Dryad Race Details
I strode through a forest tall,
As above the stars did glow,
By maple trees and bird call,
With my blade and hunting bow,
I spied the creature’s bramble lair,
Beneath the cawing crow,
There I caught the maiden fair,
Crooning upon willow,
And I knew her for a thief,
For her hair was autumn flame,
Her dress sewn of golden leaf,
And my heart was hers to claim,
— Roland of Daggerford, the Huntsman’s Rhyme
A single ray of moonlight pierces the forest’s branch-bound roof, illuminating the dancing silhouette of a feminine figure. Enter the dryad, a mysterious fey both shy and alluring, whose powers of beguilement are as famed as their harmony with nature.
Shy But Curious
When a fey spirit is bound to a tree by a powerful fey, it is forever transformed into a dryad. Whispers speak of this as a punishment, if a fey spirit has fallen in forbidden love with a mortal, but every dryad has their own, secret story. The elegant dryads resemble the most dazzling, female elves. Their golden skin is the color of sunlight, with the texture of smooth bark. Their shapely forms are draped in flowing dresses, made of woven leaves or flower petals, as is their cascading hair.
Their warm laughter and captivating song echoes through the woodland realms, rich and enticing, yet rare and elusive. Despite their alluring appearance, they are shy creatures, leading few mortals to ever glimpse one — except for the druids, with whom they share the duty of forest guardianship. Those who do see one do so mostly from afar, stealing a mere glance from the corner of their eye of a lithe beauty flitting between the trees. A lucky, handsome mortal may be fortunate enough to be approached by one, for a dryad is a curious creature, at the peril of the dryad bewitching them with a fey spell.
Dryads are typically neither evil, nor good. They do not harm without cause, and generally prefer to lure their foes away with their mystic, fey magic rather than confront them directly, but neither will they help someone in trouble if it’s natural phenomenon harming them. They are the protectors of the natural world, and that world has a dark side. The wolf must eat, the storm must blow. The dryad, for all its grace and endless serenity, understands the savage truth of nature.
They are guardians of forests, and often work alongside satyr, druids and other forest folk. Good and neutral fey are often fond of dryads, with the mischievous pixies finding much in common with them. It is said among the fey folk that a ring of red toadstools marks the place where dryads and pixies come to dance and frolic beneath a full moon, and that any mortal who should stumble upon them will be granted a great boon.
A dryad is bound to a tree, but can roam the area surrounding it. Certain dryad are free to roam as far as their heart desires, but know in the depths of those hearts that the tree is their home, intrinsically linked. If a tree suffers, the dryad suffers. If the tree dies, the dryad goes mad. Only a difficult ritual conducted by a powerful fey, or archdruid, can save the wilting dryad and bind it to a new tree, healing it in the process.
Occasionally these dryads leave their forests, if only temporarily, and with heavy hearts. This is mostly to find some external threat to their woodland home, or else repay a debt to someone who once aided them.
Dryad names originate from the Sylvan language, and closely resemble Elf Female names. They are usually soft and ethereal sounding. Most dryads only possess one name, although if pressed may refer to their last name as that of the forest they come from.
Dryad Names: Aloria, Casaraine, Ethissia, Lathesae, Nadasei, Satharia, Theralin, Yalasee
Your dryad character has certain characteristics from their fey origin.
Ability Score Increase
Your Wisdom score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 2.
A dryad’s spirit is bound to a tree. They remain young and alluring as long as the tree is healthy. If the tree is ever killed or destroyed, a dryad can live on in a wilting, maddened state for roughly a year before dying. If a powerful fey or druid binds their spirit to a new tree, both their mind and their captivating beauty is restored.
Dryads are most often neutral, with their main focus on tending to nature around them. Dryads working in union with other forest creatures in some form of alliance may tend toward lawfulness. Those deeply isolated in wild, untamed lands may be chaotic.
Dryads are between 4 and a half and 6 feet tall. Your size is medium.
Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Accustomed to life under the shadow of verdant boughs, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Speak With Beasts and Plants
You can communicate with beasts and plants as if you shared a language.
You can use your reaction to give yourself advantage on one Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throw against magic. You regain the use of this trait after a short or long rest. In addition, you are considered a fey creature for the purposes of spells and traits.
You know the druidcraft cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the charm person spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the barkskin spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Once on your turn, you can use 15 feet of your movement to step magically into one living tree within reach and emerge from a second living tree within 60 feet of the first tree, appearing in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the second tree. Both trees must be Large or bigger. You can use this trait once, and regain it after a short or long rest.
Your spirit is magically bound to a tree, imbuing you with several tree-like aspects, including their durability. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 12 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
You can speak, read, and write Common, Elvish and Sylvan.