Sylvan Artwork by Kartabon

The 'pure' Sylvan, Elves have endured a painful existence, warring with Demon hordes who bring with them the omnipresent threat of fire to destroy their woodland kingdom. Further internal tension caused the Dark Elves to branch off the Sylvan Elves, creating another enemy. The Elves are now allied with the Haven and the Academy in order to overthrow the Demons and Dark Elves who threaten their existence.

In keeping with a new publisher and developer for this, the latest incarnation of the Heroes series, a completely new storyline has been developed, and with it, a new history.

Sylvan: A Chronological History (From the Official Site)

The Origins

Asha, the Primordial Dragon of Order creates the world by giving it shape and purpose. She then gives birth to the Elemental Dragons who are destined to guide and rule her creation. The mortal races are created as “servants of the Dragon Gods”, and placed upon the earth. Each chooses its gift and its patron. The quiet and meditative Elves choose Sylanna, the Dragon of Earth.

Elder Wars
The Angels launch a crusade on the Faceless. The destruction is terrible, and the elder races suffer tremendously. Early Elf civilizations and kingdoms are destroyed.
The Primordial Dragons become myths and are slowly forgotten. Only the Elemental Dragons are worshipped.

The Modern Age

28-40 YSD: Wars of Fire
First great demon incursion.
Until the Wars of Fire, little is known of the elves. It was they, however, who first summoned forth the other races to do battle against the demon armies, and many of the great generals of that war were elves. It is the elves who held the line against the last demon assault as the Seventh Dragon prepared his final spell, not that men remember this now.

50-260 YSD: The Years of Healing – creation of Irollan
Reconstruction from the Wars of Fire and relatively harmonious relations between the races.
Great swaths of the elven forests were burned away by the demons, scarring the land and poisoning the waters. Once the fighting was over, the elves retreated to their wounded land and spent the Years of Healing restoring it, planting new groves, cleansing the waters, and expelling the slightest bit of demon taint from their lands. Thus was created the Elven kingdom of Irollan.

528 YSD: Tuidhana’s secession
His head turned by a band of flatterers, the third Elf king, Arniel decided that elvish power was too decentralized, and the method of choosing a High King too random. Instead, central power was needed to go with a hereditary monarchy. While many objected to this, only Tuidhana, Queen of a tiny realm which sat on the border with the Falcon Empire, chose to act and declared her independence.

540 YSD: War of the Bitter Ashes – birth of the Dark Elves
The Knights of the Holy Falcon Empire, for their part, saw an opportunity. They marched in force on Tuidhana’s borders. She appealed to Arniel for assistance, but her messengers were turned away from the High King’s court unheard. “She stands alone, let her fight alone,” was Arniel’s decree, and it was not until humans had nearly overrun all of Tuidhana’s realm before he finally acted.
With Tuidhana sufficiently humbled (or so he thought), Arniel marched his forces to the border and engaged the Human armies in the so-called War of Ashes. Neither side paid much heed to the elves whose lands they fought over. Desperate to protect her people, Tuidhana turned to other allies. As her lands were burned and her subjects killed, she made a pact with one of the few surviving Faceless, rumoured to have long since been driven extinct. If she would turn herself and her people to the worship of Malassa, the Dragon of Darkness, then the Faceless would grant her the power she wanted. Tuidhana made the bargain, and the Dark Elves were thus created from the surviving elves of her kingdom. Both elves and humans were expelled from the contested terrain, and Tuidhana reaffirmed her independence. An uneasy peace settled between Elves and the Dark Elves.

566 YSD: Day of the Tears of Fire – death of Tuidhana
A massive fire burns down the Elven capital. The High King Arniel dies in the flames with most of his court. Brythigga, the Mother of Trees, sacred to the Elves, is also consumed by the fire, leaving a blackened scar on the earth where nothing would ever grow again. The loss is devastating.
The Dark Elves are blamed and given an offer of exile or death by Arniel’s son, Vaniel. Most chose exile; the rest are hunted down and destroyed without mercy. Tuidhana remains with her lands and is killed.
The place where Brythigga had stood was stricken from the maps, and to this day no elf will go there. Another Mother of Trees has been consecrated, hidden deep within the forests, but no Elf will speak of her to outsiders.

585 YSD: Discovery of Demon implication in the Day of the Tears of Fire
Dragon Knights bring evidence to the Elves that Brythigga’s criminal fire was set by a Demon spy.
Emissaries are sent from the forest to the wandering Dark Elves, offering amnesty and inviting them to return home. The offer is refused.

756 YSD: Death of Vaniel
Vaniel is succeeded by king Alaron, whose eye is turned outward from the forest. Slowly, he re-establishes stronger contacts with the other races.
Alaron provided aid to the Wizards of the Silver Cities in their wars against the Necromancers, and encouraged traders to come to the elven borders.

951 YSD: 5th Eclipse - War of the Gray Alliance
Alaron leads the Elven armies out of the forest to join the Haven Knights and the Wizards of the Silver-cities in the ill-fated Gray Alliance.
The Demon horde is finally defeated, but at a terrible cost for the Alliance.

The Characters

Sylanna: The Dragon of the Earth and idol of worship for the Sylvan Elves. Descendent of Asha, primordial Dragon of Order.
Arniel: The cunning and power-mongering third Elf King, who decided that there would be a hereditary monarchy in the Elven Kingdom. This decision was the impetus for the break-away of Tuidhana, and the Dark Elves.
Brythigga: Mother of Trees and Sacred to the Elves. Was completely burnt and destroyed by fire in 566 YSD.
Vaniel: Vaniel, son of Arniel, and the fourth Elf King. Placed the blame on the Dark Elves for destroying Brythigga, giving them the ultimatum of exile or death.
Alaron: Vaniel's successor and the fifth Elf King. Became distanced from the forest and made alliances with external factions. Forged the alliance between the Wizards and Haven Knights in the Gray Alliance.

Thanks to ThE_HyDrA for creating and looking after the Heroes 5 section of Age of Heroes!