|Official Name||Dragonet Appletree|
|Common Name||Egbert Tree|
|Origins||Northern areas of Anglia|
|Habitat||Taiga to temperate|
The Dragonet Appletree is a well known plant that can be found growing in the northern areas of the Regalian Archipelago, most commonly in Anglia. It was originally a wild, uncultivated tree thought to be brought into civilization by a noble family torn apart over a feud. The apples from the tree itself are small, sour fruits with orange skin, and are often utilized in pastries or as the key ingredient in local cider. Since becoming domesticated, the tree has expanded in popularity, location and use to different fruit-related dishes and areas like Essalonia.
The Dragonet Appletree was likely not cultivated until recently in Alorian history. The Anglian Culture that would tame the plant originally kept close to their arable plains and floodlands, while shunning the coastline or more open spaces to avoid the ire of the Altalar. However, population growth ultimately required expansion and the Ailor began reaching into the colder northern reaches of their lands. It was here that the Dragonet Appletree was found, with its tale inextricably tied to a minor noble family known as the Egberts. When leading an effort to settle a northern and wooded land grant given to them by House Kade, the Egberts discovered a cold-resistant variety of wild apple tree that bore tiny sour-tasting fruits. They soon sought to cultivate it for their own profit which proved successful. The local urban legends say that, by 5 AC, the family (which was ruled by twin brother patriarchs) fell out and divided their land. The younger one, Alfred, was the first to succeed, but the eldest, Oswald, stole and grafted branches from the trees of his brother onto his own. In revenge for this, Alfred slew his brother and his cronies, thus restoring him as the patriarch. While the possible truth of these events is muddied by over two centuries of tale telling and a lack of sophisticated local record keeping of that period, it is known that this feud resulted in the domestication and widespread cultivation of the Dragonet Appletree.
During the era following the formation of the Regalian Empire, and the fall of the raiding of the Altalar, a new group came to take up the threatening mantle: the Velheim. While originally less aggressive, and more exploratory, they eventually began to raid Anglia as the Skagger Horde firmly established itself. The Velheim came to enjoy the Dragonet Apples and ultimately transplanted them across the still recovering Velheim trade networks, which resulted in their arrival in Essalonia decades before the Regalian Empire began its colonization there. Back in Anglia, the fortification of coastal towns and the formation of the Regalian Navy forced the Velheim back, ultimately resulting in trade being the only way they can get ahold of the fruit and its byproducts nowadays. In more recent years, with the foundation of the New Ceardian Colonies, Dragonet Appletrees planted there by Anglian colonists helped lay the groundwork for small orchards in that region, allowing for some early economic development. Dragonet Appletrees still grow strong in the northern fields of Anglia and the cleared forests of Essalonia. In The North Belt, the trees never quite adapted properly, though perhaps one day, Dragonet Apple Trees may yet thrive. However, it is undeniable that many in the northern regions are still fond of the tree's produce.
Dragonet Appletrees appear similar to other varieties of apple tree, often reaching between twenty-five and thirty-five feet tall, with a thin trunk that’s only one foot wide. The tree has brown, simple bark and light green ovular leaves, though they most densely populate the branches lowest to the ground. The tree has unique roots that are adapted toward taiga and other similar cold terrains and can capably absorb, conserve and use all the moisture the tree gathers from the frozen earth. These trees sprout beautiful white and orange blossoms that cover the majority of the tree’s branches during the spring, from which Dragonet Apples emerge. Dragonet Apples are a very distinct fruit known for their bright orange dimpled surface and smaller size, often less than two inches in diameter. When eaten raw, the Apple has a light sour taste with a tough rind, though the flavor profile is most generously called tart by those familiar with consuming the Dragonet Apple.
Uses and Abilities
Dragonet Apples, produced from Dragonet Appletrees, can be used in a variety of goods including pies, pastries, juice, syrup, but by far the most popular product of the fruit are various ciders. The higher the level of alcohol in the beverage, the sharper the sour taste of the drink, a flavor which many find great paired with sugary dishes.
- To further add confusion on the apple’s origin, there is a version of the story that states no brothers died, and yet another that makes no mention of the brothers and instead claims that the Union of Earth provided the trees to the natives when they reached a certain location.
- The Egbert family was eventually absorbed into House Kade, leading many of the largest Dragonet Apple plantations to fall under the Kade’s rule.