At first, Sarah assumed the creature next to Keeley was one of the beast-men. He had hairy legs and hooves, but his head was human – save for a small pair of goat horns that protruded from his forehead. He wore a crown of leaves, colored with the many bright colors of autumn foliage. When he saw Sarah looking at him, he got out of his throne of brambles and called for the other creatures in the forest to be quiet.
A jaded trickster, Pan is recognizable to most people even if they don’t come from Greystone Valley. As far back as the days of ancient Greece, tales have been told about the goat-legged man who lures men and women alike into the forest for feasting and celebration. Some of the legends paint him as more dangerous than that, but at his core Pan is a person who lives for the thrill of a celebration – or at least he used to.
In days long past, Pan lived a life devoted entirely to gluttony and excess. He enjoyed fine feasts and great music, eventually using his enchanted pipes only for the purpose of luring others to parties that would sometimes last for days. Slowly, though, the world changed. People began to fear Pan and creatures like him. Rumors began of the dangers Pan and the rest of the fey presented. Pan eventually accepted an invitation from the Wizard of Greystone Valley to retreat from his home and into the world between worlds.
Since coming to Greystone Valley, Pan has found the land to be a mixed blessing. On the bright side, there are lots of fey and other creatures to frolic with. Most people respect the fey in the valley, and only the very foolish hunt them. On the other hand, the land lacks the new experiences Pan craves. He wants to travel and meet new people. The small size of the valley makes that difficult, and although he and the other fey can move freely from one world to the next, very few lands are as accepting of his presence as they once were.
Because of his boredom and frustration, Pan has become quite stubborn and aggressive recently. Once willing to entertain curious travelers, he now tends to lash out at those who aren’t fey, accusing them of hunting him or trying to steal fey secrets. His pipes, once used to brighten even the darkest of moods, have collected dust for many years.
It’s quite possible that Pan may one day break out of the general malaise he’s found himself in, but it would take somebody who can break through his aggressive exterior and rekindle the old passions that he once had. Since he tends to lash out at anybody who tries, such a breakthrough seems unlikely for the time being.
Image by Telecanter