The Ancients are a technologically advanced race that is central to the Might and Magic series. They are thought to be present from the beginning of time, using technology of Elemental Manipulation to create completely viable ecological and social microcosms through experimentation. In doing so, they create VARN, CRON, Terra, Xeen, Enroth and Axeoth, the settings of the series. They look to be able to directly influence these worlds and colonize them, but each game in the series presents a challenge to their goals.
Before the Silence
The Ancients and their colonized planets were in an age of golden civilization, with communication maintained to all parts of the cosmos, their great technology allowing them to do this. They had powerful weaponry, built by the legendary Heavenly Forge, flew spaceships through the void, and maintained portals to different worlds. This time is refered to as the "Time of Wonders".
After the Silence
Following the attacks of the Kreegan, people began to rebuild their lives, each following generation forgetting its heritage and the need of communication with the Ancients. The technology of the Ancients is lost at this point, and they are simply myths that reappear through their artifacts (blasters, Lincoln). All Might & Magic titles post-date the Silence.
Appearances of the Ancients after the Silence
Might and Magic I-V
Here, the Guardian Corak has crashlanded with a ship most likely of Ancient design, losing his prisoner, the corrupted Guardian Sheltem. Both Corak and Sheltem are in fact androids built by the Ancients. Sheltem flees through several worlds, taking on several guises before he is finally brought down by the self-destruction mechanism of Corak.
Might and Magic VI
Might and Magic VII
In the introductory cutscene, we see a group of men wearing aqualungs, wearing small black boxes around their chests. These are the heroes of the ancient civilization from Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra, whose spaceship, The Lincoln, has crashed on Antagarich as opposed to their destination on XEEN. They travel to the courts of either Gavin Magnus or Archibald, where they look to either open a portal back to the Ancients following the Silence, or make contact with the Heavenly Forge to build weapons of mass destruction. Regardless of the side you support, you will see a cutscene with Corak upon completing the game.
Might and Magic VIII
In the introductory cutscene, you see a man who conjures a large crystal out of the ground. This is Escaton, destroyer of the worlds, a machine like Corak or Sheltem, built by the ancients. Escaton's purpose is to destroy worlds that have been infested by the Kreegan, which he attempts to do by opening and combining the powers of the elemental planes which created Enroth. This suggests that although communication was lost during the Silence, the Ancients are still actively involved with their colonies and with eliminating the Kreegans threat. This becomes even more prominent with his final comment upon his destruction, "tell them I have failed."