I’d never seen a ship before. I’d heard stories and I’d seen a few sketches, but I’d never seen one in person. Still, when I thought of a ship I thought of a large wooden structure with masts and billowing sails. Other than its general shape, this vessel wasn’t exactly what I was expecting a ship to look like. It had the right general shape, but it was made of dark, silvery metal. There wasn’t a mast or billowing sail to be seen. And it was one damn huge chunk of metal, much larger than any ship I’d ever heard tell of. Of course, I hadn’t expecting the first ship I encountered to have crash landed into a forest either. So what did I know?
Raymus, Felix, Markus and I were still staring in awe of the massive metal ship when we noticed something moving. What we thought was some kind of blue goo dripping off the side of the ship turned out to be some kind of creatures. They’re rather difficult to describe. They were blue, kind of dog like in shape with sleek skin and tentacles sprouting from various parts of their bodies. They were strange looking, but I found them oddly appealing. They were rather like big, blue, tentacled puppies. I had hoped that they might be friendly. They would have made cute guard dogs for the village. But it wasn’t meant to be.
They dropped off the ship and seemed to be attacking anything nearby. A couple of them attacked a bush. The rest noticed us and charged our direction. I don’t know if they thought we were food or thought we were a threat or simply thought we were bushes. But whatever the case it was obvious they weren’t friendly. Raymus and I stepped forward to meet their attack while Felix and Markus attacked the creatures from range.
They put up a good fight, though I still regret not keeping at least one for a pet. There was just something about them that I found appealing. Markus gave me that look when I said as much out loud. I was getting used to seeing that look on his face. He’d started using it a lot more since I’d gotten my new axe. Perhaps it was just as well. These creatures simply weren’t natural. They didn’t feel like real creatures when I grabbed them. They certainly didn’t taste like real creatures when I bit them. And they dissolved into pools of blue goo when they died.
Fearing that more such creatures may have dropped off the ship unnoticed, Raymus headed back to the village to make sure everyone was safe. He left the rest of us to check out the ship. We didn’t find any more blue puppies, but we also couldn’t find a way inside. We couldn’t find any way down through the metal deck. There didn’t seem to be any way into the cabin. There didn’t even seem to be any openings for oars. The one opening we finally found was a smallish hole in the side of the ship where it smashed into mountain. We climbed down the mountain side and found the hole large enough to fit through.
The ship was even stranger on the inside than it was on the outside. The walls and floors were made of the same metal and the ceiling glowed with a white, steady light that gave off no heat. Though being surrounded by metal and light felt strange, I found myself feeling less confused. Seeing the ceiling that shone like daylight explained the mystery of the rest of the ship; it was magical. My mother had never described magic on this scale before, but the indoor sunlight had to be the result of magic. And magic was probably used to help build something this huge. And magic would explain how something this big and made of metal could possibly float. Magic may have even helped hold it together when the storm lifted it from the water and smashed it into our forest. The ship was no less wondrous now that I understood to some extent how it was made, but it no longer felt as alien.
We cautiously made our way down the metal corridor and soon found several dead bodies. I’d never seen their likes before, but they reminded me of my mother. When her mutations appeared, her skin turned black and her hair turned white. These folk all had dark blue, nearly black, skin, white hair and pointed ears. As they all had the same characteristics I guessed they either weren’t mutants or they were like those crab creatures we fought and their mutations were breeding true. Whatever the case, it looked like they had all died when their ship hit the mountain and they smashed into the wall.
We found more smashed bodies as we continued exploring the huge ship. We had climbed up a couple of levels, hoping to find a way onto the deck from below, when we heard a voice. We couldn’t understand the language but then we heard it echo off the metal walls and for some strange reason we could understand the echo. Whoever was up ahead was cursing like, well, like a sailor.
We stepped through a doorway and found a dark skinned, white haired woman cursing at an empty room. We asked if she need our help. She quickly turned and gave us one of Markus’ looks. But hers looked somewhat different. Her look was filled with contempt, as if we were not worthy of here attention. Then she asked if we were invaders or escaped slaves, which we couldn’t understand until we heard the echo.
When I told her that her ship had crashed in our forest and that we were only here to help, she cursed again and made a sweeping motion at the wall with her hand. The wall vanished and we could see the forest beyond. The woman mumbled something about not wanting any witnesses and pulled a small device from her belt. She pointed it at me and a red glowing beam shot out and hit me in the chest. She must have been some kind of mage, as the beam was hot and instantly heated up my chest plate. Thankfully Cavindel, my axe, provided me with some protection from fire or it would have hurt a hell of a lot more than it did.
I don’t know why she attacked us, but we quickly returned the favor. At three to one the odds were very much in our favor. And yet she held her own very well. I was impressed with her speed and agility, but it didn’t stop me from trying to slice her in two with my axe. She must have seen me as the largest threat, and well she should have, for she kept shooting at me with her fire beams. I deflected one of the beams with Cavindel and it must have stung him. I heard Cavindel’s voice, sounding both angry and surprised, cursing in my mind and then he exclaimed, “Kill the bitch!” It seemed my axe and I were of the same mind on the mater.
Our host seemed none too pleased that her magical weapon had little effect on me. I just gave her my most winning smile, showing as many teeth as possible, and pressed my attack. Between the three of us we managed to corner her. She had no place to run. I expected her to either give up or press her attack in a desperate last stand. But she did neither. This time it was she who smiled. She used her free hand to slap the wall behind her. A section of the floor then opened up beneath her and she jumped down. The hole closed back up before any of us could follower her.
She may have thought she’d gotten away, but we aren’t about to let that happen. She’d proven herself to be evil and treacherous. There’s no way we could allow her to run free in the area. I had no doubt that given the chance she would either kill or enslave everyone in the village should she happen upon it. Perhaps it wasn’t the most civilized reaction, but I found myself wanting to spill her blood at least as badly as Cavindel did. I guess I just don’t take kindly to those who try to kill me and mine.