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"At some point in the past, the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea passed his Piece of Eight to Barbossa."

Boris Palachnik, sometimes called Borya, was a Russian Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea during the early 18th century. Despite his short stature, he was feared and respected by all of his fellow pirates. Most notably in command of the sloop Koldunya, he was one of the most successful pirates of his time. However, his greed was so big that he and his men started slaughtering captured crews of merchant ships so they could keep their vessels and sell them, openly violating the Pirate Code. Thus organizing a fleet of rogue pirates, Borya became the scourge of the Seven Seas, until his luck run out when he knowingly targeted and sank the Cobra, a pirate ship of Hector Barbossa. A few months later, at Shipwreck Cove, Barbossa and the young pirate Jack Sparrow exposed Borya's actions to the Brethren Court, and he and his men were all sentenced to hang. They managed to escape with the help of another rogue pirate, Christophe-Julien de Rapièr, and became outlaws in the eyes of the Brethren.


Pirate Lord[]

"I've known him for years! I've gambled with him, gotten drunk with him more times than I can count."
Hector Barbossa on Borya[src]

It is unknown exactly when Borya became a pirate, but it was before the late 1720s. His ship was the sloop Koldunya. He became a Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea, and was known and respected by all pirate captains who lived in Shipwreck Cove. At some point in his life, he met Hector Barbossa, and they became good friends. He also met Jack Sparrow, a son of Captain Edward Teague, Keeper of the Code. Seeing how good a sailor Jack is, even in his young age, Borya predicted that Jack would become a Pirate Lord himself.

Rogue pirate[]

Borya's rogue pirate flag.

"That's Koldunya—means ‘witch’ in Russian—and she belongs to Boris Palachnik, the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea. Borya's our rogue pirate captain."
Jack Sparrow to Esmeralda[src]

In the late 1720s, Borya became the leader of the gang of rogue pirates that violated the Pirate Code. He eventually assembled seven pirate captains under his command, the French pirate Christophe-Julien de Rapièr among them. The crews of merchant ships they attacked were always slaughtered after the fight. Only a few men on the attacked ships managed to escape death by playing dead. The rogues butchered even the crews which surrendered without fight. Borya's fleet soon began to spread their attacks on all oceans of the world. The rogue attacks soon forced the Navies of European countries to escort merchant convoys.

A year after the start of his rogue activities, Borya's sloop encountered Hector Barbossa 's schooner, the Cobra, in the waters north of Bermuda. The Cobra was heavily laden with ivory, after the successful attack on the French barque. The crew of the Cobra raised Barbossa's black pirate flag, to which Borya's crew responded by raising their red pirate colors. Though the Pirate Code called all pirates to respect each other, Borya's greed for booty prevailed, and he ordered his men to open fire on the Cobra. The battle between the two pirate ships lasted until sundown, and ended with the sinking of the Cobra. Borya's men killed all survivors they could find in the water, to leave no witnesses. But they didn't know that Barbossa and the few of his man managed to escape from the battlefield in the boat under the cover of the night.

Shipwreck Cove[]

Meeting of the Brethren[]

"Monsters, not men, da? Such evil deserves only death from us, Captain Teague."
―Borya to Edward Teague[src]

Two months later, the Koldunya docked in Shipwreck Cove, where Borya participated in the meeting of the Brethren Court with other contemporary pirates - Don Rafael, Dona Esmeralda, Edward Teague, Mistress Ching, Eduardo Villanueva, and Jack Sparrow. The pirate captains at the meeting expressed their dismay over the occurrences of rogue pirates attacking peaceful merchant ships, for the fear of war on piracy being declared by the colonial powers of Europe.

To Borya's surprise, Hector Barbossa also appeared on the meeting, where he told the story of his own encounter with the rogues. Pretending to be a loyal pirate, Borya proposed to go hunt the rogue vessel with the Koldunya, but Jack Sparrow noticed that there are too many attacks for only one ship to be causing them all. The Pirate Lords agreed to find the rogues and deal with them once and for all.

A suspect[]

"You say Borya is evil rogue pirate because he has Bermuda-rigged sloop, da? Hah! How many Bermuda-rigged sloops in this world, I ask you? Hundreds...maybe thousands, Captain Teague, Keeper of Code. You know this. So do I."
―Borya to Edward Teague[src]

A few months later, one of Barbossa's men, One Tooth Tommy, saw Borya in Shipwreck City, and recognized him as the captain of the slop that sank the Cobra. Though he hadn't know who Borya is, Tommy talked about his encounter with Jack Sparrow. The same night, Tommy was drowned by Christophe-Julien de Rapièr, one of Borya's rogue captains, who wanted to silence a dangerous witness. Tommy's death alarmed Jack, who started to search for the rogue sloop in Shipwreck Cove. Together with Esmeralda, Jack rowed around the harbor, until he saw the Indian brass bow chaser on the Koldunya. That cannon was the first to open fire on the Cobra.

"He is the one. He has sent me many dead for more than a year now. He commands others. There are seven captains under his command, and they all send me souls. Mercy is something they know not. Their ships bring only death."
Davy Jones on Borya[src]

Jack told of his suspicions to Barbossa, who recognized the Koldunya as the ship that sank the Cobra. Captain Teague and Don Rafael joined them on the docks, and they agreed to search Borya's ship. They didn't find Indian bow chaser on Borya's ship, but Teague decided to call for an official court of inquiry. In the Pirate Hall, all the witnesses told their stories, but there was not enough evidences against Borya, and Teague decided to summon Davy Jones, the Lord of the sea. Jones knew everything that happened in his watery kingdoms, and the Brethren Court spoke a magic call that brought Jones onboard the Troubadour, Teague's ship. When asked about Borya's guilt, Jones recognized him as the leader of the rogue pirates, saying that he and his men sent many souls to the sea bottom without mercy.


"Seems that when Cap'n Teague's men took our condemned friend Borya down t' the dungeons to question him, the little coward sang like a songbird—before they could even heat up the irons or ready the rack! Gave up his confederates and disclosed where and when they're supposed t'gather to divide up their swag. 'Tis some little island, east nor'east of Cuba."
Hector Barbossa to Jack Sparrow[src]

Borya and his whole crew were quickly imprisoned in the dungeons of Shipwreck City. They were all sentenced by Captain Teague to hang. For unknown reasons, Borya gave his jailers the names of all rogue captains under his command. Thanks to the information, Christophe-Julien de Rapièr was captured while he was trying to flee from the island. The French pirate and his crew were also sentenced to hang.

A day before the execution, Barbossa visited Borya in a prison, where Borya apologized for the destruction of Barbossa's ship. Borya even gave him his most precious token, his Piece of eight, the sign of pirate lordship, thus making Barbossa the next Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea, though Barbossa didn't know the meaning of the Piece of Eight at that time. Borya even offered to give the Koldunya to Barbossa as a payment for the loss of the Cobra.

The same night, Jack Sparrow, who believed that Christophe is innocent, helped him and his crew to escape from their cells, but Christophe's guilt was proved a moment later, when he freed Borya and his crew too. The rogues escaped to their ships, leaving Shipwreck Island forever.

Search for revenge[]

"Borya offered to pay anyone who could report the whereabouts of a certain Captain Jack Sparrow, a merchant captain who was sailing an East Indiaman for the East India Trading Company."
Esmeralda to Jack Sparrow[src]

For the next five years, Borya continued with rogue piracy, and he remained in the Caribbean, though he was now an outlaw in the eyes of the Brethren. He also wanted to exact revenge on Jack Sparrow, whom he blamed for the downfall of his organization. He even offered to pay anyone who could report the whereabouts. He also learned that Jack has become a merchant captain in the East India Trading Company.

One day, Borya discovered that Sparrow was back in the Caribbean, so he sailed to one of the most-used routes on the Triangle, to wait for Sparrow's ship.

Last battle[]

"We've got a rogue pirate closing in on us, and he's made his intention to attack us clear. The rogue pirates are the ones that give no quarter, savvy? That means they take no prisoners. If they capture us, we're all dead."
Jack Sparrow to Amenirdis, Tarek, and Shabako[src]

While she was cruising in the Bahamas, the Koldunya encountered Jack Sparrow's ship, the Wicked Wench. After the long chase, the both ships grounded in the shallow waters. But the ships remained in good positions to fire at each other, and they exchanged many broadsides, inflicting heavy casualties among the crews. The victory ultimately came to Sparrow's side, when Amenirdis, a Zerzuran princess onboard the Wench, used her magic to blow up Borya's powder magazine. All the rogues onboard the Koldunya died in the explosion, Borya among them.

Personality and traits[]

Borya was known as a ruthless and skilled pirate captain, a trait that was belied by his thin, unassuming appearance. Like all pirates, he had a particular lust for wealth, especially that stolen from others, however, his greed was such that he saw fit to steal even from other pirates, an act forbidden by the Code and punishable by death though he did not seem discouraged by this at all. Loyalty and brotherhood meant little to him if there was nothing he could gain from it, and he was perfectly willing to put up a facade of camaraderie even as he plotted against those who considered him a close friend.

Despite this, there were signs that he had some form or loyalty or brotherhood with a select few, demonstrated by his confession and apology to Hector Barbossa and passing his Piece of Eight to him.


Notes and references[]

  1. The timeline established in On Stranger Tides (which takes place in 1750) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (which takes place in 1751) sets the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom between 1715 and 1716. However, the exact placement still has to be officially confirmed by The Walt Disney Company.
Members of the Brethren Court

First Court
Pirate Kings
First Pirate King
Pirate Lords
First Pirate Lord of the Atlantic Ocean
Aides: Davy Jones

Second Court
Pirate Lords
Henry MorganBartholomewGrandmama

Third Court
Pirate Lords
Sao Feng's father
Others: Tartaglia

Court of inquiry
Pirate Lords
ChingBoris PalachnikRafaelEdward TeagueEduardo Villanueva
Aides: Davy Jones
Keeper of the Code: Edward Teague
Others: Hector BarbossaJack SparrowEsmeralda
Prison Dog

Fourth Court
Pirate Kings
Elizabeth Swann
Pirate Lords
AmmandSumbhajee AngriaHector BarbossaChevalleChing
Sao FengJocardJack SparrowElizabeth SwannEduardo Villanueva
Aides: AskayPusasn
Keeper of the Code: Edward Teague
Others: Prison Dog