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
Church of the Great Old Ones
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- Cthulhu Mythos deities, a Wikipedia article on Cthulhu Mythos deities, including the Great Old Ones.
- “Cults of the Dark Tapestry” in Wake of the Watcher, 63. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 51. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- James Jacobs. (October 27, 2010). Old Ones Cult, Paizo Messageboards.
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 235. Paizo Inc., 2011 .