|"Wow, what is that?" |
"A Fire Navy ship ... and a very bad memory for my people."
|— Aang and Katara.|
The shipwreck is a massive Fire Nation naval vessel tilted and uprooted by the waterbenders of the Southern Water Tribe, marking one of the first of a series of attacks known as the Southern Water Tribe raids.
In 40 AG, the Fire Nation executed the first of a series of raids with the goal of eliminating all the benders in the Southern Water Tribe. Hama and many other waterbenders valiantly battled the Fire Nation despite their waning numbers. During one of the first battles, they managed to completely strand a Fire Nation ship and suspend it through the use of waterbending.
The shipwreck became a relic to the citizens of the Southern Tribe, symbolizing the damaging raids long after they ceased, prior to the last raid carried out by the Southern Raiders. According to Katara, it is a haunting and evocative vestige and a reminder of the tragic occurrences. Residents are strictly forbidden from venturing onto the shipwreck either out of fear of setting off tripwires or because of the horrible memories it brings.
Katara and Aang unexpectedly found themselves at the site of the ruined shipwreck after penguin sledding. Despite Katara's warnings that the ship could be booby-trapped, Aang persuaded her to follow him onto the wreckage. Their wandering eventually led Aang to unexpectedly set off a booby trap, accidentally firing a flare. Their actions consequently caught the attention of Prince Zuko, who used the signal to pinpoint the Avatar's hiding place as the Southern Water Tribe.
After the end of the Hundred Year War, Gilak and his army used the caves beneath the shipwreck as a hideout where they worked on their plans and tried to uphold the tribe's culture. When two members of his army ventured onto the shipwreck during an escape, they were followed by Katara and Sokka who went in after them. Inside, Katara warned her brother about tripwires and booby-traps, but despite her warnings Sokka insisted on following the footprints left behind by their targets. His plan did not work, however, as he only looked out for the spots to put his feet on while keeping the rest of his body straight the whole time, which lead to him walking into a wire that fell around his neck, causing a hatch beneath him to open which he fell into. The hatch eventually lead them to the underground hideout where they were confronted by Gilak. Upon escaping, they informed Hakoda of the group's whereabouts, making him venture onto the shipwreck with a few guards on the search for Gilak and his army.
The shipwreck appears to be an average-sized naval vessel commonly employed by the Fire Nation and, like all other warships, advanced metallurgy is used. The ship possesses a releasable bow at the front which is characteristically similar in structure to real world icebreaker ships. The compartments below the deck of the shipwreck served as storage areas for a variety of different weapons. Various traps and tripwires are secretly situated throughout the ship, making it quite notorious and perilous to venture onto. Activating tripwires fuels the ship and puts seemingly stationary engines into gear. In Aang and Katara's case, setting off a tripwire resulted in the release of a flare, alerting Zuko to the Avatar's presence.
- A Fire Nation ship was similarly suspended in ice by waterbenders of the Northern Water Tribe during the Siege of the North.
- Katara claimed that the ship had haunted her tribe since her grandmother, Kanna, was a little girl. However, Hama's flashback revealed that Kanna was a young adult at the time of the Fire Nation's first raids.
- In concept art for the shipwreck, the Southern Raiders' flag is absent.