This is a collection of Rune tablets and teasers that appeared in-game during Season Two, and also online through official Sea of Thieves social media accounts as lead-up to future content that is late revealed to be Season Three and the included A Pirate's Life Tall Tales.
It began as a cryptic message on Twitter that has been incrementally translated thanks to the clues provided by these teasers and tablets. Meanwhile in game, players can speak to Duke who has been searching islands, conducting his own investigation relating to these same runes.
Feeling the call of adventure burning within him, Duke set off on a quest to investigate and make sense of the changes happening across the seas.
He was first found on Mermaid's Hideaway searching for a treasure told of in legends that he believed would help him find the answers he was after. However, in the next encounter with Duke on Kraken's Fall, he explains that this treasure hunt proved fruitless. Despite this, his search proved useful in other ways. Through his investigation of other islands, Duke stumbled upon proper clues to what's going on, setting him on a new quest after something more valuable than treasure - the truth.
Discovering that the clues (stone tablets) are written in the arcane Skeleton language, Duke begins to suspect that the Skeletons may be following him and on a search for something themselves.
The clues found by Duke are stone tablets with Skeleton Runes carved into them; many of these tablets also have etched words (presumed to be left by Duke) that provide possible translations. When spoken to, Duke will offer hints to where the three most recently discovered tablets may be found. There are also some tablets which he does not mention and do not have etched translations, presumably due to not having been found by Duke.
The found stone tablets locations and their runes are:
Kraken's Fall Duke's clue:"Near some sort of... altar... thing. It looked like it was set up for a ritual..." Description: Resembles a shining triangle.
Translation: Grey? Waking? Moonlight?
Location: Found next to Graymarrow's summoning altar.
Mermaid's Hideaway Duke's clue:"The place I was investigating last month." Description: Resembles a curving path which forks in two.
Translation:Merfolk? Eye? Hiding?
Location: Found next to the ladder above the cave.
Uncharted Island (K-9) Duke's clue:"I had to hold my breath to find another. I'm not sure that place even has a name." Description: Resembles a droplet tumbling from a diamond.
Translation: Sorrow? Below? Coral?
Location: Found atop a barrel near the Skeleton Throne in the cave beneath the island.
Athena's Fortune Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles the numeral '5'.
Translation: The rest of the stone is blank.
Location: Found on a bench next to the ghostly musicians.
Fort of the Damned Duke's clue:"Beneath a skull" Description: Resembles three clawed marks.
Translation: Spires? Fortress? Hand?
Location: Found atop the Stronghold's main tower.
Thieves' Haven Duke's clue:"At a grave site" Description: Resembles a broken hook.
Translation: Link? Memory? Death? Location: Found atop the upper level to the west, hidden behind a rock near three graves.
Crook's Hollow Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles a curling wisp of smoke.
Translation: The rest of the stone is blank.
Location: Found on the rock ledge above the waterfall nearest the cave.
This location closely matches the area where YouTuber Captain Falcore first revealed his "Ghost of Crook's Hollow" hoax.
*The presumed rune is subject to change as it is based on speculation surrounding the context of its found location and the Phrase Parchment #5 from June 13th.
Tribute Peak Duke's clue:"In the depths of the earth" Description: Resembles a scarred, three sided eye.
Translation: Wrath? Treasure? Secret?
Location: Found in the Gold Hoarder's lair on Tribute Peak.
Plunder Valley Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles a chair, though the back is broken.
Translation: The rest of the stone is blank.
Location: Found in a cave behind some rocks near the skeleton puzzle.
Heart of Fire (The Devil's Thirst) Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles an angled prong with a glinting tip.
Translation: Burning? Blade? Cannon?
Location: Found on a rock ledge near the exit of the large cavern where the Burning Blade is found.
Wanda’s Hideout Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles a gnarled walking stick.
Translation: Protection? Journey? Curse? Location: On a rock ledge beside the Burning Blade's figurehead.
Uncharted Island (N-13) Duke's clue:(Not mentioned by Duke) Description: Resembles a great claw surrounding a tiny object.
Translation:Stone? Steal? Key?
Location: Underwater in the deep crevasse north-west of the island, found resting against an Ancient stone altar.
Social media teasers
Rare has also taken to offering further Rune teasers and various clues posted across several of their official social Sea of Thieves media platforms.
Some of these teasers have been in the form of Skeleton Runes on pages of parchment, while others have been clues through images with hidden runes that hint to their translations based on the context of the image or accompanying text.
Phrase Parchment #1 Source:Twitter (March 24)
What: The first parchment teaser to appear. Two lines of runes that were at the time mostly unknown.
Translation: While most runes were unknown at the time, the stone tablets found in-game, and clues provided by subsequent social media posts slowly revealed the following:
1st row:Silver(?)Blade(?) Ship Below(?)
2nd row:Treasure(?)Inside(?)* Sea Kingdom(?)
* While no clue exists, some theorize this to be "Inside" based on its box shape and additional context provided in the parchment posted on April 26th.
Phrase Parchment #2 Source:Twitch (April 5)
What: A parchment page with three runes appeared on a surprise Twitch stream. The page appeared submerged underwater.
Clue: The first rune is seen in the first parchment, and resembles a diamond with a dot below it. The second is a known rune meaning, "Face". The third is also unknown, previously seen on the Reaper’s Bones Hull.
Translation:Below(?) Face Death(?)
Phrase Parchment #3 Source:Twitter (April 26)
What: A parchment with seven runes, found within a chest. The chest was posted only after the 4 four keys were found. The keys were hidden on the Sea of Thieves website, a Community Manager's Discord status, a Youtube thumbnail for the Reapers vs the World trailer, and an Instagram Story.
1st row: Pirate Ship Treasure(?) Chest
2nd row:Cursed(?) Bone(?) Inside(?)*
* While no clue exists, some theorize this to be "Inside" based on its box shape and the context provided by this parchment.
Phrase Parchment #4 Source:Twitter (May 28)
What: A parchment with eight runes shared as the result of the community completing four riddles that were each revealed as the previous riddle was solved. The riddles themselves began after the Sea of Thieves Twitter suggested that Wild Henry had something interesting to share if he received 100 bananas via screenshots. The riddle solutions and bananas were all submitted to Twitter via the #SoTChallenge hashtag.
* While no clue exists, some theorize this to be "Inside" based on its box shape and the context provided in other parchments.
** Based on its appearance on the doorway of the Ferry of the Damned which players used to come back to life. (Twitter, April 23)
***Theorized based on its appearance on the watch worn by worn by Christina McGrath. (Podcast, May 13)
Phrase Parchment #5 Source:Twitter (June 13)
What: A parchment with ten runes submerged in water near a sinking shipwreck. The caption fo teh tweet was imply the skull and crossed bones emoji.
* Based on its appearance on the doorway of the Ferry of the Damned which players used to come back to life. (Twitter, April 23)
Source: Instagram Story (March 29)
What: A parchment page with the rune that appeared in a Twitter post regarding the Tavern wakeup sequence, this time appearing flipped vertically versus how it appeared hidden on the tavern table.
Source: Twitter Fleets (April 1)
What: A parchment page with the rune for "Kraken".
Source: Facebook (April 5)
What: A parchment page with the same rune that appeared on the chest of the mermaid from a Twitter post.
Source:Twitter (March 26)
What: A screenshot taken of the Tavern wakeup sequence.
Clue: A hidden rune in the top-left corner image. This rune resembles a triangle with 4 lines "shining" off of it.
Source:Twitter (March 27)
What: A blank To Do list.
Clue: Hidden in the top-right corner of the parchment. Two similarly drawn runes, one known to be Gold. The equals sign and the similarities between the runes suggest a connection. Stongly hinting it to mean "Silver".
Source:Twitter (March 27)
What: An image of a Silvered Cup.
Clue: A hidden rune on the rim of the cup. This is the same unknown rune from the previous To Do list, appearing next to "Gold", leading to the conclusion that this rune would mean "Silver".
Source:Twitter (March 30)
What: An image of a Mermaid and a starry night sky.
Clue: Two unknown runes were discovered here. One curved shaped rune found on the chest of the mermaid, and an "S" shaped rune found as a bright star constellation in the top-right corner.
Source: Spotify (April 2)
What: A rune hidden in the eye of the Sea of Thieves skull logo.
Clue: The same "S" shaped rune from the earlier Mermaid image. Being found on Spotify strongly suggests it to mean "Song".
Source:Twitter (April 6)
What: An Ashen Lord rising after being resurrected.
Clue: One hidden rune repeated at varying angles found in the dust cloud of the rising Ashen Lord. This is the same "shining triangle" seen from both the Tavern wakeup sequence tweet, and one of the parchment pages.
Source:Twitter (April 13)
What: An image depicting a group of skeletons summoning the Ghost of Graymarrow.
Clue: Several runes appear on the book held by the skeleton on the left. The most noticeable being one that resembles 3 claw marks.
Source:Season 2 Trailer (April 15)
What: A scene showcasing the loot found in the new Fort of Fortune.
Clue: A rune found on boards on the back vault wall. This rune resembles 3 claw marks. This matches the description on the tablet of "three clawed marks", pointing to it meaning "Fortress".
Source:Twitter (April 18)
What: An image of a group of skeletons aiming their weapons at a group of barrels.
Clue: A rune found hidden on the left barrel appears to be the same as the 3rd rune from the Twitch stream, and previously seen on the Reaper’s Bones Hull.
Source:Twitter (April 23)
What: A video displaying the Ferry of the Damned's door open for a pirate to resurrect.
Clue: A rune hidden in the ethereal passageway through the Ferry's open door. It is of a curling shape with 2 dots on either side.
Source:Twitter (April 24)
What: "The timeline of an average Sea of Thieves session" - Twitter caption
Clue: The "Kraken" rune and the presumed "waking" rune (shining triangle), hidden together.
Source:Twitter (April 25)
What: An assortment of treasures laid out.
Clue: The arrangement of the treasure resembles the rune presumed to mean "Treasure".
Source:Twitter (April 26)
What: A closeup view of keys that were used in the reveal of Phrase Parchment #3 posted on April 26.
Clue: Each key has a directional rune carved into them, and a cloth wrap with an additional rune.
From left to right: North & Bone, East & Sea, South & Silver, West & Gold
Source:Twitter (April 27)
What: A video of several ghostly treasures stacked together, causing a swirling, ethereal blur.
Clue: A rune appearing twice, hidden in two places along the edge of the swirling blur.
Source:Twitter (May 9)
What: Sea rocks with the caption, "Rock ahead."
Clue: The rune for "Rock" hidden in multiple places on the sea rocks.
Source:Sea of Thieves Podcast #2 (May 13)
What: A podcast featuring 6 employees of Rare Ltd.
Clue: At the time of 4:52 in the video, a rune appears on the face of the watch worn by Christina McGrath (Head of Community).
Source:Twitter (May 15)
What: An image of 4 Cursed Cannonballs held out by four pirates.
Clue: Runes hidden in top left corner on the sand read out the numbers 4, 5, 2. Hinting at the timestamp of the Podcast's hidden rune. In addition, the "Cursed" rune is repeatedly hidden on the Cursed Cannonballs.
Source:Twitter (May 22)
What: A sunrise, with two cats in the foreground with the caption, "Everything the light touches..."
Clue: A rune hidden in the sunrise's reflection while the caption is a reference to Disney's The Lion King where Mufasa says to Simba, "Everything the light touches is our kingdom" as they sit and watch the sunrise. The reference suggests the meaning to be "Kingdom".
Source:Twitter (May 23)
What: The caged skeleton seen at Reaper's Bones Emissary Tables with the caption, "Does your crew have a name for this poor trapped skelly?"
Clue: A rune hidden twice on the bars near the top of the cage.
Source:Twitter (June 4)
What: An image of a ship's Captain's Quarters.
Clue: A rune hidden on the bed's footboard.
Source:Twitter (June 12)
What: A pirate taunting a crewmate locked in the ship's brig.
Clue: A rune hidden bars near the brig's lock.
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