In the wake of the daring rescue mission which saved Queen Myala Everstar and most of the Aurin population of Arboria, the Exile Fleet found itself in dire straits. Many of its starships were sorely in need of repair after engaging the Dominion military, including the massive arkship Gambler's Ruin that served as the flagship for the aging, ramshackle fleet. Stores of food and water - always in short supply - were now stretched dangerously thin in order to support their new Aurin visitors, along with an increasing number of refugees that had escaped the Grismaran blockade. And although the Exiles had successfully escaped the Dominion after the events on Arboria, the empire had tripled their Seeker patrols in the backwater systems of the Fringe. If the fleet wasn't outfitted and operational within a few days, the Dominion would undoubtedly find them - and even with the support of the Granok free companies, they might not survive another attack.
As the hours passed and the engineers worked desperately to repair breached hulls and blasted engines, a growing sense of despair spread through the fleet. A hushed silence pervaded mess halls and crowded sleeping quarters, as if any sound might lead the Dominion Seekers to their hiding place. Huddled groups of families and friends gathered on observation decks, casting anxious glances into the silent starscape while quietly praying to their chosen gods. Many believed the situation hopeless. Even if the ships were repaired and provisions were found, it was only a matter of time before critical systems of the fleet's battered starships began to fail. What they needed was a new homeworld, a place to put down roots before they succumbed to death or destruction in the cold reaches of space.
And indeed, they might have suffered such a fate had it not been for a human named Dorian Walker. Obsessed with finding the legendary planet Nexus for years, Walker had always been considered a crackpot amongst his friends and peers. Just before the rescue mission on Arboria, he left the fleet in a desperate gamble to find the Eldan homeworld. After weeks of fruitless searching, just as the life support systems on his ship started to malfunction, Walker finally reached Nexus - and soon after making planetfall, he sent a joyous message to the Exiles that he had finally found them a new home.
News of Walker's discovery spread like wildfire through the fleet. Hopelessness and despair gave way to an elated anticipation of things to come. Glasses were raised, and worries forgotten. Salvation, it seemed, was at hand.
Within a few hours of the announcement, leaders from all of the races in the fleet met aboard the Gambler's Ruin to discuss what should happen next. Each shared a common bond, driven from their homeworlds in the wake of the Dominion's aggressive expansion, and Nexus represented a place of refuge where they could rebuild their shattered lives. Despite the miraculous news, they understood such a journey was going be extremely difficult. Aside from the unknown mysteries and dangers awaiting them on the planet, a thousand other challenges needed to be addressed and overcome if they were going to establish a community strong enough to survive.
Their discussions lasted for days, with spirited arguments about everything from merchants' rights to law enforcement to military service. Eventually, they hammered out the major tenets of an agreement that would come to be known as the Exile Accords. Signed by all of the leaders present, the Accords represented a commitment to building a free society on planet Nexus, and a promise they would stand united against anyone or anything who threatened their new home.
As the ink was drying on the Exile Accords, the engineers completed their repairs and the word was sent out to prepare the fleet for hyperjump. Provisions were stored, hatches were battened, and all non-essential crew were directed to cryo-pods for the long trip beyond the Fringe. As the hyperdrive of the Gambler's Ruin rumbled to life, the exhausted and hopeful Exiles closed their eyes and drifted quietly into the warm embrace of cryo-sleep - dreaming of the new lives awaiting them on Nexus.
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