Dryads are impulsive creatures of nature, howling manifestations of forest's wrath, with rapidly changing emotions and thoughts. Some among the Noble Spirits do look down on them for their lack of focus and apparent disinterest in larger matters as opposed to more "petty" concerns. Until the Age of Chaos dawned, dryads seldom had to fight and then only against natural hazards but when Chaos swept into the Mortal Realms many of them were forced to fight or die. [1a]
Those who survived this brutal dark age were forced to change, and where they were once full of laughter and joy, many became dark and hate filled - seeking vengeance on the despoilers of their world and became adept warriors in their own right with long gentle hands transformed into powerful talons. They do not fight in serried ranks but rather excel in ambushing their foes or in large numbers forming a fast moving thicket of brutal talons under the direction of a branch nymph. They can appear or vanish quikcly using the spirit paths, making them a highly effective guerrilla force.[1a] They defend their glades with a malign violence that almost resembles glee.
Many Dryads have tiny Spites that nestle in their foliage or boughs, and the appearance of individual branchcrests and the colour of their barkflesh can vary considerably between dryads. [1c] Some, like those of Clan Talth'aan of the Harvestboon Glade vary their appearance and colours from season to season[1d] whereas others such as the dryads of the Winterleaf Glade express their bitterness and hatred in their colours.[1e]
If they are close enough to Wyldwoods they will receive blessings from the forest. Their songs enrapture their enemies. When many dryads gather their limbs and branches form an interlocking shield of thorns. Branch Nymphs are the leaders of their units and capable of doing more attacks than other dryads.
Branchwraiths are the matriarchal chieftains, spiritual leaders and sacred priestesses who are more able to direct both their own fey nature and that of their dryad kin. They hear the Spirit Song more clearly and can project it to their kin to gather them for war or other greater matters. Branchwraiths can also channel life magic, to destroy their enemies and protect the other forest folk. [1a]
They attack with piercing talons and receive blessings of the forest if close enough to a wyldwood. They are wizards with the power of Ghyran imbued into their bodies. They can call upon the Wyldwoods to rose the dryads from slumber into war. They are drudic wizards and know a spell from the Lore of the Deepwood as well as the Arcane Bolt, Mystic Shield and their own Roused to Wrath spells.
- 1: Battletome: Sylvaneth (2016)
- 2: The Realmgate Wars: Balance of Power
- 3: Sylvaneth Dryad product description
- 4: Dryad warscroll
- 5: Sylvaneth Branchwraith product description
- 6: Branchwraith warscroll
- 7: The Tainted Axe (short story) by Josh Reynolds