Here goes nothing, I thought, as I slid my sword Athena from her scabbard and stuffed the piece of paper into my pocket. The cave entrance was right at my feet, according to the diagram on the paper, but blocked by the hazel trees' roots and dirt.

I got to work clearing away the worst of the dirt with Athena. Lady Nimue, or the Lady of the Lake, had enchanted my sword so that I could change it to any weapon I wanted, so long as it was mostly metal, and it never became blunt and could not break. As it turned out, a shovel qualified as a weapon. Who knew? And if I lost it, Athena automatically returned to her scabbard in a few minutes.

Merlin had given my older brother Peter a shield, Aegis that made the bearer completely cut-proof and was indestructible. It changed size to fit whoever held it, and so did Athena, though that was probably because both Peter and I were still kids and would grow. On top of that, it had a face on it that could scare virtually anything, and it could change into a wristband. But it hadn't helped when…

Whoa, not going there. I had more important things to tend to.