- This article is about the skellie ship. For other articles, see El Pollo Diablo (disambiguation).
Engaging the Black Ship
Players receive the following messages when battling the black ship.
When a higher power ship attacks a player, the player receives the message:
"Avast! Those cowardly dogs were nigh upon ye when a thick dark fog swells from the ocean and the Black Ship emerges! The Black Ship bears down upon yer foes and takes yer place in battle."
When a player is aboard a ship that attacks a lower power ship and the black ship appears, the player receives the message:
"Dark clouds gather as ye bear down upon yer hapless victims, and from the miasma emerges the Black Ship to take the place of yer target in battle! Arrrrgh! Ye be doomed fer sure!"
When a player is aboard a ship that attacks a lower power ship and the black ship does not appear, the player receives the message:
"Woe be the crew that spends too much time ganging up on vessels with fewer pirates. There be a legend that a Black Ship sails these waters, evening the score for those that've been wronged."
Battling the Black Ship
The ship is piloted by 159 skellies, goes through obstacles, and knows the opponent's every move. It gets 4 moves per turn, unlike ships similar to it in size. It is also immune to cannonballs and grappling. Basically, it is almost impossible to win against it.
The black ship did not always have 159 skellies on it. The Ringers kept changing the amount of skellies aboard the black ship in an attempt to make it truly unbeatable. At one time, there were only eight skellies aboard, due to a booch; it was also vulnerable to cannonfire.
There have been four iterations of the black ship so far:
- First variation
- The black ship worked as a normal ship, it could be shot like any other ship, and took damage from rocks if it ran into them. The number of skellies aboard was variable. This incarnation was first defeated when Barrenmore took a full grand frigate out during the Rudder Revolution's 24-hour bash to fight it. 
- Second variation
- The black ship was turned into the ghost ship that it is now, it became impossible to shoot it and it went right through rocks. However, this was the booched version that had only eight skellies aboard. Another booch resulted in the skellies' swords decaying into foils after awhile (this affected the land-based skellies as well).
- Third variation
- This incarnation, with 100 skellies, was introduced in release 2004-01-26, which also brought war. Collision to start the fight early was still possible, until release 2004-04-28 when grapples were introduced. This version was finally defeated on Halloween, October 31, 2006, (explaining the red sea in the image), by a grand frigate pillage led by Fenrir of The Eye, on the Hunter Ocean. Oceanus was aboard the Black Ship at the time.
- Fourth variation
- With release 2006-11-07, the number of skellies aboard was raised to 159 in light of the most recent defeat.
The black ship has aqua banners. This trivia fact was used during Tedv's Endurance Scavenger Hunt. However, it is possible that the black ship has (unbeknownst to players!) been decorated with furniture by an Ocean Master in one of his or her more whimsical moods.
TipsIt is possible that the Black ship will disengage from battle, provided you can run away long enough. However, this is much more likely to happen in ships with 4 moves per turn. One way to disengage from black ship is to stay one square in front of the black ship, causing it unable to cross through the player ship.
The name El Pollo Diablo comes from the Monkey Island video game series. In its third installment, Guybrush Threepwood is told the tale of a demonic chicken, who comes out when the moon is full to peck those who would eat his lesser brethren. His blood curdling "cluck" resounds in the deep jungle...he is "El Pollo Diablo"!