January 8th, 1714 -
Adrian de Luca
Finn Hamm; Ormen
January 8th, 1714 (age 35)
|Place of Residence||Crete, Greece|
Amber Hamm (wife)
Amelia Hamm (daughter)
Pirate Lord of the Adriatic Sea
Keeper of the Code
Captain Finn Hamm
"Fortune favors the opportunist."
-Finn Hamm, Lord of the Adriatic
Captain Finn Hamm, also known as Ormen, was a Pirate Lord of the Brethren Court who operated primarily within the Adriatic Sea on the Illyrian Coast, but also conducted extensive incursions in the Caribbean Sea. Beginning his career as a privateer pillaging both Habsburg and Ottoman vessels in eastern Mediterranean, he eventually organized his own criminal syndicate, expanding his empire's reach across several seas and earning fear and respect from colonial powers and other corsairs alike.
Finn was described as slightly tanned due to his heritage and extensive time in the sun, somewhat lean, and above average height. One of his most distinguishing features were his baby blue eyes, which faded to a dull gray later in his life.
He wore a dusty brown aristocrat's jacket, a blue and white shirt, dark trousers, black boots, and a wide-brimmed straw hat with two tarot cards, Death and the Emperor, strapped to its side. Hamm was somewhat meticulous about his appearance and often slightly altered his apparel due to his incessant desire for change, both mental and physical.
A clever combatant, Hamm possessed a wide range of weapons and was known to carry many on his person at all times. Rarely seen wielding heavy weapons such as blunderbusses and broadswords, he favored small blades and pistols that could be easily concealed within the folds of his coat. He primarily used the Silver Freeze throwing knives and Master Crafted Repeater Pistol in combat, also showing an inclination towards sabres. He prioritized strategy and firepower over brute force, and, though he was not remarkably fast, he has outwitted more agile opponents many times.
Well-versed in the art of voodoo, he was skilled in the use of staves and dolls but hardly ever used the latter combatively. To channel the dark arts, he primarily used the Villainy Doll (which formerly served as his Piece of Eight) and Burnt Staff.
In addition to the Adipocere, Hamm also captained the Red Ransom and the Cutthroat Comet, which, in times of need, were placed under the command of hired proxy captains to serve as wing ships. At some point during his time in the Brethren Court, he obtained the luxury light sloop the Champagne, which he left docked at Shipwreck Cove and never recovered.
Finn possessed his own wide array of unique weapons, including:
- The Ambassador
- Adrian's Revenge
- Phantom Knives
- Plague Doll
- Rin's Spyglass
- Maestro Staff
On January 8th, 1714, Adrian de Luca was born out of wedlock in Poveglia, Italy, to a mother belonging to a formerly prosperous Venetian noble family related to the Russian Volkov line. A desolate village rife with poverty and disease, Adrian became known as an auspicious and gregarious hooligan, adored by some and despised by most for his outlandish tendencies and precocious nature. By 1732, de Luca had amassed enough wealth to hitch a ride on a merchant ship bound for Athens, using the pen name Finn Hamm - a pseudonym he would keep from then on.
Arriving in Ottoman Greece during a period of war with Persia, Hamm made fast friends with a kindred spirit known as Patrona Halil, former Janissary turned grifter and secret conspirator against the Sultan. With a local reputation as a rascal, Finn and Halil made an excellent team, wandering the streets of Constantinople and the farthest reaches of the Empire scamming merchants and evading authorities. One treasure Hamm relieved from a merchant was a small chunk of amber containing a fossilized cricket, a trinket he would cherish for the remainder of his life.
Eventually, it was not the Sultan's men who apprehended the criminals, but the vicious crew of the Shadow Song, whose captain they had crossed some months prior. The two were allowed to live on the condition that they pledge their lives to the service of the brig, working as clandestine agents of the captain and often participating in raids against coastal settlements, especially in the Adriatic.
In 1738, after two years of servitude, the Shadow Song came well within range of Finn's home in Poveglia, leading the young man to anticipate orders to raid the town. Though content with pillaging strangers, he could not abide by the betrayal of his kin; the thought of proving his doubters right was unthinkable to him. Hamm began to whisper of mutiny, and, with Kalil's help, led a revolt against the ship's captain in the midst of the assault on Poveglia. Finn, victorious, step foot within the village once more, greeting the folk whom he believed would greatly approve of his actions; instead, they were revolted by his presence and demanded he leave.
With Kalil as his first mate, Hamm rallied the surviving members of the crew and established himself as the new captain of the Shadow Song. As opposed to the old regime, Finn rarely outright sank any ships, instead choosing to attack small vessels, enlisting their crews, and adding the captured boats to his burgeoning pirate armada; defeated captains would pledge their service to Hamm, plundering to their heart's content and paying annual tithes to him under the threat of death.
Love and Politics
By 1743, Captain Hamm was feared throughout the Empire, often invading heavily garrisoned port towns, insulting the Sultan, then leaving with a hull full of gold and not a single shot fired. In December of that year, Finn received word through his network of informants that a major shipment from the Caribbean was to arrive in Constantinople, escorted by a military convoy comprised of British marines and agents of the shady East India Company. Eager to score a massive job, Hamm moved to intercept the convoy.
The Shadow Song, accompanied by two fleets, ambushed the HMS Leviathan several miles off the coast of Crete, meeting heavier resistance than expected. The pirates wrecked most of the convoy with ease, but struggled to match the firepower of the Leviathan. With nothing to lose, Finn's crew boarded the ship of the line and engaged its formidable crew; defeat seemed inevitable until the intervention of another vessel with black sails.
Another pirate crew, led by a man who introduced himself as Captain Cannonwalker, boarded the vessel as well, helping Hamm capture its crew and merchandise. Finn thanked the captain and offered him a position within his fleet; Cannonwalker countered with an offer to become one of the nine Pirate Lords, praising him for his ferocity and shrewdness. Hamm agreed to accompany the Pirate King back to Haiti to meet with the Brethren Court, leaving Kalil to temporarily manage the armada in his absence.
In Cap-Francais, the Pirate Lords presented Finn with small gifts, praising him for his global reputation as the terror of the Adriatic (in truth, the captain hadn't realized that his name was even known outside his sphere of influence). With a simple vote, the Court bestowed upon Hamm the title of Pirate Lord of the Adriatic and a seat at the Brethren table. Finn spent the next several months enjoying the Caribbean and participating in EITC convoy raids alongside his new comrades.
The new Lord's travels in the Caribbean brought him to the scenic shores of Padres del Fuego, which housed a small pirate haven of its own based in the remote town of Las Pulgas, a former rendezvous point for Jolly Roger's undead army. Accompanied by Captain Jeremiah Garland and Zoomer, two Lords with which he made fast friends, he enjoyed the accommodations of the town for several days before the arrival of another notorious pirate by the name of Amber Stirling.
Rumor was that Captain Stirling, one of the most fearsome corsairs in the Caribbean who sailed for the French, Spanish, and Dutch on multiple occassions each before resigning to a life of unbridled piracy, was once offered the rank of Pirate Lord by Cannonwalker, but the other members of the Court refused to have her, as they thought her too dangerous and untrustworthy; though, it was just as well, as Stirling would never pledge allegiance to anyone but herself.
Amber and several of her officers stormed into the Goslin Prymme's with their pockets practically bursting with plundered gold, brandishing daggers and rum bottles. Many of the less intoxicated patrons of the tavern kept their distance, though Finn was enamored by her, particularly her interesting fashion decision to stay fully dressed in a corset despite her physically demanding career.
When Captain Stirling demanded a blackjack opponent, Hamm immediately volunteered, ignoring Garland's warnings. After a particularly taxing game rife with obscene half-insults, Amber emerged victorious, much to the chagrin of her opponent, who had spent his last coins on a bottle of cheap rum several minutes prior. Stirling, outraged, threatened to murder Finn on the spot, though hesitantly resigned to allowing him to serve on her crew for exactly one week as alternative payment.
Two weeks later, Hamm and Amber returned arm-in-arm, stricken with love and practically inseparable. Unfortunately, neither could accept the prospect of settling down and giving up their ever-lucrative and exciting careers, thus, both agreed to temporarily part ways. Finn departed from Haiti after a summer of adventure in the Caribbean, promising to return to Haiti every year in the spring to briefly reunite with his love.
Return to the Empire and Brethren Reforms
Hamm returned to his base in Crete to an anxious Kalil, who had apparently been awaiting the captain's return for days with an exciting proposition. Unrest in Constantinople was at its highest as a result of public disgust with Sultan Ahmet III's reign, and the janissaries largely refused to bow to his rule any longer. Using his credibility as a former janissary, Kalil arranged a meeting with Finn and the exiled warriors, believing the chaos would be the perfect time to make an unprecendented powerplay.
Hamm gained the support of the angry janissaries and hatched a plan to usurp the reigning Sultan and replace him with his sibling Erdogan, a corrupt statesman vowing to turn the other cheek to the pirates' exploit in the Mediterranean. In February of 1746, Finn infiltrated the temple of Eyüp and stole the Sword of Osman, an artifact which functioned as the symbol of the Sultan's power and a vital component of the crowning of a new Sultan.
Immediately thereafter, Hamm rallied the Janissaries and rode through the chaotic streets of Constantinople and entered the gates of Topkapi Palace with Erdogan, bearing the Sword of Osman, in tow. The guards, in awe of the man's possession of the relic and his immense backing, allowed him to enter the palace and confront Sultan Ahmet.
The Sultan, betrayed by his closest warriors and surrounded by pirates and janissaries, relinquished his throne to Erdogan, who immediately set forth restructuring the Empire in Hamm's favor. With the Ottoman authorities no longer concerned with his criminal empire's activities in the Adriatic and beyond, Finn established a virtual monopoly over all black market and pirate activities in the region.
By the late 1740s, there was a growing concensus within the Brethren Court that it was time to ratify the archaic Pirate Code, which, in one form or another, had guided the etiquette of almost all pirates globally for centuries. The Pirate King approached Hamm to help rewrite the code and effectively restructure the entire Court - the captain gladly obliged.
It was during this ratification period that Finn, the newly appointed Keeper of the Code, emerged as one of the foremost advocates for a more centralized Court, in which the King effectively served as the ultimate authority for pirates and whose power was kept in check by the Lords. Hamm additionally theorized the creation of the role of Pirate Baron to serve as second-in-command of the Court and supported the furthering of its mercantile interests; he foresaw a global syndicate of pirates who controlled much of the world's land and wealth through puppet governments to finance their criminal and anti-imperialist efforts. Finn's reign over the Ottomans served as the model for this ideal.