Black Claw

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Black Claw
Zalsus, a Black Claw kobold

Source: Dungeons of Golarion, pg(s). 5ff.'

The Black Claw (sometimes Black Claws, Black Claw Kobolds or Black Claw kobolds) are a large clan of kobolds inhabiting the Candlestone Caverns, located in the Aspodell Mountains of northeastern Andoran. They are the dominant kobold tribe in the Caverns, having numerous smaller tribes who pay them fealty, in an almost feudal system.1


The tribe's name comes from the destructive practice of the warriors coating their claws in spider venom during times of war and as a coming-of-age ritual, which eventually turns them black. This makes them more deadly, but also leads to their eventual death through prolonged exposure to the poison, which is difficult to wash off.1 The kobolds themselves are generally either red- or black-scaled, and are said to be able to control local giant vermin.2


The members of this tribe are ingenious trap-makers, and the local human population has learned to quickly avoid areas where they can be found. The Black Claw are also the creators of a series of one-way tunnels which help to protect the kobolds from the predation of dangerous Darklands predators. These routes funnel the dark abominations from below the Caverns, past the Black Claw territory, and release them onto the surface world, much to the surprise of the local rangers and druids.3


King Vexatox is the current ruler of the Black Claws. His cousin, Captain Zalsus spends his time in the Vault, sparring with warriors, composing reports to the king, organizing transfers of slaves, and occasionally joining patrols in their rounds through the Vault.4 King Vexatox and his family are developing into a feudal ruler class of sorts, and believe that have pure dragon blood in them, and the blessing of their draconic forebears. They also claim to be allied with drow forces through their connections to the Darklands.52


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jonathan H. Keith, et al. Andoran: Birthplace of Freedom” in Andoran, Spirit of Liberty, 9. Paizo Inc., 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mat Smith, et al. “Tribes” in Kobolds of Golarion, 10. Paizo Inc., 2013
  3. Jonathan H. Keith, et al. Andoran: Birthplace of Freedom” in Andoran, Spirit of Liberty, 8–9. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. Jason Bulmahn, et al. Candlestone Caverns” in Dungeons of Golarion, 12. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 2: Uncommon Races” in Inner Sea Races, 145. Paizo Inc., 2015