The Art of the Trickster is the sixth Tall Tale in Sea of Thieves and easily the most deadly. This voyage from Plunder Valley and beyond will pit you against perhaps the smartest creature to ever explore the Sea of Thieves, and all the deadly traps that they placed in your way. The Art of the Trickster includes a fair amount of combat, but also quite a lot of puzzle-solving and map reading, so bring your brain as well as your sword.
Before you head out to start this Tall Tale, it is best to bring a friend. On top of needing to scour large islands for relatively difficult to find objects, you’ll also be sailing and fighting which can get you into all kinds of danger.
How To Begin The Art Of The Trickster Tall Tale
You can find the Tall Tale Book on Plunder Valley, next to the shipwreck on the eastern coast. The book is near a campfire tucked out of sight, so explore the beach surrounding the wreck to find it. While all the other Tall Tales have had you speaking to people when you begin them, this one is a little different. Instead of a pirate with a story, you’ll find an undead parrot named Salty.
Once you’ve found the book you’ll have to make sure that over half your crew vote on it to begin the quest and before you can do that you’ll have to complete the other Tall Tales in the Shroudbreaker Arc up until this point.
How To Find The Rum Bottle Spyglass In The Art Of The Trickster Tall Tale
The first task on your journey is to uncover the Rum Bottle Spyglass. You’ll find it on Plunder Valley, so don’t jump straight back into your ship after you speak to Salty. Instead, you’ll need to head down the titular valley on this island, just up from the beach where Salty is, and enter the cave beside the bird statue. There will be a picture of the statue in question in the Trapmaker’s journal, available in your quest item inventory.
Venture through the caves until you come across a large room filled with skeletons. This is the location of your first puzzle. Using the book, you have to arrange the bodies into the correct positions to uncover the spyglass. Unlike a lot of the other puzzles in Sea of Thieves, the solution to this one doesn’t change though, so if you’re struggling we’ve noted down what you need to do.
“The Forsaken Captain points to fire and ash” is talking about the skeleton sitting by themselves, interact with the bones until they are pointing towards the lit fire on the other side of the cave.
“Hand in hand, two lovers face their destiny” refers to a couple of skeletons to the right of the captain. Interact with both of them until their hands are touching.
“The Rum Runner laid her drink to rest” refers to the skeleton with the mug in their hand. Position the mug so it is on the floor beside them.
“The thief hides behind her mask of gold” asks you to find the skeleton with the mask (she’s next to the Rum Runner) and make sure her mask is held against her face.
Once all the skeletons are in the correct position you will receive a musical note to tell you it’s worked. Look around and you’ll see one of the cages on the ceiling descend. The skeleton will have the Rum Bottle Spyglass clutched in hand, but will also have some additional pages for the journal. Make sure you pick them up too, as they’ll guide you to the Gunpowder Key just as much as the Spyglass will.
How To Find The Trapmaker’s Gunpowder Key In The Art Of The Trickster Tall Tale
With the Rum Bottle Spyglass, your next job is to find the Trapmaker’s Gunpowder Key, and the first thing you’ll need to do is find out which island it’s buried on. Luckily the pages you found with the Rum Bottle Spyglass will directly say where the Gunpowder Key can be found.
These pages will instruct you to stay on Plunder Valley, or go over to Discovery Ridge, so make sure you’re on the island before looking at the rest of the pages.
The riddle surrounding the Gunpowder Key involves you using a segment of the island map to find a particular spot marked with Trapmaker’s sign (a skull with spikes through it), then using the Rum Bottle Spyglass to find the objects referenced in the riddle so that you can learn where you need to dig. You’ll have to repeat this puzzle three times in three different locations on the same island to find the key. The biggest challenge is often finding the right location as the map can be hard to read and north is rarely at the top of the page which makes it even harder.
If you’re struggling with any particular puzzle don’t fret as we’ve noted each possibility down to help you find this dastardly key.
On Plunder Valley there are nine possible maps you’ll need to solve, and we’ll be naming them after the last line in the riddle that is used to find the correct objects.
The Trapmaker’s Mark for the “Caged and trapped I may be bound, near ancient urn within the ground” riddle can be found painted on the rock overlooking the shipwreck on the eastern beach, not far from the coast. Once discovered, you’ll have to find the cage and urn discarded on the same beach and dig where the cracks align.
The “Caged inside a Kind of brig, near broken urn a place to dig” location can be found on the cliff north of the south-west beach. From there use the spyglass to align the broken urn and the cage in eyeholes of the skull motif and dig where the crack meets on the beach.
“Cross the seas now lost for days, I feel a red piercing gaze” can be found above the central valley, overlooking one of the cave entrances. To find the dig spot, use the Rum Bottle Spyglass to make a skull with the right-side eye hole filled with the red eye stone by the cave.
“Dark creatures now awake, an ancient call for all our sake” takes you to the cliff above the northern beach, where the mark is painted on the rocks themselves. From there you’ll look for two other paintings from the ancients, a bat and a party, which you can use in your Rum Bottle Spyglass to find the dig spot.
“For forgotten people long we scour, in search of ancient glowing power” can be found more or less underneath the bird-like outcropping at the center of the island, with the objects you’ll need to find being the nearby paintings of fire and people.
“Once soaring through the sky with pride, now crawling in the Earth to hide” can be found towards the middle of the island on the southern walls of the titular valley. From here you’ll need to align the painting of the eagle and scarab on the opposite sides of the valley to find the dig spot.
“Rum and gold drown my grief, ferried for an accused thief” is in the middle of the island above the smaller bird statue looking west towards the coast. The items you’ll need to find are past the statue, near the statue, and should be used with the Rum Bottle Spyglass to find the dig spot.
“Rum and sea forever my fate, iron serves a fiery hate” is on the eastern beach, actually painted on the shipwreck. The objects you’ll need to find are cannon and rum bottles further north along the beach.
“Salvage and wood to batten down the hatches, closer now if viewpoint matches” is found on the northern side of the island, between the peak and the coast. The mark is painted on the stones of the cliff and once you’ve found it you need to spot some wooden planks and barrels to find the digging location.
“Wood and iron may be the tools, to save my soul from these greedy fools” will lead you to the southern edge of the island, with the mark located slightly further back from the coastal cliff. The objects you need to find are the cannon and nearby barrel that guard the island.
Over on Discovery Ridge, there are seven possible locations that the trapmaker is having you search out.
“Ancient people praised the sea, in ships they used a fabled key” is found on a rock on the northern beach of the island. Look for a smaller nearby rock with a painting of a man next to some debris with your Rum Bottle Spyglass to find the dig spot.
“Deck and helm where once I stood, by stone now turned to drifting wood” can be found around the center of the island painted on the stone vein that runs from west to east. The objects you’ll have to find are north, simply look for the planks near a loose stone along the path.
“Plundered supplies help my plight, friends of the sea fill my sight” can be found just above the westerly path that leads to the coast. Look for the painting of a seahorse next to the broken barrel to find the dig spot.
The mark of “The red sun rises gifting light, the blue moon shines bright at night” puzzle is actually slightly off the eastern coast by the beach. Once you’ve found it look back to align the paintings of the sun and the moon to find the dig spot.
“Through leafy palms I stumble and tread, through rum and greed I lost my head” is on the western side of the island, just off the path. Once you’ve found the mark, look for the headless skeleton to find the dig spot.
“Through island waters I rowed in awe, spited by a fearsome jaw” overlooks the western beach of the main island. From your cliffside lookout, use your Rum Bottle Spyglass to find the oar next to the painting on a shark on the beach below.
“Salvage and supplies steel my nerve, for gold and greed I have to serve” can be found on the western beach of the main island. From there use the spyglass from your quest inventory menu to find the debris and barrel that leads you to the treasure.
Once you’ve got the final Gunpowder Key you’ll have to move quickly for the trapmaker has left a few explosives for you and you don’t want to get caught up in the explosions.
Where To Use The Trapmaker’s Gunpowder Key In The Art Of The Trickster Tall Tale
With the gunpowder key in hand, you can set sail for Sailor’s Bounty. Once there find the cavern in the center of the island and the caves that descend from it. Mind the traps! There will be several traps that are completely deadly. These can include spinning blades or spikes. Touching one, even when they aren’t seemingly moving, will still kill you, and there’s a good chance your crew won’t be able to reach you so be careful when moving through. Check the timing of the traps to navigate safely, as some don’t simply activate then retract.
Although the traps are instantly deadly, you’ll want to take plenty of food with you as well. You’ll also have to take the key all the way down but don’t worry, it won’t detonate if it’s hit. At one point you’ll enter a large cavern where there are multiple routes available. Look for the sign of the Trapmaker (skulls pierced by spikes) and follow that route.
In the final chamber, there will be a place to rest the key, triggering several waves of enemies. Fight them off and use the levers along the wall to activate traps to help thin their numbers. Be careful though, as they can kill you and your crew just as easily.
Once the protectors of the treasure are defeated you’ll find a totem that opens an ancient vault, much like the ones you’ll have completed up until now.
The Boar Totem opens with the Devil’s Ridge Vault.
The Crab Totem opens the Vault on the uncharted island at N-13.
The Moon Totem opens the Vault on Crescent Isle.
The Scarab Totem opens at Crook’s Hollow.
The Shark Totem opens the Kraken’s Fall Vault.
And the Snake Totem opens the Mermaids Hideaway Vault.
Once you’ve got your totem, retrace your steps back out of the caves, and mind out for any lingering traps, before setting sail for the Vault island. Refer back to the Shroudbreaker guide if you need any help finding the vault’s entrance.
How To Complete The Ancient Vault In The Art Of The Trickster Tall Tale
Once you’ve found yourself inside the vault you’ll have to light the braziers like normal but there aren’t any more puzzles in this vault. Instead, you’ll be faced with more waves of skeletons you’ll have to fight off as the Trapmaker’s final trap is sprung. Every wave will include a Captain that you can kill to find one of the vaults medallions. Grab all three and insert them into the altar to open the door and free yourself. Make sure you take the gem from the last victim of the vault and head back to Plunder Valley to return the jewel to Salty.
This will complete the Tall Tale, and give you access to the Fate of the Morningstar Tall Tale as you get closer to the fables Shores of Gold.
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