This world that we call Evanna has two histories – Ours and Theirs. And which you call true depends on where you begin.
One goes like this: We arrived here on the underground shores of the Lake of Salvation eons ago – a time before time – to an untamed and wild world. The First Descendants (as we call them) were to prepare for the arrival of the rest of humanity – but after generations and then centuries, hope of anyone else arriving was abandoned. A watch was still kept at the shore, but eventually even this was only a ceremonial position held by a single family of devout loyalists. As overcrowding and discontent rose, more and more of the population began to spread sporadically across the wilds as one group and then another rebelled against the Great Wait, each striking out in their own direction. It has been ~5000 years (but much knowledge was lost and much more left unrecorded) since the majority of the people ended the Great Wait and it is now thought of by most as a simple shared creation myth. These groups have established their own civilizations, in their own ways throughout the world. When the Ancestors did arrive, the world was thrown into chaos once again and began the current period of world wide tension and strife.
The other goes like this: The World was dead… or at least dying. The gods had all abandoned us. Food was scarce, disease spread, civilization was on the verge of completely collapsing. Panic and plague and famine were everywhere. Hope was all but lost. Until the Way was found. The Way to a new world and a chance to begin anew. A small expedition was sent ahead with a mission to establish a forward base of operations in this new world. In the meantime, the rest of the world leaders were to organize as many as possible and follow within a century. It took more than three generations (by human terms and only the oldest of the Elves remember when the first expedition departed) but eventually, ships were loaded with everyone (or as many as possible/willing). It wasn’t perfect. But after a year at sea, we arrived on the underground shores of the Lake of Salvation.. and found this world as abandoned as we left the last. When we emerged from under the mountain, we found a city… or the shell of one. The few remaining inhabitants of the old city fled when this horde of humanity began to shamble out of the enormous gates that had sealed the way down to the Lake. They returned soon enough but by that time, we had fortified ourselves and made the city our home. And we weren’t going to give it up. We couldn’t – we had nowhere else to go.