[[quoteright:345:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elvish_Handservant_full_959.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:345:[[ImageBoards Elf slave,]] [[MemeticMutation wat do?]]]]

A once-proud and glorious race has fallen. Now, they live in squalor and slavery with [[VestigialEmpire few traces of their ancient culture]] remaining. The only ones that escaped this fate did so by dying or being killed. Perhaps they will rediscover their old pride and power, for better or for worse...

This trope only applies if there's some proof that the race ''used'' to be a [[ProudWarriorRace proud and noble]] one, before their 'fall'. If a universe's elves (though not always elves, most are however) have always been nomadic tribes of pointy-eared barbarian bowmen, it doesn't count for this trope, no matter how badly they're oppressed and see the violence InherentInTheSystem.

A subtrope of ScrewYouElves and could be considered meta-revenge against CantArgueWithElves. It can overlap with SlaveRace.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This is what happens with both Alleyne (a pure Forest Elf) and her student Nowa (a half-elf) in ''Anime/QueensBlade Rebellion'': Alleyne's village is destroyed by the Swamp Witch and her army, leaving Alleyne as the lone survivor, and being cursed with not being able to leave the forest, and Nowa is enslaved by Dogura, one of the Witch's henchmen later on, and tortured to almost madness.
* ''Manga/{{Drifters}}'': The elves were one of many races that were enslaved by the human supremacist nation known as the Orte Empire. Once a proud people, acclaimed for their archery and longevity, they were reduced to serfs. To prevent them from rebelling, the humans forbade them from archery and entering the forests. In addition the human soldiers periodically took their women during the elvish breeding seasons and raped them.

%%* That´s a central point of the original ''Film/{{Planet of the Apes|1968}}'' and even stronger in [[Film/PlanetOfTheApes2001 its remake]]. [[spoiler: Somehow, in the [[Film/EscapeFromThePlanetOfTheApes third]] and [[Film/ConquestOfThePlanetOfTheApes fourth sequel]] of the original you can argue that this trope appears in some way too.]]

* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', the dwarves of the World of Air, Arianus, have devolved severely, losing their pride, and even their names. Calling themselves 'Gegs', they serve as peaceful factory-workers on the machine-filled island that is their home, worshiping visiting elves like Gods...
* ''The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction'' ran a story, "An Elvish Sword of Great Antiquity" in which elves had been enslaved for a very long time, with obvious parallels with the enslavement of African-Americans and white attitudes towards them.
* In ''Literature/TheWitcher'' (at least in the books), Elves were once a noble and proud race, before humans came. At the time of the books humans threaten them, with parallels to [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything European oppression of Native Americans]] in RealLife. And in last book [[spoiler: we can see a proud clan that escaped to another dimension to escape the fate of their fellow elves. That proud clan of elves who escaped to another dimension butchered and enslaved the native humans there, instead.]]
* In Creator/MichaelMoorcock's [[Literature/{{Corum}} Swords Trilogy]], the Nhadragh race was once highly advanced in both magic and culture. By the time of the stories, they had declined to the point that they were conquered and used as slaves by the Mabden (humans).
* In ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'', the Munchkins were formerly slaves of the Witch of the East, and the Winkies and flying monkeys are slaves of the Witch of the West.
* The Sithi from the ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' series effectively ruled the entire continent of Osten Ard until the humans came and warred upon them. The few remaining Sithi have isolated themselves from the rest of the world, and though they are not slaves, their race is a shadow of its former glory. The BigBad of the series is a former Sithi prince who died in a war with the humans and now wishes to return to life.
* The Nonmen from R. Scott Bakker's ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'' series are vaguely elf-like. They have been reduced to madness and their civilization shattered after they [[WhoWantsToLiveForever received immortality]] and suffered a {{Gendercide}}.
* Happens in Creator/JRRTolkien's legendarium to any Noldor (High Elves) captured by Orcs in the First Age, though it's barely touched upon in the 1977 ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''; ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'' and ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' give more details. The Noldor certainly fit the "proud" and "glorious" description; Orcs on the other hand are sadistic bastards who [[FateWorseThanDeath like torturing people for fun]]. The good news is that those who survived were eventually freed when the Valar pwned Morgoth.
** Gwindor was a Noldorin lord enslaved by the Dark Lord Morgoth and forced to work in the forges of Angband for 17 years before he escaped.
** One thing that ''is'' touched on in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', though it's stated to be an unproven legend: Morgoth took some of the firstborn Elves and tortured, mutated, and corrupted them for centuries until ''[[spoiler: they became the first Orcs!]]''
* Played with in ''Literature/TheRiyriaRevelations''. The Elves are a beaten down, oppressed people treated like dirt almost everywhere in the humans kingdoms (Dwarves are only marginally better off) where the [[CorruptChurch dominant religion]] holds that humans are the MasterRace. [[spoiler: Except that these elves are only elf-blooded humans. Full-blooded elves can live for thousands of years and control a powerful empire, and the elf BigBad has engineered the rise of the CorruptChurch and the oppression of the nonhuman races as part of a centuries-long plan to ultimately have the elves go to war with the humans as soon as a BindingAncientTreaty is no longer in effect, conquer them,and then have ''himself'' placed on the elven throne, ruling most of the known world]].
* [[ALoadOfBull Phagors]] in {{Literature/Helliconia}}. ''Helliconia Spring'' shows them in their glory days; the next book, ''Helliconia Summer'', takes place centuries later, and by then phagors have been subjugated as slaves.
* In ''Literature/TheStoneDanceOfTheChameleon'' the sartlar, who are considered little more than animals and have been entirely enslaved, [[spoiler: turn out to be none other than the legendary [[{{Precursors}} Quyans]].]]
* The elves from the ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series once lived in grand cities, but after their cities' destruction, they have been reduced to nomadic tribes in the grasslands of the Westland. They have lost much of their lore and are explicitly noted to have a shorter lifespan than their ancestors.
* In Kugane Maruyama's ''{{LightNovel/Overlord}}'', the slavery of elves is prevalent. The Slane Theocracy, a human supremacist nation, is at war with the Elf Country due to the Elf King kidnapping one of their treasured warriors and raping her. Elves are thus captured and sold as slaves throughout the human empires. To mark them as slaves, human slavers cut the tips of their ears.
* In ''LightNovel/SkeletonKnightInAnotherWorld'' by HAKARI Enki, elves face severe prejudice due to their powerful magic and longevity. The elves have based themselves in a nation called the Great Canada Forest, which was founded by a member from Earth. The surrounding human nations have faiths that hold elves as those that stole magic from the gods or preach human supremacy. Though jealous of their magic, humans will try to capture elves to sell as slaves. Females are usually sold as sex slaves to nobles, while the males are forced to impregnate with noble women to produce children capable of magic. Enslaved elves wear Collars of Subjugation to prevent them from turning on their masters.
* In the ''Ancient Dreams'' series, ten thousand years ago the elves were once part of one great kingdom known as Everium. However after an event known as the Godrage, in which the gods battle against each other, it sundered the kingdom into two. The elves lost much in the cataclysm and allowed the human kingdom of Kelvanis to rise. The humans from Kelvanis actively send raids capturing common elves and even powerful priestesses and royals. This is all due to a deal they made with a demon that allows them to create slave brands that enslave the wearer to their will. These brands are custom made and can even brainwash the slave or even act as contraceptives and dampen the elf's magic. (For example: Silver Brands: For royalty. Pink Brands: For Courtesans. Red Brands: For Warriors. Gold Brands: Priests. Black Brands: Commoners. Hell they even enslaved the elven goddess turning her into the Goddess in Chains as their national deity.)
* In ''{{Elf Tensei Kara no Cheat Kenkokuk}}'', elves once were skilled archers and had a rich culture. They skill with the bow easily defeated the humans that surrounded their territory, until the human forged steel armor and overwhelmed the elves with sheer numbers. The humans enslaved the elves with collars that dampen their magic and forced them to be farmers. In addition the elves were treated as livestock, their hearts, which became powerful magic stones were harvested.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', in the evil alternate universe the Vulcans are slaves of the Federation's evil counterpart the Terran Empire.
** According to ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', this didn't last, with Spock becoming Emperor and all... Although ''that'' caused the entire Terran Empire to become slaves to the Cardassian-Klingon alliance (LaResistance rebuild the empire by 33 years after Deep Space 9, according to ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline''.)
** The Bajorans were capable of stellar flight while humans were still learning to make fire, but are now an impoverished race that was sent back to almost an agrarian level by a brutal occupation by the Cardassian Union. Not that the Cardassians had a very far way to push them back. The Bajorans were so dependent upon The Prophets and the Orbs that their civilization had been essentially stagnant for 10,000 years. They had colonized moons in their star system and had some technology on par with The Federation's, but their culture was still almost entirely farmers artisans and religious leaders. Making them almost a textbook example of LowCultureHighTech. It's why the Cardassians looked down on them so much and conquered them so easily.
* On ''Series/{{Defiance}}'', the dwarf-like Liberata were once a race of greedy, powerful bankers. When the Votan homeworlds fell apart and everyone was forced to migrate to Earth, the Liberata lost all their wealth and power, and most of them are now stuck as domestic workers.
* The Delvians of ''{{Series/Farscape}}'', sentient and mobile humanoid plants with a rich religious tradition, and the most elf-like kind of alien to appear regulary, have been subjugated by the Peacekeepers.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is one of the hallmarks of the TabletopGame/DarkSun campaign setting for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Overuse of magic has turned the world into a desert wasteland, leaving many of the races as pale shadows of their former selves (think Bronze-Age Film/MadMax). Dwarves no longer have their own lands and cities but do reasonably well among humans. Elves are nomads and raiders. Halflings are savage cannibals. Gnomes are extinct. (So are most of the savage races, like orcs, goblins, kobolds, ogres, lizard men, and trolls, all exterminated in the Cleansing Wars by the sorcerer king Rajaat.)
* In the updated adaptation of the original ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' modules produced for Creator/{{TSR}}'s 25th anniversary, the players can get some additional insight into what the evil green dragon Cyan Bloodbane really wants when he corrupts the elven kingdom of Silvanesti and turns it into a twisted nightmare. The heroes can meet a brood of illusionary green dragons who are being tended to by their elven slaves. The oldest dragon claims that Cyan is converting the forest back to the way it used to be when the green dragons ruled over it, before the elves rebelled and drove the dragons away. Now the dragons are returning things back to the "rightful" order of things.
** The Silvanesti are pretty much a case study in using this trope as a form of BreakTheHaughty to the point of being a decades-long HumiliationConga: originally a textbook example of the kind of arrogant, elitist, racist jerks [[CantArgueWithElves you can't argue with]] elves tend to be portrayed as, they got successively: -Invaded by the Dragonarmies; -Had their land turned into a nightmare realm (see above) when their king used the [[ArtifactOfDoom Green Dragonorb]] to try and repel said Dragonarmies, most of them forced into exile half a continent away; -After retaking their homeland, raised a great magical barrier so as to become an impenetrable HiddenElfVillage, only to find out later that the barrier [[PoweredByAForsakenChild drains the life-force and longevity of surrounding living beings ans anyone inside]], thus potentially dooming them all to a slow death; -The barrier being destroyed by the Knights of Takhisis, who then conquer and enslave them; -And finally, the Knights of Takhisis being driven out... by the Minotaurs, who take the place for themselves and kick out anyone they don't need as slaves. The current time of the Dragonlance setting has the largest unenslaved group of Silvanesti shacking up in a ''desert'', forced to reintegrate with their "lesser" Qualinesti cousins (who are also in dire straits), and generally not having a good time of it.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': Once, the Jadeborn were artificers without peer, every one "born" a genius inventor. When their creator Autochthon, the Great Maker, helped the Exalted and gods overthrow the other [[OurTitansAreDifferent Primordials]], the Jadeborn armed the Exalted with innumerable wonders and incredible artifact weapons. Then, shortly after being installed as the rulers of the world, the Solar Exalted [[UngratefulBastard decided to destroy the Jadeborn]]. They convinced Sol, the new [[TopGod king of Heaven]], that the Jadeborn were somehow a threat to humanity. He gave Autochthon an ultimatum: geas the Jadeborn into weakness and servitude, or the Exalted would exterminate them all.\\
Now the vast majority of Jadeborn are dull, unimaginative worker- or warrior-caste clods with little magic, imprisoned under the Pole of Earth, enslaved by the Exalted and forced to fight a ForeverWar against underground {{Eldritch Abomination}}s. Their world-spanning civilization is gone, their ancient culture almost completely extinct. The few who can comprehend what has happened are understandably quite bitter about it.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': The Giants were once a powerful race of "Sky-Titans" living in mansions on the highest mountains of the world until the migrating Ogres massacred and ate most of them. The few survivors fled and, their population dwindling, they became inbred, stunted and stupid (although they are still humongous) and are often enslaved by Ogres, Chaos forces, or Orcs and Goblins.
* ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' has several examples:
** Trolls were one of the original five races who created the mortal world out of chaos. After the fall of the other original races, however, they declined and were conquered and enslaved by first the ogres, then the forces of [[BigBad Fu Leng]]. There are no more Trolls who remember what they used to be.
** The Ogres may also qualify, since their civilization eventually fell and almost all remaining ogres are slaves of Fu Leng.
** The Zokujin, another one of the original five races, may also qualify, given that a number of their people have been enslaved by the Lion Clan and forced to work the mines. There are many free Zokujin tribes, however, and even the enslaved ones could escape if they really wanted to.
* In the Brazilian fantasy setting ''Tormenta'', the elves were enslaved by minotaurs after their goddess [[spoiler: accepted being enslaved by the minotaur god in exchange for protection.]]

* In ''VideoGame/{{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 after you pillage and conquer it.
* In ''Franchise/DragonAge'', the Elves were once an advanced culture, and possessed immortality... then humans showed up, and everything went straight to hell.
** Though the facts of their culture prior to their enslavement are left intentionally vague, as most of their records and history were lost in the process. In particular, no one is quite sure if the whole 'immortality' thing is a fact, an exaggeration, or an outright myth. The only long-lived elf you meet in the game is ''thought'' to have regained their ancient immortality, but [[spoiler:is actually tied to a magical curse that is keeping him alive.]] Similarly, it's said that Dalish elves have longer lifespans than elves who live among humans, but considering your lot in life when you're an elf among humans, there could be several different reasons for that.
** ''Literature/TheMaskedEmpire'' finally reveals secrets of the ancient elves (in fact, the eponymous empire could be both Arlathan or Orlais), and it turns out the elves were not outright immortal, and were only so because of an abused underclass forced into servitude.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' reveals [[spoiler:ancient elven civilization to have not been much better than the Tevinter Imperium, complete with enslavement of other elves. Their civilization was also destroyed by civil war, and not by invading humans as was believed, though the humans did capitalize on said civil war by enslaving the surviving elves. In short, basically everything anyone (including the Dalish) thought they knew about elven history was wrong.]]
* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'', the Vell-os telepaths were at war for fifty years with the Colonial Council before the Vell-os surrendered to stop the bloodshed. The ensuing Carthaginian peace saw the Vell-os enslaved and their worlds [[EarthShatteringKaboom blasted into space debris]].
* The Vortigaunts from the VideoGame/HalfLife series are race of wise telepaths and are generally more highly evolved than humans. They are first encountered as group of slaves under the mind control of another alien. By ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', when they are freed, they join forces with humanity and regain their old culture. Their telepathic abilities make them valuable allies, as does their ability to [[ShockAndAwe shoot lightning.]]
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** In the backstory, in a case of Elves enslaving Elves, the [[OurElvesAreDifferent Falmer (Snow Elves)]] were once slaves of the [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer (Deep Elves or "Dwarves")]], until the Dwemer all [[RiddleForTheAges mysteriously disappeared]]. As of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', they've [[FuturePrimitive devolved into a non-sentient species]] that inhabits Dwemer ruins and [[AlwaysChaoticEvil attacks any humanoid that they find]].
** Downplayed in that while it may not be full blown ''slavery'', the [[OurElvesAreDifferent Bosmer (Wood Elves)]] are treated as second-class citizens to the Altmer under the [[AntiHumanAlliance Aldmeri Dominion]]. Things became even worse when the extremist [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]] rose to power, as they even treat other Altmer as beneath them if [[NoTrueScotsman those Altmer do not subscribe to the beliefs]] of the Thalmor.
** The Orsimer, commonly known as the Orcs, are an entire species of {{Iron Butt Monkey}}s. The vast majority of Orcs live within other cultures, making themselves useful to their host peoples in servitude (usually as mercenaries and blacksmiths). Only a handful of Orcs independently live in destitute, isolated strongholds scattered throughout Tamriel - mostly in Skyrim and High Rock - akin to Native American reservations. The Orcs' attempts to create their own nation in Orsinium have always ultimately been destroyed by their rival Bretons and/or Redguards.
%%* In ''Star Trek Elite Force 2'', the Idryl are essentially this to the Atraxxians.
* In ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSinII'', the elven homeland was destroyed by the divine (by FogOfDoom deployed via tricking Ifan), and many of their numbers were taken as slaves by the ancient empire. One of the selectable origins for your character (Sebille, specifically) is a former slave who escaped from this, and now seeks to kill her master, which would render her completely free of slavery, by ensuring no one can command her via her slave scar ever again.

* In [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/030805 this]] ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' strip we see that the [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed "Neebler" cookie elves]] have been slaves to the "Babisco" corporation since the company [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything bought the tree they lived in with some shiny beads]].
* In ''Linburger'', the [[NotUsingTheZedWord Cyll]] used to be a highly advanced race with immortality and magic. Then something happened. Nobody in-universe is quite sure what went wrong. But now the Cyll are second class citizens, reduced to poverty and slums. They're no longer immortal, and so far they haven't shown an ability to do magic. The current generation doesn't even care about their past.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Sarquil]] use dark-skinned desert elves, whom they have conquered in various wars, as slaves. The desert elves long for the freedom which the other elven cultures in the world have but are unable to do anything because even the Grand Alliance isn't willing to risk angering their much needed Sarquil allies by demanding the desert elves' freedom.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/Thundercats2011'': The home of the cat race, Thundera, is destroyed in the second episode, and towards the end of the first season we see that the surviving cats have been enslaved by the rats to work in the mines.