The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG
Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure
Last of the Old Ones
Back when the universe was young, when it was little more than primordial soup, there were still gods. They were ancient and scary and beyond comprehension. As the universe formed and sentient beings came into existence, many of the gods took forms similar to their "subjects". But not all followed this path, not all of the gods took on the guises of animals and humans, but stayed in their old forms, their scary forms. These were the Elder Gods.
Along with belief, magic is a core element of the universe (sure, and matter and energy, but we're moving beyond those). The Elder Gods consume magic, use it, and belief, to power their machinations. They desire a return of the universe to the old ways, when they were in charge and could make (and remake) reality as they saw fit. Ancient mages, though, feared what the Elder Gods could do with limitless power and worked great spells, sealing the old ones from the multiverse.
These great spells are like giant wards, though -- they may have kicked the old ones out, ejecting them into a space beyond the known multiverse (into a nether region, formless and void). The magic didn't kill the Elder Gods though, no. Time, and a lack of magic reduced their numbers, steadily, but they still exist, still wait on the outskirts of reality, still await the day when they can find a way back into our universe.
And if they do, the whole of reality will collapse around them.
So far, it's not known how many Elder Gods may still exist. There's every possibility there's only one left. Certainly there have been rumors of an old one finding ways back into our universe, even if only for short spans of time. The tales of it are always the same: a giant beast, masses of tentacles and eyes, looming in from the sky.
If there is only one Elder God left, that would mean they've devoured the magic off all their brethren, all so they could continue existing, awaiting a day they can break into our worlds. For all our sake, let's hope they never find that entrance.