From the journals of Josef Akulov:
“…it was around this time that Sayd’s obsession with the Whispering Queen became clear. I often noted him staring silently at the pages from that strange book, the ones that look like a wood-cut fairly tale, for long periods of time, lost in thought. He spoke began speaking of wish fulfillment and bargains and fey contracts, puzzling through how we could approach this Duchess of Hoarfrost or even the Whispering Queen herself and perhaps treat with them. He asked myself and Kaede about the fey frequently, listening to what legends and tales we knew, seeming entranced by them.
It was only later that I heard the tale of the Singing Tree from Teret, of how he, Walorin and Sayd had slain the mythic creature, and how it turned into a porcelain white statue of a beautiful woman holding an apple. The story reminded me of something I had heard long ago, about how when certain creatures die, their essences are bound up into such things. I asked Sayd about it. He told me he had sensed the apple was amazingly powerful but that its magic was fleeting, and he bit it heedless of the risk. How since then, he could feel the energy of the forest inside him, the cries of the birds, the stalking or predators.
For our purposes I will call this the Apple of Discord, because I believe it holds the key to Sayd’s predicament. It was after he ate it that his fascination with the fey began. And it was after he ate it that his demonic attributes slowly began to temper. I recall seeing him one morning and questioning whether his horn had always been so small. A few weeks later, it was gone entirely, his tail, too.
I asked him about it and he dodged the question, an almost guilty look on his face, clearly knowing something he refused to let on. He seemed glad that the horn and tail were gone. He looks just like a human now, albeit possessed of an otherworldly beauty. His green eyes still flare with light in moments of emotion, but one could easily miss it. We all remember the morning he woke up screaming, saying that he had been “stolen” by some other power, before finally admitting it was just a nightmare. And since that time, I have oft seen him staring at reflective surfaces before turning away in shock…"
From the journals of Woodrow Hinderbound:
“Of all of them, I admire Sayd Krynn the most, although he is incredibly unwise and lacks any commitment to agreements or promises. He is possessed of a nearly sociopathic boldness and ignorance of danger, coupled with a warm and charming personality. A natural leader. When I first met him, I was immediately struck by his clearly demonic nature. Had I to guess, his fair countenance and only minor visible demonic attributes suggest his blood bears the mark of an incubus or succubus in the family tree. Curious. Demons are of course the least trustworthy of all beings, creatures of pure and raw greed and spite. Yet when I next met him, at the battle that ended my employment with the Stag Lord, his horn and tail were gone. At first I thought he had merely disguised them, but after speaking with some of the others I realized that is not the case.
There are only a few things that could permanently alter one’s appearance so. Unless someone deliberately polymorphed him, then I must agree with Josef’s speculation. The very nature of the magic in his blood has been changed somehow.
I watched as he took a lock of green hair, a valued possession of the Stag Lord’s and wove it into his own hair. It was an exceedingly curious thing to do, especially considering what Josef and Kaede mentioned, that this article is some kind of token of some First World monarch. Yet so skilled is he at deflecting questions with an easy smile, that no one seems to be paying attention to what is clearly strange behavior…"
From the journal of Theron Shadeslip:
“…I found him in a grove, just as they told me, him kneelin’ by a mirror pool and lookin’ all pale at his reflection, like he been talkin’ to it. I tell him what he needed to know. I came ta him lookin’ like an owl, smoking a cigarette, tell him I’s here ta help, that I ken tell him things he need ta hear. That he’s my master, now.
He thinks his soul’s been stolen, an maybe he’s right. He been enchanted by powerful juju, and no lie. But I ken tell he thinks it’s all fer some grand purpose, that he’s a pawn in some fey scheme. Tha truth is, he ain’t stolen. Naw, he’s the one that stole somethin’ from the wood, ate a piece a’ the wild that tweren’t meant fer mortal people. An’ now it’s in ‘im, growing, changing him. Makin’ his senses more acute, his heart more carefree, his soul more mischievous, that’s all.
He afraid tha demon in him’s gone, that he’s weaker for it. But I wouldn’t serve no weak master. The elders from my village were right. I can feel the mark a greatness on him. He jes needs someone to whisper secrets in his ear, and that’s something I ken do."
From the journal of Sayd Krynn:
“The magic of my blood has been unraveling for months now, reforming into something else. I felt it when it happened, when I ate that apple, but I thought it was merely new power, the flood of the wild rushing into me. It’s not. The magic is reshaping who I am.
I can hear the moaning of the earth when I lay down at night. And Theron, who knows many things, sought me out…
The power I feel is immeasurable. When I was young, I always possessed talents, what the scholars said were magic. To me, they felt innate. I knew they came from the same place as my horn. From my blood, from something inhuman in it.
Whatever that apple did, it broke down the barriers of what my magic can accomplish. I feel as though I can do anything, if I merely wish it. The fabric of magic itself is before me, like a grand tapestry. I catch glimpses of it, a lattice of light more beautiful than anything the waking eye could ever see.
I am not sure if what I have seen in the Stolen Lands are illusions or reality. Did the Whispering Queen really steal my soul, or was it just a dream? Have I made a bargain with her? I even begin to question the words of that Calistrian priestess who told me of my life. I was stark mad with fever when I spoke to her, and Bokken didn’t recall seeing her at all. Could she have just been a vision? And if so, was the wild story she told merely nothing but a fantasy of my addled mind?
What I know is this: when I look in the mirror now, I see myself, but with ivory skin, black hair, and red eyes. And the look on my face is always one of painful disbelief, as though I had done that other me some incredible injustice.
What that means, I do not know. But it feels real. As though I am looking at a duality of some kind. As though I have done myself injury, but I know not why. I can sense that the Dark Me is sensitive, frightened, and thoughtful. He is someone I would befriend. Yet, I can see in his eyes that he will never be friends with me. Because I will burn the stars. Because I have no use for fear.
I call him, the Dark Me, the Stolen Prince. It is what he looks like to me, a part of me that was taken. Noble and lost, forlorn but not forgotten. When I am King of the Stolen Lands, that will be my title. It is the only kindness I can pay to the man in the mirror, the man I sacrificed to become Sayd Krynn. I would do it again."