The Dark Ones (also called "The Old Ones, The Great Ones, The Great Old Ones etc.) are a race of godlike beings. They are the masters of the Deadites. The Old Ones were cast to the Deadlands long ago by the author of the Necronomicon ex Mortis (Ruby) and an ex Knights of Sumerian sorceress (Kaya.)
Little is known of the appearance of the Dark Ones except for the possible illustrations located in the Necronomicon. The illustrations depict beings of vast size and power, though it is likely that the true image of the Dark Ones is unfathomable to humans, and actually seeing one would drive them mad.
When introduced in episode 3 of Ash vs Evil Dead, Dark Ones are depicted as “neither demon nor fully human” who appeared to be humanoid entities dressed in dark hooded cloaks that completely conceal their appearance. This is to conceal the fact that they indeed can pass for completely human, and the fact that one of them, under alias of Ruby Knowby, can also shapeshift into a human form as alternate method.
Originally the Dark Ones roamed the earth but at some point in early history, they were betrayed and exiled to the realm known as the Deadlands by a necromancer called Kaya, who was allied with a Dark One called Ruby.
The deadlands was a realm where victims of Deadites and the Kandarian Dagger would end up. A shadow like demon would devour the souls that were sent there.
The Dark Ones can only be recalled from the Mirror Dimension through the proper incantations located in the Necronomicon. The Dark Ones seem to be more permanently imprisoned than their servants the Deadites, for it is difficult to recall them from their confinement. It is likely that the Chosen One is the only one capable of destroying the Old Ones.
Ash vs Evil Dead
At the end of season one of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Ruby Knowby is revealed to be one of The Dark Ones, specifically the one who wrote the Necronomicon, and she needs The Chosen One to give her the Necronomicon so she can control all of the world's evil. At first, Ash refuses to give her the book, but to save the lives of his friends (and to live peacefully in Jacksonville, Florida), he gives her the book and the trapped evil is released on the Earth.
They come into play again during the third season, when Ruby is trying to keep them in their prison. She knows if they would somehow find a way to escape their captivity they would take revenge on her, so Ruby calls forth for her friend, Kaya. Together they try to maintain their grip over the Necronomicon and its dark powers to themselves. They scheme up different plans, including the birth of a new, alternative propeshized one. Ruby and Kaya ultimately pay for their actions when the Dark Ones are released into the human world. These ancient, evil beings also search for the powerful book, They kill the deserters and unleash evil on Elk Grove.
The Dark Ones are able to come in two forms, one is a human form such as how Ruby and Kaya appear, while the other is a large cloaked form, being taller than a human and with no visible face. It is unknown if the Dark Ones are equal in power as Ruby and Kaya didn't even try to fight the three other Dark Ones when they came for them.
Despite being considered an evil and feared group, The Dark Ones seemingly held no interest in the humans as none of the Dark One bothered to kill or attack any of the Ghostbeaters or townsfolk. They briefly neutralized Pablo but left him alive, they later repel him with a force field when he tried to attack them but again left him alive. They also had a chance to kill the chosen one but didn't press their attack, instead the Dark Ones were more concerned with getting revenge on their betrayers and re-adding the missing pages to the Necronomicon. It is possible that they consider engaging in personal combat to be beneath them and instead prefer to use other methods of dealing with others.
The Dark Ones speak to each other in an ancient language, which is possibly their native language. The Dark Ones have yet to communicate to anyone but themselves.
Abilities and Skills
The Dark Ones possess incredible power such as super human strength, the ability to teleport and phase through objects. The Dark Ones can remove the souls from victims and desiccate the body.
Army of Darkness Comics
While locked up in Arkham Asylum, Ash Williams encountered The Dark Ones when they were summoned by the mentor of Herbert West, Whateley, and began to emerge from an open portal. Before any of the Dark Ones escaped, Ash destroyed The Necronomicon that had opened the portal and it closed, causing Arkham to collapse on itself.
Evil Dead 2 Comics
When Annie Knowby and a copy of Ash were sucked into the Mirror Dimension, they met a man named Regardie, who has been trapped there since the turn of the 20th century. When Regardie first arrived, his soul was taken by a Dark One, trapping him in the dimension forever.
The Dark Ones are mentioned by Ash as the supposed writers of the Necronomicon in Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick.
- Ash vs. Evil Dead is the only instance of the Dark Ones appearing in the main canon.