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Note: The Kenku race may only be selected by spending a Major Award!


“A cloaked humanoid clings to the shadows. It has birdlike talons instead of hands and feet, and beneath the cowl of its robe you can discern avian features—beady black eyes, a black beak, and russet-brown features.” - 3rd edition Monster Manual III, pg 86.

Theorized to have descended from a crow-like race called Tengu in the far East, Kenku are an avian humanoid race most commonly known for their striking crow-like appearance.

Most commonly known for their cunning and secretive nature, these creatures are most often treated with cautious suspicion in Faerunian cities.

There is not much that a Kenku wants in life beyond acquiring more wealth and power. Because of these cut-throat ambitions, Kenku often act as spies, assassins, or even thieves while enacting greater plots in order to obtain these two things.

Kenku rarely, if ever, travel alone and often are found within the bowels of large cities, roaming the streets in small gangs. They also enjoy the safety of height, and sometimes take to living in abandoned belfries or clock towers as they offer many advantages to one involved in cloak-and-dagger activities. Some Kenku are known to participate in mercantile pursuits, though regardless of their aims, most common-folk regard them with generous caution.

Kenku Religion

“Quorlinn is a strange god who is featured in many obscure myths as a botched experiment in creation by a powerful non-lawful sky god too embarrassed to admit his failure.” - 2e Monster Mythology, pg 92

Most Kenku paid worship to Quorlinn, a lesser-deity who begrudged his role as the Kenku carer. Bad-tempered and fickle, he whined constantly about his role, though it is uncertain if this is because he actually detested his flock or that he felt he lacked the strength to be their protector. He thus taught the Kenku to steal, use magic, and disguise themselves, so that they could be self-sufficient and cease bothering him. It didn’t work.

Priests, Clerics, and Shamans of Quorlinn were often the most cunning of Kenku, but due to Quorlinn’s capricious nature, his followers had to whine incessantly to him for their spells, and even then were only guaranteed them half the time - and usually just to shut them up.

Working as masterminds of gangs and spy-rings, these worshippers lead their followers to thieve, kidnap, ambush (and worse) to enemies or anyone who had a large amount of coin they might be parted from. These organized groups also hoarded information just as much as gold, though their scheming and petty nature often led them to keep both selfishly, and refused to share with others unless the price was right.

Besides Quorlinn, Kenku often worshiped other sky gods, such as Akadi. Given their proclivity towards gangs, some even came to worship the Gods that their other gang members paid tithe and respect to.

Kenku Culture and Society

Like many other avian races, Kenku hatch like birds and live in family aeries or nests. Typically, these nesting areas are located either in or near large cities.

Kenku leave their nests from a very young age to live independently. Often, groups of young, like-minded Kenku form “flocks” and “gangs” in which they tend to remain with for mutual protection and gain. Some Kenku, however, are known to practice the same habit with other creatures outside of their race who bring some sort of value or service to the Kenku. Given their abilities, the Kenku makes a perfect addition to any thief, assassin, or information ring regardless of the races of its members.

A lone Kenku is an endangered Kenku, and they know it. There is safety in numbers, and a Kenku’s selfish nature will almost always ensure that they seek that safety in a gang rather than lean towards lone wolf activities. In Kenku flocks, these gangs are led by a “Ringleader” - often their most skilled and cunning fighter, capable of organizing their followers into ever-changing tactics at the most brief of sounds, making the flock a terrible and dangerous threat to deal with.

Because of the desire to obtain more power or wealth, Kenku flourished in the criminal underbelly of most cities. They often operated all kinds of illicit enterprises, but most prefer the use of tricks and scheming. Despite that, violence is something that they rarely participated in.

Roleplaying Tips for Kenku

“Mimicry: A kenku can perfectly mimic familiar sounds, voices, and accents. This ability does not enable the kenku to speak languages it can’t normally speak…” - 3e Monster Manual III, pg 86

Most Kenku are very different depending on whether you catch them by themselves or with their gang. Alone, a Kenku can be skittish and nervous, knowing that they are weak by themselves without friends and allies to have their back. In a group, Kenku can be far more assured, confident in their group tactics and allies that worked together in a deadly flurry of movement. They are also often selfish, wanting to hoard gold and coins to themselves.

Kenku are very different to most races, so think of how you might use more animalistic emotes to further the image of playing an odd and upright-walking, flightless bird.

Kenku can mimic familiar sounds, and are often named after their most favorite, such as; Twang, Running Water, Sneeze, Rattle Dice, Pin Drop, and more.

Most other races in Faerûn are skeptical of Kenku given their reputation as thieves, selfish pickpockets, and worse. Expect that others will shun you, and you may have to work hard to situate yourself in a “gang.”

Notes on Kenku Lore Sources and Clarifications:

  • Kenku of Arelith follow 3rd edition lore for language speaking. Only in later editions, specifically 5th edition, are they forced to use mimicry and are unable to speak common on their own. Kenku players should feel free to speak Common, Kenku, Auran, and other learned languages as would anyone else.
  • While the Kenku race does lean towards evil, neutral or good aligned Kenku are not unheard of. Many Kenku may adopt neutral or unaligned views and behaviors dependent on their environment.
  • There are only 2 or 3 books that discuss Kenku as a race. Please be careful when using the Forgotten Realms wiki as a reference as it incorporates 4th and 5th edition content that may not be canon in Arelith AU. If you are unclear on specific lore not found here, feel free to ask the Arelith Writing Team on the Lore thread in the official Arelith Discord or post your question on the forums.


  • Quorlinn
  • Akadi
  • Mask, and other gods often worshipped by thieves, assassins, and rogues.

Creating a New Character on Arelith



  • ECL: +0


  • +2 DEX, -2 STR
  • Skill Affinity (Search): +2 bonus to search checks
  • Greater Skill Affinity (Bluff): +4 bonus to Bluff checks
  • Bonus Feats
  • Skill Focus: Perform
  • Use Poison
  • Stealthy
  • Low-light Vision
  • Hollow Bones


  • Starting city: Cordor, Sencliff, Skal. Outcast in Andunor ONLY.
  • Bonus Language: Kenku
  • Bonus Language: Auran
Playable Races on Arelith   
Human Human - Deep Imaskari - Firbolg - Half-Giant, Cloud- Half-Giant, Fire - Half-Giant, Frost - Half-Giant, Stone - Half-Giant, Storm, Shadovar
Dwarf Shield Dwarf - Gold Dwarf - Duergar - Wild Dwarf
Elf Moon Elf - Aquatic Elf - Avariel - Fey'ri - Sun Elf - Wild Elf - Wood Elf
Gnome Rock Gnome - Svirfneblin - Forest Gnome
Halfling Lightfoot Halfling - Ghostwise Halfling - Strongheart Halfling - Fey
Half-Elf Half-Elf - Gloaming - Green Hag - Kenku
Half-Orc Half-Orc
Monstrous Drow - Goblin - Kobold - Gnoll - Orog - Hobgoblin - Ogre - Minotaur - Imp - Troglodyte - Yuan-ti Pureblood - Derro - Rakshasa - Vampire