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Elders of the Universe

The Elders of the Universe are powerful extraterrestrial beings who are among the oldest sentient creatures in all the cosmos. The individuals who comprise the Elders are members of a number of the first intelligent humanoid races to evolve in the universe. These races lived on the first galaxies to form in the wake of the "Big Bang," the event that began the universe. The Elders' races achieved an extraordinarily high level of civilization before they died out. The individuals comprising the Elders are the last survivors of their respective races, each Elder having found a means of achieving virtual immortality, as well as mastering advanced technology that made it possible for him to leave his home planet. Not only has each Elder survived the death of his own race, but each of them has even survived the death of his own galaxy, and lived on while newer galaxies, such as Earth's own Milky Way Galaxy, evolved.

Realizing that being the sole survivors of the first era of this universe's history links them, the Elders have come to regard each other figuratively as brothers. However, in actuality, each of the known Elders belongs to a different race, and none is biologically related to any of the others (except for the Collector and his late daughter Carina).

Each of the Elders has spent his eons-long life engaged in highly individual pursuits and pastimes. Long ago, the various Elders discovered that if they did not choose an all-encompassing pastime to pursue, they would over the eons lose the will to live, and would surrender their immortality. The Collector's wife Matani lived for billions of years before succumbing to apathy. Some Elders have chosen to develop their full physical and mental potentials; and thus become extremely powerful beings; others have not, and rely on technology to perform various feats.

It is not known precisely how many Elders there are in the universe. It is rumored that there is or was once a council of the greatest Elders.

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