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Dryads are a species of feral animal found in the upper midwestern and northeastern states of Sky City Miria. Standing at up to 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) tall at the shoulder, these antlered giants live in thick boreal / mixed forests, snacking on many types of aquatic and non-aquatic plants / fruit as its food source. Dryads are most recognizable by their thick hide and beautiful, glowing antlers. Dryad hide is often described as having the look and feel of tree bark, while the hide on their back is described as feeling more like a moss-covered crab shell. A dryad's antlers can grow to massive sizes, and has the intriguing property of emitting bioluminescent light. This light can be used to help light the immediate area at night, but also provides a dryad with an interesting means of self defense. When threatened, a dryad will let out a deep, bassy roar while flashing their horns with an incredibly bright light in an attempt to scare away predators. the roar has been described as sounding like an aggressive version of a foghorn, while the light flash is like a lighthouse light that is shining in all directions at once, near-blinding at the initial flash, then mellowing out over time as the shadows play off of the trees and the dryad's face to give the creature a perceived demonic look to it.
While Dryads are non-aggressive towards aetherans, they can be provoked or frightened to behave in such a way, as with many wild animals. dryads are responsible for plenty of attacks on aetherans due to the previously stated reasons, but usually with only minor consequences. Some dryads, who are used to being fed by aetherans, will be very angry if they see an aetheran and are denied food from them, leading to more attacks. They are unpredictable creatures who just want to live their lives, so it is best to admire them from a distance, and to never get into the habit of feeding any dryads that one may come across. Unfortunately, there is a different story for those that accidentally hit one while in a vehicle. due to their size, weight, and higher-up center of mass, vehicle accidents with dryads involve and entire front seat area, and those sitting in it, to be crushed, which is frequently fatal for those affected by it.
dryads are hunted by aetherans for food. while their hide is inedible, and quite difficult to initially cut through, underneath it is tender, flavourful meat that is quite popular in areas where dryads populate. due to the size of a dryad, a single kill can fetch enough meat to last a very long time. Their antlers are among some of the most quintessential examples of a hunting trophy; a reward for felling a mighty beast. While the dryad has very few natural enemies, there is a particular species of sky whale that is known to prey on them, which is a rather frightening sight to behold
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