Rare Thief

Captains of the Damned

Sea of Thieves

Captains of the Damned Tall Tale Guide

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Jack is lost, and it’s up to you to find him! You will travel through Jack Sparrow’s memories in the Sea of the Damned during your mission to track him down. Luckily, you’ll have Jack’s compass to guide you through the bayou, coastal fort, and the town of Isla Tesoro.

If you are looking for a detailed guide to find each journal throughout this Tall Tale, be sure to follow along in our journal guide here! You’ll need to keep your eye out for three journals in the bayou, two at the coastal fort, and five in Isla Tesoro as you try and recover Jack from the Sea of the Damned.

The Captains of the Damned Tall Tale: Step by Step

Step 1: Starting the Captains of the Damned Tall Tale

Once you have completed the previous two Tall Tales, you will be able to vote on and start this Tall Tale at the Castaway’s Camp on any Outpost.
Start the Tall Tale and speak with The Castaway. She will reveal that she and Gibbs have connected and are working together to locate Captain Jack Sparrow.

Now that Gibbs is in a much safer place than the depths of the Sunken Kingdom, he will give you back Jack’s Compass.

Pick up Jack’s Compass from Gibbs, and you will shortly be on your way to save Captain Jack!

Captains of the Damned Start

Step 2: Sail through the Mythical Portal

Look around the Outpost, and you should see a portal to the Sea of the Damned nearby! If you can’t spot it, you can use Jack’s Compass to help guide you to it.

Stock up your ship, raise your anchor, and sail for the portal!

Pirates beware: you cannot bring treasure with you into the Sea of the Damned. Your worldly possessions must stay behind. So, if you’ve got something worth selling, do so before you sail through that portal!

Step 3: Sail through the Tunnel of the Damned

The mythical portal will take you into the Tunnel of the Damned.

In the Tunnel of the Damned, you are no longer in control. It will ferry you where it will.

The trip will feel familiar as you sail through the gloomy waters. Though this time, the destination the Tunnel of the Damned is taking us to will be much different!

Tunnel of the Damned Rowboats

Step 4: The Whispering Bayou

As you come out of the Tunnel of the Damned, you will find yourself in a mysterious bayou. While your ship will automatically sail slower in the bayou, you will still want to raise your sails a bit as there are winding paths and several sharp turns up ahead.

It doesn’t matter if you go left or right at the fork, choose a side and sail your ship in a generally southern direction. It’s important to note that you can always pull out Jack’s Compass if you ever get lost.

You will soon get to a giant arch with a magical barrier blocking the path through it. As you approach it, two torches to the West will light ablaze! Park your ship in front of the arch and follow the path to the West between the torches letting Jack’s Compass keep you on track.

Blocked arch

As you walk along the path, you should see more torches turning on until you finally reach a small shipwreck, the Blue Bayou.

Blue Bayou

Step 5: Fragments of the Past

Near the front of the Blue Bayou shipwreck will be a rock coming out of the water. Climb up it to get on the shipwreck.

Jump over to the Captain’s Cabin and equip your Lantern. You will then be able to take the Flame of Souls from the candle on the table found in the Captain’s Cabin.

Take Flame of Souls

After you get the flame, head back out of the Captain’s Cabin, and you will see a rowboat just North of the shipwreck. Get in the rowboat and start rowing North to follow the small river out.

The river will curve around and spit you back into the main waterway where you parked your ship.

Back on the main waterway, you should see a tall hut to the East side of your ship, across from the initial torches that lit up near the blocked arch.

Hut with two torches

Go over to the hut and climb up the ladder to the second floor. Equip your lantern and light the two torches on either side of the door. As soon you light the second torch, a dozen or so souls will appear just below you in front of the hut.

Climb down and walk amongst the souls. Three souls will be holding candles that have no flame. Use your lantern to light the unlit candles.

Light Candle

Lighting all three candles will cause Tia Dalma to cast a spell, and a certain famous pirate will break the magical barrier for you, allowing you to proceed with your ship through the arch.

You will have completed the Ghosts of the Bayou commendation as well.

If you are hunting journals, don’t sail through just yet. There are three journals in the bayou. You will need to use the Flame of Souls you have acquired to unlock them. For specific locations, check out our journal guide here

Once you are ready, sail on through the arch. You will see a large formation with a tower on it ahead. It will be South West from where you are exiting the bayou. As you approach, you will see a lit dock to park your ship.

Step 7: Fort of Lost Souls

Jump off onto the dock and look for a skeleton on one of the dock’s posts. The skeleton will be holding a lantern. Once you find it, raise your lantern to light the skeleton’s lantern.

Lighting the skeleton’s lantern will trigger a series of torches to light up. The torches will lead up to the coastal fort ahead of you. The gate to the fort will lower, and a chorus of ghostly voices will greet you as you enter.

Upon entering the fort, you will find yourself in the courtyard of the fort. In the middle of the courtyard is a large gated well surrounded by four braziers. Light the four braziers with your lantern to open the gate.

Before jumping down into the well, light the torch on the jail in the courtyard. Lighting this torch will help you get a journal later on that is locked inside the jail.

Jump down into the water to find a skeleton at the bottom of the well. Pick up the Lock Pick the skeleton is holding and swim back up to the surface of the water.

Climb out of the water and place the Lock Pick down somewhere safe. Equip your lantern and light the torch one of the skeletons is holding. Lighting the torch will cause a journal you need to read to appear.

After you read the journal, pick up the Lock Pick and jump back into the water. About halfway down in the water will be a hole in the side of the well you can swim through. Follow the underwater tunnel out. You will find yourself behind a locked gate. Use the Lock Pick to open the gate and walk through.

You will be back in the courtyard again. Walk straight across from where you re-entered towards the stone building with the wooden planked roof. You will find another locked gate. Use the Lock Pick once more and climb up the ladder inside.

Lock Pick

Just after you reach the top of the ladder, look down to your right. You will see a large spool of rope. There is a weak spot on the rope that you can break. Use any weapon to break the rope, and the platform with wooden crates in front of you will fall.

Weak Rope Cut

You can use this newly created platform to jump over the shingled wall to the stairs on the other side.

Climb up the stairs to find a pulley on the left side of the wall. You can use it right away to progress through the fort or walk past it to jump onto the jail cell’s roof to get the journal.

Going to the jail cell will allow you to drop into the cell and read the last Damned journal you should have activated with the torch earlier. Consequently, if you go for this journal, you’ll need to climb up the cart and hop across the shingled wall again to get back to the pulley.

Use the pulley to bring down a cage. Quickly open the cage and get inside. The cage will automatically lift back up and carry you to the top of the fort wall.

Exit the cage and turn right to follow the path along the outside of the fort wall.

Path around top of fort

Along the path will be some platforming across two wooden platforms. Once you are across on the other side, climb up the ladder and walk past the cannons, where you will reach a gap. Get a running start and jump across!

Jump to Lighthouse

On the other side, you will find a lift controlled by a pulley. Use it to get even higher on the fort wall. Now that you are finally as high as you can go, head East, where you will find the lighthouse.


Step 8: Light Beacons with Lighthouse

It’s time for another beacon lighting puzzle! Walk up to the lighthouse brazier and light it. Now that the lighthouse is on, you can start lighting the beacons. You will light a total of five beacons to complete the puzzle.

The first beacon you need to light is just to the left of the default position of the lens, on top of the rocky mountain.

After lighting the first beacon, rotate the lighthouse lens more to the left to the next rocky mountain. You will light the second beacon here.

Just below this second beacon is a third beacon. Rotate the lens down and a tad left to light the third beacon.

After that, rotate the lens even more to the left and up to light the fourth beacon.

Lighthouse Puzzle

To light the fifth and final beacon, you will need to rotate far left, so the lighthouse lens goes between two pillars. Between the pillars is a clear shot to the fifth beacon.

Light Fifth Beacon

After lighting the fifth beacon, a ghostly Phantom Fleet will arrive and lay siege to the fort.

Step 9: Defeat the Phantom Fleet

The leader of the fleet is Black Dog Briar, who is also looking for Captain Jack Sparrow. He wants Jack’s Treasure all for himself!

He will send his Phantom crew to the beach to fight you. Make your way down from the lighthouse onto the beach and battle waves of Phantoms. Once you defeat a dozen or so, Black Dog Briar will reveal himself and try to take you on!

Defeat Black Dog Briar, and you will send him and his crew packing. They will retreat, and you will complete the Captain of Memories commendation.

Black Dog Briar

After defeating the fleet, two beacons on the water in the distance will light up. Get on your ship and sail South East towards the two recently lit beacons.

If you ever get lost, you can always pull out Jack’s Compass to set you straight.

You will sail into an extensive cave system that will eventually lead you to the town of Isla Tesoro.

Step 10: The Raid on Isla Tesoro

You will reach the town of Isla Tesoro, which is under attack by a ghostly pirate ship! Park your ship at the dock and hop off. You can go right to head inland to continue the Tall Tale, or you can go left and complete the Strike Yer Colours! commendation.

Isla Tesoro

How to complete the Strike Yer Colours! commendation

Instead of walking right towards the town, head to the left along the giant stone wall lined with cannons. Make your way up the stone stairs on the wall. Once at the top, turn right and grab some cannonballs from the Cannonball Barrel.

Find a usable cannon and fire a cannonball at that pesky ghost ship. As soon as you make contact, you will have completed this commendation.

If you have difficulty unlocking this commendation and are in a crew, try having your whole crew shoot at the ghost ship at least once. The entire crew shooting the ghost ship might do the trick!

Strike Yer Colours!

Once you head inland, you will walk in on a gathering of ghosts drowning poor Carlos. You’ll find the Mercado Key on the lip of the well that Carlos is drowning in. If you are looking to get the Treasure for Eternity commendation, you’ll want to pick this up and bring it with you.

Walk past this ghosty kerfuffle, and you will come up to a clothing shop. Wait! Was that Captain Jack Sparrow? Open the door and follow him inside. In the shop, you will find a journal on a stool to the left. To the right, open the latch and walk through. You will exit out onto a cobblestone pathway.

As you walk along the pathway, you will find a journal on a wooden crate just after the group of barrels with triple Xs painted on them.

Continue along, and you will finally come to an auction and a large clock tower. Cross the bridge to the auction, which is taking place in front of the Mercado building. If you still have the Mercado Key, you will use it here.

How to complete the Treasure for Eternity commendation

With Mercado Key in hand, walk to the right side of the Mercado building. There will be a door here that you can use the key on.

Walk upstairs, and you will find an opened crate on a table next to the window. Use the crate to find a note stabbed into the wall. Reading the note will reveal your next steps. The first of which is to light the torch in the window with your lantern.

After lighting the torch, walk back down the stairs and exit the building. Turn right and head to the small dock at the back of the line of the auction.

Get in the rowboat and follow the ghostly rowboat that will appear around the canal. You will need to open a gate at one point that is blocking from continuing around the canal. As you tour the canal, you will also find a journal on the dock to the left of a ghostly shootout, just past the gate you open.

You will finally follow the ghostly rowboat to a small area where they get off to dig. Start digging where the ghosts are digging, and you will discover the Villagers’ Valuables. Grab the valuables and hand them to the two skeletons sitting on the rowboat.

Now that you have found the valuables, you can continue to row through the canal back to where you started, at the auction.

From the auction, take out Jack’s Compass and follow it towards the small ghostly band and take a left, right before reaching them. Walk up the stairs, and you’ll see Captain Jack Sparrow walk through a large gate.

The gate is closed, so you will need to get around it somehow. However, before making your way around, you can grab the fourth townsfolk journal up the stone staircase ahead of the closed gate. You’ll end up on top of the town wall and find the journal sitting on a crate behind two ghosts.

Head back to the large closed gate Jack ran through. Looking at the gate, turn around, and you will see a pulley on a lift.

Gate wall with pulleys

Step on the lift and use the pulley to raise yourself onto the nearby scaffolding. Once on top of the scaffolding, you will see another pulley to use. Interact with the pulley to bring a wooden platform down to you.

Don’t pull the platform all the way down though. You’ll make it easier on yourself if the platform is raised just a bit as you jump across it to the other side.

Gate wall with pulleys

Use the wooden platform you just lowered to jump across to the scaffolding high up on the other side. You will now be on the same wall the large gate is on.

Once across, you will find yet another pulley. Use this third pulley to bring the wooden platform you just lowered back up to you. It will create a platform for you to jump across. Once across, turn left, and you will find a small stone opening with a fourth pulley inside.

Using this pulley will reveal cannons from inside the wall the gate is on. Now that the cannons are sticking out, the wooden coverings once protecting them are now platforms for you to use. Jump across to the other side and enter inside the wall.

Cannon Platforms

Walk along the stone path inside the wall, and you’ll come to a courtyard where Captain Jack Sparrow uses a pulley to raise himself and run away. Stay up top and continue along the stone path to follow Captain Jack.


Head through an arch that will lead you down some stairs. These stairs will take you to the town jail. Once inside, head to the cell with three ghosts begging a dog to help release them. The dog will run away, leaving ghostly paw prints on the floor. Follow the paw prints up wooden rafters to the Jail Keys.

Pick up Jail Keys

How to complete the Key to Freedom commendation

Retrace your steps back to the jailed pirates who were beckoning the dog. Use the keys you just found to unlock the door they are trapped behind and free them. Letting them out will unlock this commendation. Make sure you do this before using the key to the door up the stairs towards the exit!

Free Ghosts

From the ghosts you just freed, turn around and walk back into the room you first entered when you followed the paw prints. You’ll see a hole in the wall on the East side of the room. Walk through the hole and climb up the stairs.

You will come to a locked door that you can unlock with the Jail Keys. On the other side of the door is a room with two pulleys.

Use the two pulleys to center the platforms on the other side of the cell bars over the canal. There is a third platform you’ll need to follow Jack.

Looking at the canal through the cell bars, turn left, and you’ll see a wooden platform held by a weak rope. Shoot the rope, and the platform will slide over the canal.

Shoot Weak Rope

Next, open the gated cell door and jump across the three platforms you just positioned over to the room where you shot the weak rope.

Three Platforms

Continue along the path until you come to a small courtyard with a well. Use the pulley on the well to raise a bucket with the Treasury Key in it.

Use the Treasury Key to unlock the door next to the well.

Surprise! Inside you’ll find Captain Jack Sparrow! You will also unlock the Treasure Hoard commendation.

Treasury Key

Step 11: Escape Isla Tesoro

Walk up the stairs and continue along the path fighting any Phantoms you encounter.

After crossing a bridge, you will come around a corner and see the giant clock tower crumble to the ground.

Hop down one level to find the last townsfolk journal on the balcony. Hop down one more time and prepare for a fight!

You will need to make your way back to the dock, but you will encounter dozens of Phantoms along the way. If you reach a blocked courtyard, you’ll need to clear a wave of Phantoms to unlock it.

If you get lost in the town, don’t forget to double-check your heading with Jack’s Compass.

You will finally reach the final courtyard before the dock with Black Dog Briar. Defeat this mighty foe to rid the town of these pesky Phantoms.

After you defeat Briar, you will be able to get back on our ship at the dock. You will notice two beacons have been lit far off in the distance—Sail South towards them and the ghostly Black Pearl.

Black Dog Briar

Step 12: Chase Down The Black Pearl

Once you get close enough to The Black Pearl, Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman will appear. A giant battle between the two ships will go down. Continue to sail near them and follow the lighted beacons along the way.

As you sail along you will witness the terrible fate of Captain Jack Sparrow when the giant leviathan got the best of them. At the end of the sequence two beacons will light. Sail through them towards the Tavern of the Damned.

Follow Black Pearl

Step 13: The Tavern of the Damned

Park your ship at the dock and head to the tavern. You’ll be greeted by a familiar face. The Cursed Captain will let you into the tavern.

Inside you’ll find Captain Jack Sparrow. He will need some convincing to leave the Sea of the Damned. Thankfully, Pendragon appears and sets Captain Jack Sparrow straight. The Sea of Thieves is all about freedom and that resonates with good ol’ Captain Jack.

Hand him his compass and he’ll discover what he truly wants. The gang has sold jack on the Sea of Thieves and he is ready to leave with you.

Once you are done taking in the magical moment that ensues, head back to your ship and sail through the portal.

Tavern of the Damned

Step 14: Sail back to the Sea of Thieves

Sail through the portal and the Tunnel of the Damned to arrive once more in the Sea of Thieves. It appears that Captain Jack Sparrow is still dead. He will bid you goodbye and the Tall Tale will complete.

All Commendations

Ghosts of the Bayou: Reveal a path through the bayou.

Fort of the Forgotten: Find a way inside a long-abandoned fort

Captain of Memories: Survive a pirate duel.

Treasure for Eternity: Discover a hidden stash of valuable and give it to the cursed pirates.

Key to Freedom: Show mercy to the imprisoned.

Treasured Hoard: Investigate the town treasury.

The Raid of Isla Tesoro: Escape when the past catches up with you.

Charting a New Destiny: Return what was borrowed.

Captain Of The Damned: Complete ‘Captains of the Damned’.

Lost Memories: Discover the Lost Journals throughout the Sea of the Damned.

Forgotten Memories: Discover the Townsfolk’s Journals.

Strike Yer Colours!: Return Fire!

Ready for your next adventure in A Pirate’s Life? Head on over to our Dark Brethren guide to continue the story of Captain Jack Sparrow and his Treasure!

To the Tavern!

Aye, we pirates do love a good tavern. ‘Tis a place to share our findings and adventures. ‘Tis a place to clap each other on the back. ‘Tis a place to glean further insight.

Happily, we’ve found proverbial taverns on several social outposts—each bustling with a vibrant pirate community! Want to join in the merriment? Ye will always find a hearty welcome at our table!

Follow Along

To the Tavern!

Aye, we pirates do love a good tavern. ‘Tis a place to share our findings and adventures. ‘Tis a place to clap each other on the back. ‘Tis a place to glean further insight.

Happily, we’ve found proverbial taverns on several social outposts—each bustling with a vibrant pirate community! Want to join in the merriment? Ye will always find a hearty welcome at our table!

Want to keep a weather eye out?

Jot down yer email, and we’ll be sure to let ye know when there’s something new on the horizon.

26 thoughts on “Sea of Thieves: Captains of the Damned Tall Tale Guide”

  1. What do you do for the Return Fire! Commendation? I’ve gone up to the cannons on the wall to return fire on barbossa which did nothing.

    1. Amir Abdollahi

      As soon as you dock at the town, go up to the ghosts shooting cannons at the ghost ship with Barbossa on it. There will be a cannon you can use there and fire at the ghost ship.

  2. after reading the note in the auction tower, where do i go? says meat him and his treasure on the dock. im lost

    1. Amir Abdollahi

      Go to the rowboat at the dock just in front of the auction. Use the rowboat to follow a ghostly rowboat around the canal. You’ll see the ghosts on the rowboat get off at a certain spot. Dig where they dig 🙂

  3. I accidentally put the jail keys into the door without freeing the prisoners first. Is there a way to load a previous checkpoint without starting the whole tall tale over?

    1. Amir Abdollahi

      You can leave and use your Checkpoint but you’ll still need to sail through a Tunnel of the Damned from the Sea of Thieves to get to it.

  4. What do i do if i dont have the light inside my lantern XDD it just dissapeared, its not even normal orange flame

    1. It sounds like you might have turned it off. Try pressing Right Trigger on controller or Left Mouse Click on mouse while your lantern is out to turn it back on.

  5. Jack’s compass disappeared, when I bring out the compass it is my regular “equipped” one — is this a mission-ending glitch?

        1. Oh okay, the compass isn’t even in your Quest Radial. Yeah, darn, not sure. We have never encountered that glitch. We think you should be able to complete it still though. The only part that might be tricky is the final part of the Tall Tale. And if it is a problem, you can cancel the Tall Tale, use a Checkpoint, and start back at where you left off after going through the portal again.

          1. Thanks, hopefully it won’t be a problem

            EDIT: I’m a moron; it was in the quest radial the whole time…

  6. as soon as i was about to complete the Tall tale the game kicked me so now I have to do the last part ALL over again. I am so annoyed

    1. Amir Abdollahi

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that pirate 🙁 Hopefully you can use your Checkpoint to get yourself closer to where you were before. Good luck!

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