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A tengu is a minor demon that appears 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. 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.


Tengu are easier to kill in a no-teleport zone, such as Sokoban. In addition to reverse genociding them, Knights may also consider genociding quasits; as this makes up most of the monsters generated on the quest levels, this increases the chances of minor demons spawning, including tengu, which allows them to be farmed on the home level.

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 demons or spirits in Japanese folklore. They are portrayed either as humanoid birds or having long noses. They are usually represented by characteristic fierce red masks with very long noses.

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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