The time had come for the practical tests of examination to start. The chosen students, a few dozen, gathered at the docks of the Academy and were invited onto an airship. Each student could claim their own cabin and the ship flew off to the first test location. The first test, arranged by Sir Gaylord Stolzenberg would partner up individuals into pairs. The goal of the test was for a pair to gather a chess piece. Students would jump into the Ocean of Trees, an ancient forest which only recently allows humanoids other than elves. Once on the ground the students would partner up with the first person they met.
Dawn landed in a lake but quickly found Salazar and became partners. On an island they found a bronze disc and upon closer investigation they were teleported somewhere underground and swam through a dark underground lake, fighting merfolk, to get to a platform where they found two chess pieces, a white knight and a black knight. Salazar was indecisive so Dawn chose the white knight. And the two were teleported back to the airship.
Neither Arjuna or Caelithin found a partner very quickly but each looked not for a partner but for the chess piece instead. Caelithin found a cave, fought a grizzly bear and searched a tunnel before finding a bronze disc which teleported her to a library inside an oak. Incidently, this where she found Arjuna and they became partners. In the library was a scared man who did not want to go back into the room, through the door in the library.
But it seemed to be the way to go, so Arjuna and Cael entered. It was an visually endless completely white room and the pair entered. Odd things seemed to happen, they heard thunder and rain started falling from the floor and up to the ceiling. A white fox appeared and the partners decided to follow it until they met an elf who made regular elves look like half-elves. This creature, this double elf was a bit rude and reluctant but finally got to the point and asked the partners a few questions to determine if they were worthy of receiving a chess piece and if they weren't, they would be bound to stay in this place with this creature.
Both Arjuna and Cael answered the questions well enough to receive a choice of five chess pieces. A white pawn, a black pawn, a white knight, a black knight and a black queen. The two settled on picking the white knight and they were teleported back to the ship.
Back at the ship the two pairs were informed they had both picked the white knight and would together become a group of four. The next test would be a written one held by the half-orc Maester Asikine.