“The elves made our kind toil in the Far Beneath. We cried to the gods and the gods struck down the elves. In one day, their empire of silver towers was brought down by the hammers of just dwarf gods. The elves fought back, of course. The elves destroyed most of the ancient gods. But we were free, and all but a handful of the elves were dead or slaves in Faerie. That is why King Gashil ordered his men to slaughter the Sunners during their dragon war. Help the elves in war, and you set yourself up for slavery. Give the elves peace, and you only give them time to forge your chains. As far as I’m concerned, their ‘Edict of Eradication’ is a step up for us."
— Kabrak d’Mintin, as recorded by Adaris the Cabrian in the winter of 3791.
History of Dwarvenkind:
Dwarvenkind is an ancient and proud race of delvers, crafters and smiths. In the era before the dragons came into the world, dwarves were enslaved by the ancient elven empire. When the elven empire fell and the surface world fell into chaos, the dwarves enjoyed a golden age. When human civilization arose again on the surface, the underground dwarven cities became the world’s commercial hubs.
In Tezra and Brea, dwarves established a great network of subterranean roads and canals. Trade flourished and all was well until the dwarves encountered the Sun-elves in the great wild forest.
Several thousand years had passed since the dwarves and elves last had anything to do with each other. The two sides got along very well at first. The sun-elves of that time had no idea why the elven empire had ended. The dwarves had only kept the memory of the elves alive in stories they told to frighten small children.
Dwarves and elves traded peacefully for over a thousand years until an army of orcs and giants invaded West Tezra. The dwarves and their surface-dwelling subjects were overrun and lost the western third of Tezra in less than fifteen months. In desperation, the dwarves offered the elves control of whatever land they could reconquer. The dwarves’ original plan was to use the elves as orc-fodder, and maybe give them a sliver of land along the southern coast. The dwarves had planned to destroy the orcs by gathering a horde of mercenaries from Brea.
Instead, the sun-elves took four months to exterminate every orc and giant in west Tezra. Seemingly overnight, the elves were transformed in dwarven eyes from quaint magical tree-folk into unstoppable killing machines. Eventually, the elves and dwarves agreed to a new elven territory in West Tezra that was much smaller than all of the reconquered territories. Still, the war impressed the dwarves with their own vulnerability: if the elves wanted to, nothing could stop them from re-establishing their old empire in Tezra and Brea.
Between the losses in west Tezra, the loss of three years worth of crops, and the shock of what the elves had done, the larger dwarven governments collapsed. Riots and revolutions broke out in most major dwarven cities. When a smaller group of orcs landed in Brea, the local dwarven factions were too interested in fighting each other to do anything about the invaders. To make things worse, a new kind of elves emerged from Faerie.
The dwarves frantically and clumsily tried to prompt a war between the sun and shade-elves. Largely because of these dwarven efforts, the shade-elves simply left Tezra for the island of Kallasihya. The sun-elves became suspicious of dwarven motives, but did not treat dwarven paranoia seriously.
As time passed, the dwarves came to resent the elves more and more. They resented the “trickery” that had made them offer so much territory to the elves during the invasion of Tezra. After Brea fell to the orcs, they resented the fact that the elves had stood by and let it happen. Slowly, the dwarves came to see every action of the sun-elves as an insult to dwarvenkind.
And then the dragons fell out of the sky. Whatever remained of dwarven society in the west collapsed as the dragons simultaneously drove millions of humans underground and denied the underground cities access to surface food stores. What cities did manage to hold together through they chaos found themselves at the mercy of the dragon Chasm. Eventually, the dwarves in the west appealed to the elves for help against the dragons.
The elves were reluctant. They’d grown tired of increasingly eccentric (from their perspective) dwarven behavior, and they did not want to fight against the magical power of the dragons.