Legends of Belariath

Dryads

Forest Nymphs, or Dryads as they are more properly known, are the most numerous, or at least the most common encountered of the Nymph race. They share an underlying spirit that comes from being at one with the forests and woods of Belariath. Some Dryads seem to associate themselves with a single tree or species of plant (such as an Apple Dryad, who might inhabit a small orchard seeing it as her duty to care and tend to the trees within). Others might feel an attachment to larger areas, choosing to care and tend to all of the trees and plants that grow within their wooded valley. Dryads are known for having a tree, which is their home, but the type of tree seems to be a matter of personal choice, and most tend to reflect upon the Dryad's personality.

Just as their homes reflect their personality, their coloration reflects their affinity with nature itself. Eyes and hair vary in shades, from green and brown, to the very rainbow that Nature paints them with. Such shades are almost always gentle however, pastel and pleasing to the eye. Their skin ranges from the softest of golden colors, to the verdant green of the forest in spring, and this color brightens noticeably when the Dryad is excited or aroused.

Character Creation

Starter Classes: Bard, Thief, Mage, Druid, Healer, Artisan, Entertainer, Laymen

Advanced Classes: Hierophant, Seductress, Water Mage, Earth Mage, Air Mage

Starting Stats:

STR INT AGI RES STA SPL LFE
Basic Stats 1 2 5 2 2 2 8

Appearance

Dryads are spirits of nature given flesh, who preside over the groves, over the forest lands. They are not born but come into existence fully formed, by Gaea's will to watch over certain tree's. They live either in their tree, or close by it in glen or field. Chaotic in nature, but never to the extremes, most dryads choose a happier medium to exist within. While they are gentle, by their nature, and will seek to preserve life, first and foremost, they are not above punishing a thoughtless mortal who somehow injure their protected. It is whispered, that the reason for this protection is that their very life-force is tied into the tree they serve.

Dryads are healthy and of sound mind, even if at times they appear to be rather flighty. Beautiful creatures, who move with the grace of a willow and the elegance of a tree swaying within the breeze, many a traveler has been compelled merely to watch them. Their flesh tends to vary, taking on different degrees of brown and green, depending upon the tree the Dryad is connected to. Ranging from a deep golden hue to a light healthy green, the hue will brighten noticeably when they are excited or aroused. While no two dryads have the same coloring, it is worth noting that their hair colors varies as much as their skin. It has been noted some have tanned flesh, warm in its color with the lightest of green curls. Their eye color is as varied as a blooming tree's flowers, varying from hues of lavender, blue, orange, even yellow, existing in both the extreme shades or lighter pastels..

Special Abilities and Disadvantages

Hidden Nature

Gaea protects her Dryads, by gifting them with the ability to sense danger, or hostility when it moves within the Grove protected by the nymph. With but a few words, the Dryad can beg forth the elements to cover her, branches, grass, trees, even the very roots will shift and move to create a covering for the Dryad to meld into. The nymph will remain unseen, until she chooses to show herself, or preforms an aggressive action (words, actions, or magic cast upon another) , which would cause the 'melding' to break, allowing her to be revealed as Nature would return to how it was before she called out for its aide. This ability can only be used outside, where nature is in abundance. Should the nymph be -chased- to the grove, or attempt to use this to escape consequences for her actions, be they verbal or physical, or to avoid rape, the ability will not answer her call, for Gaea believes in survival of the fittest.

Dryad Frailties

Dryads usually do not advertise the particular tree or glen that is their supreme safe haven. The Dryad should always have upon them a small life line, in some shape or form to their tree, whether it is a small bracelet of vines or leaves within their locks of hair. With this life line the dryad can keep in contact with their tree and will be aware if anyone comes within 5 feet of it, or if anyone is attacking it. When a Dryads tree perishes the dryad becomes ill and until they are able to form a connection with another tree of the same kind, they remain in this state.

Dryads usually do not advertise the particular tree or glen that is their supreme safe haven. The Dryad should always have upon them a small life line, in some shape or form to their tree, whether it is a small bracelet of vines or leaves within their locks of hair. With this life line the dryad can keep in contact with their tree and will be aware if anyone comes within 5 feet of it, or if anyone is attacking it. When a Dryads tree perishes the dryad becomes ill and until they are able to form a connection with another tree of the same kind, they remain in this state.

Note: The following information is generic to all Nymph variants - Dryads, Naiads, Nereids, Oreads and Sylphs

Background

Anytime the subject of females comes up within the smokey Inn or Taverns of Belaraith, it seems that the image that comes quickest to everyone's mind is that of a beautiful and barely clothed young woman. She peeks shyly from behind a tree, or splashes playfully within the cool waters of a secluded spring. Such images have inspired ages of word, of art, and songs. They are the very visions of the wild and mysterious beings, known simply as Nymphs

Nature spirits who take on the form of young adult females, human-like in their size, and their form. But oh they come with a far greater diversity then any other race could dare dream of. Nymphs can have hair in the color that eyes only dare to behold, usually complimented by their wide and innocenct eyes. Their skin is fair, or dark, and every shade in between, but always soft as silk to the touch. For the most part, their coloration will reflect their nature, for each Nymph has one. Shades of blues for the Water Nymphs, greens, for the Forest Nymphs and so on. They do not have wings, nor can they change size, but their magic, while subtle should not be discounted quickly.

To know a Nymph is to know chaos created by Nature. They appear naive and easily confused at time with the simplest of concepts (such as money), and yet, they can simplify the most complex of emotional issues into a perspective that only a child like innocence could truthfully appreciate. What they lack in common sense, they make up for with a moral compass, which rarely ever will lead them astray. One should never assume, that a nymph is unintelligent, far from it, there are nymphs who are very bright, quick to learn, and they all are as curious as the day is long. Because of this, one might wonder if it's all an act, or if they have some hidden motive behind their giggling whimsical behavior. Others just assume they are the wisest of us all, and have discovered the secret of life, but can only share it, by sharing themselves with us.

Imbued with a seemingly unconscious sexuality, most Nymphs even seem quite puzzled by the effect their presence can have upon men and woman alike. They exude desire with their every motion, each look, and every soft sigh that leaves their lips. For many men, a Nymph has only one purpose, to be ravished, repeatedly and often. Nymph's themselves are often accommodating in this respect, even going so far as to encourage this rather untoward behavior. Others may resist, perhaps even with success, but it seems Gaea herself has gone to far with her gift, and the Nymphs more often then not, surrender with pleasure after only a few moments of struggle.

Special Abilities of the Nymph race and things of note

Gaea has gifted her Nymphs with innate abilities regardless of their place of origin, which can be seen as proof of a greater purpose in their existence.

All nymphs are able to slightly shift their elements to benefit Nature around them, carrying a slight empathy with the things living within those elements. While Dryads are capable of healing sick and injured plants to the point of even spurring plant growth, the Naiads are able to bring a once dry spring back to bubbling life. Nereid’s tend to those things within the ocean, capable of creating salt water to a small pool with but a touch. Oreads, stoney as they may be, possess the the ability to heal fractures in their stones with the slightest inclination to do so. Sylphs, those floating beauties are capable of slightly shifting the wind around them, to help those things in flight find their resting places. While these little gestures are just that -small- influence, they are distinct gifts of their purpose as caretakers of their elements and the life that blooms, crawls, flies or swims within it. 

Nymphs are able to draw small amounts of moisture from the air, when they need to. Squeezing their empty fist, as if holding a sponge will cause a small amount of fresh water to spill upon the ground. This is very useful to the Nymphs when tending to their gardens, as one might imagine.

While they are considered to have an expert knowledge of gardening, or tending to plants, it does tend to depend on their personal experiences. Each type of Nymph is an expert only at the vegetation that grows within her element. Never ask an Oread which seaweed tickles the most, nor a Dryad which pollen carries best on a southern wind, for such is best left to the Slyph to answer. Some nymphs have not learned what plants can be used for medicine, or magical purposes, but are capable of telling you which plants are dangerous to eat, or touch and which are fine to do so. However, most won't be able to tell you which is the most delicious to sample for such.

Because of this knowledge, and because of Gaea's need for her Nymphs, they are immune to plant poisons, and will not suffer from things like poison ivy. Hemlock tea, drunken by a Nymph, will not harm her, although she might be displeased by its bitter taste.

Nymphs share a limited empathy as well, with the wild creatures that populate their elements. Such creatures will never attack a Nymph, unless under extreme circumstances, such as an animal effected by rabies. Likewise, a Nymph is largely incapable of injuring, or assisting to injure an animal. They will resist having to preform such a hideous action, unless no other course reveals itself. By a Nymph's nature, she will often care for wounded or sick animals, healing them, restoring them back to good health and setting them once more free to wander Gaea's lands. They are capable normally of calming even the most frightened of beasts.

Every Nymph is granted a boon because of their inability to wear armor. Gaea provides it, with a shield that comes to them in the form of their element. This shield provides +1 defense (phy/mag) for every two levels the Nymph possesses.

While a Nymph is capable of being a thief, one finds they do not value money or possessions nearly as highly as some of the other races. Most Nymphs if they chose such, tend to be a 'good' sort of thief, selecting victims carefully, stealing only as much as seems appropriate and normally will donate their new found wealth to someone else who needs it. They have been known to not just pick a pocket, but to repeat the gesture, placing a coin or two within the "targets' pocket without drawing attention to the action.

They can take any non-combat class, but Artisans are not common. Most nymphs seem to lack the discipline and patience that such a calling requires. However, they can specialize in any of the elemental spheres, except for fire, which is one that most have learned to fear and distrust. In addition to Mage, the Druid class is available as well. Being a Druid, seems to be more or less an extension of their affinity with nature, and not a truthful profession however.

Because of their make up, their instinctive desire to preserve and serve life, they are incapable of starting combat, and never will a Nymph take another human or humanoid’s life. It seems it is impossible for them to even take the life force from the smallest of animals. While they can defend themselves, using defensive spells and non lethal magic, they cannot wear armor, nor can they adorn themselves with any weapon other then ones Gaea has made from natural fibers, such as a serrated shark's tooth, or a wooden sword, or perhaps an obsidian shard.

A Nymph's own flighty nature, and their inability to wish harm, or hurt on another, or perhaps even their lack of concern of 'Owning' anything, keeps them from taking slaves into their possession.

While Nymphs recognize no known hierarchy and live their lives largely independent of anything but instinctive direction they are drawn to their specific areas of nature. It might be more accurate to say, they are the manifestations given form of such spheres, for none can say that Gaea created them for specific purpose, or if they sprang forth unbidden from the chaotic energies of creation merely by accident.

Nymph Advantage

Gaea's Grace

A nymph who has been damaged, or found herself wounded only needs to seek out the element that Gaea has bonded her to. By immersing herself in the element her Creator has provided, she will fall into a state of slumber that lasts for 12 hours. Upon awakening, the Nymph will find herself totally healed, and her body restored to the beauty that Gaea crafted, no worse for the wear.

Mech: Any nymph who has found themselves wounded, may RP out retreating into their element, to 'slumber'. After 12 hours of 'rest' within (does not need Rp'd out, but the entrance to the slumber should be, as well as their appearance from it) the character is totally healed, and no matter the damage sustained, the Nymph appears as it did upon creation. Hair regrown, limbs restored, skin once more perfect. Taking part in such magical healing does not mean that tattoos are removed, or piercings become magically absorbed.

Nymph Disadvantage

Easily Distracted
While a nymph can be clever, it is not her fault that at times she can be utterly overcome with sensation. This in and of itself,makes it easier to soothe a Nymph into the sweeter nature that seems to always be underneath the surface of their 'wraith'. Perhaps this is the truthful reason they are not able to start combat, or why they do not protect every inch of themselves with the armor they cannot carry.

Mech: Nymphs find themselves unable to focus when someone begins to place skin to their skin. While this action might anger another race, for the Nymph it signals one of two things. Walk away, or give in to the want. OOC permission is needed for anything sexual of course.

Combat Modifiers

Disabilities and Their Mechanics
Type: Attack Defense Init
CloPhy RanPhy CloMag RanMag CloPhy RanPhy CloMag RanMag
Sight -30% -100% -30% -100% -30% -30% -30% -30% -50%
Hearing N/A N/A N/A N/A -25% -25% -25% -25% -25%
Speech N/A N/A -100% -100% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hands/Arms*** -25% -25% -50% -50% -25% -25% -25% -25% -20%
Legs/Feet*** -25% -10% -25% -N/A -25% -20% -25% -25% -25%
* Attack/Defense Enchantments are not effected, penalties apply to base stats.
* Those temporarily blinded in one eye will receive half penalties for blindness to all attacks.
** All penalties are cumulative.
*** Penalties are cumulative per limb.