Alphonse Hayek, Arcturus Thrayne, Ironbeard, and Ollin Gualimozin were all leaving Nith on The Intrepid. Alphonse had just completed a heist of his, and was on his way back to Eklesa, Arcturus was leaving the Combine after living in the human ghettoes and having a terrible time, Ironbeard was going to Jera to sell his wares there, and Ollin Gualimozin was watching one of the other passengers. Everyone had noticed the suspicious old elf man with his two hardened-looking dwarven friends, and was more than a little cautious of them.
Around mid day on the third day of their voyage to Jera, the man in the crow’s nest of the ship had spotted a ship on the horizon. It did not fly any flags, so the captain assumed the worst. The captain didn’t make a show of this potential threat, and just altered their bearing. The ship continued to follow them, and it was gaining.
The captain gathered everyone on the ship, and told them that they were in danger, and anyone who could fight would be very welcome to aid in the defense of the ship. Arcturus, Ironbeard, Alphonse, the suspicious elf’s friends, and one passenger stepped forward. Ollin apparently made himself scarce, planning a sneak attack when the time was right. The pirates closed in, all the while yelling taunts at the Intrepid’s crew. Once they were abreast, the first mate, and then the captain of the Death Knell stepped forward.
The two captains exchanged words, ending with Azacta saying “Bite me, dwarven scum”. A fight started. Shuergen animated the skeletons attached to the hull of his ship while his crewmen picked up planks which they extended over to the Intrepid for boarding. By the fights end, Azatca lay dead along with several of his crewmen, and all but two of Death Knell’s crew were killed (they surrendered once their captain had been killed).
During the fight, the suspicious elf had revealed that he was a magic-user, which caught everyone’s attention. After the fight, he revealed himself as Archon Yukanis of the Combine. He told the crew of his plans to defect and form a new, more just system on the island of Ekwa. Anyone who wished to side with him was invited to proclaim their new allegiance.
Arcturus stepped forward first, having seen first-hand the racism of the Combine. Many others on the ship followed, including Ironbeard. Yukanis assured Ironbeard that as a merchant, he would stand to make substantial gains in making a lucrative investment this early on. Ollin allied with him as well, but had some questions for later. Alphonse, one of the few humans on the ship, was called forward. He was not going to jump blindly into this Combine conflict, but the Archon wanted someone of his skills to aid him. They walked away from the crowd to work out a deal (and were secretly shadowed by Ollin and Arcturus). The Archon informed Alphonse that he had rune-stones that he was willing to offer to the Kalashek, whom he knew were always interested in studying magic, in exchange for recognition and Alphonse. He even stated that he would allow Alphonse to undergo rune implantation so that they could study the runes in their most powerful use. It was a deal, though Alphonse was too good a liar, and did not wish for a permanent alliance, but was still very interested in the runes.
As the archon walked away, Ollin came up next to him and they went below decks to discuss something of world-shaking importance…