What the human histories omit, is that many elves fought to the bitter end along with their human allies as part of the rear guard protecting the retreat of the elven young. The eldest elves stayed behind, along with most of the fighting age population. A handful of adult elves were chosen randomly to see to the youngsters who predominated among the refugees. From the humans perspective, all they saw were elven refugees returning, but no humans, so they assumed the worst, that the elves had betrayed the Great Alliance.
There were, however, elves who did abandon their fellows, human and elvish alike. Though not among the randomly chosen, they nonetheless fled the battlefield. They are known as the Cursed Elves. Humans generally do not know the story of the cursed elves. It is a shame the elves choose to address themselves.
After the tumult of the Elven Diaspora, when the elves regained some sense of stability and organization, they hunted down those who abandoned their posts and delivered justice. Male deserters were executed, while a terrible curse was laid on the female ones. Each female deserter was forced to wear a circlet. A simple gold band with an opal in the center. All elves know the story of the Cursed and were raised to shun them, offering no aid nor succor. But the curse did not apply just to those who fled, it cursed the traitors’ lines forever. If any of the females had offspring, she faced a terrible choice, let the child die, or die herself and let the curse pass on.
Stories of the Cursed are now just that. Being shunned by their kin led to high mortality among the Cursed. Being shunned also meant they did not have mates, so the curse died with them.