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Whiz Canmaj

The World of Keyforge, as told through Archon Names

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(This is a thread where I search a noun from a deck's Archon name in the Master Vault, and make a narrative out of the names that come out. Feel free to join in.) 


The Canmaj family is a proud line of warriors, first forged in an union between a goblin warrior and a human knight. For generations, the Canmajs have valued combat in all its forms, and have intermarried into all 7 houses. Despite the diaspora and their willingness to battle brethren, they must always pledge themselves to one of their founding parents: either to Sanctum or Brobnar. Some venerate another ancestor (such as Canmaj, the Ancestor of Dinonik), but always as a continuation of one of those two. Currently, only 3 renegades dare to disavow all ancestors, forming a new Logos-aligned branch of the family:

- Yondera Canmaj, the Ruby and Bellowing (former Brobnar) 

- Lyydille Canmaj, the Loving and Humane (former Sanctum)

- C. Canmaj, Symbiote of the Ugly Burg (former Brobnar, and leader of the triumvirate).

Military campaigns have sent their heirs to the very edges of the Crucible, but wherever they go, they fall in love with their new homeland. Many renounced their first names and take on their homeland as their new title. At a Canmaj reunion, no-one would be confused if they were to meet:

- Canmaj of Denstad

- Canmaj of Midworth

- Canmaj of Sododen Gulch

- Canmaj of Hampkirk

- Canmaj of Doraholt

- Canmaj of Bergjoll Ford

Canmaj youth seek positions of authority in military or law enforcement organizations. A Canmaj seeks to gain enough renown that they are known solely for their title. The camaraderie and loyalty Canmajs have for their home inspire people to entrust much authority to them. Such examples of ruling Canmajs are:

- Chancellor Canmaj (of the Canmaj Family Council, considered the highest ranking Canmaj)

- Elder Canmaj (of the Canmaj Family Council, the oldest living Canmaj)

- Lord "Smythe" Canmaj

- Canmaj, Warringdeane's Steward

- Father Mheutenna Canmaj

- Hamarist Shield-Canmaj, Madre

- Deputy Carofoot Canmaj

- Nordkin Canmaj-Marescot, Tribune

- Canmaj the Usefully Regal

- Canmaj, The Progenitor of Coalitions 

- L. Canmaj, the Bluff Partisan

The Canmaj Family Council does not rule their family members per se, but are authorities on how a Canmaj ought to conduct themselves. The exploits of past Canmajs are used as examples for how the present generation should conduct war and broker peace. As such, many a Canmaj youth are exhorted to live up to their ancestors and take up a military career, although not all are cut out for it: 

- Champion Canmaj

- Rishi "Rhino" Canmaj

- Antilip Canmaj, the Implacable and Envious

- Platinumwarrior Canmaj-Foreman, Flunky

Fortunately, the family's perchance for reciting history and giving advice lends itself well to encouraging scholars and spiritual advisors:

- Scholar Whitematch Canmaj

- Confidant Canmaj

- Tibor "Madam Helping Hand" Canmaj

- Gila "Father Smiley" Canmaj

- Canmaj, the Shockingly Utilitarian

- Canmaj, the Constantly Ancillary 

- Canmaj the Subsequently Pious

- Y. Canmaj, Dorahag's Cryptic Head 

And although the family does not praise the money won through the wages of war, many Canmaj hear of the wealth earned through war and take a life devoted to making money. Such behaviour is not looked down upon, but neither is it praiseworthy. Those Canmaj who take this route must be satisfied with their riches, for they will not earn the admiration the other Canmajs so crave.

- Canmaj the Rich

- Y. Canmaj, the Chasm Silversmith

- Canmaj, the Serf of Shadowfont

- Canmaj, Aldton's Worker

-  Canmaj the Lonely

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Found in Deep Space, this once-thriving joint venture between the Houses of Mars and Logos now struggles to maintain itself, with petty in-fighting destroying an once-prosperous outpost in the Outer Crucible. Conisberry is a planet distantly orbiting a dying star, uninhabitable to the majority of life in the universe. Once, it was a fertile planet, a beloved paradise from early Martian history. But with its star dying, Conisberry soon became desolate, with only The Chilling Wizard of Conisberry able to live on it.

So beloved was this planet to Martian culture, they reached out to the other houses to restore it. Witches from Untamed were brought in to restore nature there, but without a Sun, the plant life couldn't grow. Emissaries from Shadow promised to make Conisberry sustainable with mushrooms that grew under the gleam of Conisberry's Moon, but it was soon discovered to be a scam. Eventually, the Archon that would be known as Collingwood of Conisberry came to Mars representing House Logos, with a plan to revive the planet. If the Sun was too distant, House Logos could move it closer, with the help of science. This appealed to Martian logic, and so a joint-venture between the two Houses began working on moving Conisberry. As such, many Archons who belonged to both Houses moved there, and many who came there soon adopted themselves into both houses. 

The failure of this venture came when a hard choice came up: should Conisberry stay in the solar system of a dying star, or move to a longer-lasting solar system? Martian culture was fond of Conisberry history, and the glow of its sun and the constellations viewed from it were prominent in its culture. The Martians wanted to keep Conisberry in its solar system, whereas the less emotional Logos scientists believed that such sentimentality was detrimental to the venture. A compromise was made that the means of moving the planet would continue to be improved to move it outside the solar system when its sun could no longer sustain it.

But the underlying tension, Mars with its stubborn nostalgia and Logos with its clinical dispassion, fostered squabbles and in-fighting. Mars, who managed operations on the planet, often held back resources from Logos, who maintained operations on the Moon and Satellite. They in turn bombarded the Martians with endless critiques of their work and pestered them to review all their work. When the actual operation to move Conisberry began, it failed due to each side failing to support each other, and some archons actually sabotaging their colleagues from the other House. Neither House got what they wanted: Conisberry was launched into Deep Space, far away from any star. 

The Folly of Conisberry caused almost all surviving archons to abandon the planet to the depths of the universe. Only 3 Archons still toil on restoring Conisberry: 

- Gilchrist of Conisberry Base

- Carrington of Conisberry Moon

- Eadie of Conisberry Satellite 

Meanwhile, in the howling wastes of the dying planet, The Chilling Wizard of Conisberry has taken on a new apprentice. Bertram, Conisberry Student pledged himself to the enigmatic sorcerer, and brought with him many Niffle Apes and Demons. Such actions are unlike the Wizard, and many wonder if the disaster has changed him in some way.

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The Kardonzogs

The name 'Kardonzog' is one that is rightfully feared, but the ownership of all the deeds attached to that name is fiercely contested, and knowing which is which could save your life. 

Many years ago, a dishevelled savage calling himself Kardonzog, Spawn of Elkroom came out of the wilds, demanding a place in the ranks of the Shadows House. His name-dropping of 'Elkroom' as a great Shadows warrior elicited confused looks, but his maniacal response to questioning the greatness of his supposedly-famous father proved that he would be an excellent enforcer.  He quickly rose in prominence as the Archon to send when House Shadows wanted to intimidate someone into submission with just the drop of his name. 

The name 'Kardonzog' became so infamous, an upstart scoundrel took his name as his sobriquet. Kardonzog, Haven Smuggler  had associates in House Shadows, but with his closer allegiance to Mars & Brobnar, as well as working the seas, the two Kardonzogs rarely met. The Haven Smuggler was much subtler than his land-loving counterpart. Whereas The Spawn of Elkroom would bellow his name before he entered a room, The Haven Smuggler would only namedrop his stolen name to remove himself from an otherwise unescapable situation. As quiet as he was, the original Kardonzog heard of his exploits, and vowed to crush the imposter who dared to use his name. One day, he got his wish. The Haven Smuggler took port in a town The Spawn of Elkroom was already in, and traffic stopped to escape the rapid flight of one man escaping the juggernaut-like rampage of the other man trying to catch him. The last either man was seen was The Haven Smuggler piloting a skiff into the open ocean, with The Spawn of Elkroom swimming after him at an unbelievable speed. 

As the years passed, people in the know of these two would often joke about being 'Kardonzog', but never in earnest. The infamy of the True Kardonzog, and the price of impersonating him, cowed many thieves to speak of his name reverently. But recently a young woman has come forward to claim that title. Obsidianlight, Spawn of Kardonzog presented herself much like the original Kardonzog to House Shadows, a dishevelled savage with claims of a famous father. She claims that she was born on a remote island to a mother of House Logos background, and with her father's passing, returned to claim her birthright. Whatever her heritage, she was quickly accepted into House Shadows, for unlike The Spawn of Elkroom, she understood the subtleties of thievery and assassination. Still, many people gainsaid her claims, often to her face. Some say she is just an average Archon with no connection to Kardonzog. Others claim she is the daughter of the Haven Smuggler, continuing her true father's habit of stealing credit from other people. But those who knew The Spawn of Elkroom remark that The Spawn of Kardonzog shares her father's affinity for Dis, and the fact that the original Kardonzog hasn't appeared to prove or disprove her claim suggests that the original Kardonzog may actually be dead.

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An enormous volcano that stretches to the upper stratosphere, it's little wonder that Valhalla is claimed by both Brobnar and Mars. Legend says that this peak was where the first battle between House Mars and House Brobnar happened, and many modern-day war tactics for both Houses were created on the battlefield of Valhalla. The teamwork of Mars and the bravery of Brobnar was honoured both by the generals and the opposing sides. The growing respect between the lower ranks of each army soon worried the generals, and it was decided to declare a truce over Valhalla, to avoid a rebellion in their ranks. Soon, it became a meeting place for great warriors of both Houses, and a retirement settlement for veterans. As history marched on, the community encouraged great conquerors to live there, and be buried there when they passed away.

A cold wind blows thin air across the upper reaches of Valhalla, mingled with the volcanic ash from the many openings to the magma pools below. There is no vegetation on the mountain, and the only animals are the occasional alien beast escaped from a Martian menagerie. Even at the base of the mountain, travel upwards is treacherous, with any clear path made only by the paths worn by previous climbers. Snow covers a ring around the middle of the peak's height, and the end of snow marks what residents consider to be 'True Valhalla'. Stationed at the main pass upwards is where the Wardens of Valhalla muster, representatives of the two treaty Houses dedicated to preserving its liberty.

Wardens of Valhalla

He That Constantly Jails Valhalla and The Soldier that Favours Valhalla (Brobnar representatives)

She Who Frequently Fights for Valhalla and The Bouncer Who Retains Valhalla (Mars representatives)

The truce between Mars and Brobnar is enforced by agents who have the authority and capability to isolate the entire mountain with Mars technology powered by volcanic energy. Such an action is only done in times of open invasion or incoming catastrophe, as the egos of the native Valhallans does not appreciate their need for protection. The populace claim to be capable of managing themselves and protecting the mountain, not realizing that their peace is a result of interhouse politics. The other houses did not agree to leave Valhalla alone, but all realize that whoever invades Valhalla will face both Mars and Brobnar at their fiercest. However, an alliance of two or more Houses could easily take Valhalla by surprise, especially considering the individualist mindset of its inhabitants. Too many proud generals and too few loyal soldiers would result in a humiliating defeat, or at least that is what the Representatives of Valhalla believe. The Representatives are natives of the mountain who have left their earned rest to keep good relations with the Houses, so that war never returns there.

Representatives of Valhalla

Garcia, the Diplomat of Valhalla (to Sanctum and Shadows)

Zonapadre, the Advocate of Valhalla (to Dis and Logos)

Omiata, the Page of Valhalla (to Mars and Brobnar)

Arrowbow, the Legate of Valhalla (to Untamed)

Brobnar creatures usually inhabit the lower half and Mars the upper, but only because each side is closer to the traditional homelands. There is no hierarchy based on House, only on achievement in the outer world. The many titles that abound with the residents all have equal rank, and are used more as a title of honour to exchange amongst ex-warlords.

Barelung, the 'Hordeleader' of Valhalla

Alvarez, the Jarl of Valhalla

Eriksdotter, the Domina of Valhalla

Strangegram, the 'Khagan' of Valhalla

Flashish, the 'Duelist' of Valhalla

Azure of Valhalla Kingdom

Matchasp, the Sensei of Valhalla

The Sgt. of Valhalla

Greyzeon, the 'Shaman' of Valhalla

Hungerbreaker, the Decurion of Valhalla

Snakepalm, the "Ranger" of Valhalla

Trophies and proof of greatness are brought to the Colosseum on the western plateau of Valhalla, where Randell of Valhalla Colosseum gathers the residents to determine if the newcomer is worthy to live amongst them. Ideally, a future resident of Valhalla should need no introduction, as their deeds should precede them. As befitting the spartan community, acceptance to the community only means the right to claim an uninhabited crag to build a home on. Travel between different estates is so difficult, and the desire to exalt themselves over others so strong, leaves many Valhallans to live apart from others, except for official ceremonies and responsibilities. 

Those who climbed Valhalla and were rejected are too numerous to count. Those who were accepted into the fold and then were exiled can be counted on one hand, requiring such infamy to stir such a permissive community to unite to throw one of their own out. The Wardens of Valhalla do their best to keep people out, but the mountain is so sprawling that one can hide on Valhalla without being part of it. Failed petitioners often fall into contact with active enemies of Valhalla, where their shared rage brews into plots to undermine the peace and harm specific Valhallans. 

Dissidents of Valhalla

The Empress That Once Trusted Valhalla

Rageharpy, the Demolisher of Valhalla

The Being Who Yearns for Valhalla

The Empress that Complains to Valhalla

She That Welcomes Valhalla

There does exist a smattering of descendants of past Valhallans who still live on the mountain. The common misconception that the dwellers of Valhalla are all old widows and widowers is wrong. Blaze, the God-King of Valhalla and Altman, the God-Queen of Valhalla remain the most memorable example of a vibrant married couple who retired there to raise their family. No-one would dare respect a deceased Valhallan by exiling their children, especially if they can survive on the unforgiving mountain. MacGrath of Valhalla performs oddjobs for residents, and Caine, the Moneylender of Valhalla provides financial services for residents in need of worldly possessions.

Recently, a group of Valhallans have taken it upon themselves to put their homeland above their own glory. Abel, the Exo-linguist of Valhalla discovered an ancient tablet speaking of the creation of 'Space Valhalla' by the Martians, but more importantly, about the grandeur of Valhalla before the first war. As impressive as Valhalla is today, the tablet speaks of a mountain that was forever growing upwards and outwards, promising to overcome the world with its magmatic advance before the Martian-Brobnarian war permanently stunted it. Humbled by this discovery, he and his friends promised to make Valhalla not a resting place for warriors, but the beachfront for the final war the Crucible would know. This cabal has made secret voyages inside the mountain to examine if the legends are true, and what could be done to make Valhalla as potent as it once was. They keep their schemes secret from others, especially from outsiders who would thwart them prematurely. These conspirators are sure that once they've restore Valhalla, their fellow residents will join their cause and use their collected experience to rule the Crucible. Given the uncontrollable power they hope to unleash, it's unclear how they will 'rule' a Crucible that could conceivably be destroyed by such a juggernaut.

The Valhalla Conspirators

The Lord General that Redefines Valhalla 

Tianty, the "Healer" of Valhalla

The Herald that Becomes Valhalla 

The Mother that Bleeds for Valhalla

The Being Who Wisely Adorns Valhalla

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If you travel deep into a forest, where the boundaries between the marshes of House Shadow blend with the long overhanging braches of House Untamed, you might stumble upon a welcoming cabin, with a pleasant smell of hickory smoke coming from its chimney and a crackling hearth glowing through the window. Those who open the front door will find it unlocked, but those who enter will never leave again, for they have found themselves within Reapersborea.

Many years ago, the Archon that would become Cuvier of Reapersborea grew contemptuous of archons stumbling through the wilds he would frequent. His twin love for Shadows and Untamed meant he appreciated the beauty of silence and nature in all its forms. The towering red oak, the deadly toadstool, the mighty cougar, and the slithering snake: all of them only made a sound when needed. But the unnatural ways of the other houses disturbed his peace, with their ships flying over and their armour forever clinking. And when they weren't destroying the forest, they were getting lost in it, which would only bring more outsiders in it looking for them. 

It occurred to him, with his dark heart, to deal with these 'pests' like he would any other invasive species, but he knew that ordinary traps were indiscriminate to the animals of the woods. Then one day, it occurred to him that an inviting cabin flush with the amenities of civilization would lure in trespassers and not animals. So he began constructing a cabin out of the pages of children's fairy tales, so inviting to a starving traveller that they would come straight to him. Inside the cabin was a gauntlet of poisonous traps hidden behind nearly every surface that no-one could last a minute without falling victim to this false hospitality. 

Because of his sense of fair play instilled by House Sanctum, Cuvier won't hunt those who saw his cabin and not enter it. However, those who enter his cabin and somehow survive the experience are dealt with. Some of them are dispatched by him, and others are chased in a disorientating zig-zag so that they can't find Reapersborea again. A rare few begged not for mercy, but to join Cuvier. These few were abnormal before coming to Reapersborea, but now 6 archons manage Reapersborea, all of which are utterly devoid of empathy or sanity.

The Gentle Knight of Reapersborea is the friendly face outside the front door, decked out in fine Sanctum armour. He claims to be watching the front door for his friends, and invites anyone to enter inside to rest while he guards the door. This former knight has a warped sense of hospitality, and believes every new person is a potential new friend, if only they'd survive 'the trial of poison'. 

The Vacuous Decurion of Reapersborea and Molevolen, Reapersborea's Guru almost run the whole operation by themselves without Cuvier's guidance. Molevolen keeps everyone's morale focused, while the Decurion delegates task of maintenance amongst the inhabitants. Cuvier knew that these two House Dis archons were warped when he recruited them, but even he gets chills when they treat their operation as something utterly mundane. 

Phisk, Reapersborea Alien and Shucks of Reapersborea Barnyard are more alien than the others. Hailing from House Mars' distant territories, they don't have the same values of how sentient beings should treat their equals. Phisk joined Reapersborea believing he had offended his hosts, and stays to try and understand this alien culture, not understanding how unrepresentative it is of non-Mars culture. Shucks sees animals as the dominant rulers of this planet, counting every fly and ant as equal to a humanoid, and sees the need to 'manage' the ecosystem. A misunderstanding when he first crashed led him to believe that barns are the primary housing for the planet, but his desire to build a barnyard to live in has given the representatives of Reapersborea a place to live in that won't attract wanderers to enter.

The rumours of Reapersborea spread by survivors were originally celebrated as a deterrent for people to enter the woods, but now the residents worry that a military force will find them and eliminate them. Cuvier is investigating into Faerie magic to find a way to move their land into another forest. If he is successful, Reapersborea may become a curse to every deep woods and distant marsh in the Crucible, and these maniacs may never be caught.

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