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Mirella the Deathless

The Raven Captain

Mirella the Deathless was a 6th century pirate captain from Ethion who is said by some to still be alive.  


As the name Mirella was particularly common at the time in Ethion, historians are not entirely sure how Mirella the deathless began her life. Most likely, she was born Mirella Griffen, daughter of an Ethite religious leader from Mevi. While probably not true, some stories say she was the bastard child of the religious leader and a Mermish man, explaining why she took so quickly to sailing. Others say she was born further south, among the Tola, a group known for shifting, particularly into birds. This is likely because Mirella the Deathless carried a raven on her banner, but does not explain why she helped to unite the Ethite population.   Whatever her origins, Mirella was said to have become an avid defender of her people from any outsiders. The stories of her early years abound, including
  • carrying a magically heated container containing molten iron, which she could use if anyone attacked her person
  • taking a lover from another faith, only to take down his city from the inside
  • kidnapping a Rossa clergy person as part of trade negotiations
  • tying her boat the temple bell, so that it someone tried to steal it, she could hear the bell ringing from anywhere in the city
  • giving birth aboard her ship and fighting while pregnant
  • fighting off her jailers single-handed when arrested in a Rossa-run city
What is known for certain is that Mirella united Ethite groups to stand against other religious groups vying for power. Though she likely had a hand in leading conflicts which occurred over land, she is best known for battering cities on the coastline which held conflict with the Ethite power in Mevi. It is likely her actions contributed to Mevi becoming the power it is today.    She was of particular annoyance to Olivia Jin, the Rossa leader who had risen to power and successfully squashed most of the other religious groups in the area. Jin sent both land troops and ships to attack Mevi, but was always unable to catch Mirella. It is likely Mirella lived mostly aboard her ship, The Raven, which allowed her to keep an eye on the coast and quickly evade her enemies.  


All accounts of Mirella describe her as tall--likely over six feet--and thin. Some even described her as "skeletal" in appearance. It is possible that she used this to her benefit, as she is said to have dressed primarily in black and white, which may have been an effect to frighten her enemies. Mirella was also particularly good at getting around her enemies, including two documented cases in which she had been captured and sentenced to death, only to successfully escape before the sentence could be carried out. Finally, no records of Mirella extend beyond 587. Though this is likely due to her death, there are additionally no records documenting said death. As a result, many folktales have risen up around Mirella's untimely end, such as dying in a storm at sea, being killed by a spurned lover, or even being executed by Olivia Jin. Others say she never died, but found a way to live forever, and still sails the Southern Ocean, defending Ethion from any that might do her nation harm.  


For centuries, Mirella was considered a national hero, and it was difficult to find a town that did not have an Inn by the name of The Raven. However, parents also sometimes used her name as a way to frighten unruly children--telling them that Mirella the Deathless would kidnap them and sell them into slavery. It seems, in modern times, that this version of Mirella's legacy has won out. The stories about her have grown darker, some claiming that she cannibalized her enemies, believing she could consume their youth and live forever. Ehite President Chitaa Sololsol has openly referred to her as a terrorist. Yet, it is clear that she is still considered a hero by some, as her banner--a raven on a red background--is currently being used as the symbol of an Ethite rebel group.
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Cover image: Ethite Flag by Molly Marjorie


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