"Umm...ok. Can I take some musc...a friend with me? I've taken a liking to having somebody watching my back..."
Sense Motive DC 5:
Ninnec wants to bring a bodyguard with him, either somebody like Toramin or Bjorkus or one of his bouncers. He's gotten used to having somebody at his side who is a physical threat.
Compile a list of what you want Ninnec to tell to Sveng, and if you wish you can include information you specifically don't want him to reveal.
Dalton casts the spell, bringing his recipients (who's going?) into the room with no effort. The sudden change from the somewhat chilly mountain city to the blasting desert heat is enough to take one's breath away. Ninnec waves and heads to the door. "Let me just tell Naome she will be taking over for a bit."
A few minutes later the ratfolk returns. "So, what is it you need my help with?"
"A former human slave by the name of Shien. He is young, but very spirited and has a strong body from mining for the first sixteen years of his life. He was bruised badly but should recover."
Ninnec looks very curious, but holds his questions. "Anything for you. Although I do wonder who I will put in charge in my absence...perhaps Naome, she seems more than capable."
Ninnec jumps three feet in the air, then takes a deep breath and puts a hand on his chest. "Ah, Dalton! I'm still not quite used to that." Ninnec fidgets nervously. "To be honest, not great. We've had a string of thefts. Nothing that's going to put us out of business, but it's hurting income, and one of my workers got beaten the other day when he caught one of them. Unfortunately he was masked, but we know he was tall, skinny, and had a humanoid build. I'm looking into it with the help of Yix."
Ninnec bites at his lip. "This land is not big on gods, to put somebody with a "divine right to rule" at the head of it may lead to unrest. I'm skeptical myself, you would be choosing this rightful leader through magic that nobody understands and placing them to rule, telling the masses that it's in their best interest. I'm putting it in a bad light, but that's exactly how many will see it."
"I honestly don't know how to choose the best ruler. Whoever it is needs to really have a spine, it takes a lot of grit to rule Akropash and the surrounding lands. But they also need to have egalitarian ideas."
More concerned about avoiding the smoke, Rilka blindly stumbles into the hallway. She's immediately met with a dagger, then a gasp of surprise. "Rilka?" Ninnec is shakily holding a dagger, so weakly that she doubts he would have been a threat anyways. "Oh it's so good to see you! Edward is trying to bluff that we have more people in here, but he's running out of arrows. We don't know how to get out!"
Ninnec returns to the party after getting an estimate for the festivities.
Feel free to go out of the price range (above or below) on any one of these if you want to skimp or really show off. There's also lots of room for creativity, so feel free to come up with stuff!
Ninnec shuffles his feet, looking down. "Yeah, but the work was easy and payed well so I didn't say anything." He listens carefully to the rest, looking scared and excited. "Yes, of course I would like to see the slaves get a better life...but I fear if we get caught." He thinks for a moment. "I know a few people who would help for payment."
Talev leaves quickly.
Toramin is doing measurements for his construction job when he hears the pitter patter of little feet approaching. "Sorry to interrupt. I know I should be out getting estimates for the party, and that's what I was doing, but I've made two separate trips out from the manor so far an hour apart and the same slave child has been lurking in the buildings across the street, watching the manor. I don't believe he's with anybody. I just thought you might want to know."
"I will draw up a budget and present it to you for approval before doing anything. Getting the word out isn't difficult, but the longer I have the more people will arrive. Tomorrow night at the earliest. We will also need to tell the other slaves so they can begin preparations for the party."
Ninnec gives a shy smile. "If I could get over my cowardice I would have been in a much better place than the streets. I'm glad you find value in me though."
Ninnec gives a genuine smile, a tear coming to his eye. "I've...I've never had somebody put this much faith in me before. I've never been given such a chance." He reflects on that a moment more before getting his game face on. "Ideally we want them to not even suspect anything. Loud noises for several hours..." He sits in thought for a moment, then laughs. "A party. There's a party room in the house. Throw a loud, chaotic party. With enough guests and some loud music you won't even be heard. Plus that kind of event will have the rest of the slaves busier than a squirrel in autumn, running from one end of the house to the other to keep the guests happy. However it will have some expenses come with it."
"Ah, are you sure I'm allowed in the all-secret study?" He smiles at the jab. Clearly he's feeling more comfortable with the party.
Ninnec listens quietly, seeming surprised at the tunnels. "You really like to plan ahead." He sits back in his chair, thinking for a moment. "It would be very odd for all of the slaves to leave the house. I mean messengers would make sense to run to the market, but the chef? The cleaners? They would know something is wrong." He cocks his head at Toramin. "Why are you trusting me with this information and this kind of errand?"
"I know several places where I could lose them, but making an entire group disappear is harder. Especially when you're not trained in it." He suddenly turns to Dalton and bows. "I'm sorry master, I didn't mean to suggest you or any of your slaves were incapable, I just...was trying to assess the situation honestly."
Ninnec comes back into the conversation. "There is a bar in the less desirable part of Akropash that holds unarmed fights in the basement. Nobody dies, but it can be pretty brutal. There are a few manors that have large rooms or backyards wide enough to have private training, but you would need to know the master of the house."
After a good twenty minutes the little ratfolk slips his way back into the marketplace. He bows, but has a bit of an apprehensive look on. "I apologize masters, but it appears as if the tournament is being delayed a day. I could find no reason there, so I ventured outwards to - a friend of mine and learned that..." He pauses, fear clearly displayed on his face. "Targ is arriving today and intends to change something about the proceedings. I hope that my tardiness does not displease you, I only thought you may appreciate a fuller reason why the tournaments are being delayed."
Coralla gives Bjorkus a smile, pulling away to go and fetch the bear fat.
Ninnec is happily scrubbing off the layers of dirt in his fur, but gives a scared look to the ogre when Bjorkus approaches him. "He does not resent being a slave, in fact he embraces it. He seems to like the simple life where everything is decided for him and the only things he does is what he's told. Big, strong, and stupid. He can't even think inside the box, if at all."
Yes, easily visible slave brands.
Ninnec looks with a bit of fear at the ogre. "I do not know his name, but he is one of the slaves that serves willingly. He is entered in the tournament." His beady eyes turn to the catfolk. "Him I do not know."
Roughly a dozen attendants are doing various things about the room. Some are lounging, more or less clothed, a few are in the water, some are passing through to different rooms, but there is one waiting on each guest. The one waiting on Bjorkus is a short human with dark hair who stands quietly.
Sounds like Dalton and Bjorkus are heading to the bathhouses while Lindale and Toramin are going to try and find Naome. Rilka feel free to join with either group, or do something else entirely. Just let me know.
Ninnec gives another bow as he clicks his teeth together. "As you command, master." The little grey ratfolk leads everybody into the east district which is less run down than the others. More quality slaves walk the streets in finer clothes and the slavers are more abundant, but the white-clad warriors maintain their threatening presence.
About a third of the way into the east district Ninnec stops, pointing at several large buildings in good condition. Drunken men and richly clad slavers can be seen through the windows of the various buildings. "That is where you shall find the best dancers in the city. I shall leave you to it and lead the others to the bathhouses, if it pleases the master." There are three gambling/entertainment houses, but only one of them appears to have much business at this hour.
Ninnec brings everybody else to the far north side of the east district where there is an underground well bubbling forth clean, fresh liquid. Several slaves take buckets back and forth, transferring the water into the numerous bathhouses. Ninnec points to the largest one. "Targ himself funded that one, and he has personally made sure there are no thieves amongst the servants and slaves. I shall wait here, or with the others, or wherever it pleases the master."
Ninnec looks at Dalton. "With his generosity I would be glad to follow and guide you till your time in the city comes to an end. If you wish me stay, I shall stay here at the inn."
Hahaha those halfling comments are brilliant Rilka. I'm making some secret rolls for rumor spreading, so you may not notice any obvious effects but there will be an impact.
Ninnec seems glad to talk to somebody his size. "Oh of course, of course. There are two ideas that come to mind. Your master and his slaves may all use the wash behind the inn free of charge, but it is a man powered system that would require some effort. If he wishes a more relaxing clean and is willing to part with some coin there are a few bathhouses in the eastern district where everything is taken care of for you. There are separate baths for the slaves, but your master may join those baths if he so wishes to."
He bows again, looking pleased that he is appreciated. "Ninnec, if it pleases you." If he's at all bothered about stating his name twice, he doesn't show it. "Yes the Colosseum is an engineering masterpiece and quite a piece of history here." He leads the party towards the center of the city, pointing out buildings and their purposes along the way. By the time you get through the trade district you all are reasonably sure you could find a building if you came back here alone. Ninnec proves a fountain of useful information, telling you things like what inns are run by crooks and where you can get good medicinal supplies.
The ratfolk gets an unbelieving smile, scampering forward quickly. The others throw curses at him and turn away to the other new incomers. He bows deeply to Dalton. "Master, if it pleases you my name is Ninnec. Our wonderful city has many services and sights to see. Would you like to see the great fountain? Perhaps the Colosseum? Or are you weary and would like to retire? Anything that you desire." He glances up at the rest of the party, the fellow "slaves" and looks scared. "Uh, m-master, may I speak freely?"