Most Ponies living here in the Equestrian Wasteland are familiar with them in one form or another, although the level of awareness varies from one pony to the next. For those less familiar, ghouls are ponies who have been exposed to lethal amounts of magical radiation, yet did not die. The reasons for this are still speculated upon, but nopony seems to have nailed it down just yet. Perhaps if somepony does, a way to help these unfortunate souls can be found. For the time being though, they are what they are.
In becoming a ghoul, the pony's body suffers from cellular necrosis. This causes a loss of hair, coat and tail included, as well as severe damage to the outermost layers of skin. The damaged flesh rots and flakes away, giving most ghouls an appearance akin to zombie ponies from old horror films. However; unlike zombies, ghoul ponies still have the mind of a regular pony, and are not just shambling, cannibalistic monstrosities.
Sadly, not all ghouls stay this way. For a variety of reasons, which are again subject to wide speculation, many ghouls lose control of their mental faculties. They devolve into feral zombies, acting only on instinct and ferociously attacking anything and everything they encounter. Make sure you can tell the difference between these two though, otherwise somepony innocent might get hurt. Too many mean ponies can’t be bothered to differentiate; please don’t be one of them.
Despite the unfortunate nature of their circumstances, ghoul ponies have a few unique perks stemming from their condition. The first of these is an immunity to magical radiation. Since they've already suffered from lethal doses of radiation, further exposure has no negative effect on them. In fact, some ghouls report feeling better when exposed to minor amounts of radiation. It has actually been proven that this exposure does indeed have a regenerative effect on ghoul ponies. As well, they can survive much longer without food or water.
The other benefit, though some might not consider it as such, is that ghoul ponies have unnaturally long lifespans. Many ghouls alive today were even around during the war two hundred years ago. This increased lifespan stems from the same cellular mutation that causes ghoulification, although some speculate that there might be a necromantic component from the megaspells involved. This is debatable, as radiation from sources other than megaspells can still create ghouls.
Now, you readers may be wondering why I felt it necessary to ramble on about ghouls for so long. I did so because I wanted to offer some explanation that might help you understand the rest of this tale a little better. My name is Ditzy Doo, and many know me as the author of the Wasteland Survival Guide (Pick up a copy today! First copy for every family is free). Those who are personally acquainted with me already know this, but some of you who have never met me might not. I am a ghoul pony. Not only that, but I am one of those who has been around since before the apocalypse that created the Equestrian Wasteland.
Two hundred years is a long time, and it was through those years and the events that filled them that I came to possess the knowledge that I shared with all of Equestria through the Guide. However, a hoofful of ponies have been curious about more than just how to survive out here. They want to know how Equestria came to be a wasteland, how various parts of society as it currently stands came into being, and what hope there might be for a future when the present is so uncertain. A few even want to know my personal side of the story.
Before the war I was a humble mailmare, not privy to the inner workings of Equestrian politics. I couldn't tell you anything about the war beyond my own personal experiences, or those of some old friends of mine. All I know is that it was awful, and never should have been allowed to happen. Unfortunately, it did, and we're all here now as a result of it. Still, trying to make the best of a bad situation is something I'm fairly good at, which is why I am now writing the book you hold in your hooves.
It is my hope that by sharing my tales of the Equestrian Wasteland, everypony might come to see the wasteland for what it is: a tragic series of events for all involved. As well, it is my hope that by bringing this understanding, everypony reading this story will strive to make Equestria more than the desolate, barren place it is now. To you, the reader, I express my gratitude for taking the time to try and gain that understanding. I hope that with this new knowledge you might strive to better yourself, or even Equestria in its entirety.
Once again, my name is Ditzy Doo. What follows are my chronicles of the Equestrian Wasteland.
Thank you for reading.