Wasp, Bytopian
Wasp, Bytopian

Wasp, Bytopian

Bytopian Wasp

DIET:Low (5-7)
TREASURE:Lawful Neutral (Good)
MOVEMENT:6, Fly 24 (B)
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1d8 / 1d6 (see below)
SPECIAL ATTACKS:Paralysing, wounding, grab
SIZE:L (10′ long, 18′ wingspan)
MORALE:Steady (11-12)
XP VALUE:2,000
AD&D 2e statistics

You can’t throw a mephit forty paces without hitting some industrious worker in Bytopia, berk! An not all of em have two legs, (and I ain’t talking about bariaur). Take the giant wasps over there buzzing about those gnomes. In exchange for some honey-sweet cider, the Bytopian Wasps gladly ferry bloods and goods from Dothion to Shurrock and back. Sure, nobody can speak Wasp, but there’s an understanding between the gnome petitioners of Bytopia and the Wasps. Nobody’s quite sure if the wasps are petitioners as well, but well leave it up to the Guvners to ask such things. Now, why don’t you pick up that shovel and give me a hand here, how do you expect to get any work done by mid morning?

— Durham McLaerty, a dwarf merchant of Yeoman

The Bytopian Wasp looks just like any prime wasp — except that it is almost ten feet long and is always found in pairs. Its formidable size also allows it to carry up to 200 lbs in weight, usually a gnome rider and/or goods. A barbed stinger can be seen flicking in and out of its abdomen, and its mandibles may click and chatter with intelligence. Bytopian wasps are usually coloured in combinations of black, orange, red and yellow. Their huge, multifaceted eyes scintillate with sagacity.

COMBAT: If angered, a Bytopian wasp may attack with both its mandibles and stinger in the same round. The mandibles will deliver 1d8 points of damage, and the victim must make a save vs. poison or be affected by the anti-coagulating saliva of the wasp’s bite. If the save is unsuccessful the saliva injected into the bite wound will cause an additional point of bleeding damage each round until the victim is unconscious.

The stinger does 1d6 points of damage, and the victim must save vs. poison or become paralysed for 2d12 hours. The wasp is also smart enough to grab a berk (after a successful attack roll) and fly 20 to 200 feet in the air and simply drop them from such heights, causing the usual 1d6 points of damage per ten feet fallen.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Bytopian wasps are always found in pairs, whether it a breeding pair or siblings. They become lethargic and depressed if away from their partner, and a rider is only a feeble substitute for one of its own kind.

Bytopian wasps construct chambered nests of a hard, woody substance that is formed from masticated wood particles. The same elements in their saliva that softens wood also thins the blood of unlucky bite victims. The wasps chew up dead wood, store it in a chamber in their thorax, and later regurgitate it to form geometric chambers that become their homes and brood cells.

In Bytopia, the wasps cooperate with gnomes in construction projects — usually in exchange for gnomish honey, mead, cider or sweet treats. Their special woody substance is incredibly useful in building projects, and the clever gnomes of Bytopia have learned to construct intricate buildings which would be impossible to create with mundane materials. The wasps also serve as gnomish mounts in defence of Bytopia, and fight fiercely in the name of their home plane. Wasp nests may be found hanging from trees right next to gnomish villages.

The wasps not only enjoy gnomish sweet treats, but have a penchant for gems and other shiny objects. Thus, gems, glittering ore nuggets and even Bytopian works of art may be found in their living chambers as treasures.

ECOLOGY: Bytopian wasps must lay their two eggs inside the paralysed body of some offender to Bytopia, usually a fiend or some evil berk who thought he could give the locals the laugh. The adult wasps keep the victim paralysed as the larvae mature over the course of 6 months. When the victim is consumed from within and dies, the larvae then form cocoons and mature inside the case for one month. After that period, two juvenile Bytopian wasps emerge from their cocoons to seek industrious employment as soon as possible.

CURRENT CHANT: Guvners believe that the Bytopian wasps are the petitioners of those twins, lovers, siblings, or friends who died together working for a benevolent common cause.

Source: Jim Barrett, art inspired by Zak Arntson

One comment

  1. George

    Finally, a fantasy wasp that is portrayed in a positive light. And it fits Bytopia really well, considering how many wasps are builders, yet they aren’t all as “lawful” as bees or ants.

    >Guvners believe that the Bytopian wasps are the petitioners of those twins, lovers, siblings, or friends who died together working for a common cause.

    One would think these guys could be connected to the Hellwasps/Advespa

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