Sea of Thieves: "The Shroudbreaker" Full Quest Walkthrough

Sea of Thieves: "The Shroudbreaker" Full Quest Walkthrough

We show you how to complete the first of the Tall Tales and deal with the dangers and puzzles throughout.

Sea of Thieves' Tall Tales is a world-spanning saga in which players will hunt down the fabled Shores of Gold and encounter all manner of plunder and peril. We'll take you here through a walkthrough guide for The Shroudbreaker, the first quest of the Tall Tales questline here.

How to Start The Shroudbreaker Tall Tales Quest

To begin playing The Shroudbreaker, start up Sea of Thieves and look behind you. No, really, that's it. The Mysterious Stranger who appears in every tavern in the game is the quest-giver in this case, or rather the book he keeps on a table next to him is the one you actually get the quest from.

Selecting the Mysterious Stranger's book will begin the first Tall Tale. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Select the book as you would vote on a Voyage on your ship's table, and once everybody's agreed to it, there'll be a bit of dialogue from the Mysterious Stranger putting the quest into context.

Long story short, the Pirate Lord from the "Maiden Voyage" tutorial once tried to find a mythical island called the Shores of Gold, only to be foiled by the thick fog that protected it. He went away on his ship, the Magpie's Wing, and found out about something called the Shroudbreaker, an object that could part the mist and get the owner to the Shores of Gold. Unfortunately he was attacked by other pirates before he could find it, and threw all his notes overboard in a sealed chest so that nobody else could have it. But now you've got his journal detailing what happened, and you can find those notes for yourself. The first step is to find the wreck of the Magpie's Wing.

How to Use the Tale Book

Riddles and puzzles are a big part of the Tall Tales story, and the Tale Book provides nearly all the answers you'll need, it just won't be very clear about them. You'll get it automatically when the quest begins, and it can be read as you would any map or piece of paper in the radial menu, with the exception that you can turn the pages with the controller triggers or Q/E buttons when it's being read.

First Location: The Unnamed Island and the Wreck of the Magpie's Wing

The place you'll need to go is the unnamed island that the Magpie's Wing was destroyed at, as labelled in the Tales Book. This island isn't marked on your ship's map table in any way, but the Pirate Lord gave a pretty good explanation in the book of where it is, placing it an even distance between the islands of Crook's Hollow and Crooked Masts. The island's exact map coordinates is on the dividing line between N-13 and O-13, and it's actually several tiny islands split by shallow waters.

If it were on the map, the island would be marked here. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios
This small scrap of land is next to the sunken wreck of the Magpie's Wing. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Once you're there, hop into the sea and start looking for the wreckage of a huge ship in the surrounding waters. Unlike other shipwrecks you might've encountered, this one doesn't float freely in the water or rest largely intact on the seabed, it's a huge hulk split into multiple pieces across the coral reefs. It's a little hard to know where to go or what you're looking for, so we'll make it clear: head to the back of the wreck and find the captain's quarters, which are in a similar place here than they would be in one of your own ships. Inside there - either resting on the throne or on one of the bookshelves - you'll find a sealed wood cylinder that you can pick up. This is what you're looking for; extra pages that'll automatically be added to the end of your Tall Tales book, which can then tell you where they dropped the chest holding the location of the Shroudbreaker.

The Wreck of the Magpie's Wing. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios
The notes are usually on an armrest in the Captain's quarters. If not there, they'll still definitely be in that room. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Where to Find the Ancient Chest and Location of the Shroudbreaker

After this, head back to your ship and flick through the book to the new notes you've picked up. It's a captain's log for the Magpie's Wing detailing the chase. Unfortunately we can't give you the exact location, as Sea of Thieves randomizes the chase pattern each time. You can see on the example below that all the island names and compass directions are clearly slotted into static text. Use your map to plot the Magpie's course before it was caught, up to the point where it mentions "dropping chest in the waters". That's what you need to find; all the log entries after that are irrelevant.

The log entry detailing a dropped chest marks the place you'll need to hunt. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios

As far as we know, we can narrow down all the possibilities to seven islands listed below. If you aren't certain about which one the chest is at, see if it could be any of these.

  • Fool's Lagoon (I-14)
  • Cutlass Cay (M-18)
  • Snake Island (K-16)
  • Paradise Spring (L-17)
  • Chicken Isle (I-16)
  • Lookout Point (I-20)
  • Devil's Ridge (P-19)

Finding the chest won't be easy even at the right island. It'll be underwater - not buried - and you can narrow it down a lot by checking the notes to see which side of the island the Magpie threw it out onto. Otherwise leap back into the foam and start combing the area. The chest itself will give a white glint even from a distance, similar to how a gemstone does it. Find it and bring it back to the boat, or open it there and take out the contents: more pages for your book and a "Totem Key", a stone statue that'll look either like a snake, moon, boar, crab, shark or scarab.

What to Do With the Totem Key and Finding the Ancient Vault

Now you have the Totem Key, you're nearing the final stages of the quest. The new pages detail an ancient vault that holds the Shroudbreaker, and older pages tell you that the Totem key will open it. The actual location of the Vault is detailed on one of the new pages, but we've got a table tell you what to look for below, depending on which Totem Key you have.

TotemIslandVault Location
ScarabCrook's HollowIn a cave in the South, close to a waterfall.
CrabBack at the Unnamed Island where you found the Magpie's Wing wreckage.In an underwater cave amidst a coral reef.
SnakeMermaid's HideawayNorth-West, under a stone arch.
MoonCrescent IsleIn the underground caves, to the North
SharkKraken's FallHidden among rocks to the North, under a large arch.
BoarDevil's RidgeOn the South-East coastline, among some rocks.
These runes mark both how to find the vault and how to survive it. | Joel Franey/USgamer, Rare/Xbox Game Studios

Whatever the area, you'll be looking for cave paintings that match the ones in the book, the sign that you're close to finding the vault. Close to them will be a keyhole in the wall which you can use the Totem in to open a - revealing the Vault. You're so close, but there's still the dangers of the Vault to navigate.

How to Get Through the Ancient Totem Vault and Find the Shroudbreaker

You'll soon enter a room with square pillars covered in symbols and four unlit braziers. Light the braziers by raising your lamp at them, at which point water will start to fill the room. The four pillars will begin to glow - you'll have to rotate them to match the three lines of symbols in the final pages of your Tall Tales book. Each time they match a line, run to the middle altar and press the button to enter the solution. Once you have all the lines entered, the door will open and you can move on safely... for now.

There's one more puzzle, this time based around a classic treasure hunt. The next table you see will have three circular indentations, and three landmarks shown on it that are somewhere on the island. Go find those landmarks, dig at the marked area, and you'll get a gold medallion to place in the table. Weak skeletons will appear each time, so be prepared to deal with them. Bring all the medallions back and put them in the slots - once the last one is there, a stone wall will roll down and reveal the Shroudbreaker! Take it and RUN! Endless skeleton hordes will attack you, so fight your way back to the ship and flee to the nearest outpost where you can give the Shroudbreaker back to the Mysterious Stranger in the tavern, completing the quest. As a reward, you'll get 3000 gold and a Pirate Lord's Hat to wear whenever you want.

If that was helpful, why not take a look at some of our other guides on Sea of Thieves? We can explain those mysterious lights you'll see on the horizon here, or you can follow this guide to find out everything you need to know about pets and how to get them.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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