A setting (or premise, or concept, or whatever you like to call it) first developed by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
, and later added to by many other authors.
It is founded on the premise that in the distant past, we were visited by alien beings of incomprehensible power, known as the Great Old Ones. Cthulhu is one of these, and the most active on present day earth, and from whom the name of the Mythos is derived.
The Mythos is inhabited by many strange beings-whether races, Old Ones, or Outer Gods. Cults of humans worship these beings, sorcerors uncover blasphemous secrets in ancient tomes, gates are opened to distant stars, immense alien cities millions of years old are left empty on icy plateaus, the only ones who know the truth are left imprisoned in mental asylums, and in the centre of it all dances the idiot god Azathoth to the infernal piping of his minions.....
Authors who have contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos include:
Clark Ashton Smith
Frank Belknap Long
E. Hoffman Price
Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea also borrowed ideas from the Mythos-namely that of incomprehensible, immensely powerful beings from other dimensions who controlled humanity, known as the lloigor-for their Illuminatus! Trilogy.