Away past the morning amidst the cloud cover, The strangest of music sounds over and over. The words, set deep, in a low rumbling tune, Trembles your bones like the knocking of doom. Hear it and kneel. Say "praise unto thee" And you shall be blessed by the great Glory Bee.
Glory Bees are the size of men. They scout the skies in pairs or trios, looking for nectar in the clouds. When they find, there buzzing dance calls in more Glory Bees until their numbers set the clouds to humming. If there are enough of them, the sound carries down to the ground and is so strong, the humming echoes into ones very bones. For ages the humming from the clouds has been taken as an omen from the gods, and those who see the great Glory Bees flying in them consider it a blessing.
Humming From The Clouds
Glory Bees are like most bees but much, much bigger. They are also pure white and covered in shimmering white fur that, along with the heat of the sun, keeps them warm in the colder air found up in the clouds. Also like other bees, Glory Bees collect nectar for honey, but most flowers are too insignificant to bees of their size. This begs the question: where do they get their nectar?
What is a Glory Bee?
Long ago, there was the Hrokentorm Empire that once ruled the world from great cities upon the clouds. Little is known of them, other than that they were giants that suddenly vanished from the world. So did all their great cities. But, not all Hrokentorm lived in great cities. Some lived on cloud estates. Some of these estate exist even now, drifting along unseen upon their perpetual clouds though their former Hrokentorm citizens are long gone. On these estates grow papple trees. Huge, towering trees that bloom throughout the year. Only when they are pollinated by the Glory Bees do the flowers wither and die, their pale yellow petals falling away. When the flower is gone, a papple fruit begins to grow to the size of a pumpkin. This great fruit ripens to a greenish yellow and is like a very juicy apple with the mellow sweetness of a pear.
The Papple Trees
Chirkin, a race of bat-winged small folk barely three-feet tall, make daring flights into the clouds to harvest the papples. They risk being eaten by griffons for their perfect brandy fruit. It is from these Chirkin that most others know of the Glory Bees. As for the precious fruit, no one believes such great fruit exists. These great trees will only grow upon their cloud estates, making the daring harvests as perpetual as the Chirkins' love for papple brandy. Other folk, long used to the tall tales told by Chirkin, do not believe papple fruit is real. What people do believe in is the brandy the Chirkin make and that this "papple" is merely the Chirkin way of hiding the recipe. To further this belief, every papple brandy bottle a bee emblazoned upon it. This has sparked a drinking tradition where those who drink papple brandy praise its wonder with the best known toast in all the world, "Glory Bee!"
This is awesome! I like the play on words at the end, and how the bees are tied into the history and culture of the land. I'm wondering: "where do the bees live? Is there a massive beehive for glory bees?" Great work!
Thanx for the luv for this older article. I had so much fun writing it.
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Giant white bees! :O I love them! I love the poem/song at the beginning, too. The worldbuilding in the article is really fun. I want to read about papple trees now. :D
Thanx! .... ooo if there is a tree prompt in summer camp ...
The glory bees sound like an amazing species. I imagine some remote place where there are giant flowers where the glory bees come from.
Adazuri: A shonen-inspired magitech fantasy world home-brewed for 5e.
Only the bees know where they come from ... maybe lol