Conor Broekhart was a remarkable boy, a fact that became evident very early in his idyllic childhood. Nature is usually grudging with her gifts, dispensing them sparingly, but she favoured Conor with everything she had to offer. It seemed as though all the talents of his ancestors had been bestowed upon him. Intelligence, strong features and grace. Conor was fortunate in his situation too. He was born into an affluent community, where the values of equality and justice were actually being applied, on the surface at least. He grew up with a strong belief in right and wrong, which was not muddied by poverty or violence. It was straightforward for the young boy. Right was Great Saltee, wrong was Little Saltee. It is an easy matter now, to pluck some events from Conor's early years and say, There it is. The boy who became the man. We should have seen it. But hindsight is an unreliable science and, in truth, there was perhaps a single incident during Conor's early days at the palace that hinted at his potential.