The tengu are an isolationist avian race that reside primarily within the Dominion of Winds. They have a few small settlements outside the Dominion in order to both trade with and observe other races. They currently remain neutral in all conflicts and are deciding which other races shall be their allies and who their foes.
Other than in and around the Dominion of Winds, it has been said that some tengu reside within the Maguuma Jungle.
They also appear to possess lost knowledge of the Elder Dragons, though the extent of this is unknown beyond the Elder Dragons having risen in the past. However, some tengu believe that the dragons have not yet made their move and what's seen is only the beginning.
Tengu are a bipedal avian race with usually slim, partially hunched, bodies. Next to their beak are two short fangs. The females of their species have plainer plumage and are typically larger than males. They prefer raw meat for their diet, and though avian, they lost their ability to fly in the distant past.
Modern tengu that live within the Dominion of Winds have long since put aside their differences and now live under four houses - North, South, East, and West. These four houses are named after the winds, and were created to unify the tengu while allowing them to preserve their clans' unique cultures. Beneath these four houses are various clans, such as Clan Talonrend.
Above the four houses, the tengu have an emperor, or, as a tengu would put it, the emperor has them, who resides within the Dominion of Winds.
Throughout history, many of the tengu clans have been subjugated and forced from their homes and territory. In the past, there were five known tengu clans that lived throughout Tyria and Cantha, though it is said the tengu lived throughout the world including in Elona. The tengu from Cantha were expelled by Emperor Usoku as he removed all non-human races from the land and were the last to leave Cantha - as such, they have the most information on what happened there.
When the Great Tsunami of Zhaitan's rise occurred, the tengu across the world saw it as a sign to return home and traveled to Tyria, a descendant of Talon Silverwing leading a charge through Zhaitan's risen forces. When they reached Tyria, they built the Dominion of Winds which resides in Kryta over what was once known as Sanctum Cay. Out of fear of a repeated past, they constructed a great wall to encircle the Dominion of Winds. Non-tengu are not allowed to enter their city.
- In Japanese folklore, Tengu are a class of supernatural creatures. Similarly, tengu clothing and personality appears inspired by ancient Japanese culture, including Bushido.
- According to the Making of Guild Wars 2 book, the tengu were a strong candidate for the playable races, with the Dominion of Winds to be their starter city.