|“||Gods? Hah! Don't make me laugh boy. These things are abominations. They are not kings, and they are certainly not gods.||„|
The Great Old Ones are a group of unique, malignant beings of great power. They reside in various locations on Earth, and once presided over the planet as gods and rulers.
They are the chaotic, extraterrestrial creations of the Outer Gods which serve as the living embodiments of the unknown and uncharted factors of the universe sent to disrupt the stability of God's creation.
Due to their advanced age, the Great Old Ones are often older and vastly more powerful than the average demon, monster, angel or even deity. And it is said that should they be released upon creation again, they will plunge the universe into darkness and death, a feat that makes them so much of a threat that it forces the angels, demons, and monsters to form uneasy alliances against them. This was proven during the Earth's primordial ages where the angels and the gods worked together to exterminate these malignant creatures from the face of existence.
The Great Old Ones are to be distinguished from the more cosmically placed entities such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep and Yog-Sothoth, and from races such as the Chthonians, the Deep Oness, the Elder Things and the Mi-go. Yet this distinction is unclear at times, in part because the terminology is not always consistent; for instance, Nyarlathotep, despite his marked interest in Earth and its culture, is generally considered to be one of the Outer Gods instead of a Great Old One. On the other hand, Hastur has several avatars and is generally based in outer space, but he is still considered a Great Old One. There are conflicting accounts on what the proper classification for Shupnikkurat would be.
Very few people dispute that Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth are Outer Gods instead of Great Old Ones, although some accounts make them ancestors of a few Great Old Ones.
As creations of Azathoth and the Outer Gods, the appearance of the various Great Old Ones have been designed to make mockery of God's creation, with these abominable creatures often appearing as a twisted fusion of animal features, internal organs, and invasive fungi among other bizarre things of the universe. Great Old Ones have often been described as a mixture of aquatic and insectoid features, with only a rare few possessing a vaguely humanoid appearance.
Unlike the Outer Gods, the Great Old Ones are not all necessarily malevolent; even though many among them have the power to end the world on a whim, most never actively seek the destruction of humankind. This is perhaps due to the vast and bizarre power these alien creatures wield; to a Great Old One, humanity just is not worth the trouble of extermination, but that by no means forbids them from toying around with mortals as a child would an insect. The morality of the Old Ones is said to be based around entirely alien concepts and values, once again defining their embodiment of the cold and uncaring nature of the universe.
While there are many accounts of their conception, one legend states that they were formed out of the many threads of the primordial chaos that predated the universe. It is said that before the imprisonment of Azathoth, it released slivers of itself that became known as the Outer Gods whom then later conceived and formed their far more numerous offspring, usually the Great Old Ones.
These beings were created to spread throughout the uncharted dark corners of the cosmos, slowly poisoning it with their influence and corruption. However, it was not long before God took wind of their existence and tasked His angels with finding and eradicating them, thus, many angels left Heaven for a time and traveled to the darkest depths of space. They were mostly successful, but were unable to fully prevail in their mission. Many of the Old Ones were unable to be destroyed, and thus the angels resorted to imprisoning them in either different dimensional planes of existence, other planets, or uninhabited places in space. The remaining Great Old Ones were able to escape their wrath by hiding.
During the epoch of the Earth's time, several Old Ones found the planet and decided to claim it as their own, however, each time they would be thwarted by their own kind as they were not too keen on sharing. This sparked many wars between the Great Old Ones which are revealed to be the cataclysmic events that wiped the dinosaurs from extinction. As of now, the Great Old Ones are either inactive via slumbering in the darkest corners of the Earth or space, or active by telepathically commanding the humans that follow them. The other reason they are in hiding is because the archangels are actively hunting them.
Ever since their arrival on Earth, not only have the Old Ones been in conflict with one another, but were also warring with the Earthly deities that resided upon the planet. The war eventually ended with the deities imprisoning or slaying the remaining Great Ole Ones so as they would no longer pose a threat to the planet and poison its inhabitants. However, despite their destruction and imprisonment at the hands of the gods and angels, their spirits remained intact and hid between the borders of the physical and metaphysical, influencing the mortals that are particularly susceptible to their power into aiding them in restoring their physical bodies so as to reclaim the Earth once more.
Over time, some of the Great old Ones have begun to integrate themselves with the pantheons and hierarchies of other beings, accidentally creating beings such as Dagon, a Philistine fertility deity and Hastur, a Duke of Hell, fooling all the demons. Regardless, the Old Ones can contact humans through dreams and there are secret cults throughout the Earth. In the 1920's the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense was established to combat the Great Old Ones alongside their cults.
Myths and Legends
Notable Great Old Ones
- Father Dagon
- Nug and Yeb
- Chaugnar Faugn
- The Dweller in the Gulf
- God of the Red Flux
- Mother Hydra
- Quachil Uttaus
- Rlim Shaikorth
- 'Umr At-Tawil
- Shudde M'ell
- Zhar and Lloigor
|“||The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man’s truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them.||„|
|— Translated passage from the Necronomicon.|
|“||The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are and the Old Ones will be. Not in spaces as we know each other, but between them. They walk serene and primitive, one-dimensional and Invisible to us. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate, Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, and future are all one in Yog-Sothoth.||„|
|— H. P. Lovecraft, The Horror of Dunwich.|
|“||The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.||„|
|— H.P. Lovecraft.|
|“||When people look up at the night sky, they look up to see the dim stars shining down on them. What they never pay attention to is the darkness between those stars. For in reality, those stars are mere glimmers of heat in the cold abyss, impossibly far apart from one another. Sometimes I dread the possibility of knowing that the Ogdru Hem dwell within the dark space between the luminaries. I wonder if they are observing us from the darkness of the universe, or in regions of our own planet of which we had not yet explored. The answer to these questions is probably something that should never be discovered. Which is why in a world full of gods and monsters, the Ogdru Hem are both.||„|
|— Trevor Bruttenholm.|
- All of the Great Old Ones can mutate living creatures with their breath, with the most common example being amphibians. It is possible that this is the result of spores.