Frozen Male Hatchling
Species: Golden Aculeus
Birthday: Thursday, October 27, 2011
A honeycomb that contains an unborn aculeus must be placed inside one of the many hives on the last day of October, to be cared for by other aculeusi. It is then that these insects come to life; before this night, they are nothing more than candy. Once in a hive, these hatchlings require no attention from their magi, as their hive will care for their every need. A magi may not see their aculeus companion again until it is an adult, by which time the insect will be very busy. Aculeusi are almost constantly at work, with the exception of the hatchlings. When they first hatch, these little insects are called larvae, and spend all their time sleeping and growing. They will not have wings for a few more weeks, and during this time are cared for by the adult aculeusi. Once these hatchlings are old enough, they begin caring for eggs, and start collecting pollen. Unlike normal wild aculeusi, these hatchlings will grow roughly to the size of a finger, and only a foolish creature would attempt to attack them. Even a young aculeus can sting.
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.