Dryads are a type of earth fey (writer note, earth and wood are now one, it makes more sense then just dirt) related to nymphs, with close ties to trees.
Each Dryad is connected to a specif tree, typically the one they are birthed from, however some are not birthed from trees, and will later find an uninhabited tree to bond with. That tree is their anchor, and while they may leave that tree at will, the more time spent apart typically the weaker they become. If the tree is destroyed, the effects can be dire on a dryad, many will not ever recover from such an event.
At a young age, dryads typically appear as young nymphs. Perfect skin, lithe bodies, outrageous coloured hair (typically colours of leaves or flowers of their tree), and always female. As they age, their skin tends to become more bark-like, and their fingers can become long and claw like. this is the first adult stage they will reach. from there they become more tree like. A full grown dryad becomes paired perfectly with her tree and can simply animate it with her will. However, many are able to take on forms of their younger selves, through methods not fully explained. though a form of astral projection is assumed.
When becoming an arch fey, they will take over any uninhabited trees surrounding them, their will and consciousness spreading to all of them until they become one in many bodies. however their original tree will remain the largest in the grove. If that is destroyed however, the recovery time is much shorter, as they have support in other bodies to keep sane.
Dryads are a female species, able to reproduce through a number of means. There is the more, human method of sexual intercourse as we know it. the female of the union will produce another dryad, the male will typically be a male of the other species, or sometimes an elf. And there is a method more akin to how plants reproduce. There is a number of insect like fey, if a male of one of these properly pollinates a dryad's tree while she inhabits it, the fruit or seeds of the tree produces from that will eventually row into trees that will bear young dryads. We are speculating on the nesary of the gender of the other fey, as none of us are proper botanists, and really are working from second hand knowledge. all we know is they are considered the father of the children born, even if they do not attempt to raise the young.
Due to the second form or reproduction dryads appear to be the species with the most controlled growth. typically living in groves of arch fey, their life is greatly affects by their arch fey. Typically a mother of many previous generations, their tree is directly influenced by the arch fey, and thus they too are directly influenced. Able to be spoken to while in their tree directly from the arch fey as well as how their tree ages, a dryad hundreds of years old, might still be in her first stages of life by the will of her great mother. while a younger sibling may be in their last phases of life.
Dryad in combat are cruel and un caring foes. At least for their opponent. Fighting on the defence of their forest they will not stop until the transgressor is dead. they are able to call on animals of the wild, as well and ents and other low ranking earth fey. It is best to avoid known dryads at all costs.