Position: Countess of Marchwood
Group: The Hunters
Barony: Sherburn
County: Marchwood
Duchy: Winchester
Race: Dryad

A leading light of the infamous Harts brothel, Lady Straif, Countess of Marchwood until her death, was noted for both her beauty and her love of ponies.

A dryad, she was married to Jac, Lord Provost, until his death in 1105. She was later married to Tangle, a wild fae in the Dragons and King in his own province. Lady Straif’s delight at becoming a Queen was evident to all who encountered her. She was murdered at York in 1106 by agents of the now infamous ritual team headed by Aldeyork.

Burke’s Peerage, 1106

Dearest Thenni

It’s taken me a long while to reply to your letter. I am struggling slightly with my letters these days, too much late night reading of accounts and delivery notices by candle-light I shouldn’t wonder. I have a moment or two now, however, to answer your questions.

You asked if I knew much of wild fae. To my knowledge, they are an alarming people, but Tangle is the only one that I have met. Of course, having spent so much time with Finn and Jac, nothing of the fae surprises me. Tangle himself lives in a bog in Erin and only tolerates humans. You must get him to tell you the story of the human whose life he saved once …

As for Dryads, it seems from my meeting with other Dryads from around Erdreja that we understand ourselves to be different things. Lady Ash of the Gryphons believes herself to be fae. I was always brought up to believe that we are not as old as the Elder Races, that we are a race apart. We are not encouraged to move beyond the wood or forest where we grow, so a Dryad in the towns and cities is an unusual occurrence. You will not find more Dryads than fae at any social gathering unless it be in a wood! My reason for leaving my wood was pure curiosity, as well as an invitation from a certain Finn Dracha to attend the Heartland Games 5 years ago. My father, Duin, was most alarmed at me leaving the wood in Cornwall , and very upset indeed when I decided to move my tree to the Greenwood . But over time he has accepted that not all Dryads are content with remaining in the shadowed protection of their first home. There are, actually, some Dryads who are never able to leave their tree – we call them Hamadryads. They seem to reside at the edges of a wood, from where they call out to us if danger approaches. Some time, when we have a moment, I must tell you the story of the birth of the Dryads, if it is not a story that you have heard before.

With much love and regard


Letter from Straif to Thenni, speaking about herself and her origins
Summer 1106