THE TENGU ARE AVIAN HUMANOIDS, warriors and scavengers with a fierce sense of individualism. Tengus possess feathered human-like bodies with bird heads and feet; though their avian features may resemble any species of crow, gamefowl, or parrot, with a rare few possessing plumage reminiscent of birds-of-paradise. Female tengus are generally larger than males of the species, though their plumage is plainer, even drab. Tengus lost the ability of flight some time in the distant past, but can use their almost human hands to wield weapons, preferring blades of all kinds. Unarmed, a tengu’s sharp beak is capable of inflicting vicious wounds. Tengus prefer uncooked meat and carrion but eat nearly anything; most live on a diet of human food scraps taken from rubbish dumps and streets.
Tengu society seems very strange to outsiders, but is based around the principle of freedom of choice; all their crimes are forms of “choice-theft”, denying another being the right to choose their own fate. However, they do not easily grasp the concept of individual ownership, and readily “borrow” anything they can get their talons on.
The tengu race is ancient, and dwelt throughout ancient Danor long before humanity established its cities. Historical records seem to indicate that the tengu were once close friends to humans, but they have since become clannish and insular. They have done little to benefit or hinder human civilization, which has simply been built up around them, or in spite of them. Modern tengus prefer to live in human cities, forming tribal groups to roost in vacant warehouses or condemned buildings. They usually don’t pay taxes or bother finding employment, nor do they cooperate with authorities. Other than the occasional theft, tengu are considered a harmless nuisance; and its been proven far more trouble than it’s worth to get rid of them.