The story of Pan and Syrinx has spread far and wide; one of the most loved Greek fairy tales. The word "syrinx" became the Greek word for "pipe" and is used synonymously with the term "pan pipes." A syrinx has five hollow reeds, cut to graduated lengths, and bound with string or leather. It produces a sweet, high-pitched music that lilts across great distances. Shepherds in Greece still play them and their sound echoes over the countryside.
The one and only Syrinx was the first pipe made. Pan himself created it and kept it with him at all times. Its current location remains unknown, though many satyrs have quested to find it. Other fae think the satyrs are hiding it but if that's true, it's the best kept secret satyrs ever had. Satyrs keeping secret? Yeah, right.
Many Kithain have heard of this treasure and fear its appearance because it has the ability to inspire incredible passion in those who hear its song. Because it was born of true love, though, it doesn't trigger generic passions as the Gift of Pan does. Instead it makes those who mourn lost love feel the bittersweet pain more acutely and it urges those who do love to act on their emotions with the target of their affection. The music intensifies all of these feelings and solidifies them forevermore. The one who loves, when they hear the music of Syrinx, will love that person forever and maybe beyond.
Pan watched a naked mortal woman swimming in Thoas. His fingers itched to look at her. The woman was named Syrinx. As she climbed out of the water, glorious in her nakedness, she napped in the sun. When she awoke, Pan spoke to her from the shadows, claiming his love for her. When he stepped out of the shadows, the young shepherdess stared in disbelief as his bare chest and goat legs, his masculinity like nothing she had experienced and it scared her. While Pan sought to comfort her, claiming his desire to love her, all she could do was refuse and ran away. He chased her home but she closed the door of her father's house. She told no one because she was afraid they would think her insane, but in her bed that night, she lay awake, listening for the sound of hooves and a love song. Pan was as smitten and promised he would have her.
The next day, while Syrinx was out with the sheep, he appeared again, intent on winning her. She claimed she had dreamed of sheep, which was a lie. Pan said he dreamed of her. He described the dream but all Syrinx could do was say "no." She claimed her father wold kill him if he knew they had talked. Pan laughed. "Do you not know who I am?" Syrinx knew who he was... Pan, seducer of women and killer of men. Pan was amused and though he could have taken her, he was content to wait until she desired him more than life itself.
Pan visited her every day on the hills, pursuing her gently as he had never done before. The fae of Olympus whispered of it. Apollo supported him. Hera, who hated the satyrs because of their ties to Dionysus, wanted to make problems.
The Plot Thickens
Hera went to Glaucus, Syrinx's father, disguised as an old woman, and lied to him, making the meetings between his daughter and Pan sound much less innocent. Glaucus refused to believe her at first but she continued to work to convince him. To prove her wrong, the good father went to see for himself, but as he heard his daughter's laughter as she talked with the goat-god, he fell to his knees, believing the old woman correct. "What must I do?" he cried, because he had promised her to another. Hera convinced him that now no man would want her and her good name would be ruined, as would his. She convinced him that the only answer was to kill Syrinx.
That night, as Syrinx dreamed and Pan caught and treasured those dreams, Glaucus slipped into her room, so quietly that neither she nor Pan hear him, intent on the deed. His daughter's innocent face in the moonlight, though, stopped him. From the shadows, Hera spoke... urging him on. He hesitated. Syrinx awoke, startled by the appearance of her father with the knife. "Why?" she asked.
Glaucus cried out it was because she was no longer a maiden and had brought shame to the house. Hera continued to urge him to the deed from the shadows. Syrinx denied the charge. He lunged forward, planting the knife in the mattress near her head. She screamed. Glaucus realized what he was doing; realized he had been tricked by the old woman, and slumped to the floor.
Pan, meanwhile, felt his loved one's dreams severed from him. He heard her scream. Then he saw her run from the house, leaving pain and sorrow in her wake, hammering into the satyr. By the time he recovered, she had reached the first hill and disappeared. He heard Glaucus shout, "old woman!" and glancing toward the house, saw Hera's familiar Glamour slipping out. He gritted his teeth and went after his love.
The Shores of Thoas
He found her at Thoas Lake, terrifyingly silent. He spoke kind word to her, trying to find out what had happened. "My father tried to kill me," she said. "I have shamed my family." She was empty of emotion. Pan frowned. "I will kill him." But Syrinx insisted her father was right. Pan tried to convince her to come with him, not daring to touch her, but Syrinx would not because he was a god and would tire of her. He pleaded his cause, the time he had spent winning her. How could he tire of her? But all she said was "no," and walked into the water. Pan followed her to the edge of the water, calling her name, but she was gone.
Pan stayed by the lake for days. Glaucus had gone mad and wandered Greece. Hera had felt satyr vengeance; raped and tossed back to the court of Olympus covered in dung. Pan, though, felt no satisfaction. He waited for his love to return to him. Eventually her body washed up on shore to lie among the reeds. Her hair spread out and her body sank into the mud. Crows and worms ate her sweet flesh. Reeds grew up through her, pushing apart her bones and drawing strength from her essence.
Pan watched and waited with immortal patience. In spring, when the reeds had grown fully, he cut them down carefully, trimmed them to size, and bound them together. When the pipe was finished, he whispered "Syrinx," her memory flooding through him, sending a tear down his cheek. He blew across the pipes and heard her voice. He blew again and her memory caressed him. Blowing more fully into the instrument, he took the kiss he had longed for. In his mind, the pipe was Syrinx. His breath in the reeds was him making love to her. He played for days on end, lifting the hearts of all who heard him. Inspiring love and passion in the people of Greece. Even the fae on Olympus reveled, danced, and sang, though they could only guess why. Those who heard the sound got a taste of Pan's love, intoxicating in its fierce purity.
Thus was born the Gift of Pan for the Satyrs.