Friday, October 12, 2012

Five Ghouls


Ghouls are people who have given up their mortality through the consumption of human flesh. While occasional cannibals are merely degraded in their soul, those who eat their kin constantly will be transformed bodily as well. They take on a grave-like pallor, grow long limbs and lose their hair. Such twisted creatures do not age, but they pay the price of being unable to stomach any food besides human flesh. 
Some who fear death will deliberately make ghouls of themselves to live longer, although ironically most ghouls die fairly quickly because it is so difficult to keep up a steady source of human meat. Those  few who find a way to feed regularly may live for centuries.
Ghouls do not lose any intelligence or speech when they are transformed, but they rarely have much to say to humans.


Ghuls are a race that have lived alongside humanity for as long as history has been recorded. They have long brown limbs, doglike snouts and leathery flapping tongues. They dwell mostly in the desert or other secluded places. Ghuls usually live in a single house with a single family, multiple generations living together. 
By all accounts ghuls are kind and loving to one another, and in most respects are neither evil nor aggressive. The one exception is that they have a taste for human flesh, and are psychologically incapable of feeling any sympathy for humans or recognising them as sentient beings.


Ghouls are stunted creatures, about 3 feet tall, that dwell in graveyards. They make their nests in mausoleums and burrow into the graves of the recently dead to devour the rotting corpses. They are not often aggressive toward living humans, though they can be difficult to eradicate once they take hold in an area.
There is a distant land where it is considered ill luck to leave corpses buried in the ground, perhaps because of a plague of undead in the distant past. The people of this land keep a colony of ghouls in each graveyard and even venerate the creatures. Some travellers come from this place, posing as tinkers or circus performers, and bring with them a secret collection of ghouls that they distribute to each community that they visit. From their point of view, they are bringing good luck to the uncivilised citizens of a foreign country.


Ghuls are demonic desert-dwelling spirits, each one a descendant of the great fire-demon Iblis. Eternal tricksters, they possess the ability to mimic the appearance of any animal, and to mimic the appearance of a particular person or creature if they have devoured that person's corpse. Their powers grow in proportion to the isolation of the location. A ghul in the pathless desert is fearsome to behold, but even a simple road is enough to weaken the ghul considerably. In a town or city, a ghul is reduced to a miserable trembling creature that is easily caged. To counteract these weaknesses, ghuls will use their powers of illusion to lure travellers away from the road and into uncharted lands.
Some ghuls are captured by wayfarers and trapped in the heart of a large city, where they are displayed for the edification of sultans and commoners alike. Each of these captives is considered a grave insult by the ghuls. Legend tells of a sultan who grew too greedy and kept too many ghuls captive in his marvellous zoo. As a result, a great fiery dust storm destroyed his city and his people were scattered across endless wastes.


Ghouls are creatures of dreams that hail from the vicinity of the evil star Algol. There they dwell in astral darkness, far from any planet or moon, frozen and sleeping. They can only escape this place when a deranged dreamer looks up at Algol while they are dreaming, and thereafter a ghoul will enter the person's dreams. 
Ghouls can leap from one dreamer to another by links of sympathetic association, and they do so in order to find an easy victim. When the victim's dreams are utterly overtaken by the ghoul, it will devour their soul and then emerge from their nose to feast on their body as well. Other than this, ghouls are loath to come into the physical realm unless they are chased out by an experienced dreamer.
None can say what happens to a ghoul after it devours its host. However, a few witnesses claim to have seen the ghoul vanishing into the sky, perhaps to sleep in astral darkness somewhere in the vicinity of our own sun.

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