A subtrope of Screw You, Elves!
, which might be worth its own trope, since it's popped up in several places by now. Could be considered a kind of meta-revenge against Can't Argue with Elves
Basically, a once-proud and glorious race - doesn't HAVE to be elves, but it usually is - have fallen. Usually, this happened before our story even began. Now, they live in squalor and slavery - those of them that still DO live, anyway - with few traces of their ancient culture remaining. Perhaps, during the story, they will rediscover their old pride and power, for better or for worse... but only if the story's really idealistic.
- In Overlord, as well as its sequel, the elves are enslaved. In the first game, they had lost a war with the Dwarves, and most of them were killed, haunting the ruins of their old palaces as ghosts, while the survivors were forced to slave away in the dwarven mines. Depending on your choices, you could condemn the entire race to oblivion, by selling away the lives of the last remaining elf women, for a bit pile of gold...
- And yet, regardless of which choice you make, there are more elves appearing in the sequel - this time, they're enslaved by the anti-magic Imperium, forced to work in the empire's tourist-trap resorts. They've also got a hidden, underground city, but you'll take care of THAT minor problem during the course of the game, as well as crushing an uprising of the enslaved elves in the resort-city.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, the Elves were once an advanced culture, and possessed immortality... then humans showed up, and everything went straight to hell. By the time the game takes place, a few of the remaining elves live in savage, nomadic tribes in the deep woods, trying to keep the last few shreds of their culture alive - while the majority of them live amongst humans, where they're considered second-class citizens, relegated to slum-like 'Alienages', and mostly restricted to menial jobs such as being servants and messengers.
- In The Death Gate Cycle, the dwarves of the World of Air, Arianus, have devolved severely, loosing their pride, and even their names. Calling themselves 'Gegs', they serve as peaceful factory-workers on the machine-filled island that is their home, worshipping visiting elves like Gods...
- ...that is, untill one of the most peaceful and eccentric of their numbers inadvertendly stumbled on the story's protagonist, Haplo, who had just entered their world, and ends up tagging along, seeing the rest of their world, and learning of the origin of the Dwarves from Haplo. Later in the story, he returns to the Gegs, and leads them in rebellion, ressurecting the ancient name and pride of the Dwarves, casting off their elven lords. The twist from being an entire race of Comic Relief characters, to plungeing their entire world into war and chaos (since the rest of the world is mostly reliant on the water produced by the Gegs' machine) is quite well-done.