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Kenku

Kenku, 1st-Level Warrior
Medium Humanoid (Kenku)
Hit Dice: 1d8-1 (3 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (+2 Dex, +4 chain shirt, +1 buckler), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+1
Attack: Claw +1 melee (1d3) or short sword +2 melee (1d6/19-20) or sap +1 melee (1d6 nonlethal) or shortbow +3 ranged (1d6/3)
Full Attack: 2 claws +1 melee (1d3) or short sword +2 melee (1d6/19-20) or sap +1 melee (1d6 nonlethal) or shortbow +3 ranged (1d6/3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Great ally, low-light vision, mimicry
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +0
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 9
Skills: Climb +1, Hide +1, Jump -1, Move Silently +0, Ride +2
Feats: Weapon Focus (short sword)
Environment: Temperate plains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or gang (3-12)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +0

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 feathers.

Kenkus evolved from avians, although they no longer possess wings or the ability to fly. Soft, dark feathers cover a kenku's head and torso, although its scrawny arms and legs remain bare.

Selfish and secretive in their dealings, kenkus gather in large cities, lurk in dark alleys, and hoard purloined gold. They rarely travel alone, instead preferring to roam the streets in small gangs, all the while hatching plots to amass more wealth and power. Due to their penchant for shady ventures, they are often employed as thugs, thieves, spies, and assassins.

A kenku averages 5 feet in height. Because its bones are partly hollow, it weighs a mere 75 pounds.

Kenkus speak Common and their own language, Kenku.

COMBAT

Beneath their unremarkable brown robes, kenkus conceal a variety of useful tools and weapons. Vicious but cowardly, kenkus usually flee or surrender the instant things start to go badly for them.

The kenku warrior presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Str 13, Dex 12, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 9.

Great Ally (Ex): Kenkus work exceptionally well with their allies. When successfully aided on a skill check or attack roll by an ally, or when aiding another, a kenku applies or gains a +3 bonus on its check or attack roll (instead of the normal +2 bonus). Furthermore, a kenku gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls against an opponent flanked by an ally (instead of the normal +2 bonus).

Mimicry (Ex): 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. To duplicate a specific individual's voice, a kenku makes a Bluff check; a listener familiar with the voice being imitated must succeed on an opposed Sense Motive check to discern that the voice isn't genuine.

Skills: Kenku have a +2 racial bonus on Hide checks and Move Silently checks.

Kenku Sneak

A kenku sneak uses its skills to serve more powerful creatures as a spy or assassin. In combat, it relies on sneakiness, cooperation, and initiative to survive. In addition to its weapons, a kenku sneak carries its own sets of thieves' tools.

COMBAT

A kenku sneak uses its rogue abilities to great effect, preferring to work with an ally to flank and sneak attack a foe.

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a kenku sneak can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from its attack, it can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, the kenku rogue's attack deals extra damage any time its target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the kenku rogue flanks its target. This extra damage is 1d6 points at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the kenku rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Trapfinding (Ex): A kenku sneak can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20, and it can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps.

Kenku Society

Kenkus hatch like birds and dwell in family aeries and nests, most of which are located in or near large cities. At age nine, a young adult kenku leaves the home-nest forever and strikes out on its own, usually falling in with small groups of like-minded kenkus. Adult kenkus remain with these groups for mutual protection and gain. A few strike out on their own or partner with other types of creatures who value the services a kenku can provide.

Kenkus as Characters

Kenku characters tend toward neutrality; although most kenkus are evil, neutral and neutral good kenkus also exist. Kenkus favor the rogue class and often pursue the assassin prestige class. Kenku clerics are rare, but those that exist typically worship Vecna, the god of secrets.

Kenkus possess the following racial traits.

-- +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength.

--A kenku's base land speed is 30 feet.

--Great Ally (Ex): Kenkus work exceptionally well with their allies. When successfully aided on a skill check or attack roll by an ally, or when aiding another, a kenku applies or gains a +3 bonus on its check or attack roll (instead of the normal +2 bonus). Furthermore, a kenku gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls against an opponent flanked by an ally (instead of the normal +2 bonus).

-- Mimicry (Ex): 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. To duplicate a specific individual's voice, a kenku makes a Bluff check; a listener familiar with the voice being imitated must succeed on an opposed Sense Motive check to discern that the voice isn't genuine.

--Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d3).

-- +2 racial bonus on Hide checks and Move Silently checks.

--Low-light vision.

--Automatic Languages: Common and Kenku. Bonus Languages: Auran, Dwarven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling.

--Favored Class: Rogue.

--Level adjustment +0.

Kenkus in Eberron

A network of kenku spies calling themselves the Nightswift has infiltrated various metropolitan cities across Khorvaire. The Nightswift maintains secret meeting halls (called eyries) in Zarash'ak (the Shadow Marches), the Great Crag (Droaam), Sharn and Starilaskur (Breland), Wyvernskull (Darguun), Taer Valaestas (Valenar), and Newthrone (Q'barra). Guilds of kenku thieves and assassins are equally prevalent; the largest of these is called Shadoweye's Flock, based in Starilaskur. The stately guildmaster, Shadoweye (NE female kenku rogue 8/assassin 4), has white plumage that testifies to her advanced age, and rumor is she's looking for a worthy successor.

Kenkus in Faerûn

Kenku inhabit cities across southern Faerûn, with a large but loose guild of thieves and assassins called the Dagger-talons based in Zazesspur. Kenku living in the eastern nations of Veldorn and Estagund trace their ancestry even farther east, to Kara-Tur.

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