Millennia ago, perhaps around the time of the Shaping Wars, several tens of thousands of dark elves poured forth through a Gate in the Sandra Mountains. Where they came from, and the reason for their mass exodus, was lost long ago, but all the drow share histories of a flight from raging demons. As the overextended Gate shut down behind them, the powers of their old deities failed, sealed off by the power of the the Shield. Their matriarchal society called out, and was answered by the goddess Samis – at that time, Chaotic Evil.
The centuries passed, and the drow warred with the derro of the Sandra Mountains, expanding their realm slowly but surely. Some drow escaped the cruel and evil society they had brought with them, but the majority continued forward on their dark paths. Despite their favor with Samis, prophecies foretold the destruction of the drow, should they continue with their evil ways. Ignored because they could only be understood by those with morals, the prophecies were considered mysteries for only the sages and mages to study.
Four centuries before the Storm Wars, General Orcen Roreth of Nathel discovered the drow.
With the customary silence and planning of Nathel's minions, the drow were captured and enslaved within a week. Many fled into the underground passages and caves in the Sandra Mountains, but few escaped the Nathelian strike forces that so cunningly captured them. Worse, Samis' powers failed the drow – who had not changed with the goddess to Lawful Evil in the millennia after the Shaping Wars. Cursing their goddess and their existence, the drow were beaten down, and then rebuilt. Already savage fighters and outstanding wizards, Roreth began training his slaves for absolute obedience, preparing them for the Storm Wars to come.
Their numbers diminished considerably during the Storm Wars, as Nathel used them to devastating effect. The drow systematically removed the gnomes from all of their mountain fortresses. Their deep night strikes against the Karatikan supply lines almost crippled the northern war efforts. The drow wizards sewed chaos into smaller villages and towns that aided the defending Karatikan Alliance against Nathel. When Nathel was destroyed in the Heavansbane Mountains, and Nabrol took his place, many drow managed to escape their enslavement in the ensuing chaos. Most were still slaves, and Nabrol threw them away in useless attacks, trying to wear down the battle-hardened veterans of the Karatikans.
At the final conclusion of the Storm Wars, fully half of the drow were still enslaved by the Nabrolians. The death of Nathel in the Heavansbanes Mountains, at the hands of one of his own Dark Guard, allowed a great strike force of the drow to escape into the northern lands of the Karatikan Alliance. There, a society of druids found them a home well away from the fighting that had spread across all of Gaeleth. The drow built the city-state of Tyven, both above and below the ground, adapting to the night-time stars before fleeing the sun at dawn. Tyven stood for several centuries as a more neutral city of drow, distinct from the slaves of Nabrol and the old ways still within the Sandra Mountains.
When the Inquisition rediscovered the magically powerful drow, a surprise attack devastated their mages. An outpost of the crusaders would maintain careful observance of the rest of the drow, and call down the wrath of all the Crusades should the magic of the drow ever veer from the path set down by the holy city of Karmen. Embittered by the event, the drow of Tyven were driven to hatred once again when a death knight and his minions attacked the city. Once a colonel under the Dark Guard Luminar during the Storm Wars, Lord Elistan's only price for his service to an unnamed lord was to finish his old mission in life – grind the drow into black dust. Backed by hundreds of thousands of undead minions, from the sea, the air, and the land, Tyven fell in one foul night. Many of the drow were converted to undead – few survived. Those that did survive the fierce battles had hoped for help from the Crusades, but they were bitterly disappointed.
One drow princess that did escape, became a duchess in the nation of Rakore. Tolerant of magics and different races, Rakore offered a haven to the drow that are willing to stray from the embittered path of evil.
Other, tiny enclaves of drow exist, scattered across the former zones of the Storm Wars. Many live as barbarians beneath the mountains of Nabrol. Some still exist in the few cities of the drow in the Chandra Mountains. For the most part, the drow are beaten, though proud. Their history is one of blood, though they have striven to keep to many of the old ways. They are the shunned Dark Race of the Storm Wars – portrayed as nightly predators that could strike and fade without ever showing their dark faces.