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…