This article does not have all the current information from the latest books. Please help fill in any missing biography.
|Date||18th - 20th Century, around 1700's - 1930's|
|Book||Before the series|
|Previous||The Ancients turn on each other|
The War was a series of battles fought between different forces of sorcerers. These forces involved three, and eventually, two sides: the followers of the Faceless Ones and everyone else opposed their religion mainly due to the hellish nature of the Gods. The third was a side the dropped out of the war and became neutral; the Necromancer Order. The world's Sanctuaries were created during the War as a means to govern the magical community.
Causes of the War
The War started because of the fact that the goal of the followers of the Faceless Ones was to bring their gods back into their world. Their Gods were extremely powerful, dark beings of such chaotic power that they were considered to be Dark Gods. Bringing them back, should they still have existed (it was not known at this time for certain), would have lead to the destruction of the world and the enslavement of humanity. One of the most prominent leaders of the Church of the Faceless at the time of the war was Mevolent. Mevolent was a powerful Elemental whom, according to Darquesse, was one of the most powerful in the world, behind only the Unnamed (his master) and those who have discovered their True Name.
China Sorrows realised that generations of brainwashing led to devotees of the Faceless Ones believe that they would be spared by the gods wrath. However, the Gods viewed humanity as pets. Mr. Bliss managed to escape this way of thinking.
Most of the Church of the Faceless were still brainwashed in the events leading up to the War, and thus refused to stand down when requested. This led to the start of years of bitter fighting.
The Early Years (circa 1650-1850)Skulduggery Pleasant and Baron Vengeous. Though little has been revealed about it, it is known that Skulduggery threw dynamite at Vengeous' face.
Attack on the Necromancer Temple
Skulduggery Pleasant, Auron Tenebrae and Morwenna Crow were pursuing Mevolent's forces, who attacked the Irish Necromancer Temple. An ogre attacked Tenebrae and he fell, injured, but Skulduggery used Tenebrae's dagger to kill it, without his permission; this should have killed Skulduggery. Tenebrae saw great potential in Skulduggery. Morwenna left the Necromancer Order shortly after.
The Dead Men Missions
Many Sanctuary missions in the War were won by the Dead Men, an elite group that almost never died in battle. This group was made up of originally four members. After it became renowned, this increased to seven members. Increasingly dissatisfied at the progress of the Dead Men, Nefarian Serpine was ordered by Mevolent to kill Skulduggery Pleasant.
Erskine Ravel Injured
After being injured in battle, Ravel spent one year in the care of the Children of the Spider. Larrikin filled in for him during this time.
Second Attack on the Necromancer Temple
Under Serpine's command, Mevolenst's forces once again attacked the Necromancer Temple. Tenebrae was forced to teach Serpine the Red Right Hand, which caused agonising death to anyone who he pointed his hand at. However, Tenebrae heard that Serpine intended to use it against Skulduggery Pleasant. Tenebrae altered the technique, so that if it was used against Skulduggery, it would bind his soul to his body.
Death of Skulduggery Pleasant
On 23rd October around the year 1700, Skulduggery Pleasant died at the hands of Serpine. Serpine devised a way to kill Skulduggery, through the means of a trap, because Skulduggery would be almost guaranteed to win in close quarters combat. This trap revolved around getting Skulduggery extremely angry - as this would impair his ability to think straight. To do this Nefarian decided to kill Skulduggery's family in front of him, and knowing that Skulduggery would want to kill him up close and personal, without magic, with a weapon.
And so Nefarian set up the trap; first he captured Skulduggery's family. However due to the fact that he was organising numerous other assassinations, he got the Diablerie to do it, the head of which was China Sorrows. China went after Skulduggery's wife while Murder Rose, a member of the Diablerie, went after his child. The second step was to leave a dagger coated in poison within Skulduggery's reach. The third step was to kill both his wife and child in front of him. The fourth step was to watch as Skulduggery grasped the dagger, and realised too late that it was poisoned. As part of Nefarian's assignment to turn the tide of the war, he hung Skulduggery's corpse for all to see before burning it, throwing it in a sack, and dumping it in a river.
Three Factions to Two
The Necromancers declare themselves neutral in the War.
Assassination of Esyrn Vanguard
Around 1809 Esryn Vanguard was a pacifist, and wanted the war to end. Mevolent in the end was willing to agree to a truce. The Sanctuary didn't agree. Eachan Meritorious assigned Thurid Guild and his Exigency Programme to assassinate Vanguard and disappear. After it happened, the evidence led to Mevolent's men, and Dreylan Scarab was framed for the murder and was arrested by Skulduggery*(See Below). Scarab was sent to prison for two hundred years.
The Lord Vile Years (circa 1850-1855)
The Resurrection of Skulduggery Pleasant
Around 1850, thanks to Tenebrae's fail-safes in Serpine's Red Right Hand, Skulduggery was resurrected. Due to the loss of his family and not being able to come to term with what he had become he put on armor and turned to necromancy, thus becoming Lord Vile. Consumed by rage, he donned a black armour, and started training to become a Necromancer and created the alias Lord Vile. After mere months of training Vile became immensely powerful, thus leading the Necromancers to believe that Lord Vile was the Death Bringer. But before Vile could even learn about the Passage he joined Mevolent's forces as one of the Three Generals, in order to express his rage.
- Main article: The Battle of Black Rock
At an unknown time there is a battle at Black Rock were Ghastly's mother drives Serpine and Vengeous into retreat but is later killed by Vile.
- Main article: The Corpse Attack
While in Denmark, the remaining Dead Men, along with thirty others, were confident that they would make it home without extra hassle as Vengeous was injured and Serpine was unlikely to make the trip out to face them. Quintin Strom kept Mevolent busy on the other side of the world. However, they weren't expecting Lord Vile.
While they were swapping stories around the campfire, he approached and killed the sentries without making a sound. Not one fatality had occurred in the previous few weeks, yet twelve people died instantly. They threw everything at him, but only Anton Shudder's Gist could penetrate his defenses. He then disappeared as he got bored with a fairer fight. Larrikin was badly injured.
The boat three days away, they formed a perimeter. Nobody sang any songs that night. After the sun returned, people believed Vile had run off and that the Gist had injured him more than they thought. Shudder assured them that they were wrong but nobody listened.
They repeated the perimeter again but this time they could hear the sounds of the people they had buried calling out to help them. They had to stop people leaving the campsite to attempt to help them. By morning, their nerves were in tatters. For the last night, there was movement around the campsite. The people that were buried were a kind of Zombie, infected by Vile. Then, they attacked. By morning, only ten mages remained. They buried the dead one last time and escaped from Denmark.
Lord Vile's Disappearance
Ghastly Bespoke said that he faced Vile in the war, after his mother's death, but Vile didn't kill him. The conversation was interrupted but it can be presumed that this was when Skulduggery came to his senses and Vile "disappeared". After five years as Lord Vile, Skulduggery was able to go back to being his normal self, more or less. When he rejoined the fight against Mevolent, his side began regaining lost ground. Skulduggery then hid the armour and vowed to redeem himself for his wrongdoings. He also abandoned his family crest until he felt he had earned the right to use it again. After this, for a long time, Lord Vile was trapped in Skulduggery's subconscious.
The Later Years (circa 1855-1925)
At an unspecified time (but after Skulduggery's death) China Sorrows betrayed the Faceless Ones and set up her library.
The Death of Hopeless
In Russia while on a mission with the Dead Men he dies, it is unknown how.
In a ditch on a dead men mission, Larrikin decided it was Shudder's birthday, and no matter what Shudder said, he couldn't be convinced other wise. Shudder got very annoyed and they started wrestling. Shudder got Larrikin in a choke and he searched frantically in his coat for something, and by the time his face was purple, he had pulled out a rather squashed bun and stuck a candle in it. This was the only time Shudder ever smiled while on a mission.
'Dexter Vex and Ghastly Bespoke speaking to Valkyrie at the Requiem ball.'
The Death of Larrikin
In Wales while the dead men were on a mission Serpine fired a blast from his red hand that was intended for Vex but Larrikin pushed Vex aside and saved him. However he died painfully.
- Main article: The Truce
In the 1920's/1930's, a few months after the death of Larrikin, Mevolent was killed. A few months after that, the war was over. A truce was signed and most of Mevolent's forces surrendered or went into hiding.
Serpine signed the Truce and was given protection. Vengeous went into hiding but was captured.
At an unknown time during The War the sanctuary in France fell.
Timescale and Inconsistencies
- The War itself was implied to have lasted hundreds of years. It was revealed that it was being fought as far back as 1700. It ended a few months after Mevolent's death, around 70-80 years before the series began.
- In order for Scarab to have served 200 years in prison, he should have been arrested around 1809 by Skulduggery. However, Skulduggery was killed in 1700 and wasn't revived until circa 1850.
- The timeline from Playing With Fire and Last Stand Of Dead Men conflicts with the short story Across a Dark Plain which is set in 1861. Ravel only recently returned from his year out with the Children of the Spider when this should have happened 15 years earlier. In the story it is also stated that Mevolent is dead, yet Hopeless is still alive. (It was previously established that Hopeless died before Mevolent) and Baron Vengeous shouldn't have been captured yet But these two inconsistencies were corrected in the paperback version of the story.
Results of The War
- Sanctuaries are formed all over the world and become the governing bodies of the sorcerer communities.
- Lord Vile's armor is lost. (It is hinted that it is at this point that Mevolent's universe diverged from Skulduggery's; that is, that Lord Vile never took off his armour)
- Mevolent death a few months before the war ended
- The dissolving of The Dead Men
- Skulduggery's death and resurrection (as Lord Vile)
- Nefarian Serpine forms a truce, with others followers, with the Sanctuaries
- Baron Vengeous is captured by Skulduggery and imprisoned
- The Church of the Faceless' influence and power decreased to almost nothing
- Only a few surviving, hidden churches remained around the world. However, it was teased by Scorn in Death Bringer that there are a few followers in positions of power.
- The Diablerie is officially dissolved - but do partially reform, for a short period of time, in Playing With Fire.
- Mevolent takes complete control of the world
- Serpine betrays Mevolent
- China Sorrows creates her rebellion, with several of the former Dead Men working with her
- Mevolent imprisons Eachan Meritorious
- Mevolent builds a grand palace in Dublin, Ireland
- Mevolent manages to briefly open a portal to the The Faceless Ones' universe but it closes and a Faceless One is only briefly glimpsed
This group was called this because the members would go out on suicidal missions but come back alive. The group was led by Corrival Deuce, and was with the Sanctuary.Mortal Coil. Serpine and Vengous both survive, . Lord Vile was the most powerful general. After Mevolent lost the war, Serpine made the truce with the Sanctuary, Vengeous was arrested, and Lord Vile disappeared - presumed dead.
This orginisation was with the Sanctuary. But the members were assigned jobs such as assassination and sabotages. Apparently, they were neccessary. The organisation was led by Thurid Guild. Guild had assigned one of the members to assassinate Esryn Vanguard, and the blame was put on Dreylan Scarab.
This group were followers of the Faceless Ones and lead by China Sorrows for the majority of the war.
- Eachan Meritorious (leader), (deceased)
- Morwenna Crow (deceased)
- Skulduggery Pleasant
- Ghastly Bespoke (deceased)
- Erskine Ravel (deceased)
- Corrival Deuce (deceased)
- China Sorrows (converted)
- Mr. Bliss (converted), (deceased)
- Thurid Guild
- Anton Shudder (deceased)
- Dexter Vex
- Saracen Rue
- Hopeless (deceased)
- Larrikin (deceased)
- Ghastly Bespoke's mother (deceased)
- The Torment (deceased)
- Auron Tenebrae (deceased)
- Renato Bisahalani (deceased)
- Mantis (deceased)
- Robert Crasis
- Quintin Strom (deceased)
- Dai Maybury
The Faceless Ones
- Mevolent (leader), (deceased)
- Lord Vile
- Baron Vengeous (deceased)
- Nefarian Serpine (deceased)
- Burgundy Dalrymple (deceased)
- Dreylan Scarab
- Jaron Gallow (deceased)
- Gruesome Krav (deceased)
- Murder Rose (deceased)
- Argus (deceased)
- Arthur Dagan
- Benzel Travestine (deceased)
- The Butcher
- Esryn Vanguard
- Lord Vile (thought deceased)
- Skulduggery's wife
- Skulduggery's child