The Tengu are a wily race of raven-folk predominantly hailing from the island of Darkhaalo. Their nimble frames, deft hands and sharp minds make the Tengu excellent rogues and theives. As a consequence of this and their withdrawn and mysterious nature, Tengu can sometimes find it difficult to get members of other races to trust them.
In the Lost Lands campaign setting, Tengu are a playable race.
Tengu resemble humanoid crows or ravens, and their feathers are almost invariably deep shades of black. Their bodies are covered in fine black feathers, which grow so closely together on their heads that they bear the appearance of fur. Their hands are spindly and flexible. Both their hands and feet terminate in sharp claws.
All Tengu have a natural talent for mimicry. Tengu begin mimicing voices and sounds from a young age, and by the time they reach adulthood can imitate many voices and noises- a skill that Tengu thieves find highly useful.
The Tengu diet primarily consists of mixed fruits and fish. Tengu fishermen from Darkhaalo are legendary for their prowess- even their rivals the Wolf-Kin are forced to tip their proverbial hats in respect. Though their beaks can be sharp, any Tengu with half a brain would never use it as a weapon- they are much too proud for that sort of thing.
Tengu reproduce annually during the spring. If possible, a Tengu will return to his home flock on Darkhaalo to participate in the mating ritual. A pregnant female lays one to three large, dark eggs during the late summer, which hatch into fledgling Tengu by the next spring.
By their nature, Tengu can be summed up in one word: secretive. Tengu take great pride in collecting and keeping secrets. As a result, little is known about their society by outsiders and other individuals can find it very difficult to read a Tengu's motivations. Tengu are often covetous and vain, and are fond of hordeing shiny objects to look at. In some measure, every Tengu is a kleptomaniac.
A Tengu is loyal to his home flock, an extended family all descended from a single Tengu male and his mates. Tengu are fiercely defensive of their flock, and insulting a Tengu's flock is an excellent way to start a fight with him. Annually, Tengu attempt to return to their home flock, if at all possible, for the Conclave- a huge gathering of the family to discuss the year's events, celebrate births and mourn deaths, and mate to produce new fledglings.
The Tengu and Wolf-Kin are fierce territorial rivals on Darkhaalo. Civilized members of both races in other lands can and do get along or even become friends, but there will always be some measure of tension between them. Centuries ago, The War of Tooth and Talon ripped across Darkhaalo, eventually leading to the Night of Fire in which the Wolf-Kin tribes burned the Tengu's forest homes, leaving only the woods surrounding Port De Wolfe as their sanctuary. The Tengu expected the Wolf-Kin would have totally wiped them out centuries ago, but their own tribal in-fighting prevented that from becoming a reality.
Modern Tengu eschew the tree-top homes of their tribal kin in favor of tightly-populated cities, where they can easily blend in and go about their mysterious business unseen. Accordingly, large concentrations of Tengu can be found in White City, Earth and Water City, and Mageport. Here, they often form guilds or halls with their fellow Tengu, which are often assumed- sometimes correctly- to be fronts for illegal operations.
Religious Tengu almost always revere The Raven Queen, goddess of death, who they believe to be their creator. However, many modern Tengu are atheist.
As a general rule, other races do not easily trust Tengu if they know what's good for them. More often than not, a Tengu will just as soon steal from you as look at you. However, those who befriend Tengu find them to be skillful and useful allies.
Wolf-Kin are generally not fond of Tengu, for obvious reasons. In polite society, Wolf-Kin give Tengu the cold shoulder, which the Tengu gladly return. In the wilds of Darkhaalo, however, a Tengu who meets a Wolf-Kin will duel him to the death. In general, it takes much longer for a Tengu to build a trusting relationship with a Wolf-Kin than any other race.
Game Rule InformationEdit
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom: Tengu are fast and observant, but relatively fragile and delicate.
- Senses: Tengu have low-light vision.
- Sneaky: Tengu have a +2 racial bonus to Perception and Stealth checks.
- Gifted Linguist: Tengu have a +4 racial bonus to Linguistics checks. Each time they gain a rank in Linguistics, they may learn 2 languages instead of 1.
- Swordtrained: Tengu are trained to use a sword from a very young age, especially those bred on Darkhaalo. As a result, all Tengu are proficient with longswords, short swords, bastard swords, falchions, greatswords, rapiers, scimitars, and daggers.
- Languages: Tengu begin play knowing Common and Tengu. They may take any language as a bonus language.