A firewisp is a magnificent beetle with a large gleaming faceted yellow/orange jewel in the center of its abdomen. A typical specimen is 10 cm long with a 15 cm wingspan. This jewel like abdomen is visible when the insect's shell opens and the wings are deployed. The jewel glows in the dark while the insect is alive. When the beetle lands, the wings and shell folds over the jewel, covering it. The firewisp is named for the flickering orange-yellow color of the abdomen jewel.
The firewisp has a distinctive sound when it flies and it can be identified by its sound alone.
The firewisp is not particularly dangerous. The insect is quite agile in the air and difficult to catch. This insect does have a mildly poisonous sting which can make a man nauseous for a day or more. The beetle can use the sting several times each day.
The firewisp is found throughout eastern Qeshir including Secambru, the Aswanar Wildlands, the Sea of Ash and the Fire Isles. During particularly warm summers, a few specimens make their way to Eshtar.
The firewisp is often captured and killed for the magnificent jewel in its abdomen. This jewel is not actually a gemstone. Rather, it is hardened resin secreted by the insect. If the insect is killed, the jewel can be plucked from the abdomen and cleaned off. The hardened resin can be cut and polished much like a real gemstone. This magnificent "gem" is a translucent yellow orange color.
Cirilite fire rubies, as they are called, are greatly valued. These precious stones are collected by the secambru, the aswanar and the alakubu of the Fire Isles and traded to other realms. The Aukarians particularly favor these gems and many Aukarian noble women find them quite fashionable.
This website was last updated September 26, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.