"Open up!" came a bellowing call from outside the door of the inn. The voice was low and rustic, sounding like someone had swallowed a small mudcrab.
"One moment!" Iddra called back, opening a heavy wine-basement hatch with a struggle. "Down there! Quickly, quickly!" she hurried, waving her arm downwards. A khajiit family, a mother, father, two children and a cub, all looking exceptionally distraught hurried down, children first. The banging on the door increased in volume.
"In the name of King Ulfric, open this door!"
"I'm coming!" Iddra yelled as she ushered in the khajiit father last. He slammed his hand on her shoulder in praise to her, a smile on his face.
"My pleasure. Now inside. Hurry!" The khajiit father trotted down into the basement, and Iddra shut the hatch quickly. She bolted to the door , holding it open to three Stormcloak soldiers and a Stormcloak officer. The officer was cloaked in bear skin and had a large steel axe on his back. "Good evening gentlemen."
"Evening. What took you so long?" the officer asked, lowering his head to fit through the door.
"Oh, I apologise; I was cooking some horker meat." she lied, closing the door as the last soldier walked in. The men scraped their boots arrogantly on the furniture and dumping their helmets on the tables carelessly. Iddra gave them a cold stare as she went behind the bar, opposite to where the officer sat. "Now, what would you men like to drink?"
"Three tankards of mead." the officer mumbled.
"Of course." she said, "I got an order in of fresh Black-Briar Mead, if you would care for some?" Iddra politely spoke, taking out three tankards from under the bar.
The soldiers were making themselves at home, slouching into the chairs and hollering like bears. Iddra again glared at the soldiers, tapping some mead from a barrel into a tankard. She finished up the last tankard and placed the three drinks on the bar table.
"There you are. That'll be 75 gold pieces." she asked, but the officer raised an eyebrow, saying nothing at her. "My mistake, 45 gold pieces. 40% off for your service to Skyrim and her people." she sniggered with a fake smile. The officer placed down 55 septims on the bar. "Thank you kindly." Iddra smiled, shovelling the pieces into one hand. She then counted. "This is 55 gold pieces, good sir." The officer slammed his hand on the table softly.
"For my wine."
"Some wine?" she muttered with fear.
"Yes. Some wine." the officer replied, scowling at her in curiosity. "Frostbite spider bitten you today, girl?" Iddra snapped out of it, and grinned.
"No, no; of course. Some wine for the esteemed Stormcloak!" She dashed to the basement behind the bar, opening it up.
The khajiit family look frightened as it opened, but Iddra put a finger to her lips and grabbed a goblet. The khajiits were rack with terror as they shook and trembled, watching Iddra with quivering eyes. Iddra smiled at them and had finished filling the goblet with wine, heading back up the steps and out of the basement. When suddenly the khajiit cub let out a small meow. The whole inn went silent. The officer looked over the counter in suspicion.
"What was that?..." he questioned.
"Uhh... my cat." Iddra fibbed. The officer looked even more apprehensive at her response.
"You keep your cat in a basement?"
"She umm... she kills the rats." Iddra hastily responded, about to close the hatch when the khajiit cub started to cry out loud like a child. The officer then rose from his seat. Iddra winced, slamming the hatch shut.
"Feral cats do not cry like children!" the officer marched, the other Stormcloaks soldiers' attention being aroused. The officer marched to the basement hatch, his big paws stomping on the wooden floor and his armour clinking. Iddra bravely stood in the way.
"You cannot go down there. It is private property!" her arms splayed out. The officer pushed her out of the way effortlessly and Iddra hit the floor.
"Stand aside!" he growled. He then opened the hatch with the ease of one hand, and saw the whole khajiit family, the father with his ebony sword drawn, his ears back with anger.
"Do not come any closer..." the khajiit father hissed, his thick accent sounding like a purr. The officer laughed, drawing out his axe. The other Stormcloaks chortled with him, also drawing their generic steel and iron weapons.
"Look at that!" the officer chuckled, "He's got a midnight sword; how fancy!" He stepped down the stairs, the khajiits moving further and further back. "I can almost smell your fear!" he spoke, not taking his eyes off of the cats. "Boys! Grab the inn keeper and lock her away for keeping these filthy migrants out of sight. They're mine to kill..."
The Stormcloak soldiers grabbed Iddra by the arms and dragged her out, but she was stubborn like any Nord woman, facing her sentence with pride.
The officer then raised his axe and roared as he charged at the khajiits with fury.