They were a race of bird-like humanoids that lived in the Mwangi Expanse. From inside the great colony in Necropolis, they controlled their empire through spies, assassins, and rigged elections.
Kenkus never traveled far from their colony, claiming Necropolis as rightfully theirs.
They did not concern themselves with other affairs or heed the words of anyone who came to them for counsel.
Their only desire was to exact retribution for the horrors visited upon them by Nar-Voth's sorcerer-kings the stigmata of slavery etched forever on their souls.
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There was an exception to this rule, but that is a story for another day. Most kenku have no recollection of their ancestors, as these avians were killed off long ago out of fear or hatred by creatures like goblins, drow, and dragons.
A kenku's most distinctive features were facial feathers that covered the top of its head like a crest in a somewhat fan-like shape.
These facial feathers might have served to amplify the kenku's calls, which can sound like drums to human ears.
Its beak was hooked and excellent for gripping prey and climbing trees, which is where this species preferred to roost in high strung communities.
They also engage in dancing while in their roosts and communicate through these dances.
Kenku were unique among the bird-like race of creatures known as the winged people for their devotion to subtlety and secrecy. Almost nothing was publicly known about them, including the origin of their name.
Because they spoke with such high-pitched voices, kenkus tended to be poorly understood by those who did not share a language in common.
In addition to being secretive by nature, kenkus were also sufficiently intelligent that they rarely spoke unnecessarily.
Kenku are sneaky creatures, using the sun as cover to sneak past enemies and scout out the lay of the land.
They hunt in small groups once they see a potential foe, and jump from tree to tree (using their scurrying climb) to sneak up on their target.
Kenku are shapechangers with the Alter Self spell-like ability, usable once per day.
They can use their change shape ability to take the form of a specific individual of about the same size and mass as the kenku itself.
These bird-people coexisted with the kenku for hundreds of years wandering the forests together.
Over time however the species split and the kenku developed a love of music, while their winged cousins took to art.
During the early years of Vvardenfell and shortly after its founding in 1E416, they roamed freely in the jungles of the vast island.
The earliest mention of the kenkuts are found on engravings, depicting them as servants of the daedra (also known as daedra), performing their bidding and solving mysteries for them.