Female spirits of nature in Greek mythology, some say they are immortal, other sources say otherwise.
With delicate and finely chiseled cheek bones and amber, violet, or dark green eyes, dryads rival the elves in physical beauty. The complexion and eye colour of these female creatures varies seasonally to better conceal them from mortal eyes, for they are as elusive as they are alluring. They are rarely seen unless taken by surprise -- or they wish to be spotted.
Dryads prefer to live solitary lifestyles, often choosing secluded oak groves where they then appoint themselves as guardians of nature. Usually reserved, about the only time they will speak passionately is to argue in favour of their wild homes.
Dryads are capable in most professions, especially as magic-users.
The nymphs of ash trees were called the Meliae. The ash-tree sisters tended the infant Zeus in Rhea's Cretan cave. Rhea gave birth to the Meliai after being made fertile by the blood of castrated Ouranos.
Powers and weaknesses
Dryads, like all nymphs, were supernaturally long-lived and tied to their homes, but some were a step beyond most nymphs. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.
See also the myth of Daphne, who was pursued by Apollo and became a dryad associated with the laurel.