- "Skeletons" redirects here. For Skeletons, the crew, see Skeletons (crew).
- "Skellies" redirects here. For Skellies, the crew, see Skellies (crew).
- "Skelly" redirects here. For the Hunter Ocean pirate, see Skelly (pirate).
- During the Halloween events of 2008, players themselves could be turned into skellies. See 2008 Halloween events for more information.
Skellies can be found on an island in a group of 5 to 25, and may be challenged to swordfight brawls. In order to challenge the skellies, a pirate must wager 100 PoE. If the skellies are victorious, they retain all wagered PoE. If the players are victorious, the skellies pay 1,000 PoE per skellie defeated and return all PoE they'd claimed from previous brawls to those players that defeated them - they then leave to haunt another random isle. If skellies on an island are not challenged in a swordfight they will start leaving one by one and if you already joined the fray they will /tell you: "Bah! We tire of just standing about. Maybe ye'll be willing to fight when it's just 28 to yer 1?"
If skellies are present on an island, it will be cursed with darkness until they are defeated. Therefore, it is easy to tell when they're present. They often show up near an arrow, either the dock arrow, or a building arrow. If an island has buildings, they may be near multiple arrows. On uninhabited islands, they may occasionally appear near the island's inscription instead of the dock arrow, if the island has one.
- A puzzle standing of Renowned and an experience level of Narrow in swordfighting
- At least 100 PoE on hand with which to enter the skellie battle
Charms that will summon skellies may be won from black boxes found at a black market. They come in three sizes: small (summons 5 skellies), medium (summons 15 skellies), and large (summons 25 skellies).
Ocean Masters do not give out the location of skellies.
Charms used to give a high bias to the summoner for the map, however this is no longer the case.
Starting the match
To enter the fray, pirates must pay 100 PoE to the skellies.
When a pirate chooses to join the fray, a confirmation box will appear reading, "I'll be havin' 100 pieces of eight if ye lose."
More pirates can sign up for the skelly fray than there are skellies. When the fray starts, if there are extra pirates, the skellies will randomly pick a subset of the players and refund wagers to the rest.
The fight starts once half of the people in the fray vote to start the fight.
If no frays are started after a period of time, the skellies will begin to get bored and leave the island, one at a time, every five minutes.
Some common misconceptions surrounding skellies and skellie fights:
- Colored skellies are "more difficult." Actually, color has no bearing on the difficulty of the skellie.
- The skellie who sends /tells giving status of the fray is the "leader." Another common misconception; in reality, there is no such thing as a skellie "leader." Another variation of this is that this "leader" is somehow more difficult than other skellies. Again, this is a misconception and can be dismissed.
- A commonly spread myth is that people who fight with sticks cause skellie losses. This is not necessarily true, since fighting any opponent has more to do with skill than the sword used. However, a stick user is still less effective than one of equal skill using a proper sword as the stick is specifically designed to be awful. 
- People who shout will "lag" you and cause losses. This is a myth, and it is utterly false. For more information, see the rumors page.
- People who spam the chat will "lag" you and cause losses. This is a myth, and it is utterly false as confirmed by a developer. However you should never spam any chat as it may get you blackspotted.
Good teaming and swordfighting skills are essential to winning the fray.
If the pirates beat the skellies, they will collect equal shares of all PoE lost in previous fights. Skellies also have a base total of 1,000 PoE each, which is distributed in addition to previous wagers. One map to a random Atlantis, Cursed Isles, or Haunted Seas location are added to the wagers, and are distributed to a random winner of the brawl.
Pirates who survive the brawl (are not eliminated) receive a skull from skellies; a trinket which may be held in a portrait. For each skull won there will be a headless skellie after the match. Of course the next time they are seen again all the skellies will have heads again.
Occasionally the pirates in a winning fray will receive an an uneven amount of PoE. This extra PoE was originally wagered by another group of pirates who were unable to defeat the skellies before an ocean reboot. See this post from Cephalopod for complete details.
If the skellies win, the skellies will take the 100 poe charged to join the fray, but as soon the fray ends when the skellies are the winners, they will start to collect the wagers over again for the next fray. They will only leave the island once they are defeated.
In the past, skellies required pirates wager an item in addition to the 100 PoE in order to challenge them. That was changed in the release on 2009-05-27. Now, skellies only require a wager of 100 PoE to challenge them.
Originally, skellies appeared in small groups of three to five. Beating these skellies would win, in addition to all the items lost to them, one article of clothing and a sword. In very early days, it was the only way to get swords other than the starting foil.
There was a time when skellies only showed up at islands with old treasure chests labelled "Monsters". All of the chests were located on islands far from civilization—namely, Durian Island, Eclipse Island, Flow, Ostreum Island, and Vernal Equinox. Prior to that, skellies would appear next to old treasure chests on every island in the Diamond Archipelago except Alpha Island. Now, skellies may show up at any island.
Prior to Release 2006-11-07 skellies could be found on an island at regular intervals. Immediately after a server reboot and every six hours thereafter a group of skellies could be found on a random island. During this time it was common for players to logon a few minutes before the anticipated arrival time of the skellies in order to fight them.
- Main article: Black ship
One hundred and fifty-nine skellies crew El Pollo Diablo (The Devil Chicken), which will attack players as punishment for attacking a weaker ship.
Players as skellies
In 2003, 2004, and 2008 around Halloween, the Ringers released special updates that transformed player characters into skellies or zombies. In 2005 the players all became zombies, and only the NPPs became a mix of zombies and skellies.
Several of the skellies' lines of dialogue reference the movie (and book) The Princess Bride, including:
- "Ye seem like a decent fellow. I hate to kill ye!"
- "There's something you should know. I am not left handed!"
- Online Skellie Alerts Online tools giving you updated Skellie alerts for each ocean.
- Commonly discussed ideas from Game Design
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