- "Ours was a proud people, and always the strongest. For thousands of years our empire expanded. For so long, we could imagine ourselves alone in the universe. For so long, never did we encounter advanced life. And we traveled faster and farther, spreading in our galaxy."
- ―The Ancients
The Ancients were an ancient race that had predated the Terrans and Vasudans by several thousand years. They had once owned many of the worlds colonized by the Terrans and Vasudans, including Altair, Deneb and Beta Aquilae. They were eventually exterminated by the Shivans.
In Fractured Suns, they are known as the Purvasuri, one of the founding races of the Galactic Rim Worlds.
It is unknown where the Ancients originated or what sort of culture they exhibited. From what little we know about them, they had expanded and conquered many worlds in this galaxy and possibly beyond, thanks to the advent of Subspace. They had devised advanced technologies, many of which might have been centered around Subspace. From their galactic conquest, it is also possible that they had devised powerful weapons as well.
"When the Destroyers came for us, we attacked. Never had we been defeated. They were like the others: strange, hideous, resisting, fighting. Only these were not like the others. They did not die." -The Ancients
Eventually, the Ancients encountered a mysterious and powerful race, which we know as the Shivans. The Shivans possessed technologies that surpassed even the Ancients. The Ancients had retreated, but the Shivans followed them, devastating their vast empire along the way. The Shivans did not seek to conquer their empire, or claim their resources. Only then did it become clear that their crime was sin.
After losing ground to the Shivans, the Ancients retreated to their homeworld. The Ancients believed the Destroyers could not harm them, for they were not a terrestrial species. Unfortunately, the Shivans had followed them nonetheless, and they had sterilized the planet from orbit. The Ancients fled their ruined homeworld, with the Shivan armadas pursuing the last of the dying race.
"There are few of us left. We know we will soon be gone, and so we can see our fate as others will see it. There will be little legacy. No great expressions of what we once were. Our technology, our achievements, if ever they are seen again, will spawn none of the awe that filled our conquests." -The Ancients
The Ancients realized that they were doomed. The last vestiges of their once proud empire were wiped out by the Shivans. They realized that there was nothing they could do to save themselves. They came to the conclusion that they were being eliminated as payment for their sins. They believed that when they had entered Subspace and wrought destruction on hundreds upon thousands of younger races, the Shivans had taken note and had come to destroy them.
"There is little left for us. Little time, but much irony. We did discover they are not invulnerable. The Destroyers that blackened our skies like a plague can be harmed. But we have no way to deliver the hurt." -The Ancients
In their final moment of defeat, the Ancients discovered a crippling weakness in the Shivans. In Subspace, they could not use their shield technology, and they could also be tracked into Subspace. However, they had discovered this too late, and they had no way to exploit this weakness. So in their final moments, they had left artifacts containing the secret to defeating the Shivans on a remote planet in the Altair System. These artifacts would later help the Terrans and Vasudans defeat the Shivan Destroyer Lucifer.
Very little is known about Ancient Technology. One thing known about their technology is that they had a mastery over Subspace. There is only one known example of Ancient Technology: a massive Subspace portal known only as the Knossos Device.
The Knossos portal was first discovered in the Gamma Draconis System by Admiral Aken Bosch. From studying Ancient artifacts he had found in Deneb, he learned about the device and had dispatched the NTC Trinity to activate the portal. The portal led to a massive nebula, and according to Ancient records, it had led to the system where the Ancients first encountered the Shivans. Two more Knossos portals were discovered, possibly leading to other Shivan-infested systems.