With the mysterious (and possibly living sentient) Golden Barge of the Hill Cantons, finally verging on conquered after two years of play, I feel comfortable releasing a few of the details (a few, a ship must maintain it's secrets after all). Below you'll find the write-up for one of the most commonly encountered inhabitants of that vessel.
All similarities between the Ghuls and other creatures of other world, is of course, purely coincidental. Ahem.
No. Enc.: 1d6 (5d6)
Alignment: Lawful (Evil)
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 (weapon)
Leiber Ghuls are practitioners of the Illuminated Doctrine of the Septuagint Anthropophagite (Authentic), a rather extreme mystical sect that maintains that human flesh corrupts the spirit-self.
Unlike other ascetic doctrines, however, the Leiber Ghuls posit a rather straightforward solution: ritual cannibalism. By liberating (ie eating) human and demi-human males of their flesh—women are believed to be inherently too corrupted and hobbits a delicious veal-like delicacy—they believe that they make their little corner of the world a spiritually uplifted place. Resistance is seen as a corrupted mental trick of the meat-demons and is dealt with by an upright and furious force.
Over the aeons, Leiber Ghuls have themselves been transformed by their flesh-eating practices. Their flesh is now wholly composed of a near-invisible translucent goo leaving only a dull pink skeleton to view. Because of this translucence in shadowy environs they will surprise on a 1-3 roll.
The ghuls are highly intelligent and are inordinately fond of debating amongst themselves and others the fine points of their doctrine—even in the midst of a forcible liberation. Once engaged in combat the ghuls will maintain a steady stream of locution about the urgency and inherent rightness of their doctrine until their dying breath.
When found inside their sect quarters, the ghuls will be accompanied by a Sub-Patriarch of the Cleansing Palate (6 HD of their species) and 1-3 lieutenants (4HD). Obsessively-compulsive pyramids of the clothing and bones of those liberated will be found throughout the area, occasionally items of interest will be found within said piles (luxurious clothing, dropped items) totaling up to 50-400 gp. Any weapons of worth picked up in their duties will be employed in use (though they are particularly fond of big nasty barbed weapons).
The ghuls maintain a long-lasting interdimensional friendship with the Gentlemen Ghouls of Stonehell and some distant relations in the world of Nehwon.
And now the news:
The biennial blood rains have been falling all through the Cantons this week. Expect great big buckets of thick sanguine downpours throughout most of the week. Old wives maintain that the rains are due to water miraculously forming into rain clouds over the Scarlet Sea. Men of learning, of course, reject such superstitious claptrap and counter sagely that it's the Lady's beating of the Sun Lord with her silver chains that creates the soil-enriching rain.
Renowned highwayman and scoundrel, Libor the Lugubrious, is working the main road south of Marlankh again. The canton Rada has set a bounty of 1,000 suns for his head and 50 for each of his dolorous band.