The large family of beautiful maidens who inhabit all larger plants and natural features of the earth. Different branches of the family have different names. The Dryads are the nymphs of forests and trees, the Napaeae of glens and groves, and the Oreades and mountains and grottoes. Another section of the family is connected with water.
The nymphs do not perform any particular function apart from enchanging the beauty of nature. Any aspect of the enviroment is improved by the sight of a slim naked maiden posing amidst the rocks and trees, although the nymphs are very shy of mortals and rarely allow themselves to be seen. A dryad, for example, is likeley to transform herself instantly into a slender sapling if there is any likelihood of a mortal male glimpsing her nudity.
They are so beautiful that a glimpse can blind or even kill a man, nymphs are the embodiment of loveliness, a triumph of nature. They appear as ever-young women with sleek figures and long, thick hair, radiant skin and perfect teeth, full lips and gentle eyes. Their voices are so exquisite that their conversation and singing may even be confused with the breeze through the trees or the ripple of a mountain stream.
Normally the nymphs have sweet delicate voices, so that their singing or conversation may be confused with the breeze through the trees or the ripple of a stream over stones. They do, however, shriek loudly when being pursued by satyrs and they may even sing rather indelicate songs during festivities arranged by Pan or other forest deities. They dance with exquisite grace, and the rare records of nymph-sightings try ineffectually to describe the enchanting beauty of a party of nymphs dancing the welcome to spring.
These beautiful females inhabit only the loveliest of wilderness places, clear lakes and streams, glacier palaces, ocean grottoes, anc crystalline caverns. Nymphs often have too much time on their hands, and their girlish mischief or numerous love affairs land them into trouble now and then.
The problem with nymphs is that they have so much time on their hands that they have frequently been the cause of trouble among gods or mortals, either through girlish mischief or because of their innumerable love affairs.
Nymphs make excellent magic-users, but are purely ornamental in other professions.
Dryads - forests, trees
Epimeliads - protectors of sheep
Hamadryads - trees
Heleads - the fen
Hydraids - water
Meliads - ashtrees
Naiads - water
Napaeae - glens, groves
Nereids - sea
Oceanids - sea
Oreades - mountains, grottoes
Nymphs in Greek mythology | Myths and Legends