Classification: Fae


According to Classic mythology, Dryads were the female spirits of nature (sometimes called nymphs), who presided over a grove or forest of trees. Each Dryad was said to watch over a specific type of tree, to which she has a special bond.

Dryads, can have mixed blood. There is no reported case of a full-blooded male Dryad, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. More often than not, however, any male Dryad will have some manner of other blood, be it human or otherwise.

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.

Generally 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 possible.

Normally, human-like 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.

o A 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 done instantaneously.

o Dryads 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).

o 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 region.

o Any 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.

o Many 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.

o Bonded 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 Dryad traits.

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 can occur.

Artwork: J. Bechtel, Forest Demon [Website]