I had to do a little research about dryads when I was writing Book V of the Karakesh Chronicles. As yet it is without a real title, but for my own purposes, I called it Bimi Lightfoot and the Bad Faerie. As the story progressed, the bad faerie became only a part of Bimi’s harrowing adventures.
But back to dryads.
In Greek mythology, the dryads are minor goddesses. There are dryads who live in trees, and others who live close to their trees. Their lives are usually long, and they remain within their tree, or the forest where it grows.
There are many stories about dryads in Greek mythology. A famous example is the story of Eurydice. Eurydice was an oak dryad who fell in love with Orpheus and his beautiful music. After they wed, she died of a poisonous snake bite and ended up in the Underworld. Hades allowed Orpheus to lead her out of the Underworld if Orpheus did not look back. At the threshold of the living, Orpheus turned around to make sure she was following, and Eurydice was swept back to Hades’ realm.
I was surprised to learn that different kinds of trees have specific dryads. Oreiades inhabit mountain pines. Meliai live in ash trees. The Maliades and Epimiliads live in fruit and apple trees and also guard sheep. Caryatids live in walnut trees. Hamadryads are born in oak and poplar trees. Laurel trees are home to the rare Daphnaie.
In Book V, Bimi Lightfoot encounters several dryads. From them, he learns something surprising about himself.
Reading about dryads made me wonder: does a dryad die when her tree is cut down? Does she move into another tree with a sister? Is there room for two dryads in one tree?
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