The Kenku Edit
The Kenku are one of the oldest races in the mortal realm. They existed before the Naga, and none of the other old races know of their origins (or are telling...). Once thought to be from Sakkaku, this theory has been refuted. The Kenku are long-lived, with lifespans of several hundred years being average. They do not often reproduce, and as a result, it is estimated there are less than 1000 of them in mortal realms. They currently have an organized civilization that interacts with others at this time. Most Kenku are solitary wanderers. This has not always been the case. (3E p 280)
Back in the times of pre-history, the Kenku joined the trolls, the ningyo, the kitsu and the zokujin to build the crystaline City of Night in the Seikitsu mountains. It is widely believed that at one time the Kenku ruled Rokugan (AoTD 159)
Kenku appear as mix of human and raven. They are covered in black feathers, of human height and size, with Raven heads and wings. Their hands and feet have claws but the hands are fully functional. Kenku can fly about twice as fast as a human. (CoR 3E p 125-126)
Kenku have the ability to shapeshift, the only known form is that of an elderly human with a large nose.
Kenku may speak a variety of languages, depending upon their travels, and display great wisdom and birdlike mannerisms. Kenku are also known as tricksters, and their mischievious nature is part of many stories. The Kenku are not a violent race, and although known for their swordsmen, they primarily focus on self exploration. Kenku commonly study iajitsu, kenjitsu, meditation and some form of artisan skills.
Kenku Professions: Edit
Kenku Swordsmanship is reknowned for it's speed and precision. Kenku swordman may injure the soul as well as the body with their blows as well as attacking multiple times and with perfect blows. True Kenku masters have shown knowledge of many schools, and have used them at need. (CoR 3E p 5-6)
Kenku Shugenja make up a significant portion of the population, perhaps as much as 25% of all Kenku are Shugenja. Even Shugenja are master swordsmen, and Kenku courtiers may also be similarly skilled with the katana.
Kenku often act as sensei to heros, teaching them Kenku Swordsmanship and preparing them for a great destiny. These heros become well known for their deeds. The Crane seem to have a disproportionate number of students of Kenku among their history.
Kenku Nemurani - Naishi, the Raven sword. This sword has been loaned to many human heros, disappearing and reappearing. It was forged by Doji Yasurugi. It holds the souls of all the heros who weild it. It has a gold blade and a raven emblem on the handle.
Famous Kenku Edit
Akagerasu - 12th Century - Duelist Sensei for the Crane Clan.
Ayamari - 12th Century - Ninja for the Mantis Clan.
Itsume - 12th Century - Kenku Samurai with red wings.
Kozue - 1st and 12th Century - Kozue is a Sensei, skilled in the arts of weaponsmithing, swordsmanship, and mystical abilities. He transported Doji Yasuyo to Chikushudo, the spirit realm, to speed up her training (seven years there are only one year in Rokugan). (Secrets of the Crane, p 44)
Mukashi - 1st Century, younger brother of Takashi, tried to assist in recovering the girl Shuro.
Takashi - 1st Century
Kenku Human Interactions- Edit
Doji Hotei - weilded Naishi.
Doji Yasurugi - trained by Kozue in the 1st Century, trained by Kenku in the art of forging the katana.
Doji Yasuyo - trained by Kozue for many years, she purified the cursed sword Chukandomo that was used by her cousin, Crane Champion Doji Kurohito. Later married the Shogun.
Doji Yoringu- weilded Naishi.
Doji Mikado - trained with the Kenku as a swordsman.
Mujina Fuhao - Led Doji Yasuyo to Kozue.
Kenku PCs- Edit
Karasu Keganin, The Crippled Raven.
Teacher in the Kakita Artisan School - Cooking
Honor 5.3 Glory 10.9 Status 3.0/4.0
Karasu is a fairly young Kenku who was crippled in an epic battle with an unknown creature. He has been seen traveling with Agasha Sumioki, the Phoenix Sage, as Yojimbo to the famous painter Kakita Hanako, and with Jade and Sapphire Magistrates. He is a cheerful prankster, and is eager to "play duel" or engage in dance or play. He is an artist, rather than a swordsman, which is rare among his people. Despite this, he is still ferocious with the sword, having won 15 duels, including making the semi-finals of the Coral Championship. His sword is well used, and he has been seen to dispatch both spirit beasts, ronin, and samurai with little effort.
Primarily, he is known not for his sword work, but for his cooking and entertaining. He created a very popular festival dance among the peasants known as "the Onion Dance" in Lion lands. His "Rice Dance" won the artistic competition of the Coral Tournament, and has become popular among courtiers of the clans. Although less well known but with more devoted fans, his "Demonstrations and stories of dishonorable acts and places not to go as a sailor or ronin" has been very instructive and popular among the Mantis, Unicorn, Kasuga, and Ronin.
His cooking skills with Noodles and Mochi are unsurpassed. He has become famous in local legends for "The Haunted Noodle" and "Secret Ingredient" legends which revolve around his discovery and dispatch of tainted food. After several heroic events with the Daimiyo of the Crane Clan, and many months with the Kakita, he was accepted into the ranks of teachers, in the Kakita Artisan School for cooking. He wears the robe of "Daidoji Karasu", which is reputed to be haunted. He recently opened the "the Kenku's Noodle", a Sushi bar in Toshi Ranbo that demonstrates the Artisan School of Cooking in food. It is open at unusual times, which adds to the demand to dine there. All are welcome regardless of clan, status, or honor.
He has spent time with the Daimyo of the Kakita, Daidoji, Mirumoto, Shosuro, Asoko, and several functionaries, seeking a swordsman worthy of Kenku tuteledge.