emotioneater: (See here missy)
[personal profile] emotioneater
Tell me how I'm doing with Cooper here!

Also, a quick rundown on a ghoul's powers and abilities here:

Ghouls are created when a person dies for a righteous cause for the wrong reasons. Examples in the book series include Stefan who avenged his dead father by killing his crippled uncle (The commandment of obey thy mother and father conflicting with the wrongness of killing a helpless person), Mary, who drowned herself and her baby in a bathtub because she thought it was God's will (Obeying what she thought was God's will in conflict with killing an innocent life and suicide), and Cooper's death. He was fighting in a cause for which he believed, the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and on the gallows, dared God to send him to Hell so that he could continue fighting. God obliged, but Hell wouldn't honor the request of someone who died so fervently for what he believed in.

Because they died, in Cooper's words "half sinner and half saint", they fall through the cracks. Heaven won't accept them and neither will Hell. Stuck on the mortal plane, they have a few abilities that they use to survive.

1) They're immortal. From the day they die the first time, they cease to age. Absolutely nothing will kill them. If they do receive an injury that would kill a mortal person, they flicker out of existence for a moment and then back in. It's akin to watching a movie that's gotten stuck and then starts back up again. They can be injured, but even the most serious bodily injuries are healed once they die and come back.

2) They survive off emotions. It's described as having a beast on a leash. How far the beast slips that leash depends on how old and experienced the ghoul is at the draining process. Getting drained by a ghoul unwillingly is an unpleasant experience, with people being terrified and struggling as their emotions disappear. Willing subjects find it a calming experience, with all their negativity disappearing down a deep, cool, dark place. Cooper, being an older ghoul, can do it quite well, leaving his victims drained but not terrified. It can be an addicting process, heightened by the use of drugs or alcohol to get an even better high. After draining a person, a ghoul is connected to them and can sense their emotional state. 

3) A ghoul's powers can be judged by their pupils. When they're under control, the pupils wane and remain small. When they are feeding off of someone, they dilate and remain large until they are done. If they lose control, the pupils almost eclipse the iris and remain blown out until their ravenous state has passed. Rapid waxing-and-waning occurs when they are sensing someone's emotions but not feeding. They mostly feed off human emotions, but can survive off the emotions of other supernatural beings. The downside to this is that they might lose control because the emotions are foreign to them and begin ravening.

4) A ravening ghoul is the most dangerous kind of ghoul. They have no control and will drain their victims to the breaking point, leaving them empty husks. It can take weeks for the victim to recover. The ghoul in question will keep on draining anyone in the vicinity until they are physically restrained and locked away. Ghouls can take a week to recover from ravening, but Cooper has an unusually strong will, and can recover in about half the time.

5) Humans can protect themselves from being drained by a ghoul, forming a mental shield that blocks them out. It takes training to form the shield and requires a strong mental will and spirit to accomplish.

4) Almost nothing can permanently kill them. The only two known methods are a form of suicide, where a ghoul isolates themself and doesn't feed off anyone for months. They eventually fade from existence, but they don't go to Heaven or Hell, instead going to a black space for all eternity. Very few ever choose this way because it is a long, painful process and because of where they will end up. The other is dauda-dagr, an immortal dagger given by the Norse goddess of death, Hel. Only her chosen can wield the dagger safely and it is capable of dispatching ghouls to their final rest.
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John Cooper

April 2017

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