Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
Valley elves are as tall as most humans, but thin with sharp and pointed features. Their hair is pale yellow in the summer, darkening to a rich gold in the winter months. They dress in blues and greens, usually in garments that are loose and flowing. When necessary, valley elves can pass as humans. (Indeed, the Mage of the Valley is rumored to have valley elf spies and assassins arrayed in a network stretching across several kingdoms.) Like most other elves, their preferred weapons are the bow and the long sword. Many valley elves own and wear suits of chain mail of Dwarven make.
The Valley of the Mage is a dangerous place, with wild monsters let loose to discourage visitors, subtle traps, and other hazards. Rather than being at risk, though, the valley elves are part of the danger. The elves obey their liege and his First Protector (a female drow in charge of defenses against unwarranted intrusions) and are in turn kept safe from the lands they patrol.
Occasionally, a visitor stumbles onto one of the bands of valley elves, settled among the hills. The elves know that none of the Mage’s invited visitors is supposed to encounter them, and so they attack with intent to capture the intruders and take them to the First Protector. Communities have cooshee, as well as a council leader. Valley elves are by nature reclusive and predisposed to resent most other races, except gnomes, whom they tolerate.
Other elves dislike valley elves, believing that they have sold out their most valued treasure, their independence, to the Mage. They are also less than enthusiastic about valley elves taking orders from a drow.
Exalted One provides for most of the valley elves needs, and they forage for the rest. In return they serve the Mage as agents and guards.