Elves call themselves the “first people.” Thousands and thousands of years ago the elven civilization covered the world in a vast empire whose name has been forgotten even to the elven people, now known only as the Elven Empire. A disaster wrought by a war between elves and the second-class citizens of the empire the orcs and dwarves befell the world, variously called the “Great Rift” and the “Breaking of the World” among other names. This disaster had far-reaching effects, notably bringing humans and dragons among many other species of monster into the world.
The elves have since fallen into disarray, drawing social boundaries between themselves and isolating themselves into small communities. Elves are now largely confined to their homeland, the birthplace of the elves called the First Forest.