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A tengu is a minor demon in NetHack. Its corpse is valued by many players, as it has a chance of granting teleport control (but can also grant teleportitis). Encountering tengus can be quite annoying as they extensively teleport themselves during combat after hitting. It is easier to kill them in a no-teleport zone such as Sokoban. Unlike other minor demons, they are not susceptible to silver damage.

The wizard quest home, locate, and end levels often are pre-populated with several tengu. The knight quest levels also generate many random i, including tengu, and they can be easily farmed with the abundance of magic traps surrounding the Isle of Glass.

Contrary to popular belief, the chance of gaining teleport control from a tengu corpse is not higher if you already have teleportitis.

Polymorphing into a tengu grants you teleport control, but this is a last resort because you can carry only 20.7% as much as your natural form.

Chance of gaining teleport control

This table shows how many tengu corpses you must eat to have the listed chance at feeling controlled:

Eaten corpses 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Chance of control 17% 31% 42% 52% 60% 67% 72% 77% 81% 84% 87% 89% 91% 92% 94% 95% 95% 96% 97% 97%

This table shows how many tengu you must kill to have the listed chance at feeling controlled (includes the probability of leaving a corpse):

Killed tengu 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Chance of control 8% 16% 23% 29% 35% 41% 46% 50% 54% 58% 62% 65% 68% 70% 73% 75% 77% 79% 81% 82%

This table shows how many cursed scrolls of genocide you must read to have the listed chance at feeling controlled:

Read scrolls 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chance of control 35% 58% 73% 82% 89% 93% 95% 97% 98% 99%

If you have a scroll of charging and a stack of blank scrolls, a newly generated magic marker can get you intrinsic teleport control about 83% of the time.


Tengu are popular Japanese demons/spirits. They are either portaged as humanoid birds or having long noses. In Japanese folklore, they are usually represented by characteristic fierce red masks with very long noses. Most people have seen portrayals of tengu, even if they didn't know their name.

Encyclopedia entry

The tengu was the most troublesome creature of Japanese
legend. Part bird and part man, with red beak for a nose
and flashing eyes, the tengu was notorious for stirring up
feuds and prolonging enmity between families. Indeed, the
belligerent tengu were supposed to have been man's first
instructors in the use of arms.

[ Mythical Beasts, by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ]

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