A ghoul is a living creature who contracts the darkspawn taint and manages to survive. Humanoid creatures develop a blotchy look and a sickly tone to their skin, while the effects on animals are somewhat more drastic.
The term ghoul is actually derived from the behavior and mannerisms associated with people who have become corrupted. Once infected, a ghoul will seek out the darkspawn. They are often used as craftsmen by the darkspawn and are sometimes eaten by them, but not for dietary reasons. The constant, slow exposure to the taint drives these souls to turn on their fellow captives, cannibalizing them whilst in the grips of maddening pain and the will of the Archdemon.
Female ghouls are usually made broodmothers by the darkspawn. They are force-fed on darkspawn tissue which gives them cannibalistic urges but also mutates them. Despite their eventual transformation, broodmothers are still categorized as ghouls.
Animals which turn into ghouls grow bigger and become exceptionally aggressive with some of them growing spikes and other strange mutations. It is not rare to find ghouls fighting alongside darkspawn. These are the known animal ghouled species:
- Bereskarn were originally bears.
- Blight wolves were originally wolves.
- Blighted werewolves were originally werewolves.
- Blight owls were originally owls.
- Bloodcrows were originally crows.
- Corrupted spiders were originally spiders.
- Dragon Thralls were originally dragons.
- Revengers were Dalish ghouls that were possessed by Rage Demons.
Only the Grey Wardens have been able to survive the taint by undergoing the Joining, however it is only a temporary escape as with progression of age the taint will spread and either kill or turn them to ghouls. When the taint advances enough in their bodies, they start to hear the calling of the Old Gods and know that is their time to travel to the Deep Roads to seek out an honorable death as part of their Calling.
- ↑ Mike Laidlaw Twitter.
- ↑ Codex entry: Armored Ogre
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Codex entry: Ghoul
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gaider, David (18 July, 2010). "What do darkspawn eat?" . The BioWare Forum. Retrieved on March 4, 2014.