Species: Golden Aculeus
Birthday: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Aculeusi are industrious little insects, as soon as they are born to the day that they die. Once one of these insects has grown into adulthood, its task is mainly to find pollen. When pollen has been located, the insect then communicates the information through an elaborate dance. While The Keep's aculeusi caretakers know these signs well, and know how to care for these companions, the rest of the castle is generally pretty clueless. Those interested can learn easily enough, as the aculeusi caretakers are more than happy to teach those who wish to know. It is also interesting that even once full grown, no female aculeus will bear young. The only female in the hive that reproduces is the queen. The queen is hidden away from sight, and is no human's companion. Even the aculeus caretakers may never see the queen. It is important to realize that while a aculeus may be a companion, its first priority is its hive. Though adult aculeus rarely spend time with their magi, they are well loved and respected throughout the castle. The magi take care of these interesting insects very carefully, and make sure that they survive the colder seasons well. A aculeus, if it does not encounter any dangers, will live up to five years, much longer than wild aculeusi. These companions are also three times the size of regular aculeusi, making them easy to spot. Male aculeusi are colored in brilliant orange and black stripes, warning all other creatures to stay away. The females are very pale, and make an enchanting sight.
Aculeusi are renowned for the sweet golden honey they produce. Unlike that of other aculeusi, this honey is imbued with healing properities, and those who consume it heal faster and rarely become ill. One of the castle's many aculeusi caretakers likes to tell a tale of an ancient queen who used to eat this honey with every meal, and even bath in it. The woman was terrified of growing old, and tried desperately to remain young. She used vast quantities of the honey in a veign attempt to become immortal. Although the beautiful woman commanded many warlocks to create a potion for her to escape death, she could not halt the march of time. No death defying potion has ever been brewed, but this honey does help heal broken bones, and cure many illnesses. Naturally, this makes it rather valuable and expensive. The Keep often sells it to far away customers, and uses the money to pay for what food is needed from nearby villages. Wax is also collected from the hives, as the aculeusi produce superior wax that weatherproofs wood and lasts for many years. The aculeusi seem not to mind any of this; indeed, they are very content with their lives in The Keep. There are quite a few magi who find these companions fascinating, and it is these scholars who care for them. Though a magi can have only one of these insects as their companion, aculeusi live in groups, and become despondent without the company of others. There can be anywhere from ten to fifty thousand aculeusi living in a single hive, centered around their queen. These aculeusi leave every day to collect the pollen from hundreds of flowers, then return to the hive. The most affection their human companions will ever experience is when their aculeus buzzes around their head for a while, before resuming its work.