In the darkest crevices of human society, where shadows whisper ancient secrets and where light seldom touches, dwell the cursed beings known as kenku. Haunted by a betrayal that lost them their wings, these creatures roam the world, a haunting blend of wanderer and thief, forever on the fringes of humanity. However, the veil that surrounds their notoriety may be hiding a history that is even more nightmarish.
The Origins of Doom
Centuries ago, the kenku served an entity of immeasurable power and mystery, dwelling on a plane beyond human understanding. To some, they were the sinister minions of Grazz’t, the Dark Prince of the Abyss. To others, they were explorers and scouts for the enigmatic Wind Dukes of Aaqa. But a glittering temptation arose—a sparkling treasure so bewitching that the kenku, entranced, plotted to steal it and flee to the Material Plane.
Their master, upon discovering the nefarious plan, was consumed by an unholy fury. In a ritual of terror and revenge, the entity imposed three unbearable curses upon the kenku. First, their once magnificent wings shriveled, withered, and decayed, binding them to the hard and unforgiving earth. Next, the spark of creativity that once illuminated their minds was ruthlessly extinguished, leaving them as hollow shells devoid of innovation. And finally, in a cruel twist, their voices were stolen, forever silencing them and ensuring that their secrets would remain locked within. Thus marked by wrath, the kenku were banished to the Material Plane, where they began an unending odyssey of suffering and despair.
A Grim Existence
The kenku, now damned to walk the earth, find solace only in bleak cities overrun with crime and decay. In these desolate places, they yearn for something unattainable—the joy of flight. Their hearts ache for the skies, and those few who learn magic do so in a desperate attempt to master spells that could restore their ability to fly. Legends of magical artifacts like flying carpets or enchanted brooms send them into a frenzy of longing, and they may risk everything to acquire such an object.
These wingless wanderers, drawn to tall structures and sky-reaching ruins, have become part of the city’s landscape. Inhabiting rickety towers that would collapse beneath a human’s weight, they look down on a world that has forgotten them. Serving as messengers and lookouts for thieves’ guilds, their silent vigilance often makes them a critical part of the criminal underworld.
The Tragedy of the Kenku Mind
Lacking creativity and the ability to invent, the kenku have become the hopeless plagiarists of the world. They function as minions, bereft of the will to plan or scheme. Their voices, capable of mimicking any sound, remain an echo of something they once had, never a true reflection of themselves.
They can forge and replicate, becoming artisans and scribes in a hollow existence. Yet, their relentless longing for flight renders them unsatisfied, never content with mere routine. Even the flocks they form, led by the so-called Masters, seem to exist without purpose or ambition, save for the relentless quest to regain what was lost.
The Sinister Allure of Adventure
Some kenku, wearied by a life of crime, become adventurers. These rare individuals may be more daring and ambitious, driven by a desire to break free from the curse that binds them. They seek to master magic, uncover hidden secrets, or find a way to mend their shattered wings.
They may follow a companion, mimicking their voice and mannerisms, yet always an enigma, always hidden behind a mask of mimicry. The mystery of playing a kenku character may be alluring, but the line between intriguing and irritating can be thin.
Kenku Nomenclature: Echoes of a Lost Identity
Names among the kenku echo their world, a tapestry of sounds and memories. Thugs and warriors may carry names like Clanger or Basher, while those more subtle may be known as Rat Scratch or Mouser. Some, turning away from criminal life, may be known by their trade, such as Sail Snap or Hammerer.
A Haunting Legacy
The kenku remain a spectral presence in a world that barely understands them. They are figures of fear and curiosity, damned by an ancient crime and driven by desires they can never fulfill. In their eyes lies a profound sadness, a longing for a life that once was, and a chilling reminder of what betrayal can cost.
As they wander the twisted alleys of human civilization, we are left to ponder: Are the kenku victims of a cruel fate, or are they harbingers of something darker? Only the kenku know, and they are forever silenced, their voices but echoes of a past that will never return.