The demi-deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. They are uniformly heedless, arrogant, and supremely evil. but they have awesome powers, and some humans can be tempted to their worship. Occasionally, they may be encountered by investigators. For aiding their return to our world or for opening the way to our world, they promise much to their human worshippers. See Outer gods.
An ongoing theme in Lovecraft’s work is the complete irrelevance of mankind in the face of the cosmic horrors that apparently exist in the universe, with Lovecraft constantly referring to the “Great Old Ones”: a loose pantheon of ancient, powerful deities from space who once ruled the Earth and who have since fallen into a deathlike sleep.
Lovecraft named several of these deities, including; Azathoth, Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep and Yig. With a few exceptions, Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, et al, this loose pantheon apparently exists ‘outside’ of normal space-time. Though worshipped by deranged human (and inhuman) cults, these beings are generally imprisoned or restricted in their ability to interact with MOST people (beneath the sea, inside the Earth, in other dimensions, and so on, at least until the hapless protagonist is unwittingly exposed to THEM… Lovecraft visited this premise in many of his stories, notably his 1928 short story, The Call of Cthulhu with reference to the eponymous creature. However, it was Derleth who applied the notion to all of the Great Old Ones.