Azalea, Lady of the Stoors - Chapter One--The Birth of a Daughter

"It's a girl!" the healer exclaimed as the tiny baby slipped out of her mother's womb. Freesia sighed in relief. A baby girl meant that she had an heir.

"May I see her?" she whispered as Poinsettia wrapped the baby in white blankets. The healer gently placed the babe in her mother's arms. She squirmed a little before nestling close to Freesia's breast.

"Go tell Master Gramdon he has a healthy baby daughter," Poinsettia said to one of her assistants. She soon returned with Freesia's husband.

"Look Gramdon," Freesia said. "Have you ever seen a more beautiful babe?"

"There is none more beautiful," he said gently stroking her head. "She looks just like her mother." The new parents shared a sweet kiss. The baby wiggled against Freesia and they looked down and smiled at her.

"She has the fierceness of your family too," Gramdon said.

"Fierceness, my love? No, that comes from you."

"Either way, she will be a strong leader."

"You can tell she will be a strong leader when she is not even an hour old?"

"Of course she will be!" Gramdon continued. "She is a Stoor. And she shall rule them when she gets bigger."

"I think right now she rules you," Freesia laughed.

"Your wish is my greatest desire, my little lady." Gramdon kissed the baby's forehead. "And your wish is my greatest desire, my wife," he said, kissing his wife.

"What shall we name her?" Freesia said as the baby grabbed onto her finger.

"I like Freesia."

"My beloved, could Stoorland stand another Freesia? No, I don't want her to be named after me."

"Hyssop is lovely."

"No, not Hyssop."

"Azalea?" Freesia looked up from the sleeping baby.

"Azalea?" Freesia said the name over to herself. "That is a beautiful name. Who was she?"

Gramdon was silent for a moment. "She was my great-great grandmother's youngest sister. It was said that she was the most beautiful stoor-woman that ever walked along the banks of the Anduin. She..." he paused, forcing back the tears that came to his eyes whenever he thought about this story. "She drowned herself when her child died."

"Her story has always haunted me," he continued. "I always wanted to name my first daughter after her. But the final decision is yours, of course."

Freesia smiled. "I think Azalea is a beautiful choice. And Azalea it shall be."

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