Journey to Recovery
Lesson One: The First Age
The First age, as the Dominion called it, was a time before magic on the Dominion continent. While the Humans learned of Black Powder and the Dwarves built terrifying defenses, the Elves attempted to survive using stealth and ambush tactics. During this time the Orkish Hordes were unrivaled as the dominant power. The other races while defending themselves would never take the fight to the Orks on their own.
For the Dwarves and Humans it wasn't too bad. Orkish raids on their lands were costly to the Orks so only the bravest and stupidest of the Orkish warlords would try it. The Elves on the other hand were much easier targets. With no imposing walls or advanced technology to scare them off, the Orks would attack relentlessly.
I should clarify it wasn't that the Elves didn't put up a fight. They just weren't very good. They did have some magic but it was druidic. Good for healing both the body and forest, not for healing a body torn apart by Orks or a forest scorched by their warband.
This imbalance of power meant that while the Dwarves and Humans could survive and flourish behind their defensive lines, the Elves struggled to maintain any borders. They were rapidly running out of forests and many considered fleeing to the Humans and Dwarves, abandoning their people and heritage.