We left Barter Town with the first of the morning’s sign of sun light. The burning orb had not even crested over the mountains as we were speeding away from the city. We were gambling on crossing over the Servos Jungle in one day. We had the speed to do it we just had to make no mistakes. As soon as we had the airship clear of the city we put out the second set of oars and the crew rowed hard to get us up to speed. I prayed to Flourannus to activate my questor power and granted the ship a great burst of speed. All hands except for a three men (the night watch) were on deck working all knowing the gamble we were taking.
We came to the jungle its tall trees looming like a defensive wall. The ship rose higher and we cleared the tree tops. The crew could feel the ominous dread of the Servos as we crossed its borders. We stayed above the trees for about an hour till Dremnin spotted the river that he was looking for.
As we came to the river Dremnin dropped in to opening in the trees. Keeping the ship in the river gap of the canopy kept us from drawing any cross wind that would slow us down. The ship was running at a speed we had never seen at about 3 feet off of the river. Dremnin kept the speed at the high rate as he banked each of the turns of the river, the deck of the ship tilting to as much as a forty five degree angle at times. The crew worked like the well trained crew that Stilicho had put so much time in to training. We were looking good to make it out of the jungle by the end of the days light.
It was midafternoon when Dremnin finally left the wheel for the first time that day. He had to relieve himself and he wanted to check the map in the lounge. I was standing with him when he called Stilicho over. He explained that there was going to be a few splits in the river and that he needed to stay on the main branch as it would be the only one that was wide enough for the ship to fly in at this speed. Then he looked at me and asked me to go with him to check the map.
We were looking over the map on the table in the lounge when the ship turned in to a steep climb. Dremnin lost his footing and rolled past me in to the wall. I was about to joke that I had kept my footing when there was a heavy crash and the boat shook. I fell and rolled across the room in to Dremnin. When the ship leveled out we could feel it slow to a stop. We ran out of the lounge and found a chunk of one of the sail and beam lying on the deck. Stilicho had a look on his face like someone had just dropped his sword in the mud.
Seeing what was below us it looked like Stilicho has mistook a large lagoon for the main body of the river. It was easy to see how he made the mistake from up here. The entrance to the lagoon was larger than the actual river. He had turned in to it realizing his mistake to late he tried to climb over the trees. There was not enough room to climb over the tall trees at the ship’s very fast speed and the port side sail beam caught on a large tree and snapped. It ripped through the rigging and slammed to the deck. This sealed our days out come. We would be staying the night in the Servos Jungle.
We found a nearby clearing and put the ship down. An away party was sent to find a tree to cut down. This would be shaped in to a new beam. Another party was set to clearing the deck and rigging ropes that had been snapped by the tree we hit. The crew worked fast and the repairs were finished buy the light of lanterns, night had fallen.
The Servos Jungle is a downright scary place during the day, it is tenfold worse at night. The dark comes quickly under the heavy tree canopy. The sounds of unknown creatures just at the edge of where you can see make the bravest of men jumpy. Every scary monster story you heard about the place creeps in to the back of your mind while you stare in to the dark, knowing there are things out there staring back. The night sounds digging in to your brain like a hook nosed ear worm causing you to jump at every shadow you think you see.
The three crew men that had been sleeping all day were put on guard duty. The rest of the crew were exhausted and sent to bed. The officers tried to stay awake but the day’s hard work and stress took its toll in just a few short hours all of the officers had to retire. Not that we would get much rest.
The shrill sound of Vridich screaming brought me out of my hammock. I had to unlock the cabin door, we have had to start locking it as the dragon had figured out how to open the door, and I stepped out in to the hall. Vridich was coming out of the crew room where the girls slept, his face was even more pale than normal. He looked at me and said with fear in his voice, “Something took Hanna.” I turned back in to the room and looked at Dremnin. He had heard Vridich. There was a mix of anger and fear on his face.
I told Dremnin to get his clothing on and start tracking what took her. I would grab his pack as soon as I got dressed and catch up. Dremnin was running out of the room and trying to put his boot on at the same time. I had never even taken my pants off to sleep and I did not bother to put on a shirt I just put on my ring mail and the tail mace. I grabbed the two packs and the hammer as I ran out the door. I saw Dagmar out in the forge area trying to stuff Urgral in to his full plate armor in a hurry. (Note to self never take on a troll squire, that looked like it hurt.) I made it to the main deck it was very dark out. It looked like we had only been asleep for about an hour. So it was around midnight.
Dremnin grabbed the pack from me. He looked at me with a strange look and said,”Hanna was taken buy a giant bug.” The Servos Jungle is full of strange things. I looked at Dremin and said, “We will find her, and whatever took her will pay.”
Stilicho came out on to deck buckling on the last arm of his armor. Wheeler was chasing him with his sword and shield. He ran up to us asking what was going on. We got him up to date on what we knew. He said that he was ready to go. Dremnin suggested that he stay on the boat to organize the defenses. The three night watchmen had been attacked and were injured, and the crew was scared, someone needed to maintain order. Stilicho agreed. Stilicho said that he was going to take the ship up higher so that it would be more difficult for anything to get on board.
The rest of the Unchained gathered at the rail. Suulin was the first to go over the rail, sliding down a rope to the fern covered ground. We all followed her.