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Kenku

Kenku

 

Kenku are feathered Humanoids that wander the world as vagabonds,driven by greed.They can pefectly imitate any sound they hear.

   

Fallen Flocks

 

Kenku wear ill-fitting cloaks,robes,and rags.These garments cover the soft,sleek feathers of their bodies,shrouding their bare arms and legs.

 

They tread lightly when they walk,on talons made for grasping the branches of trees and seizing prey from the lofty skies.Soft as the wind they move,so as not to draw attention to their shameful forms.

 

Once,the Kenku held the wind in their wings,embracing the gusty sky and singing the sweet language of birdsong.Serving a master whose identity is now lost to memory,the Kenku coveted the glittering baubles of his household,and longed to speak so that they could cajole and swindle others out of such treasures.Stealing the secret of speech from a volume in the master's library,they disguised themselves in rags to beg for pretty things.When their master learned of their greed,he stripped away their wings as punishment,forcing them to beg forever.

   

Speech in Pantomine

 

Kenku can mimic the sound of anything they hear.A Kenku asking for money might make the sound of coins clinking together,and a Kenku referring to a busy marketplace can reproduce the cacophony of hawking vendors,barking dogs,bleating sheep,and the cries of street urchins.When mimicking voices,they can only repeat words and phrases they have heard,not create new sentences.To converse with a Kenku is to witness a performance of imitated sounds and almost nonsensical verse.

 

Kenku speak to one another in much the same way.Because they are adept at interpreting one another's glances and gestures,the sounds they make to communicate complex ideas or emotions can be succinct.Groups of Kenku also develop secret codes.For example,a cat's meow might be the secret code for "Prepare to attack!" or "Flee for your lives!".

 

Their talent for mimicry extends to handwriting,and criminal organizations often employ Kenku to forge documents.When a Kenku commits a crime,it might forge evidence to implicate another creature.

   

The Wistful Wingless

All Kenku pine for the ability to fly,and thus the punishments they mete out to one another often involve false wings,such as heavy wings of wood borne as a mark of shame.As a final,tragic reminder of the wings they once had,Kenku carry out executions by hurling their condemned from tall buildings or cliffs.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Humanoid and Bird-like,Birds head with beak,Arms ending with claws and feet ending with Talons,but Kenku are Wingless

Growth Rate & Stages

A Kenku is an Adult at 12 Years old,Middle Age is between 25-35 Years old,Old is 50 plus.Kenku can live to about 60 Years old

Ecology and Habitats

Kenku mostly live in Urban settings

Dietary Needs and Habits

Omnivore

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Birdlike features

Average Intelligence

Above Average Intelligence and Kenku are quite wise too

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Passive Perception 12

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Kenku make no distinction between male and female names.

 

Kenku thugs,warriors and toughs adopt names and noises made by weapons,such as Smasher,Clanger,Dagger,Slicer,Mace and Basher.

 

Kenku Thieves,Con-Artists and Burglars adopt names of animal noises,typically those common in urban settings,such as Rat-Scratch,Whistler,Mouser,Cat-Whisper and Growler.

 

Kenku that turn their back on crime to pursue legitimate trades adopt noises made as part of their craft,such as Sail-Snap,Hammerer,Clack-Clack and Cutter.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Understands But speaks only through the use of its Mimicry Trait.

Common Dress Code

Kenku usually wear Cloaks,Robes and Rags
A Kenku Rogue by forgottenrealms
Origin/Ancestry
Humanoid (Kenku)
Lifespan
30-60 Years Old (Averaging 45)
Average Height
4ft-5ft Tall (4ft 6" Average)
Average Physique
Kenku are often Slim
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Any colouring of a typical common bird,Brown,Reddish-Brown,Black,Grey and Black-White mixture.
If you hear a baby crying in an alley,walk the other way,That's my advice to you.   -Corporal Endroth,City Watch Guard in Lord's Port
   
A Kenku Sorcerer by forgottenrealms
The Kenku are a playable Race.

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Cover image: A Kenku Rogue by forgottenrealms

KENKU

Medium humanoid (kenku), chaotic neutral
Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 13 (3D8).
Speed: 30ft

STR

10 +0

DEX

16 +3

CON

10 +0

INT

11 +0

WIS

10 +0

CHA

10 +0

Skills: Deception +4,Perception +2 & Stealth +5
Senses: Passive Perception 12
Languages: Understands Auran (Elemental Air) & Kelldorian (Common) but speaks only through the use of its Mimicry Trait
Challenge Rating: 1/4 (50XP)

AMBUSHER:

  IN THE FIRST ROUND OF COMBAT, THE KENKU HAS ADVANTAGE ON ATTACK ROLLS AGAINST ANY CREATURE IT SURPRISED.  

MIMICRY:

  THE KENKU CAN MIMIC ANY SOUNDS IT HAS HEARD, INCLUDING VOICES. A CREATURE THAT HEARS THE SOUNDS CAN TELL THEY ARE IMITATIONS WITH A SUCCESSFUL DC 14 WISDOM (INSIGHT) CHECK.

Actions

SHORTSWORD:

  MELEE WEAPON ATTACK: +5 TO HIT, REACH 5FT, ONE TARGET. HIT: 6 (1D6+3) PIERCING DAMAGE.  

SHORTBOW:

  RANGED WEAPON ATTACK: +5 TO HIT, RANGE 80/320FT, ONE TARGET. HIT: 6 (1D6+3) PIERCING DAMAGE.

Comments

Author's Notes

Original Article written for D&D Monster Manual 5e by Wizards of the Coast (WotC)


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