Ghuls appear somewhat like the janni they where in life, except their body looks emaciated, with skin drawn tightly over cord-like muscles. The biggest, most obvious differences between a janni and a ghul are the inhuman donkey hooves ghul have, which shame them greatly; most ghuls take great pains to hide their hooves. A noticeable stench of the death and the grave lingers around a ghul and is hard to disguise. Ghul have a unique ability which allows them to change their form to that of a hyena, which they use to stealthily stalk human prey. Their natural carrion odor is also far less suspicious while in this form.12
Habitat and ecology
Ghuls tend to haunt abandoned desert graveyards and desolate necropolises, often the same deserts where their former janni tribes roam. Ghuls do not like the sunlight, though they are not harmed by it. They prefer lairing in darkness, although they sometimes venture out to hunt in the day time. Ghuls are sometimes solitary creatures but just as often hunt in small packs. Sometimes these packs are led by more powerful greater ghuls, and there have been reports of ghuls leading packs of regular ghouls. Ghuls are very similar to ghouls in their choice of food: while ghouls prefer flesh, ghuls like the taste of fresh blood, especially the blood of the innocent.2
While most ghuls come from the janni, some are created from more potent types of genie. These ghuls, referred to as great ghuls, are more powerful than their janni-based cousins. Great ghuls are even more hateful than normal ghuls. Robbed of their elemental nature, they take their undead rage out on the living.2
The type of genie from which the great ghul was created affects its powers. Jaathoom3 ghuls can transform themselves into whirlwinds of bone fragments and desert air. Ifrit4 ghuls can raise their body temperature to hotter than molten iron, scorching those around them. Faydhaan5 ghuls can batter their opponents with jets of water. Jabali6 ghuls can warp the metal weapons and armour of their opponents. Some great ghuls are rumoured to have the power to change into human form, often appearing as angelic children or beautiful women. All great ghuls have the ability to turn invisible, often using this to stalk their victims.
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- “Bestiary” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 62. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Bestiary” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 63. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- Paizo referred to jaathooms as djinn until the publication of Rage of Elements. See Rage of Elements pg. 3 and Pathfinder Core Preview pg. 2.
- Paizo referred to ifrits as efreet and naaris as ifrits until the publication of Highhelm. See also Rage of Elements pg. 3 and Pathfinder Core Preview pgs. 2, 13, 18.
- Paizo referred to faydhaans as marids until the publication of Rage of Elements. See Rage of Elements pg. 3 and Pathfinder Core Preview pg. 2.
- Paizo referred to jabalis as shaitan until the publication of Rage of Elements. See Rage of Elements pg. 3 and Pathfinder Core Preview pg. 2.
- Ghul (Real-life mythical entity) on Wikipedia