Once, Elves of many races lived around the globe. As with all the races of the world, many were instantly destroyed during The Breaking. Those left behind were slain or driven into hiding by the dragonborn, who seemed to have a particular enmity for elves. Now, if there are any of the fair race left in the world, they have hidden themselves away. It is generally assumed by the dragonborn and the other humanoid races that the elves were eliminated completely.