On the eve of the next Sea of Thieves monthly content update, it seems an appropriate time to look back at October's update, Fort of the Damned (just as we previously looked back at Smuggler's Fortune and the introduction of the Pirate Emporium). Fort of the Damned saw dangerous long-dead souls gaining a foothold in the Sea of Thieves at Old Boot Fort, and players being tasked with awakening the Fort and sending its skelly defenders howling back to their graves.

To wake the Fort, pirates needed to gather a Ritual Skull and all six Flames of Fate – with some Flames proving easier to collect than others. We took a look at the numbers up to November 12th, and they showed that pirates found it easiest to obtain the green Flame (made available on the Ferry of the Damned after falling victim to a skelly attack), with players dying almost five million times since update day on October 16th.

The hardest death to come by for Fort-activating pirates proved to be the purple Flame, earned through death by venom; since the update went live, only 237,416 deaths have been administered by snakebite. Venom deaths ended up even being more elusive than lightning, which despite the saying "lightning never strikes twice", struck pirates dead 264,291 times in the same timeframe.

Click here for a full-size version of the above image

Players responded astonishingly well to the challenge of the Fort of the Damned, with an impressive 117,994 Forts being cleared since the update's arrival. Many of you took our advance on Alliances, with more than a quarter of the total number of Fort clearances being achieved by Allied crews. To those of you who decided to work together against the dark forces of the Fort, congrats – teamwork makes the dream work! And for those of you who braved it alone: well done. Your bravado is not unrecognised!

However, some pirates went above and beyond in sending the Fort's sinister skeletal defenders into oblivion: by November 12th, overachieving raider Alactar had topped the table by taking down the Fort a monumental 57 times, with no Alliances! It was a tie for most Forts cleared by one crew, with two separate crews clocking up a total of 33 Forts tackled. The Sea of Thieves thanks you all for your service.

While the Fort of the Damned itself will remain a dark and stormy staple of the seas, as explained in our behind-the-scenes catch-up with Senior Designer Chris, those already looking for another challenge will find it in November's update: The Seabound Soul. Arriving on November 20th, this update is all set to bring fire to Sea of Thieves, plus a brand new Tall Tale featuring the long-awaited return of aristocratic adventurer Sir Arthur Pendragon. Alongside this story of flames and woe, Stitcher Jim has his own needs and will be tasking pirates with securing the secrets of the Ashen Lords, hidden in chests protected by Ashen Guardians.

Do you have what it takes to retrieve all five Ashen Tomes? Look forward to The Seabound Soul very soon, and whet your appetite with this video shown at X019!

Official Sea of Thieves: The Seabound Soul Reveal - X019

Duration 1:14