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Okay, pirates, pay close attention: what I’m about to tell you might just save your life. And if it doesn’t, it’ll at least explain what happens next.

Pirates are tough, but we’re not invincible, and the Sea of Thieves is a particularly dangerous place. I’ll let Seamark scare you with stories of what’s out there, but there are a couple of things you should know right away.

If you get shot, slashed, bitten or otherwise injured, you’ll lose health, and it’ll take more than a few seconds of crouching behind a chest-high wall to shake it off. Oh, and if you’re poisoned or set on fire, you’ll continuously lose health for a while (although of course you can deal with the fire problem by jumping into the water).

And speaking of water… Undersea adventures can be fun, but once you start gasping for breath, it’s time to break for the surface before you black out and drown. And – I really shouldn’t need to say this – falling from high places isn’t much good for you either.

To replenish your health the pirate way, you’ll need to cronch down on a banana or some other food source (grog, sadly, won’t help). If you’ve recently eaten a particularly well-cooked meal, you’ll find its positive effects linger on and help heal your wounds next time you’re injured. You’ll soon learn that some foods restore more health than others.

If you take a lethal blow, your soul will start to shuffle off this mortal coil, but while this is happening, it’s possible for any crewmate who can reach you to revive you with a small amount of restored health. This is sometimes a vital tactic during a fight, but if you’re ready to surrender yourself to death’s embrace immediately, that’s an option too.

Luckily, pirates who do meet a sticky end in any of these ways (or other ways of their own devising) will wake up aboard an ethereal vessel known as the Ferry of the Damned. Its Captain, the Ferryman, saves the souls of the recently deceased and will eventually return you to the living world through a portal where the Captain’s cabin should be. Definitely worth staying on his good side!

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By Nine-Cat Nura

I’m Nine-Cat Nura, writing to you from the Sea of Thieves. Why? I was promised a good amount of gold if I did, that’s why. Besides, the rest of my crew are ashore, handing in a couple of skulls to Madame Olive over at the—well, I’m getting ahead of myself.