Arcadian Dryad

"Students, listen up!
Do you see all these forests on this local map?
Each bigger patch of nature has a dedicated guardian to protect it from harm.
These guardian angels of the green took form as tall-grown tree-entities with, as it is usual for the creations of the Veil, female features.
The arcadian Dryad is a peace-loving, sapient entity living in complete harmony with her dedicated forest.
If you desire save travels through those forests do not intentionally hurt flora nor fauna. If you do nature itself will rise up against you."
Mauze Tung

Basic Information

Anatomy

The arcadian dryad usually appears in form of a bipedal, high-grown humanoid tree made from materials of the forest. A combination of bark, leaves, lianas, moss, and roots got tailored together by the Veil to be a reminiscence of their home turf. As each dryad originates from the first, all appear in a clearly feminine form.
The stance and anatomy of a dryad can shift fluently with the health of their forest and their beliefs.
For example, while representatives of swampy areas appear hunched and gloomy, dryads of the far north wear fir needles instead of leaves.

Genetics and Reproduction

Reproduction is completely impossible under normal conditions, which covers most of the world. Only in the far lands of the Squa'osa Archipelago as well as the frigid south of Sepernius are the streams of the veil that twisted to cancel out the rules of nature. While Sepernius is entirely off the charts for dryads to even exist, is Squa'osa a different case. In these tropical places, it is quite common, that Elves undergo an union with dryads which can result in the birth of a Woodelf, a warm-blooded mammal with bark-like skin and a deep connection to the green. Other unions besides with elves are possible as well, but even in these twisted lands only rarely to be seen.

Growth Rate & Stages

Dryads get created by the Veil after a forest grows to a certain size and appear as a sprout in the arcane centre. That sprout grows and takes in the knowledge of the green to unroot themselves as a dryad six months later. From that moment onwards their age is the age of their forest; they grow and shrivel away with their area's rise and demise. It is said, that a dryad dies when the forest becomes completely inhabitable for its many critters.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

The name of a dryad is determined by the way, their area of protection get called by the locals. They, however, usually take obligations to slightly change the given name to fit more into how the locals are calling themselves.
So adjusted the former guardian of the V'densl deepwoods her name to Videns.

History

When the planet Prius got created by the Veil aeons ago the four dominant streams of magic took control over its creation.
These streams took form as Sylph, Ifrit, Undine and Dryad.
Dryad created the flora and fauna of the dry lands formed by her siblings. She is considered the earth mother and one of the four nature deities.
As Prius got finally finished the siblings returned into the streams of the Veil dividing themselves into many to protect their sensitive creation.
From that time on each green spot on Prius had one designated guardian, an envoy of the first; an arcadian dryad.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Dryads rarely get in contact with other sapient species. They are primarily rooted to their place of creation and only interfere with the fleshy folk if their lands are threatened.
Due to many myths, that got created around the healing, rejuvenating effects of the fluids of them, druids of nature seek them out to trade devotion and protection of the green against their aid to solve unsolvable illnesses. While those liquids are not the universal solver for every issue, dryads happily help out the kind and faithful.

There are records of dryads, who took these relations to a more personal level and even rarer left their grounds to follow their beating wooden heart.
If such a situation happens the former area of the disloyal guardian will be left alone without guardianship for six months before a new dryad gets created out of the remaining earthly threads...if enough will be left after the time has passed.
 
"If that is the price we have to pay to be together then mark my words.
I will do everything in my power to protect your forest from harm until a replacement arrives.
You can trust me, Videns.
Even if I have to use up all stored favours to accomplish that, I will not let the love of my life down!"
Videns guardian of time background.png
Videns, acolyte of time by Soulwing98
Origin/Ancestry
Born from The Veil
Lifespan
1000 - 1500 years
dependant of the health
of their linked woods
Average Height
2.1 - 4.5 m
Average Weight
92 - 220 kg

Perception & sensory capabilities

Dryads are deeply nature-bound.
While possessing eyes and ear-holes to survive on their own, their main form of perception is the perception of the green.
They are hearing with aid of the flora and seeing as well as smelling through the fauna. The dryad is the forest and the forest is she.
Furthermore dryads possess the ability to manipulate nature reaching from growing a single root to commanding an entire forest at once turning each tree, every fern and all animals into weapons of protection against those seeking to destroy without consent.

Biological Cycle

Visual traits of dryads shift fluently with the seasons. They bloom up in the spring, wear saturated colours in summer, red, yellow and brown in autumn and retreat into the arcane protected areas of the woods until winter has passed. This differs strongly for the evergreen variants, who mostly stay the same all year long.

Languages

"Fear not, little Mantis, you who has entered my domain.
...
Why I am able to speak your tongue?
You are living in my swamps and I am learning from the wilds.
Your ascendants were once connected to me before the strange mechanical being arrived.
But I won't forget,
o child of nature."
Dryad of Étomo

Dryads have no language of their own, they rather learn languages by listening to the wanderers passing their domain and harnessing the library of the green, which safe-keeps every sentence of every species, that got spoken in their presence. Their verbal capabilities can reach all the way from being mute to be fluent in every language common to their surroundings.


Cover image: by Vertixico

Comments

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Journeyman Monkos
Andrew Booth
13 Mar, 2021 09:30

Nice article! Dryads are always really fascinating creatures - I'm particularly drawn by this idea of the veil, creating magical beings.

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
13 Mar, 2021 18:15

I am glad you liked it :D If you want to know a bit more about the Veil and its influence in my setting feel free to check out following article. ^^ https://www.worldanvil.com/w/kingsmaker-soulwing/a/the-arcane-impact-of-the-veil-article?preview=true

17 Mar, 2021 15:35

This is a really interesting article! I love the art you did for the Dryads :D

Author of Interarcanum.
26 Mar, 2021 14:03

Nice article! I like the spin you gave on dryads and especially the art you created for it. The veil and the stream of magic seem like an interesting concept. I am also fond of the layout of this article.

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
6 Apr, 2021 09:50

A great article! I especially like the details on how they literally ARE their forest, sensing through its creatures and looking like the plants there.

creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source   My entry for the Shipwright Challenge: Ycalla
Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
6 Apr, 2021 10:07

Piece of advice. Burying evidences of your crimes in the deep thicket may be a pretty foolish way. Especially if the dryad responsible cares in any way about the mortals doings or has a sense for justice. They will see it...or at least witness it the next time they reach out to the green.

8 Apr, 2021 14:35

Hi Soulwing!   First, I just want to say I like the general look of your page. Your art piece is amazing and it's accentuated by the use of simple icons for your cover image, article title, and background. Your headers and text are easy to read, and your use of quote boxes and the sidebar keep the article balanced but dynamic. My only thought is your bold text could be emphasized a little more clearly but that's a minor detail. Content-wise I like how you've tied the Arcadian Dryad to the heritage of Woodelves, and the way you've presented their use of language (and the inherent ability to learn other languages through nature as they don't have one of their own) is well done. Fantastic job!

xtremepsy | Ölütanrı
Checkout my other favourite entries to the 2021 Peculiar Plant HERE!
Feel free to read, favourite, and comment on my entry, Digivine.
Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
11 Apr, 2021 21:11

Thank you so much for the warm words ^^ I am glad you enjoyed the read :D

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
11 Apr, 2021 19:45

Nice article! Those are interesting "plants" XD I like the history of their creation and their relationships with other species :D And nice illustration too!   " appear as a sprout in the arcane centre." What is the arcane centre? You can add a tooltip to explain that here.   " From that moment onwards their age is the age of their forest; they grow and shrivel away with their area's rise and demise. " So do the dryads look older? Or is it not a question of age but of how healthy they look? That would mean that after the first 6 months, they look like adult, right?   " only interfere with the fleshy folk" I love that designation XD   " rejuvenating effects of the fluids of them," Do you mean that the dryads have some sap and that's the fluid that they collect? Can they do that without hurting themselves? Or do they see that as a necessary sacrifice?   " If such a situation happens the former area of the disloyal guardian will be left alone without guardianship for six months before a new dryad gets created out of the remaining earthly threads...if enough will be left after the time has passed." I like that detail and the quote that goes with it. Is the dryads hurt if she is not link to the forest anymore since you said that their health are linked to their forest? What's their lifespan after that?

Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
11 Apr, 2021 21:09

Thank you first for the big comment, so let me address all of them quickly. ^^   Arcane Centre: The Veil (that is the arcane atmosphere) gathers continuously loose threads of created magic directing them to such centers. In case of forests they appear as a clearing bursting in colors from the threads, that are even visible to those having no connection to the veil. It is considered the heart of the forest and the home of the dryad. (Will add that later in a tooltip)   Yes, they appear as adult from the moment their growth completed and they uprooted themselves. They grow not older in the traditional sense but their materials grow old. Bark gets brittle and moldy, leaves fall off, moss grows wild and grey, etc.   I mean fluids in a literal sense. Their salvia is like a weaker version of the mythical potion, that is their sap. I don’t wanna go into details here but they don’t have to feel pain to produce these fluids, quite the opposite it is rather. ^^‘   The lifespan of a dryad leaving her duties varies. They limit their lifespan to roughly a year to then visit a home of another dryad root themselves shut to recharge their life essence for another year. This process lasts one week and the dryad needs protection in that state. Furor, the lover of Videns, for example stays with his ‚wife‘ (yeah, you can call their relationship like such) the whole time protecting her from any harm. And that now for nearly 80 years each year.

12 Apr, 2021 23:22

Nature preservation achievement: Protecting a forest so much that a Dryad forms!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
13 Apr, 2021 01:08

The earth mother smiles down upon your work and sends in one fragment of herself to value your present accordingly. „You did well, my child.“

13 Apr, 2021 13:06

Say, out of curiosity, what happens if two forests grow and combine?

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
13 Apr, 2021 14:06

Really good question...let me think...   I would say, based on the assumption that all dryads essentially are parts of the earth mother, they would merge in peace combining their spirit and body growing in size, wisdom and ability. Similar to the state of being tainted/taken both minds would share one body and based on their personality either get molten down into one super personality, live parallel or in series or, one voice retreats back into the veil.   Based on mythology it is believed, that if such an event happens many times the dryads merging may regather their abandoned legacy allowing Dryad to return once more. This is seen by folks mostly as a bad thing as a divine being of such power could easily mistake the mortals as a thread and heavens know what could happen then.   One saga trying to explain past events says that such a thing happened in the year 0 where Ifrit returned to a world consumed by the flames of war to commit tabula rasa on the mortals (There are next to no recordings of the years before 0 and the only survivors preserving their knowledge through the following void age, the mechanical gods of the eternal counsel, are not telling the truth claiming they don't know either.)   I'm sorry, I might have gotten a bit off-course ^^'

13 Apr, 2021 17:33

o_O

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young