~Morning of The Mark of Mastery Exam~
The streets of Kaelos are alive and bursting with excitement, unusual for a world with such a clam atmosphere. The evening celebrations seemingly carried well into the morn, or at least it seemed that way as drunkards poured out of shops, inebriated on either spirits or just the temperament of the night. The Mark of Mastery Exam taking place on the world was reason enough to join the celebrations, warriors of all kinds lined up ready and hopeful to take their places among the powerful Masters, and after so many years of sovereignty and isolation, Kaelos opened it's doors to other worlds, allowing for an odd number of beings to walk among the streets, some more conserved to spend their energy when the Exam began, others fully intent on melding with the atmosphere. The Academy on the other hand was in something of a disarray, specifically the students. For something that seemed so out of reach to them before it was only customary that nervous vibes could be felt all around the school. Compared to the previous Exam years ago, there hadn't been as many wielders around, and all of them seemed prepared to face the challenges ahead. How does one fight against so much potential? And what hope could there be for inexperienced warriors? At least that had been the mindset of most students at the Academy.This Exam was peculiar for the way it handled acceptance, for one; instead of individual Keyblade bearers fighting against one another, at least 2-4 were assembled into a team, along with warriors of all kinds of distinctions. Considering the amount of bearers who attended the Academy and could have been coming from other worlds it was going to be a difficult task keeping track of all of them. The objective this time around had to do with the remaining worlds troubled by darkness, far from the reaches of Nuvos. In effect, the Exam was something of a clean up for the cosmos, the superiors truly expected its students to eradicate the evil still lurking among the hearts of men. What they really meant was darkness, which of course struck a nerve with the Crepus household. One had to realize the politics behind the Academy, most of the council members who made these kinds of decisions were people, regardless of their respective houses; that had seen the horrors of darkness among the worlds. They were impervious to the pleadings of those who thought otherwise, and would use examples of wielders and warriors who threatened the livelihood of several worlds. In a way, they were attempting to do away with darkness as if its presence hadn't brought an essential balance to the universe. In the end, there was no choice but to execute a full out attack masquerading as an exam.
Some were fortunate enough to realize the circumstances, or to somehow be informed of the real reason behind the examination. It wouldn't matter, in spite of the truth, wielders and warriors would still be compelled to join, to at least have an attempt at this once in a lifetime opportunity. Some wondered what would happen if the plan actually came to fruition, if some how they were able to eradicate the presence of darkness, at least to someone like Rhea, it posed something of a moral question. To her darkness represented the facet of age, the older one grows, the more events you experience, the more people and you meet, the more you are attuned to the light or darkness. She found it funny that despite what the founders of the academy fought for, people still misinterpreted their message. Perhaps light and darkness are meant to coexist as one, and trying to get rid of either one would most likely have chaotic results. A little bit of both sides couldn't have hurt anyone. She couldn't remember the last time she laid in bed and thought so deeply about the events surrounding her, in fact for the past few months she couldn't remember the last time she had a moment to herself with all the training and proceedings for the exam. Not to mention her family who all but ignored relatives who wielded no keyblades for the last month or so. It was frustrating to even get an ounce of attention, all the Lucis family really cared about was the Master status which they so proudly boasted around like it was all theirs to acquire. She had to admit that warriors were largely ignored at the Academy, actually, anyone could realize that fact when most graduates were wielders, and nothing had been done to halt the cyclical process of another battle type dropping out because of unwarranted ignorance from keyblade wielders. The unspoken rules for battle types was pretty simple, stay quiet, shut up, and don't challenge superiors or wielders. Of course there was a portion of the Academy that actually cared for the non-wielders which luckily became the highlight of the Academy if one was able to get on their good sides.
Rhea sighed for a moment, staying in bed wouldn't solve anything and it would only fudge up what she planned to make an enjoyable day. This was her first time participating in any major event all year, and she trained hard to be drafted into any available team. Her skills may not have been the best, but at least she could be considered. She rose from her mattress, staring at the window opposite of her dresser the sun had already bathed its first rays on the Academy grounds. With that on mind, she walked to her personal restroom, preparing herself for the day ahead, putting on enough armor for protection, and enough for movement, as well as keeping a spellbook ready should she forget any vital incantations. She opened the entrance to her room, whiles strapping her sword Zathura to her back. It took her only a few steps to recognize the miniature wrapped and bowed present on the floor below. She held it in her hands for a moment, an eyebrow piqued in curiosity. Gripping the edges she opened the box with her index and thumb, and inside laid a very simple, wooden carved chess piece, painted in a black tarnish. She let her fingers smooth over the object for a few moments, initially confused at the small gift, if she could call it that. She took another look within the box, finding a card.
"Please direct yourself towards the Council Chamber after the breakfast ceremony has ended, a special assignment awaits you!"
The morning was suddenly taking a more interesting turn, for one, whatever awaited her made her a bit apprehensive, maybe she wasn't proficient enough to be placed on a team, and they were planning to set her along a more menial course, something that would probably seem shameful to members of her clan. She stuffed the card into her pants pocket. It was too much to handle without a proper breakfast. Her and a crowd of students headed towards a full cafeteria, brimming with all kinds of food that was usually restricted to them on any normal school day. The fuel was going to be necessary for the long trip ahead, the Exam wouldn't last just one day after all, in fact, according to plan, it could take a full year for the exam to come into completion meaning that most of the students would be absent for graduation, although the trial had no effect on grades or otherwise, students could simply return with all their records intact. A big problem for most students is what passing entailed. How would they know that succeeded? There were many obvious ways to fail, but succession was not definitive in any case of the exam. With a passing grumble at the thought, Rhea grasped a plate of food from the serving table, which was currently dressed as if this was a dinner party (Well, it kind of was) and sat near the back of the auditorium. A peculiar feature of the auditorium was the fact that students who weren't of age were restricted from the area, it was usually used as some kind of pub for the teachers and older students, Rhea had only been here twice, and regretted both times considering the fact that most came here to get drunk and forget their troubles. Something Rhea wasn't all too keen of doing, or at least not when intoxicated. Now the drab little pub looked like a ball room of some kind, the lighting was brighter considering the roof above which could open to the sky above. It was impressive and a bit intimidating when ships passed over the opening. Otherwise, it was a good atmosphere to meld into, she let herself relax on one of the chairs around while eating at the pickings she grabbed on the table.
Your characters have received a strange chess piece and a note directing them towards the Council Chambers, be sure to add a mention of this in your post.