What is Ashen Key & Where to Find it?

In Sea of Thieves, an Ashen Key is a type of Key that can be used to open Ashen Chests and get valuable Treasure and rewards like Ashen Tomes, Ritual Skulls, Gold, or Doubloons.

Ashen Keys are another type of Bilge Rats Treasure that you can sell to them for 5 Doubloons. You can also sell them to the Reaper’s Bones for 10 gold pieces and Reputation.


If the Crew doesn’t find an Ashen Chest, the Ashen Key is useless. With just one Ashen Key, you can open an Ashen Chest, which will then show you three Treasure items.

Once you’ve used an Ashen Key, you can’t get it back, but you can sell an unlocked Ashen Chest for the same amount of Doubloons you paid for it.

There are many ways to get an Ashen Chest, but the most common way is as a reward for completing an Ashen Guardian’s Notes Quest.

These notes are dropped by Ashen Guardians during Skeleton Fort World Events or on Islands when an Emergent Skeleton Captain spawns.

Where to find it?

Ashen Keys can be found from the following sources:

  • 1 Guaranteed as a reward for solving an Ashen Key Master’s Notes Quest, dropped by Ashen Key Master that appear during Skeleton Fort World Events or on Islands as Emergent Skeleton Captain spawns
  • Low chance to be dropped by Ashen Key Master
  • 2 Guaranteed as a reward for sinking the Captain’s Skeleton Ship at the end of a Skeleton Fleet.
  • Low chance to be caught with a Fishing Rod as Treacherous Plunder when not using any Bait.
  • 1 Guaranteed for an Ashen Key Stash Voyage, bought from the Black Market for 99 .
  • Dug up from a Skeleton’s Orders Treasure Map as a part of the Time-Limited Ashen Key-Seeker Mercenary Voyages.
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Tip: If in need of an Ashen Key, find either an Emergent Skeleton Captain or Ashen Guardian on an Island and attempt a soft-reset of the Island by having the whole crew die or exit the Island’s Title Card range. A soft-reset has a chance to change the Captain/Guardian to a different type, or cause it to despawn (in which case, a soft-reset can be attempted again).

How to Beat Ashen Key Masters

Unfortunately Key Masters are pretty hardy enemies, able to withstand multiple direct hits from a Blunderbuss and restore a large amount of health by eating bananas.

Attack them with your cutlass but keep that great big shotgun ready. The moment they start trying to eat, interrupt them with a blast to the face.

Alternatively, don’t even engage them directly, just firing on it with cannons and sniper rifles from the safety of your ship. It might take a bit longer, but if there’s multiple of you, it shouldn’t be too slow.

Once it dies, it’ll drop the key where it died, as well as a skull you can sell to the Order of Souls. Don’t worry about losing the key, it’ll give off an orange glint that marks it out. Bring it back to your ship and put it somewhere safe.


Ashen Chest Treasure Pool

Every Ashen Chest opened with an Ashen Key will reveal 3 Treasure items:

  • 1 guaranteed random Ashen Tome
  • 2 additional Items that can be the following:
    •  Doubloon Pouch
    • 1,000  Gold Pouch
    • Ritual Skull
    • Roaring Goblet
    • Brimstone Casket
    • Devil’s Remnant
    • Magma’s Grail
    • An additional Ashen Tome

Selling Ashen Keys

Ashen Keys can be sold both to:

  • Larinna stationed in every Tavern for Bilge Rat Doubloons
  • The Servant of the Flame at The Reaper’s Hideout for Doubloons and Reaper’s Bones Reputation and Emissary Value (if sailing as a Reaper’s Bones Emissary)
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  • It is recommended to sell these Keys to the Reaper’s Bones as they will offer increasing Doubloon, Reputation and Emissary Value multipliers for selling these items to The Servant of the Flame as Graded Reaper’s Bones Emissaries.
  • All Commendations related to selling Ashen Keys can also be earned by selling them to the Reaper’s Bones.
  • Picking up and placing an Ashen Key on a Ship for the first time gives Emissary Grade Reputation to Trading Company Emissaries representing the Reaper’s Bones.
  • Ashen Keys can be stored inside Collector’s Chests.
  • Ashen Keys give off a dark-orange glint from a distance.
  • Ashen Keys can be caught with a Harpoon


Reaper’s Bones Commendations

  • Plundered Prizes → Sell 600 of any Trading Company items while flying the Reaper’s Bones Emissary Flag.
  • Fearless Reaper → Sell 320 of any Trading Company items while flying a Grade 5 Reaper’s Bones Emissary Flag.

Bilge Rats Commendations:

  • Key Cash → Sell an Ashen Key. | 10 
  • Key of Thieves → Use a stolen Ashen Key. | 10 

Pirate Chat Wheel

Here is the Pirate Chat Wheel for the Ashen Key: