Claws Lock Deep was once a priestess named Goa Hakeala, on a small island in the West. The island and everyone on it were the property of House Nellens, ruled by the merchantile and businesslike Nellens Badu. So long as Goa’s tribe provided sugarcane and companionship to the ruling class, they were treated civilly. When they did not, they were beaten. Goa led secret prayers for the strength to endure… and, occasionally, for deliverance.
Then soldiers from Skullstone came. Dark ships arrived, with messengers whiter than sheets. They were repelled. More came, and more. Eventually, after a battle within the mayoral palace itself that Goa’s tribe could scarcely see, House Nellens abandoned the island and sailed east toward Wu Jian and home. Goa’s island was abandoned in its time of need by those who had abused them for centuries.
Goa stopped praying to the Elemental Dragons to gift their children with mercy and forbearance. She instead turned to the forbidden prayers, to the Incarna, to the Fickle Lady of Rage and Beauty. Angry, she demanded the power to stop the invaders. She remembers screaming at the sky, cursing the full moon above for its silence, her eyes shut tight and streaming with tears, and being slapped, hard across the face, by someone she did not see. She fell to the ground in shock. When she stood, she was streaming with moonlight and rage.
She took a new name that night. Claws Lock Deep tore through the invaders, choking, crushing, reaping them like the canes of her island. She fought the deathknight known as Pain to a standstill, forcing her into retreat with her pure hatred. She rallied her people and armed them with her fury.
After a week of ceaseless battle, the invaders withdrew. Goa’s gifts did not, nor did her anger. Her old persona had become a thin shell over her seething rage at years of mistreatment and injustice. It took little provocation to bring this to the surface. She saw it in their eyes: her people now feared their savior. Fearing that she would kill someone in her rage, she left the island in the form of a falcon.
Claws Lock Deep briefly met a group of more experienced Lunars, who convinced her of the necessity of their traditional tattoos. They inducted her into the Silver Pact and recommended that she seek out the Caul, where elders lived who could help her tame her rage.
The winds blew her to Athanor instead.
Claws is quite beautiful, with soft tanned skin, black hair, and red lips. She wears the ceremonial mask and headdress of her old position upon her forehead. When she goes into battle she lowers the mask over her face.
She has just one animal form thus far: that of a Peregrine falcon, swift and deadly. It is likely that she will have more skins to wear by the time this battle is over.
Claws Lock Deep is an eggshell of civility and nerves. When that shell cracks, no bargaining or pleading can reach her in her anger. When the rage fades, she sometimes feels shame. Sometimes she does not.
Intimacies: “My exaltation is a curse with which I strike at my enemies” (Defining), “Nellens Badu will pay for abandoning us” (Major), “The Deathknight named Pain” (Negative, Major), “I will not be made a slave again” (Major), “The Silver Pact” (Positive)
Trained as a priestess, but born into a life of servitude, Claws Lock Deep speaks both Wavetongue and the High Tongue of the Realm. She knows how to propitiate spirits and how to organize people. She knows how to watch the weather and the waves, when to sow and reap, how to till the soil and catch the delicious trilobites that scuttle along the beaches of the West. Her fighting talents are mostly instinctual, drawn from past lives, and she relies heavily on the terror that her assaults provoke in her target.
Claws is a Full-Moon Lunar, and her essence is the breath of battle itself. Her totem is the Peregrine falcon. When she fights she instinctively enters her war form. Talons grow on her hands and feet. Her mouth becomes a cruel beak. She has no wings, but she is swift and strong, and her claws are quick to catch and lock. Her birdlike scream invokes the fear inherent in all prey creatures – and before the Lunars, all are prey. If her prey runs, she can catch it. If it hides, she will see it or smell it. If it strikes at her, she can dodge quickly and gracefully – not that a single wound will be enough to take her down.
Thus far her essence fills the space between her mortal skills. If she survives here, it may come to enhance her abilities, in time. She has the power she asked for, but little more.
- Ten-Touch Tenoch, who inducted her into the Silver Pact. Wily, personable, calming.
- Pao Mehaka, who fought alongside Claws against the invaders. Old, strong, intense.
- Nellens Disessa, who knows where Claws’ family lives. Talkative, incautious, indebted.
- Claws Lock Deep sees her power as a curse. Would she give it up if she could? Does she see this contest as the opportunity to become something else?
- Did the Silver Pact members that she met tell her to distrust the Sidereals? If so, how strongly does she weigh those words?