Aht'ghenos. Pejoratively called "druids." They do not appreciate such a moniker, but have all but given up on convincing other cultures to quit calling them that.
Most of the forests north of Baron are actually still there. They're inhabited. You know those spooky forests you always read about in fantasy? Populate them with the paranoid Michigan militia. Yeah. Like that.
Exiled from Ka'thalar by the drow, and given asylum on Igala. They aren't precisely their own ethnic group, but their culture is so exclusivist they may as well be. While they are generally indistinguishable from other humans or elves (with notable and obvious exceptions that will be noted later), they are acknowledged by all as belonging to a distinct culture.
There is a highly-conservative majority of Aht'gheni living in a loosely-defined area of wooded land north of Baron. Dedicated to the preservation of the only homeland they have left, they have professed extremely violent and territorial ideology. However, these conservative Aht'gheni are viewed as a vocal but basically impotent ethnic group, a dying culture raving about a dying continent. Exempt from their paranoia is the Baronian government, which at the time of their exile was the loudest voice in favor of their amnesty on Igala.
There is a liberal minority who consider their isolationist cousins to be regressive and backward. These took advantage of the affirmative action programs following their exile to Igala and began to flood Igalan academies. Most specialized in biology, genetics, or ecology.
They are credited with restoring a few species once believed to be lost. Most of their attempts to rebuild creatures from DNA have been failures, but there have been a couple of successes, and these encourage the liberal Aht'gheni in their studies.
The Aht'gheni researchers do not limit their studies to animals and plants, however. Some of their most famous work has been on humanoids. They are alternately revered and mistrusted for this research. Unwilling to test procedures on animals or other "lower" life forms before testing them on humanoids, their ethical standards are obviously very different than most other Igalan scientists.
However, they have also done wonders for scientific progress. While many other research foundations and governments denounce the Aht'gheni methods, most still make use of them. The Aht'gheni community contributes many of Igala's most skilled surgeons and antipathogenic treatments. Because treatments for humanoids are tested and refined on humanoids, their research has a high deathtoll but is invaluable nonetheless.
Brehon Genetics is a corporation run and staffed almost exclusively by liberal Aht'gheni. Nepotistic and borderline racist, they twist the remnants of old affirmative action clauses to ensure their own nation has preferred hiring status.
Brehon offers many augmentative services commercially, and for the right price these services are available to any buyer. They do a lot of body modification, mainly grafting and implants. Cosmetic alterations and performance-enhancing treatments are common and reliable sources of revenue for Brehon, and fund many of their more illicit activities.
A non-Aht'gheni worker at Brehon would at best be expendable labor, and would be highly-unlikely to reach a position of power in the secretive and highly-prejudiced organization. Brehon spends a great deal of time working on biochemical weapons research, but their strong stance against government subsidization suggests that they are not doing it on behalf of any nation but their own.
Biodiversity and Body Modification
Aht'gheni themselves are commonly seen with permanent body modifications. Often modifications are intended to give members abilities beyond those of mere humans or elves. They often mimic the abilities or features of animals or plants. Critics have pointed out the irony of modifying one's body unnaturally to bring oneself closer to nature.
Aht'gheni dismiss such claims as the ignorant ramblings of simpleminded ideologues. To them there is nothing wrong with purging the pollutants of an age characterized by genetic stagnation and dying biodiversity. In a world largely devoid of natural predators to force change upon the humanoid population, Aht'gheni hard-liners believe that genetic modification can introduce the biodiversity they believe Igala is lacking.
They, of course, harbor a long-standing and deep vendetta against the Ka'thalan drow. Igalan drow are considered tentative allies, as Igala was the continent whose people were good enough to embrace the exiled nation. Liberal Aht'gheni are careful not to alienate potential allies among the Igalan drow by making broad-sweeping racist statements, but the conservative isolationist populations north of Baron are not nearly so delicate. The only special consideration Igalan drow get for being Igalan is that they are not simply killed on sight.
Ka'thalan drow are seen as a scourge on the face of Gaera. The exile of the Aht'gheni from their homeland has reached almost mythic proportions, and has been used to justify acts of terrorism upon the Ka'thalan drow in the past. It doesn't help the Ka'thalan case that the Aht'gheni see them as strangling and ravaging the natural landscape of a once wild and fertile land.
Brehon Genetics has been openly working on tailored bioweapons, under the pretense of working in pesticides and other forms of population control regarding "lesser species." This reasoning is basically a joke, and is taken by many opponents as a very thinly veiled indication of Brehon's true intentions. Their hatred of the Ka'thalans is evident, and their references to species-specific population control are often thought to refer to drow.