I'm well aware of rule 0, believe me.
That isn't the point.
The point is the rules are describing the world and setting. In the rules, all elves are X. I get things that are <X because decrepitude, laziness, etc. But if players can't become +X, then unless there is a story reason, I don't see why NPCs can. That's the issue. I know I can do whatever I want, but the writers choose to do this. This leaves me puzzled.
Part of the issue is I disagree that stats cannot improve. It's an antiquated idea from Gygax that represents a poor understanding of human growth and potential. But in the game they can't, so I either change that or accept it and move on.
If I accept it, then I am left looking at an otherwise normal elf who somehow breaks that rule, with no explanation given. That's a poor design choice in my opinion (or it was a mistake in writing the stats). If the redrunners all absorbed magic from the rubies they retrieve or something, then so be it, but they don't. If they were powered by demons, okay, cool, but they don't do that either. They are just racist elves...so unless racism grants power somehow in FL, I'm left scratching my head.