Kenu

The Kenu are the stork-men of the Inner Sea. Never prolific creatures, they live in small isolated communities, usually within other myr settlements, willing to offer their wisdom and aid to those who need largely for their own reasons, though they are canny creatures, not objectionable to reward when it is offered. However despite the fact that whatever community they become part of does benefit from the presence of the wise and long lived Scholar Birds, their incessant politicking and bickering often causes great unrest around them.

Names

Kenu, Aksis (inner sea goblyns), Ramu (inner sea hobgoblyns), Kimura (inner sea mhulak and southlands), Scholar-Birds (haedrasia).

Potency


Visage

The stork-men of the west are capable of standing very tall, but usually hunch lower than. They have man-like legs and trunks, but their feet are the long-toed red talons of a wading bird. Their arms are elongated so that they reach right to the ground, and are clad in feathers forming long flightless wings. These arms terminate in three-fingered hands, and have and extra joint half way along the stretched forearm so that they can tuck the whole wing up in front of their bodies. Their entire bodies are covered in blue-black down, with heavy feathers only on the wings and back, giving them a sort of hump on the back. All of this is usually hidden under the huge robe that the Kenu wear. Their necks are exceptionally long, but are also jointed so as to tuck them down inside the robes, so that only the face and beak emerge just below the shoulders. They can turn their heads right around like as much as they choose an owl on this neck. The head is entirely bird-like, with a long red beak, but their plumage ends where the neck meets the shoulders, leaving their faces are bald, dark and scaly. The eyes are mounted towards the front of the head more - like a man's - on either side of the beak. Many Kenu have a touch of white somewhere, but generally their characteristic dark blue and bright red are the only colours anyone will notice upon meeting one.

Aetherial

Kenu are some of the wisest creatures in the known world, and are certainly the most intellectual of the myr - perhaps even rivalling the Mhulak for their knowledge and scholarship. Despite appearing to be birds the creatures cannot fly, or even glide. In addition to this their eyesight is quite poor, and they tend not to be able to see things at great distances or in little light. Despite this their great knowledge is often exceptionally useful to the creatures.

Borrowing and Sorting

However by far the most remarkable thing about the Kenu is not their bent avian form, but their exceptional minds. Kenu have developed talents that they innocuously refer to as borrowing and sorting. By some invisible act of will they can reach into another creature's mind, and pluck out an idea, thought, or inspiration (which might imply a fact) remove it and examine it as one might a shiny bauble. Then either return it from whence it came or keep it. The victim of an idea thief will no longer have the idea once it has been stolen, and the Kenu will only retain a vague memory of it if returned. Kenu can also subtly alter the idea, or even take an idea of their own and replace the stolen idea with it - the sorting part of the exercise.

Perhaps to protect their plans and ambitions from their prying fellows, Kenu have developed their other unusual quirk: Every Kenu has two completely distinct personalities. Each is usually aware of the other, but each have their own distinct strengths, weaknesses, personality, and aspirations. In most cases these personalities cooperate, even sharing conscious awareness. But frequently one personality will be suppressed so that only one of the Kenu's selves is privy to a secret or a plan. Some Kenu have even compartmentalized mental trauma, with one personality horribly mad, while the other remains lucid and reasonable. Sometimes these personalities will grow to plot against one another, but usually the relationship is amicable, and Kenu are frequently found in heated conversation with themselves in their more private moments.

Craft


Cunning

Kenu are exceptionally curious creatures, hungry for knowledge. They are long-lived, patient, calm and a little imperious, often thinking themselves the better of lesser creatures. Kenu were at the centre of the old Kelorn Empire, and despite the centuries since the collapse of that empire, they have retained a great deal of wealth and influence down through the generations, and take their privilege somewhat for granted. But they value knowledge and ideas, and have a great deal of respect for any who seek it. Whether for self-aggrandizement or more altruistic reasons, they are usually happy to share their lore, though seldom can a secret be pried from a Kenu. However Kenu are also lovers of competition, and what better competition that the convoluted and overcomplicated political manoeuvrings for status and rank? If left to their own devices, the Scholar-Birds constantly bicker, snipe and compete under the veneer of strictly structured etiquette. This often sows chaos at the heart of the communities they inhabit.

Social

The Kenu culture favours flamboyance, and emotional pettiness. Though they are capable of forming alliances, they are by nature extremely paranoid and distrustful, always watching for the dagger that comes for their backs. Some Kenu even suspect their second self of plotting against them. As such, being at the top of Kenu society is always a very temporary situation, though it is more often disgrace and discredit than blatant murder that sees to an individual's fall.

Kenu tend to live at the heart of other large communities where they ply their trade as bureaucrats, messengers, spies, councillors or leaders. They generally keep to their own kind when they can, thinking of other races as unworthy rivals. Within their own culture, Kenu live in large councils where they ostensibly are all equals under a single mutually elected leader. But they so love bureaucracy and structure that each has a plethora of other titles and duties that they guard jealously, and that they use to position themselves above one another, and to enact convoluted plots to seize the offices of other Kenu. While generally above such things as murder (a base and graceless way to elevate oneself) they do reason that they need not have more respect for other races than that race does for one another.

Civilization

Kenu are probably the most civilized and cultured of the myr. Living in large communities, usually within the settlements of other races, they are not given to physical labour, what is characteristic about a Kenu settlement isn't the way it is built, or the materials used, because they have others to do their building, and are happy with whatever style they work with best, but that a Kenu quarter in a major town or city is always gaudily decorated, and features a riot of colour, texture, pattern and materials, especially those that shine or catch the light. They love jewels, and glass baubles, polished glass of different colours, exotic fabrics, and even colourful paint, and they value appearance highly, meaning that a Kenu will expend the vast majority of his means on decorating his home in the most audacious and eye catching style possible - often a challenge when his neighbours are striving for the same.

Imperiously welcoming other races into their districts like magnanimous noblemen welcoming common guests, they will take great offence if words of admiration for their fine things are not expressed quickly. The craving for knowledge, and just how hard a Kenu will work to outdo his neighbours and his own family, make them incredibly valuable to their host communities, where their various services and great wisdom fetch a high price, and place them in positions of great esteem. Above all, thanks to their love of titles and office, Kenu will often have a largely meaningless list of offices he occupies that can take hours to recite, and he will do so as often as he possibly can.

Other groups of Kenu have embraced a simpler life, polling rafts and fishing on the Inner Sea. These Kenu have adopted a more peaceful way of life, away from the machinations and suspicions of their fellows. These Raft-Kenu keep mostly to themselves, leading simple lives under their broad straw hats, polling their one-man rafts, with net and line dragging behind. They especially value fish with shining silvery scales, and frequently make bargains to sell their fish for baubles. Many think this a sign that they are gullible and simple, but those individuals simply underestimate the pleasure that the Kenu derive from shiny objects.

Language

Places

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Names

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Statistics


Talents
Knowledgeable +4 | Graceful +1 | Clever +1 | Insightful -4 | Strong -1 | Tough -1 | Brave -1
Unique Abilities
Borrowing and Sorting | Of Two Minds | Weak Eyed
Ageing
Infant 0-6 years -5 to all Talents except Lucky
Child 7-20 years -3 to all Talents except Lucky
Adolescent 21-40 years -1 to Tough, Clever and Knowledgeable
Adult 41-80 years none
Middle-aged 81-95 years -1 to Fast, Hale and Strong
Old 96-106 years -2 to all Physical Talents, -1 to Knowledgeable
Venerable 107+ years -3 to all Physical Talents, -2 to all Mental Talents
Basics Variables
Morphology Bipedal Height 5'7" + Size' + 1d3' - 1d3' (top of shoulder)
Diet Omnivorous Weight 115lbs + (Sizelbs x5) + (Brawnlbs x3) + 1d10lbs - 1d10lbs
Cycle Diurnal Gender standard
Prime Sense Vision

Borrowing and Sorting

kenu steal ideas and thoughts from people, actually steal them so that they now dwell in the kenu's head and not the owners. they can also take ideas of their own, and replace the stolen ones, or reorder existing ideas. of course they are merely ideas and thoughts, not irresistible compulsions. by examining thoughts and replacing them they can usually deduce facts. most people think in their own native language.

Of Two Minds

all kenu have two completely distinct personalities, with their own mental talents and damage tracks. they often keep secrets from one another.

Weak Eyed

if there's any question of visual disadvanatage, kenu will be the first to suffer it