Hyxrc’s Claw in Tremanac | World Anvil

Hyxrc’s Claw

As the second years of darkness were coming to an end some of the survivors sent out scouts to check on the level of demon activity. As these brave explorers returned from their expeditions they were bombarded with questions about what they had seen, and how many demons they had had to fight off. The stories told by the scouts were frequently more than a little exaggerated, anf it becmae tradition to bring back proof of their victories.  
It is well known that fiends disintegrate when they are slain, so the scouts took to creating fake demon claws from the creatures they did encounter. Most people in the shelters knew exactly what was going on, but they were more than happy to indulge the scouts by being appropriately impressed by the trophies. Some even took to collecting the claws in the same way that people from the previous age would collect paintings, pottery, or glasswork. Demand for the claws continues to this day, and the scouts who created the best made ones are talked about in the same way as some of the great artists of previous ages.
The claws ended up being used to help children get used to the idea of going outside the shelter for the first time. Yes it may be dangerous outside, the message went, but with the right training even the dangers out there can be overcome.
  In 120 a previously unknown claw came onto the market. It was claimed that it came from a demon called Hyxrc and that this was the first time it was being sold since it had been bought from the scout who crafted it. Some thought it was a modern replica while others thought that the craftmanship meant it might be a previously unknown work by Marie of Niltun. It eventually sold for a moderate price to a collector in Trem.   In 124 a thief broke into the collector's home. It seems they were stopped by a guard but it wasn't clear what happened after that. The following day the collector's attendants arrived to find the bodies of the thief, the guard, and the collector. All three had been torn apart and the inside of the house trashed. The incident was covered up and the collection of claws was quietly sold on.   Six years later in the spring of 130 the claw was involved in another incident when it was being transported between Trem and the capital. Bandits attacked the merchant carrying the claw, but when a patrol came across the remains of the attack they found the merchant, guards, and the bandits torn apart. While the goods from the wagon were scattered qround it seemed like nothing had been taken, so the guards put the strangeness of the scene down to an animal attack.   Fourteen years passed before the next incident. The claw had been acquired by a minor Baron who had purchased it cheaply after the bandit attack. One night the Baron and his wife were hacing an altercation. Their servants had learned that it was safest to stay out of the way until things blew over, but this night the usual shouts of anger became screams of terror and pain. The servants refused to go anywhere near the family chambers until it had been checked by the Baron's guards. The guards found the Baron and his wife torn apart, with furniture thrown around, torn and smashed. In the middle of the room lay the claw, covered in blood. The Baron's sister was summoned to take over the barony and the claw was quietly sold on.  
Despite Stillen's description no-one is entirely sure what the claw is. It could be an actual demon claw, preserved somehow. Or it could be a fake that has been enchanted or cursed. Either way it seems that fighting or spilling blood near the claw will activate it.
This pattern of ignoring or covering up incidents continued until 190 when Stillin Coppersmith was unfortunate enough to see what was happening with the claw (but was fortunate enough to survive). Stillen had been staying at the Todels' estate while completing some work for them. During the night he heard an arguement outside. When he opened the shutters he saw Murien Todel arguing with someone he didn't know. A knife flashed and suddenly there was a deep growl from the trophy room down below. A tall figure, almost entirely translucent smashed it's way outside and attacjed the surprised pair outside. According to Stillen's somewhat hysterical description afterwards the only thing that looked entirely solid on the demonic looking creature was it's right claw.
  By the time anyone in authority learned the detail of what had happened the claw had vanished. The surviving Todels claimed to have nothing to do with it's disappearance, and indeed there was little chance for them to have disposed of it. Attempts were made to track the claw but even the Royal Diviner was unable to track it. There have been several more incidents that appear to be the work of the claw, but it has yet to be recovered.
This was written for Spooktober 2023 to answer the Claw Prompt.
Claw's History
Much of the claw's history was covered up by those keen to dispose of it for a decent price. Discovering at least some of what happened around it required significant effort from Royal Diviner Virris, but even that powerful seer has been unable to locate the claw or determine who created it.
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Cover image: Harvest is coming by Tanai Cuinsear


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