Great Old One

The Great Old Ones are otherworldly entities of almost unimaginable power—beings completely alien to humanity, both physiologically and spiritually. They exist in the forgotten corners of distant worlds or lost dimensions, yet their power is so great they can influence certain sensitive mortal minds in their dreams and nightmares, even if such influence is as accidental as a star’s gravitational pull on a tiny mote of dust adrift in space. In such ways, cults devoted to the Great Old Ones can rise on worlds throughout the Material Plane, even without prior contact between these worlds. Some of the Great Old Ones grant access to the domain of Void and its associated subdomains (Dark Tapestry and Stars).

While not all of the Great Old Ones are evil, all are forces of chaos. Their cults are almost always evil and cause harm and madness, but the Great Old Ones are generally content to ignore lesser life such as humans, elves, and dwarves. Yet when their attention is garnered, the results can be catastrophic on an immense scale—for just as the ant who bites someone’s toe invites swift destruction on a scale its feeble mind can’t envision, so too does humanity invite unimaginable ruin by delving into the affairs of these powerful creatures.

The Great Old Ones themselves may serve and worship even greater powers. Whereas the Great Old Ones can be thought of as akin to quasi-deities in regards to power.

Bokrug, Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, Yig and Hastur are but some of the Great Old Ones—countless others exist on distant worlds or other dimensions, yet are still able to influence the world through their dreams and cults.

The "Great Old Ones": a loose pantheon of ancient, powerful deities from space who once ruled the cosmos and who have since fallen into a deathlike sleep. This loose pantheon apparently exists 'outside' of normal space-time.

These beings are generally imprisoned or restricted in their ability to interact with most beings (beneath the sea, inside the core of planets, in other dimensions, and so on). The majority of these have physical forms that the human mind is incapable of processing; simply viewing them renders the viewer incurably insane.

The Outer Gods and Great Old Ones have servants and followers on Golarion, though they are in the minority. Among these races are Deep Ones and Neothelids. Cults which worship the Old Ones and/or the Dark Tapestry (Outer Gods) are considered blasphemous by most races and therefore suppressed.

The planet has a few Great Old Ones, including Orgesh who was born on Golarion, Mhar who is imprisoned in that world, and Yig. It's sorcerers have visited other worlds under the influence of the Old Ones, as well as the Dreamlands within the Dimension of Dreams.

The old-ones in Traveller are called the "Ancients," and their sites can be found in any random place. The architecture can vary wildly, from habitrail tunnels hermetically sealed and protected from a benign environment, to hollowed-out crystals hundreds of feet high with no ladders or stairs. None of the sites have any documentation, many of them expect visitors to be able to fly or use telepathy, and all of them are empty and inert… except maybe whatever one your adventurers carelessly step into . Each Ancient site predates the literacy of every civilization, and doesn't seem to have anything in common with other Ancient sites other than being built for inhabitants that are 1-2 metres tall. Ancient sites make for good dungeon romps in what is otherwise a hard sci-fi campaign about making mortgage payments on your spaceship.

The Ancients also explain why there's so many humans in space. The first great human empire was the Vilani empire, built by the humans that first discovered faster-than-light travel. They were pretty surprised to find out there were other aliens around; even more surprised when they encountered another FTL space-faring empire of humans called the 'Zhodani.' Scientists concluded sure that the two-arms & two-legs body shape was just naturally better for most environments, and stopped being surprised that everyone was "humanoid" shaped. This all went to shit when a third race of humans showed up with FTL drive, calling themselves the 'men of Sol' ("Solomani" in Vilani), and it turned out that they came from a world where the entire ecosystem was integrated, not evolving in parallel like everywhere else. Vilani scientists were certain this was a sign that the Solomani were an engineered race of humans made by the Ancients, what with everything fitting together like clockwork. Instead, they discovered the opposite: the undeniable conclusion that Zhodani humans, Vilani humans, and all the other humans from minor races were "seeded" from Sol-3 and transplanted to every other world by the Ancients. Even the biology of the lupine Vargyr major race were seeded from this 'Earth' world. This gives the Solomani a superiority complex that makes them pretty insufferable to be around.

This continues the trend of hard sci-fi ignoring 'hard biology'.

A race of godlike beings called Titans do the classic Precursor thing of "seed viable worlds with new life, then get bored and wander off thousands of years before any protagonists are born." They even have the cliche of one Precursor turning rebellious teenager, writing bad poetry and trying to destroy all the new life that the rest of the family worked so hard to build. The minions of the emo Titan are the demons & devils you usually see in fantasy games.

The viable world that is the setting for the Warcraft stories is extra-special, because it has four or so creatures known as the "Old Gods" that are nasty moustache-twirling villain gods with HP Lovecraft inspired names. The Titan Precursors tried to evict them so the world would be better for playing SimEarth with, but couldn't, so just imprisoned them under the planet's crust. Once the Titans left, the Old Gods fucked with the seeded life to corrupt it, even fucked with the dragons the titans created as janitors for the planet, and to fuck with everyone's heads to create cultists and generally make everyone miserable.

The gods of the Dark Tapestry, known as the Elder Mythos, can be divided into two categories, in so far as such chaos might be categorized: the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones,[1] sometimes termed just Old Ones. The Outer Gods are equivalent to true deities, whereas the Great Old Ones are less powerful, more akin to demigods, like the archdevils and demon lords. The Great Old Ones respect the Outer Gods and may be seen as heralds or high priests of their greater kind. Great Old Ones are far less mobile than the Outer Gods. Indeed, many Great Old Ones are imprisoned, unable to move until some catastrophe occurs that unbinds them. At this point of release, some prophecies predict the ending of worlds and the ascension of the Great Old Ones to the realms of the Outer Gods. For mortals, the differences between cults of gods of either category is practically meaningless.[2]

Great Old Ones are poorly understood beings who are said to dwell in the darkness between the stars, a place known as the Dark Tapestry or the Dominion of the Black. What is known is that they are truly ancient, and probably pre-date not only the world of Golarion but also its more human-like gods. They are thought to be of a vast, alien intelligence that mortals investigate at their own peril. Those who follow them and draw magical power from their worship are almost always insane, believing that these ancient beings will one day return to unmake the world.[3] Great Old Ones, despite some of their limited ability to travel, may influence the wider universe via dreams and mind control, and this influence may stretch well beyond their prisons to other worlds.[2]

The total number of Great Old Ones is unknown, but individual gods are known to include Bokrug, Cthulhu, Hastur, Mhar,[4] and Xhamen-Dor.[citation needed]

Church of the Great Old Ones

Followers of the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods collect in small cults of the insane known as Old Cults.[5]

Nyarlathohotep is an extension of Azathoth's will and has corporeal form.

In the broader Cthulhu mythos there are several others too.

Some 4.5 billion years ago Cthugha landed on earth.

Ubbo-Sathla spawned the precursors to all life on earth so he definitely existed in our reality.

Hyperborea is home to Atlach-Nacha, Tsathoggua, Haon-Dor, Abhoth, nug, yeb, and a culture of serpent people.

Ghatanothoa is imprisoned under Mount Yaddith-Gho.

So yeah, plenty of terrifying monstrosities are out there prowling in the darkness :D


Exactly where the Great Old Ones originate is something of a mystery; although the Strange God Lu-Kthu, The Birth-womb of the Great Old Ones, is known to periodically spawn new members of this terrifying breed, whether it is the genesis point of the entire species is an unresolved question.


Aeons Past

The first great old ones to enter our dimension.

Then the gods and humans joined forces and made war on the Primordials, killing many of their number and trapping the rest in the body of their king, which had been turned inside-out, and cast them out beyond the confines of this world.

In the brass-and-bone depths of the Demon City, their demonic progeny turn wretched eyes our way, ever watchful for a crack to appear in their prison. Meanwhile, the slain titans have formed a dark mirror of our world, save that at its center is a twisted labyrinth of their congealed nightmares, and at the center of *that* is the concept of oblivion made manifest, above which hang their dead-but-dreaming tomb-bodies.

In aeons past, the Great Old Ones and their myriad servants went to war with a pantheon of gods for reasons known only to themselves. Ultimately bested by these cosmic deities, the defeated Great Old Ones were not destroyed but instead imprisoned by the power of the gods' star stones; now most of them lie in a state of dormancy, held captive in various inaccessible locations throughout the universes. A notable few, however, have escaped their bonds, and now seek to free the others of their race in an attempt to once again wage war with their enemies.

Known Great Old Ones

  • Abholos A grey festering blob of infinite malevolence, described as the lesser brother of Tsathoggua or spawn of Cthulhu, born from his bile and tears.
  • Ammutseba Devourer of Stars A dark cloudy mass, with tentacles, absorbing falling stars.
  • Amon-Gorloth Creator of the Universe's Equilibrium A gigantic mysterious entity whose cult was prevalent in ancient Khemet. Once dwelling in a gigantic palace known as Gz-eh, his dreaming force was able to shape reality. His Khemetian cult claimed he caused life to eventually flourish in Khemet, before the stars ceased to be right. Priests of his cult have built up secret subterranean mausoleums to please the slumbering god by giving cattle as sacrificial victims.
  • Aucturn
  • Ayi'ig The Serpent Goddess, Aeg, Aega Daughter of both Yig and the deity Yidhra, appearing as a gigantic octopus-like horror with serpentine eyes, and detachable tentacles, which may move independently.
  • Bokrug The Great Water Lizard, The Doom of Sarnath Appears as a gigantic water lizard.
  • Byatis Serpent-Bearded Byatis Appears as a gigantic multicolored toad with one eye, a proboscis, crab-like claws, and tentacles below the mouth.
  • Chaugnar Faugn The Horror from the Hills, The Feeder, Caug-Narfagn A vampiric elephant-like humanoid, with a mouth on the end of its trunk.
  • Coatlicue Serpent Skirted One[12] Appears as a gigantic reptilian humanoid with two facing snakes in place of an actual head. She was the former mate of Yig, revered in K'n-yan along with her consort.
  • Cthaeghya (Half-)sister of Cthulhu, which spawned the Star-Spawn of Cthulhu.
  • Cthugha The Living Flame, The Burning One Appears as a living conflagration.
  • Cthulhu Master of R'lyeh, The Great Dreamer A massive hybrid of human, octopus, and dragon. He is usually depicted as being hundreds of meters tall, with webbed arms, tentacles, and a pair of rudimentary wings on his back.
  • Cthylla Secret Daughter of Cthulhu Appears as a huge winged octopus-like creature with six eyes. Youngest of Cthulhu and Idh-yaa's progeny.
  • Ctoggha The Dream-Daemon No description available.
  • Cyäegha The Destroying Eye, The Waiting Dark Appears as a gigantic black mass of tentacles, with a single green eye at the center.
  • Cthaat The Dark Water God A formless mass of shape-shifting water.
  • Dzéwà The White God A ravenous plant-god from Xiclotl, awed by the Insects from Shaggai. He appears as a white orb hiding an enormous magenta excrescence, like an orchid or a lamprey-like mouth, with emerald tentacles, tipped with hands emerging from within the hideous mass.
  • Ei'lor The Star-Seed, The Plant-God A plant-like parasitic horror native to the jungle planet Kr’llyand, which orbits a dead, green star.
  • Eihort The Pale Beast, God of the Labyrinth Appears as a huge, pallid, gelatinous oval with a myriad of legs and multiple eyes.
  • Gi-Hoveg The Aether Anemone A cosmic-entity manifesting as a gigantic, spongy, and fleshy mass covered in a myriad of both eyes and spines. He is said to be the nemesis of the deity Uvhash, usually summoned to contrast this deity.
  • Gla'aki The Inhabitant of the Lake, Lord of Dead Dreams Appears as a giant three-eyed slug with metallic spines, and tiny pyramid-like feet underneath.
  • Gleeth The Blind God of the Moon An eyeless and deaf deity worshiped in the ancient world of Theem'dra, as well as in the Dreamlands, often mentioned as similar to Mnomquah, though apparently not related to each other.
  • Golothess An entity cut in ten pieces by Yig during a time of great battle (one of these pieces is an alabaster dish). Many cults have formed around where these pieces have been found. They begin as hedonistic pleasure cults, but then devolve into cults of murder and depravity.
  • Gurathnaka Eater of Dreams, Shadow of the Night A shadowy incorporeal entity dwelling in the Dreamlands.
  • Gtuhanai The Destroyer God of the Aartnna A destructive entity manifesting as a ravenous metallic vortex. He seems to be another half-brother of Cthulhu, like Hastur, and related to the slug-like Glaaki as well. He has also been called a "son of Yog-Sothoth". Whether these titles are literal or conceal some dark truth about the Destroyer, none can ascertain. He dwells somewhere in the T'sa Cluster, and when summoned, he brings devastation.
  • Gzxtyos Mate of Othuyeg The consort of Othuyeg, likely similar to her bridegroom.
  • The Green God The Horror Underneath A sentient plant-like entity dwelling within a series of caverns, where it is always served by mutant rabbit-like worshipers.
  • Ghisguth The Sound of Deep Waters A titanic mass of jelly-like material.
  • Ghatanothoa Lord of the Volcano, Thoa[20] Appears as a colossal horror with multifarious appendages, and Gorgon-like powers.
  • Han The Dark One A being made of cold, howling mist bound to Yig's worship.
  • Hastur The Unspeakable, He Who is Not to be Named, Lord of Interstellar Spaces, The King in Yellow, The Peacock King, Zukala-Koth His true form is unknown, but usually manifests either as a polypous, ravenous floating mass endowed with tentacles, drills, and suckers, or more frequently, as the King in Yellow, a humanoid being wearing tattered, yellow clothes and a mask hiding the face. He is said to be Cthulhu's (half-)brother. He is said to be of the air element opposed to Cthulhu's water element.
  • Hziulquoigmnzhah The God of Cykranosh, Ziulquag-Manzah Has a spheroid body, elongated arms, short legs, and a pendulum-like head dangling underneath. He is the brother of Ghisguth, and uncle of Tsathoggua.
  • Haiogh-Yai The Outsider a monstrous, amorphous, whirling entity living within a wandering black hole called Vix’ni-Aldru, which also hosts a city made of titanic blocks, inhabited by mysterious creatures resembling either worms or lizards.
  • Hnarqu The Great One Lesser brother of Cthulhu, manifesting as a gigantic mouth surrounded by countless tentacles, similar to a titanic sea anemone.
  • Istasha Mistress of Darkness A cat-like deity, similar to Bast, but vicious and malignant. Her sister is the sylvan Lythalia.
  • Idh-yaa Cthulhu's Mate, Xothic Matriarch A gigantic, pale, worm-like horror dwelling beneath the crust of the star Xoth. She has been Cthulhu's first bride, and with him spawned three sons—Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha, and Zoth-Ommog—and a younger daughter, Cthylla.
  • Inpesca The Sea Horror A formless expansive bluish-black mass, mentioned in Cthäat Aquadingen as inimical to the Deep Ones.
  • Iod The Shining Hunter A levitating, sinuous glowing creature.
  • Ithaqua The Wind Walker, The Wendigo, God of the Cold White Silence A gigantic, corpse-like human, with webbed feet and glowing red eyes.
  • Kurpannga The Devil-dingo A giant hairless dingo-like fiend living in the Dreamlands
  • Kaalut The Ravenous One[25] Likely a gigantic larva-like horror, dwelling in the nebulous realm of K'gil'mnon, along with the Gharoides, its parasitic insectoid servants.
  • Kag'Naru of the Air[26] the sister of M'Nagalah.
  • Kassogtha Bride of Cthulhu, The Leviathan of Diseases A huge mass of coiled, writhing tentacles. She is Cthulhu's sister and mate, who bore him the twin daughters Nctosa and Nctolhu.
  • Kaunuzoth The Great One, Cannoosut A squat, sea cucumber-like monstrosity with five eyes, three-toed, taloned appendages, and a large mouth. He is described as one of Glaaki’s brethren
  • Krang The Dead One A monstrous, brown, leathery, alien entity native to a mysterious planet, currently slumbering within a gigantic mausoleum lost in desert-wastes, set to guard a priceless treasure made up of the oldest decayed planets.
  • Kthaw'keth The Supreme Unknown, Scourge of Yaksh A six-eyed, crocodile-snouted monstrosity covered with both tentacles and tripod-like limbs. Revered by the ancient Khemetians as the deification of both darkness and chaos.
  • Klosmiebhyx Sister of Zstylzhemghi.
  • Lam The Grey[29] An alien entity, similar to Fraal, dwelling in the dark side of their world
  • Lythalia The Forest-Goddess A female seductive humanoid-entity, covered in both vines and vegetal parts. Somehow, she has been the mate of the deity Nodens, bearing him the twin gods Vorvadoss and Yaggdytha. The feline Istasha is the sister of Lythalia.
  • Mappo no Ryujin Harbinger of Doom, Mappo's Dragon A dragon-like entity, covered in pseudopods, regarded as the mother of the Snake-God Yig and said to be imprisoned beneath a sunken continent.
  • Mordiggian The Charnel God, The Great Ghoul, Lord of Zul-Bha-Sair, Morddoth A shape-shifting cloud of darkness.
  • Mnomquah Lord of the Black Lake, The Monster in the Moon A very large and eyeless lizard-like creature with a "crown" of feelers.
  • M'Nagalah The Devourer, The Cancer God,[33] The Eternal A mass of both entrails and eyes, or a massive blob-thing.[34]
  • Mormo The Thousand-Faced Moon Mormo appears in many forms, but three are most common: as a mocking vampiric maiden, as a tentacle-haired gorgon, or as a hunched toad-like albino with a mass of feelers instead of a face. This last form is the appearance of her servitors, the Moon-beasts.
  • Mynoghra She-Daemon of the Shadows A succubus-like fiend with alien traits, and tentacles in place of hair. She is mentioned as a cousin of Nyarlathotep in the O’ Khymer Revelations, and worshiped by witch cults
  • Nssu-Ghahnb The Heart of the Ages, Leech of the Aeons A sort of gigantic pulsating heart secluded in a parallel dimensions. It is responsible for spawning all of the various monsters which exist within the known Universe.
  • Nug and Yeb The Twin Blasphemies Two horrid nebulous masses of shape-changing vapor from which eyes, tentacles, maws, and hooves emerge; somewhat like Shub-Niggurath. They have been spawned by Yog-Sothoth, and both (or either) are regarded as the blasphemous parents of Cthulhu.
  • Nyaghoggua The Kraken Within[40] A blurry, dark, kraken-like entity mentioned in the Song of Yste, and said to dwell in Outer Space.
  • Nctosa & Nctolhu The Twin Spawn of Cthulhu Twin daughters of Cthulhu, imprisoned. They both appear as huge shell-endowed beings, with eight segmented limbs, and six long arms ending with claws, vaguely resembling their "half-sister" Cthylla.
  • Othuyeg The Doom-Walker Appears as a great tentacled eye similar to Cyäegha, but much more similar to the monster featured in the horror movie The Crawling Eye.[42] He currently dwells within the fabled Seven Cities of Gold.
  • Pharol Pharol the Black A black, fanged, cycloptic demon with arms like swaying serpents.[44] The entity normally dwells in another dimension—a "seething and sub-dimensional chaos" beyond the mundane universe. The wizard Eibon of Aventus sometimes summoned Pharol to query him for arcane information.
  • Poseidon A powerful extragalactic entity, awed by ‘Ymnar. It battled against the deity Paighon.
  • Quyagen The Eye of Z'ylsm, He Who Dwells Beneath Our Feet Worshiped as a deity in a lost continent. He appears related to Nyarlathotep, and his form is likely octopoid, with myriads of horns along a maddening body. Once has a cult in Aventus
  • Q'yth-az The Crystalloid Intellect A towering mass of crystals, residing on the lightless planet Mthura.
  • Shudde M'ell The Burrower Beneath, The Great Chthonian Appears as a colossal worm with tentacles for a head.
  • Scathach One of Hziulquoigmnzhah's children, supposedly female.[49]
  • Sedmelluq The Great Manipulator, Ishmagon A colossal glowing worm, with a starfish-shaped head, served by the Mi-go.
  • Sfatlicllp The Fallen Wisdom The granddaughter of Tsathoggua, an amorphous mass which mated with a Voormi and spawned the legendary thief Knygathin Zhaum. she appears as a fiend with oily snakes skin, and prehensile dreadlocks like a Gorgon.
  • Shaklatal The Eye of Wicked Sight A dark-skinned humanoid horror with tentacles sprouting from his head, and glowing red eyes, worshiped by the earliest civilizations as a god. He is said to be rival of Cthulhu.
  • Shaurash-Ho Mysterious entity - a descendant of Cthulhu which spawned other two horrid descendants (K'baa the Serpent and Ghoth the Burrower). The latter would have sired with a noblewoman Viburnia the legendary ancestor of warlocks. The appearance of Shaurash-Ho has never been described.
  • S'tya-Yg'Nalle The Whiteness An invisible entity made of both snow and chill, servitor of Ithaqua.
  • Tawil at’Umr
  • Tsathoggua The Sleeper of N'kai, The Toad-God, Zhothaqqua, Sadagowah Appears as a huge, furry, almost humanoid toad, or a bat-like sloth.
  • Thanaroa The Shining One A mysterious evil entity, manifesting as a pillar of dazzling light, dwelling in the ruins of Nan Madol.
  • T'ith — The offspring of Cthulhu and the deity Sk'tai.
  • Thog The Demon-God of Xuthal An octopoid monster of ancient age, which haunts the underground city of Xuthal.
  • Tulushuggua The Watery Dweller Beneath A mysterious subterranean horror, dwelling deep within flooded caves, served by the eel-like horrors known as the Tulush.
  • Voltiyig Yig's Terrifying Son Spawn of the Snake-God Yig, appearing as a winged and feathered serpent with flaming nostrils, trapped inside a dark tower topped with a giant five-pointed star.
  • Xotli Lord of Terror, The Black Kraken of Aventus, Demon-God of Elder Night A rolling cloud of ebony darkness or a vortex of boreal cold, revered by Aventi priests.
  • Yig Father of Serpents A giant snake with human-like arms covered in scales. Son of the Mappo's Dragon, children of his are Ayi'ig and Voltiyig, whereas Rokon is regarded as the brother of Yig.
  • Yorith The Oldest Dreamer A huge crystalline-being residing in the seas of the ocean planet Yilla. Its hypnotic abilities force those spacefarers, who stray too closely, to suddenly plunge into the depths of its lethal sea.
  • Yegg-Ha The Faceless One A 10-foot tall winged being which rules over the Nightgaunts, before being defeated.
  • Yhagni A hideous female or hermaphroditic entity of tremendous power, cousin of Cthulhu and Hastur, imprisoned by the Great Old Ones being themselves aware of her powers. She dwells within the "Temple of Pillars," in the depths of Kyartholm. Her appearance is never described, but likely formless, larva-like, and tentacled as depicted in the minion-spawn which serve her parasitizing human victims.
  • Yhashtur The Worm-God of Kings A worm-like monster dwelling at Polar latitudes, said to be the rival or inimical to Nyarlathotep.
  • Ythogtha The Thing in the Pit Appears as a colossal Deep One, with tentacles surrounding its one eye.
  • 'Ymnar The Dark Stalker A shape-shifting entity spawned by the deity Ngyr-Korath to serve him only. It may grant great powers to whoever chooses to serve him and his master, but his final aim is the destruction of all sentient and intelligent life in the Cosmos.
  • Zathog The Black Lord of Whirling Vortices A festering, bubbling mass that constantly churns and whirls, putting forth vestigial appendages and reabsorbing them. Bubbles burst on the surface to reveal hate-filled eyes, and slobbering mouths form or close randomly about his horrible body. He dwells in the Xentilx galaxy, served by the Zarrian aliens.
  • Zindarak The Fiery Messenger A mysterious fiery entity, that shall release Cthulhu from his prison once the stars are right.
  • Zushakon Dark Silent One, Old Night, Zul-Che-Quon, Zuchequon Appears as a swirling, black vortex, revered as a dire death god. He is also worshiped by mysterious servitors known as the Hidden Ones.
  • Z'toggua An obese bat-winged humanoid with a long polypous snout and a wide mouth, opening in the belly, served by the Deep Ones.
  • Zhar and Lloigor The Twin Obscenities Both appear as a colossal mass of tentacles, trapped inside the Plateau of Sung
  • Zstylzhemghi Matriarch of Swarms, Zystulzhemgni Spawn of the God Ycnàgnnisssz, described as a living alien swarm. She also has a sister named Klosmiebhyx.
  • Zoth-Ommog The Dweller in the Depths A gigantic entity with a cone-shaped body, a reptilian head, a beard of tentacles, and starfish-like arms.
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