|Felaryan fauna - Felaryan flora - Races - Characters - Locations - History and Lore - Science and Magic - Culture and Customs|
Miaxi are a race of half bee, half woman creatures, mostly found in Chidokai forest, and other jungle zones. They average 7 to 9 feet in height and stand on six insect-like legs, that protrude from a bee-like lower torso. Wings grow from their shoulder blades, and their very big compound eyes and specialized antennae help them in their agricultural needs. The rest of their facial features is mostly human. The bee half of a Miaxi is identical to the original insects: a large yellow abdomen and thorax covered in fuzzy hair and wrapped by several black stripes. The end of their abdomen holds their stinger, a sharp black barb that they can use to impale targets and inject venom.
A peaceful race, Miaxi are mostly farmers, devoting most of their time keeping the hive in good condition. those "farms" are found in titanic hives, the mass of a moderately sized Felaryan tree. They vary widely in appearance, often using a base such as a hollowed tree or a large cave as a support, but are sometimes built entirely from scratch. The main building material is Miaxi wax, a special filmy substance secreted by the miaxi which hardens into a firm and pale coating. Layers of this wax are built on top of each other to form the huge structure of the hive.
The hive is made up of two shells: the outer and the inner. The outer shell is very empty and leads outside the hive. It's pierced by many holes leading to various places deeper inside. Here there are many platforms for miaxi to rest or stand watch. Sometimes walkways are built here as well, in case the hive receive flightless visitors. Many of the hive’s primary farms are located here, the many large holes allowing sunlight and starlight in to give the crops the energy to grow. The inner hive is much different, the wide open space of the outer shell making way for winding passageways and chambers. The only open space here is at the very center where a large circular shaft leads from the very bottom of the hive all the way up to the Queen’s personal chamber at the top. The inner hive is further divided into layers, each one holding a particular type of quarter. At the very base of the hive are the farms, large patches of soil filled with crops grown to satisfy the hunger of the miaxi swarm. The next level contains storage chambers, generally secluded rooms where food items and other materials are kept until needed. These places are off limits to anyone save the workers and guards. Above the storage are the nurseries, large chambers insulated with wax and loam to keep heat in. Here eggs are sealed inside honeycombs to grow into adult miaxi, only opened for feeding and when the miaxi inside reaches maturity. The next three levels are housing and make up the bulk of the interior structure. They are long hallways curving around the inside of the hive with countless of small rooms lining the sides, each room little more then a box with a bed inside, where each Miaxa has her own private quarters. The last level up is the Queen’s chamber which sits at the very top of the hive. This room is massive and holds a huge bed for the Queen and many small storage spaces for food and eggs. There are several tubes leading out of this chamber where workers carry eggs down into the nursery levels. The inside of the hive is usually lit by a variety of luminescent plants, giving off a slight glowing warm light and a cozy feel.
Miaxi are omnivores, eating both plants and animals. The bulk of their diet is constituted of the various crops they grow in their hive. Being slightly larger then a human, most miaxi are only able to prey on animals they can fit in their mouth and swallow : small rodents, bugs, and the occasional tiny, if they happen to catch one. As miaxi can fly, small birds are also on the menu, although miaxi dislike the feathers and are unlikely to eat them given the choice. The only miaxi to eat humanoids is the queen herself. Towering at a range of 80 to 110 feet in height, her primary function is coordinating the hive and producing offspring. As such, she requires far more food than her workers. Her massive size allows her to ingest and digest much more verity in prey and her favorite food are usually Humans and nekos. She is very voracious, so anyone brought into her chamber has no hope of escape whatsoever. When the queen is hungry, it's best to avoid the hive and all miaxi as much as possible so that you aren’t selected to be a meal. There are some exceptions of course, and the Miaxi Queen of Threnos island has developed a taste for fish instead of humans, allowing an harmonious relation between the two species.
It's worth noting that Miaxi honey is extremely sought after by other species. While it's primarily used to feed the larvae, the taste of this golden nectar is so sweet that some hives have begun to use it as a currency with other races, in exchange for peace or certain pieces of land. Of course, this honey is very difficult to obtain other than by being a friend or trade partner of the hive, although occasionally an individual miaxa may sneak out small samples for a personal friend's enjoyment. Many large predators have met their deaths trying to obtain it by force and, although miaxi often die shortly after delivering a sting, no more than two dozen individuals out of potentially hundreds are needed to bring down a giant naga.
A very social species, Miaxi are linked to each others by strong psychic, almost telepathic bonds. This is thanks in no small part to their Queen who, through pheromones and sub-psychic abilities, links all the members of the hive together. The entire hive feels some degree of the emotions of the queen, not unlike the dryad Cypress in the Jungle Bowl. When the queen is happy, the mood of the hive is cheerful, when she's ornery, the hive becomes bitter as well, and when she's hungry, the workers immediately know that it's time to round up more food. With her psychic link, the Queen is not only able to influence the mood of an individual miaxi but also plant subconscious orders if the need arises. Thanks to this link, it's extremely easy for a miaxi to tell what another is feeling in seconds. This hive mind of sorts also keeps the personalities pretty identical and homogeneous. Miaxi leaving the nest often and meeting with others races are the ones who develop their own identity. For a Miaxi, surviving without this link is very hard, though. Social order within the hive is almost absolute, maintained thanks to the caste system. Each miaxi is assigned a rank within the hive and spends their life performing the duties it entails. There are foragers, farmers, nurses, guards, honey-makers, royal servants, and even miaxi specialized in dealing with other races. A miaxi being changed to another rank is very rare and only the result of extreme circumstances, usually a severe injury.
Besides their link, the second method that Miaxi communicate with is smell. All miaxi are capable of producing various types of pheromones from their bodies, each with a different meaning. There is a pheromone for danger, hunger, sickness, every emotion possible, and one for each rank in the hive. Using these pheromones miaxi can identify the condition and rank of any of her sisters without needing to verbally interact. It makes the hive an extremely efficient machine, as miaxi can complete tasks without having to stop and converse using speech. There is also no confusion about ranks as individuals can be identified in an instant. Speech is used more rarely, mainly used for asking and responding to questions that cannot be immediately answered with smell. If a miaxi doesn’t smell right or seems to be in a place she shouldn’t, they would be questioned verbally. Each rank uses speech in different magnitudes as well, a place as busy as the nursery would need speech much more to identify problems and request assistance then a farmer simply harvesting plants.
One remarkable trait of Miaxi is they don't rely on individual names to identify each other. With the rank system and pheromones, there is little need to assign each member of the hive their own personal title, as it would simply decrease efficiency. In the place of names, Miaxi identify each other by rank: a nurse would be called “Nurse,” a guard would be called “Guard,” and so forth. In situations where a single miaxi needs to be singled out from a group, such as in a nursery, the physical characteristics of the miaxi in question are used for identification. This lack of names does not mean that no miaxi ever has one; it is just an unnecessary and foreign concept. Some miaxi that leave the hive and interact with other species come to learn the concept of names and to earn one themselves. A name is a strange thing for a Miaxa. Some consider it an honor, some an aberration. These “named” miaxi are then likely to nickname their sisters in return. If enough Miaxi accept names for themselves, it is possible for an entire hive to acquire names, making them much more like a city then a rank-based hive mind. This doesn’t happen very often however, as Miaxi that develop too much individuality might lose their psychic link with the Queen, making the whole Hive descend into chaos.
When engaged in combat, most miaxi will have a difficult time fighting alone, and while their size gives them the advantage over humans, giant predators are just as deadly to them as they are to the other prey races. The main defense of a miaxa is her venom tipped stinger, a large barb able to discharge instantly a powerful toxin. Against human-sized targets the sting is fatal, but larger creatures are less affected by it. When a miaxa uses her stinger on a small creature, it will likely not be a problem for her as it would not detach. On larger creatures with thick skin such as giant races, the barbed stinger would catch tightly, then detach painfully. This is extremely traumatic to a miaxa. Left untreated they very well may die, and plenty don't even seek treatment. This is because they cannot regrow their stinger, so they would likely have to relinquish their duty of protecting the hive to take up another position, such as farming, gathering, scouting or diplomacy. The prospect of losing their place in the warrior caste is considered humiliating to most miaxi warriors: they would rather die bravely in battle than retire to a "less important" position. There can be a bit of disparity between the warrior caste and ex-warriors; the latter would rather like to consider themselves veterans since they have already risked their lives in battle.
Some miaxi have even developed a type of equipment called a stingsheath worn on their insect half, which is mostly used by miaxi that have lost their stinger. It is crafted from an insect exoskeleton, for example that of a tonorion. Some miaxi who haven't lost their stingers wear a stingsheath so theirs cannot become detached, but it is rather difficult for a miaxa to remove one herself. Most would not want to be unprepared to give their lives to finish off an enemy as soon as possible if the hive was threatened, so stingsheaths are looked on as “dishonorable” by some in the warrior caste. Those wearing stingsheaths will find that they are not wanted for major attacks, which require venom to dispose of enemies as quickly as possible.
Miaxi rely heavily on swarm tactics, a dozen or more diving in to attack a single target. Despite their size a giant predator like a naga can be fatally poisoned by little over a dozen stings. This makes attacking a hive a very unwise decision, as the attacker would face potentially hundreds of furious miaxi. In addition to this, a wounded or dying miaxa produce a pheromone that sends any miaxi in the vicinity into a battle frenzy, the more miaxi you defeat, the more are alerted to the danger you pose. Moreover, some guard breed are specifically born and raised to be fierce defenders of the hive and its Queen. These miaxi have chitinous plating on their bodies and reinforced stingers to lessen the dangers of delivering its venom. Most guard miaxi also carry a simple spear of some kind to increase their range or as a throwing weapon, the tip coated with their venom for extra potency. Only the strongest and most loyal guard miaxi are selected to become the Queen’s royal guard.
- credits to Melancholy-Melody13 and Gregole for the base idea of Miaxi, and to Racemaster and Fish for expanding the species.