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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Claw, the Unconquered 6 - Claw battles his nightmares

Michelinie and Chan continue with the quest for the Grimstone in Claw, the Unconquered 6 (March/April 1976).

Claw and Ghilkyn are heading for the town of Dhylka-Ryn, the location of the next piece of the Grimstone when they come across a woman from that town, seeking help. 

She explains that she had fallen in love with a boy from the town, a simple minded one who all the townspeople, including her father, were cruel and abusive to. He used the power of the Grimstone to take over the town, subjecting those within it to physical manifestations of their darkest fears and memories, while sealing the town off in a shroud of blackness, to prevent anyone from escaping. She was able to get through only because he never directed any evil power of the stone towards her.

She offers Claw a bag of silver to help her, but he refuses this, as taking the stone away from the guy is what he wants anyway. She brings Claw and Ghilkyn to her town, and Claw has to battle the ghostly manifestations of every creature he had ever killed. 

The boy then uses the stone to evoke a blackness that is, apparently, pure death. Claw's demon hand once again begins to act on its own, and shows an ability to magically repel the blackness. This terrifies the boy, as much as it disturbs Claw himself, and the kid runs away, dropping the piece of the Grimstone. Without the stone under his control, the boy then falls victim to the physical memories of all those who had attacked him growing up, and he dies. It's a solid chapter, with a bitterness to it that works well. As the story ends the girl's father offers up his daughter to Claw if he will stay in the town to protect them all, and he just punches the guy in the face and leaves.

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