A short and sweet history of the continent
The elves were the first race, created by the gods. The Eldar, as the younger races call them, were tall, curious and fecund, and they spread rapidly through the world, exploring and building as they went. They were almost childlike in their discovery of the world and of power, and for a time, all was good.
Anuriial Weretheil was the first to recognize the implications of power, and began to gather magic to her from the world around her… and when that did not suffice, from the elves closest to her. Others began to realize what could happen, and thus began the War of the Elves. They razed the continent, slew their brethren and drew the magic from them, and fought each other for centuries.
What is not known is how the plague started, whether created by one side or another, or the gods, or simply a product of the elves gathering power or going too fast, too far in a search for a weapon. Nine out of ten elves were slain, and the ragged remainders of their race fled in different directions to save themselves: into the clouds (the faerie), underground (the drow), into different dimensions (the eldritch), and so on.
In this long absence, other races began to appear in the world, and expanded to control many of the areas once held by the First Race. Eventually, elves were discovered again, scattered refugees, but to this day they are distrusted by the other races due to the fear of the plague coming about again to destroy the world.