Hector Barbossa was the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea. In his youth, he was an honest sailor who left to make an easier living as a pirate. At some point he became Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea after the previous Lord passed his Piece of Eight to Barbossa. One day he joined the crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Jack Sparrow. After two years of sailing under Sparrow's command, Barbossa lead a mutiny against Jack and marooned him on an uninhabited island and then journeyed to the Isla de Muerta to claim the lost treasure of Cortés. The crew later found out that the legends about the treasure's curse were true. In order to undo the curse, the crew set out to find the coins that they had spent away. After ten years, the curse was lifted by Will Turner, son of lost crew member "Bootstrap Bill" and Barbossa was killed by his old captain Jack Sparrow.

Some time later Barbossa was resurrected by Tia Dalma, secretly the sea goddess Calypso in human form. She demanded that Barbossa free her from her human bonds in return for his resurrection. Barbossa grudgingly accepted, and set out, along with the remainder of Jack Sparrow's crew, to free Jack, who had been killed by a sea-creature called the Kraken, from Davy Jones' Locker. Barbossa acquired a ship from fellow Pirate Lord Sao Feng, set out along with his former enemies and rescued Jack from the Locker. Once free, Barbossa demanded that Jack go to the conclave of Pirate Lords at Shipwreck Cove, in order to decide what was to be done about the East India Trading Company, which was eradicating pirates around the world. Barbossa secretly wanted to steal the other pieces of eight from the Pirate Lords, which he would be able to use to free Calypso, and settle his debt.

Barbossa was grim and rough-edged, to say the least, but he had a knack for dry humor.He was also very inspiring when it came to pep-talking his mates and was never short some wise advice. At his worst he was cruel, manipulative, and bloodthirsty. He could be merciless and often turned agreements to his own favor, but nevertheless he stated that he had a merciful nature and sense of fair play, though this was possibly only an example of his morbid sense of humour. He was not completely without honor, however; he claimed to be a man of his word, and defied the Pirate King when told not to free Calypso, in order to fulfill his promise of freeing her. He considered himself a gentleman of the seas and could act polite if he wished; he possessed a certain eloquence which he frequently used to his advantage. Being a vain person,Barbossa liked to wear fine clothes and enjoyed setting himself in scene and holding powerful speeches, for example in the cave at Isla de Muerta or on the Brethren Court. Like many other pirates he considered the Pirate Code to be "more guidelines than actual rules", but nevertheless he respected the right of Parley and preferred interpreting the Code in his own favor instead of breaking it openly. Barbossa had an apparent fearlessness, which could be interpreted by some as suicidal insanity–much to the dismay of his crew, he did not hesitate to sail right over the waterfalls at World's End, nor did he show much concern for sailing the Pearl straight into the huge whirlpool created by Calypso.

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