Perhaps they thought Robert would listen to a kindred spirit, or perhaps celibacy had addled the High Priest's brain. I didn't know, I didn't care. I. Was. Free.
I did my duty as I saw it. Drinking and whoring and waving my sword around, the only gods Robert cared about, anyway.
Years passed, Robert became king, I became a joke, we both became fat. I even won some glory in Greyjoy's Rebellion, first through the breach and all that. It's amazing what boldness a full bladder can inspire.
But Robert had stopped listening to my sermons a long time ago, even if I had still bothered to give them. Then came Robert's death and the war.
Man once again faces the war for the dawn, which has been waged since time began. On one side is the Lord of Light. The Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. Against him stands the Great Other, whose name may not be spoken. The Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror.
According to prophecy, our champion will be reborn to wake dragons from stone and reforge the great sword Lightbringer that defeated the darkness those thousands of years ago.
If the old tales are true, a terrible weapon forged with the lifeblood of a loving wife's heart.
Part of me thinks man was well rid of it, but great power requires great sacrifice. That much, at least, the Lord of Light is clear on.
I sound like a dried-out old woman, I know. But as our former Hand liked to say, "Winter is Coming". When the cold winds rise, all men, no matter their faith or lack of it, huddle beside my nightfires. And I pray the prayers, and speak the spells, and beseech the Lord of Light to bring back the dawn.
So far, so good. But reprobate as I am, I can't help but wonder what will happen if, one day, our Lord does not answer. Imagine a night that goes on forever, so dark and full of terrors.