Dryad Villages Building / Landmark in Saleh'Alire | World Anvil

Dryad Villages

A Grove Within A Grove

Saleh'Alire » Cultural Buildings Dryad

I tried to stop for water at a village I came across. With their houses scattered about both the trees and ground, I believed it to be a typical Thaila village as they're common here in the Ajda Wet Forest... But I quickly found myself on the other end of a Farryn spear when I pressed for shelter; they're not much for company, those ones.
Cliodhna Neachtain, Explorer
  Few in the history of Saleh'Alire have ever been welcomed into a Farryn village. Those who have been lucky enough to receive the honor, though, frequently report that their movements are restricted while within the village bounds. This heavy restriction concerning where outsiders are allowed to visit, however, is far from being due to their generally isolationist nature... Indeed, the Farryn have good reason for keeping outsiders away from their villages- and this reason lies within their unique abilities, and the structure of their dwelling places themselves.  

A Triplicated Structure

Dryad Village
Nearly all Farryn villages are structured much like the trees to which they are bound. As a result, villages are organized with three sections, or rings, which radiate outward from a central point in the village.   Each of these rings serves a specific function for the village's community. Each also has a different set of both cultural and legal rules that govern them- the strictness (and severity of punishment for violation) of which depends on deeply into the village one ventures, with The Heart having boththe strictest rules and the strictest punishments.  
The Bough
The outermost ring of a Farryn village is often called the bough. This is where everyone in the village lives, works, crafts, and otherwise goes about the activities of daily life; houses and businesses are built here, and it typically expands out and away from the interior rings as the village grows in size.   Few rules apply to the bough of a village outside of the usual legal mandates against murder, thieving, and general social ills. That being said, any outside visitor to the village- whether Farryn or other- is strictly prohibited from leaving this area and venturing further in.
The Grove
The middle ring, or the grove, contains the trees to which the Farryn are bound. Each tree is planted in the grove as saplings during a Farryn's treebinding ceremony. As a result, the grove is a sacred place among the Farryn- one that connects them to community and the ancestors.   Groves also double as a collective resource area for the entire village. Taking from the Grove comes with strict rules, however; Farryn may get in trouble for taking too much, selling what they take (though this doesn't apply to any items made from what 's taken- only raw resources), or for wasting anything that's taken.
The Heart
And the center of each village is a ring called the heart, where villagers go to worship. It's also where the gifting and treebinding ceremonies happens, and where the Dryad Kings / Queens are crowned during their coronations; the heart is integral to Farryn faith and usually contains a great tree, natural spring, portal, or another type of feature considered sacred.   Entering this central ring outside of periods of worship, a coronation, a gifting or a coming of age ceremony is strictly prohibited for all Farryn- save for Tenders, Kings and Queens, or High Mothers; outsiders especially are banned from entry.

The Dryad House

Open; no discernible room division   Size
Thin and large; multistory   Main Shape
Circular / Cylindrical   Material
Wood and other natural materials- usually with a thatched roof

Main Colors
Natural and earthy tones accented by bright colors typically found in flowers   Decorations
Sheer and flowing fabrics in bright tones, flower garlands & arrangements, nature murals, clay pots, baskets, and wooden or fabric furniture
[...] Regretfully I wasn't allowed in when the flood of them began shuffling towards the heart; I'm not "one of them", as they tend to say... Still, I could hear the chanting from the bough. Their song was beautifully ethereal and haunting, but not dissimilar to a funeral dirge and made me think the ritual was like that of a funeral for them.
Gao-Su Vahana, Explorer


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially different, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misused a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal English" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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19 Jul, 2023 20:47

I love the rings layout of their villages! Are the trees of the grove planted in a pattern or is it more of a cultivated wilderness? Are other plants grown alongside them or is it just trees?   What sort of penalty might one see for venturing into the grove?

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20 Jul, 2023 22:33

Segregation of the rings is usually achieved by a combination of cultivated wilds, erected fencing, and tree plantings. As for punishments, it depends on the particular village, and whether or not the one violating the space is Dryad or other, friend or foe; some villages are so stringent they enforce the death penalty. Others will just kick you out of the village and ban you from it.

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