Up From the Mud
then-crown Prince Bartabas fled in a tantrum from the castle at Balstead, disguised himself as a common orphan and was temporarily adopted by Saul’s father. The royal guard lost track of the young prince for an entire season until he happened to be spotted helping the elder Mason mix mortar in town. The King very nearly handed down a penalty of death on the stonecutter for the crime of kidnapping, but the young prince argued in his favor, admitting to his deceit. Bartabas never saw either Mason until his own father died and he assumed the throne; it was then that he sought out the family which had sheltered him, finding Saul having assumed his father’s business after the elder’s death.
The two remained friends through much of Bartabas’ reign, with the King often calling upon Saul for advice on how a royal decree might be taken by the workers and peasants of Balos. While some in the royal family disdained this close contact with the common folk, it made Bartabas one of the more popular monarchs