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For the Warcraft III unit, see Dryad (Warcraft III).

Dryads are daughters of the demigod Cenarius. They monitor the health of Kalimdor’s forests, ever watchful against the depredations of evil magic. The creature has the head, arms, and torso of a beautiful night elf woman, but the lower body of a fawn. A gentle calm is evident in her eyes, but she hefts a spear with practiced skill. It doesn’t look like she wants to use the spear in her hand — but if she had to, she could.[3] (MoM 22) [4] (APG 206)

Allies of the night elves, dryads are the daughters of the demigod Cenarius. They are peaceful by nature and despise violence; however, like ancients, night elves, and their brothers the keepers of the grove, dryads fight to protect the forests and their allies. They are particularly adept at destroying magic and are immune to its effects. Most dryads remain in the forests, frolicking with the animals, dancing in the rain, and occasionally bringing nature’s wrath onto their enemies. Some dryads, however, leave their forests and become adventurers. For some, encounters with hostile forces spark this desire — they wish to bring the fight to the enemies of nature. Others are curious about the world outside their forests, and wish to experience new environments and meet new beings. Other dryads and night elves see adventuring dryads as a bit less unusual than adventuring ancients. Dryads possess an innate streak of curiosity, after all. However, adventuring dryads are still branded as eccentrics who go against the natural tendencies of their kind.[4] (APG 28) Dryads are peaceful watchers of the forest. They are friends of the night elves and defenders of nature. Daughters of Cenarius, they somewhat resemble centaurs, their cursed brethren. Dryads enjoy play and frolic in the forests. Despite the fact that dryads abhor violence, they fought alongside their night elf allies in the Third War and continue to protect the forests against the depredations of the Scourge, the Burning Legion and other intruders. They focus their efforts particularly against hostile magic.[4] (APG 206)

While dryads are peaceful with all inhabitants of the forest, they can be fierce defenders against those who would do harm to nature.[3] (MoM 22) Dryads are peaceful, but they fight to protect nature and in defense of their night elf allies. They hurl their spears at close range (most dryads carry five or six spears), closing to melee when they run out of ammunition. In a serious engagement, one or two dryads flee to summon help from ancients, keepers of the grove or night elves, while the others delay their opponents. A dryad’s magical nature coats her weapons with a painful and debilitating poison. Dryads attempt to weaken their enemies to the point where their gear weighs them down, forcing them to move slowly and making them vulnerable.[4] (APG 206)

They are swift, sure and at peace with all of the children of the forest. Though they abhor unnecessary violence, the dryads will defend the wildlands of Kalimdor with their lives if need be.[5] (W3Man 120)


The first dryads are the daughters of Cenarius, and sisters of his sons (Zaetar, Remulos, "the centaur", etc). Later, dryads were also born from his "favored children", the dryads and keepers. Cenarius' daughter Lunara, known as "the dryad" mothered dryads, and Remulos fathered dryads as well.[6] (HPG 209)


Dryads usually speak Darnassian. Dryads find it useful to know the languages of the races with which they are most likely to come into contact. These languages include Common, Low Common, and Taur-ahe.[4] (APG 28)

A dryad has wild empathy and can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal (such as a badger or a tallstrider). The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. The dryad must be within thirty feet of the target animal and under normal conditions. A dryad can use this ability to influence a magical beast with low intelligence (such as a darkmantle or a girallon).[3] (MoM 22)

See also: Cenarius' Children NPCs for a complete list of dryads and keepers of the grove in World of Warcraft.

Other types

Corrupted dryad

Warcraft RPG - may not be canon This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.

A dryad that has been mutated into one of the Corrupted Ones. The creature has the torso of an elf and the body of a faun, it is clearly a dryad. Yet, the body is twisted, its skin scaly and fingers clenched like horrid talons. Its face is screwed up in an evil scowl, and it attacks with a wild scream.[7] (S&L 149)

Dryad (tree spirit)

Dryad shrine, a dryad tree spirit?

Druids are capable of summoning these dryads as nature's allies.[8] (WoWRPG 345)

The The Oracle Glade of Teldrassil and The Shrine of Remulos in Moonglade may be such trees. Perhaps they are the female equivalent to ancients.

These type of dryads are described in Appendix Three of Manual of Monsters, however the validity of the source is disputed.

In World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Icon-time.svg This section concerns content that is out-of-date. Reason: More examples found after WotLK.

Some dryads are called "nymphs".



Pale dryads

These sub-type of dryad have a bluish-white coloration for unknown reasons.

In Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Unbound dryads

Unbound Dryads can be found in Crystalsong Forest. Unlike other dryads, their coloration is not like that of woodland trees. They are most likely this way as a result of the same dragon magic that overtook much of the forest.

Frost nymphs

An apparent evolution from dryads, called frost nymphs, exists in Northrend.

Warcraft III

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.

A dryad in Warcraft III.

Main article: Dryad (Warcraft III)

From Dryad at

The enchanted Dryads are the daughters of the Night Elf demigod, Cenarius. The playful, frolicking creatures vaguely resemble centaurs (their cursed cousins), but have bodies more akin to woodland fawns. They are swift and sure and are at peace with all of the children of the forest. Though they abhor unnecessary violence, the Dryads will defend the wildlands of Kalimdor with their lives if need be.


Dryads are tree nymphs, specifically those of oak trees, in Greek mythology. The half-stag/deer image is Blizzard's own touch.




  1. ^ Manual of Monsters
  2. ^ Alliance Player's Guide
  3. ^ a b c MoM, 22
  4. ^ a b c d e APG, 206
  5. ^ W3Man, 120
  6. ^ HPG, 209
  7. ^ S&L, 149
  8. ^ WoWRPG, 345