Drizz't Do'Urden, a famous dark elf.
|Alignment||Neutral, Neutral good|
Dark elves are a race of elves that do not worship Lolth, the Spider God. They are often confused as being drow. They appear in the "Forgotten Realms" series.
Roughly, twenty-seven millennia before the raising of the Standing Stone, the Fey creator race opened gates to the Feywild in an effort to defeat the ruling dragon empires. Through these portals the first elven races emerged. The primitive green elf were the first to emerge. Although most green elves preferred to stay in small scattered tribes, one group known as the Ilythiiri, negotiated a truce with dragonkind and began forming a small kingdom in the south. The great Ilythiir capital at Atorrnash would remain a shining beacon of elf culture for millennia.
A few other dark elven nations began too, they would rise in the realm of Miyeritar, located in what is presently called High Moor.
Wendonai is a balor lord who, in -11500 DR was tasked by Lolth to seduce the Sethomiir clan, rulers of the Ilythiiri into her worship and grant them evil magics. He was successful and was probably the greatest (but by no means the only) influence on the fall of the dark elves.
In -10,500 DR, during the Crown Wars, high mages in Aryvandaar cast a fell high magic ritual that obliterated the dark elven nation of Miyeritar in an event called the Dark Disaster, changing that realm into a large swampy region known as the High Moor.
When the First Crown War was going on, the Ilythiiri made several unsuccessful attempts to conquer Faerûn (although they conquered Southern Faerûn up to Shantel Othreier), and at the time of the Fourth Crown War, they turned to Lloth and the other outcast Seldarine in the Demonweb Pits who gave them powerful magic and allies as a reward for being in an alliance. After many terrible acts and abuses of elven magic, Corellon Larethian banished the "Dhaerow" (traitors) whom Lolth used to be in charge (and most of whom still secretly worshiped her) to the Underdark, a large underground region. It was at this time that all dark elves were physically transformed into drow, their skin becoming much darker and the race becoming more evil.
In 1374 DR, Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun brought forth many powerful mages in order to bring back the inhabitants of the lost city, Miyeritaar's High Mages and cleanse part of the High Moor. In order to make the magic permanent, he and the Grand Mage Ualair the Silent sacrificed their lives to restore Rhymanthiin, the Hidden City of Hope.
More presently, Eilistraee has managed (through her death) to revive those drow that were not tainted with Wendonai's blood (the Miyeritari). Those who were tainted with Wendonai's blood (the Ilythiir)but took up Elistraee's dance were revived and reverted back to their ancestral physiology. They physically reverted to their brown-skinned dark elf form, and their fate was from that point on their own to make. Drizzt is not among these "redeemed dark elves," and his skin is still ebony and runs with the taint of Wendonai's blood because he didn't receive the miracle that Elistraee bestowed to her followers before her death, the miracle that removed Wendonai's taint from her faithful. This is a telling sign that dark elves are not the heroic drow, rather they are whichever good drow happened to follow Eilistraee.