The brass vessel is a large, brass container that was cast into the central cistern in Atlantis of the Sands by King Solomon, supposedly because it contained the tormented spirits of the Djinn. It tainted the water supply of the entire city, causing anyone who drank it to hallucinate their worst fears, which resulted in people appearing to be possessed by Djinn demons. The people were driven mad and the city was subsequently abandoned.
It was first sought by Queen Elizabeth, who intended to use the vessel's power to control anyone who opposed her through fear. She dispatched Francis Drake to retrieve the vessel, though Drake abandoned the mission after discovering the vessel's true nature, hiding all traces of his voyage and rewriting history in the process.
Centuries later, Katherine Marlowe and her right-hand man Talbot sought out the vessel with the same aim as Queen Elizabeth of controlling their enemies through fear. However, Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan managed to destroy the winch raising the vessel by destroying it with a flare gun, allowing it to sink back deep down into the water and thus foiling Marlowe's plan.