A race of wingless avians that communicate through their ability to flawlessly imitate any sound they hear. These flightless people often form thieves’ guilds, referred to as flocks or Rookeries in major cities, and quite often work as burglars, pickpockets, and assassins.
About 5′0″ to 5′6″, and about 90-110 pounds, these people have avian heads with a large beak and glossy feathers of any color, which cover the body except for their clawed hands and the skin starting about halfway up their legs. The skin on these areas can range from black to bright yellow.
Before their fall from grace, the Kenku served a master whose name has been lost to memory. They soared on the wings he had given them, silently performing services in his name. However, they coveted his speech and stole the secret of language, and took this newfound ability to beg and cajole for money. When their master found out, they knew his wrath—he stripped them of their wings and cast them down so that they would forever beg in penance for their greed.
Kenku were first driven to their current state of existence by greed and thievery, and such traits remain in their culture to this day. The Kenku are spread far and wide, operating in small rookeries, each one independent from the rest, often acting as thieves, bandits, forgers, and other such unlawful practitioners. Nevertheless, each rookery has its own laws and codes of conduct. Betrayal of these laws often involve the bearing of large wooden wings, a symbol of shame of the Kenku’s lost grace and a crime so heinous that calls for execution will end with the offender tossed from a tall cliff.
In Berwyn, it is customary for a Kenku who is revealed to be all-black upon their first molting to be sent to the woods surrounding the city to live with extended family groups. These Kenku, called Crows, are trained to fight and hunt, and they work as an early alarm system and small militia against threats from outside the city. After their training, they are free to visit the city of Berwyn—even stay the night—but never live there or own property.
The Kenku have a deep level of mythology, partially due to their traveling natures and partly due to them being outsiders a lot of the time. Kenku are, as a result, also very superstitious.
The Rats feature prominently in Kenku mythology as a group living in the shadows and sewers of cities, causing misfortunes and stealing precious items. The Kenku believe the god they were made by was a giant spider, but nothing else is known.