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Westeros

A King’s Collapse

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King Baelor, the First of His Name, the renowned septon-king whose zealous piety has brought peace between the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne, has collapsed. On the fortieth day of his fast, an act of penance to attempt to right the wrong of his defiant sister Daena’s birth of a natural son, the king was praying in the late hours of the night before the Father in the royal sept, bent down on hands and knees in show of abject humbleness, when a novice of the sept replacing candles cried out at seeing Baelor sink forward, and then fall onto his side. Ser Peron the Pious and Ser Aleyn Florent were outside the sept, guarding its doors, and rushed in at the cry. Baelor, little more than skin and bones after a moon and more of letting nothing pass his lips but water and bread despite the urgings of his friends, councillors, and kin, was carried away by the Kingsguard knights to Maegor’s Hodlfast as the novice was sent to rouse the maesters.

Since then, there has been little word, but Prince Viserys has gathered all the maesters in the castle, and the Grand Maester with them, to tend to the king. It is rumored that the king does not wake from his stupor, and efforts to rouse him with wine and honey on his lips have no effect. Septons, too, have gathered, most praying devoutly outside Maegor’s Holdfast, standing their own vigil . . . but then the High Septon came, the boy the king himself commanded to be raised to that august office, and with him a host of the Most Devout. They were ushered into Maegor’s Holdfast. Some have taken heart at this: King Baelor swore the boy could work miracles, and mayhaps his little hands will bring the healing grace of the Seven.

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