King of Zargothrax Hospitalised After ‘Accidental’ Explosion

King Shapur XIV of Zargothrax has been rushed to hospital following an explosion in his personal science laboratory located in the basement of the Royal Palace. A spokesperson for the Royal Family has assured the public that there were ‘zero suspicious circumstances’ surrounding the explosion, and that it was caused by a ‘calculation error’ in a science experiment. King Shapur is known to spend much of his time conducting experiments in his basement lab.

King Shapur, 52, has been the ruler of Zargothrax, an absolute monarchy in Neria, since the death of his father Navid III in November 2020. He is known to be eccentric, having converted to the ‘cult-like’ modern religion Cosmic Infinity in his 20s from the Zoroastrianism of his country and family. Since his coronation, he has rarely been seen outside of the Palace, with most official occasions being attended by his 22-year-old son Prince Bahman in his stead. It is believed the King spends most of his time engaged in ‘strange’ scientific experiments in his lab.

It is unknown what precisely caused the explosion, but a lack of increased security at the Palace indicates that it was, indeed, an accident. This is not the first time that King Shapur’s experiments have gone wrong: when he was still Crown Prince in 2015, a flock of genetically-modified geese escaped from his laboratory and attempted to attack and eat several humans within the city of Castle Zargo. Also, in 2017, several palace servants fell ill with an unknown contagion that caused mild flu-like symptoms alongside turning one’s tongue temporarily blue. It is widely believed this also came from Shapur’s lab.

The King’s condition is unknown, however the Royal Astrologer – a position created by Shapur upon his coronation due to the importance of astrology within his religion of Cosmic Infinity – was seen entering the hospital, which indicates that the King is likely awake, as most of his advisers are known to disdain the Astrologer. None of the Princes or Princesses have yet to visit the hospital. The fire department has, however, left the Royal Palace indicating that further damage from the explosion has been contained.

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