Note: This is an extract from the supplement The Blood Is The Life, which covers vampires, horror and the eternal in the Gas-Lamp Fantasy Game. The supplement is currently being play-tested, and will be released at a later date.
Ghouls are carnivorous hominids who prey on carrion – specifically, on the corpses of dead people. Ghouls seem to be an offshoot of humanity, although this is by no means certain.
Ghouls seem to have originally evolved in Arabia. They have spread out from there, though, and they are now found in the Middle East, North Africa, and India.
Ghouls like a climate which is warm. They live in tunnels below the ground, either natural or man-made. They are nocturnal, only coming out at night, to prey on the freshly buried dead. Ghouls will abduct corpses, and take them back into their caves and tunnels, where the corpses can be devoured at will.
Both male and female ghouls are almost hairless. They will sometimes have hair on their heads, but that hair will be sparse and course, more like the hair of a dog than a human being. Some ghouls will have a head which is entirely bald. They tend to have hair running along the ridge of their back.
Their eyes are adapted for seeing in the dark. They have spindly limbs, although they are as strong as the average human. Their teeth are sharp, adapted for eating carrion. Their fingernails are very sharp, almost like claws.
Ghouls are intelligent, although not as intelligent as human beings. They speak several different languages, depending on the region in which they are found. All of these languages are closely related, and they are mutually intelligible, to a certain extent. This suggests that ghouls have only attained language relatively recently.
Ghouls sometimes wear clothing, usually taken from their victims. Sometimes they will make clothing from the skins of their victims. They will often make necklaces from the toe or finger bones of those who they eat.
In the tunnels which they use as their homes they will often insert human skulls into the walls as decoration.
Ghouls will try to avoid contact with humans at all costs. They will not attack living human beings – they are scavengers, rather than predators.
Ghouls can live a long time. They can live to be in excess of a hundred years old. It is in fact possible for a ghoul to live to be around two hundred years old, although that is very rare.
Ghoul children are very rare, which is one of the reasons the race has been so slow in expanding.