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The Old Ones were demons pure. They warred as we would breathe—endlessly. The greater ones were interred, for death was not always their end.
Drogyn[src]

The Old Ones were the extremely powerful pure-breed demons that once dominated earth before humankind appeared. Illyria was one of these demons, though her real form was revealed only in an illustration.

Background

The information regarding the Old Ones was limited. According to Giles:

"This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the Old Ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures...."

The Old Ones were not the first beings to inhabit this dimension. They were preceded by the beings that would be eventually known as The Powers That Be. The rise of the Old Ones led the Powers to leave this world, while the demons became rulers of vast territories, commanded enormous armies that worshiped them as gods and constantly made war against each other.

In time mortal animals arose, and then mankind. Modern demon races, such as vampires, appeared due to various types of hybridization between the Old Ones and men or other species.

Somehow, the Old Ones lost their claim over this world. They were either killed in their own wars (such as Illyria) or driven away to other dimensions. Those who were killed were placed in sarcophagi which were hidden at the Deeper Well, a hole in the world running between the Cotswolds and New Zealand, where the remains of the Old Ones were supposed to be kept in order to prevent their resurrection, as not only their corpses but also their essences were trapped.

The legacy of the Old Ones remained not only in the form of the hundreds of demon species, but also in the form of cults that worshipped, awaiting their return to bring about the destruction of mankind.

Though unable to manifest in this dimension on their own, the Old Ones were able to return if a portal to the hell dimensions in which they dwell were opened. Also, they were capable of infecting reality and causing severe deformities, mutations, and insanity if summoned via artifacts such as the Key of Amon-Rathna, which affected Council members Thorton Whitney, Alan, Barbara, and Graham Locke, the latter becoming a doorway for the Old Ones to return.

Biology and Powers

Each Old One had a different shape and powers. What they all shared though was their enormous size.

Known Old Ones

Sources

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