Que'yth, The Forgotten Folk (Dryads)
The Que’yth, as they are now known in the elven tongue, are spirits of the land. As the world of Tol took shape, the god known as Ionais came of the idea that the land that this fellowship of deities was creating ought to reflect the sentience of the gods. Ionais thus begun a lengthy endeavour to imbue the terrain with his own consciousness (as well as that of whichever other deities supported him in this). This project did not meet with great success as he did not have the full backing of the pantheon and required a tremendous depletion of mana(or whatever. His failure was not complete however. Thousands of years later, the sentience that he had imbued into the massive forest that was the focus of his energies, now known in the elven tongue as Eyther’Ghymn (Forest of the Forgotten ways) began to take on sexless bodily forms. These spirits were tethered to particular terrain features.
(I’m taking the liberty here of essential creating essentially a group of subraces, certainly not for any meta purposes, but to create a richer world. Also it is not so dissimilar to the race of dragons encompassing all types of dragons).
The most numerous amongst them were the Tra’Yth, the Tree Folk typically a particular Tra’yth would be tethered to a certain grouping of trees( a grove of pines) and could range only a little ways from said grouping. When moving between trees and outside of their grove, a Tra’yth can either embody one of the denizens of it’s grove, or appear as a beautiful, shimmering humanoid (typically of the opposite sex as the observer, but not exclusively) with bark for skin and covered in foliage.
The Koeh’Yth, the earth folk, inhabit the soil and are most prevalent in mountainous areas. They are the longest living, and breed most infrequently.
The Sum’Yth are the water folk and inhabit the streams, rivers and lakes.
The Que’yth are solitary beings. Occasionally neighbouring Que’yth will get together, almost exclusively for the purpose of procreation. Typically the mating pair are of the same land type and the new infant spirit that is the result of these pairings will generally inhabit an emerging terrain feature (ie in the case of the forest, where two spirits from areas of old growth forest come together, the spiritling would inhabit the emerging undergrowth that would characterize the next stage in the evolution of the forest.) Very rarely however a pair of spirits from significantly different land types will procreate, the result of such a pairing creates a new spirit which begins to roam in search of an uninhabited terrain feature similar to that of either of it’s parents.
Que’yth rarely make contact with other races though they observe keenly any activity taking place around their home terrain. They will sometime give aid to one who is in need and who demonstrates respect for the land, alternatively they have been known to haunt those who are disrespectful and ignorant of their surroundings. This almost never takes the form of physical attack, but more frequently involves eery sounds, illusions, and spells that affect the mind (confusion, fear, etc). Most Que’yth speak the elven tongue and those who inhabit terrain features close to other races settlements will usually speak that race’s language as well.
A Que’yth’s lifespan coincides with that of it’s home terrain, as long as the terrain feature remains relatively unchanged the Que’yth will continue to thrive. As such Tra’yth are the have the shortest lifespans as the forest is in a state of constant change, even still it is common for a Tra’yth to live for several hundred years.
Unless they are wandering from their home terrain, Que’yth are very difficult to kill outright. When attacked they simply meld into the surrounding terrain. However if their home terrain is destroyed or badly polluted a Que’yth becomes severely weakened and can sometimes even die. As such Koeh’yth are almost impossible to kill.
Que’yth reside on the material plane but have a strong connection to the ethereal realm. They spend most of their time residing and moving around as part of their home terrain. When they appear before other folk, or wander from their home terrain their forms have been known to vary. Often they will appear as a tall beautiful elf, typically of the opposite sex as the beholder, with skin that resembles a prominent feature of their terrain (bark, water, stone, soil) and a shifting, shimmery aspect which makes their exact appearance difficult to explain or remember. However on occasion they will assume the form of a denizen of their home terrain. (Deer, fish, snake, mountain goat).