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The Barge of the Dead was the name of a mythical ship that resided in the Klingon underworld of Gre'thor. It would dock at the point where the souls of dishonored warriors would arrive. They would board the ship, at which point it would set sail for Gre'thor through a blood red river infested with kos'karii. The warriors on the ship did not have a peaceful journey as those serpentine beings would attempt to lead the dishonored overboard where they would be lost for eternity. (VOY episode: "Barge of the Dead")
The steering wheel, operated by the ferryman, was located on a stage at the aft deck. The main deck was flat. Another stage was located at the bow, making the wooden, seagoing vessel symmetrical on two axes. There were no sails. Instead, rows of seats allowed condemned souls to row the Barge with raw manpower. However, the Barge moved under its own power across the ocean of blood. Planks were located on the forward end on either side of the high keel. Both keels were adorned with green snakes. (STO missions: "Afterlife", "The Gates of Gre'thor")
After the mythical first Klingon Kortar slew the Klingon gods, he was condemned to steer the Barge of the Dead in the afterlife, ferrying the souls of dishonored Klingons to the gates of Gre'thor. (VOY episode: "Barge of the Dead", STO mission: "Afterlife")
In 2376, Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres awoke on deck after a shuttle accident. She was horrified to encounter her mother Miral Torres who had been dishonored by her daughter's decidedly non-Klingon lifestyle. B'Elanna also met Kortar. Another condemned soul was surprised to see a half-Klingon come aboard. With the permission of Captain Kathryn Janeway, the Doctor returned B'Elanna to the near-death state. Back aboard the Barge of the Dead, B'Elanna was forced to come to grips with her Klingon nature to free both her mother and herself from spending eternity at Gre'thor. Both women returned to life. (VOY episode: "Barge of the Dead")
In 2409, Emperor Kahless, son of Kahless helped an KDF away team to spirit itself onto the Barge of the Dead to fight back the Fek'Ihri on their own ground. The crew encountered Kortar and defeated the Fek'Ihr Herron, Lord of the Dead. (STO mission: "Afterlife")
When the Barge reached Gre'thor dock, the away team convinced the condemned souls aboard to fight with them in a glorious battle against the Fek'Ihri while Lieutenant Doran attempted to override the gate's opening mechanism. The battle was won, and the away team entered the gates to face the spirits of Cowardice, Treachery and Dishonor. (STO mission: "The Gates of Gre'thor")
In Klingon cultureEdit
When the KDF away team returned from Gre'thor, Chancellor J'mpok awarded their captain with a holographic Barge of the Dead trophy for display. The trophy depicted a simplified Barge travelling on the blood-read sea of Gre'thor and was displayed in the captain's ship's mess hall. (STO mission: "The Gates of Gre'thor")
- commanding officer
- Ferryman Kortar (since antiquity)