The life of King Alberto IV of Penderona was one of remarkable tragedy. Yet, despite the immense sadness that accompanied him, Alberto IV remains one of the most beloved kings in the entire history of Penderona. Statues of him adorn several locations within the city, with the most beautiful sculpture of him near the fountain at the central square. It depicts him holding the body of his wife the queen close to his breast, on the night she died without warning. However, the tragedy he experienced in his life did not end there.
The crown prince of Penderona, King Alberto’s only son Humberto, was suddenly stricken with a disease that quickly drained him of his livelihood at the age of 15. He called upon every physician from across the land to administer to him, but none of them were able to cure him of his ailment. When modern medicine had failed him, a foreign woman claiming to be an apothecary and surgeon showed up, asking to see the boy alone. In his desperation, King Alberto reluctantly agreed.
In only one day, the woman had managed to bring life back into the boy, curing him of his disease. However, the traveling doctor was nowhere to be found. When his men investigated, they ultimately discovered that the woman came into the city on a ship from Laetro in the Saibhrean Isles. In an incredible show of appreciation, King Alberto IV immediately sent diplomats to Laetro to bolster the relationship between the two realms.
Though the woman was never identified, a friendship was quickly formed between Alberto IV and the Trade Baron Cairbre of Laetro, who ultimately decided to join their houses through marriage of Alberto’s daughter, the beloved princess Amália to the baron’s son Cathal.
The story goes that the royal vessel carrying Amália must have been an attractive target for sea bound pirates who had been a scourge upon the Sea of Commerce for many years. The king’s vessel never made it to Laetro, and all aboard the ship were lost at sea.
King Alberto IV was devastated by the news, and fell into a deep state of depression. His daughter was the joy of his life after his wife passed away, always cheering him up any time he looked unhappy. Losing her was a terrible loss for him, and for many years the resulting darkness followed him.
The story is said to have inspired many bards in the Saibhrean Isles, and as a result, a second song became associated with King Alberto IV (who was previously associated with the song “Walls” due to requesting it be played at the funeral of his wife). While the song “Walls” became a standard to be played at funerals because of it, this new song, an ode to the king and his daughter, was played at his own funeral.
Dances in the Sky
She waited for him patiently
In a dress that flowed like water
He came into the ballroom
And saw the bright eyes of his daughter
He couldn’t keep from crying
When he saw how much she’d grown
And in a moment he forgot about
All the time he spent alone
He didn’t know if he was strong enough
To go and take her hand
Remembering how she left him there
On the beach upon the sand
As the tears formed in his eyes
And rolled down his tired face
His daughter ran and met him
In a warm and firm embrace
And they flowed like rain upon the clouds
And they didn’t have to try
Their tears of joy fell on the ground
From their dances in the sky
He held her in his arms again
And she leaned upon his chest
Though darkness filled his sky so long
And put him through the test
He hoped they’d meet again one day
Though his faith was hard to hold
She’d be young and beautiful
While he’d be grey and old
But they flowed like rain among the clouds
And he didn’t want to cry
But his tears of joy fell on the ground
From their dances in the sky
He worried he might lose her again
As the music came and went
But when the silence filled the air
And he wondered what it meant
His darling child looked up at him
Not a worry in her eye
She took her father’s hand and then
They danced forever in the sky
And they flowed like rain above the clouds
As they wished us all goodbye
No more tears for them to ever shed
Only dances in the sky