- "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).
Skellies (or skeletons) are non-player pirates that can be challenged to swordfight brawls. They can spawn in groups on islands, or can be summoned to a location with the help of special skellie charms. They are one of three types of fray-based monsters; the other two being zombies and werewolves. Skellies that are defeated will distribute Pieces of Eight and trinkets to the victors, before fleeing the island. One fortunate pirate will receive a Sea Monster Hunt map.
Skellies can spawn on a random island (provided no other monsters are present) in a group of 5 to 25, and may be challenged to swordfighting brawls. If skellies are present on an island, it will be cursed with darkness until they are defeated. They often appear near a portal 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, if the island has one.
Skellies which have spawned on a heavily built-up island may be difficult or impossible to find, since they can spawn behind buildings.
Skellies can also be summoned to islands, provided no other monsters are present on that island already. Charms that will summon skellies to an island may be won from black boxes found at a black market. They come in three sizes; minor (summons 5 skellies), medium (summons 15 skellies), and major (summons 25 skellies).
Players may enter the fray in order to help remove skellies from an island.
In order to defeat skellies, pirates must first volunteer to fight the skellies. This is done by selecting "Join the fray" from a skellie's radial menu. 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.". Accepting this will place the pirate in the fray and deduct 100 PoE from their purse. Any number of pirates can join the fray.
Pirates who have joined the fray are known as "challengers" and the skellies will welcome them with a /tell:
- "Welcome to the fray! Ye seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill ye!"
If a pirate cannot afford to join the fray, they will receive the following tell:
- "Ye haven't the 100 pieces of eight we be seekin'! Come back when ye've the gold, kiddo."
Skellies will also keep challengers informed via /tells about the current number of challengers (X) and skellies (Y):
|If there is 1 challenger|
|"One little pirate in the fray... ha ha ha!"|
|If there are between 2 and (Y) challengers|
|"Ye think we're scared by (X) puny challengers? Not when there are (Y) of us."|
|"Ha-ha! Only (X) challengers against the (Y) of us?.. maybe ye brought some luck too?"|
|"(X) humans, (Y) skellies... ha ha ha!"|
|"(Y) skellies can beat (X) humans any day!"|
|If there are greater than (Y) challengers|
|"Avast! We wont let ye humans outnumber us, so we'll pick (Y) of ye land lubbers to fight!"|
If a pirate tries to join the fray but has already joined, they will receive a message:
- "Matey, ye've already joined the fray!"
Leaving the fray
Pirates may also leave the fray by clicking on any skellie and selecting "Leave the fray". Doing so will refund the 100 PoE entry fee. In addition, if a pirate is whisked away from that island outdoor scene, they automatically leave the fray.
Pirates who have left the fray are sent the following message:
- "Running away, eh? Here's yer wager back."
If no frays are started against a group of skellies for a set period of time, the skellies will get bored and begin to leave the island, one at a time, every five minutes. This makes it easier to fill skellie fights should they appear in very large numbers.
After a skellie leaves, all challengers will receive a message stating the new number of skellies:
- "Bah! We tire of just standing about. Maybe ye'll be willing to fight now that there are just (Y) of us to yer (X)?"
Skellies will stop leaving the island once they reach 5 in number.
Challengers vote to start the fight by selecting "Vote to start the fight" on any skellie's radial menu. It is possible to vote at any time, although many prefer to wait until the number of challengers equals the number of skellies. Upon voting, a skellie will issue a tell to that pirate:
- "Arr, ye're ready to fight are ye? Ok. We won't start until at least half of ye are ready."
The fight will begin once a simple majority has been reached: half the challengers in the fray plus one. Players cannot retract their vote once it has been made, except by leaving and rejoining the fray.
Skellies will not allow players to outnumber them in the fight, and will choose random pirates to participate. Those who were not selected will be refunded their 100 PoE, and will be sent the following message:
- "Sorry mate, we won't fight more humans than skellies. Maybe ye can be in the next fight. Here's yer wager back."
Skellies fight using the Swordfighting puzzle, and are able to wield various swords in the same way that zombies may hold various bludgeons. Skellies are tough fighters, and several attempts may be necessary to defeat them.
Ye be defeated!
Should a group of pirates lose the fight, the skellies will keep all fray entry fees. Pirates can join the fray again instantly for 100 PoE, but they cannot vote to begin the fray again for a short time. If a pirate tries to vote during this time, they will receive the following message:
- "Arr, take a moment to collect yourselves after such a sound defeat! After that, let us know yer ready."
Skellies will remain on an island until they are defeated.
Once the group of skellies has been defeated, they will flee the island and the darkness will begin to lift.
All winning pirates receive an equal share of PoE; 1,000 PoE per skellie, as well as all fray entry fees that have been collected (this may include previous frays). One randomly chosen pirate will win a random map to a Cursed Isles, Atlantis, or Haunted Seas location. That pirate does not have to survive the fray to be awarded the map.
Pirates who were not eliminated in the fray will also be awarded a skull trinket, which may be held in portraits. These pirates will also be sent the following phrase by a random skellie:
- "Since ye bested us and survived to the end of the fight, ye win my head!"
Skellies which have awarded a skull trinket to a player will be shown leaving the island with their heads missing.
Also, a pirate, whether surviving or not, may randomly receive a skeleton bone bludgeon. If a skeleton bone is won, there will be a skellie missing a limb after the fight. That skeleton will send the pirate the following message:
- "What do ye expect to accomplish by stealing my femur?"
Sometimes a skellie will make a remark before the group leaves the island:
- "Arrrr! Ye haven't seen the last of the Skeleton Crew!"
- "Avast! We've been beaten by a rag tag band of fleshy land lubbers. Mother will be furious..."
- "Shiver me timbers and shake me bones! These lubbers have ousted us from our thrones."
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.
- 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
Clicking the button will randomly whisk pirates to a group of island skellies. If there are multiple groups present on different islands in the ocean, the mission will whisk a pirate to a random group of skellies. Skellies which have been summoned will also cause this mission to appear.
This mission, as well as both the Defeat the zombies! and Defeat the werewolves! missions, is a way for a pirate to explore islands which would be otherwise difficult to reach. Since islands which are visited once are memorized, pirates who regularly go on these missions are likely to have many islands plotted on their known world map.
- If, due to lag or timing, a pirate votes when he or she has already entered the fight, that skellie will send the pirate a tell:
- "Arr, ye fight be already underway!"
- There are various colors of skellies, but these colors are random and are no indication of difficulty. All skellies are as difficult as each other.
- A common rumor 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. 
- Ocean Masters do not give out the location of skellies.
References to other media
One of the lines spoken by skellies references the movie (and book) The Princess Bride, in which a character says:
- "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you!".
Prior to an unknown release before 2007, skellies would also quote another line from the same movie and book:
- "There's something you should know. I am not left handed!"
- 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.
- Previously, a pirate who summoned skellies using charms had a higher chance of receiving a map as a prize than others(verify). This is no longer the case.
- During the 2008 Halloween events, players could take on the appearance of skellies.
- Online Skellie Alerts Online tools displaying updated Skellie alerts for each ocean.
- Commonly discussed ideas from Game Design
|Atlantis Explorers Across:|
|Barbarian Lovers Across:|
|Brigand King Hunters on:|
|Cursed Isles Attackers Across:|
|Drinking Players Across:|
|Flotilla Hunters Across:|
|Haunted Seas Explorers Across:|
|Hearts Players Across:|
|Memming Players Across:|
|United Pillagers Across:|
|Skellie Hunters Across:|
|Spades Players Across:|
|Werewolf Hunters Across:|
|Zombie Hunters Across:|