This manlike creature is gaunt, with long nails and sharp teeth, with strange barbs growing from its spine and a vestigial tail.
|Ghoul, Avernal||CR 3|
DEFENSEAC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural )
hp 30 (4d10+8); fast healing 1
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6
Melee bite +7 (1d6+1 plus disease and paralysis) and 2 claws +7 (1d4+1 plus paralysis)
Special Attacks paralysis (1d4+1 rounds, DC 14, elves are immune to this effect)
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +10, Climb +16, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (planes) +8, Perception +9, Stealth +10, Swim +8
Languages Common, Infernal
SQ ghoul blood, hellish infusion
An avernal ghoul automatically senses when it is in the area of a channel energy ability if that ability is being used to affect undead (whether positive or negative energy).
A humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast.
An avernal ghoul counts as a ghoul for any effect related to race. This means that while an enemy may not be able to find it with detect undead (because it is an outsider), a spell or magic item to specifically detect ghouls can locate it easily.
Once per day as a standard action an avernal ghoul can charge a corpse with evil energy drawn from its connection to Hell. Any ghoul, ghast, or avernal ghoul that eats at least 10 pounds of flesh from this corpse gains a +1 profane bonus to AC, saves, and checks for the next day. The corpse remains charged for 1 hour, after which the energy fades and the corpse has no special powers. The avernal ghoul’s CR 3 assumes it has not had the opportunity to eat a charged corpse in the past day; if it has, treat it as CR 4.
Environment any land
Organization solitary, gang (1 plus 2-4 ghouls), or pack (1 plus 7-12 ghouls)
Avernal ghouls (or hellspawn ghouls) are the corpses of ghouls fused with an evil spirit of a minor devil or a very evil soul from Hell. Originally crafted by a powerful devil who toyed with the idea of uniting various ghoul tribes and cities under the banner of the Pit, these things are loyal to Hell, yet have the same gruesome habits and appetites of common ghouls. Most come to the material plane by way of calling spells cast by mortal priests or mages; diabolist necromancers use them to keep control over common ghouls and similar intelligent undead, which defer to the hellspawn’s greater power, helpful magic, and discipline.
Avernal ghouls whose mortal summoners die or otherwise fail Hell are invariably instructed to find and master ghoul communities and turn them to the will of the devils–which greatly annoys the demons and evil gods that ghouls are normally prone to serve. Rarely do several hellspawn work together, as they prefer arrangements where there are clear superiors and inferiors–only when they are part of a larger community where each can control a pack or squad of their own minions do they feel comfortable among their own kind. Over time, packs ruled by avernals tend to act more neutral evil than chaotic evil.
Using their hellish infusion ability, an avernal ghoul can invigorate its followers before a great battle; not only is the energy-charged corpse especially delicious to the ghoul palette, the boost from this magical feast is often enough to turn the tide against a rival group or an invading force of surface dwellers.
Explorers have encountered hellspawn that resemble other varieties of ghouls (ghasts and lacedon), and sages of planar magic suspect that the ritual to create an avernal ghoul works the same way regardless of what the targeted undead body was before the extradimensional infusion.
An avernal ghoul’s native plane is Hell, and they have the extraplanar subtype anywhere else. In Hell, avernal ghouls are sometimes used to torture newly-arrived souls, chewing off limbs and leaving the crippled soul at the mercy of other devils.
Section 15: Copyright Notice – SeanKReynolds.com
Material from SeanKReynolds.com and Sean K Reynolds Games. Copyright 2001-2009 Sean K Reynolds. All rights reserved.