The Benefactor was an alien of impressive ability, and he shared his knowledge with humanity. This was initially viewed as the single most important event in human advancement, but the events of the Downfall proved otherwise.
The origins of the Benefactor are unclear. Of all the knowledge he shared, his own past was mysteriously absent. This caused many to mistrust him, but in the end, the benefits of what he was offering outweighed their doubts.
All that is known for sure about his origins is that he was found Contra-terraside in PRE 350. Found is misleading. He introduced himself by appearing over a settlement in his space ship. Though no strangers to space flight themselves, the difference in ability is comparable to a biplane meeting a X-15.
The Benefactor has only been seen inside his ship. He is 3 stories tall, sitting down. His lower body is concealed beneath the deck of his ship. Massive pipes carrying various fluids feed into his lower body, apparently sustaining him. He has eight massive arms, with odd musculature, arranged in vertical pairs spaced evenly around his body. His head is massive and bulbous, with deep blue eyes spaced around it. The top of his head is wired into the ceiling of his space-craft.
The initial reaction to the Benefactor's appearance was panic. However, once he made it clear his intentions were peaceful, people began to trust him. He offered the knowledge of his people. This came in the form of general scientific theory, and blueprints for actual devices.
When people questioned his motives for giving this knowledge, he simple said "[It] Pleases me to help out fledgling races, so they can mature faster". Further pressing could not get him to express anything other than humanitarian motives.
This influx of knowledge and wisdom led to a golden age. part of the scientific knowledge included social theories that revolutionized justice systems, making them fair, compassionate, yet just. Hardships of overpopulation and space colonization were practically eliminated, and peace spread throughout the galaxy.
This golden era turned out to be a deliberate plot. After 50 years, everything stopped working. The social systems broke down, leading to widespread chaos. Deep-seated, but well hidden flaws were found in the scientific theories, throwing question over the last 50 years of advancement. The technology presented backfired worst of all. It had been integrated into every facet of technology, and when it stopped working, everything stopped. Whats worst, when they self-destructed, their mixture of Terran and Contraterran materials resonated through the Rift, creating an opening for the Other to attack, and temporarily shutting down Alice Express This complex collapse of society led to the Downfall.