There are many dangers at the poles and in the icy mountians of the world, but few dangers are harder to survive then an attack from an Ice Ghoul, a shadow-spirit whose very touch can be deadly.
An Ice Ghoul is the spirit of somebody who was murdered in the ice and snow of the mountians or the polar regions of the world, and whose body was left uncremated and unburied in the snow and ice. The soul of the dead man or woman, tied to the world by it's desire for revenge, is trapped in the dead body and rapidly driven insane by the cold and the numbness brought on by the snow and ice that the body lies on.
It can take several days or only a matter of hours before
the Ice Ghoul rises. If the dead body has been stripped naked then it will rise faster. The desire to escape the frozen body mounts until a shadow pours out as if it was liquid from the mouth of the body, a shadow which is the colour of frostbitten flesh, with glowing, staring red eyes.
The touch of such a spectre will cause frostbite. Once they have escaped the frigid prison that was it's body in life, the Ghoul will begin a frenzied for the murderer who killed him or her, so that it may slay the killer, gain revenge, and escape to whatever afterlife is awaiting it. Howver, because the horror that the Ghoul has gone through as left in in mental and bodily agony and warped it's mind, it is almost allways unable to tell the difference in most cases between the one that slew them and an innocent person.
Not wanting to risk the killer escaping, the Ghoul will attack almost anyone in sight, although it will normally not attack young children as even it's frost-fevered brain knows that the murderer was not a young child.
They rip the bodies of those they kill apart,using a set of icy claws, briefly warm their chilled bodies with the blood and eat the organs.If those who are slain by such a creature do not recieve the proper funeral rites they too will rise as Ice Ghouls. The warmth temporarily eases their insanity and technicly it would be possible to speak safely to a feeding Ice Ghoul without ending up as it's next meal, although very few people would dare do such a thing.
Most Ice Ghouls never reach a warm summer zone, because in their madness they have lost all sense of direction and wander about aimlessly in the snow and ice. But rarely one will reach a warm zone, such as the summer tundra, where the cold is no longer torturing it. An Ice Ghoul in a warm area is far less savage, although it is unwise to provoke one, but it is still very destructive. If it encounters an orchard of fruit trees, it will spend days gorging on the fruit until there is nothing left, and it's very presense can kill a field of corn.
Normal methods of slaying do not work with such spirits. All non magical weapons will just pass straight through them,and unless there is a glowstone hilt,or the hand holding the weapon is wearing a very warm glove, then the person's hand will freeze and become badly frostbitten. The Ice Ghoul will be outraged and will try it's hardest to kill it's attacker. It cannot manipulate weapons and other objects very well because of it's numb hands, but it has long fangs and icy claws that can be as deadly as any blade,quite apart from it's frostbite-inducing touch.
Ice spells and weapons such as the Frostthorn or the Ice Sword will make the Ghoul furious with rage whilst having very little effect. Fireballs and firery weapons will have very little effect, except that the spirit is warmed briefly.Indeed, such things will please the spirit and may persuade it to talk, in which case it will tell the story of how it was murdered and normally, exactly who did it too. Fireballs that would kill or wound almost anything else, can be used to, in the short term, make a Ghoul see reason.
There are a few ways to lay the Ghoul to rest.
If the dead body that used to belong to the Ice Ghoul is found and cremated upon a pyre, the Ghoul will let out a hiss of pleasure and vanish to whereever souls end up.
If the murderer is either handed over to the Ice Ghoul, in which case his or her death will be swift and very bloody, or is hanged or otherwise executed in front or it, again, the Ghoul will hiss happily and vanish.
Should a magical portal be opened to a firey hell, the Ghoul will leap inside. Fire cannot burn a Ghoul any more then it can burn a fire elemential.All it does is to make the Ghoul feel like a human does in good weather-it ends the torment.
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? Responses (7)
Updated: The orginal subbmission was too small but it has now been updated and made into something suitable for the cold regions of any world.
The concept is interesting, but at times feels confused. Is the Ice ghoul a corporeal form of undead, that can consume flesh and strike phyiscal blows in combat, or is it a shade, someinthg lacking substance but's passage can leave frost burns? The story could use some work, and the powers seem rather on the high side.
While some aprts of this were hard to completely understand the reasoning behind I like the concept. Although I think they are a bit overpowered, their affinity toward fire, while odd, makes them quarky and unique.
It's kind of funny: the way you describe the ways of disposing an Ice Ghoul make it seem like every way out for them is a pleasant one.
This appeals to me because it requires the players to think their way past one, rather than just charging in with weapons drawn.
The origin of these Ghouls are interesting and quite reasonable but you need to be careful with the write-up so that there's no mis-interpretation. At one point, I thought there's some logic conflict in what you wrote. In particular, you've said earlier that a Ice Ghoul is basically mad and tell its killer apart from an innocent person but then in the ways to lay them to rest section, you said you can present them with their killers and that will appease them and send them to the after-life, which I initially thought was two pieces of conflicting info. But then I paused to think abt it and I think you mean that you make them come to reason first with a fire spell and then you go find and bring their killers to them for them to settle the debt. Nothing majorly wrong with this sub overall, just thought I would point this particular bit out that's affecting the quality of the sub.
*Commented on for the Commenting Challenge
I find the underlying concept of how these ghouls arise interesting and logical but I just want to point out one point in your write-up which is prone to misinterpretation. At one point, I thought you provided conflicting info. b/c you said earlier that Ice Ghouls cannot tell their killers apart from innocent ppl but when you describe ways of laying them to rest, you say one of the ways is to bring their killers so that they can 'settle their debt'. Upon a re-think, I get it that you mean to say that they have to hit them with a fireball spell first to make them come to reason and then go off in pursuit of the murderer. Just need to be clear on this pt, otherwise, there's nothing majorly wrong with it. I personally have no quibbles with the power of these ghouls b/c I think their rarity compensates for their seemingly high powers.
*Commented on for the Commenting Challenge