Field Guide Classification:  Undead (Class C)
Other Names:  Grave-creature, coffin-fiend.
Subspecies:  Demi-ghoul.
Natural Habitat:  Graveyards, crypts, tombs, underground tunnels and catacombs, caverns, sewer tunnels and complexes, abandoned mines, old castles, old mansions and houses, abandoned warehouses, foggy moors, dark and undisturbed marshes or bayous, and abandoned funeral homes.
Breeding:  See History/Lore, below.
Longevity/Lifespan:  Immortal; the demi-ghoul's lifespan is that of a typical human.
Diet:  Mammalian flesh (preferably human) taken from the living or recently-dead. It is a common misconception that ghouls only prefer the flesh of the deceased.
Legal Status:  Not applicable.
Group Affiliation:  Not applicable.
History/Lore:  The ghoul is a scavenging, ravenous undead creature that prowls the night in search of food. A ghoul can be created one of two ways. A mortal who drinks the blood of a vampire but who has not first been drained will become a ghoul - subsequently falling under the control of the vampire whose blood was consumed. "Older" vampires or Vampire Regents are often known to do this to produce loyal servitors (see below).

The second way to create a ghoul is to survive the bite from one of these creatures. The victim will enter into a sort of paralysis within 24 hours of being bitten, and will seem to "die" within a week's time. If the victim's corpse is not cremated, it will then rise again as a ghoul, requiring nightly sustenance of human flesh for all eternity.

Ghouls have relatively low intelligence and are incapable of speech (short of raspy growls and hisses). They have a only a basic understanding of simple tools, and are fundamentally driven by their instincts and lust for food. They are primarily nocturnal, preferring the cover of night to satisfy their vast appetite for human flesh. Their preference for darkness is based largely on the fact that they are generally a cowardly lot. When discovered, they will usually hiss and growl to ward off intruders or, if that fails, they will attempt a quick escape -fleeing into the shadows or burrowing into grave plots. Ghouls will only fight if they are cornered, or if they outnumber the living by at least three to one odds. Single ghouls have been known to attack infants, children, and in rare cases - wounded or sickly adults. Ghouls are most likely to feed on the flesh of the recently-dead, as it is an easy source of food to procure for them. They can normally be found prowling cemeteries at night for the newly interred dead. They actually prefer flesh from living human beings, and if given the opportunity to acquire some with relatively little risk to themselves, they will engage to do so.

A demi-ghoul is considered a subspecies of ghoul, but is not a true form of undead. The demi-ghoul is actually the transitory state between mortal and ghoul, after a vampire has allowed the mortal to drink its blood. Many vampires prefer to keep their thralls from becoming full ghouls because of the advantages the demi-ghoul has over the true ghoul. For one, demi-ghouls are not adverse to daylight as the true ghoul is. The demi-ghoul also retains the same human form and most of the intelligence they possessed in normal life. To keep their thralls from becoming true ghouls, the demi-ghoul must drink their master's blood about once every two weeks. If the demi-ghoul does not receive blood from its vampire-master, it will change into a true ghoul after several weeks; a transformation that is alleged to be extremely painful. A demi-ghoul does not usually possess the same voracious hunger for human flesh as true ghouls. They prefer to dine on insects and small mammals, and will rarely seek out human flesh. The psychological strain and instability of being held between life and un-life is known to cause insanity in most vampire thralls. All demi-ghouls are purported to have a telepathic link with their vampire-masters. There have been several reported cases of demi-ghouls over the years. One such case was that of Renfield, a minion of Count Dracula in the late 1800's.
Description:  Humanoid. They are gaunt in the face with bulging yellowish eyes, and large mouths lined with rows of tiny razor-sharp teeth. They have long and lanky arms with clawed hands, and they walk on short, sinewy legs. Their skin is a thick and fibrous hide, usually of a light blue-gray color large. Ghouls often appear naked, or wearing the last vestiges of clothing they wore before they became a ghoul. Demi-ghouls appear as normal humans, occasionally disheveled-looking or shabbily dressed. Demi-ghouls often maintain a glazed look in their eyes.
Height/Size:  Average human size.
Weight:  100 - 185 lbs.
Eyes:  Jaundice-yellow.
Hair:  Very little; usually gray.
Powers: The ghoul is impervious to pain, does not age, needs no air to breathe, and is immune to drugs, poisons, and gases. They are immune to the affects of cold (i.e. - it is near-impossible to freeze one of these creatures). Guns and knives can wound these creatures, but they will not destroy them, as the ghoul possesses remarkable regenerative powers, enabling them to withstand large caliber weapons and even small explosives.

The ghoul's strength level is at normal human-levels, but they are extremely agile and fast - possessing three times the speed and agility they possessed in mortal life. They are nimble enough to scale sheer walls as quickly as they can run. They use their large claws for digging and cutting through flesh.

The ghoul possess keen night vision similar to a vampire's, and can smell human flesh (alive or dead) from up to a mile away.

Despite their cowardly demeanor, the ghoul can be dangerous - especially in greater numbers. With their razor-sharp claws and teeth, a pack of four ghouls can devour a full-sized adult human in under 5 minutes, leaving only the bones for remains.

Demi-ghouls possess no known superhuman abilities or powers, but there are some who believe that in certain cases after a period of years, a demi-ghoul may adopt some of the vampiric powers of its master, such as age retardation (or even a complete halt to the aging process), night vision, and enhanced strength (some of these cases report them to have three to four times the strength they had in normal life). This is hypothesized as being a metabolic "by-product" from the periodic ingestion of vampire blood over time.
Known Weaknesses/Methods Of Destruction:  The ghoul is a nocturnal creature, and is repelled by sunlight and artificial light - although neither cause them any real harm. Their speed and strength can be drastically reduced when subjecting them to the natural rays of the sun (i.e. - daylight), making them easier to handle so they can be ultimately destroyed. Exposing these creatures to the sun can be particularly advantageous to the monster hunter when encountering them in large numbers.

Ghouls are highly susceptible to fire, and this is the best way to destroy these fiends. A ghoul can be burned and subsequently destroyed by concentrated acid or electrocution as well.

A ghoul can also be destroyed by a blast (caused by an explosive or heavy artillery) of sufficient intensity to render the ghoul incapable of ever recuperating. The blast would have to be potent enough to incinerate or vaporize its entire body. Decapitation is also another effective way to destroy a ghoul.

Another method (albeit an inadvisable one) would be to "starve" the ghoul into destruction. This method can be problematic for the monster hunter, as starving a ghoul may take up to a week. Ghouls have been known to be ferociously courageous in times of desperation - especially when food (or lack of it) is involved.
See Also: Vampire
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