Doom of the Drow
The Crown Wars
Ancient lore tells that elves are not natives to the Forgotten Realms. Elven lorekeepers suggest that elves came from a much older, more primeval world called the Feywild. Upon settling into the Realms they established the ancient kingdoms of the elves, such as Aryvandaar, Eaerlann and Illefarn. However, these ancient kingdoms would not endure, and soon the Crown Wars brought the first Doom of the Elves.
"Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Seldarine will fence the lands of Sun and Moon against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very power that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever…"
-From the Annals of the Ssri-tel-quessir: The Crown Wars, circa 10,000 years before the Dale Reckoning.
First Crown War
When, in approximately -14,700 DR the Vyshaan, ruling clan of the sun elf kingdom of Aryvandaar, discovered an alleged link between their family and the Olrythii, ruling family of dark and wood elves of Miyeritar, Coronal Ivosaar Vyshaan chose to make a claim toward the rulership of the latter kingdom. When peaceful overtures were rebuffed, the Aryvandaarans began raiding the borders of Miyeritar until war broke out in earnest in -12,000 DR. By -11,800 DR, Aryvandaar fully occupied Miyeritar, but the country did not come fully under Aryvandaaran control for another 500 years. The remaining elven kingdoms were both shocked and spurred by the aggressive war, and the Second Crown War broke out while the first was still being waged.
Second Crown War
Ostensibly in support of their Miyeritar allies, the dark elf country of Ilythiir attacked the moon elf kingdom of Orishaar, then escalated the conflict to encompass Thearnytaar, Eillur, and Syorpiir, utterly destroying them. The brutality of these attacks led to the creation of the epithet dhaerow, meaning "traitor," to describe the dark elves of Ilythiir. The Ilythiiri conflicts, which began in approximately -11,700 DR, spanned over 1,200 years, and during the course of the savage war, the demon goddess Lolth took the opportunity to seduce the ruling families and powers in the kingdom further towards evil, assisted by a fiendish balor named Wendonai.
Third Crown War
In about -10,900 DR, Aryvandaar (now known as the Vyshaantar Empire) was aided by a fallen solar named Malkizid in invading the sun and moon elf kingdom of Shantel Othereier. The war waged for nearly 300 years until Shantel Othreir surrendered after the death of their coronal.
Fourth Crown War
In -10,500 DR, owing to destructive magics of Vyshaantar, the Dark Disaster occurred, and a magical storm turned Miyeritar into the wasteland now known as the High Moor. Enraged at the destruction of their dark-elf brothers' land, Ilythiiri savagely attacked the Vyshaantar Empire. The Ilythiiri began to openly worship evil gods and commit such acts of atrocities that all the remaining elven kingdoms decided to expel the Ilythiiri dark elves from Corellon Larethian's grace. The most powerful mages and clerics succeeded in completing the ritual in about -10,000 DR, though it had the adverse effect of corrupting all dark elves, not just the intended Ilythiirians. The dark elves were driven underground, and the epithet dhaerow would eventually change into drow.
Fifth Crown War
The fragile peace was shattered in -9,200 DR when the Corellon Larethian-mandated Elven Court decreed that the sun elf clan of Vyshaan was responsible for the thousands of years of war. The Vyshaantar Empire disputed the charges and madly declared war on everyone. Within 200 years, the ancient kingdom of Aryvandaar was no more.