- Hear! Sons of Kahless!.
- Hear! Daughters too!
- The blood of battle washes clean.
- The warrior brave and true.
- We fight, we love, and then we kill.
- Our lives burn short and bright.
- Then we die with honor and join our fathers
- in the Black Fleet where we battle forever,
- battling on through the Eternal fight.
- -- The Warrior's Anthem
The Black Fleet is a part of the Klingon conception of the afterlife. Warriors who die an honorable death will serve on or even command a Black Ship in which they endlessly wage glorious combat, laughing, against worthy foes who have also entered the ranks of the dead. Even servitors who are loyal to the Empire have a place, rewarded with a chance to honorably continue their service. (TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
In 2269, when Malvak, son of Jorq saw that his friend Krov had been killed, Malvak performed the Klingon death ritual to warn the Black Fleet of Krov's arrival. This drew howls of laughter from other hemQuch Klingons present, as Malvak was a QuchHa' and thus not expected to observe a warrior's tradition. (ST novella: The Unhappy Ones)
In an alternate timeline the Theskian Thralen explained to Data that Worf and other Klingons believed that they would go to serve in the Black Fleet upon their deaths. Thralen added that it was the same as saying that he would go to the arms of the Great Mother. (TNG novel: Metamorphosis)
- Note: The Black Fleet was first introduced as the Klingon concept of (or simply metaphor for) the afterlife in The Final Reflection and related FASA RPG materials. In canon it was superseded by Sto-Vo-Kor, but some novels (most notably the Star Trek: Klingon Empire series) have intertwined the two, making the Black Fleet an aspect of Sto-Vo-Kor, part of what Sto-Vo-Kor is. It became a part of canon in the Discovery episode Battle at the Binary Stars.