I have been doing some world building in my Blade books. This was forced on me while I was writing and it was relieved Trystan isn't just an Elf, he's a Dark Elf. I suffered that Author moment of panic when I realized I had no idea what a Dark Elf was. Everyone else in the book just went with it and accepted it, leaving me in the dark yet again. It took some forced interrogations, but they finally let me in on this new piece of information.
The Dark Elves are not from Nightshade. They are from an island near the dark country. (I have a name for this country I just need my notebook and it is across the room. I would get it, but I'm barefoot, and my floor is cold. So I will tell you the name later.)
The island is not part of the Eight Kingdoms. It is a small, but well cultured, island. The Dark Elves grow or hunt almost everything they need for survival. They do have various trades set up but are cautious with these as often they are taken by those they trade with and sold as slaves.
The slave trade was started by the reason the Dark Elves got their name. Very often in wars they allied themselves with the dark country, hiring out as mercenaries and assassins. This lead to the other kingdoms not trusting them and feeling they were well within their rights to raid their homes and sell them into slavery. However, since there have been no wars for so many years the Dark Elves lead peaceful lives and keep to themselves as much as possible. (This isn't to say their alliance no longer wavers. Even they admit that, were a war to arise, they would not turn back to their aid of the dark country.)
Another reason the Dark Elves were given their names is one I am nervous of attempting. Elves in all the stories told are fair and while it works sometimes to change images we have in our heads of mystical beings, it is risky and often doesn't work. (Look at Prince Caspian for example, though part of the reason I think the Centaurs didn't work wasn't the color of their skin but the dread lock type hair.) Either way, it is risky. Either way, I am attempting it.
The Dark Elves all have black hair and various shades of brown eyes, though most have dark brown eyes. Their skin is something of a copper color, or chocolate brown. The best example I've been able to find is Indians - from India. They are still fair, only their skin and hair match their title.
Because of their time fighting with the dark country - I should have gotten my notebook, I feel like a bad writer using dark over and over - and the slave trade, they tend to trust few people. For someone who is not a Dark Elf to befriend one is a rare thing. And even if they do befriend them the Dark Elf is unlikely to ever completely trust their friend and might never tell them anything of their lives or past.
And there it is. My, thus far, knowledge of the Dark Elves and Trystan. (Knowing this, his grumpy mysterious makes more sense, but he is still hard to work with.)
I leave you now with a quote, as I head off to face the last battle in Middle Earth.