Dark elves, also known as dokkalfar, originated on the surface as one of two known civilization building fae races, the other being light elves. Due to the surface being ravaged by numerous demons released into the world, the Dark Elves were driven underground to form self sustaining city states. The children of those who survived became the first drowolath.
The history of the dark elves in the underworld differs between the various city states. In Chel'el'Sussoloth, dark elves were all but destroyed by their drowolath descendants with only a few remaning either in hiding or high positions of power.
On the other hand, Shifaye'sindil dark elves were considered teachers and guardians of ancient knowledge. Since they were so highly respected, a fair number of dark elves were still alive in Shifaye'sindil when it was attacked. When the Black Sun swept through Sifaye'sindil, all of the older generation of dark elves were wiped out in the ensuing massacre and it was thought that the dark elves as a race were lost forever. However, when the Tei'kaliath fled to the surface after the fall of Ther'avare, they discovered that children of drowolath born on the surface were born with the skin tone and other physical features of dark elves. It now looks that the dark elves will return in the form of future generations born on the surface.