The Pale Tree, also known as the Mother Tree to the sylvari, is a massive, magical, sentient tree which is the mother of all playable sylvari. Through the Dream of Dreams, Pale Tree holds the sylvari's collected knowledge and emotion. The tree can be considered the ultimate ruler of her sylvari children, though her firstborn children take most responsibilities within the Grove, a city around and within the tree's trunk. Sylvari acting as ambassadors also report to the tree, but it does not actively govern or influence their everyday lives.
The tree dominates her location in the Tarnished Coast, towering like a skyscraper over the landscape. The lower parts of the tree make up the sylvari capital city, providing the sylvari with their homes, as well as growing its sylvari children, and other creatures it births, in pods high enough above the ground that the fall from them can be fatal. The highest reaches of the tree are known as the Omphalos Chamber, where the tree's avatar manifests, and where the Ventari Tablet is hung. On difficult decisions the Pale Tree may call upon the firstborn and any sylvari with relevant role or specialized knowledge in the matter. She is also the only one who can actually seek knowledge within the Dream, but can send others, even non-sylvari, into a vision of the Dream.
Each sylvari shares in the pool of knowledge, wisdom and experience she has attained prior to their awakening within the Dream. The few most important memories for a sylvari which reach the Pale Tree are added to this pool of experience, typically those with the greatest emotional impact. Through the dream, the Pale Tree instills each sylvari with an inherent sense of nobility, curiosity, and a need to explore. Nurtured and influenced by the deeds of the human Ronan and the centaur elder Ventari, she reminds each to hold to the hero's path of honor, courage, chivalry and compassion even as they strive for victory over the Elder Dragons. In spite of this, a group of sylvari called the Nightmare Court seek to change the tree. They commit acts of depravity and evil to influence the tree's morals, with the ultimate goal of turning their mother from her initial, human and centaur philosophy, to one which is uniquely sylvari.
The seed which sprouted the Pale Tree was found in a cave containing many others like it, guarded by powerful plant creatures. Over 250 years ago, Ronan, a Shining Blade warrior, took one of these seeds and placed it on the graves of his family, located in what was once Arbor Bay, who were killed by the mursaat. He and the centaur Ventari tended the young tree, and their attitudes and philosophy had significant influence on its nature. In particular, the marble tablet carved by Ventari prior to his death and placed at the base of the tree forms the basis for the philosophy of the Pale Tree and her sylvari. The tablet can be seen hanging from a vine in the Omphalos Chamber.
23 years prior to the start of Guild Wars 2, and 25 prior to the current date, the Pale Tree birthed the twelve Firstborn sylvari. More sylvari joined them six to seven years later, with more following with greater frequency and in greater numbers.
- ^ Guild Wars 2 “Fear Not This Night” Song Now Available, Guild Wars 2 Official Website