This is not the first era that this galaxy has seen, and it's undoubtedly going to be the last. The first era that there are any records of was enveloped in a catastrophic war. It was a war with only one surviving faction. The survivors remained neutral throughout the conflict, a relatively young, entrepreneurial race who had grouped together to form a single massive megacorporation known as Evotech. Their business acumen allowed them to keep out of the conflict and thus survive, as if knowing the fate of the other races.
As the last of the old races died out, Evotech knew they would be alone. They took the opportunity to hide themselves from those that would emerge from the ashes of the previous conflicts. Evotech knew they couldn't reveal themselves to barely-sentient races without disrupting the balance. They eventually learnt how to survive in the deepest regions of space; between the stars, in the darkness.
Many millennia passed, and the new era began. As the new races started to emerge, Evotech pulled itself out of it's self-imposed solitude and made first contact to once again start trading with other space-faring creatures. They did not, however, reveal their hidden settlements between the stars.
The First Era is the earliest recorded history of the galaxy. There were many races occupying the galaxy, each claiming their portion of it as their own. Some planets still show signs of their former occupants. Some of the Second Era races have even built upon the ruins of the First Era races.
Conflicts soon arose between them as would be expected of a diverse range of races across the millions of habitable planets. War would sweep through the galaxy like waves in a pool. Moments of extreme violence would precede moments of peace. Politics started forming between the races, forming alliances and working together to defeat a common foe.
At the early stages, the weakest were eradicated, and replaced by those who defeated them. As time wore on, however, alliances started to change the rules. No single race was above extermination, and so the alliances grew and grew in order to cover themselves against perceived threats.
Eventually, the alliances grew to a point that there were two main contenders, powerful enough to affect everyone in the galaxy, whether they wanted to be affected or not. It was at this point that the Evotech Federation - a Civilisation that had merged to create one massive megacorporation - emerged as a potential power player. Little is known about the two grand alliances, as few details were kept on record by Evotech, but they had listed these alliances as the Galactic Coalition, and the Alliance of Stars.
Evotech moved straight down the centre, between these alliances. Rather than siding with one, they worked for both. Both alliances quickly found Evotech to be too beneficial to remove. Evotech were leading researchers, always on the cutting edge of technology, with branches across every conceivable topic of research.
In a way, Evotech was the catalyst for the downfall of the alliances. The fighting between the two alliances was so massive that when the fighting was finally over, the victors were unable to sustain themselves, and eventually found themselves extinct.
Evotech has always been seen as a mysterious, but undeniably useful force. Their hand in the downfall of the First Era has been defended by Evotech as simply removing chaotic elements to bring about a new form of order, but even they admit that their strategy worked better than they had anticipated. With the fall of the alliances, Evotech knew that it needed to remove it's influence from the galaxy to reset it and bring about a new era.
With their extensive research, they were able to hide themselves from the galaxy in a place they call "between the stars". Only Evotech truly understands what this means. Some believe that this is a literal description of having hidden in deep space, beyond the influence of any of the stars. Others believe that there is a realm of subspace that Evotech has discovered that grants them their secrecy, and knack for turning up whenever they feel there is a new business opportunity.
Regardless of what theory is correct, all dealings with Evotech on the subject of their place between the stars confirm that they have lived in dark, artificially regulated conditions. During the millennia of darkness, the people of the Evotech megacorporation have become physically weaker, but they use their technology to balance their weaknesses out. Their weakened immune systems mean that they now wear environmental suits in all atmospheres outside their own, and never make direct contact with other races.
With no one to do business with, Evotech has become stagnant. They have not evolved very far technologically, preferring to indulge themselves in personal pursuits. Strangely, this did not lead to a decline. Their shift in activities was allegedly due to a shift in strategy. They were simply biding their time, waiting for the next era to begin.
While the Evotech Federation in hiding, the galaxy was able to repair itself without the influence of space-faring races, but inevitably, this was to change. Over the millennia, new creatures became sentient, and started looking to the stars, thinking that one day the stars would become travel destinations.
What happens next is up to you...