“I once loved a man who had eyes like jewels, and tresses like the sun, and lips like a flower. He claimed to have been born within a crag at the peak of the mountain near my village, but I did not believe him, for how could anything so delicate be born from hard, pitted rock?” —Tessela, witch of the western steppes
Nymphs are fey spirits that manifest from the beauty of the elemental forces of creation. There are many kinds of nymphs—dryads of the forests, naiads of the rivers, oreads of the mountains, aurae of the night sky, and nereids of the sea. They have walked the earth for millennia, ever since the Great Mother awakened them from the trees, waters, rocks, and breezes.
Nymphs are most at home in nature, but they have been known to disguise themselves and live amongst mortals, for they are desperately curious about the civilized world. In spite of this, they often have a difficult time comprehending the day-to-day struggle of civilized existence. Their charms are such that they may inadvertently seduce and domesticate mortal ‘pets’ who see to their every need, leaving them somewhat puzzled by the ugliness and hardship that seems to pervade cities.
Legend of the Nymphs
There was once a river running through the mountains. None can say which river or which mountains, for this was so long ago that the land has rolled and shifted so as to become unrecognizable in the time since. The mountains were blanketed in a soft powder of white snow, and as the snow melted, it crept along the ground and joined together into streams of water, which trickled along the rocks and formed a river.
And the river coursed down through a forest, emptying into the ocean. So it went for eons. But then one day, the snow on the mountains had a thought. “Am I alike to the water in the streams?” And so also did the water in the river begin to wonder, “Am I alike to the roots of the trees?” They were curious, but it seemed that they would never know the answer, for just as the snow went to inspect the streams, it became the water, and just as the water went to inspect the trees, it became the roots. And so it went for eons. Eventually, the Great Mother herself became aware of these questions. Holding the world in her embrace, she felt the curiosity of the elements rippling and vibrating across its surface, anxious for answers. And so, she loosened her grip—just slightly. The rippling thoughts of the snow and the waters and the rocks and the trees took shape, and their shapes were beautiful, for they were curiosity made manifest. These were the first nymphs. Beautiful and Diverse Nymphs are famed for their feminine charms, but they are not exclusively female. Some are awakened from the elements with a mix of masculine and feminine features, and others are quintessential specimens of male splendor.
As fey creatures, nymphs like little less than to be nailed down by the crude shackles of mortal language. They come in as many shapes and forms as the earth itself. The only physical trait that all of them have in common is an awe-inspiring beauty. Curious and Possessive Nymphs have an insatiable desire to learn as much as possible about both the natural and the civilized world.
Because most have had eons to discover the splendor of nature, it is the civilized world that interests them the most. However, they are not usually very accustomed to mortal culture, and so they may think of men and women as interesting baubles to be collected and admired. Even civilized nymphs tend to cherish their friends and acquaintances as ‘pets’ to be manicured and proudly exhibited. They are not above bragging about their collection—or fighting with one another over their favorites.
Nymphs have names that sound beautiful and elemental.
Male Names: Celano, Elion, Eratheis, Hyllis, Limnade, Linos, Myrmex, Olbia, Pega, Potameid, Pyron, Taygete Female Names: Aegle, Alcyone, Arethusa, Asterope, Brettia, Brisa, Calybe, Crinae, Crimisa, Dodone, Electra, Erythia, Hesperia, Himalia, Oeneis, Laodice, Maia, Merope, Polydora, Rhene, Semestra
Nymphs have the following traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Nymphs are born cocooned within some feature of their associated element. For example, dryads are usually born within trees, and nereids may be born within giant clamshells. Young nymphs sleep in their cocoon for up to one hundred years before emerging, fully mature. They can live for as long as one thousand years, although many choose to return to the elements once their curiosity about the world has been satisfied.
Alignment. Nymphs tend toward chaotic alignments. They understand the concepts of good and evil, but they tend to select one or the other based on impulse rather than any deep-seated conviction. Nymphs tend to make a game out of performing acts that characterize their chosen alignment, rather than pausing for serious introspection. Size. Nymphs are the same size as humans, but their builds typically reflect a life of leisure. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.
Enthralling Beauty. You possess unearthly grace and beauty, which allows you to dazzle and charm those who are susceptible to such things. You have proficiency in the Persuasion skill. Additionally, you can cast the charm person spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Nymph Ancestry. When you create your nymph, choose one of the following subraces: Aurae, Dryad, Naiad, Nereid, or Oread. You gain access to special traits and magic depending upon your ancestry.