The Pirate Lords were nine powerful pirate captains who each claimed territories around the world. They were known for creating the Pirate Code and binding the Sea Goddess, Calypso, in human form. They again united against the threat of Lord Cutler Beckett.
Pirate Lords before Calypso's release were chosen by holding one of the Nine Pieces of Eight. When the pieces of eight were destroyed, the title of Pirate Lord was temporarily suspended. However, a new system was developed. Pirate Lords, such as Raian Getsueikirite, who ruled after this event gained the title by acquiring one of the Nine Sacred Items.
Pirate Lords claimed a sea, or, in rare cases, an entire ocean, as their domain. For example, Raian was the Lord of the East China Sea.