“I'm either the ugliest Tā you've ever seen, or the most handsome Zazane you've ever seen. Pick whichever you prefer for the occasion.”
- - Tengu
Tengu Shinha, born Sanguine Daren, is an artificial hybrid of Tā and Ottzelloan Zazane created by the infamous Kol Daren in the image of his nemesis Hachiman, given life for the purpose of serving as his foil. While he begun his existence as a merciless killer whose sole focus was the destruction of Kol Daren's enemies, he was redeemed by Hachiman's compassion and forgiveness, even at his darkest hour, which led the hybrid to turn against Kol Daren and ultimately aid in Hachiman's Ascension. In the current day, he spends most of his time close to Hachiman, serving as one of their closest allies.
The exact circumstances of Tengu's creation are uncertain, but many believe Kol Daren first obtained Hachiman's genetic material around the time of the New Dawn by sending his Blackforge agents to the remains of Nirosia, the Corruptus Overworld which was the throne of the Devourer's Chosen, and finding traces of their fur and hair among its debris. Once that was done, Kol then undertook Project Ephialtes; the title of the operation that would seek to create successful, combat-ready clones of Hachiman.
Project Ephialtes failed for the most part, with 101 experiments dying during the developing stages of their life cycle due to genetic breakdown and gaps within the coding of their DNA, as the information provided was not entirely complete. To ensure that Project Ephialtes was not a complete and utter failure, Kol Daren contributed an amount of his own genetic material and Essence into the equation of the last planned subject of the project; Experiment 102. Born within a chamber of boiling, incredibly hot liquid that was intended to house the conditions necessary for the creature's growth and development, as well as induce a resistance or tolerance to pain, Experiment 102 was the first successful addition of Project Ephialtes, albeit suffering a premature "birth" alongside a vast array of features described by Kol Daren as "deformities, mutations and imperfections" concerning his biological structure and physical appearance. At this point, he was granted the name of Sanguine Daren.
Sanguine would proceed to serve as one of Kol Daren's closest agents through the following years as he was trained and conditioned to destroy Hachiman. He would be subject to large amounts of physical and mental abuse from Kol Daren - who found in him a way to vent his frustrations regarding Hachiman - as well as his genetic 'sibling' Cattalix Daren, who found him to be a threat to his standing as Kol's favorite son. When Hachiman finally started his quest to defeat Kol Daren, Sanguine would be a constant thorn in his side, as the hybrid believed destroying him would finally elevate him to a position of adoration in the eyes of his twisted 'father'.
Sanguine's rivalry with Hachiman reached its apex when, during a fateful confrontation, Sanguine killed Nym Khavaasi, the biological father of Hachiman, before he was defeated himself. However, rather than ending the hybrid's existence, Hachiman rather saw the bigger picture - that Sanguine was as much of a victim as they were, one who was forced to do acts of cruelty due to being corrupted from birth - and this act led to them receiving enlightenment from their patron, leading to their Ascension. Hachiman proceeded to spare Sanguine's life despite all of his crimes, an act which humbled the hybrid and forced him to reconsider the meaning of his own existence, which ultimately resulted in him coming to Hachiman's aid when they had their final confrontation with Kol Daren; by the end, Sanguine, now exclaiming his name to be Tengu Shinha, ensured Kol Daren did not survive the destruction of his mothership when the battle was over.
In the current day, Tengu travels the universe with Hachiman and serves as one of their closest allies.
Tengu is an artificial hybrid of Tā and Ottzelloan Zazane, sporting the overall physical proportions of the former species but sporting numerous features of the latter, most prominently a large pair of curved horns and a long tail. His body is covered in red fur with black blotches, and certain portions of his skin are covered in a small layer of scales. While described as deformed, this was merely from Kol Daren's twisted perception, for Tengu's facial features are actually identical to those of Hachiman - and as such, imperfect in his creator's eyes -, though both his face and body are covered in scars received during battle and during his time under Blackforge, which grant him a more rugged and masculine appearance in comparison to Hachiman's androgyny. During his time with Kol Daren, Tengu wore a distinct mask to hide his alleged deformities, though he discarded it after he assumed his current identity.
Under Kol Daren, Tengu was a jaded and cruel individual, determined to earn the affection of his 'father' through the destruction of his foes. However, following his redemption, the hybrid has shed away his cruelty, as he now sees the universe for what it truly is rather than through the mad teachings of Kol Daren. In the current day, Tengu is a hot-blooded and incredibly hedonistic individual who values personal freedom above all else, not being afraid to resort to violence to get his way, though his loyalty to Hachiman remains absolute.
As a creation of Kol Daren, Tengu is an extremely powerful combatant. He sports amazing strength, speed and endurance, and is unnaturally tolerant to pain, allowing him to shrug off blows that would hinder common warriors. His most noticeable piece of equipment is a prosthetic which makes up the entirely of his left arm, for his natural one was lost during his first sparring with Kol Daren. This piece of equipment serves as not only a fully functional artificial limb but also as a built-in cannon; Tengu's hand can retract into the arm to reveal a barrel from which he can fire concentrated blasts of Descension Energy as powerful projectiles. Under extreme circumstances, Tengu can also use this Essence to assume a Demon Form, which causes him to grow in size and covers his body in a nigh impenetrable armor of pure Shidium.
- Hachiman - All that mighty power and your girly bottom is still mine.
- Vatra Morikair - A fun gal, for sure! Though I don't like the way she glares at my horns.
- Kalcedia Myran - The rest of my family was crap but you, you I like a lot.
“I could warm up to this guy. Sorta.”
- - Agent Nu
“He shall accomplish his tasks swimmingly.”
- - Kol
“He is no "brother" of mine, we do not share a father.”
- New Dawn (First appearance)
- Tengu was inspired by various characters from several fictional sources, with ones of important note being Mega Man from the Mega Man game franchises and Shadow the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
- Tengu also shares some resemblances to several other notable characters of fiction; the purpose behind Tengu's creation is similar to that of Metal Sonic from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise in that they were both designed to best and destroy their original counterparts, while Sanguine's mask bares resemblance to Meta Knight from the Kirby franchise.
- Tengu's original name of Sanguine shares his name with a character once thought of by TheHachi that was a vampiric wolf-like creature which was Hachiman's rival, although it was OluapPlayer's idea to bring the character into Sporewiki fiction with an entirely reworked background and storyline purpose.
- Project Ephialtes, the operation undertaken by Kol Daren to create Tengu, was named after a deformed warrior who infamously betrayed the Spartans during the Battle of Thermopylae after he was refused membership into their army and revealed a way around the Spartan military to the Persians.
- While originally made to be literally deformed, this was later retconned with the reveal that he was actually completely normal (for a hybrid), with the deformities all coming from Kol Daren's perception of him being too similar to Hachiman, who he considers deformed.