The Irate flagship, adorned with a gruesome trophy

Heroforge Heliom.png
"Let her be a reminder to the Kartians. When you see the boy's skull tied to our main mast and painted in our flags, remember that we stole from the rotten king even the chance to mourn an entire son"
Heliom, captain of the Beheaded
Karte Flag small.png
Flag of Karte by Naelin
Beheaded started her life as a brig called Sand Bird, owned by a wealthy merchant group from the Kingdom of Karte.
She was launched during 3001 E.Alz and traded mostly between the City of Dia and the island of Ruh.
  As the pirate activity got more frequent and violent in the sea, the Sand Bird's route got reduced to mostly the rivers and coastlines of the island of Karte. By the year 3004 E.Alz, Karte's king Rastapuj launched a military operation he called the War on Pirates, which required merchant ship's routes to be closely tracked to ensure no pirate vessel entered the coastline and rivers.   The 18th of Burning, 3006 E.Alz marked the day where a big group of organized pirates launched their retaliation. Led by a woman called Heliom, the criminals assaulted the city of Dia, capital of the kingdom.   There was only one remarkable conflict during the passage of the pirates between the coasts and the city: Out of luck, the Sand Bird was traversing the river in the night and crossed paths with the pirate fleet as they were avoiding the patrols. Immediately, it was surrounded and captured with no resistance, with many crew members jumping to the water to avoid capture.  

Floating cage of horror

The following section contains violence and abuse of a minor.

The Sand Bird was added to the fleet as decoy and taken north.
Shortly afterwards the pirates managed their goal: they captured Kuja, the 14 year old only child of the king. The kidnapper made haste to the Sand Bird, where the prince was taken prisioner.   The Kartian guard spent several days frantically searching for the prince, as the pirates scurried away and took them off the trail every chance they had.
On the 1st of Swimming most groups of pirates had scattered and retreated to their ships already and the Kartian guard found the Sand Bird after being alerted about its capture by a surviving crewmember.   Surrounded on the land side and with the troops about to chase them on water as well, the pirates took the bruised, chained prince to the deck as the crew prepared the ship for a quick departure. There a woman pushed the boy to bend over the railing and, in front of a shocked mass of guards, she cut the head off the prince and threw the body overboard into the waters, as the sails took the wind in and the captured ship departed with the head of the prince and the victory over the Kartian kingdom.
Owning Organization
Irate assault of Karte
Military Conflict | Jul 21, 2021

The vengeance of the east coast pirates that ended the Kartian war on pirates

Skull of the Beheaded Prince
Item | Sep 8, 2021

Irates symbol of power, a brutal demonstration of the Irates' will to fight back

Wreck of the Exsanguinate and the Bellylegs
Vehicle | Dec 31, 2020

The remains of a chase occurred during the War on Pirates that went terribly wrong

The Beheaded

Irate Hideout.jpg
Irate Hideout by Naelin through Inkarnate
The beheading of Kuja marked the end of the War on Pirates, and the start of king Rastapuj's descent into mental and political instability.   The groups of pirates allied with each other under the name of Irates, and the Sand Bird was renamed Beheaded and kept as the flagship of the new criminal organization.   The skull of the Beheaded Prince, lost for some days in the turmoil of the escape and gnawed at by vermin, was hanged from the mainmast for everyone in the ship to see.   Heliom, the leader of the pirate rebellion, became the captain of the Beheaded, whereas Hylmer, the kidnapper, joined the Beheaded crew after some years captaining the Wild Goes Faster.  

Aftermath and recounting of the facts

After Kuja's death, his father went mad with grief and forbade the discussion of any details about his son's destiny.   However, four years after the incident as the civil war was brewing in Karte a journalist finished reconstructing the crime scene, having managed to interview some of the guards, and allegedly two of the pirates involved.
She published a recounting of the palace's assault and kidnapping, as well as the torture and execution of the prince in gruesome and precise detail, which went into horrendous descriptions of the torture and abuses endured by the prince before his death.   One of the components of her article was a sketch she commissioned of the Sand Bird, marked with the locations and depictions of where and how the prince was taken, tortured, murdered and left as a trophy.   She was immediately declared a traitor by the king and ordered to be captured to be executed. Her work was collected and burned and it is unclear whether she managed to escape or was killed.   A member of the Kartian resistance, however, managed to recover an only partially singed copy of her article, with the diagram of the ship mostly intact.
"We know what they did to the prince and we know not to talk about it"
— Kartian historian
The Kidnapping of Kuja

Cover image: Irates Banner by Naelin


Author's Notes

Thanks a lot to TJ Trewin for his help with the "burnt paper" background for the map!

Please Login in order to comment!
16 Sep, 2021 15:45

That is a quite gruesome but interesting history. With that action they must really have made quite the name for themselves.

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
19 Sep, 2021 19:52

This is great!! (Also omg the map highlighting is so cool!!!)

You can do this! I believe in you!
To Do List Adventures: RPG + interactive fiction for your goals
Luridity (Luridity's romance, so unlike TDLA, 18+ and nsfw)
19 Sep, 2021 21:22

Very well done, Naelin. So glad you decided to write this one up! That map was definitely worth it, that looks so amazing! (And gruesome, but mostly amazing.)

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
19 Sep, 2021 23:32

Thank you Solar! I don't know how long would have taken me to write about this ship if I didn't had the challenge pushing me. I'm so glad you were interested in reading it!

19 Sep, 2021 22:15

This story always makes me sad. :( Poor Kuja. This is a great article, though, and definitely an interesting ship. I love the sketch you've done! <3

19 Sep, 2021 23:33

It is in the top two most horrible things I've wrote about for SoP that's for sure n.nU   Thank you lots Doc <3

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
19 Sep, 2021 22:49

That is one hell of a story! And as someone was saying on the WA Discord just now, I love what you've done with the map. Such a neat way of using that requirement for the challenge to further the storytelling you were already doing.

Don’t miss The Antagonist, my entry for The Shipwright’s Challenge!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
20 Sep, 2021 00:28

A cool idea, and clever use of map features!

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
20 Sep, 2021 10:15

Cool and cruel article! Very well done!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
21 Sep, 2021 05:43

That was a really cruel story. It gave me the chills. Good job causing all the emotion without the...gruesome wording. What you did with the "ship sketch" it's just brilliant.

21 Sep, 2021 16:13

This article makes me sad. Poor kid :( The map is amazing and I love how you included it in the world. Brilliant writing too!

Am I writing or procrastinating? Take a guess and visit Hanzelot
24 Sep, 2021 16:40

Muy bien Naelín. Me gusta la bandera, el escondite y claro, el mapa del barco!! Pobre Kuja.

Bienvenidos a Eiláar