The characters are wasps from the devastated nest of Ys’drktha. The other survivors from the cataclysm are being held and tortured in the pits of the neighbouring Ak’thaan nest, being slowly dismembered and eaten by drone wasps or fed to the writhing masses of larvae.
Certain trees have sap that is filled with magical potential. Their sap is harvested and distilled down to produce various types of potions, much like maple syrup is collected in some areas. The magical effects of these syrupy potions are often fairly trivial; perhaps they simply cause the imbiber to grow hair more quickly, summon butterflies, or walk a few inches above the floor. People enjoy the syrup as a flavoring, instead of imbibing it for its magical powers.