In the golden age of Jhal Kaeraer, there was much peace. Many uses of magic were known, and most of the races lived in harmony. Only one thing marred the joy of the time. Aeons before, a great evil had been caged within the earth. It was prophecied that one day, the evil would escape, ravaging the land. One world would become many, its peoples split and much knowledge lost.
The people planned for this foreseen apocalypse in different ways. Some built great, underground cities, sturdy and deep, in hopes that the evil one, Onnaksh, could not reach them there. Others felt that this would not be enough, and developed ways of adapting to the water. The sahuagin, especially, felt that the land would no longer be safe, and changed their forms for water living. Of the races, only the dwarves refused to take to water living.
Then the day arrived, and Onnaksh was free. Onnaksh overcame the world for a time, moving the earth, tearing up vast gouges and making things shake. He went on great, destructive rampages, and the earth ran with blood, while whole cities were destroyed in his wake. The people built great armies, but were unable to defeat him. Then came the seven. Using a combination of powers, they were able to defeat Onnaksh and reinter him. There is the occasional shaking of the land, but for the most part, there is peace again.
The great civilization of the people, however, did not survive intact. Great stores of knowledge were lost, and the people needed to rebuild. The races reacted in different ways to their forced habitation of the underground mazes and cities. Most abandoned these places, yearning for the sunlight and open air. The elves, especially, were affected by this time. They fled to the jungles, where they could roam at will, and surround themselves with the green life denied them by the underground. The gnomes, also, hated being cooped up, and have taken to the wide open spaces of the grasslands, following a nomadic tradition. The dwarves were the only race who, as a people, thrived beneath the ground, and they thus continued to dwell in their fantastic underground cities, though some say they were never quite the same as before.