Serving as the Khan of Clan Burrock prior to election to the office of ilKhan, the few details that exist about his life mostly revolve around his role in Clan history as arbiter of the OmniMech Trials during the Golden Century, though that role would also be extended to Trials of Possession for Elemental Battle Armor. It may be assumed that he was viewed as a highly impartial and fair-minded individual, although it's also possible he simply had the support of a powerful voting block. He was also likely to be counted amongst the greatest of Warriors in all the Clans of his era, as demanded by the station.
When Clan Coyote unveiled the OmniMech in 2854, the effect was like a wave washing over the rest of the Clans. Seemingly overnight, the Coyotes became near-invincible due to the flexibility provided by this new war machine. After the initial shock wore off, their rival Clans soon realized that their only hope to keep up with the Coyotes was to secure this technology for their own Toumans. The Coyotes were soon beset on nearly all sides by challengers desperately coveting their invention.
Reign of the Third ilKhan
In 2858, the Grand Council would elect Zenos Danforth of the Burrocks to the office of ilKhan specifically to deal with the issues regarding the OmniMech Trials. He was the second ilKhan of the Clans elected since the time of the Great Founder, ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky. The office had been vacated since the death of his predecessor, ilKhan Jerome Winson, in 2851. Once in power, ilKhan Danforth would help to bring about Clan law limiting challenges for the new technology to one per year per Clan, granting some relief to the Coyotes. He would also be called upon as an arbiter during the nastier of these inter-Clan disputes.
Jaguar Versus Mongoose
The Smoke Jaguar Absorption of Clan Mongoose in 2868 would become the largest event of ilKhan Danforth's term. Khan Walter Martindale of Clan Mongoose would take a facetious complaint to the Grand Council in order to buy time for his Clan to extricate itself from military trouble on two fronts. He would back up this political stunt by citing the words of the Great Kerenskys, Nicholas and Aleksandr. A disgusted Khan Theodore Osis of the Smoke Jaguars declared that the Mongoose Khans had forfeited their right to rule their people, asking the Grand Council for the right to Absorb the Mongooses. An equally disgusted Grand Council voted unanimously against the doomed Mongooses. While the conducting of the trial was solely in the hands of Clan Smoke Jaguar and Clan Mongoose, ilKhan Danforth would no doubt observe procedure and would at one point have to grant Khan Osis the right to use Orbital Bombardment against the Mongoose stronghold of Fianna on Circe near the end of the inter-Clan struggle. But the Trial would be complicated by the matter of Clan Star Adders' campaign of revenge and reconquest of its colonies taken from them by Clan Mongoose in 2863, a multi-world assault that had concluded just as Khan Osis had asked for the rights to Mongoose Absorption. The Smoke Jaguar Khan would bring charges against the Star Adders, claiming that the Adder conquests robbed his Clan of their "full measure of victory". These charges would be swept aside by the Grand Council and the ilKhan, acknowledging the Star Adders' rights to revenge against the Mongooses. It would not sit well with Khan Osis. The Jaguars and Star Adders would feud over this incident for decades.
The Smythe-Jewel Resolution
With few indications of major issues during this period, it seems ilKhan Danforth was largely successful in his role as enforcer of Clan law. However, there were a couple exceptions. After Clan Coyote unveiled the OmniMech in 2854, one of the first Clans to win the plans to it was Clan Fire Mandrill. After the surprise defeat by forces they had not anticipated, the Khans of Clan Coyote would formally lodge a protest with the ilKhan regarding Kindraa Smythe-Jewel's "dubious bidding practices", a move that would not bear fruit for the Coyotes. But this case would smolder for some time in the memories of the Clans warriors. Then in the ilKhan's final year of service, Kindraa Smythe-Jewel would once more have charges brought against them regarding a similar incident involving Clan Hell's Horses and their newly developed Elemental. Though both cases had eventually been ruled fair by the Grand Council, the fallout from these instances - chiefly, the complete dismantling of the Smythe-Jewels on the world of Foster - would not be felt until 2872, two years after the ilKhan's death in 2870.
The office of ilKhan would again remain vacated, this time for the next three years.
One of the earliest Bloodnamed Danforth warriors, the Danforth Bloodname House quickly became one of the more prized legacies in all the Clans. Danforth legacies would be fought for and won by several other Clans over the centuries. The fact that Zenos Danforth had held the coveted office of ilKhan (even for a specified task such as arbitration) likely contributed to this popularity.
Titles and Positions
|Khan of Clan Burrock
28?? - 2858
|IlKhan of the Clans
2858 - 2870
- Clan Burrock
- Clan Coyote
- Clan Fire Mandrill
- Clan Hell's Horses
- Clan Mongoose
- Clan Smoke Jaguar
- Eric Amirault
- Gerek Tchernovkov
- Kindraa Payne
- Kindraa Smythe-Jewel
- Manfred Hollifield
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 10: Early Clan History: A Comparative Timeline, cont.
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 54: Clan ilKhans
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 40–41: "Birth of the Titans"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 41: "The Renaissance Spreads"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, pp. 112–113: "Into the Golden Century"
- Era Digest: Golden Century, pp. 7–8: "Warriors above Politicians"
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 12: "Beginning of the End"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 112: A Lesson In Politics
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 41–42: "Righteous Vengeance"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, pp. 54–56: "Hell's Fury"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 49: "Death of a Kindraa"