Their powers over nature (plant life, specifically) will diminish
based on the amount of impurities in their blood.
The appearance of a Dryad changes drastically between the seasons
as well as through the different trees they watch over. The season
would affect only those trees that are not evergreens, or that show
visible differences throughout the year. Most often, a Dryad will
take on a similar appearance to the trees that they guard. For instance,
a sequoia tree Dryad would be quite tall, most likely, and perhaps
have a red-based skin tone.
speaking, however, Dryads tend to be slightly ethereal in their
look as though they're not all there, or their mind is constantly
elsewhere,... even though they might be paying very close attention
to something specific.
A common trait
among Dryads is that their hair or eye colour (sometimes both) with
change with the seasons, unless they are of a tree with an aforementioned
lack of change. The changes are subtle, but over time, a Dryad's
hair might turn from brown to yellow to red to black, it's entirely
colouration is reported, but there have been exceptions. A green-haired
Dryad isn't unheard of, but rare.
Since Dryads are very closely connected with their guardian trees,
certain magical abilities reflecting these ties are common.
Dryad may step into one of their bonded trees to hide or rejuvenate
themselves after an exhausting experience or injury. Their physical
body melds with the wood, but it is a slow process and cannot be
are quite good at hiding among plant life, if they need to, even
their scent is of plants (this alters depending on the amount of
non-Dryad blood that they have).
Most are able to do a certain amount of healing or otherwise benevolent
magic, if the talent is trained by another hedge-witch or Dryad.
It requires practice and very few have innate abilities in this
harm that is inflected upon any of a Dryad's bonded trees (see below)
is reflected upon the Dryad itself. For example, if someone takes
an axe to a bonded maple and removes one of the sap supplying branches,
it's quite likely that the Dryad would loose an arm or a leg. Wounds
show up inexplicably as though the axe had been taken to them instead.
Wounds such as these can be healed... but scars will be left on
both tree and Dryad. Smaller wounds such as the trimming of small
branches is not as traumatic and may inflict small cuts or bruises
on the Dryad, depending on the damage done to the tree.
Dryads take it upon themselves to defend their trees (as is understandable,
given the above), and while they will not become aggressive outright,
will sometimes use magic to their defense.
trees are an interesting thing: let us say, for instance, that there
is an orange tree Dryad looking over a grove of orange trees. If
there are 100 trees in the grove, it's possible that the Dryad is
bonded with perhaps 10-15 of them. These bonded trees are
the basis of their magic. Strength can be drawn through these trees,
they can meld with these trees, and it is through these trees specifically
that they have wounds inflicted on them. Bonding is random, a Dryad
cannot control it, within five radial miles from where the Dryad
settles, bonded trees will begin to crop up, regardless of whether
the Dryad knows it or not.
Most Dryads tend to lead solitary lives if they cannot find another
Dryad of their own kind (i.e., two pine Dryads living with one another),
or of a similar kind (i.e., a lemon and an avocado tree Dryad living
together). It used to be that trees were so abundant that large
covens of same-type Dryads could live with one another, but through
the massive deforestation of the world, the groupings of Dryads
are rare anymore.
If a Dryad,
however, mates with another Dryad and they become connected by nature
in this manner, exchanges between the two Dryads will occur. Say
that an ash tree Dryad took on an apple tree Dryad as a mate: if
it was absolutely necessary to survival, the ash tree Dryad could
meld with an apple tree and vice versa, the same goes for the other
When a Dryad is born, it is impossible to tell to what tree they
are connected to, unless a powerful clairvoyant or hedge-witch reads
them, and even then mistakes have been made. While there may be
clues in the young Dryad's appearance, there is no way of telling
until the Dryad matures and had their first bonding experience.
Because of this trait, most young Dryads have daydreamer-like qualities
about them, wandering around forested areas, touching trees and
exploring nature. In reality, they are searching for themselves
among the trees. When the young Dryad touches its bonded tree, it
will know instinctively. However, even if a young Dryad hasn't yet
recognized the bond, it is still in place and the above happenings
Artwork: J. Bechtel, Forest