Read Part 1 here.
On the path away from the city, I came upon a most strange Situation: A resident of Thoth, slowly pulling a large Cart laden with many Books which he had salvaged from the Library. Checking once behind me, to make sure that neither of us were pursued, I followed him at a distance to see where his strange Errand might lead.
The lone soul ended his quest at a cove quite off from the main harbor, upon which was docked a small ship. He proceeded to lead his cart down the rickety Gangplank of the ship and began to unload the salvaged Books onto the Deck.
Feeling it safe to reveal myself, I stepped to the dock and called out a hearty “What, ho!”
The man looked up, not understanding my words but perceiving that I was not one of the wretched Marauders. I desired to beseech of him that I might join him on his voyage, and to demonstrate to him my skill as a seafarer; but before I could form any such gesture, there was a great whoosh and a crack and both of us turned to the horizon.
There, garbed in a cloak of fire and ash surely worse than the Devil’s itself, suspended in the sky, was the cursed Ship.
The Thothian and I, forgetting all barriers in Communication, prepared ourselves to fight. As the marauders were mostly upon the town, there were only some few soldiers left upon the ship. They descended fearsomely down the rigging to meet us on the Shore.
We fought with the combined valiance of our two Nations. I, with British courage, swung my sword and cleaved the skull of the first Savage.
The Thothian, with movements most Eloquent and Strange, like a dance around the Beach, most bewildered the two Invaders left. They loped around in a dizzy daze. He gripped one by the arm and launched him roundly in an Arc above the sea.
As he watched the first invader plunge into the sea, he turned his gaze to his Ship, as a worried Parent upon the Child it loves. His face filled with Horror. Bolts of fire flew through the air, piercing the sails of the good Thothian’s ship. I turned my gaze to see a Band of horrid Archers firing arrows from the deck of their own ship.
Horror of horrors! But worse: I turned back to my distressed companion just in time to see the third Fiend on the shore, in fiendish burst of Clarity, thrust his sword into the back of my Companion.
He looked at me, and with eyes filled with pleading passion, seemed to entreat me to something. He gestured off the side of the ship towards his vessel, and I saw that its sails were now completely Burned. He indicated the books aboard the ruined vessel most passionately. Then I saw that his life was gone, and his eyes were as dark as those of our horrible Enemies.
The bravery of my fallen Companion somehow overtook me and allowed me to overcome my past Foolishness and Cowardice. I slew the final Monster on the shore. In a burst of passioned Strength, I threw his rotten Body up towards the Archers, and thus did knock two of them into the Sea. Then, remembering the Rope I had previously employed, I slung my sword up to the deck and did Defeat the final archer.
I saw in the flying vessel, despite its terrible Appearance, a much greater prospect for returning to Britain with the Cargo of precious Books. The fiery sails lit up my mind with an uncontrollable Ambition, and I foresaw the riches I would attain when I returned. I began to carry the books from the broken, landed ship to the damnéd skyward one.
From the deck of the Skyward ship, I descended a set of most Demonic and Rickety stairs and stacked the books below board in a kind of Galley. When I came up above board, I found more of those foul and wretched characters scaling the rigging, as if the ship had spawned them from the sea. I brandished my cutlass but it did not much ward them off. I looked above; the fiery sails were ever-billowing as if filled with some ghostly wind; and yet the ship stayed in its place.
I reached down and hooked one of the beastly creatures by a loop of his tattered tunic, and pulled him up onto the deck. I entreated him to tell me how to sail the ship. However, I saw no light of intelligence in his eyes, but only an anger surely brought from Hell; I was no more capable of communicating with him than with the Thothian. I threw him overboard and was quite satisfied with the Splash this produced below.
Possessed by a sudden Impulse, I strode to the fore of the vessel and gripped the Wheel. I found in the grain of its wood a strange Enchantment, and perceived that my mind, bound up with this Magick, could propel the ship to move upon its own accord. I made use of this power and brought the ship away from the Cove. Several Fiends still clinging to the rigging of the ship fell and streamed like ballasts into the dark waters below.
Sailing through the sky, quite away from the terrors of that night, my heart was quite filled with a Triumph that I confess did cloud my Judgment. When this Triumph passed, blown away on the cold wind, I bethought myself that no matter what the value of the portion of the Library I had saved, the burden of whatever curse clung to this wretched ship was surely heavier.
Filled with a great Shame at the thought of my ambition bringing this curse beyond the primitive city of Thoth and to my beloved Great Britain, I changed the ship’s course.