One of the otherworldly creatures we are going to make into the subject of a buntai are the Tengu.
In traditional art tengu are portrayed as human-like creatures with a bird’s beak or a long and beak-like nose, wings and tail feathers on their backs, and claws on their fingers and toes. Some of the more monstrous depictions give them scaled digits or lips, pointed ears, mouths full of sharp teeth, three-toed bird’s feet, or somewhat bat-like webbed flight feathers. Like many demons, they are often associated with the colour red, although sources differ on whether this applies to their skin, hair, or clothing.
Perhaps via confusion with the similarly-long-nosed Shinto deity Sarutahiko, Tengu are also sometimes portrayed with a red face and sans any bird features. This image is particularly common in folk art, like the famous Tengu masks that can be found in many Japanese restaurants.
I am quite taken with the portrayal of the Tengu in the film 47 Ronin. It nods to the traditional, but brings it up-to-date. Some of the character of the Tengu shown in this film has made it through to my first draft of the buntai.
So how do you see these fascinating creatures and how would you interpret them for a skirmish game?