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Dryads (pronounced: /ˈdrædzDRY-ædz[9]) were fey-maidens who acted as the protectors of forests and trees.[citation needed]

As beautiful and welcoming as a sunlit glade in high summer, as terrifying and deadly as a winter gale sweeping through a barren forest—that's a dryad. In the space of moments.
— Galados of Celduilon[10]


They appeared to be beautiful women with delicate features seemingly made of soft wood. Their hair seemed to be made of leaves and foliage that changed color with the seasons of the calendar.[3] During the spring and summer months, the hair of a dryad was lush and green, while during autumn it turned red and eventually brown in the winter.[citation needed]


Dryads preferred to live away from civilization, delighting in the savage wilderness away from those that sought to cut their trees. They lived with respect to nature and accepted the company of those that did so as well. Attractive men who were fond of nature were often taken in by a dryad as both her mate and guardian.[citation needed]

Dryads were generally benign, and attempted to warn off intruders. Only those who were particularly cruel and determined to destroy a dryad's forest saw the full wrath of these fey.[citation needed]


In my youth, you could always find a tree sprite in the Realms if you knew where to look… and were fool enough to do so. These days they are far more rare in the Realms. The ladies of the oaks wield one of the most powerful enchantments known to men. They like to use it on men they find to their liking. And here in Arborea, where passions tend to run strong, it's even easier for their enchantments to succeed.

All dryads were magically bound to a single tree. These trees served as the dryad's life force and home. They fought to the death to protect their bonded tree, as should the tree be cut or destroyed, the dryad died soon afterward. A dryad could not stray too far from her bonded tree without suffering the same fate. If a dryad left the vicinity of her tree for too long, she died.[3]

Acorn of far travel: If a dryad spellcaster cast this spell on an acorn harvested from her bonded oak tree, she was considered to be in contact with her tree at all times, regardless of the actual distance between them. Thus she became able to travel great distances without growing sick.[12]


Dryads in service of Sharindlar were known to inhabit her divine realm of the Merciful Court.[13]


Along with other fey, dryads spoke Sylvan, Elven and Common.[3]


Dryads inhabited the plane of Arborea, and could be found in the areas around the Gilded Hall, Fermata, and Brightwater.[14]


Some of the dryads that inhabited Toril worshipped the goddess Mielikki.[15]


They were favored representatives of great number of deities, such as Baervan Wildwanderer, Corellon Larethian, Eldath, Erevan Ilesere, Hanali Celanil, Mielikki, Rillifane Rallathil, Sharess, Sharindlar, Sheela Peryroyl, Silvanus, Solonor Thelandira, Sune, and Thard Harr.[16]



See Also[]

Other fey spirits that were tied to specific parts of nature include the following:


Dungeon #29: "Nymph's Reward"Scourge of the Sword Coast
In Sylvan ShadowsTymora's Luck
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Neverwinter Nights
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Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Lost Temple of the Fey Gods

Further Reading[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  7. Ed Greenwood (August 2006). Swords of Eveningstar. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4, p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-4022-6.
  8. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 302–303. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  9. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  10. Rodney Thompson, Logan Bonner, Matthew Sernett (November 2010). Monster Vault. Edited by Greg Bilsland et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7869-5631-9.
  11. Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  12. James Jacobs (2015-05-22). Spells of the Woodlands: Cathedral of Leaves. Far Corners of the World. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2007-03-17.
  13. Eric L. Boyd (November 1998). Demihuman Deities. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  14. Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  15. Cardsheets included in Greenwood, Martin, Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  16. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Web Enhancement for Faiths and Pantheons. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 10–15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.