The Dwarf marched slowly and painfully through Hell.
It was nothing but rocks and crags, climbing and dropping, caverns with awful scenes of torture enacted before him, horrid sounds, cries of pain and weeping, and no sense of time or direction. He hadn’t seen a member of his crew in almost a week although it was possible they were one of the ones being tortured around him. But he could never make out a face he knew.
No one ever laid a finger on him. He was left to wander deliriously and he began to believe the Faerie who came to him each night and told him that the scenes were all staged, that there was nothing to actually fear and he would be left alone.
Indeed he was left alone, and was the last of his crew in fact. But he was being watched with extraordinary interest. He was almost at the end of the month long course and still apparently mentally intact.
While he did look extraordinarily well kept together to his secret observers, actually he was mad as a hatter. Over three weeks on a hallucinogen, a long, physically demanding trek and an entire experience carefully designed to cause mental trauma had taken its toll. He didn’t believe for a moment that he had a lick of sanity left.
What kept him so together was the fact that he didn’t particularly mind. A state of insanity simply didn’t bother him.
In addition, what had caused more than a few of his fellow crewmen to lose their last wits was their attempt to assert some will power into overcoming the insane situation that surrounded them. This never went well and often caused the last snap of frustration. The Dwarf on the other hand, accepting that he had gone round the bend, simply stopped making decisions of importance. Whenever faced with a decision he rolled the silver dice he had gotten from the pirate girl a month earlier and let it decide his fate.
Also, by undergoing such hardship, the Dwarf felt strong, which lifted his deepest area of self loathing from him, so in fact, he was not completely miserable.
And thus, The Dwarf simply kept walking.
The Faeries had told him that everything around him was an illusion, a carefully built island sized theater set to toy with his mind. However, when Faeries show up to tell you that nothing around you is real, this usually is of little comfort.
They told him some elaborate plan that involved him rescuing their sacred toads, which sounded no more or less bizarre than anything else in his day.
However, The Faeries started messing with him by causing him to spill his water whenever he would find a spring and try to drink. He could of course drink by simply sticking his head in, but they made it impossible to drink otherwise. Finally he agreed to go without food or water for a day if they would stop.
By evening he was in misery as the walk was actually life threatening without any water, much less a little food. But he felt less disoriented than he had in weeks and his thoughts actually followed a semblance of coherency and before he finally relented and drank some water again, he accepted that the Faeries were correct and he was under a drug.
This meant there were flesh and blood people responsible for his predicament, which significantly changed things. So, madness descending upon him again, he rolled the dice. Their directions were clear.
He did exactly as they suggested. He removed all his clothes, and painted himself with mud and shrubbery until he looked like Pan, then set about to interrupt one of the torture scenes and rip out one of the participant’s throats with his teeth.
Ideally he would prefer to kill the torturer as they might be torturing with an implement he could use, but as his sense of reason was fast slipping he figured he’d settle for anybody who struck his fancy.
On one hand the plan didn’t work quite as intended. He snuck up on one of the torture scenes and leapt upon them, with something that sounded like a giggle from a hysterical scorpion, which is actually more upsetting than a simple scream. He didn’t get any throats though. He may have bitten off either someone’s nose or testicles but it was impossible to be sure which. The actors fled. The Dwarf followed and chased them into a cave where they soon lost him.
The cave however, was the way in and out for the behind the scenes crew and now The Dwarf was in the backstage area so to speak; off the radar, a wild, absolutely insane, testicle devouring Pan coming through the back door to wreak havoc and sew a stream of bloody carcasses until he was back in Heaven again.