Although they travel freely and may be found roaming pretty much anywhere in the world, the Elves live primarily in the Thev Helmin (Tab Hylman in Elvish), the mountain ranges to the north of Narod Rada. The Elves once ruled over much of the land of Narod Rada, and their influence can still be seen quite clearly in much of the human culture, including architecture, music, artistic styles, and language. Once the humans began to become more powerful, however, the Elves, not wishing to engage in any power struggles or war, retreated to the mountains and to their capital city fortress Hal-Tarhyaeldyin. There they live primarily quiet and peaceful lives, trading with the humans to the South and the Qing Wa tribes in the tropical rain forests of the north.
The Elvin people are nimble and sure on their feet, which allows them to easily traverse the perilous mountains that often prove death to others to climb. Generally speaking, they are the fastest travelers (humanoid, anyway—horses, birds, dragons, and the like can usually outpace them) known anywhere in the world,* which is one reason why they can be found in so many places. Because of the treacherous terrain of the mountain passes in which they dwell, not many humans have ventured into the Elvin territory, although the Elves have always remained on good terms with the humans. The difficult journey through the mountain ranges also has prevented any humans from reaching the tropical lands in the far north, allowing the Elves a monopoly on trade with the peoples who live there. Thus, while it is quite common to find tropical produce such as coffee, pineapple, coconuts, papaya, jackfruit, spices, and cocoa in the streets of Hal-Tarhyaeldyin, where they are brought by Elvin traders from the north, such things virtually never find their way down to Narod Rada.
The Elves are a quiet, refined, wise, and peaceful people. They are very proud of their well-developed, ancient culture, and have quite a bit of a superiority complex, looking down on most other peoples as less refined than themselves. Although they are generally reclusive, they are very altruistic by nature, and will readily offer aid to the humans, whom they still see as sort of foolish, needy children, when called upon. However, their sense of superiority makes any help they offer a tad bit patronizing.
Elves are a gentle people in most circumstances, but they are unmatched anywhere in their skill with the bow, and many are quite talented in the use of the sword or throwing knives as well. In battle they strike with lightning speed and deadly accuracy. Although they rarely can be persuaded to take up arms, an Elvin warrior is indeed something to be feared. The Elves possess some skills in magic, but it is primarily of a medicinal or healing nature and is never used in warfare.