Dryaed Species in Adventures in Valerick TTRPG | World Anvil


"One of the remnants of the once powerful Faei Empire, now shattered and broken, left little more than twisted and heinous monsters to intelligent for their own good. Dryaeds take form of human or elf most commonly, though one that looks emaciated, as if starving to death upon close inspection. However at a glance, or from any distance beyond face to face, they can seem beautiful, with skin like pine bark, haunting black eyes, hair of leaves and thorns as if a rosebush."

An excerpt and warning from Lokeiv's Fundamentals of Monsters and Monster hunting, describing in brief what Dryaed's actual are.

"They are tricksy and dangerous, evil and heinous entities. They wander into camps pretending to be lost and desperate and ask to break bread, ask for shelter and food. They ask for hospitality. Only bleeding heart fools would consent, for that consent allows them by the strange esoteric laws of their kind, to hunt you.The eyes, more than any other feature save their teeth give them away. Though they seem empty and haunting, if one looks into them more deeply, you can see the hunger, the barely contained madness and desperation of starvation within them. Though if you are close enough for such a deep inspection of their eyes, you are close enough to see the mouth of knife like teeth, designed for ripping flesh and cracking bone, that they possess behind their lying smile. I know not how I escaped and how I'm alive, however I did not escape without cost."

Lannis Rosemary, the lone survivor of a Dryaed's assault and hunt, vividly descriping her experience being close to such a creature, telling the tale of how she lost her left arm from the elbow down

Basic Information


Dryaeds are bipedal entities generally seeming human or elf like in shape and size. However they are generally naked, with skin that is reminiscent of pine tree bark, or a similarly common tree's bark for the wooded region in which they are found. They have eyes of a deep black-green, not unlike the murky water of a dark and foul bog, though deep within them one can see the flickers of something....evil, hateful and....desperate. Their mouth seems as if a human's however when they open their jaws, the truth reveals itself, their jaw opening far larger than it should, showing vicious sharp and serrated teeth well suited to task to rip and tear flesh, but robust and strong, useful for cracking and crushing bones. Their hair seems as if thorny vines and leaves, almost seeming as if rosebush and stems by some descriptions.

Dryaeds look emaciated, starving, up close. Though they hide it well, and seem to have a bit of a charming natural presence, possessing a natural trickery and unnatural trustworthiness. When one gets within arm's reach of such an entity, those astute and sagely in the ways of the world will swiftly pierce that acted and percieved falsehood to see the truth before them, this strange starving and monstrous form, with fingers ending in blackened claws that gleam with a viscous and venomous coating. The clouds of flies and smell of decay and rot that clings to the body of such beasts. The ravenous, madness deep within their eyes, a madness so desperate and depraved that they do not kill hunted prey, they merely feast, seeming to enjoy the screams and shrieks for mercy, and inevitably the begging for death. Thankfully, they seem to enjoy this begging far less than the shrieks and screams for mercy, and once victims reach the point where they are begging for death, Dryaeds will generally kill their victims at this point before continuing to feed.

Biological Traits

It is unknown what if any natural life expectancy a Dryaed, nor most any other species of Faellen Kindred, have natually. We know very little about them in that regard, as thankfully very few specimens have ever been encountered. However, though some may read that and hope they were perhaps a myth or a tall tale, that is simply and fundamentally untrue. Faellen Kindred in general have a bit of that mystique and reputation about them, but in spite of that, we do know they are very real, and we do know a few basic bits of information.

Genetics and Reproduction

It is known that the Faellen Kindred reproduce very similarly to humans, elves, halfmen or others of that ilk, though the terms of the pregnancy are different, very different, for any of the Faellen Kindred. However not much is really known or understood about the details of such matings/pairings nor the courtship, nor even the length of a pregnancy.

Growth Rate & Stages

Very little is truly understood in regards to the young of such monsters, for very little care or study has ever been put in.

Ecology and Habitats

Dryaeds frequent the deepest wildernesses of forests, jungles, swamps, fens or woodlands. They seem reliant on such surroundings for their health and existence, perhaps tied to their own strange plant/humanoid hybrid physiology. It is said that regions where a Dryaed makes their home, surrounding areas become thick with overgrowth, the plant life seeming to grow beyond control, and the closer one gets to their actual lair such as it would be, the place where the creature takes rest and respite, the stranger this effect becomes. The forest floor becomes a near impassable mat of tangleed roots, brush and vines, ever growing ever thriving, even those bottom layers where naught but dead and decaying plant matter should be, these too seem to grow as swiftly as they are rotting to feed the soil. It is a strange and unnatural occurance, and can be disorienting and dangerous when confronting such a beast.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Dryaeds are not merely carnivorous predators. They, very specifically due to Gulagor's Gifts (or more appropriately curse) in exchange for the powers they wield, only garner nutritional value, they can only satiate their hunger, with the flesh of sapient creatures. Mere wild animals simply will not do. Plant matter, oddly, can take the edge off, but only for mere moments, perhaps an hour or so, it would seem. They are capable of sharing this 'gift' as well, and seem somewhat driven to do so. This affliction seems perhaps another method of reproduction for the species, sharing this curse, if left unchecked, does seem to have the ability to inflict notable mutations and changes to an individual over time.

Biological Cycle

It is believed that though Dryaeds do not truly hibernate, in more temperate climates, such as the Depen or other woodlands in more northern regions of the world, they do enter a state semi-similar to hibernation. More similar to perhaps a black bear than the true hibernation of a grizzly, they will become very lethargic, conserving energy wherever possible. Rarely will they strike out from their lair, their grove as such places are oft referred to in literature. Some stories suggest they actually plant roots for a time, seeming to enter a semi-stasis, though such tales still suggest they are aware of the world around them still in such a state.

If such tales are indeed fact, this would likely then suggest that they would, much like bears, take to hunting and eating a great deal more in the early autumn months, in preparation for this stasis, to sustain them. It would also suggest spring would be another period of higher activity from such monsters, as coming out of that stasis they would likely be even more starving than even their average ravenous nature.


Dryaeds, like all the Faellen Kindred, are still at least somewhat bound by the ancient traditions and bloodline of the Faei, though they are but a shadow, a remnant of that once mighty empire. Though they will simply hunt and kill if desperate enough for sustenance, they seem to garner far more power, energy and benefit if they can trick, bamboozle, confound or misguide their prey into offering up parts of themselves, or indeed their entire being, for consumption willingly. By trickery, by deciet, or simply by bargain, their does seem to be a difference in the quality, the value, in feeding simply on a corpse or on someone who even through being out-witted, offered themselves up willingly. This does not stop them from enjoying the begging of living victims however and that seems to be almost an aphrodisac for them by some accounts. This is perhaps the most dangerous and dastardly deal they offer. They can seem human enough and are hauntingly attractive, and given their Faei heritage, they are capable of such wiles and charms.

Many tall tales of such entities speak of their victims men or women, being misguided by magicks, by wits, and by charm, seeming to fall so deep into some sick imitation of love that they offer up their previous partner, their children or others as some might offer someone they were courting a bouquet of flowers. However this sort of behavior is rarer in Dryaeds, whom do seem more visceral, more vicious. More commonly they will perhaps spare a victim, though not without extracting their pounds of flesh (an arm, a leg, perhaps more sensitive bits, perhaps a kidney) but will grand mercy....though not without a price. Those whom agree to such terms do so out of understandable terror and fear, however they oft become defenders of and providers for the creature, a consort of sorts. Almost like a favorite plaything. So long as they continue to bring or guide victims into the Dryaed's grip whenever they require, these individuals will be rewarded with pleasure, treasure and perhaps even but a drop, a taste of Faei power. Slowing down the aging process for a short time, or offering tidbits and secrets of magicks dark and forgotten are some examples of what a Dryaed might offer.

The most dangerous of Dryaeds will have at least two, or even as many as four or five such victims turned into playthings spread out amongst population centers within reasonable travel distance to their hunting ground and grove, usually no more than two or three days. In truth, Though the Dryaed itself is a threat, but a limited and manageable one, when they begin amassing that sort of following and power they quickly can become far more dangerous, advancing their magickal abilities in particular. Cults can even form around such an entity if it has enough servants whom are smart enough and charismatic enough to sway groups of people, and if such a thing happens, the Dryaed becomes rapidly more dangerous. This can feed them a sort of magickal power, as tales and myths move through the region, as well as seeing their own magicks increase in potency and power.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Again, they can seem hauntingly human or elven-esque, though upon closer inspection the sunken cheeks, hollow eye sockets, they show many signs of starvation.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Dryaeds are found anywhere that sees dense forested areas. Rainforest, bogs and marshes, woodlands it simply doesn't matter the climate, be it tropic or sub-arctic or temperate.

Average Intelligence

Dryaeds, like all Faellen Kindred, have a noticeable intellect to them despite their aggressive, even vicious nature. Among the Faellen however they are of a middling intelligence when comparing a cross-section of the many documented types of Faellen Kindred.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Dryaeds, like all Faellen Kindred, are born of magick, are born directly of the flows of manna across Valerick as much as any parentage, the corruption of the Void now part of their genetics. They have a natural and precise sensitivity to manna and magick, able to detect even the most subtle of shifts within the Aether, and with pinpoint accuracy, within several hundred meters of their location. They also seem to have a deep, if corrupted, connectivity with the regions of wilderness that they haunt. The plant life seems responsive, perceptive, and through some strange remnant of their former ties to nature, as guardians and protecters, and thusly they seem to have heightened awareness within such locations, able to utilize the wild plant life around them to garner further information and observation about their surroundings. Besides all of this, they are sharp eyed and have an amazing sense of hearing.
Scientific Name
Faei Faekin Dryaen
Average Height
1.5-2.5 meters (4'11"-8'2")
Average Weight
43kgs-88kgs (95lbs-195 lbs)
Average Physique
Dryaeds normally seem human or elven in shape, seeming underfed, yet of a haunting beauty, in their own stark fashion. They can exhibit male or female shapes, though it is unknown how relevant, if at all, these physical forms are to reproduction.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Most commonly Dryaeds seem to have a skin tone not unlike the bark of the trees most common in the wooded lands they call home. This should not be misconstrued as their skin looking like tree bark, for this is often not the case. It is generally, visibly smooth and without any scrape or scratch or scar. However that haunting beauty is part of the deadly and dangerous nature of the beasts.

Their hair too, often seems thick and colored as if vines or leaves, though it is in fact hair. If one inspects it closely enough one would actually find rose stems, leaves and thorns growing amongst the thick hair. Some legends suggest that they used to grow flowers within their hair back when the the Faei were uncorrupted, before the time of the Void. There may be some truth to these stories as some tales remark hearing such creatures lamenting the loss of their flowering hair, a sunkissed gift lost forever. Such reports are sparse and such stories are few and far between however.

Articles under Dryaed

Cover image: The Woad's Hunger by Keon Croucher (using midjourney)


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May 9, 2024 14:49

I love this darker version of fae and dreads. This matches my mental image not being all rainbows and sunshine. Nicely done!

Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
May 9, 2024 15:59 by Keon Croucher

Thank you!! Yeah I decided since I wanted the Faei folk to have been around Pre-Sundering, kinda the first "mortals" though no mortal, even elves are aware of when they would actually die of old age, and have them be born of magick, I knew what was left in the current day on Valerick had to be kinda dark and twisted (mostly)   So beginning to come up with them has been a blast, and a fun exercise.

Keon Croucher, Chronicler of the Age of Revitalization
May 9, 2024 14:50


Graylion - Nexus   Roleplaying
not Ruleplaying
not Rollplaying
May 9, 2024 21:46

A well fleshed out and interesting monster species.