Now, of the Kenku's three curses, the first and last are straight forward, they don't grow wings and they have no voice. However, the second one says

Second, because their ingenuity and skill had turned toward scheming against their patron, the spark of creativity was torn from their souls. (VGM, 109)

Now, this one specifically mentions their soul. So, my question is, would this curse carry over if a Kenku was brought back to life as a different species with a Reincarnate spell? The spell reads

the spell forms a new adult body for it and then calls the soul to enter that body... The magic fashions a new body for the creature to inhabit, which likely causes the creature's race to change... The reincarnated creature recalls its former life and experiences. It retains the capabilities it had in its original form, except it exchanges its original race for the new one and changes its racial traits accordingly. (PHB, 271)

So, since it is no longer a Kenku, the wings don't matter (unless it became an Aarakocra), and it would regain its voice. But since it is still the same soul, would that lack of creativity remain torn from it?

Also, if someone of a different race was brought back as a Kenku with Reincarnate, would they have their creativity torn from their soul, or is the creativity only torn from it when the soul is originally formed as a Kenku?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I would caution answers to tread lightly on how the soul works and focus on how the DM interprets it at their table. I have had multiple debates with two very religious players not necessarily agreeing with how I have implemented them mechanically. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Feb 16, 2017 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth well if they try to argue about it again, you could just tell them it's a fantasy setting containing an array of gods and it's entirely possible they didn't design souls exactly the way real life religions interpret them. \$\endgroup\$
    – J Nason
    Oct 11, 2018 at 3:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Regardless of how RAW might decide on this, I love this concept, and I want to thank you for posting this question, because it's very inspiring! \$\endgroup\$
    – Cooper
    Dec 13, 2018 at 23:08

2 Answers 2


My guess here would be that divine curses only affect the specific race toward which they were intended--reincarnation would be an effective way of escaping the three curses on Kenku.

If you read the stuff on ghouls on p. 148 of the monster manual, it talks about how Doresain made a deal with the elf gods; as a result of that deal, elves became immune to the paralytic touch of a ghoul. I'm fairly sure that if an elf were to reincarnate, it would not still have that immunity, as that divine edict was tied to its race.

Of course, for roleplaying purposes, you could certainly say that an ex-Kenku might have trouble forming their own sentences for a while; whatever works for your table!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello Dungeon Meister! Welcome to the site! Make sure to take the tour when you get a spare moment! \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Feb 16, 2017 at 16:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ The published mythos indicates that the gods created the races would that not mean that the soul is "of that race"? Devil's Advocate here. Doresain was no longer an Elf physically when he beseeched the gods, so why would they care unless it is the Elven spirit/soul that matters to them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Feb 16, 2017 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reincarnation as a concept in D&D has been used in a variety of ways, and there really aren't that many instances where the rules directly care about what race someone used to be, except things like the race of Revenants in 4e. Everywhere else, it seems like once your soul reincarnates into the body of a human, you are no longer a dwarf. You can't use dwarf-only items like a dwarven thrower, so it makes sense that deity-crafted laws of the universe that apply to only dwarves would no longer apply to you. Same for elves, same for kenku. But in all cases, what the DM says, goes. :) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2017 at 17:41

The way the curse is worded it's not a problem with the body.

In a universe of gods and magic a curse on a body and a curse on a soul are two different things.
The reincarnation spell forms a new adult body and then calls for the same cursed soul to enter that body.

Bottom line is the character is still cursed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm. This answer would be improved by some references to what the text of the reincarnation spell says about mind/body duality and how they affect the abilities of a reincarnated creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Feb 19, 2017 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell is in the question already. \$\endgroup\$
    – neco
    Feb 19, 2017 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not the full text of it; If your answer is correct, I'm assuming it has a source, so you should include the text you're basing it on. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Feb 19, 2017 at 21:18

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