The World Tree
Fiercely independent and naturally suspicious, these elves are mere folklore to humans, while other elves regard them as troublesome
Inside a forest far to the west of most civilized lands dwells a closed off and solitary clan of elves. Known only in stories for the strange facial tattoos that mark their kind, seeing one outside the forest is so rare that many myths of harsh exiling and banishment have rose up. Most of this is false, the Gladeborn do not forbid their kind to leave, but most are simply content with what life brings within their land.
Known by other elves as a “wild” branch of their race, most societies of elves consider them hostile. Though Gladeborn are not aggressive, they will forcibly remove any they deem unfit to occupy their forest, which includes most other beings. When a Gladeborn is among other elves, they are viewed with suspicion and in some societies may even be attacked or driven out.
Proud of their independence, they look down on humans, dwarves, and most other elves because of their “dependency” on each other. The Gladeborn believe that diplomacy is a waste of time and that conflict is a forgone conclusion with most other races, and therein is the stigma of the views placed upon them.
Most Gladeborn who do venture out gain unique perspectives…or are slain because of their strange attitudes and seemingly reckless behavior. Those who do survive for a few years learn that most the views of their tribe are wrong.
Few ever return home because of this, despite a deep bond to the tribe. Defense of the forest and clan is something that a Gladeborn is simply born into, and giving one’s life for that cause is seen as the highest honor, the most complete fulfillment of duty, and is recorded the “Book of the Ancients”, kept by the Elders of the clan, detailing the history of the Gladeborn clan’s major events.
It dates back centuries, containing information lost to most of the other world.