Stapes is the Maer's manservant and most trusted friend since childhood.
To show his appreciation he gives Kvothe a Bone Ring, in concordance with Vintas tradition of trading rings. A bone ring represents a blood debt owed to the holder.
When Kvothe falls out of favor with the Maer, he attempts to return the ring to Stapes, but Stapes refuses him.
One theory is that Stapes is one of the Amyr. The evidence for this is that he has the Maer's trust and money, so he would be free to do…whatever the Amyr do. Also, the Maer was interested in the Amyr as a child, and Stapes was the Maer's friend back then.
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