  Now one may think this is a good thing to have,
but we are basing that on the fact that the drk can actually take hits and
survive long enough for the tank to grab back hate or the party to recover.  In
the case of tarus this is almost always wrong and the party if not killed in the
process is left with one dead taru drk.  This is another harsh reality that we
as tarus must face especially as drk's with little defence potential.  This is
one of the main reasons why most people sub blm instead of this, first off a
warrior taru is a very hard thing to level, and voke with any other class then 
paladin(pld) and nin kills them very quick.  At level 59 with a Haubergeon +1
equipped I was only able to take between 2-4 hits from Incredibly Tough mobs.
For some reason though alot of the time you are still expected to Provoke for
things such as SATA(Sneak Attack + Trick Attack) for thf's.  That aside it is
well known that this is the best sub for drk's pre-level 60 if you can stand to
go through the pains-taking process of leveling it.  I personally would've used
this sub if I could start all over again, the bonuses are nice and Double Attack
is to good to pass up.  This sub should be used until level 60 but can be used
all the way to 75.  The amount of time you use this sub (if you have it) really
depends on your own preferences and the parties you get into (some parties may
ask for a war sub).

--Drk/Thief(Thf)--
This is the typical late game combo for most drk's that works extremely well for
most.  The key to this is the two abilities Sneak Attack and Trick Attack(SATA)
which improves damage greatly when used with a weaponskill.  For those of us not
versed in the ways of a thf, Sneak Attack works when you use any physical attack
behind a mob and Trick Attack works when you do any physical attack behind a
party member this move will then transfer any hate gained to that party member,
these effects also stack.  With that said the greatness of this sub is 
self-explanitory, more damage, less hate, yes please.  At this point you become
the control for alot of the hate that flies around during a fight, a common
strategy is to have another party member provoke and then you SATA on the tank
giving that character massive hate.  This will also help you  stay alive when 
you use the highly damaging Souleater + weaponskill combo as well as more
damage. This sub also adds agility and dexterity to your drk which are two very
benificial stats for your drk.  The drawbacks are really non-existant other
than maybe no strength bonus and more responsiblity in parties.  I personally
used this sub after level 50 because at the time I didn't have a war sub and
I got no complaints from people.  If I were to recommend a level to use this
sub at it would be 60+ be that is when you obtain Trick Attack from the sub
but if not it's still quite a good sub for pre-60 levels although war in my
opinion is better.  This sub will take you to level 75 if you have it fully
leveled for subbing.


1.5: <<Finding Your Strength Through Abilities as a Taru Drk>>

A key part of every job is the abilities contained within, these can make or
break a character.  Unfortunatly as drk's the pool of abilities we have to draw
upon is small compared to some classes, but on the plus side we at least get one
good one.  If I were to truly sum up a drk's abilities for a Taru drk I would
just describe Souleater and be done with it but this being a full comprehensive
guide, and for those of you that want to know everything about this job I will
list the rest of drk's pretty useless abilities.  Just keep in mind as you
attain these abilities you actually may find a use for them for early levels for
about two seconds..... keep going because Souleater is only level 30 and this is
the true power of a drk at it's best.

--Blood Weapon-- (level 1)
This is drk's two-hour ability apparently supposed to be used in emergency 
situations.  For each hit we land on the mob we get back that much in HP, kinda
like drain on a stick.  This lasts for a duration of 30 seconds (In which most
drk's get only 2-3 hits max, and that's if they actually hit) which is a 
insanely short time for weapons most drk's weild.  The best use for this is to
stack it with souleater in times of trouble and regain as much HP as lose from
Souleater, this is the only way ability will save you most of the time.
Although this ability can be fun with a super-low delay dagger with Double
Attack, other then that and for Souleater it's practically useless.

--Arcane Circle-- (level 5)
Wow this ability is about as good as a Dragoon's ability to protect against
wyverns, all this does is give you and all other party members a very 
slight (and I mean very slight) resistance to Arcana.  On the plus side it
looks kinda cool and it's always nice to have something cool to use if your
out of fireworks at appropriate moments throughout the game.

--Last Resort-- (level 15)
This is finally a somewhat useful ability until level 30, as it raises your
attack slightly for a short period of time.  This can also be stacked with
Souleater at later levels for a slight increase in damage.  This ability is
alot like Berserk for war but with one fatal drawback, it has a built in Provoke
for the mob your party is fighting at the time, and for those of you that have
read about the war sub for drk in section 1.4, you know how bad Provoke is for a
taru drk.  Also just like Berserk it lowers your overall defence as if the 
Provoke wasn't bad enough for us.  So to recap, slight attack increase, huge
loss to overall defence, and Provoke on the mob.  Use this ability with care as
it can be your death, be sure you trust your tank to hold the hate.

--Weapon Bash-- (level 20)
This ability has potential when you first hear of what it does, a chance to stun
a mob and stop an attack.  What isn't told to you is how big this "chance" is,
which is, suffice to say, very low.  Basically this only deals a small amount of
extra damage to the mob if you ever wish to use it and if you actually get a
stun out of it that's a bonus.  On that note, don't use it unless you really
need a stun and want to "roll the dice" for a chance at one.

--Souleater-- (level 30)
Finally, the best and really only great ability at your taru drk's disposal.
This move amplifies damage by taking away HP with each hit.  This is not only
great for normal attacks but when paired with a weaponskill the damage is
amazing to say the least, and if that weaponskill is multi-hit (*cough* 
Guillotine *cough*) then you get souleater for each hit.  Now take this and
pair it with a SATA attack as well as Last Resort and you got yourself one 
crazy attack that can cut down even the scariest of xp mobs.  When using this
ability remember to watch your life total and always be aware that if used
without SATA you will gain great amounts of hate when your doing so much 
damage.  So what's best is stack it with SATA if you have thf sub at level 60
otherwise be sure to control that hate.  On a side note many people believe
that Souleater is gimped by a taru's low HP count and indeed it is, but we
can make up for that through the use of our MP.  For this point I shall
employ some of Blitzaruya's calculations off of the VN Boards.  (I take no
credit for the any of the points or calculations shown here the credit on
this goes to Blitzaruya for the great info.)  The original post may be found
here: http://vnboards.ign.com/The_Dark_Knight/b22535/63390813/?22 

Of all the arguments people have against Taru DRK, the largest and seemingly
most formidable is that "with their low life, they wont be able to souleater
as much" 

Instead of theorize, i will use simple mathmatics using the o so beloved
stat calculator 

I will comepare 
Taru DRK/WHM 
with an Elvaan DRK/WHM 

I choose lvl 50 as a comparison level 

50 Taru DRK/WHM HP: 690 
50 Elvaan DRK/WHM HP: 912 

The way soul eater works is that it takes 10% of your remaining life and
adds it to your base damage. For this comparison, I will say that each 
character will soul eater until they are at 50% life. 

x = Taru DRK/WHM's base damage (irrelevant what number it is) 

y = Elvaan DRK/WHM's base damage 

Step 1: Taru 
damage on first hit = x + .1(690) 
= x + 69 
damage on second hit = x + .1(690-69) 
= x + 62.1 (HP at 81%) 
damage on third hit = x + .1(621-62.1) 
= x + 55.89 (HP at 73%) 
damage on fourth hit= x + .1(503.01) 
= x + 50.3 (HP at 66%) 
damage on fifth hit = x + .1(452.71) 
= x + 45.27 (HP at 59%) 
damage on sixth hit = x + .1(407.44) 
= x + 40.74 (HP at 54%.. stopping now) 

so the total extra damage the taru did from soul eater is = 323.3 

Step 2: Elvaan 
same process 

damage on first hit = y + .1(912) 
= y + 91.2 
damage on second hit = y + .1(820.8) 
= y + 82.08 
damage on third hit = y + .1(738.72) 
= y + 73.87 
damage on fourth hit = y + .1(664.85) 
= y + 66.48 
damage on fifth hit = y + .1(598.37) 
= y + 59.83 
damage on sixth hit = y + .1(538.54) 
= y + 53.85 (HP now at 54%) 

total damage from soul eater for the Elvaan = 427.31 

thats only a 104 damage difference (assuming their base damage is same). While
i could have shown this by just 50% of each of their lives and comparing, some
people need to see it step by step.  Now, lets see how we could make up this 
"lost" damage. Since the taru has more MP( Taru MP = 419 Elvaan = 215), he can
do more drains (even though 1 minute timer) without rest... very useful during
chaining. With the more MP, he could heal himself much more mid-soul eater, 
thus chaning the damage dealt by soul-eater, he could enfeeble much more, and
he can heal the WHM when needed. Also let's remember than the taru will have
more INT, so his dark spells will land harder than the elvaan.  I know there
are better races to compare against, but i chose elvaan because it has a good
balance of HP and STR, 2 things which the taru lack.

*End of Calculations*


1.7: <<Playing the Role and Living the Life>>

Here is the section where I will outline the life of a taru drk from level to
level.  The things you should be doing, the options you have, the equipment
you should wear it's all here.  This is based upon my own experiences on the
Bismarck server as seen through the eyes of my own character Serris.  This
will not only outline the path I took but some of the things I believe I
should've done when I look back now as well as other perspectives do to
different sub choices and weapon choice.  I will go up to level 50 after that
I believe it's time for you to learn on your own make your own mistakes and
choices.  This will be the only way you'll become your own person and develop
your own style.  This path should be taken as suggestion because it is truly
up to you to find and walk your own path.

There will be a summery after each phase the definitions of the terms used
therein are as follows:

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: The levels the phase starts at and ends at.
Subjob: My subjob recommendation at the end of the phase. 
End Recommendation Weapons: My recommendation for the end weapons 
*************************    for the current phase. 
                             (The bare minimum you should have)

--The Beginning--
So your a new drk just emerging into a new world of existence, don't be afraid,
put your best foot forward and step into this job with both eyes open and a goal
to succeed and you'll do great.  I found myself from levels 1-12 leveling in 
South/North Gustaberg soloing mobs and then moving on to tougher things as my
abilities increased.  Other areas such as Windurst's Sarutabaruta and 
San d'Oria's Ronfaure/La Theine Plateau are good as well.  Just get a feel for
what mobs you can and cannot kill for your current level, as well if you ask
nicely most people are always willing to help out low level people.  At this
point any sub seems to work out of the ones listed in section 1.5, with war 
and thf being two of the best choices if you have them.  I subbed blm actually
at this point and it worked out fine I just needed to throw some black magic
into the mix from time to time.  Armor should not be much of a problem at this
point just get the highest defence you can afford off the auction house(AH) and
if bronze armor is all then that's fine to although you may be slightly less
effective at levels 7-9.  As for weapons I went with scythe but great sword is
also good to use.  For scythe I used a Brass Zaghnal if you can get the +1
version then all the better, as for great swords(GS) Deathbringer is a great
choice with all that extra attack but if you have low defence then you may just
want to start out with your first GS until you can move to claymore.  When
moving on to level 10 with a scythe go for the Legionnaire's Scythe as 
strength+(STR) is always good.

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 1-12
Subjob: Any from Section 1.5
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Claymore / Scythe= Legionnaire's Scythe
***********************

--Your First Partying Experience--
Once you hit level 12 you can finally start partying full time and show everyone
the great taru you've become.  Now you want to keep in mind that although you
maybe packing some great armor you are no tank, leave that job to the war's.
If you are asked to tank politely refuse if it persists leave you will only
bring death upon yourself.  So now that you got a good party it's time to move
to the Valkurm Dunes.  If you are using scythe stick with Legionnaire's Scythe
as there isn't much need to upgrade to Plantreaper until 15 where you can get
Bastok and Republic Scythes if you can afford them.  As for GS stick with
claymore till level 13 where getting Flame Claymore should be your greatest
priority. 

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 12-15
Subjob: Any from Section 1.5
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Flame Claymore / Scythe= Legionnaire's Scythe
***********************        

--Learning on the Job--
At 15 we are graced with another ability that is semi-useful when used 
correctly, Last Resort.  We are still suck in valkurm dunes and as such we as
taru drk's should consentrate on staying alive.  Use Last Resort only when you
know it's safe and continue to rack up that damage by nuking some after every
attack.  Hate control is now a must be very careful, if you get to much lay
off the nukes and just attack normally.  If you really have alot of hate then
disengage and wait for it to turn to the tank then engage again.  Continue in
the dunes until level 20. Scythe users should upgrade at 20 to a Cruel Scythe
which is a great scythe for drk's, and for GS users we are going to want to 
go with the Braveheart if you can afford it if not go for the Platoon Sword.
   
**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 15-20
Subjob: Any from Section 1.5
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Platoon Sword / Scythe= Cruel Scythe
***********************          

--Finding Your Purpose--
At level 20 we can finally move out of the dunes and work our way to Jeuno and
then, Qufim.  With your gear set start xping until you hit level 25 when you
can finally leave to another far away place.  It is here that we finally get
an awesome GS called Barbarian's Sword which give +15 to attack and -5 to acc,
the -acc is ok for us taru's and the attack+ is great so this is a definate
weapon to get if you use GS's.  As for you scythe users we still get to keep
our awesome Cruel Scythe as Frostreaper with only +2 attack is kinda useless.

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 20-25 
Subjob: Any from Section 1.5
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Barbarian's Sword / Scythe= Cruel Scythe
***********************     

--Earning Your Wings--
At level 25 we get to move out of Qufim and into the Jungles of Kazham. We shall
stay here until level 30 where your taru will once again move out to bigger and
better places.  Once the level of 30 is achieved your true powers are unleashed
though the ability souleater.  Your little taru is grown up now and is ready to
enter a new stage of his job in further levels.  As for weapon choice GS's are
best to hold off until level 31 and grab a Demonic Sword as for scythes we 
finally get to change to Mercenary Captain's Scythe at level 30 for it's great 
attack power.

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 25-30
Subjob: Any from Section 1.5
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Barbarian's Sword / Scythe= Merc. Cpt's Scythe
***********************      

--Learning to Fly--
At level 30 the two main places we get to level in are Garlaige Citadel and
Crawler's Nest. Staying at Garlaige until 35 and Crawler's Nest until 40 where
we move deeper in. At this point in the game you'll finally learn the terrible
fate of a party that has a puller that pulls links, so make sure to get someone
compotent at the job.  If you're pulling quickly educate yourself on which mobs
link and which don't so that you don't bring a terrible doom to you and your
party.  As for weapon choice for GS if you can afford it go for Mythril Claymore
at level 36, when you move to level 39 get a Ice Brand. For Scythe users move
from your Mercenary Captain's Scythe to Windurstian Scythe if you can afford it,
if not skip it and aim for a Mutilator at level 40 and if not that because it 
costs to much then at least get a Mythril Scythe.

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 35-40
Subjob: Whm,War,Thf,Rdm
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Ice Brand / Scythe= Mythril Scythe
***********************     

--The Sky's the Limit--
Finally at level 40 moving to that golden level 50 mark that seems to be so far
away.  Don't worry though the path isn't long just pick your parties wisely and
control your hate while dishing out the damage.  Your not a little taru anymore
you've grown up and it's time for you to show the world what you have learned.
Be bold and go for the top!  You will find your next xp mobs deeper in
Crawler's Nest until level 50 where you move again to places where xp is once
again plentiful.  As for weapon choice for GS your final weapon before 50 will
be Faussar at level 47 pick one of those up on the AH and you'll be good to go.
As for you scythe users out there you may want to pick up your AF scythe at
level 42 and use that then at level 46 if you have the gil buy a Mandibular
Scythe, if not keep your AF scythe until 49 where you'll get your Barbarian's
Scythe.  This scythe is a must have scythe I can't stress enough on how much
+25 attack helps out in parties, and once again the -acc is nothing for us
tarus because the attack we get is so much better then the loss in acc.

**SUMMERY**
Phase Span: 40-50 
Subjob: War,Thf,Whm
End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Faussar / Scythe= Barbarian's Scythe
***********************              


That ends this section off the rest is now up to you!  Use the knowlege you have
gained to guide your actions.  Always remember that your party has expectations
of you even more-so now that you are taru.  Show them the power of a taru drk
and watch as them fall over astounded by your superior might.

1.8: <<Things to Keep in Mind>>

Always remember what you are, a taru, know your limitations and utilize your
stregths to overcome your weaknesses.  When boosting your stats with various
equipment always look for acc boosting equipment before attack+ equipment.
There are some exceptions when the -acc is so small compared to the attack
bonuses, (ex: Barbarian Scythe) even though we are taru with higher dex then
some races we still do miss, we miss alot, and no attack power we could
possibly muster is going to make up for a taru that can't hit.  Also remember
to utilize your magic ablilities may it be though healing, damage dealing, or
even absorbing embrace the talents given to your race and use them.  Never 
forget that this game is about doing what you want and if you wish to be
unique then go for it.  If you want to make a drk/brd go for it but remember
that with it may come the critisim of others and less parties etc.

1.9: <<The Final Word and the Most Important Thing for a Taru Drk>>

This is it all the knowlege I could muster onto this one FAQ about being a taru
drk and I hope you enjoyed it or at least found it informative.  If this guide
has helped you in anyway then my goal has been achieved.  All the info you see
here has been gathered through my character Serris that is now sadly retired as
a level 66 dark knight of the Bismarck server.  In closing this FAQ I must say
that the most important thing for a taru drk, even more important then all that
was mentioned above is friends.  Friends in this game are your most valuable
source of info, support, and good times.  It truly is the  greatest thing you
can have, and if you forget everything that was said in the core of this FAQ
remember this last thing, as no better advice could be given for a game such as
this.

2.0: <<Special Thanks and Contact Information>> 

I'd like to give a special thanks to all those people out there on the Bismarck
Server that are friends of mine and have supported my time in FFXI and got me
to where I was when I retired.

Azndrag- For being there even in the worst of times and for being part of many
         of the good times.
Andante- For the great farming fun and all around good times. 
Arimi- For helping convince me to be a taru drk.
Kenshun- For getting me on the path of drk and giving me the conviction to
         keep at drk even when I thought of quitting.
Maximuss- For the unlimited amount of knowlege he has given me over the course
          of the game making me the drk I am today. 
Alisah- For listening to my constant rants no matter how stupid they were.
Bomber- For being a sort of role model for my own drk and inspiring me to go
        further with your godly equipment and advice.
Asgaurd- For some good times and support to continue trying that damn site 
         which I got alot of info from. 
Jennietaru- For answering even the most stupid of my questions even when
            everyone else was silent in LS chat.
And finally all the members of LS Bluesteel 
*Thanks for letting me be part of something so great*

**Thank you to all of you and best of luck in your future endevors!**      

If you wish to contact me you can email me at RevanII@shaw.ca
Please don't send e-mails that present flames to my statements in the FAQ.
These e-mails will be deleted without reply or consideration, any positive
comments or facts I may have missed or even well backed arguements are very
much welcome and if I add any info from any e-mail I will be sure to give
credit to the sender.