- "Need sailors' blood to keep you alive then?"
"No. I love sailors...but pirate souls feed my fire."
- ―Hector Barbossa and Palaimon
In Greek mythology, Melikertes and his mother incurred the wrath of Hera. So, they ran, jumped off a cliff into the sea for protection, where they became powerful as gods. Despite keeping the appearance of a young boy, Melikertes became known as Palaimon, a sea god who fed on the souls of sailors and pirates.
- "You see that statue over there, way up high? 'Tis a young boy named Melikertes. You see, he and his mother, long ago, incurred the wrath of Hera. So they ran, jumped off a clif into the sea for protection."
- ―Hector Barbossa
According to Greek mythology, Palaimon was originally a mortal child named Melikertes. His parents incurred the wrath of Hera when they fostered the young god Dionysos. His father was driven into a murderous rage by Hera, the Queen of the Gods. His mother Ino fled with Melikertes in her arms, after her husband had killed their other children, and fleeing leapt off the cliffs into the sea. There the pair were transformed into sea-gods and received the names Palaimon and Leucothea.
- "I was prisoner on that ship."
"If you don't mind my asking―what makes you valuable enough to turn the Spaniards against themselves?"
"I don't think you'd ever believe me."
- ―Palaimon and Hector Barbossa
For many centuries to come, Palaimon would lure sailors to his island, then use his magical powers to drain them of their souls so he could keep himself young for all eternity. However, one day his luck ran out. The Spanish Armada managed to capture him, and he was taken aboard the fishing vessel Delfin. Trapped and shackled, Palaimon couldn't escape, but he used his powers to devour the souls of the ship's crewmen. Seeing this, the crews of the rest of the ships in the fleet opened fire on the Delfin, destroying it completely. Though the Spaniards believed that Palaimon is dead, he managed to survive, clinging to a piece of floating wood.
- "You might have mentioned being cursed, Barbossa."
"Nasty little bit of business with the Aztecs."
"Then why even follow me into my trap? I am a god, after all."
"We already be damned. So even a slim chance at finding a cure is better than no chance. And for a 'god' you seem to be awfully...limited."
- ―Palaimon and Hector Barbossa
Some time after the destruction of the Delfin, Palaimon's unconscious body was discovered by the pirate crew of the Black Pearl and, believing he was only a boy, was taken on board. After he woke up, the boy had a dinner in the captain's cabin, talking with the ship's captain, Hector Barbossa. When Barbossa asked the boy what made him so valuable to turn the Spaniards against themselves, Palaimon claimed he knew the location of the Fountain of Youth, introducing himself as Juan Ponce de León. Though Barbossa didn't believe him at first, Palaimon offered to take him to the legendary spring in exchange for safe passage home.
Once the Black Pearl arrived at their destination, an island, "Mr. De Leon" revealed his true colors. Palaimon summoned an army of souls to fight against Barbossa's undead pirates, while he himself engaged in a fierce duel with Barbossa. Against the odds, Barbossa was able to defeat Palaimon by forcing him to fall into the sea, deducing that he couldn't swim due to having found him clinging to a piece of floating wood and that his altar showing him riding a dolphin.