Of course they met him a bar. Why would you even ask?
Anyway, several play sessions full of hijinks later, the PCs were looking to replace the ship they'd lost (longer story) and asked him to be their patron. Why they thought this was a good idea is unknown to me, but this is the same group who later installed the Turbo-Encabulator on their ship on the principle of "Hey, the science is sound", which tells you that they make poor life choices pretty regularly.
In fact, I made this for them last August:
|Made at http://zho.berka.com/stuff/lbb-covers/|
Back on topic: the PCs wanted a filthy-rich noble of a party disposition to be their boss and buy them a ship. The Count thought about this and gave a counter-proposal, which they accepted. Reading the terms of the contract should give insight into how his mind works:
Yes, during the course of play the Count did make demands regarding where to fly, or what to do. The PCs were often drafted into roles as bodyguards, entourage, and flunkies. The Count also got them into trouble about as many times as he got them out of it.
Sadly, Count Tobias Stavelot is no longer part of their adventuring group. As a result of a botched encounter with an active Ancient base and a functioning, genocidal AI, the Count was trans-speciated into a Droyne along with most of the planet's inhabitants. (Even longer story). He is now quite happy as Leader of Leaders on Fulacin, his psionic powers restored and his every whim attended to by an adoring population of lower-caste Droyne who now look to him for guidance.
God help the Imperium.