The city elves live amongst the humans and follow their traditions and beliefs. They are looked down upon, seen as lowly and often suffer rape, enslavement, or other abuse by the humans that goes without punishment. It can be hard for them to find work or get a decent pay. Almost all live in filthy Alienages, segregated from the nicer part of the city where the humans live.
Though free today (with the exception of Tevinter) the city elves are descended from Dalish elves who were once enslaved by humans thousands of years ago. Most city elves share the human's false impression that the Dalish are uncivilized, savage, and lack moral. City elf mages trying to escape the tower and flee the Templars may be accepted into a Dalish Clan.