Updated: Nov 14, 2018
I have always loved Dryads, ever since reading C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. The details he hinted at in his books, such as the fact that his Dryad ate dirt like a human would eat food and the seasonal dances that his Dryads preformed, captured my imagination. But Lewis' books were about humans and Narnia as a whole, so his details on my favorite race were few and far between.
It was because of this that the Dryads were a major focus on the first civilization I ever world-built. I relished the challenge of figuring out the physiology of a species that existed on air, water, and sunlight, mostly by finding and answering questions. These questions varied but some of them were...
How tree-like would these beings be? (Very tree-like)
What did they value? (Their instruments and tools)
Would they build shelters or homes? (Just one, for storage, usually in the center of their grove)
How would they have offspring? (Through single seeds, which need to be cultivated by hand to become a living dryad)
What were their family structures like? (Multi-generational living together on a plot of land that they cultivated)
How would they feel about other plants? (Mainly as competition. They do have gardens and they don't mind grass, but they don't share their earth with free-loaders)
And on, and on, and on.
Even now, when I have started focusing to other settings and civilizations, the dryads are still my favorite race. I look for echoes of them everywhere, in the books I read and the games I play. I love seeing how other writers and designers answered their own questions and built their own worlds, since everyone sees things differently.