Painting of King Louis XI

The Legend of the Spider King & His Astrologer

King Louis XI ruled France during the 15th century (1461-1483 AD). He was known for his webs of intrigue, earning him the monicker of “The Spider King.” He was also known for his love—and fear—of astrology. This story is either true or rooted in truth.

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

The problems began when the Spider King’s most trusted astrologer accurately predicted that a lady at court would die in eight days’ time. This filled the Spider King with dread. If the astrologer’s abilities were genuine, he possessed enough power to threaten the king. Even if the astrologer had killed the lady to make his prediction come true, he was just as dangerous.

Determined to rid himself of this potential menace, the Spider King devised a trap. He invited the astrologer to his quarters, secretly instructing his guards to throw the fortune-teller out of a high window on his signal. But as the astrologer entered the king’s chamber, the Spider King decided to test him one last time before carrying out his plan.

“You claim to understand astrology and to know the fate of others,” the king said to the astrologer. “So tell me: how long do you have to live?”

The astrologer, perhaps sensing the king’s intentions, replied calmly, “Your Majesty, I shall die just three days before you do.”

The astrologer’s words struck fear into the heart of the King once again. Fearing for his life, the king ensured that the astrologer was provided with the finest food, comfortable lodgings, and excellent care, hoping to keep him alive for as long as possible.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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