• For the next couple of weeks Axail didn’t ever mention her ambition or her plan, she kept it silent, barely speaking, rarely doing anything other than her work. Her friends were shocked, and many were convinced that their discussion was a strange dream.
    A month later they were convinced otherwise. While her friends were studying in the girl’s dormitory Axail walked in, closed the door behind her with a loud snap and declared, “I’ve got the exams.”
    “WHAT!” William bellowed.
    “How did you do it?” Aralas asked.
    “A great amount of flattery and trickery,” she replied with a grin, “Professor Mahikah said we could do it under his supervision since we have to do it under a teacher’s eye.”
    An hour latter they arrived back in the girls common room, grins painted across their faces.
    “That was a piece of cake!” commented Finaelda.
    “Even for us second years!” exclaimed Elrel.
    “Shall we have a look at the map?” asked William.
    “I don’t see why not,” Axail replied, rummaging through her stuff and pulling out a tattered piece of parchment.
    Elemahr looked at it and said, “It’s really confusing.”
    “I can barely make it out,” William said.
    Finaelda rolled her eyes and said, “all maps and book written by Ithilien were enchanted so that they were exceptionally confusing to any save his descendants, we must assume Axail has no difficulty understanding the map. It is impressive that we can make out the lake let alone a tunnel.”
    “That explains why it’s so clear,” Axail said, “besides, you guy’s are looking at it up-side down.”
    “What!” Aralas exclaimed, “It seams clearest from this angle!”
    Finaelda sighed again and explained again, quite exasperated, “to us it will look lopsided crocked, inside out and blurry, to Axail it will look as clear as daylight, so we must let her read it.”
    “When should we leave? And what do we do with the treasure once we find it?” Aralas asked excitedly.
    “We take what thinks we need and leave it there, once someone claims the treasure it is theirs to keep and the merpeople guard it for them,” Axail replied, “I read it in the royal library a couple of years ago.”
    “What should we take with us?” William asked excitedly, “armor, weapons, horses a months worth of food?”
    “We should travel light, with minimum quantities, if possible leave the horses behind,” Finaelda suggested, “We can always come back get them. It will be easier traveling trough forests and easier for going down tunnels.”
    “Shouldn’t we write a list of all we need to bring?” Ala-Stara suggested.
    “Fina should write it,” suggested Elemahr, “she’s got the best writing.”
    Finaelda grabbed a piece of paper, a quill and said, “we shouldn’t have that many things, the minimum and no heavy stuff unless the person who wants to bring it is willing to carry it.”
    “A change of clothing,” Elrel suggested, Finaelda scribbled away.
    “A winter cloak, leather glove and fur mittens,” Axail put in.
    “Light elfin tents, there are some in the old abandoned sheds,” Elmrel said.
    “Our main weapon, a bow and some arrows,” Galmod suggested.
    “We should each carry food for a week,” Aralas recommended, “light travel food, elfin dried fruit, dwarfish waybread and Ber-Omaneese travel drinks.”
    “Rope!” Elemahr declared.
    “We should each carry small amounts of money and healing herbs,” Ala-Stara suggested.
    “I think that’s it,” Finaelda said.
    “How many tents should we bring?” Axail asked.
    “Two will probably do,” Elmrel advised.
    “When should we leave?” Ala-Stara asked eagerly.
    The others started muttering, “Maybe a couple a days,” “A week from now,” and so on.
    Axail declared loudly, “Tomorrow!”
    “Yeah, tomorrows best the longer we linger the les time we’ll have and the weather we’re having now will make it impossible for them to track us in,” William agreed.
    They arranged who should carry what, and went to sleep, for they stayed up planning late into the night.

    The next morning it was pouring rain, exactly as they had planned. The school was in a deep valley, almost a gorge, which was guarded by a single gate of dwarf made steel. The only way to get out other than the gate would be climbing up the vertical ridges and bluffs that made the gorge like valley.
    Axail swayed, fifty feet of air lay bellow her, a rope slung over her shoulder she scurried forward, with less than five feet to the top. The rain made everything further than two feet away a total blur.
    The voices of her friends were barely audible, calling out encouragements and telling her how far she had to go.
    I must be mad, she thought to herself, that what hanging around with other royalty does to you, they’re too polite to tell you you’re insane.
    With great relief and an added boots of strength she pulled herself up onto the top of the face. She untied the exceptionally long knotted rope from around her shoulder, tied it to a large tree near the edge and tossed the other end of the edge. She could barely spot her friend at the bottom and wasn’t even able to recognize who was coming up, until he got halfway there.
    It barely took any time for her friends to reach the top, William was last and before he came up, he tied the packs to the rope and watched as one by one they were hauled up.