Hulda – The Bannered Mare

Even with the inn busy each time she visited she always sat alone. Never failed to bring me firewood for the fire and never accepted one septim for her work. I like her. She’s someone who can get things done.

Secretly Jon Battle-Born and I watched over her. Everyone seemed to want to talk with her, sit at her table, buy her drinks and the stupid would ask for help. They got her help but we knew they also gained her dislike.

When a customer got too close, frisky or irritating her, Jon would go over then gently steer them away.

The woman was as dangerous as she was deadly. She killed when attacked, we all knew that. She killed when sent on missions, we knew that was asked. She killed to protect the innocent, we all saw that. Having dead bodies in my inn when I’m thinking of selling the place to Ysolda and retiring isn’t good for negotiations.

Saadia is such a dear friend and hard worker, she would see the mess was cleaned up but Ysolda is a sly one. She would be watching or paying someone to spy. Probably has spies all over the place! I guess my interests in watching over my special customer is part self interest and friendship. Not that she considers me a friend but she is always welcomed at the Bannered Mare. She does keep the peace with her presence.

But one night she upset one customer named Vilja when she offered to kill the two bastards who stole something from her. Luckily wasn’t my inn when the theft occurred. Happened in the Drunken Huntsman when Vilja was stirring some stew with her back to her belongings.

She was darn lucky Elrindir shouted, “Watch what you are doing!” and Vilja turned around to see two men stumbling over each other to exit the tavern. They stumbled past Goonie, the local fence who is so pretty the guards simply look the other way after drooling over her as they passed by. Vilja was insulted at the lack of security that Whiterun had in its tavern and stormed down the street to the inn.

Silly woman has been pestering everyone who comes in for a room or meal about helping her retrieve this precious item of hers. No idea why she would approach the Dragonborn.

“Kill them? No, don’t do that. Just get my bot…item back.” Vilja insisted.

Mikael called for Vilja to come join him in a ballad when I told him to do something. I didn’t mean to sing another song! Oh well, help nowadays. He thinks he is a womanizer so he better smooth this situation down quickly. I should have retired last year and devoted more time to my speechcraft to improve rolling my R’s.

Vilja agreed to perform only after demanding the Dragonborn promise not to kill the thieves if she sees them before Vilja could reach them.

She often smiled but it wasn’t really a smile, more like a dark reflection of her laughing at you inside. It was this expression she gave Vilja just before leaving the inn. “They best hope there are no bandits around. I promise you that.”

I watched in horror as Vilja flew over the fire pit, kicking the kettle into Uthgerd the Unbroken’s table and spilling mead on her. Uthgerd jumped, leapfrogged over Mikael and landed face first into the fire. Only for a second. Hopping to her feet Uthgerd roared, “Just a scratch!”  Right before she dove into the closing door full force and was knocked back into Lucia who was begging for coin from Ysolda.


“Saadia dear.”

“Yes, mum?”

“Better go get Arcadia to check Uthgerd and I’ll be needing you to mop the place down extra tonight. Lots of spills.”

“Oh yes, mum. I’ll make sure it gets done.”

I looked at the closed tavern doors wondering would she come back again. Sure hope so, I can always use help with chopping wood for the fire.