The morning (very early at that) that the test would take place all students who were eligible heard a voice inside their heads telling them to gather at the docks of the Academy.
The Academy was located on a cliff - larger than a hill but not quite enough to call a mountain. On one side of this cliff was were docks - for airships. Most of the students had however never seen an airship. But on this glorious morning the students gathered to see an airship and even board it. However, before boarding it the few dozen pupils were greeted by the Headmistress of the Academy, Xanaphia Tiaimil.
The Headmistress is an elf and for those with a sharp eye for age could see that this clearly was the oldest person they had ever met. She sported the look of a librarian with a flair of arcane, with a tidy look and her silver hair in a tight bun matching her pale silver-green eyes behind a pair of neat glasses.
She introduced the pupils to their exams without giving any details away and finished with "Do not disappoint me, and prove to yourself and the world why you and no one else." With those words she disappeared on the spot. Not by means of sneaks but magically, teleported away - most likely.
Focus shifted to the magnificent airship by the name of Young Phoenix. As the graduating class boarded the ship, notes were taken by Maester Stolzenberg on the equipment each student had chosen to bring. Arjuna had brought his fully packed backpack and was fully equipped. Dawn had brought a few essential items and Salazar had a satchel, his sword and his shield but no armor. Caelithin wore, like everyone else, her school uniform and brought no extra equipment but her spear.
A cloaked tiefling maester commented on Cael's lack of attire and borrowed Sir Gaylord's clipboard to personally take note of Cael's equipment. A lot of notes were taken about very few items. Caelithin was clearly mortified and utterly worried if she might have made a costly mistake.
On board the graduates were free to claim a cabin each and the restaurant on board was free of charge but like with the equipment, notes were made on exactly what each person ordered. The students were strictly ordered not to enter the deck but were welcome to enter the many balconies for a nice view.
Dawn and Arjuna got adjoining rooms but Arjuna spends the day on one of the balconies, trying to get a sense of where the ship flew. Dawn on her end met with a a charming, singing bard who seemed.. interesting.
Salazar hung out with his popular clique and kindly invited the worried Caelithin with them and offered her some comfort for her worries. Caelithin chose to seek out the prodigy, Brinn, who perhaps could offer Caelithin some advice or have some spare gear.
In her investigation, Cael managed to end up at the wrong door and met with a dwarven priestess of the love godess who had clearly just engaged in physical prayer with one of the ship's servants. Caelithin managed to extract some information, that both the tiefling maester and this dwarven priestess, a previous graduate - a paragon, would each be holding tests. So would also Sir Gaylord Stolzenberg. Conclusion is that there would be at least three tests.
The following morning the students were finally summoned to the deck. On the way up there, Caelithin finally found Brinn and casually insinuated that she had made a mistake in not bringing equipment. To Cael's great surprise Brinn offered her entire backpack which left Cael speechless. When Caelithin regained her composition she declined Brinn's offer.
By the proud Stolzenberg they were informed that they had now reached the Ocean of Trees, a great forest that until a few years ago were strictly prohibited to elves.
A mysterious drink were passed around but everyone drank it without question. It was tasteless but definitely not water. Stolzenberg informed the pupils that they would be divided into pairs - that the first person they saw would be their partner. When the Maester saw people locking eyes, he told them not yet. Not until you're on the ground.
With this, the railing on one side of the ship lowered into the deck and the pupils were free to jump of the ship. Arjuna was first to jump of the ship and then the rest followed.
The potion that the students had drunk prevented the class from taking any damage from falling and the landing was nothing more than a thump. Arjuna steered and landed in a tree and Dawn landed in a lake - getting all her stuff wet.
Salazar and Dawn quickly found each other and became partners. In the middle of the lake there was a little island on which they found a mystical bronze disc. This disc teleported to another lake - and at the end of the lake they was a platform. The two new partners swam towards their goal and luckily none were donned in heavy armor.
In the middle of their swim, Salazar was grabbed and pulled underwater. Something was attacking him and dragging him down in the depths. Dawn surfaced and commenced casting a spell but was attacked by something as well. It turned out to be merfolk.
Dawn was almost unarmed and being attacked in the water she was not able to concentrate on her spell casting. This is where Salazar shone, as he was being pulled down in the depths he drew his sword and slashed at his attacker, freeing himself of danger and then being able to rid Dawn of her attacker as well.
The couple had escaped the immediate danger and swam in a hurry to the platform where they could find a chess board with a few pieces to chose from. With Salazar being indecisive, Dawn decided on the white knight.
Arjuna managed to find his way into a great oak and enter it. Inside the oak was a library with several bronze discs, a door to somewhere else and a very upset person. This man had just come out of the door and was very assertive that he did not want to enter again.
Caelithin found a cave nearby her landing spot and decided to investigate. Inside the cave she found a sleeping bear and decided to attempt to sneak past it. Despite sneaking very sneakily, the bear woke up and Caelithin ran out of the cave and climbed a tree to avoid the bear. Never before had she encountered bears so how would she know that bears climb trees?
Despite being very quick, Caelithin was quick to realise that the bear would catch her both on ground or climbing the tree. The bear was an innocent animal and simply intended to defend its territory. Caelithin realised that it would have to be her or the bear and dropped from the tree and dove down along the trunk of the tree, striking the bear with the tip of her spear, spinning around a kicking the bear and vaulting on to her feet. The bear dropped to the ground and attempted to both scratch and bite Cael but missed the agile monk.
A sudden boom, a bullet hit the bear for a masterly hit, instantly killing the bear. Brinn had come to save the day and with her was also the little tycoon, the womanizing gnome Freddie. Caelithin was hence not yet partnered up with anyone. She thanked them and hurried into the cave. There she found a little hole, which she squeezed through and found a tunnel system. At the end of the tunnel she found a mysterious bronze disc which, when she investigated it closer, teleported her to a library where she locked eyes with her classmate, Arjuna.
The two realised that the next step would be to enter through the door but had no clue what they would find. After opening the door they found an infinited white hall, it seemed to have no roof, floor or walls. It was just white. Arjuna threw an arrow into the room and after about 40 feet it disappeared.
The pair realised it would not be wise to just enter and instead decided to search the library for something relevant - which could tell them something about what they were facing. Caelithin found a book speaking of the worthy being able to enter. They had both found their way here and had studied at the academy for a long time. If they were worthy or not could not be determined by any other mean than entering - and so they did.
In the white room the two heard noises of thunder and rain poured from the floor and up. But it did not seem to pool anywhere. The couple found a fox and followed it's precise steps as it lead them forward, guiding them not to stray. After a while they found a table and a person. A person that looked like what an elf would look like if half-elves looked like elves - a double elf with even sharper features than an elf and with even more alien-like looks.
This double elf informed the duo that it had been imprisoned in this room a long time ago. The elf asked the duo if the Tiamil was their master and they said yes. However, the Tiamil the elf was imprisoned by was the grandfather of the Headmistress Tiamil. Considering the Headmistress was the oldest person they had ever seen, this must have happened a very very long time ago.
The double elf was able to shapeshift and insisted on speaking elven so that only Caelithin could understand. The two managed to find the purpose of the room and were told that this double elf had been offered a great deal. It would ask a few questions and if we answered correctly we would be given a chess piece and were we to answer the way the double elf wanted us to we could not leave this place.
A few questions pertaining to the duo's purpose were asked and answered but the real weight lay in the final question: "Will you lay with me?" Caelithin declined, even after the elf taking the shape of her childhood crush. Arjuna on the other hand agreed. But both passed the questions and together were given a chance to chose a chess piece out of a white pawn, a black pawn, a white knight, a black knight and a black queen. Arjuna wanted to chose a white pawn but Caelithin insisted on chosing the white knight and so they did.
With their choice they were teleported back to the ship. Where they met Salazar and Dawn, who had also chosen the White Knight. The four would now form a group, for the rest of the examinations and also later for adventuring. The next exam would be a written on and would be held by the half-orc Maester Asikine.