The Gauntlet is a daunting vertical obstacle course that all first-year cadets are required to conquer within two months of their official admission into the Riders Quadrant. The Gauntlet was designed to test balance, strength, and agility.
The cliff is aptly named the Gauntlet as it stands as a guardian to the Vale, the dwelling place of the dragons. Professor Emetterio once pointed out that real gauntlets are crafted from metal and are slippery to handle, drawing a parallel to the daunting challenge of this cliff. This comparison resonated, and thus, the name ‘Gauntlet’ was coined for this formidable obstacle two decades ago.
The Gauntlet is a formidable obstacle course, etched into a ridgeline so precipitous it could easily be mistaken for a cliff. This treacherous trail zigzags upwards in a series of five distinct switchbacks, each one presenting a 180-degree turn and escalating in challenge. It ascends to the peak of the bluff that separates the citadel from the flight field and the Vale, looming ominously above.
The most challenging segments of the obstacle course are the final two. Cadets are required to scale a colossal chimney formation that towers skywards. The ultimate hurdle is a gigantic ramp that extends to the cliff’s edge, presenting a nearly vertical ascent.