The Forgotten Realms hold many cursed creatures. The Kenku may be the least fortunate; not only did they lose their wings, they lost their voice. Introduced in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Kenku are a race of anthropomorphic crows. Standing relatively short compared to most races, the Kenku were cursed millenia ago, when an ancient ancestor was punished for the crime of theft. This curse left them without wings, creativity, or voices. That’s why this Kenku Names Guide will be so interesting; Kenku are a race without a voice, or creativity to make names for themselves.
Kenku Names 5E Guide
While I personally despise that the Kenku’s curse took away their creativity, I can’t say it doesn’t make for wonderful naming structures. Kenku names are next to impossible to generate, because they steal their name from their environment. Your Kenku will have a name that’s only applicable to its lifestyle. And it’s also one of the most charming naming structures that 5E has to offer.
How Do Kenku Get Their Names?
The Kenku’s curse left them as little more than minions, vagabonds, and thieves. Therefore, they wander the earth, unable to fix or repair things, uninnovative, and just wanting to survive. Their mimicry ability leaves them unable to beg unless they hear someone else. They can’t rob someone without being robbed first. Their voice is their memories, and they cannot make any experiences for themselves. That’s the curse of the kenku.
Despite this, many Kenku are trying to claw back their lives. Kenku adore staying in tall buildings, reminders of flight. Because they’re so small, they tend to not upset rickety buildings; their weight is negligible in most awful towers.
Their lack of creativity also leads to flocks of Kenku joining under the “wing” of other creatures. Kenku are ideal forgers and spies, and those with good leaders will follow orders to the letter, unable to improvise. Kenku are natural criminals, but smart governments that see the Kenku’s talents might use them to discover forgers, mimic back conversations, or copy specific passwords. They are stellar workers… but occasionally, flocks are destroyed, or a kenku grows tired of crime.
Thus, they become adventurers. These Kenku still wish for companionship, but are beginning to break the shackles of creative lockdown. They’re relatively independent, and wish to find how to break the curse. If you are ready to try your hand as a feathered adventurer, check out our Kenku 5E Guide.
See Also: Hobgoblin Names Guide
What Should I Name My Kenku?
Since Kenku can only mimic things, their names tend to be sounds they find to be enjoyable. Instead of crafting a name, a Kenku might simply hear something often enough.
For example, a Kenku thug might have their name be the sound of coins dropping to the floor. A Kenku artisan might have the sound of a paintbrush sweeping across a canvas. Or a janitor might like the sound of soap bubbles softly popping. If you were a thief, you might change your name to an animal noise, like a cat’s meow, so you have a code. Your Kenku’s life really determines what name comes to them naturally.
It will be up to your friends to actually name you. The Kenku above might be called “Silver,” “Brush,” “Pop,” and “Meow,” for example. And that’s all for Kenku! If you’re building a Kenku, they make great Rogues, Rangers, and even Clerics.