The Vault of Lost Tales

Memoirs of an Enchanted Sojourner

Month: December, 2013

Valley of the Grove

Iona escapes to the Valley of the Grove

Her secret pleasure and treasure trove

Fearless fetish, foolish and bold

To find what ghoulish spirits behold

Stolen moments in the cold

Courageous treks of the unknown

Light shone, seeds sown

Unwelcome at home

A struggle to find where one belongs

Invalidated identity screaming for recognition

Complex ideologies and empty traditions

Draining the essence in harsh conditions

Conflictions with inner self

Seeking the place where winners dwell

A sinner’s hell for convicted innocence

Contradicted insolence

A moment’s peace down in the Valley

A communion where the humble rally

Lowly creatures great and small

The Grove holds a place for them all

Nature’s silent call

Answered only by the needy

Ignored by the greedy

Seedy evolutions abound

Not in but all around

Crystal Orchard grounds

A haven found

A place safe and sound

Where none other dare goes

A magical river flows

Forbidden but not hidden

In the Valley of the Grove

The Satyrs

Save for the Merge Fecund Salutation and the events surrounding and leading up to it, daily life around Crystal Orchard was typically pretty mundane.

The nymphs had no contact with the worlds outside of their colony, and they dared not venture any further, for fear of their lives.

At least that was the admonishment of the Deities.

The Deities portended to ‘protect’ the nymphs from their natural, predatory, enemies—namely, the ferociously wild beasts known as Satyrs.

At some point in Crystal Orchard’s distant past, there was some kind of war between the Deities and the Satyrs.

The Satyrs were driven out of Crystal Orchard and chased into oblivion. The Deities then cast a spell of ‘protection’ around the colony to prevent the Satyrs from ever returning and ‘attacking’ the poor defenseless nymphs.

The Merge Fecund Salutation honored this battle and ‘salvation’ of the nymphs by the Deities, and insured that the Deities would not withdraw their ‘services’ or ‘divine protection’ from the poor nymphs.

The Deities were the only male beings the nymphs of Crystal Orchard had any contact or interaction with, and that contact was far and few in-between, in addition to being doled out only to the special or chosen nymphs.

It goes without saying of course that Iona never fell into that category.

And over the seasons, a hole began to form in Iona’s heart, growing ever bigger with each round of rejections by the Deities and Elders.

The growing hole became hungrier and hungrier, until Iona was forced to question an obvious mystery; in observing all of the other creatures around the colony, both great and small, Iona noticed that every female had a male counterpart.

Every female except the nymphs of Crystal Orchard—and since the Deities forbade any outside contact (for fear of the nymphs ‘safety’), even with other colonies of nymphs, Iona had no reference with which to compare in explanation of their peculiar singularity.

When her inquiries were shunned, Iona began to receive strange visions about the Satyrs and the Deities. The mystery of the Satyrs grew ever more intriguing to Iona, as need eclipsed fear.

The other nymphs need for male companionship was satiated by the Deities, or the hope thereof, but not Iona’s. The more she was denied, persecuted & rejected, the greater her need grew.

To Iona, the Deities ‘gift’ of male companionship and protection was somehow unnatural and deficient, and for the life of her, she could not understand why she felt that way, especially when everyone else around her was so easily appeased.

The ever growing hole in her heart demanding answers, Iona eventually asked the Elders a simple and natural question: Why did the Satyrs ever want to attack the nymphs to begin with?

Iona had always been taught that the Satyrs were foe, but the lack of an even remotely satisfactory answer to that question, coupled with her strange visions and the growing hole in her heart, left her to wonder if the Satyrs might possibly have ever been a friend instead…

DEITIES vs TRUE GODS

Ah, yes, it is a familiar time of year for many mortals. A time for festivities and worship and celebrations with those whom mortals find familiar. A time to be thankful and reflect upon moments of mortal gratitude.

Although ‘time’ and ‘seasons’ are not perceived the same in the Enchanted Lands, the nymphs of Crystal Orchard do share in a periodic merriment of sorts, somewhat akin to this ‘season’ of mortals.

This ‘special occasion’ known by the nymphs of Crystal Orchard as the Merge Fecund Salutation, is for worshiping and honoring the Deities and their ‘gifts’ to the nymphs.

The Merge Fecund Salutation is a long-standing tradition within the grounds of Crystal Orchard, as it is the pinnacle moment of the native nymphs lives (most of them that is).

Iona, however, is the one lone nymph out of the bunch, who for reasons vaguely unbeknownst to even herself, does not feel so jovial about ‘worshiping’ the Deities, in dire contrast to the feelings of the rest of her colony.

Iona had always questioned the authority that the Deities wielded over the nymphs of her beloved colony. She was always doubtful of their ‘gifts’ to the nymphs and the nymphs obligatory beholding to the Deities for said questionable gifts.

Her dubious inclinations were not well received by the Elders however, and Iona was made to suffer the consequences of her ‘defiance.’

Iona never understood how asking a question could be interpreted as defiance. But she suspected the Deities were also behind the stern tone that the Elders took with her in response to her honest questions.

Iona did not worship the Deities blindly, nor anyone for that matter. She was one to observe the facts and let the truth determine her loyalty.

It was Iona’s compulsive yearning for truth that caused her to come to believe in the mysterious True Gods, a feat all but extraordinary, considering Iona’s circumstances within Crystal Orchard.

Except for the Elders, most of the nymphs had no memory or knowledge of the True Gods, not since the coming of the Deities. Making a mention of the True Gods, or possessing any item of worship for them, was something utterly forbidden by the Deities.

The Elders did an obediently faithful job of all but erasing the True Gods from the minds of the younger nymphs. So one can imagine the sense of horror and fear these Elders may have felt when out of nowhere the young nymph named Iona suddenly began asking questions about the True Gods and at the same time questioned the authority of the Deities.

How would they explain this to the Deities? How did Iona learn about the True Gods when no nymph had uttered a single word about them in ages since the Deities took power?

Ah, the power of an earnest question.

It was the Elders overzealous reactions to Iona’s ‘questions’ that ironically enough gave Iona the very validation she needed.

For Iona had no ‘proof’ of the existence of the True Gods, neither had she any evidence that the Deities were not whom they portended to be.

She only had questions—the questions that came to her mind in the face of things she observed that just did not seem to add up.

It was the questions that stirred up the tempest against her, and it was that very same tempest that gave her enough confidence to know that she even had a choice, something she never would have learned had the Elders not refused to answer her.

Not only did they not answer her, but they punished her for mere inquisitiveness, something she instinctively knew was contrary to nature.

In essence, the irony was so beautiful, because it was in the very denial of the question that Iona found her answer.

When she found her answer, she could no longer enjoy or be excited for the Merge Fecund Salutation.

For Iona, the Deities and their ‘gifts’ were nothing to celebrate, because the only gift she ever wanted was the truth.