- General content: | Felaryan fauna | Felaryan flora | Races | Characters | Locations | History and Lore | Science and Magic | Culture and Customs | List of all available articles
Dryads are half plant, half women creatures found in many places across Felarya. Their size varies a lot, but Dryads can easily grow over 130 feet tall and, in the very deep regions of Felarya, some are rumored to reach humongous heights. It's hard to characterize dryads, as their appearances varies quite a lot between specimens. They generally have a trunk in place of their legs, so they spend most of their time rooted in one spot. Unlike most other rooted "plants" though, dryads can actually uproot and move themselves, although it's a slow process and happens rarely. Some rarer dryads have actual legs and can roam freely. Dryads share a sort of spiritual link amongst themselves, which means that they can communicate at a distance, share sensations (sight, smell, hearing, and taste), and be informed on the many things that happen in the forest. A dryad can also shut down this link if she wishes for some true alone time. Once in her long life, a dryad can share a version of this link with another being, regardless of that person's race. This special link connects that person to that dryad alone, and not to the greater dryad network.
In spite of their immobility, dryads pose a serious threat to adventurers. They are mostly carnivorous, and their arms are incredibly strong, enough so that they can crack a vehicle in half as easily as we can crack a nut. Despite their apparent bulkiness, many dryads are limber, agile, and flexible, which makes their capture range a lot larger than it looks like at first glance, and many use vines and roots to catch prey or defend themselves. They are also experts at mimicry and camouflage, sometimes using magical illusions to improve it. Even if you *know* that is a dryad there, if she wishes to remain hidden you will have a hard time distinguishing her from the background. They capture their prey by staying perfectly still and quickly snatching it unawares when it is close enough. If nagas are known for their strong stomachs, then dryads are known for their irresistible throats: they can swallow absolutely anything that is the right size. It's a one way road though, as dryads are unable to throw up anything they have swallowed. Dryads can impart special properties to their saliva, such as making it numb whatever it touches, heal injuries, or induce sleepiness.
Dryads are not as voracious as some other predators though, and can also rely on photosynthesis to feed. They are usually sweet, pleasant, and wise beings; they get along very well with the other races (those who are not prey, that is). This is especially true with fairies, nagas, and deerataurs. Many dryads share a common weakness: fire. Once they start burning they are hard to put out, and so they are very afraid of it. Most dryads will completely hide from a fire based or fire using threat, but some (such as Drayla) have found some good defenses against it.
Dryads possess a rather unique means of reproduction, combining seeds with other plant's pollen, captured from the air around them, before releasing the seeds when the conditions are right. They release a great many seeds, but only a few land somewhere that matches the criteria for the seed to sprout and begin the process of developing a young Dryad. Other seeds simply sprout regular plants. This explains why dryads appear to be so varied and with an appearance based on plants that grow in their region. At the first stage of their life, young Dryads appear to be just like normal plants, until they reach a certain size. At this point their outer casing will fall off, revealing their human half. Their now conscious minds connects to the Dryad network, where the other Dryads will take care of them, teaching and comforting them, and sometimes sending friends to help them if they need it. Young Dryads have an abundance of photosynthetic cells, allowing then to survive solely off light and water until they grow larger. As a Dryad grows, the amount of photosynthetic cells does not increase proportionately, which necessitates the introduction of prey into their diet to compensate. Young Dryads possess an unconscious camouflage and illusion reflex that immediately allows them to hide from would-be threats and predators. There is usually not more than a few dozens seconds between the time when the dryad reveals herself to the world for the first time, and the time she becomes hidden again.
- Credits goes to Rcs619 for the reproduction explanation.