Ramblings of a Kenku
Ramblings of a Kenku, or wasted poetry on deaf ears
A viewpoint on how one can play a Kenku
A Kenku is naturally quirky, but part of its main lore is the fact that it lacks the spark of creativity as it was torn from their souls. This makes it, in my opinion, impossible to play a Kenku Wizard (one should play whatever one feels like without others telling them different) as a Kenku performing any kind of research would work against its own nature. This lack of creativity requires the group to have other strong thinkers and leaders. Without any creativity it’s likely to turn into quite the boring character, so some creativity is indeed needed but should be anchored into past experiences, observations or familiar situation, which can be tied to its backstory.
Speaking for a Kenku is supposed to be done using the mimicry feat, which lets the player mimic any sound, phrase or sentence previously heard. This mimicry is an exact copy of what was heard, and should not involve single words unless they’re spoken in an emphasised manner, as in a curse word for example. One should not string a sentence together using many individual words, but perhaps using two separate phrases or sentences by the same or different people. Half sentences can be used if not too short, as part of what can be fun is for the other players to figure out what you’re saying. A sentence can also be combined with a sound previously heard, ranging from a jingling coin purse, hammer striking an anvil or a roaring dragon, or perhaps from a brothel once visited. Some examples from a previous session 11/6 2017 can be found down below, and the same session is described from another players point of view here.
There are a couple of things which can help motivate and drive the Kenku forward. Quite often it doesn’t belong anywhere, and a group of adventurers can act as a family. They can often be greedy and one can make a choice to be attracted to money, gold or things of monetary value, or one can choose to be attracted to shiny items and even disregarding the value of it. Lastly a Kenku dream of flight, as that ability was taken from them and they are flightless. One can choose to not care to get their ability of speech back, as in the Kenkus opinion he speaks as clear as day. If one can speak to the DM and point out what drives your character, he or she can incorporate that into the adventure.
[We were surrounded, thousands of them on all sides. We were thrown down into an arena and made to fight for The Spear of Savagery.]
“Hey, watch out for those ants! Their house is twice the size underground and they have a fierce bite”. –Farmers oldest son, human 8 years old.
[In the arena we were supposed to fight their champion, and from crooked gate come a familiar face. I’ve only met him once and his name was… Ahrys I believe?]
“Ah, I remember you! I don’t think I quite caught your name the first time we met”. –Merchant of a Seafaring vessel, Dragonborn 45 years old.
[After he joined us a small company of Kobolds comes out after. There’s two clearly stronger of them in the back.]
“Stick em’ with the pointy end!!”.
–Slightly too eager militiaman, Gnome 80 years old.
[We managed to beat them, and found an important clue on a previous corpse in the form of an intricate lockbox. Afterwards we hastily made our escape.]
“Riddles, one is never too old for them.”
–Tavern patron, Half-Elf 128 years old.
[We arrived at The WestAxe Lodge, a fortified building that is as harder getting out of than into.]
“It’s like a prison, hard to break into, and even harder to break out of.”
–Mansion guardsman, Dwarf 150 years old.
[On the door there sits two very lifelike polished doorknockers, one is sad and one is glad.]
“The vibrant colours, so lifelike, such a masterpiece! It is clearly my best work as of yet!”
–Flamboyant painter, Elf 350 years old.
[We have to turn in our weapons, everyone complies but me as I try to keep a knife.]
“A guard dog so old he’s lost his teeth is useless, and should be put down!”
–Grumpy housewife, Halfling 120 years old.
[I didn’t get to keep my knife.]
“What has happened here? Who’s responsible for cleaning up this mess?!”
–Schoolhouse teacher, Half-Elf 37 years old.
[After some time Beck (the motha’****er) gain entry into the lodge.]
“That is one ugly ass face... What did you do in your previous life to deserve that?”
–Back alley thug, Dragonborn 22 years old.
[Beck sits down at our table and grabs a young child hostage, his clawed fingers at the child’s neck.]
“Someone ought to put a leash on that dog before it hurts someone.”
–Concerned neighbour, Halfling 60 years old.
“We can use him, unbeknownst to him… but for our own benefit. It will give us the time we need.”
–Smuggler, Tiefling 39 years old.
[Beck reveals that he’s part of the hunt, and that we are the prey. He then leaves and declares that the hunt will proceed, giving us a head start for the sake of entertainment.]
“You have to carefully set the trap, leave no trace of it and use appropriate bait. Patience is the key, and we will come back tomorrow and gain the fruits of our labour.”
–Instructing hunter, Half-Elf 51 years old.