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A Complete Guide to the Cosmos - Ranks of Godhoodby Giulio Caroletti
The Old Ones may not exist, or they may be the true creators of the Cosmos. The few evidences of their existence are questionable, and they represent a big question mark whose answer (maybe) lies beyond the Vortex.
There are two groups of Outer Beings: the Ulterior Ones and the Mirror Gods. The Ulterior Ones live partly in the Normal and partly in the Mirror Tetraspace, while the Mirror Gods live in the Mirror Tetraspace, where they are gods and rule the laws of this endless chaos. Although both groups think and act in ways totally beyond Normal comprehension, given their "unnatural nature", they have completely different goals.
The Mirror Gods are not much different from the Normal divinities, while the Ulterior Ones eternally plot to regain their lost physical dimension and avenge themselves of the imprisonment they have been confined to by the Mirror and Normal Gods, during the Battle of Birth of Universes.
The True Gods are the supreme rulers of the Normal Tetraspace. They are a small number, compared to the Athanatoi and the Immortals. Theoretically they have retired from the Normal Tetraspace after the defeat of the Ulterior Ones, and have left the Multiverse in the hands of the Athanatoi and the Immortals. The existence of the True Gods has been hidden by the Athanatoi to all other living creatures, although some doubts on the existence of superior gods have been raised by some of the Immortals and other "new" divinities. These doubts have given way to the "legends" about the Old Ones, although whether the true Old Ones exist is a problem that the True Gods can't solve.
The True Gods have separated the Normal Tetraspace in many separated Multiverses, and have told each group of Athanatoi put to live in each of these Multiverses that they were the only ones to survive the Battle against the Ulterior Ones. Then they pretended to retire from the Multiverse, but most of them has taken the form of several Athanatoi and Immortals, in fact controlling the Multiverse. The True Gods have immense powers: each of them may assume the form of dozens of Immortals at a same time, that they send in the various Multiverses to watch over the Immortals' and Athanatoi's behaviour.
The most powerful of the non-True-Gods, the Athanatoi are the first living creatures generated by the Thoughts of the Gods that sided with the True Gods in the Battle of Birth of Universes. Each Multiverse hosts its Athanatoi - they are few, and very powerful, ranking among the most powerful (and the oldest) divinities of their Multiverse. Some Athanatoi are in fact True Gods that have assumed a lesser form (see above). The Athanatoi have hidden to the lesser-ranking divinities the existence of Outer Beings and True Gods, pretending to have forgotten the first stages of their existence because they are too old, or that they incarnate primary forces of nature from which they were generated during the birth of the Multiverse. This makes even more difficult for the lesser-ranking divinities to discover the Truth of the Origin of the Multiverse, hidden under layers of godly lies, also because Athanatoi from one Multiverse do not recognise as Athanatoi those from another.
Athanatoi cannot be harmed or killed in any way by Immortals and Mortals, and do not depend on their followers to keep their strength.
They can be harmed by True Gods, however. It is not known whether they could actually harm each other directly, as they haven't tried yet after billions of years.
"Immortals" is a term used to call all lesser-ranking divinities, that once were mortals and that through impossible odds, willpower and the belief of their followers, have ascended Immortality in the Prime Plane, the Plane of Belief. Depending on the whim of the Immortals and their followers, they can be called Gods, Immortals, Divinities, Demons, whatever. Each Multiverse has its "hierarchy of Immortals", different from Multiverse and Multiverse: the fact that Immortals from different Multiverses cannot recognise each other as similar creatures have prevented them to discover the secret of the existence of many Multiverses. Moreover, Immortals believe that the Athanatoi have ascended godhood like they did, ascending from mortality to immortality, or that they incarnate primary forces of the Multiverse, and do not suspect that they are in fact a different type of gods.
Immortals depend on their followers to keep their strength and powers, and thus they are heavily involved in mortal matters, especially from the planets and regions from which they arose.