Centuries ago when the Elves and the Dragons lived together as brothers, a small faction of Elves grew jealous of the superior magical powers of the Dragons. Over time this jealousy grew into hatred. Blinded by their hatred they sought to take the powers for their own. These Elves would later be known as Dark Elves. The Dark elves began to steal the dragons away in the night and sacrifice them to the dark gods in exchange for power. When the other elves learned of this treachery they split into factions each thinking they knew what the best course of action was. But by now there were few Dragons left alive. The smallest faction of Elves left for the deep woods of the earth where they felt they could use their closeness to nature to protect the dragons, these were the Wood Elves. The dragons not wanting to leave their "little brothers" unguarded agreed to separate along with the factions. The Elves later to be known as High Elves sought to remove themselves from the world, moving to the islands off the coast. There they felt they would have the time to master the magical arts before anyone else could reach the Isles, for without a dragon, it was a treacherous trek indeed. The rest of the Elves choose to stay and fight. They saw no reason to flee; they made strong their positions and began what was later to be known as the 1000-year war. The battles with the dark elves always came at night, when their powers were strongest. Due to this fact the remaining Elves were forced to sleep during the day, when it was safe, and fight at night. Over time they became nocturnal and were called Night Elves. It was after this war that the first boundaries of the shadow land were formed.
There are four main branches of the Elven Family.
After the treachery of the Dark Elves, the High Elves sought to remove themselves and the Dragons from the world. They took flight on the dragons to the small island of Ethlenon. There they set about in the study of magic, knowing that without Dragons few would be able to make the journey to their island refuge. Over the years they grew to become masters of the magical arts. They watch the events unfold on the mainland with a sort of detached interest, feeling above the affairs of the lesser races.
When the Dark Elf treachery was discovered the Night Elves went to war. They saw no need to run, or try and hide the Dragons. They made weapons and armor, and trained themselves in the art of war. They set the original boundaries of the shadowland by building the wall of sorrow. The Night Elf / Dark Elf war has been being waged for thousands of years. It has seen the birth of the lesser races, and grown to encompass them, now it is simply known as the war of the shadow. The Night Elf society has grown despite the war and they are the largest of the Elven races currently.
When the Dark Elf treachery was discovered, the Wood Elves sought to protect the Dragons using what they knew the best, nature. They moved into the deepest parts of the woods where their tie to nature was strongest and started life anew. They called upon the Earth Mother with their songs and grew their homes and cities. They also sang forth the Ents, mighty spirits tied to the very trees of the forest itself. The Ents were their defense against the dark. The Wood Elves created armies of Ents, placing them guard around all of their cities and temples. Over the many years the Ent armies spread and thrived, growing together into what the humans later called "The Silver Forest".
Dark Elves were the Elves who grew jealous of the Dragons' powers. They grew to hate the dragons for it, and they were eventually consumed by their hatred. They sacrificed the dragons on pagan alters to gain the power of the dragons, but it was not without a price. The sun no longer holds any warmth for them, they only know the cold embrace of night. Every one of them, down to the last man, was seeded with a hunger, a hunger no food can quell, the hunger for power. They were given power by the dark gods for their slaying of the dragons, and they were promised more power for the blood of their enemies. So they wage war on those who live in the light, bringing back the dead and captured to sacrifice to their gods, all for power.
See also: Pinkies