If there is a Living Race that is more in tune with the powers of magic, then it is the mystical Dryads. Legend tells of the Dryad race springing from the pools of celestial essence that remained after the creation of the world. From such beginnings, the Dryads have always been close to the forces of magic and its ties to the land itself.
Dryad society focuses intently on their co-habitation with nature, as well as the furthering of nature over the advances of those forces in diametric opposition to it. The unintelligent adversary equates the Dryad’s attunement to nature as a sign of passivity and weakness; the wise foe does well not to make this mistake.
In fact, there is never a stauncher adversary one would have to contend against than a Dryad defending his or her homeland.
Naturally, the Dryads have always held strong and fast against the Withered Aegis and the subjugation of Istaria’s lands by the Undead Horde.
During the darkest days of the Lament, the Dryads stood alone in the defense of the land; two events played a significant role in the current start of the Dryad’s in Istaria’s world scene, and both of which may prove to be crucial in the Living Races’ renewed fight against the Withered Aegis.
The Withered Aegis’ choice to bypass the full subjugation of Dryad lands in favor of the more lucrative targets of western Aradoth saved the Dryads a fight to defend their home city of Palmyra. It would have been a fight, however, that the Dryads would have taken to with absolute fervor; the outcome of such a fight would nevertheless have been most decidedly in favor of the Aegis, should conventional wisdom be adhered to when comparing the two armies against one another.
The decision of the Withered Aegis to bypass the Dryads, however, was brought on by the Dryad’s own manipulations of the magic that defines the laws of reality upon the Prime. The Dryads, being the masters of magic, had found a way to supplant mirrored areas of other extra-planar realms on the Prime, and vice versa.
This allowed them to, in essence, remove their city of Palmyra and the vicinity from the Prime and replace it with a linked counterpart in another realm. Physically, the Dryads are perhaps the most unique looking of all the Living Races. They are on average the smallest of the Living Races; their diminutive, wiry frames are smaller than even those of the Dwarves and Gnomes.
Dryads sport a set of colorful wings on their backs, giving them the ability of flight. A Dryad’s skin tone is of natural hues, ranging from hues as fair as that of an Elven to hues as dark as the bark of an ancient oak. Dryads use their wings for a very limited form of flight more akin to hovering; it is said that a Dryad only touches the ground at two points in their lives - when they are first born and when they die.
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The Dryad homeland is known as Palmyra and was located on the Eastern Continent beyond the Great Barrier. The Dryads speak of a city of great beauty, of soaring trees, and of peace and harmony. The arrival of the Withered Aegis shattered that peace and the city itself has been hidden beyond the reach of the enemy for well over a century.
The Dryad do not know if they will ever be able to reclaim their lands or return their city to the Prime, but they are content for now to help the Living Races fight the Withered Aegis and reclaim the lands to the west.