Seeing as they are mainly confined to islands, elves spend their great wealth on proxy wars for territory with one another, and gems and metal which are crucial for many magics. Despite the wars for land, they are wise enough to marry distantly to forestall inbreeding. This year’s ruthless foe may be next century’s son-in-law. So they have an elaborate code of honour to make all this possible. It’s all very japanese and quite impenetrable for outsiders.
What this means to the players is that the two large islands on this archipelago are patrolled 24/7 by elven warriors and mages with a “shoot first” policy. If you want to go there, fly your colours and land at the dock and only at the dock. If the dockmaster doesn’t like your story, get the hell out without delay.