Archives of Nethys

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Ghul

Draped in fine dark robes, this undead creature’s body seems to be made of equal parts bone, leathery flesh, and blood-red smoke.

Ghul CR 5

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 125, Dark Markets - A Guide to Katapesh pg. 62
XP 1,600
CE Medium undead (shapechanger)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15

Defense

AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 51 (6d8+24)
Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +7
DR 5/good; Immune undead traits; Resist fire 10

Offense

Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +10 (1d6+6), 2 claws +10 (1d4+6 plus bleed)
Special Attacks bleed (1), cursed claws, rend (2 claws, 1d6+6)

Statistics

Str 22, Dex 15, Con —, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 18
Base Atk +4; CMB +10; CMD 22
Feats Great Fortitude, Power Attack, Step Up
Skills Bluff +10, Climb +18, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +11, Intimidate +11, Perception +15, Stealth +11, Survival +8 (+16 when following tracks); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +8 Survival when following tracks
Languages Common, one elemental language (Aquan, Auran, Ignan, or Terran), one planar language (Abyssal, Celestial, or Infernal)
SQ change shape (hyena; does not detect as undead in this form; beast shape I), genie-kin

Ecology

Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary or pack (2–8)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Cursed Claws (Ex) A ghul’s claws count as both cold iron and magic for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.

Genie-kin (Ex) For all race-related effects (such as a ranger’s favored enemy), a ghul is considered a genie even though its type is undead.

Description

Ghuls are undead jann whose eternal existence was twisted by fate and wrought through the displeasure of Ahriman, Lord of the Divs. As if the curse of undeath and ravenous hunger were not enough, these once-majestic creatures now bear donkey hooves as feet. Despite their horrific undead appearance, this feature shames them the most, and they hide their feet from view.

Ghuls, like ghouls and ghasts, haunt cemeteries and other places of the dead hoping to feed on corpses. They also hunt mourners and grave tenders, as they enjoy the taste of living prey as well as that of the dead. Selective in their diets, ghuls choose their victims by personality, believing innocence and youth taste more delicious than the barely palatable flesh of the bitter and old. Sometimes a ghul follows a funeral procession in hyena form, keeping a safe distance until the ceremony, whereupon it changes into its true form to attack and feast. Sorrow and despair taste as delicious as innocence to a ghul.

While not directly affected by sunlight, ghuls despise its presence and only move about during the day if forced to by necessity. They primarily hunt at night, sometimes straying far from their graveyard lairs and burial caves in search of fresh prey to sate their hunger.

The longer a ghul goes without feeding, the more ferocious and primal the creature becomes. A well-sated ghul organizes with others of its kind and lesser undead, tormenting nearby towns and settlements. A ghul involved with this level of organization often has a scattered set of lairs throughout the desert. These allow the ghul to strike far from its home lair and hide again without having to travel during the blistering daylight sun. When a ghul goes for too long without feeding, it becomes increasingly feral and violent—its statistics don’t change, but it grows less concerned with fleeing combat, even when it is obviously outmatched.

Ghuls stand 6 feet tall and weigh 90 pounds.

Great Ghuls

Source Dark Markets - A Guide to Katapesh pg. 63

Jann are not the only victim’s of Ahriman’s curse; djinn, efreet, marids, and shaitains may rise as great ghuls, though this is much rarer than with jann. Stripped of most of their elemental powers, they hate themselves and all living things, seeking solace in murdering and corrupting mortals. Great ghuls like to follow passers-by invisibly before revealing themselves in suitably isolated locales. If they find potential victims particularly interesting, they may engage them in a battle of wits or some challenge in order for them to spare their lives. A common challenge is to provide the ghul with a certain number of fresh corpses within a certain number of nights. Sometimes a great ghul will take the form of a beautiful maiden or cherubic child in order to tempt a foolish mortal into corruption and murder.

One sect of particularly powerful great ghuls dwells in the Ghoul Court of Nemret Noktoria in the Darklands where they serve as advisors and priests attending to Kortash Khain, the Ghoul King. Some of these ghul-lords are rumored to have the heads of animals and climb by secret ways from the Darklands up to the surface world where they dance and cavort by a gibbous moon in homage to Him Who Gnaws.

Great ghuls have all of the powers and abilities of normal ghuls, plus the following: DR 10/cold iron and good, Improved Initiative and Toughness as bonus feats, greater invisibility (CL 11th, self only) as a spell-like ability, change shape (allowing any humanoid forms in addition to ghul and hyena form), create spawn, plus one ability related to its original genie type (heat, metalmorph, water’s fury, or whirlwind).

Create Spawn (Su) Any humanoid slain by a great ghul becomes a ghoul on the next moonrise. Likewise, a slain janni becomes a ghul and a slain genie becomes a great ghul. Blessing or destroying the body (such as with acid or fire) prevents this reanimation.

Heat (Ex) As a free action, a great ghul can raise its body temperature to that of molten iron or lower it to that of cold, undead f lesh. A great ghul’s red-hot body deals 1d6 points of extra fire damage whenever it hits in melee, or in each round it maintains a hold when grappling. Only a great ghul that was once an efreeti can have this ability.

Metalmorph (Su) As a standard action, a great ghul may warp and deform any one metal object within 20 feet. This functions like warp wood, but affects only metal objects that fail a DC 18 Fortitude save (attended objects use their wielder’s saves). Armor or shields lose half their bonus to AC (enhancement bonuses are unaffected), and weapons are rendered useless except as improvised clubs. The transformation lasts 1 minute, after which the affected metal reverts to its normal state. The save DC is Charismabased. Only a great ghul that was once a shaitain can have this ability.

Water’s Fury (Su) As a standard action, a great ghul may fire a jet of water in a 60-foot line. The water deals 1d6 hit points of damage and blinds anyone it hits for 1d6 rounds. A successful Reflex save (DC 18) means a creature takes half damage and is not blinded. The save DC is Charismabased. Only a great ghul that was once a marid can have this ability.

Whirlwind (Su) As a standard action a great ghul can transform itself into a whirlwind of air, bone shards, and pieces of gristle, with its head f loating about. A great ghul’s movement while in whirlwind form does not provoke attacks of opportunity, even if the great ghul enters the space another creature occupies. Any creature sharing a space with the whirlwind or attacking it with natural weapons takes 1d6 hit points of damage. Any living creature that begins its turn in the whirlwind’s space must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Charisma-based. Returning to its normal form is a standard action. Only a great ghul that was once a djinni can have this ability.