Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Dread Hive

Bee queens may be sentient. This is demonstrated by the use of necromancy by some honeybee queens. Some maintain that the necromancy exhibited by some bee queens is merely a natural magical ability, and does not necessarily prove sentience. But most naturalists believe that the queens are sentient, and like all sentient life, can investigate things men (and bees) were not meant to know.

In a dread hive, all but the queen are undead. The queen no longer lays eggs, but dances rituals to raise the exoskeletons of dead insects. Her tireless workers haul in spell reagents and exoskeletons, and arrange themselves in complex patterns to amplify, always fueling the continuous expansion of the hive rituals.

Dread hives differ from living ones in one obvious way: they are too large. The workers collect natural spell reagents, which they purify into dread honey, a powerful spell reagent. The interior of the hive is laid out with geometric precision, in accordance with geomantic and numerological principles.

Where it comes from: Like all sentient beings, honeybee queens occasionally delve into forbbiden knowledge.

What it wants and needs: Dead insects. Their exoskeletons will be raised and join to the colony. The queen wears parts of insects as her armor, and can control them. Her colony incorporates the risen corpses of other insects; while most are still worker bees, everything from wasps to centipedes can be expected.

What it will fight for: They will fight other insects to kill them and incorporate their bodies. Otherwise, they fight only defensively.

What happens if you eat it: Dread honey is made from purified natural reagents. Eating it can awaken magical potential, cause prophetic dreams, or make for a bizarre death.

What can be crafted out it: Dread honey can be substituted for many other spell reagents, making it a very valuable substance. Candles made from dread wax reveal the presence of ghosts.