'You don't step into the ring with Ali because you think you can box.
The Clan is the original unit of social organization for the people of The Known World. Humanti society is becoming more diverse. The Guild or professional organization is taking the fore in the Known World. Except on the Sea.
The PCs are walking along the road, when suddenly a bunch of bandits attacks. The player's dismiss it has just a random encounter, when they find an ornate ring on the leader, obviously out of place with the seemingly poor bandits, who could only afford cheap leather and weapons. This ring has a symbol on it, which, if researched, sets the PCs on a quest. And from then on, the players don't look at random encounters the same way...