5718 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Claw the Unconquered (DC Comics)

Claw the Unconquered

(Valcan of Pytharia)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Reward – 10 000 dreknars for the head and right hand of Claw ! The world trembles before his deadly blade !


Context

Claw was one of the swords-and-sorcery heroes DC launched in the mid-1970s. He was the most successful of the lot along with the Warlord. Part of his (relative) popularity is that he’s essentially the DC version of Conan with a strong hook — the demon hand — grafted on.

The Known World in which Claw originally operated was sketched out by writer David Michelinie. The approach is eerily reminiscent of the work of Dungeon Masters in the late 1970s and much of the 1980s. For historical context, Claw was published in 1975 and the very first edition of D&D was released in 1974.

There are S P O I L E R S therein for everything from the 1975 series to the 2006 series and beyond.

Claw’s profile also assumes that you have read our article about the Fifteen Worlds.

The interpretation of Claw varies from series to series. He’s often written as a generic barbarian type with a distinctive curse. For purposes of characterisation and stats, this profile considers that Michelinie’s 1970s take on the character is the most authoritative one. Thus, it downplays or rationalises changes stemming from a different take on the character.

The 1970s version was obviously inspired by Howard’s Conan, whereas the subsequent versions are shaped by the movie version of Conan starring Schwarzenegger. These thus feel more… generic to readers familiar with the 1982 movie since it greatly influenced the popular view of heroic-fantasy barbarian warriors.


Background

  • Real Name: Valcan of Pytharia
  • Other Aliases: Vulcan the Claw (misinformed reference), Valcan Scaramax
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Kregar of Kanon Wood (father, deceased), mother (name unrevealed, deceased), an ancestor whose name wasn’t mentioned (deceased), Claw of Pytharia (possibly a descendant, see above), John Chan (aka Claw, descendant). Valcan once described himself as a member of the “Valcan clan”, but that was presumably sarcasm to indicate that he had no living relative.
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 225lbs
  • Eyes: Steely ice blue ! Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Valcan aka Claw is an athletic male of awesome strength and prowess, able with the sword and quick as a cat. Having been trained by the gods, he can easily fight groups of men with little effort, and he has excellent endurance. His killer instinct is exceptional, and he can enter a fighting frenzy whenever needed.

Claw is not just a musclebound barbarian with quick reflexes. When he’s in trouble he swiftly comes up with clever strategies, often relying on understanding basic physics and an ability to quickly consider what’s available around him. If the direct approach — his favourite one — doesn’t work, he’ll probably find a good alternative.

Claw the Unconquered produces his demonic hand

His understanding of physics is close to that of a modern person. He has used such things as :

  • focusing heat through a prism to dry an invincible much monster
  • throw his sword to a monster so it would brandish it on top of a mountain during a raging lightning storm
  • spread oil on top of water and set it on fire to destroy killer weed

He also had notions of zoology despite his amnesia. Thus he could reason that a somewhat lobster-like giant monster likely had a soft underbelly.

Barbarian warrior !

If Valcan can’t find a way out of a problem or foil an assault then the demon hand will probably take over. It can use magic – or more devastating ferocity than even Claw can produce. Claw prefers to conserve his Hero Points  and to spend them when his demon hand is “accidentally” exposed.

Claw’s gauntlet has protective properties. In particular it could ignore the heat from magical fire of infernal power, or short out a life-draining enchantment on a spear by preventing it from feeding.

Claw has also occasionally wielded some magical items for a while, including the Moonthorn sword forged for him by the Gods of Elder Light and a helmet with unspecified properties.

Generally, though, Valcan’s equipment — with the notable exception of the gauntlet — has a transient quality. It tends to disappear, gets broken, be abandoned, etc. and quickly replaced by similar gear.

In later appearances, Claw’s cunning and agility were less apparent. A No-Prize explanation  would be that it was a side effect of exposure to the hand, the greater quantity of demon blood in his body, and the nightmares the hand occasionally subjected to.

Demon’s blood !

When he encounters Red Sonja, the blood of the hand has mingled with Valcan’s blood in greater quantities than ever before. This gives him the regenerative powers of a demon.

Presumably this was a gradual process. It also would be reasonable to assume that Valcan already had a very minor level of regeneration during the original stories. Back then nobody would have noticed, as it would still have been within the remit of being a fast healer. Not a surprising trait in a hardy barbarian warrior.

Claw the Unconquered and Ghilkyn exploring

When he met Sonja, Claw visibly has a healing factor . It seems about as strong’s as the hand’s own regenerative power, and thus might be the maximum. Our No-Prize Hypothesis is that it follows a power law progression, staying at low levels for years then quickly building up until it hit its ceiling within weeks.

When he had this level of Regeneration, Claw was slower — physically and mentally — than he normally is. One hypothesis is to assume that the demon blood fatigues and confuses him. This physical and mental haze lifted when he was convinced to surrender to the evil within himself.

At the end of the encounter with Sonja, Claw lost his healing factor. The hand needed to focus its regenerative powers back into itself to grow back after having been severed. Afterwards Claw had, at most, the recuperative powers that he had in the classic stories.

This profile uses these regenerative abilities as a No-Prize rationale for why Claw’s characterisation, swiftness and acumen are different in the Claw/Red Sonja miniseries. The material itself never establishes a link between the new regenerative powers and Claw’s personality and abilities. But the No-Prize Hypothesis matches all observed facts.

The demonic hand of Valcan, part 1

Valcan’s right hand is a demonic entity. It lokks like a webbed, clawed, vaguely draconic hand. It has an intelligence of its own, and its own instincts and agenda. The red gauntlet Claw wears was given to him to shield him from the hand’s influence. But the appendage has been getting stronger, and has been known to take over Claw even when he’s wearing the gauntlet.

In game terms the Hand is simply considered as an asset. Claws’s player is the one who decides when to resort to the hand’s Powers. In the story having the hand take over is a terrible curse and something evil, but the reader cannot help but to observe that the hand only ever takes over to get Claw out of a problem.

The sinister aspect is best left to role-playing. Still, note that in DCH whenever the player uses the abilities of Claws’s demon hand the paw’s Catastrophic Rage is active. This might lead to actions the player did not intend.

Claw the Unconquered controlled by his demonic hand

Sometimes, Valcan deliberately gets the gauntlet off to claw at something with the hand. Most often, the gauntlet is accidentally taken off and the hand lashes out at Claw’s enemies. Sometimes, the hand just takes over as Claw seems doomed. It puts Claw in a trance and controls his body, for instance to have him mumble incantations as the hand casts a spell to save him.

Sometimes, the hand reacts on its own before Claw can notice. One example was grabbing the dagger of a man about to backstab Claw and twisting the man’s arm to pierce him in the heart with his own weapon. As noted, all of these cases are under the control of Claw’s player, even though in role-playing terms they involve a struggle of influence.

The demonic hand of Valcan, part 2

The ungloved hand can claw at foes with a speed, ferocity and strength that outshine even Claw’s. Usually the claw viciously gouges the flesh of opponents. But if Claw surrenders to the hand and fights under its influence, he will usually fight with a sword and the demon hand. This ferocious fighting style has nearly superhuman effectiveness.

When the hand is thus free to act, it is evil and bloodthirsty. Even if killing people left and right isn’t a big problem, Valcan balks at letting the hand take over. He would rather fight with his normal skill level, which is usually amply sufficient. It’s more common for the player to declare that the gauntlet has been accidentally removed than for Valcan to decide to unglove.

Claw the Unconquered on a white horse

The hand does not need to sleep, eat, breathe or drink, and it doesn’t feel pain. That it doesn’t sleep means it can perceive a danger when Valcan is sleeping, and react by taking control of his body as he wakes up. This has saved his life several times given the treacherous nature of Pytharia.

The hand is also extremely strong, and can crush and break metallic chains it grasp.

Among the spells the hand cast were :

  • sucking black necromantic fire into very small dimensional gates to the void before it would consume Claw and Ghilkyn
  • setting a sword on demonic fire that could greatly harm a conjured soul-eating minor god

The hand could also set itself ablaze with demon fire without holding a sword. But in both cases this incendiary ability was used to harm entities closely linked to chaos, and it’s never used otherwise. We’ll thus assume that this spell is specifically meant to hurt chaos entities, and is not useful under other circumstances.

The demonic hand of Valcan, part 3

The hand is known to have an affinity for portals between the chaos hells and other dimensions. Beyond sucking evil fire into those hells, it was once able to grasp the astral projection of a sorceress by the throat. Normally, this is impossible.

Doing this requires a particular effort and mindset. Most of the time the hand cannot touch astral beings any more than a normal person can. The hand likely could hurt people through other sorts of magical connection such as clairvoyance or scrying, if there is something to grab – but this is an hypothetical.

Some rituals have a demon’s hand just like Valcan’s as a key component. These usually have to do with opening major dimensional breaches.

When the demon hand is hacked off Valcan’s body, it has several options. Those that have been used are:

  • Run around shadowing Valcan, and reattach itself to the stump as he sleeps or is otherwise unconscious. The hand has done so at least once, perhaps twice.
  • Channel its regenerative ability and regrow from Valcan’s stump. The hand first appeared as a tiny version of itself, but quickly regrew to its full size. Any regenerative ability it may have been bestowing to Valcan is greatly weakened by this feat for years.
  • As it turned out, when the hand decided to regrow, the hand that had been hacked off did not die. There were now two hands, one regrown on Valcan’s arm and one running around in its own. Since the hand did not do that before, it is possible that reproducing in this way required preparations and/or prerequisites.
    Furthermore the, errr, free hand grew itself a clone body of Claw. This took months, and required the blood and meat from hundreds of large animals and people. Both the ability to “reproduce” and the ability to grow out a clone body are likely Rituals, in DC Heroes RPG terms.

Claw the Unconquered and Ghilkyn respond to a scream

In the original stories the hand is obviously sapient  and sentient – this is the take reflected in the stats above. In later stories it is still powerful and evil, but never seems to act on its own (though one scene is ambiguous).

My No-Prize hypothesis would be that the hand had been preparing a ritual to be able to exist as two hands once Valcan would again chop it off – which he was bound to do sooner or later. But that was a long-term investment. Furthermore, the magic came at a steep cost in making the hand less wilful – and less able to control its own evil.

In this hypothesis, the hand expected that the intelligence and maturity of both hands would regrow back to their original level in time.


Who is Valcan Scaramax ?

The two 20055/2006 Claw series have an unclear continuity status relative to the original. Here is how our History section is going to handle them.

The character in the Claw/Red Sonja one feels like a different character. Yet his background is clearly that of the original.

The Claw in the 2006 Wildstorm miniseries might be the original in terms of characterisation (allowing for some character growth). But there is no reference whatsoever to the original series, and it takes place outside of the Known World, as far as I can tell.

The Wildstorm series also makes a point of using a new name of unknown origin (Valcan Scaramax) and never calling him Valcan of Pytharia. However, a key plot element is that Claw’s demon hand has regrown after it was severed, which references the Claw/Red Sonja story.

In the end I’ve decided to do the No-Prize Shuffle. My stance is that both series were about the same Claw and formed a single continuity with the previous appearances. This profile offers various hypotheses and hacks as to how it all can fit together.

The version that appears in the Creatures Commando LS, however, is considered in this entry not to be the same character, but a descendant. As usual, the hypothetical parts are signalled as thus (or as “No-Prize approaches” or something).


History

You want to understand the context of the adventures of Valcan of Pytharia, better known under the monicker of Claw the Unconquered ? Then you have to look both at other worlds — as detailed in our Fifteen Worlds article — and into the past.

Claw the Unconquered throws a guy through a door

One of Valcan’s distant ancestors dabbled in magic. He sought arcane power to better his beleaguered world. Things then inevitably went wrong and involved a demon.

One account is that the demon tried to possess the researcher, using a mistake in the ritual. Using desperate counterspells, the man repelled the demon, but wasn’t wholly successful. Part of the demon’s essence remained trapped in his hand. As usual with void things, this meant that the ancestor’s hand mutated into something bestial and repugnant.

Another account is that the Valcan’s ancestor didn’t even botch his spell casting. Rather, a demon looking for power happened to perform the exact same Ritual at the exact same time in one of the seven voids. The two Rituals interacted, and as the two magicians reached into the small portal they had opened, they found themselves grasping each other’s hand.

The fluke attracted the attention of both the shadow deities and the light gods. Since both ritualists were behaving in ways judged inappropriate by their masters, they were cursed to have their touching hands switched. This version may have been a lie concocted by a Shadow-God, though.

Claw the Unconquered beats up Stalker

In either case, the evil power of the demon hand grew very slowly – over several generations. It was discovered that the trait passed from parent to child (or possibly specifically from father to son), with the demonic essence passing from the parent’s demon hand to the child’s upon his death.

I fought (for) the Law

Generations later, the demon hand had become potent enough to interest the gods of chaos and order. The law-aligned god, the Lords of Elder Light, decided that the next demon hand bearer would be their champion in the Known World. A champion able to use the power of chaos to fight chaos seemed a pretty sweet idea.

However, the shadow-gods foresaw this. Thus, their main agent in Pytharia — Prince Occulas of the Yellow Eye — received omens that a man with a bestial hand would be his downfall.

Occulas’s men scoured Pytharia. They eventually found one Kregar of Kanon Wood, the current bearer of the hand. Unsuspecting, Kregar was willing to defend his good name in court from the strange accusations of regicidal plot. But the corrupt Occulas’s servant murdered him “while attempting to flee”. They then executed his wife as a witness of the murder.

However, the assassin didn’t see Kregar’s baby. The infant’s tiny demon hand was soon possessed by the demonic essence.

Claw the Unconquered cover detail

(One flashback depicts an unearthly hand reaching for the baby and mutating his mitt. This is a misreading of the original scene where the infant already has a demon hand.)

At this point the law gods whisked little Valcan to their realm. As he grew up they trained him as the ultimate warrior to serve as their champion. They also gave him a special gauntlet to contain the demonic influence of the hand. Furthermore, they forged a magical sword for him – called Moonthorn.

When the adult Claw was ready, the gods sent him to the balance world. There he was to win the struggle for the multiverse.

But the shadow-gods were aware of Claw’s existence. They bollixed the teleportation. Claw did return from the realm of Elder Light to Pytharia, but without his sword or memory. Furthermore he was close to Ichar, the throne-city ruled by now-King Occulas.

Occulas received further omens about a man with a demon hand, and let it know far and wide that he would pay handsomely for his head.

Sun-bronzed barbarian wanderer

Not knowing who he was or that he had a mission, Valcan wandered in the Ichar area until a waitress accidentally uncovered his demon-paw. Then there were bounties, informers and guards. With the man with the demon hand now identified, wanted posters started featuring Valcan’s name and likeness.

Being hounded by corrupt lawmen and betrayed at every turn greatly soured Valcan on the people of Pytharia.

Claw the Unconquered grasps a flying rock

Fleeing Ichar, Valcan ran across more traitors and some deadly wonders. The desperate inhabitants of the cloud city, the Golden Ones, attempted to sacrifice Claw to repower the enchantment keeping them alive and their wondrous city aloft. However, the barbarian escaped.

He later met with a centauress. The hapless mare had been lied to by agents of Occulas and thought that she was a human woman cursed into the form of a centauress. Being no fighter, she allied with Claw on her quest to recover her presumed humanity, and turned against him in despair due to the falsehoods she had been fed.

But Valcan would finally come to encounter a person he could trust – Ghilkyn, Prince of the Thousand Hills, a green-clad adventurer from another world.

Against the giant

At the same time, Occulas was intensifying his efforts to kill the man with the demon hand. He had the chaos giant N’Hglthss the Damned summoned close to Claw and Ghilkyn. It soon became apparent that the giant would randomly kill thousands as it aimlessly shambled across the world it had been let loose on.

Valcan was reluctant to save the unreliable Pytharians. Still, the altruistic Ghilkyn convinced him to embark on a quest to find a weapon that could harm N’Hglthss. An oracle, Asvitar the Burning Man, told them that the weapon they needed was the sword Moonthorn. He also said that it belonged to Claw in the first place.

Claw the Unconquered has his gauntlet unexpectedly removed

As is traditional, Moonthorn had been handed over to a servant of the Shadow-Gods residing in a pocket dimension in one of the chaotic void realms. As is traditional, the talisman that could access this dimension, the Grimstone, had been broken into 3 fragments. As occasional assaults by mutated monsters conjured by Occulas’s court mage continued, Claw and Ghilkyn quested.

They stole the eyes from a sentient oracular statue to pay for the first fragment. They took the second fragment from an outcast youth who had established himself as a summoner after stumbling upon a necromancer’s tomb. They found the third fragment in a magical city under a lake, inhabited by peace-loving humans who had mastered the elements.

With the assembled Grimstone talisman, Claw and his demon hand defeated Mahan K‘handra, the guardian of Moonthorn. Returning to confront N’Hglthss with Ghilkyn’s help, Claw triumphed. The demon giant was slain before he could ravage yet another settlement.

But in this moment of triumph the barbarian warrior was whisked back to the plane of the Gods of Elder Light.


Taste of India

One amusing hypothesis that came up during the discussion is that the Known World is actually India, on either Earth-616 (during the Hyborean age) or on New Earth.

This fanciful hypothesis uses some tropes that were well-known during the birth of the sword and sorcery genre, in the late 1920s. Of course, these have since been thoroughly discredited in the real world – particularly the notion of pale-skinned Aryans from India who migrated to found European cultures.

This theory was among those who ended up in Blavatsky occultism. These myths influenced early science fiction and includes stuff such as Hyberborea, Lemuria, the “master race of Atlantis” and so on and so forth.

In a Hyborean context, the-Known-World-is-really-India would requires ignoring the depiction of Vendhya seen in Conan the Victorious (which is Jordan material, not Howard’s). Instead, use the approach where the Golden Kingdoms are Vendhya (north-northwestern India; the word likely later became “Vedic”), Kosala (southern Hyborean India) and Uttara Kuru (Hyborean Tibet and Bangladesh).

This aligns well with Sonja’s Hyrkania being a fantasy version of the Mongol Empire. In this approach what Pytharians call the Central Steppes is bordered on the other side by Turan, Hyrkania, Irakzai, Iranistan, (Af)Ghulistan and Shem.

On DC’s New Earth… Well, the sundry Indian cultures have barely played a role in the DCU, except for the theological material that inspired the Kobra cult. Still, Nanda Parbat would exist beyond the Central Steppes. Perhaps it is related to the temple of blind and mind monks seen in the second Claw series. Plus, Rama Kushna as a Goddess of Elder Light is credible.

Showdowns

The divinities of law welcomed their agent back. They told him what his background was and why he had forgotten about it. Claw of Pytharia didn’t react particularly well, however. He broke Moonthorn, and told the gods that he would be no one’s pawn. Claw didn’t feel elated to learn that he had been raised a weapon since before he was even born.

The known world in the time of Claw the Unconquered

Claw left and returned to Pytharia. After a chance encounter with the necromancers Those Who Abide, he returned to Ichar to kill King Occulas of the Yellow Eye. After destroying the King and his castle Valcan left. The parents he had never known had been avenged, but his heart was not much lighter.

Claw rode on, unwittingly getting caught in the war between the realms of Boske and Kyfirth. He decided to work for the Kyfirthians since they were hiring. However, other mercenaries stole his gauntlet and fled to sell it. Claw decided that he did not need the glove and could counter the demon claw’s bloodlust using his naked willpower.

The hand that stalks !

That didn’t work at all. Claw killed and maimed at the least provocation. He eventually turned against his own trainees, massacring everyone around him as he went berserk during a battle.

Horrified and wanting to be free from such possessions, Claw cut off his demon hand with an axe, cauterising the wound in a fire. He then resumed his travel as an amputee. His condition often resulted in mockery from the cruel inhabitants of the Known World – and thus, quite often, in shed blood.

One such brawl attracted the enmity of an entire village. To avoid being lynched Valcan agreed to work for a woman called Trysannda, whom the locals greatly feared. Trysannda wanted to hire Claw to kill the wizard who had taught her sorcery, but Claw was less than enthusiastic about it. Furthermore, he was preoccupied with the feeling that something had been shadowing him for days.

Claw the Unconquered is troubled by visions

What was following Valcan was his disembodied hand. It soon stealthily reattached itself to his stump as he slept. Fearing that the next murderous urge from the reattached demon hand would come soon, Claw started looking for his stolen oraculum gauntlet. Trysannda’s conjuration were invaluable in that quest, and they did track the thieves down.

However, the mercenaries had already sold the gauntlet to the main sorcerer in the area – Dalivar the Unethical, the same man Trysannda wanted to see dead. Claw and his companions managed to confront the wizard, recover the gauntlet and narrowly flee with their lives.

Running in the dark dungeons, they found themselves trapped among insane mutants under the wizard’s fortress, in the Lair of Lunacy.

What happened next is unrevealed.

Unconquered

(Another Claw story was published a few years later. It started where the published books had ended, with Claw chopping off his hand. The unpublished stories with Trysannda, chronicled above, couldn’t be taken into account. The continuity issue is trivial, though.)

After further lone wanderings, and possibly another attempt to hack off his demon hand that ended in failure and stealthy reattachment, Claw was contacted anew by the Gods of Elder Light. They offered Moonthorn again, plus a helmet. They encouraged him to return to Ichar to take power and reign as a just king. His alternative being a life of aimless wandering, Valcan agreed to the deal.

Claw the Unconquered going half-berserk

When Valcan again came to Ichar, the city was being besieged by armies from the void. Reportedly, these infernal forces had been trying to take Ichar ever since Claw had killed Occulas.

Seeing Valcan, the leader of the demonic hordes removed his own magical gauntlet. He showed him a human hand at the end of his demonic arm. The creature stated that he was the demon whose hand had been allegedly exchanged with Valcan’s ancestor generations ago.

The two fought until a defender of Ichar, one Shalieka, told them that it wouldn’t solve their hand problem. She offered to conduct a ritual that would allow the most worthy of the two to erase the curse, and result in the death of the other in the jaw of the god of death.

Man and demon agreed to her offer. Valcan was the one who emerged alive. Their leader gone, the demon hordes departed.

Claw the Unconquered fights barbarians

Valcan’s new hand, belonging to an ancestor long since dead, crumbled to dust. This was apparently the goal. Shalieka and others were secretly agents of the Shadow-Gods. It all had been a plan to deprive Claw of his greatest curse and asset – explaining the incredibly convenient coincidences such as Shalieka just happening to know the proper ritual.

The demon with a human hand may also have been a catspaw fed a false story.

What happened next is unrevealed, but when Valcan appeared again he had the webbed dragon hand.

She-Devil with a sword, part 1

(The next appearance features a Claw with the same backstory as the original Claw, but with less impressive agility and intelligence, minor regenerative powers, and operating in a different milieu. Our No-Prize hypotheses are that the regenerative powers explained the different characterisation and lowered abilities (see the “Demon’s blood !” section), and that the setting was a “mild” chaos void between Claw’s Known World and the Hyborean past of Marvel’s Earth-616 (see the “Fifteen worlds” article).)

Claw the Unconquered surveys the land

When Valcan was next seen, he was wandering in the wasteland between Hyborea and Pytharia. Those are forsaken lands rife with murderous banditry and little else. These lands probably are a plane of chaos. They are part of the Northern steppes on the map reproduced in this entry.

The demon blood from the hand had further colonised Valcan’s body. This was perhaps in part thanks to the chaotic influence of the land. Valcan was bereft with constant, harrowing nightmares where he was ravaging, slaughtering, killing, raping, burning all sorts of settlements. He also saw himself killing a fetching woman warrior with red hair on several occasions.

Worn and haggard from the nightmares and demon blood, Valcan considered making another attempt at hacking his demon hand off. It seemed that this time he meant to bleed to death and die free of taint.

As he was considering this he was beset by one of the numerous groups of local bandits. He also met with the woman he had dreamed of, as Red Sonja was riding by. She decided to help since without Claw’s presence the bandits would have attacked her instead.

Claw the Unconquered using arrows as makeshift weapons

Sonja took Claw with her to her destination. It was the capital of the small, impoverished kingdom of Brissendyn, near the not-quite-border between Kyfirth and the steppes. Sonja had already been there years before with fellow Hyrkanian warrior Thanador. They had allied with the teenaged king Älgren and his wizard Baxla to repel a horde of berserkers from razing everything.

As the two swordbearers reached Brissendyn, they saw that it was now wallowing in chaos and misery. The young king was long dead and the hostile locals told Sonja that the wizard had taken over. The two warriors repelled an assault by the lawless locals, and the wizard sent in a pack of elephant-sized chaos hounds.

Sonja had to knock Claw out and drag him away from a battle they couldn’t win, as he was being overcome by demonic bloodlust.

She-Devil with a sword, part 2

The Brissendynian military pursued. When they cornered the duo Claw, tired of having his problems impact the lives of others, tried to die in battle. He grabbed the champion of the wizard, a man as tall as two tall men, and hurled himself and his surprised victim off a cliff.

The hand forced Valcan to save himself. Dejected and seeing that Sonja had been captured, he doubled back toward Brissendyn to free her. But upon riding into town but came to realise that it was the setting for his recurrent nightmares of carnage.

Claw the Unconquered with a barbarian bow

Sonja’s capture was a trap. Though she had assumed that Baxla was the one who had grown corrupt, it was actually her compatriot Thanador. He had learned sorcery and had become an agent of chaos.

Thanador had conducted rituals related to the one Valcan’s ancestor performed long ago (the “Unconquerable Conjuration”). Thus he had deliberately exchanged his two arms for demon arms whose hands looked exactly like Claw’s. Thanador wanted to confront Claw to finish corrupting him, which would make the Pytharian his slave.

Though the dazed Claw resisted for long minutes, Thanador eventually succeeded in corrupting him through his hand. Thanador then turned him against Sonja, whose death would mark Claw’s abandon of his humanity. However, the mighty Sonja managed to sever Valcan’s demon hand and both warriors turned against Thanador.

Claw’s demon hand was burned along with Thanador’s body. But after Sonja left, Valcan realised with a shock that a new one was regrowing from the stump.

Mad world, part 1

Claw continued to travel away from Pytharia, though not toward Sonja’s Hyborea. He eventually came to a new area. It had signs of civilisation roughly similar to Pytharia, and spoke the same language, but was otherwise different from the Known World.

Claw the Unconquered pondering on horseback

Valcan had grown tired of being called “Claw”. It reminded him of his infernal appendage and how he had nearly killed Sonja and succumbed to darkness.

Thus he adopted the name “Valcan Scaramax” under unknown circumstances. It is possible that it is a title he earned during an unchronicled adventure, a word meaning “foreigner”, or somesuch.

When he was seen anew, he was one of the numerous mercenaries of the kingdom of Rotha, hired to war against neighbouring tribes since the slothful Rothans couldn’t be bothered.

Claw the Unconquered with shield and broadsword

Unbeknownst to him, Claws’s severed demon hand had survived the bonfire in Brissendyn and fled. It followed Valcan from afar. It kept killing as it worked with the blood and meat to generate a cloned body of Valcan to bear it.

The creature seemed considerably more savage and chaotic — less calculating and mature — than Claw’s hand usually was. It just indulged in the endless carnage of everyone it encountered.

Mad world, part 2

(Where Valcan is at this point, and why he’s now called Valcan Scaramax, is unrevealed. The world where the action of this story takes place has some interesting characteristics, however :

  • It is a bleak, tired, dreary world with a lawless quality. There are forces defending the law but these are weak and pedestrian. Though they have the trappings of badass knightly orders and monasteries of warrior monks, they can’t really get traction, are fading out into mediocrity and are but meat for the beast. In some ways it’s not unlike Stalker’s world.
  • There is no reason to assume that this place is not the same one as where the adventure with Red Sonja occurred – only farther to the West.
  • The history of this place is that it was once dominated by awful magical aliens, the Shades. But the Humans cast those out in a rebellion culminating a terrible, horrible battle. The gates to the place of exile of the aliens are at the edge of the known world. Part of the problem is fools and occultists worshipping the alien things to obtain magical power.
    This, too, is essentially the situation on Stalker’s world, and is reminiscent of the situation on Starfire’s world.
  • How that fits within the situation of the Fifteen Worlds is just too open to interpretation. We suggest sticking with our No-Prize explanation that this place is the same as the one with Brissendyn, meaning a “mild” plane of chaos that superficially resembles a normal world.
    In this context, that the forces of law there are weak and can only gain reprieves from complete domination by void horrors that are going to obliterate them in most circumstances makes perfect sense.)

Claw was recruited by a witch named Satarina Kal Quillion. A demonist, she wanted to ally with the Shades to rule as Empress. She explained to Claw that his demon hand could be a key component to a ritual to open the way for the Shades to return.

Claw’s somewhat desperate reasoning was that, if his hand held such power, then it could be used as a bartering piece with the Shades. He thus might convince them to take it away.

Claw the Unconquered contemplates his demonic hand

Brusquely leaving his mercenary employ, Valcan was joined by 3 other sellswords working for the witch. These 3 cousins who had been recruited in large part because they were secretly werewolves.

Satarina then made one last recruitment. After Valcan told her that his hand had been chopped off some months back, she guessed that the severed paw would still be active and what its likely undertaking would be.

Floating like a duck

She found the hand after it had massacred yet another village. The severed hand was using the blood and meat to build itself a clone body based on Valcan’s – though with a demonic cast.

Satarina told the creature that the Shades were its fathers. The savage and immature thing decided to also travel to the place of ritual so the Shades would reward it for freeing them. The battered, ragged forces of law tried to stop the Claw-thing, but it massacred them at every turn.

Satarina thus no longer needed Valcan. She decided to kill him – but it didn’t work and Claw used the demon hand to somehow strangle her astral form, forcing her to break contact for a while. Now realising that his hopes of bartering with evil gods were a fool’s endeavour, the Unconquered decided to put an end to this and intercept Satarina’s new agent.

When he discovered the thing loosely looking like him, he grew furious and attacked it. But the ritual was already too far underway.

To his shock, Valcan discovered that he and everyone else had been mistaken as to the nature of the Shades. While Satarina, the demonic Claw doppelgäger and others expected something akin to the evil god Dgrth of Stalker’s world, the Shades where gibbering Great Old Ones  with a different form of sapience .

Claw the Unconquered on a battlefield

The enormous god-thing H‘kothadaztlonta Rzahl led his host of sacrilegious alien things to ravage everything. The first being they tore apart was the warped clone.

The Shades spared Satarina and Valcan Scaramax for some unknowable reason. They were dragged, haggard and in chains, along with other human slaves spared for some unguessable purpose. What happened next remains unrevealed.

Swords against destruction

(The next appearances of Claw are impossible to place. There’s next to no context to work with. Though they were published after the episodes chronicled so far, the Claw they depict seem a bit closer to the original. Thus, from Claw’s point of view they may have occurred before he entered the Central Steppes. For this article we’ll assume that the Time Master appearance occurred before the Wonder Woman appearance, but this is completely arbitrary.)

Claw was briefly encountered by Rip Hunter. Interference had thrown the Time Master through the timestream at random, landing him pretty much at the hooves of Claw’s horse. Claw was operating in a barren, morbid milieu. It may have been somewhen in New Earth’s past, though it’s impossible to place.

Valcan had just been hired by impoverished villagers to kill the wizard and conqueror Serhatuu. This man was himself dabbling in time travel, with an ambitious notion of acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Hunter allied with Claw after explaining that he wasn’t a wizard. The Time Master and his allies opposed and defeated Serhatuu, stopping his attempt to steal the first atomic bomb in 1945.

Though Claw was very wary of Hunter and his allies, he sensed the nobility of Superman. He agreed to trust him, in particular when time came to return to his home world.

Claw the Unconquered in battle

(This Claw wasn’t as cunning and quick as the Claw seen in the original stories. It is possible that it was the original Claw with a problem (a renewed demon blood infestation would match quite well with observed performance).)

(However, on re-reading I am increasingly prone to considering that it was one of Claw’s first descendant on New Earth – since we know that the demon hand has been on Earth since at least the Xth century. As usual, there’s no way to tell.)

Swords against the Devil

A man who very likely was the original Claw was later recruited by 3 other adventurers. However, it is impossible to place the event in Claw’s personal chronology.

The swordbearers Princess Diana of Themyscira, Stalker and Prince Beowulf of the Geats were specifically looking for Claw the Unconquered across the dimensions. They needed his help for a Ritual that would destroy Dgrth, a hell-lord possibly tied to the void dimensions of the Fifteen Worlds.

The initial encounter went poorly. Claw reacted thinking that it was an ambush, but the three powerful warriors subdued him long enough to talk. Claw was reluctant to help, not seeing why he should bother with saving worlds. But the noble and charismatic Beowulf convinced him to join the party, and he came to respect Diana’s bravery and incredible skill.

Claw the Unconquered defying his enemies

During the confrontation with Dgrth, the situation went south as Stalker betrayed the party. Beowulf was also badly wounded protecting Diana’s back from Stalker. The daughter of Themyscira had to engage Dgrth solo, leaving Claw behind. Valcan had to tend to Beowulf’s wound and fight off Grendel, Beowulf’s great enemy and now Dgrth’s servant.

What happened is unrevealed. Perhaps Claw managed to fight Grendel despite the creature’s immense strength, then trick it into falling off the nearby world’s edge. Or perhaps Grendel just followed Dgrth in an attempt to help him.

Thanks to Claw, the great Beowulf survived. Stalker also survived as Beowulf had deduced what Stalker’s plan was and asked Claw not to beat him to death.

Diana returned with Dgrth’s severed head. Stalker agreed to help, and the four swordbearers completed the ritual, plunging their blades into the Devil’s eyes and apparently destroying it.


Description

People see Valcan as a dark-maned, half-clothed giant. He is usually seen in barbarian attire, wearing a crimson gauntlet on his right hand and a good broadsword.

Claw the Unconquered rebelling

Claw’s powerful body is sun-bronzed. In fact, he’s occasionally coloured with the same red-ish skin tone used in comics to signify a Native American character. This bronzed skin tone is different from that of most people around him. Interestingly, while he has generic European facial features he doesn’t seem to grow significant facial hair.

Some later stories go all the way and portray him with typical comic-book-Native-American features and hair, but that’s the minority. Claw himself noted that he wasn’t sure that he was of the same race as most other humans in Pytharia.

The original edition of Who’s Who in the DC Universe lists Claw at 6’5” and 274 lbs., but such proportions were not observed in any of the stories.


Personality

Valcan does not remember who he is. He became aware while wandering in a desert, his only possessions being a good broadsword, a crimson gauntlet, some gold and a gnawing sense of unquiet destiny. He is essentially a loner. And make no mistake, he is a grim barbarian.

Claw the Unconquered training with throwing discs

Valcan is half-naked, long-haired and not terribly talkative. But when he speaks he doesn’t express himself like the stereotypical barbarian warrior. He’s articulate and speaks elegantly, with something of a theatral manner like an character in a XVIIth century play. Still, he speaks in mostly modern English, not pseudo-Shakesperian English like Marvel’s Thor. Verily.

Later appearances have him speak in a more modern fashion and accentuate the grumpiness.

Valcan’s favourite exclamation is “Soth !” – the name of the god of chance. Or rather it was – by the time he fought for Satarina, he had grown convinced that Soth was dead. This may have been true in a sense. In our interpretation, he may have been fighting on planes too steeped in chaos for the Gods of Elder Light to reach him.

Reluctant hero, part 1

One of Claw’s characterisation hooks is that he’d rather not act heroically.

  • He doesn’t really see the point of saving the sort of people he meets.
  • He’d rather not get involved in problems he just stumbles across.
  • He doesn’t want to be seen as any sort of saviour by desperate people who can’t fight, etc.

He generally tries to project the impression that he’s an amoral, cynical hardarse. Claw seems to genuinely regret having a conscience he can but seldom ignore. He feels chained by it whereas he’d prefer having his freedom.

Claw the Unconquered swings a mighty axe

He’s not even much of a mercenary. He agrees to sell his sword for money, knowledge or other necessities, but his needs are modest. He has no interest in being rich, isn’t the sort to burn money on pleasures, and his need for knowledge is usually restricted to containing his demon hand.

Reluctant hero, part 2

However, Valcan’s instincts are those of law, not chaos. He doesn’t like admitting it, but seeing innocents suffer, those without power treated without consideration, destruction in the name of personal interest and the like anger him. He feels he should do something about it.

His common sense tells him not to, however. There will usually be hesitation and a need for an outside party or event to coax Claw into intervening. He will argue against it, pretend that he doesn’t care, start riding away, insist that if he ends up doing some good then it’ll be incidental and not because he’s a hero, etc.

Yet he can always be convinced not to act like a callous mercenary only looking out for number one.

Part of Claw’s attitude about refusing to be a hero stems from the poor respect for law in his world. Pytharia is in balance, and most people are greedy and trying to subvert what laws do exist for personal benefit. Claw discovered all this as he strolled, an amnesiac, throughout Pytharia.

These experiences led him to consider that these people weren’t really worth saving. As he sees it, they are better left to their own devices to doom themselves. In the end, though, he cannot really let them do that. Especially when it comes to children, women, outcasts and other people at the mercy of those who have a modicum of strength and power.

Reign of the demon claw, part 1

The other big hook is the demon hand. The hand seems to be able to subtly manipulate his temper. Without the protection of his gauntlet, Claw will be filled with cruelty, evil and disgust. He is cursed. He knows it and doesn’t like it.

Originally the hand is used as a bit of a deus ex machina. But as time goes by and its power grows it becomes more and more sinister. It eventually veers the genre of Claw stories toward horror.

How badly the demon paw influences Claw is quite variable. In the original story he’s OK as long as he wields the gauntlet. And when the gloved hand does something Claw doesn’t want it too it’s almost always to save his life.

However, without the gauntlet it makes Valcan susceptible to murderous rages and killing frenzies. The life of his companions is clearly in danger when Claw does not have his gauntlet.

Claws the Unconquered wields a mineral-looking staff

As the influence of the hand asserts itself, the blood thirst worsens even with the gauntlet on. At the peak of the hand’s influence, on what is thought to have been a void plane, Valcan was beset by constant visions of carnage and cruel slaughter at his hand,. He was also becoming unable to tell the difference between these visions and reality.

Reign of the demon claw, part 2

After the hand is severed by Sonja, Valcan recovers control. The hand once more becomes an asset under his control, though it evidences a markedly lower level of initiative.

Valcan seems to become more violent, more hostile, more xenophobic and more prone to wanting to satisfy his carnal urges as time goes. He becomes less of a crafty wanderer and reluctant hero, and more of an amoral, brutal barbarian who’s out for blood, wenches and gold.

Yes, this is presumably just writing Claw as a stock fantasy barbarian character as the cliché evolves. But a simple No-Prize hypothesis is that it’s the influence of the hand wearing him down and increasingly making him more of a champion of chaos than a champion of law.

By the time he allies with Satarina, he’s clearly serving evil in the foolish hope that it will rid him of his claw. The subsequent experience with the Shades likely shocked this out of his system.

Still, one must point out that Valcan always had a rash tendency to take whatever he needed, and damn the consequences. For instance in one of the original stories he was about to take the last Grimstone fragment, even knowing that it would doom an underwater city to extinction.

The difference is that back then he was easily convinced not to carry out unethical act. Usually by being talked to by Ghilkyn, but sometimes just by thinking about the consequences.

As he toils in what seem to a void plane and there’s scant ethical persons around and a clear sense of despair, these inhibitions disappear.

Have sword, will travel

In the original stories, Claw has a certain unflappable and open-minded quality. He grumbles about sorcery and corruption, but he doesn’t really mind associating with strange creatures, travelling to other dimensions and encountering strange and disgusting things.

He adapts very quickly to the oddest surroundings and associates. This is in part because back then he had a very clear sense of purpose. He is to discover his own past during his earliest career, then he is to avenge his parents, then he is to recover the oraculum gauntlet. Thus, his pragmatism means that he just deals with the weirdness.

Claw the Unconquered and Ghilkyn face living seaweed

Later on, as Valcan is portrayed as more of a stock barbarian and less of a noble savage, he acquires a certain hostility toward sorcery, strange persons, women as anything but sex objects, etc. – though he will come to treat powerful warriors like Sonja or Diana as equals.

He’s also not as smart, and much less likely to come up with lateral thinking solutions. His manner of speech is still heroic-fantasy-ish, but is significantly less theatrical.

One constant is that Valcan feels a profound repugnance at being anybody’s tool or catspaw. He’s just too attached to his freedom. He’ll balk at any indication that he’s being figuratively strongarmed into an alliance, though alliances of convenience and necessity are fine.

He’ll agree to serve as a mercenary. But no one buys Valcan’s loyalty and if he feels like deserting to pursue another activity, he’ll just ride away. And of course he doesn’t want to project the impression that he’s constrained by a code of ethics.

As time goes by, this gets easier since his law-aligned ethics are eroding under the demon hand’s pressure.


Quotes

Axeman: “Aye, but Jarmal’s carcass pulls his sword from him ! And he’ll not escape me so—”
Claw: “You talk too much, axeman ! Allow me to cure you of that vulgar habit !” [KRAK]

Mahan K‘Handa: “Forgive me, Pytharian. I neglected to mention the spell of protection I’ve cast about Moonthorn. It is impenetrable — and shall endure until the event of my — unlikely demise !”
Claw: “In that case, wizard. Allow me to hasten along that ’unlikely‘ circumstance !” [Throws sword]

“Perhaps it is demon blood this sea of gore cries out for !”

“Ho, monster, you’re fast — but ’twould seem that Valcan is faster !”

“Gods ! Is there no end to the monsters prowling this world ?”

Claw the Unconquered is the fist of silent justice

“Soth ! I should have known there’d be guardians more formidable than that silken-haired wench !”

(As a deformed giant kills his mount under him) “By the seven hells, that was a good horse ! The beast makes this a personal fight !”

(After killing off looters and would-be rapists) “’twas not nobility, girl, but necessity. We require information, and you seemed the likeliest source.”

“My preferences change not. I still have no love for this world. But, unfortunately, it’s the only world I’ve got.”

“Hmph. Care for a world that stalks me for the price on my head ? No, I seek the silver sword because it might offer a clue to my shadowed past — and if I happen to save a world in the bargain, ’tis no fault of my own.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Claw the Unconquered (during the classic stories)

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 05 Min: 07 Occupation: Barbarian wanderer
Inf: 06 Aur: 07 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 025 HP: 050

Powers:
Regeneration (see “Demon’s blood !” below)

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 07, Animal Handling (Riding): 05, Martial Artist: 05, Medicine (First aid): 02, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 08

Advantages:
Ambidextrous, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes

Connections:
Ghilkyn, Prince of the Thousand Hills (previously High, but now lost)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (Webbed dragon hand), Mistrust, Misc.: Amnesia (no memories beyond a few weeks before Claw the Unconquered v1 #01, though that gradually becomes irrelevant)

Equipment:

  • Crimson Gauntlet [BODY (Hardened defence) 06, Drain immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 07, Magic Field: 07, Limitation: Drain Immunity is limited to lifeforce-draining magic spells, such as a Vampirism spell, Note: the Gauntlet only protects the hand wearing it.]
    This gauntlet is made of something called oraculum, and protects Claws’s demonic hand against magic and fire while making it harder for the demon hand to take over Claw. Note that the gauntlet is not particularly difficult to Take Away, not being listed in capitals.
    One caption described the gauntlet as being mysteriously sentient, but that is never mentioned again and may have been a poorly-worded reference to Claw’s demon hand. On one occasion, the gauntlet seized a lifeforce-drinking spear and burnt out its enchantment by preventing it from feeding (Drain Immunity). The gauntlet’s shape changes in later stories to look scarier, but this just seems to be artistic licence.
  • DEMON CLAW. See the apposite section.
  • Valcan will arm himself with whatever works.
    • If he has a choice he’ll prefer to get a good Broadsword [BODY 05, EV 04 (06 w/STR)] and replace it with another whenever he breaks or loses one. Part of the reason why he loses his swords is that he excels at throwing them when tactically appropriate – this has an EV of 05.
    • If he has to quickly grab a weapon and there’s no sword nearby he’s partial toward spears. If there are no real weapons he’ll check if he can turn something into a quarterstaff.
    • Valcan will rarely uses a shield – usually to Block projectiles, but he’ll throw it at an opponent when they close to melee range since his melee fighting style doesn’t use one.
    • In later stories Valcan occasionally uses a Bow [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 01, Rec. STR: 03, R#02, Bow Advantage (effective EV for Claw is 04, effective Range for Claw is 06, Limitation : Low Penetration] with a small Quiver [BODY 02, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 10, Limitation : Ammunition load for the Bow]
  • He briefly used a powerful artefact of light, the sword Moonthorn [BODY 07, EV 07, Sharpness (EV): 04]. Moonthorn is a broadsword made of an enchanted, silvery metal. Some chaos creatures have an Attack Vulnerability toward such artefacts.
  • When he came back from the palace of the Elder Light gods, Claw carried some of the local weapons :
    • A dagger [BODY 07, EV 03 (06 w/STR)]. Valcan occasionally fights dual-wielding a sword and a dagger, but this makes no difference in game terms.
    • Throwing disks (x12) [BODY 03, EV 03, Sharpness (EV): 01, Dart Bonus]. These are small crystal disks, about the size of a large shuriken, and the edges are extremely sharp. Claw is well-trained with those, and usually throws volleys of 3. They are carried in a belt pouch. Throwing disks were used but once (plus a training montage flashback).

Demon’s blood !

As described in the “Demon’s blood !” subsection of the Powers & Abilities section, Claw once clearly had Regeneration. He also may have had a very low level of Regeneration all along. In DCH terms :

  • When he encounters Red Sonja he had Regeneration: 04
  • However, having this healing factor fatigues and confuses him. Regeneration lowers his Initiative by one for each active AP – and his DEX, INT and WIL by one for each pair of active Regeneration APs. So by the time he meets Sonja, he has 4 APs of Regeneration, four fewer APs of Initiative, and his DEX, INT and WIL are all 2 APs lower than the scores given in the stats block.
  • One suspects that he may have had one AP of Regeneration since birth, and after retrieving his hand after Sonja hacked it off. If so, lower the Initiative given by one.

The demonic hand of Valcan

In game terms the Hand is simply considered as an Artefact (a mystical Gadget) with the following stats :

DEMON CLAW
BODY 08 INT 05 WIL 06
Hero points: 020

Powers:
Self-link (Anatomical division): 04, Claws: 07, Danger sense: 04, Flame being: 04, Neutralise (see below): 09, Regeneration: 04, Sharpness (Flame being): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Self-Link (Anatomical division) denotes that the hand can survive and remain mobile even without a body to support it. In such a disembodied state, use the APs of Anatomical Division as the hand’s DEX (and movement speed) and STR as it runs around just like its homologue from the Adams family.
  • Danger Sense can only function in a quiet setting where there is a single source of danger, in close proximity to Claw. It’s thus chiefly useful when somebody close to Claw is about to bury a knife into his back, and never plays a role in battle.
  • Flame being is limited to the hand itself, but can also be used on an item the paw is holding, although the item is not protected against the damage from Flame Being. It was once used to turn a sword into a flaming blade.
  • Flame Being (and the attendant Sharpness) only work against certain chaos creatures with a strong connection to the void, such as conjured eaters of soul or earth elementals animated by the Shadow-Gods.
  • Neutralise is limited to dispelling magical effects. It may be limited to affecting magical fires (or possibly magical fires that are tied to the Void and chaos). Neutralise manifests as opening small apertures into the void, which suck in the magical energy to be dispelled.
  • Regeneration can “regrow body parts” in the sense that if the hand is hacked off Valcan’s body a new one can sprout and grow in its place. See below for more. Normally only the hand Regenerates – but see “Demon’s Blood !” above for more about that.
  • Claws can be Extradimensional (+2) as a Minor Marginal Ability, see below.

Skills:
Martial artist (AV, OV): 09, Occultist (Identify artefact): 08, Thief (Stealth – only when disembodied): 06

Advantages:
Leadership, Life Support (Full), Schtick (Paired Claw and melee weapon), Stabilisation

Bonuses and Limitations:
Leadership can only be used on the person bearing the hand

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance, Catastrophic Rage

When ungloving to claw at opponents, the CLAW uses Martial Artist set to AV and the Claw Power. When going all out and fighting with the ungloved hand and a melee weapon use Paired weapons Schtick reinforcing his Claw Power, the CLAWS’s Hero Points funnelled via Leadership and Martial Artist set to OV.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Claw the Unconquered — Averaged PL 9.6 (w/demon hand)

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
04 03 04 04 06 01 02 02

Devices

Oraculum gauntlet ● 1 point (Noticeable, Easily Removable)
Immunity to all fire effects, all magic effects (both Limited 1 – to Half-Effect) (both Limited 2 – only protects the hand beneath the gauntlet, not Claw)

Demon hand ● 21 points (Noticeable)
– Demon ferocity taking over — Enhanced fighting 1, All-out Attack, Close Attack 1, Defensive Roll 1, Improved Critical 3 (Damage effects from the hand), Improved grab, Second chance (Mystical possession and drains)
– Spellcasting — Array :

  • Clawing attack — Damage 8 Close non-Strength-based, Critical 17-20 ● Descriptor: Edged
  • Burns with infernal fire — Damage 11 (Close non-Strength based Penetrating, Critical 17-20, Limited 2 (Demons with unusually close ties to the Shadow-Gods) ● Descriptors: Fire, magic, demonic
  • Sucks magic into the void — Nullify (Magical effects) 9, Close ● Descriptor: Magic, chaos

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 6, Defensive roll 2, Improved initiative, Power Attack, Ranged attack 7, Uncanny Dodge — plus additional Advantages above when he removes his glove and lets the demon hand take over

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Reluctant champion of the gods of Elder Light), Benefit 1 (Ambidextry), Equipment 1, Fearless

Skills

Athletics 5 (+9), Deception 3 (+5), Insight 5 (+7), Perception 6 (+8), Persuasion 3 (+5), Stealth 2 (+6), Treatment 2 (+3) (Limited 1 – to Stabilise and Revive)

Equipment

Sword ● 4 pts

Offense

Initiative +8
Unarmed +12, Close, Damage 4
Broadsword +12 (+13 when the demon hand is active), Close, Damage 7, Crit. 19-20
Demon claw +13, Close, Damage 8, Critical 17-20

Defense

Dodge 12 Fortitude 7
Parry 13**/12 Toughness 6**/5/3*
Will 8

* Without Defensive Roll
** When the demon hand is active

Complications

  • Motivation A weak case of Responsibility
  • Temper Having the demon hand influence him or take over
  • Power loss Reluctant to use the demon hand due to the possession risk
  • Secret Having his demon hand exposed in inappropriate circumstances
  • Previously Obsession Discovering who he is and Enemy Occulas of the Yellow Eye

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 10 (11 w/demon hand), Dodge/Toughness PL 9, Parry/Toughness PL 9 (10 w/demon hand), Fort & Will PL 8
  • Point total 133 Abilities 52, Defences 24, Skills 13, Powers 0, Devices 22, Advantages 22. Equiv. PL 9.

Notes

Claw has been known to have Regeneration 03 (see the Demon’s Blood ! subsection in the Powers & Abilities section) but this came at a steep cost, lowering every Attribute but his Strength and Stamina by 02.

He briefly used artefacts of Law – the sword Moonthorn [Strength-based Damage 4 Penetrating 4, Critical 18-20] and crystalline throwing disks [Ranged Multiattack Damage 3 Penetrating 3, Critical 19-20].

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen and Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Claw the Unconquered (DC comics) and later appearances and crossovers.

Helper(s): Darci

Writeup updated and expanded on the 7th of May, 2011.

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