This civilization of primitive orcs (but with goblinoid and minotaur slaves) built stone and wooden structures, had at least a rudimentary grasp of magic, and possessed no written form of language, nor metalworking skills—with the strange exception of goldsmithing. They are sometiemes called Pre- Kelland People, or Hill Kings.
The Ancient ruins found so far have been troves of jewelry, religious totems, and even weapons, all made of gold. Scholars struggle to explain how these primitive people, living in a wilderness supposedly dominated by mighty fey creatures and capable of only simple mining, were able to craft so many elaborate golden relics. While scarce, the traces of their culture have been found all over the world; it is unknown how so vast an empire could have fallen.
Kida ve Alema’s vision during the expedition to the Ziggurat of the Ancients suggests that the Ancients had contact with the mysterious creatures seen during The Incident at the Kaybeau Fair. They called them by the name Gidim and used psionic techniques to temporarily solidify their naturally incorporeal bodies.
Professor Xambria Meredith has an interesting theory: that the Ancient’s gold was not a result of their own mining, but rather was collected from a separate culture entirely, either by trade or as the spoils of war. In particular, she has read of an “Egal the Shimmering, Lord of the Golden Legion” in old Clericist scrolls from Danor, among a list of demons and other heresies. Perhaps this Legion was the source of the Ancients’ gold? The constables had heard this name before, but unfortunately not much more information is available.