A thousand years before the events of the Vanir Dragon Series, the world of the dragons was shaken to its roots by a cataclysmic event known in the series as the Breaking.
The denizens of the Firelands in the south joined forces with the draug army of the northern Deadlands, closing like the jaws of a great wolf on the lands in between and leaving nothing but fire and frozen ash in their wake.
The mighty fae and their allies--the alfkin, the dwarrows, the Vanir and those of the yotun who were under their protection--gathered into their strongholds and fought back against the forces of destruction. Hero met monster on the plains of battle...
And the monsters prevailed.
All the lands touched by the River Drasil burned in the Breaking. The slaughter of battle was great, and the deaths from the famine and disease that followed were even more innumerable.
The dwarrows fared best, retreating with the remnant of their armies to their underground holds.
The alfkin withdrew to the deepest heart of their primeval forest, where they could hold back the inferno with magic of their own.
The Vanir took heavy losses, providing cover for their retreating allies before taking shelter high in their mountain fortresses on the island of Vanahir.
Mankind was all but obliterated--a few pockets of survivors clung to life on the plains. Some were granted refuge by the great Drakes of Vanahir. A handful of the river folk went to ground up the smallest branches of the river tree. The rest of the humans died, and their lands were left in ruin.
The fates of the yotun were tangled and many. The fire yotun of the south and the ice yotun of the north marched with the forces of destruction. Their brothers of the rocky coastlands and of the lesser islands fought on the side of the fae. The losses on both sides were heavy.
And the fae?
The fae are gone. All of them. Gone. None has been seen since the Breaking. One of the rebel fae who fought with the sons of the south formed a Rainbow Bridge to carry their victorious forces beyond the Between and into the shadowy lands of the Otherworld. When the bridge shattered, they burned too. All the forces of the Firelands. All the armies of the north. And so great was the power of the Rainbow Bridge that its Breaking sent a shock wave roiling through the fabric of the magic itself--the wild magic of the fae. And every fae who could touch that magic...burned.
In creating the Breaking, I drew heavily from the Norse myths surrounding Ragnarok, the end of the world (and the beginning of another). Here's an interesting video in which Dr. Jackson Crawford, an Old Norse specialist, discusses what is known of Ragnarok from the original sources.