A Tabard

Tzia shifted slightly in the saddle, her mount snarling slightly as she picked up on her rider's unease. A comforting scratch of an ear around armor plating seemed to settle the large canine as it slowly stalked down the main street of Orgrimmar, the front gates looming up behind her. She knew her longtime friend was catching her worry, and tried to keep it suppressed. The frostwolf lashing out in a crowded street, trained or no, would be devastating to the reputation of the Horde and her Clan.

The creak of leather and the soft grunt from the Frostwolf met little notice as traders jostled around her, pressing close; and yet still wary of the shocking white wolf's maw. When a trader blundered into the flank of her mount with some piece of gear, the wolf snarled and a second sound suddenly cleared a bit more space. Tzia glanced down and stifled a quick grin as the large lavender feline that glided beside the wolf had made her presence loudly known. Tzia still kept one hand resting easily on the bow strapped to the side of her wolf, and her eyes tracked through the throngs of orc, troll, tauren, and goblin that were flooding the city for the Moon Festival. Her lip curled, she hated the crush of people more than Moka, her Frostwolf, did.

She was looking for a particular orc in the mass. He'd said the Drag near Gotri's Traveling Goods. She automatically flicked her gaze up, checking the heights out of habit, even though she was supposedly safe in the city, it never harmed any to be too careful. She found nothing but those going on about their business before a familiar voice hailed her.

"Tzia! Sister! As the Spirits exist! Thought you'd never get here." Korrig, her foster-brother called out, and she and Moka pivoted, moving as one to face the scarred orc, grinning so that her short tusks showed plainly as she took in the well loved face, barely pausing over the missing eye that she knew he'd lost to a Storm Pike Lance on his first raid.

"Korr. I made good time coming from the North. Where's that baleful runt you dare call a wolf hiding out?" She asked, slipping easily from the back of her companion. She and her brother embraced in the form of warriors, clasping one another's upper arms, face to face, making the other incapable of drawing a weapon.

"Ashre is lounging with Ogunaro, the kennel master. He'd even be willing to stable your runtling for a time." Korr stated releasing the taller troll and scratching Moka under the chin while Ruka stalked up to her hunter while glaring at the orc, tail lashing back and forth.

"Still haven't forgotten the time I stepped on your tail, eh catling?" Korr muttered, and bared his tusks when Ruka snarled, confirming his statement.

"She wouldn't. Why a calling, Korr? Where are Seb and Mavli? Shouldn't all of us be together if a Call was sent out?" Tzia asked, swiftly moving from greeting to business, especially since the missive she'd received had been signed by Korr and had made no metion of either of their other two brothers.

"I've met and talked with them already. They were close to home when Mother- " He paused and took a deep breath, grief and pride warring in his eyes. Tzia clenched her jaw, dreading what was coming, the look told her.

"She took a Storm Pike arrow through the throat, died a clean death. Took five of them with her off the bridge. We recovered her after the raid. Kemora tore the throat from three gryphons then slid off the bridge to join her. She won a victory for us that day."

"Lok'tar Ogar, Mother." Tzia said, turning away from her brother's outstretched hand to briefly bury her face in the comforting fur of her own mount, a pup of Kemora's. The nudge and rumble from Ruka did something to stem back the grief, so that she was able to turn back to her brother. She glanced down to realize he held a bundle in his hands and a lump formed in the back of her throat. She knew what that could be, and shook her head wordlessly.

"It was always meant to come to you. The Clan Elders made a foolish decision the day they denied you this. Kemora's own chose to carry you. You are a Blood Speaker. The tabard always passes from mother to daughter. Sons earn their own tabard by right. You earned yours the day you brought down a dwarf from the Ice Blood Tower. They refused to give you it because you were a girl. Mother couldn't give you this while alive. I found it among her things later. It was wrapped in your founding blanket. Wear it. The Elders will have to deal with you now in Council. You are a Frostwolf."

Tzia glanced down, the soft material of the blue and white tabard of the clan she'd always claimed kinship to now in her hands, a formal recognition of her status, the ability to have a voice before the Council now hers. Hers because her mother had died, and none of her three brothers could speak at the Elder's Council. That was the daughter's right. Sons spoke at War.

A single tear fell, and her hand moved to her arms belt, deftly freeing the buckle so that she could slip the material over her head. The tabard settled easily around her shoulders, and she gave a bitter smile in response to Korr's nod of approval. She would grieve the loss of her mother later. Now, now was the time to briefly celebrate how she had lived and died, as was a child's right.

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