Overcome by a mysterious magic, Old Boot Fort is no more. Barely visible beneath a veil of dark mists, a haunting glow beckons you in, just as the Ferryman’s markings caution your sails. This is the Fort of the Damned!
Aye, but the fort’s foreboding appearance is not the only change. Far greater transformations have occurred on these shores.
First, pirates can activate this fort whenever they please! That is, if they have satisfied the required ritual.
Second, this fort is more challenging than any fort before.
Third, this fort offers more valuable loot than any before.
Fourth, beyond the lure of loot, commendations and doubloons await the pirates who dare to wake this ominous isle.
Intrigued? We thought you might be…
What do you need to acquire before you activate the Fort of the Damned?
To activate the Fort of the Damned, you must collect all six Flames of Fate and one Ritual Skull.
The Flames of Fate
You will have some dying to do before you can take on the Fort of the Damned!
In every fort, there is a central tower. The treasure-filled and locked vault is the lowest level of this tower. The level just above the vault is what we will refer to as the main room.
Upon exploring main room on the Fort of the Damned, you will notice six statues lining the perimeter. Each statue holds a lantern.
You will need to collect all six different colored Flame of Fates from the Well of Fates and light each of these lanterns with their corresponding color.
How do I get the colorful Flames of Fate?
If you’re an old salt, you’re likely well versed in the Flames of Fate. Perhaps you were here for the Festival of the Damned. Perhaps you simply enjoy lighting your lanterns in vibrant hues!
If so, this little reference might be all you need to jog your memory.
If you’ve recently washed up on the Sea of Thieves shores—or you want a few extra tips and tricks for quickly securing your flames—you will want to steal a look at the Flames of Fate Guide.
For example, trying to get that white flame, but lightning just won’t strike? Did you know that you can better your chances by wielding your sword? ‘Tis true, me hearties!
Upon exploring main room on the Fort of the Damned, you might also notice a cage in the middle of the room. In that cage, you will see a skeleton torso missing its head.
To complete these skeletal remains—and thereby complete the fort activation ritual—you will need a Ritual Skull.
In an attempt to focus this article on the actual Fort of the Damned, we are trying our level best not to prattle on about the mere acquisition of Flames of Fate and Ritual Skulls.
So—like the Flames of Fate—we have an entire article devoted to Ritual Skulls: How to get a Ritual Skull, Skull Seekers and Skull Stashes.
For the purposes of this article, here are the quick and dirty basics…
How to Get a Ritual Skull: Ritual Skull Seeker Bounty Voyages
Duke is now offering regional Ritual Skull Seeker Bounty Voyages—free of charge!
These voyages are a mixture of Order of Souls bounty hunting quests, and Gold Hoarder x-marks-the-spot quests. The Ritual Skull Seeker Bounty Voyages take a bit of time. But, hey, they’re free!
How to Get a Ritual Skull: Ritual Skull Bilge Rat Stash Voyages
If you’re eager to start on the Fort of the Damned, you can purchase a Ritual Skull Bilge Rat Stash Voyage on Duke’s Black Market.
This voyage can be purchased with gold or doubloons. In our experience, this voyage gives you an x-marks-the-spot on the outpost closest to where you vote on that voyage. Dig at the “X”, and behold a Ritual Skull!
How to Get a Ritual Skull: Ambient Skeleton Captains
If you happen to see a Skeleton Captain on an island for which you have no Order of Souls bounty quests, kill it!
It might just lead you to a Ritual Skull.
Of course, wandering into an ambient Skeleton Captain is pure luck. So, if you want to activate the fort in a timely fashion, we’d suggest the Skull Seeker or Skull Stash voyages.
How do you activate the Fort of the Damned?
Step 1: Light the Statues!
With your Ritual Skull in hand and your boat bedazzled in splashes of color, head up to the main room of the fort. There you will light each statue’s lantern with its corresponding light.
How will you know which is which? There are little clues on each.
Which Statue Holds the Blue Flame?
The statue for the Flame of Lost Seafarers is bedecked in barnacles, ropes, and what appears to be a shark’s toothless jaw.
Which Statue Holds the Green Flame?
Skeletons claw at the Ferryman in the statue for the Flame of Cursed Bones.
Which Statue Holds the Purple Flame?
The Flame of the Viper’s statue holds a snake’s skeletal remains, as purple venom spreads across the Ferryman’s chest.
Which Statue Holds the Pink Flame?
On the statue for the Flame of Embattled Souls the Ferryman has been cut through with swords—one even seems to have stabbed him in the back!
Which Statue Holds the Red Flame?
Much like the isles in the Devil’s Roar, the Flame of Burning Hearts statue is marbled in magma.
Which Statue Holds the White Flame?
A bolt of lightning fractures the statue for the Flame of Treacherous Weather.
Step 2: Place the Ritual Skull
After you have lit all six statues, the cage in the center of the main room will open. Inside you will see a headless skeleton. Take the Ritual Skull and place it on the skeleton torso.
The Fort of the Damned has now been activated! A giant Skull Cloud will appear above the fort with glowing red eyes!
How do you defeat the Fort of the Damned?
Defeating the Shadows of Fate Skeletons
At the Fort of the Damned, you will be fighting against a brand new variant of Shadow Skeletons: Shadows of Fate!
As soon as the fort is activated, the new Shadows of Fate skeletons will begin to spawn.
As any seasoned pirate knows, the key to defeating Shadow Skeletons is to either (a) take them on in the daylight, or (b) shine your lantern on the scalawags! If you try to take on shadow skeletons at night with no lantern, your sword and bullets will merely be fighting the air.
Ah, but these Shadows of Fate are a bit trickier.
Shadows of Fate Skeletons will only be vulnerable after being exposed to the Flame of Fate color matching the skeleton’s glowing eyes.
Luckily, because you’ve lit the statues in main room, you have all six flames ready for the taking.
When skeletons spawn, have at least one member of your crew grab the corresponding flame and run about, lantern lifted high, shining each and every skeleton!
These Shadows of Fate Skeletons have quite a bit of life in them! So, you’ll likely need to shine the same skellies multiple times over before they shatter to bits.
In our experience, the initial waves seem to each spawn only one color of Shadow of Fate Skeletons per wave. However, soon you’ll be fending off multiple colors at once!
It helps to communicate with your crew—and any other allied pirates—which color each pirate will wield. If you’re fighting blue, red, and purple skellies, there’s no sense in six pirates running around with a blue flame.
If you are not sure which colors have spawned in a particular wave, you have an additional clue.
Look at the grates below each statue. If Shadows of Fate Skeletons have spawned in that statue’s color, you will see hands reaching up from that grate—similar to the hands below the Well of Fates on the Ferry of the Damed.
Defeating the Ghost of Graymarrow at the Fort of the Damned
After several waves of Shadows of Fate Skeletons, you will finally reach the Captain wave.
You will hear that fateful music, and from the depths of the fort will rise the Ghost of Graymarrow!
Didn’t we kill you in the Revenge of the Morningstar!? It seems Graymarrow is clinging to this world! Ah, but if you have fought Graymarrow in your Tall Tale adventures, you will be well prepared to fight him again!
If you see him pick up two large chests, be sure to get your distance—and quick snack for that health bar! Stand too close to Graymarrow’s blast radius and you might find yourself on the ferry for a bit.
You might also want to avoid cliff edges before his big move, lest you’d like to spend a decent amount of time pulling yourself from the water and trudging back up the hill.
While Graymarrow is attacking you and your crew, he will also be summoning more Shadows of Fate.
Keep track of the Shadow of Fate colors, hollering out which color flame you are wielding and which colors need reckoning. Dispatch of these skellies quickly, otherwise you will be overrun with little opportunity to strike at Graymarrow.
Additional Tips for Defeating the Ghost of Graymarrow
Lure Graymarrow to the Water
No, water does not hold any power over Graymarrow similar to the way it slows golden skellies. However, if you lure Graymarrow down to the water, you can cannon him from your ship.
From the safety of your ship you can keep the hits coming, without much fear of Graymarrow’s attack or his Shadows of Fate.
Aye, this might seem to be a yellow-bellied plan of attack. We offer this solution because, if you’re trying to complete this fort as a two-pirate sloop—or, worse, as a solo sloop—the inability to shine more than one or two lights at once might make this your only feasible option.
Complete the Fort of the Damned several times in a row for more Explosive Power!
The loot from the Fort of the Damned includes Stronghold Gunpowder Barrels! Once you have completed the fort once, you can then use those Stronghold Gunpowder Barrels the next time you fight Graymarrow!
Fort of the Damned Loot!
There’s more than Stronghold Gunpowder Barrels in the Fort of the Damned vault.
Defeat Graymarrow, pick up the dropped Fort of the Damned Key, open the vault doors, and reveal your hard earned booty!
You can expect some very lucrative loot inside the vault. Be prepared to find an Athena’s Chest, a Reaper’s Chest, multiple Stronghold Skulls, a couple of Stronghold Chests, a few Crates of Ancient Bone Dust, multiple Mermaid gems and more!
You can leave with your treasure or if you brought another Ritual Skull, start up the Fort of the Damned again and go for another round!
Though there have been many updates to Sea of Thieves since the Anniversary Update, this is the first one that includes brand new achievements!
These achievements correspond to their respective commendations and involve defeating Shadows of Fate and defeating the Fort of the Damned:
A Spectrum of Shadows – Defeat each color of Shadow of Fate. (5G)
Summoning the Damned – Activate the Fort of the Damned by lighting all six Flames of Fate and sacrificing a Ritual Skull. (5G)
Defeating the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies. (10G)
Banishing the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies, 10 times. (15G)
Ferryman of the Damned Rewards
Along with commendations and achievements, there are brand new cosmetics to unlock that are tied to the Fort of the Damned!
Defeat each color of Shadow of Fate to unlock the A Spectrum of Shadow commendation and unlock the Lantern of the Damned.
Upon completing the fort, 10 times, and unlocked the Banishing the Damned commendation, you will unlock the Jacket of the Damned cosmetic. It can be found in the Clothing Shop at any Outpost.
Activate the Fort of the Damned once and you will get the Summoning the Damned commendation as well as unlock the Facepaint of the Damned.
A majority of the new Fort of the Damned commendations deal with dispatching each of the different colored Shadows of Fate skeletons.
While at first glance it looks like a lot of skeletons to defeat, with the Fort of the Damned becoming a permanent feature in the game, these doubloons will unlock with time.
Commendations for Defeating Blue Shadows of Fate
Sent Crying Back to the Sea – Defeat 5 blue Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
Sent Screaming Back to the Sea – Defeat 25 blue Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Sent Wailing Back to the Sea – Defeat 50 blue Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating the Red Shadows of Fate
Cooling Burning Hearts – Defeat 5 red Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
Dousing Burning Hearts – Defeat 25 red Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Snuffing Burning Hearts – Defeat 50 red Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating the Green Shadows of Fate
Cursed Bones Laid to Rest – Defeat 5 green Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
Cursed Boned Exorcised – Defeat 25 green Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Cursed Bones Buried Deep – Defeat 50 green Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating the White Shadows of Fate
Lightning-struck Skeletons Discharged – Defeat 5 white Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
Lightning-struck Skeletons Earthed – Defeat 25 white Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Lightning-struck Skeletons Grounded – Defeat 50 white Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating the Purple Shadows of Fate
Envenomed and Ensnared – Defeat 5 purple Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
Envenomed and Ended – Defeat 25 purple Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Envenomed and Entombed – Defeat 50 purple Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating the Pink Shadows of Fate
One More Fight – Defeat 5 pink Shadows of Fate. (5 doubloons)
One More Battle – Defeat 25 pink Shadows of Fate. (10 doubloons)
One More War – Defeat 50 pink Shadows of Fate. (25 doubloons)
Commendations for Defeating all Colors of Shadows of Fate
A Spectrum of Shadows – Defeat each color of Shadow of Fate. (10 doubloons)
Commendations for Activating and Clearing the Fort of the Damned
Summoning the Damned – Activate the Fort of the Damned by lighting all six Flames of Fate and sacrificing a Ritual Skull. (5 doubloons)
Defeating the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies. (5 doubloons)
Banishing the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies, 10 times. (10 doubloons)
Vanquishing the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies, 25 times. (25 doubloons)
Conquering the Damned – Clear the Fort of the Damned of all enemies, 50 times. (50 doubloons)