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Theory: The Last Dryad and How They Survived

InkTheAlphaCrafter

Brain of Cthulhu
Dryad Survivor Terraria Theory Picture.png


The Dryad is an interesting NPC indeed. Known to be the last of her kind, the Dryad is obsessed with the balance of the world. We know little about the other Dryads, for the rest of the Dryads perished in the Great War of Cthulhu after having weakened Cthulhu into the Moon Lord. So how did this Dryad somehow survive while the rest of her kind died out? Well, let's discuss!


What We Know:
The Dryads were an ancient race in Terraria with a strong connection to nature. The Dryads are the race credited with weakening Cthulhu. Unfortunately, all but one of the Dryads lost their lives in that battle. This Dryad moves in to a player-built house after the player defeats either Skeletron, Eater of Worlds, Eye of Cthulhu, or Brain of Cthulhu. From conversation with this Dryad, we know that she is 500 years old. Besides selling you things related to nature and telling you what percentage of your world is Corruption/Crimson, the Dryad also blesses the player when monsters are nearby. This heals the player while the player is within the leaf circle and causes enemies that attack the player to take thorns damage, as well as damaging monsters within the leaf circle. The health regeneration/damage amount depends on the number of bosses defeated in the world. This affect make the Dryad quite useful. Which brings me to my theory: Could these powers be the reason the Dryad survived?

Evidence and Reasoning:
I'm not sure exactly how the other Dryads behaved and whether or not the other Dryads also had these powers, which may make this section a little more iffy, but I'll do my best.

Items:
A lot of the items the Dryad sells happen to do with keeping the world balanced. From different powders to different seeds. The three powders she sells (Purification Powder from the Purity, Vile Powder from the Corruption, and Vicious Powder from the Crimson) each spread their own biome. Is it possible the Dryad used this to her advantage to keep the world balanced until we came along?

Behavior:
The Dryad's powers are one of the most interesting parts about the Dryad, as it can heal friends and harm foes. It still remains a question whether the other Dryads had the exact same powers, but regardless, this is a possible reason on how the Dryad survived. Perhaps she used her powers to keep the evil that killed the other Dryads from getting to her. I have no idea what exactly killed off the Dryads, and assume that Cthulhu did so as the Dryads weakened him, but other than that, nothing. However I do believe these powers are most likely the reason the Dryad is still alive.


Again, this is just a theory, and may not be 100% accurate and is not confirmed. Also this theory in particular is a little lower quality than my last couple, mainly because of the lack of information both
in-game and in the lore, but I still hope you guys enjoyed this. Thank you for reading!
 

Kirby737

Retinazer
But hey! That's just a theory, a Game Theory! Nice theory, though I find it a bit weird that our Drayad was the sole survivor. After all, If Chutulutu was weakened, how did he kill all but one of the Dryads? Either the Dryad wasn't in the frontlines, Chutulutu's minions hunted down the Dryads, Chutulutu spared the Dryad's life as means of revenge or the Dryad made a pact with Chutulutu to spare her life. That or she isn't actually the last Dryad, and the other survivors were just hiding.
 

Sora_92

Terrarian
This doesn't really answers much (regardless if it's just a theory)

One interesting thing here though, is, that, the dryad, like all other NPCs (not counting Santa) usually respawn with a different name. but if only one dryad survived, then, that means that it is the same NPC all the time. (this probably means, that other NPCs are the same too, when respawn? This just brings back the question "why they change name"
(game-wise, it might be, so you can acquire items that drop only from a specifically named NPC. this is a pretty weird thing from the game in general though, IMO, encouraging the player to murder their own allies...

---------

Anyway, so, she changes names, but she's the only surviving dryad in the world? (per world)
I would consider the dryad's blessing not unique to her, but generally to dryads. But either way, she's just as fragile as other town NPCs. Especially in hardmode, she's not very good when facing strong and dangerous enemies. A single moss hornet will KO her with 1-2 stingers. No way she would stood any chance against an even-stronger-than-now Moon Lord.

So, yeah, agree with @Kirby737 that in that regards, she most likely didn't fought in the frontlines. (if her stats were the same back then too) We really don't know much about her regarding that battle, but with her in-game stats, she would been wiped out within seconds.

For all what we know, she might stayed at home, pretended to be a tree, or just watched the ancient battle from far. If she's the only one surviving, there's no one to tell that. In fact, to humans, she can even tell "I fought there" while she actually didn't. No one else saw the battle, so who could even tell XD lol

the "all dryads wiped out" I would imagine more like, they sacrificed themselves in order to cast that spell, that banished Ctulhu/Moon lord to the moon (or whatever). Or when the two huge powers collided, it caused a catclysmic explosion, or something.

If that would be true, - for example going with the "sacrifice" theory,
it could be, that "our" dryad initially participated in the battle (assuming she had decent stats for it) but the others asked her to run away, while they complete the spell to banish Ctulhu - either knowing that they will end up dead, or knowing that it is a possibility, that they will end up dead.
Because, if they fail, but die, then this one dyrad is still alive, to try to do something, opposing Ctulhu. If they do seal away Ctulhu, but die, then there would be no one else know (and tell) about these things - so, "our" dyrad has the role of keeping the "lore", and ensure that others will not try to break that seal...? Alas, the Lunatic cultist still managed to do it right under her nose...

(actually, again, it would be interesting to know a bit more about the lunatic cultist too, and if he would appear more times through the game, hinting at therebeing this "villain boss". it's so lame nothing even really mentions him (in-game), prior to when you fight him...

This also might does something with the guide too (I don't think he would be "Moon lord and (a) nymph's child", that sounds like a joke.) If we're going by the theory that he's the core, and guardian of the world (WoF) then he might actually fought in the battle along the dryads (probably in his WoF form, because, in his human-like form, he's quite lame XD)
This brings up the question, that, if the spirits of light and dark were initially present in the world back then, but they got sealed away after - or prior? (maybe reasons related to Ctulhu)
 
This doesn't really answers much (regardless if it's just a theory)

One interesting thing here though, is, that, the dryad, like all other NPCs (not counting Santa) usually respawn with a different name. but if only one dryad survived, then, that means that it is the same NPC all the time. (this probably means, that other NPCs are the same too, when respawn? This just brings back the question "why they change name"
(game-wise, it might be, so you can acquire items that drop only from a specifically named NPC. this is a pretty weird thing from the game in general though, IMO, encouraging the player to murder their own allies...

---------

Anyway, so, she changes names, but she's the only surviving dryad in the world? (per world)
I would consider the dryad's blessing not unique to her, but generally to dryads. But either way, she's just as fragile as other town NPCs. Especially in hardmode, she's not very good when facing strong and dangerous enemies. A single moss hornet will KO her with 1-2 stingers. No way she would stood any chance against an even-stronger-than-now Moon Lord.

So, yeah, agree with @Kirby737 that in that regards, she most likely didn't fought in the frontlines. (if her stats were the same back then too) We really don't know much about her regarding that battle, but with her in-game stats, she would been wiped out within seconds.

For all what we know, she might stayed at home, pretended to be a tree, or just watched the ancient battle from far. If she's the only one surviving, there's no one to tell that. In fact, to humans, she can even tell "I fought there" while she actually didn't. No one else saw the battle, so who could even tell XD lol

the "all dryads wiped out" I would imagine more like, they sacrificed themselves in order to cast that spell, that banished Ctulhu/Moon lord to the moon (or whatever). Or when the two huge powers collided, it caused a catclysmic explosion, or something.

If that would be true, - for example going with the "sacrifice" theory,
it could be, that "our" dryad initially participated in the battle (assuming she had decent stats for it) but the others asked her to run away, while they complete the spell to banish Ctulhu - either knowing that they will end up dead, or knowing that it is a possibility, that they will end up dead.
Because, if they fail, but die, then this one dyrad is still alive, to try to do something, opposing Ctulhu. If they do seal away Ctulhu, but die, then there would be no one else know (and tell) about these things - so, "our" dyrad has the role of keeping the "lore", and ensure that others will not try to break that seal...? Alas, the Lunatic cultist still managed to do it right under her nose...

(actually, again, it would be interesting to know a bit more about the lunatic cultist too, and if he would appear more times through the game, hinting at therebeing this "villain boss". it's so lame nothing even really mentions him (in-game), prior to when you fight him...

This also might does something with the guide too (I don't think he would be "Moon lord and (a) nymph's child", that sounds like a joke.) If we're going by the theory that he's the core, and guardian of the world (WoF) then he might actually fought in the battle along the dryads (probably in his WoF form, because, in his human-like form, he's quite lame XD)
This brings up the question, that, if the spirits of light and dark were initially present in the world back then, but they got sealed away after - or prior? (maybe reasons related to Ctulhu)
Simple but not really simple. im making this up btw. the dryad has determination, but instead of resetting back to their save point the dryad only has the power to come back to life. they change their name to compensate for us knowing that the dryad died.
 

Kirby737

Retinazer
Simple but not really simple. im making this up btw. the dryad has determination, but instead of resetting back to their save point the dryad only has the power to come back to life. they change their name to compensate for us knowing that the dryad died.
This is not Undertale, this is Terraria. I doubt that the Dryad can revive herself from the dead.
 
@ClorophyteArmorNoob
I mean, if she could resurrect herself, why the other dryads can't? that makes no much sense. (because the lore says they existed, but all died, except the one we know)
if we go back to my made up theory, which is not good at all, only 1 being with the most determination can save and reload. if we go to the actual good theory, maybe its because the fates cant let the dryad die because she has something to do to help the world, while the other dryads had served their purpose.
 

Animus Viral

Skeletron Prime
While I don't have much to add to this theory wise, I do feel like the Dungeon Defenders 2 crossover should be noted, as the Dryad does appear as a playable character in Dungeon Defenders 2, so we can get more of an idea of her abilities, and we do know that the crossover event happens in Terraria, considering the Old One's Army event exists along with other Dungeon Defenders content. I would also state that apparently outside of the world of Terraria, she becomes more vulnerable to Corruption as seen by her form in DD2, which could mean that's she's attached to the world of Terraria and it makes her strong or something to survive all this time maybe.
 

Astro.

Official Terrarian
"The last dryad"
(name of dryad) the Dryad was slain

(New dryad's name) the Dryad has arrived
 

I Like Cats

Official Terrarian
But hey! That's just a theory, a Game Theory! Nice theory, though I find it a bit weird that our Drayad was the sole survivor. After all, If Chutulutu was weakened, how did he kill all but one of the Dryads? Either the Dryad wasn't in the frontlines, Chutulutu's minions hunted down the Dryads, Chutulutu spared the Dryad's life as means of revenge or the Dryad made a pact with Chutulutu to spare her life. That or she isn't actually the last Dryad, and the other survivors were just hiding.
actually many other dryads survived, our dryad just had the greatest willpower, while many others went insane (hence nymphs) our dryad was stirred and revived when a Cthulu spawn boss is slain, this also is why more dryads can come because they are stirred from there place in nature to help knowing that at leat one of there kind is crucial, clearly its a long process of re growing kindness and changing from nymph to dryad, this also displays how far under they are because after being killed the dryad takes the longest to come back. lastly it also explains the dryads departure in the credits as clearly her role in terraria salvation is complete.

it overall important to think of the last drayds as not only the dryad NPC but the nymph, lost girl, enemies. cuthulu was weakened by the drayd in fact according to the witch doctor, and guide quotes she was the cuthulu wars overall MVP.
 
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