|Common Name||Burstberry, Airfruit|
|Habitat||Cool, wet regions|
Exclusive to the Regalian Archipelago, the Popberry is a curious fruit used primarily for practical jokes, crimes, and celebrations. The plant is a relatively recent discovery in comparison to other plants and was located by a survey team observing the wider Calem region. The Popberry possesses the ability to create powerful gusts of air, a trait that has since been frequently abused by criminals in large cities. Besides this, none have found any new uses for the berry and it remains a plant on the fringe of common knowledge.
Only having been just discovered in 252 AC, the Popberry’s first known encounter came from the journals of an exploratory group in the Regalian Archipelago, who came across the plant specifically around the mountainous regions of Calemberg and Hinter Calem. The texts detailed a stout tree containing oversized blueberries that, when consumed, made the group feel incredibly bloated and uncomfortable. Considering the berries useless, they reported the new fruit on their return to the Holy City, making Popberries popular for practical jokes, for a small period, once news spread of their existence and properties. Around thirty-one years later, the Popberry’s most popular use was born in the form of Luftkanone, an alchemical detriment that invokes a powerful blast of air from its container. Given the popular criminal uses of Luftkanone, which is often used for stunning or staggering opponents during a fight or when fleeing, the most prominent market of Popberries is within Regalia’s criminal underworld, and has been since Luftkanone’s creation, though the longest lasting market has been in events, like theatre, and parties, seeing uses for sound effects and party-poppers respectively.
The Popberry itself very closely resembles a blueberry, down to growing in dense clusters from the trees they grow on. One factor distinguishes the Popberry from the blueberry, however, is its size. Every Popberry is at least an inch in diameter, growing up to two inches maximum at the peak of its lifespan. Much like the blueberry, the top of the berry has a circular indent that, in the case of the Popberry, is the main exit area of the excess of air that Popberries contain, which can be released through simply poking a hole in the indentation, causing the berry to rapidly deflate. The interior of the berry is largely empty, with very little substance,—though, a fair number of pips are loosely contained inside, which scholars assume help the berry to spread its seeds when it bursts at the end of its lifespan, though this has never been observed.
The bush on which the Popberry grows on is very similar to a regular blueberry bush, with no real discerning factor besides the much larger berries that the Popberry bush yields.
Uses and Abilities
Cherished by alchemists for its air-burst property, the Popberry has a small number of effects besides those is most well-known for. One such effect is its ability to cause immense gastrointestinal distress once consumed, which can last up to 48 hours in severe cases, though only in large quantities. One berry is enough to cause a mild stomach ache, however. Oddly enough, the distress comes from the berry itself and not from the air released by it when consumed. Another one of its merits is the berry’s use in a wide range of practical jokes, nearly all of which are considered greatly immature due to the sound of air slowly escaping the Popberry.
When on top of powdered Fireweed in small containers, however, the brief bursts of air released by Popberries are greatly enhanced, creating a powerful gust of air that can stagger lightly armored men. This is the Popberry’s most effective use, which is harnessed by theatrical performers and criminals alike for the creation of startling, yet harmless bombs.
- The Popberry can only be cultivated in the Regalian Archipelago and warmer areas of Nordskag, requiring cooler conditions and high altitudes to thrive. For this reason, the Popberry Bush is considered to be one of the most difficult shrubs to grow in a greenhouse.
- No animals are known to actively consume Popberries, more than likely because of its less than desirable effects of bloating and distress, as well as lacking the substance that one might expect from a berry of its size.