Real Name: Keiv
Hyborian era (circa 10,000 BC);
former magicigally-empowered being
Occupation: Adventurer, art and decor collector, confidence man, thief, gambler;
former reluctant warrior
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Anneka, Conan, Imhotep (Ravager of Worlds), Jahli, Jamal, Kaleb, Kobe, Mad Simeon, Red Sonja, Shapur, unidentified scavengers;
ally of convenience with Delmurio, although neither man liked the other;
formerly Prince Irham, Kawagne, Nostume, Picts, Solaise, Tetra, Thulsa Doom;
he invoked Mitra
Enemies: Ahmet and his soldiers,
Council of the Seven, demon wolf, Devourer of Souls (Wrarrl), General Freja and his forces, Kawagne, Maddoc II, Nostume and his ghouls, Pathir/Tetra, Renrutanit,
sea serpent, Baron Strakkus (or the monster posing as him) and his guards, Ybn, Zingarans; unspecified beings at an Argossean trading post
formerly Conan, Delmurio, Imhotep (Ravager of Worlds), Prince Irham and his forces, Shapur
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Formerly Keiv the Man-Monster;
posed as the squire to the Brotherhood of Maddocean Priests;
Delmurio called him "you black-hearted motherless cur," "walking, talking clump of weeds"
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
mobile throughout many nations/realms, including
Argos; an unidentified island in the Western sea; Becharadur, Shem; el
Shah Maddoc; Koth; Ophir; Poitan; Napolonia, Corinthia
formerly a literal treehouse in the Pictish wilderness;
First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#173 (August, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: Keiv was a collector of antiquities, valuables, and wealth.
While intelligent and shrewd, he
was generally lacking in compassion and bravery (although in his
monstrous form he didn't abandon Conan when he could have easily done
so). He preferred to sit, drink wine, and find ways that profited
himself. He had no particularly fighting skills and generally avoided
violence. He could not swim.
In his monstrous form, he was
large and strong (perhaps lifting 2-5 tons). He was seemingly composed
of a mass of vegetation, which was unharmed by most forms of
conventional assaults (like the Man-Thing), and it lacked any internal organs. Swords and
arrows passed into his form without harm; he lamented that he could not
become drunk. Presumably floating on water, he could swim in this form.
Height: Unrevealed; approximately 6'10" or taller (even partially bent over, he was taller than Conan)
(mutated form) unrevealed (he seemed to vary between 10' to 15')
Weight: Unrevealed; approximately 260 lbs.
(mutated form) unrevealed (perhaps 1-4 tons depending on his density)
Eyes: Brown (sometimes blue);
(mutated form) solid white or red (often shown in shadow as black)
Hair: Bald (or head shaved), with black eyebrows, mustache, and petit goatee;
(mutated form) none; composed of green vegetation-like material
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv's lust for life drew him away from his northern homeland of Hyperborea.
the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - Fearing that his memory might fail
him with the passage of time, the Well of Souls-empowered and virtually immortal Nostume made a map to his island.
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Nostume's map was obtained by
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - The map was handed down from many generations.
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - The map was believed to lead to great treasure (although no one but Nostume had known what that treasure was), and
eventually an owner tore it in half, in hopes of selling it twice.
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - "Certain inconsistencies between
Keiv's business practices and local laws forced him into seclusion in
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) -
In the Pictish wilderness, Keiv allied with the Pictish high priest
Kawagne; in exchange for the Picts providing him with safety and
warriors (which would allow him to obtain wealth), Keiv would teach
Kawagne about the world of civilized men.
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) -Within
a large, seemingly simple treehouse, he had built a veritable sultan's
palace. He and his Pictish allies on occasion staged raids to quell his
lust for exotic decor.
Zingarans used bows and
arrows in an attempt to stop them, although Keiv, at least,
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv obtained both copies of the map.
(Conan the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Keiv learned the legends of the Well of Souls to which the map led.
the Barbarian I#181 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Keiv heard the legends of the tower in El Shah Maddoc known as Maddoc's reign.
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually,
after one of Keiv's raids of Zingara, Zingaran Captain Delmurio was
sent to arrest him, unaware the Keiv had nearly a thousand Picts with
him. After Delmurio's defeat, Keiv used a dagger to carve a copy of
half of the map on Delmurio's chest.
Delmurio allegedly later forced Keiv to flee Zingara; the original map
which he had copied on Delmurio was apparently destroyed, while he lost
the other half.
(Conan the Barbarian I#172 (fb) - BTS / Conan
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Purchasing the other half of the map in Zingara, Brythunian nobleman Zacharus had it sewn into the
inside of his daughter Tetra's dress without her knowledge in order to keep it hidden.
(Conan the Barbarian I#172 (fb) - BTS / Conan
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS)
- Seeking the other half of the map, which was reportedly owned by a
Hyperborean living deep within Pictland, Zacharus led a caravan,
including Tetra, into Pictland. The Picts slaughtered all but Zacharus
and Tetra, who were saved with aid from
Cimmerian barbarian Conan.(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Pictish high priest Kawagne -- who sought vengeance for Conan's ruining of the Pictish harvest ritual -- arranged
with Keiv to lead Conan to Nostume, in hopes that Nostume would destroy
Conan. Kawagne warned Keiv not to say anything of the map's origins.
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Delmurio led ninety-nine Zingaran soldiers
into the Pictish wilderness in hopes of finding and slaying Keiv.
the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking the other half of a treasure
Conan and Tetra sought out Keiv in his treehouse/fortress,
manipulating the Picts and Zingarans into slaughtering each other in
the Barbarian I#173) - Keiv greeted his visitors, who were astounded at
the interior's opulent appearance, explaing it to have been supplied by
his raids and criticizing the Zingarans for lacking a sense of humor.
He then introduced himself and took a keen interest in Tetra, whom
Conan warned was less than 17 years old and to remain pure. Tetra asked
Keiv about the map, and when he feigned ignorance, Conan hauled the
taller man to his feet and threatening him to comply. Seeming pressured
by Conan, Keiv agreed to bring them to the map; instead, Keiv led them
toward Nostume, unaware they were observed and followed by Delmurio.
the Barbarian I#173) -
Meanwhile, Kawagne traveled to Nostume, informing him that Keiv
was leading Conan there soon and asking Nostume to slay Conan.
the Barbarian I#173) - When Keiv arrived with Conan and Tetra in
Nostume's cave, Kawagne told him it was about time they arrived, and
Nostume caused a number of roots to erupt and begin crushing Conan
However, Delmurio then shot
Nostume in the shoulder with his crossbow and warned everyone to stay
back so he could kill Keiv. Leaping over Delmurio's first swordswipe,
Keiv noted that he was impressed that Delmurio had led 100 men a week's
journey into Pictland just for revenge. Delmurio countered that revenge
was too good a word, as he meant to wallow in savage butchery. As he
caught Keiv with a sword slash to the arm, he told Keiv he should have
killed him when he had the chance, but then Conan -- having escaped the
roots after Nostume was distracted with the arrow -- knocked Delmurio
back, insisting Keiv was his to kill.
Partially recoverd and deciding they all
should die, Nostume dropped a large stone wall, cutting himself and
Kawagne off from the others, and then caused a cave-in to kill the
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 -
BTS) - Conan -- carrying Tetra -- and Delmurio rushed out, while
Keiv pounded on the stone wall, reminding Kawagne that they had had a
(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Nostume subsequently transformed Keiv into a giant plant-creature.
the Barbarian I#173) - Hours later, Nostume magically restored his
collapsed cavern, after which -- at Kawagne's request -- Nostume sent Keiv
to track down Conan and his
companions and kill them all. Realizing he was doomed to spend all
eternity as a shapeless and repulsive man-thing, Keiv blamed Delmurio
and Conan and determined to slay them; he headed out in slow pursuit of
the Barbarian I#176) - At the remains of an Argossean trading post,
Keiv questioned the sole survivor about a Cimmerian, a Zingaran army
captain, and a Brythunian. After the man noted that they were there
three days ago, headed for Messantia, Keiv thanked the man as he
snapped his neck and then shambled onward to Messantia, determined to
see that Conan never left there.
the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv swam and caught up to the Black Ship, which
Conan, Delmurio, and Tetra. During this time, Keiv came to rightfully
blame Nostume for his mutation and to regret betraying Conan to Nostume.
the Barbarian I#177) - Keiv reached aboard the Black Ship and pulled
one of its crewmen (who were preparing to fight Conan when he insisted
they continue sailing out towards what they thought was the edge of the
world). Climbing into the boat and shattering a portion of its bulwark in the process, Keiv
grabbed and began tossing about the crewmen. The captain called for the
crew below the deck to help, but Keiv easily overpowered them as well.
drew his sword and prepared to face this monstrous creature, Keiv asked
if that was any manner to treat a man who had come to save his life.
Recognizing Keiv's voice despite his monstrous form, Delmurio charged
his enemy with his battleaxe drawn. Conan reminded Delmurio that Keiv
said he had come to save them, but Delmurio questioned whether they
were in any danger, at which point Keiv pointed out the giant sea
serpent under the control of Nostume. Before they could further
respond, the serpent shattered the Black Ship.
the ship's debris alongside Tetra and the surviving crewmen (Conan, the
ship's captain, and a few other crewmen had been thrown out of their
site), Delmurio asked if this was Keiv's idea of saving them, but Keiv
clarified that he had come to save Conan to make amends for his earlier
betrayal. He further explained to Delmurio he had found a sense of
humor from the nature of his own betrayal and transformation. He
additionally clarified that Nostume was a time traveler, walking the
timestream, forward or back.
As they reached the shore, Keiv, Tetra,
Delmurio, and the others with them were confronted by Nostume's ghouls
the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - The ghouls brought them to Nostume's
the Barbarian I#177) - When Delmurio questioned what was this accursed
place, Keiv told him to use his one good eye to recognize it as a place
of evil and death; he clarified that this was the "treasure" to which
the map had been leading them. He further clarified that the existence
of a treasure was just a merchant's tale to increase the map's value,
and that is was just meant to be a reminder to help Nostume in case his
memory failed him with time.
Nostume then appeared and revealed his origins
within the Well of Souls. Completing the telling of the legend of the
Well's power -- describing that those who reached its depths would
enter a world of madness and gain limitless power -- Keiv tore his
bonds, and moved forward while announcing
his goal of killing Nostume. At Nostume's command, however, the ghouls
Keiv and -- catching him unaware of his proximity to the Well and
overwhelming him with weight of numbers -- drove him into the Well.
(Conan the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv's immense size allowed him to span the walls of the Well and halt his fall.
the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - After Nostume had his ghouls throw
Delmurio into the Well, Delmurio landed on Keiv, which prevented
Delmurio from falling into the Well's depths.
the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - After Tetra slashed Nostume's face with
her dagger, he had his ghouls through Tetra into the Well; Tetra landed
on Keiv as well, after which
Keiv climbed back up the Well, carrying Delmurio and Tetra with
(Conan the Barbarian I#177) - Nostume returned, moments after he left; his appearance startled Tetra such that she fell back into the Well of Souls.
Instructing Delmurio and Keiv to stay back,
Conan approached Nostume.
the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - Tetra reached the bottom of the Well of Souls, entered the "Other World," and gained the Well's power.
the Barbarian I#177) - Abruptly, the power vanished from Nostume, and Conan ended Nostume's life with another sword strike.
the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - The
newly-empowered and maddened +/- corrupted / possessed Tetra leveled the temple.
the Barbarian I#178) - When Keiv commented on this, Delmurio mocked his
stupidity and told him Nostume had done the world a service by
transforming him into a mockery of humanity. However, when a chasm
opened up below his feet, Delmurio begged Keiv to pull him to safety;
Keiv enjoyed telling Delmurio he was so stupid that he couldn't figure
out how to get him out of there, and he left Delmurio hanging there.
Later, when Tetra collapsed, helpless and in agony,
Keiv pointed out to Conan that the power had apparently transferred
into a giant white demon-wolf. Climbing out of the chasm, Delmurio
vowed to kill Keiv, but Keiv advised Delmurio to kill him later but to
first watch his flank as the demon wolf approached. Keiv then explained
that the demon wolf was part of the confirmation rites of the ancient
evil ones, that an innocent was baptized into power and then the
stalker came to consummate the new bond, to make the corruption as
complete as the transformation. Adding that the wolf sought only Tetra,
and that it would kill them one by one until its thirst was quenched
with her virgin blood, Keiv advised they give it what it wanted.
This angered Conan, and when Keiv explained that
Tetra had already died when she bridged the portal between worlds (with
the evil essence of the power within the Well having shaped itself into
Conan accused him of attempting to disguise his cowardice, leading Keiv
to punch Conan out. Delmurio then shattered a stone club against Keiv's
face, but Keiv lifted Delmurio high into the air and considered killing
him before deciding he would serve better to feed and delay the wolf.
Walking off, Keiv noted his plan to swim many miles to Argos.
Keiv subsequently returned, saving Conan from the
demon wolf (which had slain Delmurio in his absence) and then advising
the wolf to take the helpless Tetra rather than face their might, and
it claimed Tetra as both vanished in a flash, despite Conan's protests.
the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - Conan and Keiv attempted to swim back
to Argos. They drifted far southward and, as Conan became totally
exhausted, Keiv swam him for days to the west coast of the meadow
region of Shem.
(Conan the Barbarian I#179) - As both Keiv and
Conan remained unconscious on the beach, they were observed by the
young thief Jamal, who fled back to Becharadur, partially to avoid
getting involved with the barbarian and monster.
Later, fleeing Ahmet, the captain of the guard, and
his men, Jamal returned to the beach and tripped over Keiv; to save his
life, Jamal told Ahmet the still unconscious barbarian was the one
foretold in the prophecies that could save Becharadur from the coming Imhotep the Ravager.
(Conan the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - The
presence of the apparently fallen monster caused Ahmet to believe Conan
was indeed the one who could save them. Conan was brought to
Becharadur, while the guards filled Keiv with arrows.
Upon learning this, Conan had Jamal lead him back to Keiv.
the Barbarian I#179) - Conan's voice revived Keiv; unharmed by the
arrows, he nonetheless wondered if he was the victim of some sort of
(Conan the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv accompanied Jamal and Conan back to Becharadur.
the Barbarian I#179) - Days later, Keiv remained aloof at a celebratory
feast. While Conan enjoyed the company of some young women, Keiv warned
him that he didn't like the situation one bit. He was not pleased when
Conan prepared to depart with the women.
Later, as Keiv cursed Nostume as he learned
that the newest problem with his form: He could not become drunk; he
envied the passed out party-goers. Following the sound of a commotion
on the streets, he found the people -- perhaps guided by agents of the
power-hungry Ahmet -- had hanged the prophet who had spoken of their
savior; no possessing the savior, they had no need of the prophet. He
then saw a glow on the horizon.
the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - Returning to the palace, Keiv found
the dead Jamal -- slain by Ahmet's men -- outside the room in which
Conan slept, clutching the Amulet of Pathir.
(Conan the Barbarian I#179) - Keiv
smashed into the room in which Conan slept, warned him of the
approaching glow, told him of Jamal's death, and gave him the amulet
Jamal had held. Ahmet and his men arrived and commanded them to stay
(perhaps believing Conan could save them), but Keiv and Conan swiftly
overwhelmed the guards. However, as Imhotep approached, the whole
castle shattered and collapsed. Keiv sought to protect Conan with his
(Conan the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv and Conan awakened to find no trace of Becharadur
remaining, save for the unidentified prophet's hanging corpse. After
Conan suggested the amulet had saved them, Keiv considered that the
prophet's appearance also fit the prophecy. He asked Conan how he felt
about having become the savior that could prevent Imhotep from ravaging
the world; Conan didn't think much of it, but merely advised they get a
the Barbarian I#180) - En route to El Shah Maddoc, Keiv lifted Conan
high in the air so the Cimmerian could get his bearings and guide them
to safety. Keiv mocked Conan's belief in the legends of Imhotep.
the Barbarian I#180 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv ambushed and captured by the witch queen Renrutanit and her
agents; he was nowhere to be seen as Conan abruptly fell to the ground.
the Barbarian I#180 - BTS) - From the Kothian general Soto, Conan
learned that Renrutanit likely had captured his ally. Searching the forest for
Keiv, Conan encountered a young witch whom he forced to bring him to
Ren. The witch queen agreed to bring Conan to Keiv if he granted her two
boons: (1) Bringing her the head of General Soto; (2) indulging her in
some romance. After providing the latter, he slew a lizard with a
morningstar and wrapped the weapon in Soto's cloak to make Renrutanit think it
was Soto's head.
the Barbarian I#180) - After Ren raised Keiv from the sunken rock on
which he was bound, Conan revealed his duplicity and subsequently
decapitated Ren. Finally, as Imhotep arrived, Conan grasped Keiv's
hand, and his amulet protected them both from his power.
Conan and Keiv both lay unconscious on the ground,
Tetra appeared, greeted Conan, and claimed Ren's head, taking control
of her daughters as well.
the Barbarian I#181 (fb) - BTS) - As Keiv and Conan approached El Shah
Maddoc, Conan had Keiv hide out of sight while he gained entrance into
the Barbarian I#181) - Granted asylum by Swan (a prophetess and the
agent of the city's ruler, Maddoc II), Conan summoned Keiv. Wandering
the city, Keiv was impressed with the Maddoc's Reign tower, relating
its origins to Conan. Watching Maddoc demonstrate his prowess against
other warriors, Keiv bowed when warlord Shapur demanded all bow, and he
encouraged Conan to do the same; Conan refused. This led to a
confrontation until Conan revealed that he was there to save them from
a threat from which only his amulet could protect them; Maddoc accepted
this when Swan's prophecy supported the danger.
The pride of Maddoc and Shapur contributed to the
guards attacking Conan and Keiv, who made short work of them until Swan
broke up the fight.
Swan voiced Maddoc's agreement to accept Conan's
warning if Conan could retrieve Maddoc's father (the founder of El Shah
Maddoc)'s ring from the top of El Shah Maddoc, where the elder Maddoc
was believed to have perished. Conan was not interested in this quest,
but Keiv urged him that "for an hour's work, we will be rewarded as
kings." He further noted that Conan had been staring at the tower,
unaware that Conan had seen Tetra at its top.
the Barbarian I#181 - BTS) - Conan entered Maddoc's Reign and recovered the still-living, though maddened Maddoc I.
the Barbarian I#181) - Keiv accompanied Conan as he delivered Maddoc I
to Maddoc II, which earned Conan the title of Warlord of El Shah Maddoc
and the enmity of former warlord Shapur.
the Barbarian I#184) - Keiv greeted Conan when he returned to El Shah
Madoc, and was surprised to see that Conan had made a servant of
Later, as Conan rallied his forces against Maddoc II
who had betrayed them, Keiv suggested they had earned enough wealth and
should just take the amulet and head to the next kingdom. When Conan
conversed with Imhotep, as no one else could hear Imotep, Keiv thought
Conan was talking to himself, until Conan explained the situation.
As Conan's forces rushed Maddoc II's castle, Keiv
stated that he had a really bad feeling about this. Nonetheless, Keiv
ripped the porticullis from the castle's entrance and then stayed at
the front of the charge alongside Imhotep. As Conan instructed them to
find Maddoc II, Keiv considered how ghastly Imhotep was, and that how
hypocritical it was of him to think so.
Keiv and Imhotep caught up with Conan after he threw
Maddoc II out the window to his death, informing him that most of
Maddoc's forces had been rooting for him and were on his side.
When Tetra suddenly appeared, Keiv asked if she wasn't dead, after which she blew up the whole castle.
the Barbarian I#185) - Conan agreed to become Tetra's consort, but only
on his terms. He had her restore the castle and everyone in it as they
were prior to its destruction, after which he
sent Keiv and Imhotep out of the room; Keiv voiced his disapproval of
being dismissed thusly but waited outside as instructed. Conan then had
restore Keiv to his human state: Feeling as if he was boiling some sort
of foul energy field, Keiv feared things were going badly, but he was
ecstatic upon returning to normal, and he acknowledged that Conan knew
what he was doing.
After Conan convinced Tetra to give up her power and
then slew her (during which conflict, Tetra confirmed that she was the
Well's evil essence), Imhotep departed, and Keiv was pleased to see
that Conan was alright. Conan then noted that the war was over.
the Barbarian I#187) - As Conan pressured Shapur to provide names with
which they could build a circle of trusted allies to guide and
protect young Jahli,
Keiv suggested Conan was being melodramatic and asked why they didn't
just leave. When Conan agreed to leave once Jahli's future was secured,
Keiv asked if there was anyone trustworthy left in the city. After
Shapur suggested a pair of men from the group of prisoners Maddoc had
made his soldiers, Conan approved them just before being overwhelmed by
exhaustion and collapsing. As Shapur and Anneka carried Conan to his
chambers, Shapur mockingly told Keiv not to bother helping; more than
satisfied with that option, Keiv further suggested they consider that
Conan was popular enough to seize power if Jahli died. Though both
denied this as a possibility, it nonetheless made them slightly
suspicious of Conan.
the Barbarian I#187 - BTS) - Anneka fought off a group of assassins,
but then sent Jahli away with one of her former housemaids to keep him
As Keiv accompanied Shapur in recruiting Mad Simeon,
they were attacked by assassins under the direction of Ybn,
commissioned by the Council of the Seven...though Simeon made short
work of the group. Similarly, when they traveled to recruit the giant
Aesir known as Kaleb, another batch of assassins attacked, but Kaleb
Anneka, Kaleb, Keiv, Shapur, and Simeon returned to
Conan shortly after he revived and slew another assassin. Learning what
Anneka had done, Conan told her she had signed Jahli's death warrant.
the Barbarian I#188) - Keiv accompanied Conan, Anneka,
Kaleb, Shapur, and Simeon in searching for Jahli. After they fought off
a band of assassins, Conan arranged for one to escape so they could
follow him to Ybn, the leader of the assassins. Conan and his allies
eventually slew Ybn and the assassins, but found Jahli was already
the Barbarian I#189) - Keiv was present at the funeral for Jahli during
which Conan denounced the Seven Apostles, accusing one of them as
having been responsible for Jahli's death and vowing to find out which
one and send him or her to Arallu (a Hell-like realm).
After the Devourer of Worlds slew the first of the
Apostles, Alcazar, by hanging, a bemused Keiv noted in regards to Alcazar, "You
have to admit, he's looked better."
the Barbarian I#189 - BTS) - The Devourer slew the other five known
Apostles, though neither Keiv, nor Conan, nor any of their allies that
Kaleb had secretly been one of the Apostles.
the Barbarian I#190) - As the leaderless El Shah Maddoc descended into
chaos, Keiv lamented the poor quality of the wine. When the others
discussed that Conan should seize power and restore order, Keiv advised
that Conan was as direct as sin and sure as death. He explained that
Conan wanted to kill the Council of Seven more than he wanted to be
The next morning, Keiv departed the city alongside
Conan, Anneka, Kaleb, Shapur, and Simeon. As a rider approached (the
Khitain prince Kobe, who served the Kothian emperor Strabonus), Conan
sent Keiv to use his skills as a confidence man to learn the rider's
purpose. Introducing himself as squire to the Brotherhood of Maddocean
priests and telling Kobe that a few of their order were on a retreat
and that the soldiers were on leave, Keiv asked if he could be of some
assistance. Kobe explained that he had a message from Strabonus to be
delivered to Conan; presumably not wanting to prevent Conan from
leaving the city behind, Keiv told Kobe he could find Conan in the
king's palace. Keiv then returned to Conan and told him that the rider
was only looking to buy a horse.
Later, while Conan, Kaleb, and Simeon entered the
Castle of the Seven, Keiv remained outside with Anneka and Shapur. Kobe
shortly thereafter caught up with them (although Keiv and Anneka were
not seen), and Shapur joined Kobe in going in after Conan and the
others, who had been captured by an immense reptile-monster. After
Conan and his allies had been freed and the sole member of the Council
slain, Keiv awaited the others outside the castle. There Kobe delivered
his message, that Strabonus had appointed Conan king of El Shah Maddoc.
the Barbarian I#191) - Keiv accompanied Anneka, Conan, Kaleb, Kobe,
Shapur, Simeon back to El Shah Maddoc, which was under control of
Prince Irham of Syreb. Keiv questioned Irham's wisdom in kidnapping
Kaleb's daughter, Solaise, as there was no profit in baiting someone as
anti-social as Conan.
Keiv was present (although not seen to be directly
involved in the action) as his allies overwhelmed Irham's forces. As
Conan prepared to slay Irham, Keiv had Conan stop to listen to his
business proposition. Showing Irham Strabonus' proclamation naming
Conan as king, he offered Irham -- instead of death at Conan's hands --
hiring Conan and his group as his mercenaries (at premium rates, of
course) to assist his rebellion against Strabonus and maintaining rule
of El Shah Maddoc. Conan was reluctant to work for Irham, but Keiv
convinced him to go along in the name of profit, and Irham readily
the Barbarian I#195) - As Simeon carried out orders from Irham for
Conan to move his complement of warriors to a new location by
nightfall, Keiv advised him that he was carrying the totem/staff of the
footslave of the Elder Gods. Simeon assured Keiv he knew exactly what
he was doing, and he spoke the ancient runes inscribes on the staff, a
shocked Keiv asked what that meant. While Simeon seemed ignorant, Kaleb
explained that it referred to Maxmelle (though none appreciated that
Maxmelle had become the footslave of the Elder Gods).
the Barbarian I#195 - BTS) - Conan led his allies to the western valley.
the Barbarian I#195) - After Conan turned back to go after a missing
Kobe and Shapur (with Shapur having gone after Kobe, who had been
captured by agents off Bahkt), that evening, Anneka complained that the waiting was killing her, and Mad Simeon noted "So is Keiv's cooking."
Keiv then wondered how long they'd been waiting and what could have
defeated Kobe, noting whimsically that Kobe's attitude alone was
sufficient to frighten away armies.
the Barbarian I#195 - BTS) - Conan recovered Kobe.
the Barbarian I#196) - Appointed by Shapur to work at a military checkpoint on
Helphran road outside a tiny village southwest of Syreb, Keiv was frustrated by a seemingly elderly
woman (a disguised Red Songa) who stared back at him as if she couldn't
understand him. After Simeon recognized her obscure dialect and sent
her away, noting she was likely toying with him, Keiv ranted his
frustration, complaining about having never wanted to join the rebel
army (although he was the one who manipulated Conan into serving that
roll). Simeon correctly surmised that Keiv was out of wine, and after
Keiv complained further about the quality of the local wine, Simeon
pointed out an onrushing gang of armed horsemen. Keiv did little to
stop the group (from Simeon surmised to be Hyrkanian) from passing and
was instead knocked to the ground and covered in dust.
the Barbarian I#196 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv left Simeon at his post as he
went into town for a flask of wine, only to find that the religious
townfolk considered wine sinful.
Keiv also discovered that amidst the recent chaos,
someone (Sonja's men) had stolen into Conan's tent and stolen the staff
of the Footslave of the Elder Gods.
the Barbarian I#196) - Later,
as Keiv sat by the town well, Shapur (riding alongside Conan) chastised
him for leaving his post. After venting his frustrations, Keiv related
recent events, after which they were distracted by the arrival and
subsequent collapse of a giant parasaurolophus-like reptile.
Later, after General Freja disobeyed Conan's orders
and ordered his men to fire on the reptile, leading it to awaken and
rampage anew, Keiv fled town. Encountering Conan and Sonja during his
flight, he alerted them of the rampaging creature.
the Barbarian I#197) - As he continued to flee on horseback, Keiv
encountered Anneka, Kaleb, Kobe, Solaise and her cat Sedrick as they
returned. When they asked where Conan was, Keiv informed them that he
was out in the wilds somewhere, and that he was leaving; he planned on
to return to camp to collect his things and then he would be leaving
this agony behind forever. He further explained that he was a rogue, a
gambler, and a thief...not a warrior or a soldier. He was sick and
tired of taking orders and running for his life from giant reptiles; he
concluded that he was better off as a walking tree.
However, when Freja and his men confronted Conan,
threatening to kill him when he refused to let them past him to gain
access to and slay the giant creature (that Conan had led into a cave
to perish in peace; Conan knew that the creature had already perished,
but nonetheless refused to allow it to be further harmed by the likes
of Freja), Keiv joined Anneka, Kaleb, Kobe, Shapur, and Simeon in
standing by Conan. Keiv convinced Freja that whether he agreed with
Conan or not, his "hindquarter <was> in a wringer." Freja
then led his men back to the village.
the Barbarian I#198) - Keiv was present along with Anneka,
Kaleb, Kobe, Shapur, Simeon, and Solaise and her cat Sedrick, when
Conan encountered the fallen and badly beaten Red Sonja. After they had
returned to camp, Anneka shared that Sonja had told her the assailant
had been Bahkt, who had been empowered by the Devourer of Souls. Keiv commented that Bahkt was more insane than Simeon.
After Conan went out after Bahkt, whom he slew,
Freja took Solaise hostage and prepared to imprison all of Conan's
allies, but when Freja's men prepared to execute Sedrick, Solaise
unleashed her powers, slaying Freja and his men.
As Keiv and the others remained dumbstruck at the
source of the destruction, the returning Conan questioned Solaise,
leading Kaleb to punch Conan away.
the Barbarian I#199) - Keiv distanced himself from the battling Conan
and Kaleb. Later, after the pair vanished via a mystic portal (created
by the Devourer of Souls) as the others prepared for combat, Keiv
packed multiple skins of wine.
Keiv was present alongside Anneka, Kobe, Red Sonja, Shapur, and Simeon as the Elder Gods (see comments)
transformed their staff, held by Simeon, into a powerful sword.
Thereafter, they arrived to find an aged Kaleb (the enchantment
granting his youth and powerful warrior status having been broken by
the Devourer) standing over a fallen Conan (whom Kaleb had struck down
just before having his power stripped), and they were then confronted
by the Devourer atop his winged steed, holding Solaise and Sedrick.
(Conan Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv was at least
present as Conan's allies spent hours burying their dead after the
(Conan Annual#12) - Keiv was distraught as a group of scavengers set
upon Conan's forces. He drew his sword to protect himself, but mostly
just tried to escape harm.
(Conan Annual#12 - BTS) - As
Conan sought aid/information from the ancient sorcerer Thulsa Doom in
Arallu (a Hell-realm), the Devourer initiated a ritual to gain the
power of the Elder Gods from within Sedrick.
(Conan Annual#12) - Keiv joined Anneka, Kaleb,
Kobe, and Shapur in heading out after Conan to see if he needed aid.
Following Conan's trail, they encountered him just as he and Thulsa
Doom returned to Earth through a portal in a cave. They aided Conan in
fighting off the forces of Arallu that had pursued him there.
Having gained the power of the Elder Gods, the
Devourer unleashed a powerful blast at Conan and his allies. Seeing
this, Keiv warned that they were about to die, but Thulsa Doom
protected them with his magics. Joined by a reinvigorated Sonja, the
group was then confronted by the immense and powerful Devourer.
(Conan the Barbarian I#200) - Standing alongside
Anneka, Conan, Kaleb, Kobe, Red Sonja, Shapur, and Thulsa Doom, Keiv
wished he had a fast horse and good head start. When the Devourer of
Souls hurled a mystic blast at them, Conan shielded them with the sword
of the Elder Gods.
After the Devourer disappeared to consider other
means to destroy them, Sonja told them of Simeon's passing, and the
group made a funeral pyre for him. Keiv commented, "You will be missed,
my friend. May the Gods embrace you with their love."
Subsequently working with a plot Thulsa Doom had
made with the demon Xuthl (in which the Devourer took human form and
traveled to Poitan, Aquilonia to fulfill a past obligation to Xuthl),
Conan led his group on horseback at fierce pace across Koth's nothern
border into Ophir and eventually into Poitan. When they approached the
Tybor river, Keiv hinted that he could not swim.
In Poitan, as they approached the Devourer's true
form's resting place, Keiv joined the others in fighting off long-dead
warriors summoned by the Devourer's power; Keiv and the others
subsequently fled as the Devourer revived and battled Conan, causing
the crypt to collapse around them.
After watching Conan destroy the Devourer with the
Sword of the Elder Gods (which subsequently crumbled into dust), Keiv
noted with surprise as both Solaise and Sedrick reappeared in a burst
of light and joined them.
(Conan the Barbarian I#201 (fb) - BTS) - En route to the Southern kingdoms, Conan's entourage -- Anneka, Kaleb, Keiv, Kobe, Red Sonja, and Shapur -- as well as Thulsa Doom, made camp in Ophir.
(Conan the Barbarian I#201 - BTS) - When Shapur investigated Thulsa Doom's tent, the wizard slew Shapur and usurped his form.
(Conan the Barbarian
I#202-203 - BTS) - Keiv (perhaps he had already departed with Sonja) was not seen as Anneka, Conan, Kobe, and Shapur
stopped off in Ophir, during which time Thulsa Doom allowed Shapur's
death to become known as he attempted to claim Conan's form for his own.
Ultimately, Conan thwarted and drove off Thulsa Doom.
(Conan the Barbarian
I#204) - In Napolonia, Corinthia, as Red Sonja made her way into the
castle of Baron Strakkus to loot it, Keiv knocked on the door and
introduced to the guards as the tax collector. Announcing that he was
delivering a rebate to Strakkus, Keiv further offered that perhaps he
and the guards could come to a gentleman's agreement since the Baron
was away; he further asked if they had any wine about. As Sonja broke
into the castle vault, Keiv occupied the guards by explaining that he
did not want to lug the heavy bag of gold coins back to the
unsympathetic royal treasurer; he further explained that he was
expected to report back to his superiors that night (preventing them
from just killing him and taking the money) and that he could not take
gold coins from the royal mint as he would be suspected to have stolen
from the treasury. He then happily collected a number of coins from
other mintings, and more wine.
Ultimately, within the treasury, Sonja found and
unwittingly released a monstrous red creature (who had apparently been posing as Strakkus), and their struggle
alerted other guards.
As Keiv departed with 70 gold pieces and an
assortment of household furnishings, Sonja rushed by, telling him it
was time to go. Upon seeing the monster, Keiv happily fled beside her.
They encountered Conan outside a local tavern, and Keiv greeted him and
asked him to kill the monster pursuing them. They went in to the tavern
for a drink, but they were soon disrupted by the monster as it
shattered the tavern wall. As Conan and Sonja engaged the creature,
Keiv continued to enjoy his beverage. At Conan's urging, Sonja took
Keiv and fled while Conan held the creature off. Keiv continued to flee
as Sonja went back to help Conan who was defeated, after which the
creature took a semi-human form, explained its nature, and transported
itself and Sonja back to its extradimensional realm.
(Conan the Barbarian
I#205 (fb) - BTS) - After Conan had freed himself and entered the vault
in pursuit of Sonja, Keiv returned to pound loudly and repeatedly on
the vault's door. Receiving no response, he assumed Conan and Sonja
were enjoying themselves, so he sat down to have some wine.
(Conan the Barbarian
I#205) - Keiv was still drinking wine as Conan and Sonja exited the
vault, which then collapsed. Keiv stood silently stupefied as Conan and
Sonja argued about who was at fault for their predicament and who had
Comments: Created by Jim Owsley (now known as Priest), John Buscema, and Bob Camp.
Keiv was a very interesting
character until he turned back to human...thereafter he served a minor,
plot-device, roll, and he would vanish for a few issues and then show
back up again. He really didn't contribute too much, and it seemed really
out of character for Conan to agree to serve the weasel Irham.
As far as I can tell, he was not seen again (aside
from flashbacks to previously shown events) after Conan and Sonja came
back from the Strakkus monster's vault.
Conan the Barbarian I#186 was a fill-in/inventory/out of sequence/whatever story and didn't have Keiv in it.
He liked to call people "Old Boy"
I did not see Keiv in Conan the Barbarian I#192-194 or #201
- In the past, we have always considered the Elder Gods of
the Hyborian Age (never specifically named and sometimes referred
to as the Primal Gods and the Creation-Lords) to be distinct from the
true Elder Gods (Chthon, Gaea, Oshtur,
and Set; with others having long since perished) and to possibly be the major gods mentioned elsewhere in the Conan series: Crom,
Mitra, Asura, and Set..."
- However, the Mystic Arcana series included the
Cornerstones of Creation (created by the Elder Gods of the Hyborian era) and revealed them to be associated with the
true Elder Gods; further, the Crown
of Wisdom was shown to a form of the Serpent
Crown (associated with Set); the Mirror of Beauty was shown to be a form of the Darkhold
(associated with Chthon); the Rose of Peace was shown to be the Ebon
Rose (associated with Gaea); and the Sword of Strength was shown to be a form of
the Sword of Bone (associated with
Oshtur), used by Cadaver.
Interestingly, the one image in Conan the Barbarian
I#130 that shows the Elder Gods looks to at least three completely human-looking males. Is
this just an image from Noyo's understanding of her masters? Did she
lack understanding of their true forms/natures and just assume them to
be human males who mystically combined their energies to generate a
living being? Were these beings actually avatars of the Elder Gods,
rather than the Elder Gods themselves? Or are there two different sets
of Cornerstones of Creation?
- I know the author of Mystic Arcana, David
Sexton, intended the Cornerstones in his stories to be the same ones
from the Conan stories.
- This issue will likely remain
perhaps moot, depending on how the new Conan series fits in. It's
supposed to be a continuation of the older series, although they don't
necessarily plan to revisit much outside of classic Robert E. Howard
story themes. We shall see.
Profile by Snood.
Keiv should be distinguished from:
- Dr. Yuri Kiev - creator of the Red Guardian Life Model Decoy--Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel
- Kiev (or Kyiv), the capital of the Ukraine
images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#173, pg. 6, panel 3 (Pictish wilderness treehouse, exterior);
pg. 9, panel 1 (treehouse, interior);
panel 2 (face, wine toasting);
pg. 10, panel 2 (full, profile, stature compared to Conan);
pg. 21 (monstrous form, kneeling, holding Nostume);
#177, pg. 4, panel 5 (monstrous form, fighting ship crewmen);
pg. 5, panel 2 (monstrous face);
#178, pg. 12, panel 1 (monstrous, holding Delmurio);
#179, pg. 13, panel 6 (monstrous form, arrow-ridden);
#180, pg. 12, panel 1 (prisoner of Retrunanit);
#184, pg. 11, panel 3 (tearing down gate);
#185, pg. 3, panel 3 (catching others within Well);
pg. 16, panel 1 (returned to human form);
#196, pg. 3, panel 1 (guard seat)
11, panel 2 (face)
#204, pg. 3, panel 6 (normal face)
#205, pg. 20, panel 4 (normal face in profile);
panel 9 (surprised face; final panel)
Conan the Barbarian I#173 (August, 1985) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bob Camp (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#176 (November, 1985) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bob Camp (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#177 (December, 1985) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Pablo Marcos (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#178 (January, 1986) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#179-180 (February-March, 1986) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Bob Camp (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#181 (April, 1986) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#181-185 (July-August, 1986) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#187-189 (October-December, 1986) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#190 (January, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#191 (February, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Geoff Isherwood (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#195-199 (June-October, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Geoff Isherwood (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan Annual#12 (1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Val Semeiks (plot assist), Vince Giarrano (penciler) Ernie Chan (inker), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#200 (November, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Val Semeiks (penciler), Geoff Isherwood (inker), Mark Bright (plot assist), Larry Hama (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#201 (December, 1987) - Jim Owsley (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Adam Kubert (inker), Michael Higgins (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#202 (January, 1988) - Jim Owsley (plot/script), Val Semeiks (penciler/plot), Geoff Isherwood (inker), Michael Higgins (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#204 (March, 1988) - Jim Owsley (plot/script), Val Semeiks (penciler/plot), Vince Colletta (inker), Michael Rockwitz (assistant editor), Michael Higgins (editor)
Conan the Barbarian I#205 (April, 1988) - Jim Owsley (plot/script), Val Semeiks (penciler/plot), Alfred P. Alcala (inker), Michael Rockwitz (assistant editor), Michael Higgins (editor)
First posted: 4/26/2019
Last updated: 4/26/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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