Before they go off world the chosen are given special gifts by the Guardian of the Six Worlds. There are usually four gifts given. One that is always given is the ability to understand the language of the peoples on the world you are being sent to. Ben is given only two other gifts besides the ability to understand Lushakan. He is not given the one gift almost always given to those who journey to Lushaka. He is not given the ability to breathe underwater. Not having that gift is a huge problem for Ben as he is terrified of being in water over his head. Mariah Templeton is reluctant to send a new chosen through the portal with only two gifts. And she is particularly reluctant to send Ben to a world full of water.