Their skiffs floated swiftly in the dark water. They were silent, and with no moon the large ship ahead of them would have no knowledge of their coming.
Four skiffs approached. From each a pair began to climb, their clawed hands finding fast purchase into the wooden hull. What little sound they made was covered up by the sound of the waves.
Once fully aboard, four scurried off to find the passage to below decks. The other four would sweep the top deck. One went left, the other right. The remaining pair began climbing masts to clear the rigging.
The one to the right found a sailor staring into heavens. A sharp sword sent that same sailor there directly. The one to the right saw a pair of sailors coming. As they passed they heard a clucking sound just over the deck wall. Together they peered over. Together they were sent lifeless into the ocean.
Below decks, the four continued their search. They needed to be fast. A ship this large needed many hands, any one of which could ring the alarm.
A few close calls and slit throats later and they found their prize and with only a wizened steward as guard. After all, of what interest is a ship’s library? There logbooks might contain some nautical secrets, but those were stowed in the captain’s quarters. Here were just: books.
A clawed hand sought out the desired volume. And then, a splash of oil. A tipped candle. Soon, any available hands would be too busy fighting the blaze to give chase, and that was assuming their brethren were unsuccessful in shredding the sails.
The four made at back under stars. Bells started to ring. Smoke was starting to seek out from cracks in the deck. One of the lizards gave a quick blast on the signal horn.
Soon all eight were sliding down ropes into their skiffs below. Their only regret was how many still drew breath,
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