Dryads are shorter and lighter than Humans, and in their natural form they resemble humanoid trees. They are hermaphrodites with the capacity to favor either gender or neither. Dryads are sapient plants with a strong knack for shapeshifting. They practice photosynthesis and get most of their nutrients from the sun and minerals in the earth, but they also supplement that with an omnivorous diet. They experience the same five senses that humans do, but the way in which they perceive the world can vary depending on their form. A Dryad's natural form will stay the same size from birth to death and just like the other immortals, Dryads don't grow old.
Dryads are susceptible to death through the following means; starvation, injury, and disease. A polluted area can weaken them, but not cause death outright. An omnivorous diet can only supplement a Dryad's nutritional requirements, they need sunlight and minerals from Teilequin's soil on a daily basis to remain healthy. Thanks to their shapeshifting nature (a magical development) it is possible for them to fully recover limbs, but the new ones will always be weaker than the old ones. Over time, a Dryad may grow unable to support itself if it has sustained a lot of injuries over the course of its life. Disease is a Dryads true weakness however, they are not susceptible to the same diseases that the fleshy races are, but the only cure for disease in the case of a Dryad is amputation. If a Dryad becomes unable to support itself, it will die plain and simple.
As a final note, Dryads experience the seasons much more intensely than the other races do, during spring they can transform faster, during the summer they are at their strongest, during the fall they transform slower, and during winter they are at their weakest. A careless passerby might not notice the differences, but closer inspection will reveal notable physical differences between Dryads in the different seasons.
Behavior and PsychologyEdit
Dryads are lovers of nature, to them anything that isn't of nature is less than ideal. Some Dryads take this mentality to an extreme and actively hate anything artificial, but most simply have a preference for the natural. They enjoy the praise of others and often seek to impress those around them in some way or another. When shapeshifting into other races, they purposefully make themselves very attractive for the attention that it gets them. For all of their understanding and stored knowledge however, Dryads are incapable of fully grasping the morals and ideals of the other races. Part of this comes from the fact that death holds little meaning to Dryads, their powerful connection to the Praeter Sphere allows them to understand the dead, and many bored Dryads simply chose to pass on to their next life. The other aspect which keeps Dryads from fully grasping the morals and ideals of others is that they are wild by nature, and while they can be perfectly civil, its just an act to please others.
Society and RelationsEdit
Dryad society is nothing impressive, they will watch over the forest that they were born in with others in the same forest until they decide that they don't want to anymore. At which point, they either integrate into other forests or other race's societies. In a sense, their lifestyles are similar to the fictionalized real-life gypsies.
Habitat and LocationsEdit
Dryads can live just about anywhere, and certain subspecies of Dryads can be found in the stranger places that typical Dryads wouldn't survive in. Of course, their capacity to shapeshift makes up for a lot of these problems. Because they shapeshift into other races, Dryads are often found living among other races unnoticed.
As should already be obvious, Dryads have a natural inclination towards shapeshifting, and this is achieved through the Praeter Sphere. The type of shapeshifting that they practice is a permanent transformation that is kept intact until they decide to transform again. Because of this, it takes extensive and intrinsic knowledge of something for them to achieve the transformation and it takes about a week to complete for most things. After that, they may live the life of whatever they transformed into with the exception of their needs. A transformed Dryad will still require sunlight and mineral nutrients. They have trouble transforming into Elves (due to their stone flesh, but it has been done), Fae (due to the tiny size), and Giants (due to their unnatural nature). They are also excellent with astral projection. As a rule of thumb, a Dryad will always use the Praeter Sphere.
There are several subspecies of Dryad, all of which are essentially the same with some minor differences. One aquatic variety, the Nerieds were completely wiped out by the Xogar during the last era. This has caused the Dryads to become enemies of the Xogar.
Having been on Teilequin since the Era of First Dawn, the Dryads have had plenty of time to do plenty of things and that's exactly what has happened.
Within Greek Mythology, Dryads are a type of Nymph.