The war began with Captain Quell of the Sea Marauders attacking Admiral Blue Beard’s Avenger. Quell and Blue Beard fought, but in the end, Quell lost his leg at the hands of the fierce Admiral. Hully O’ Brien carried the captain back to their ship, and they retreated away from the Avenger.
Quell’s leg was replaced, and Sabrehook, the first mate, led a mutiny, as he believed that there are many things a pyrate could get away with, but retreat not being one of them. That night, Quell and Hully O’ Brien, who defended him, were marooned on an island in Skull Haven, and Sabrehook became captain. Quell and O’ Brien were later rescued by a fishing boat.
Sabrehook’s first declaration was that they take out the skeleton crew. He waited for them for weeks, and when Dread Eye showed himself, the Sea Marauders attacked. They were hopelessly destroyed. Sabrehook’s ship was sunk, and he was the last remaining crew member. He came face to face with Dread Eye, who mercilessly knocked him down the hole into the ship’s hull, which feeds on energy of its victims in order to keep the Phantom functioning. Sabrehook was killed, and he became the Lost Soul known as Howlinger, and he hid inside the ship’s dark crevices.
The war strongly favoured the skeleton crew at the moment, but still, all three armies discovered that the treasure was hid somewhere in Skull Haven, a mysterious batch of islands. Dread Eye sent out a skeleton to investigate an island called Coffer Trap, but the skeleton was kidnapped by Captain Cutlass’s Sea Marauders.
Cutlass interrogated him, and the skeleton lied to him, telling him the treasure was hidden in Pyrate’s Cove. Cutlass turned him into a human using one of his ship’s many features, and pressed him into the crew. Once they checked out Pyrate’s Cove and discovered that the skeleton lied, Blue Beard and the Privateers arrived and ambushed the Sea Marauders. The Marauders eventually escaped, and headed in the direction of Smuggler’s Fort. Cutlass sent numerous crew members onto the islands Smuggler’s Fort, Mutiny Isle, Coffer Trap and Maroon Galley, and found that they had been trapped by the skeleton crew. The Marauders held their own, but inevitably the skeleton crew won the battle, forcing Cutlass to retreat, and sucking Nestor O Loch into the hull as well, creating the Lost Soul Vestige. While retreating, King Midas the skeleton shot at Cutlass, but Blackteeth McBaine, one of the first mates, jumped in the way of the gunshot and died.
Cutlass furiously vowed to get his revenge on Midas for killing one of his first mates, and Nicholas Nautilis was made the official first mate of the Sea Marauders. Confused, Cutlass had nowhere to turn to, and he was completely lost on what to do next.
Also confused was Blue Beard, who felt his own neck was on the line here, because he promised the King that he would find the treasure.
Even Dread Eye didn’t know what to do. The hunting paused, and so did the war.