Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

On the Origin of Dryad Nymphs

April 22, 2078

***Edit (April 23, 2078): Nymph is not an abbreviation of nymphomaniac! It refers to a spirit (once believed to be mythical) that inhabits forests, streams and mountains. Comments have been closed.***

Over two millennia ago, the Greeks discovered the nymph communities and suggested there were thousands of them living unseen in the wilds. But they rarely made contact with humans because dryads and most of their nymph cousins were uncommonly shy.

This was one of the eras in history when the veil between worlds thinned enough to let magic creatures from other worlds break through. The Greeks might have been right. The ancient forests could have hidden entire dryad civilizations. What they got wrong was believing that dryads were minor deities. They’re not. It’s time to set that record straight.
This article focuses on dryads, a type of nymph known for their affinity to forests and trees. Other nymphs include naiads (water nymphs) and oreads (mountain nymphs). Subscribe to the blog for upcoming articles on those.

Dryads are beings from Drys, a world with much more magic than ours. And when Terra’s magic dried up, the dryads went home or went into a kind of stasis or died. 
There are many dryad clans, including the Bircholds, the Graywoods, and the Alderas, but the Lekythoi—sometimes called the oak clan—were the first to return to Terra. Of all the dryads, they could most easily pass as humans. In the mid-twentieth century, they found a crack in the veil and left Drys to make a new home among the humans, who were still blind to the magic burgeoning in their world. The Lekythoi are perhaps a little too graceful, a little too willowy for the average human. But their skin tones range from birch bark white to oak bark gray, close enough to Caucasian to mingle freely in most Western cities. Only the delicate green veining at their ankles and wrists set them apart as anything other than human, and these could be explained as elaborate tattoos.

Other dryad clans didn’t blend so well. The Hornbeam Clan is taller with pointed elf ears, leaf green skin and hair that curls like new alfalfa greens. The Hunnewell Clan is gnome-short, but still has that signature dryad grace. They are covered in spongy green fur that lets them camouflage against moss, and they sport long curving tails used for everything from combat to cultivating to traveling like monkeys through the canopies. 

All these clans and the other races of nymphs—naiads and oreads—have found homes on Terra now. I’d like to say they found homes and a welcome on Terra, but that isn’t true. There is a great stigma against fae who look too much like “others.” And though some dryads can manage a decent glamor, most of the clans prefer to keep their green curls and dryad ways. For this reason, you almost never see them within the wards, but I have it on good authority that dryads have set up their own fortified cities in the treetops of the Inbetween. 

Tell me your dryad tales! Have you seen a dryad, naiad or oread inside your ward? Let me know in the comments. 

Comments (8)

Keep your nymph whores out of our wards!
TheHappyPlace14 (April 22, 2078)

There’s a tribe of dryads living in the mountains near our homestead. They don’t live in the trees though. Maybe some kind of rock-dwelling nymph? Or something else entirely? 
CarabinerCabin (April 22, 2078)

Do they have bark-like protrusions on their heads, almost like horns?
Valkyrie367 (April 22, 2078)

CarabinerCabin (April 22, 2078)

Those are probably oreads. Be wary. They tend to be more warlike than other nymphs.
Valkyrie367 (April 22, 2078)

Thanks for the heads up
CarabinerCabin (April 22, 2078)

Nymphs? Like in nymphomaniac? I want to visit that town!
CurtWad (April 22, 2078)

A nymphomaniac “rack” will look great next to the other trophies on my wall!
BigGameGuy (April 23, 2078)