keiv-hyperborean-face-winekeiv-hyperborean-return-normalKEIV

Real Name: Keiv

Identity/ClassHuman;
    Hyborian era (circa 10,000 BC);
    Hyperborean citizen;
    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;
    formerly Hyperborea

First AppearanceConan the Barbarian I#173 (August, 1985)keiv-hyperborean-monster-ctb177keiv-hyperborean-stature

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

History

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv's lust for life drew him away from his northern homeland of Hyperborea. 

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Nostume's map was obtained by unidentified parties. 

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - The map was handed down from many generations. 

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - "Certain inconsistencies between Keiv's business practices and local laws forced him into seclusion in Pictland.

(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. keiv-hyperborean-treehouse-exterior

(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, consistently escaped. 

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv obtained both copies of the map.keiv-hyperborean-treehouse-interior

(Conan the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Keiv learned the legends of the Well of Souls to which the map led.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Delmurio led ninety-nine Zingaran soldiers into the Pictish wilderness in hopes of finding and slaying Keiv.

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking the other half of a treasure map, Conan and Tetra sought out Keiv in his treehouse/fortress, manipulating the Picts and Zingarans into slaughtering each other in the process.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#173) - Meanwhile, Kawagne traveled to Nostume, informing him that Keiv was leading Conan there soon and asking Nostume to slay Conan.

(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 and Tetra. keiv-hyperborean-transformed-nostume

    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 others. 


(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 bargain. keiv-hyperborean-monster-face-ctb177

(Conan the Barbarian I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Nostume subsequently transformed Keiv into a giant plant-creature.

(Conan 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 his quarry.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv swam and caught up to the Black Ship, which was carrying Conan, Delmurio, and Tetra. During this time, Keiv came to rightfully blame Nostume for his mutation and to regret betraying Conan to Nostume.

(Conan 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.

    When Conan 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.

    Floating atop 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


(Conan the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - The ghouls brought them to Nostume's temple.

(Conan 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 rushed Keiv and -- catching him unaware of his proximity to the Well and briefly overwhelming him with weight of numbers -- drove him into the Well.keiv-hyperborean-well-catch


(Conan the Barbarian I#177 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv's immense size allowed him to span the walls of the Well and halt his fall.

(Conan 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.keiv-hyperborean-monster-delmurio-ctb178

(Conan 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 him.

(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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - Tetra reached the bottom of the Well of Souls, entered the "Other World," and gained the Well's power.

(Conan the Barbarian I#177) - Abruptly, the power vanished from Nostume, and Conan ended Nostume's life with another sword strike.

(Conan the Barbarian I#177 - BTS) - The newly-empowered and maddened +/- corrupted / possessed Tetra leveled the temple.

(Conan 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 her likeness), 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.

(Conan 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. keiv-hyperborean-monster-arrows-ctb179

(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.

(Conan 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 joke.

(Conan the Barbarian I#179 (fb) - BTS) - Keiv accompanied Jamal and Conan back to Becharadur.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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 own form.

(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 moving.

(Conan 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.
keiv-hyperborean-ret-prisoner
(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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 city.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#181 - BTS) - Conan entered Maddoc's Reign and recovered the still-living, though maddened Maddoc I.

(Conan 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.

keiv-hyperborean-ripping gate
(Conan 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 Imhotep.

    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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(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 hidden

    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 dropped them.
    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.

(Conan 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 dead.

(Conan 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."

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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 king.

    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.

(Conan 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 agreed.

(Conan 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).

(Conan the Barbarian I#195 - BTS) - Conan led his allies to the western valley.

(Conan 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.

(Conan the Barbarian I#195 - BTS) - Conan recovered Kobe.

keiv-hyperborean-guard-seat(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.

(Conan 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.keiv-hyperborean-ctb204-face.jpg


(Conan 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 previous slaughter.

(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. keiv-hyperborean-human-profile

(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.
keiv-hyperborean-surprise

    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 saved them.

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

Elder Gods

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Keiv
should be distinguished from:


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)


Appearances:
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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