Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Six Ghastly Ghouls

What follows are six ghastly ghouls (well, actually five ghastly ghouls and a single ghoulish ghast), men and women who circumstances (or not) made into cannibals and death made into ghouls.


Vedorina and her family were part of a large caravan making its way across the mountains in early fall. Winter came early that year, and the band became trapped in a high valley. It didn't take long before the food ran out, and the party was forced to consume their dead. Vedorina's mother and father did their best to hide this from their daughter, but when in desperation her mother turned on her father, she fled the encampment and soon froze to death in the wilderness. Naturally, she arose as a ghoul, and now haunts the mountain passes to this day, a blue-skinned girl in a threadbare tunic, her face still wearing a look of shocked horror.

Vedorina, Ghoul: HD 2; HP 7; AC 14; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d6); Move 30; F15 R15 W13; AL C (CE); XP 200; Special - Paralysis.


Scarsdale was one of many who succumbed to a plague that ravaged the towns and villages on the edge of the great desert. One by one, people were falling ill and dying, until bodies littered the streets as a feast for the rats and ravens. When the caravan of merchants came to the town with word of a cure - an efficacious powder - those who retained the strength crawled to them and promised them everything they owned for the cure. The merchants acquiesced, and left the village laden with wealth. What they left behind was a powder ground from the bodies of mummified corpses that had been uncovered during a desert storm. As the villagers continued to die, they rose one by one as ghouls and trod into the desert in search of the merchants. Scarsdale was one of many, and to this day he attacks caravans in the desert along with his feral friends, their faces grotesque, twisted masks of hate and rage, their bodies browned and wrinkled from the sun.

Scarsdale, Ghoul Thief: LVL 4 (Dodger); HP 15; AC 14; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d6); Move 30; F14 R15 W13; AL C (CE); XP 400; Special - Paralysis, backstab x2.


Knorra was a great war-dame of the northern lands. Her feast hall was decorated with the skulls of hundreds she had bested at war, and after her glorious battles, when her war maidens gathered at her tables to partake of the spoils of war, Knorra sat enthroned above them, axe in her lap, serving lads carrying on silver trays the cooked entrails of whatever lord or lady she had just vanquished. Had Knorra's warriors not been berserkers, they probably would have quit at the first of these macabre feasts, but they every one believed in the power of consuming one's foes, though the honor was reserved for their lady alone. Eventually, the great Knorra was slain in battle, her corpse left to rot on a stinking field. She rose, not as a mere ghoul, but as a ghast, her flesh pock marked by the beaks of the ravenous crows, her once golden hair caked with mud and blood. She walked back to her feast hall to find it toppled, and now dwells in the ruins, gathering what undead she can find into an army to once again strike fear into the hearts of her enemies and their descendants.

Knorra, Ghast Barbarian: LVL 10 (Barbarian Princess); HP 55; AC 17; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d8) or battle axe (1d8) and bite (1d8); Move 40; F8 R12 W11; AL C (CE); XP 1,000; Special - Paralysis, rage 3/day, sixth sense.


Zimbok was, like most of the folk of his tribe, a practicing cannibal. Unlike most of his tribe, he was possessed of a wanderlust, and eventually left his home island to serve on a whaling vessel that plied Mother Ocean for years. In many of its ports-of-call, Zimbok found the urge to consume human flesh more than he could resist, even among the foreigners, and in time his crimes were revealed. He was hung by the neck and cast into a communal grave for criminals and the indigent. Zimbok was too tough a customer, though, and in death he clawed his way out the grave as a ghoul. He now appears as a tall islander with a crooked neck, a necklace of teeth around his neck. He wears leather trousers, no boots, and carries a well-cared for harpoon and a razor-sharp knife with whale tooth inlay.

Zimbok, Ghoul Ranger: LVL 6 (Pathfinder); HP 34; AC 14; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d6); Move 30; F10 R10 W13; AL C (CE); XP 200; Special - Paralysis, favored enemy (sea animals), spells (1).


Old Marza was called "Old Marza" even when she was still fairly young. For years, she worked in the "Tavern in the Wood", a roadhouse frequented by adventurers and travelers. More than a few of the less friendly patrons who wound up fall-down drunk found their way into Marza's wine cellar - more specifically in a secret room connected to the wine cellar. Bit-by-bit they would find themselves turned into sausages and meat pies for Marza's own enjoyment. In time, her murderous reign was discovered and she was cornered in the tavern and burned along with it. After death, she became a ghoul who still haunts the woods, looking like a charred, gaunt old woman garbed in the tattered clothes of a harmless old woman, a bottle of wine from her cellar in one hand and a hatchet in the other.

Old Marza, Ghoul: HD 2; HP 7; AC 14; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d6); Move 30; F15 R15 W13; XP 200; Special - Paralysis.


Ugolio was a minor aristocrat who found himself on the wrong side of a schism in the royal court. He and his son were cast into a dungeon in an old keep and literally forgotten when the royal city was attacked by a horde of orcs. Ugolio did not survive his captivity, but his son died first, and as a result of Ugolio's hunger, his own death was followed by his undeath as a ghoul. Ugolio still dwells in his dungeon cell underneath what is now the old, ruined keep. Over time, he has managed to claw his way out, and he now hunts on the edges of the royal city by night and returns to his cell by day, dragging his victims behind him.

Ugolio, Ghoul Aristocrat: LVL 8; HP 38; AC 14; Atk 2 claws (1d4 + paralysis) and bite (1d6); Move 30; F12 R9 W9; XP 800; Special - Paralysis, legend lore, commanding voice (fascinate, suggestion).


  1. Interesting. How did you do the ghouls with classes?

    1. Just sorta combined the stats - took the better of the two saving throw values, used the class hit dice, ghoul attacks and paralyzation ability. Nothing fancy.

  2. I like your list of ghouls and one ghast, mostly because it gives them a background and makes them more than a random encounter.

    Scarsdale grabs my attention as it could be used as a quest:
    free Scarsdale from its curse, besides killing all ghouls there
    For example: bring merchants to justice, maybe there are survivors that can still be helped, etc

  3. Awesome and very historically astute!

  4. Excellent work. Interesting backgrounds and plot hooks abound.

  5. enjoyed this entire series of 'six monsters.' great reading and inspiration.


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