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  1. Rioghain takes a deep breath and fingers the Blood Opal jewel which hangs around her neck encased in an elaborate and time-darkened silver frame, attempting to center herself in preparation for the start of her training. She still finds it difficult to believe she is even here, on the steps outside the hall of one of the oldest Blood courts in Askavi Terreille. A world away from her home in Chaillot, she knows only an inkling of what her older brother had to sacrifice to secure her a place in this court and its training program to strengthen her mind and body before making her Offering to the Darkness and descending to her true jewel rank. She knows little of the world outside of Beldon Mor, but the creeping suspicion that he has put himself in grave danger for this opportunity is enough to push her not to waste it. She will do everything asked of her because she must, for him. She opens her eyes again to the world outside the front door to the court's home palace and wipes away one tear brought to her by thoughts of her brother. It will be the last one spared here. Today is the first day of the rest of her life. Six weeks from now, if she has completed the tasks set to her by her new mentor, Rhaegar Yaslana, she will make the Offering and find out where she will stand in the ranking of the Blood for the rest of her time in this Realm and the next. It has long been thought that no amount of training or meditation could change the true potential of one's Blood rank, but in the years since the return of Witch, Queen of the Blood, this notion has been challenged, and Rioghain's older brother subscribes to the belief that potential can be manipulated--enough to stake his life on a chance for her to better hers. Rioghain's people are round of face, soft of edge and curve, and historically known for their lighter jewels--being Blood Opal by birth already makes Rioghain one of the darkest-jeweled of her race alive. Eyrians--the home race of Askavi--are quite the opposite. Their bodies and minds are sharp, fast, and flexible, and they lean toward the darker jewels by birthright and by Offering. This is why Rioghain is here. She will make a better life for herself than what was left when Witch's witch storm destroyed the corrupt Blood of Beldon Mor, including her parents. She will create a new legacy for her family that is not tainted by the horrifying revelations that came from the storm. She will train with the Eyrians until she is something new--something strong, sharp, and agile--and she will start today. She sets her jaw and descends the grand staircase to join the ranks of her new family. Challenge One (7/28/2015 - 9/8/2015) Part 1: Eyrians are sharp-witted and, though there is nothing they love more than to fly, they are emotionally grounded. I will complete one 30-day yoga challenge within six weeks. Hopefully consecutively, but the ultimate goal is just to keep it within six weeks. Part 2: Eyrians are hunters and gatherers. I will subscribe to a Paleo food diet a minimum of six days per week. Part 3: Eyrians recognize the importance of leisure and recreation in moderation. I will go from drinking beer several times a week to limiting my alcohol consumption to red wine and clear liquor and only two days per week. Part 4: The training program for young Eryians includes intensive strength-building to prepare their bodies for flight. I will perform a minimum of three NFA workouts per week. Part 5: An Eyrian knows that focus and concentration are what keeps them in the air. I will meditate for between 2 and 30 minutes every day.
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