Abner is a commoner, and he reports directly to the king himself. He is fanatically loyal. He bears a ring of keys, each in its own cloth envelope so that they do not clink together, as if this will convince people he does not carry them on his person.
Ralf is one of the few commoners fortunate enough to be recognized and known by the king. They speak together often about dogs, beasts of the hunt, and the virtues of various hunting sites. He is the man on the ground when the king goes hunting. At court …