Popcorn Phoenix Species in Culinarypunk | World Anvil
Please forgive the mess while Culinarypunk undergoes an art update and article refresh!

Popcorn Phoenix

I once saw a beautiful popcorn phoenix fly overhead while traveling through Simmeroon once. There was a crackling cry and it rained popcorn on our party!
— 'Ma' Bonnie Appetit, Culinarian Explorer

Popcorn phoenixes are rare creatures only ever seen in the northern reaches of Simmeroon. Once believed to be fictional, they were rediscovered through a young child's stories of their 'imaginary' friend.
General Location: Simmeroon
Parent Species: Phoenix
Status: Endangered
Lifespan: Unknown
Average Size: 10-15ft long
Wingspan: Approx. 40ft

It's Raining Popcorn, Praise Maize!

popcorn phoenix

Anatomy of a Popcorn Phoenix

  The body of a popcorn phoenix has quite a few differences to that of a standard phoenix. Researches have attempted to detail out the specifics but a body has never been recovered due to their tendency to set aflame after death. The smell of burnt popcorn permeates the landscape for miles. Stray popcorn phoenix feathers have been discovered as far south as Lactasia but are frequently burned up in the inferno. The feathers are thought to bring good meals and an abundance of food for the owner.  
Cornvert Feathers
A collection of short feathers that offer coverage for the feathers below, each cornvert begins deep within a kernal on the upper ridge of the wing. When heated, these kernals explode into fresh popcorn that rains down upon those traveling below. Adventurers will sometimes come across fields covered in popcorn from a recent phoenix passing. These cornvert kernals can be deflated and used again every few days.
Butter Trails
A popcorn phoenix's feather are lightly coated in a slick, oily, butter-like substance. Many question the phoenix's ability to fly when covered in grease but the creatures have shown to be graceful in flight. When heated by heat or flame, the butter vaporizes into a pale smoke that leaves behind thick trails of buttered smoke, sometimes mistaken for messages from celestials.

The History of the Popcorn Phoenix

  Many believed phoenixes to be a thing of the past. Unseen for decades within Culinaria, phoenixes are considered critically endangered and in some cases extinct entirely. Conservation efforts have been made but these reclusive creatures are difficult to pin down or breed.   In the past, popcorn phoenixes were hunted for their endless nutritional resources. Popcorn produced is slightly sweeter than average popcorn and a bit more calorically dense, making it a fantastic source of renewable food. This was often exploited by both business-minded individuals and those with altruistic intentions. Unfortunately, this led to overhunting and the retreat of the phoenix into deeper mountains.   Nowadays, brave adventurers take the Spare Rib challenge for a chance sighting of a popcorn phoenix. The birds rarely travel out of the area unless their home has been threatened by man or nature. Their true numbers are a mystery but it is believed there are less than fifty popcorn phoenixes left.  

The Spare Ribs

An outcrop of jagged cliffs on the northern ridge of the Ribs of Simmeroon, the Spare Ribs are believed to be the birthplace of popcorn phoenixes. Those that make it to the Spare Ribs claim there is a faint odor of butter throughout the area.
the spare ribs

Taking on a Popcorn Phoenix

Killing a popcorn phoenix is no easy task. More hunters have died trying to take down a phoenix than have even seen a phoenix. Outside of their razor-sharp claws and gnawing beak, their massive size and ability to set themselves aflame make them incredibly dangerous foes.   When a phoenix is brought to 0 hit points in combat, they instinctively explode in a fiery blaze. Any creature within 60 feet must avoid the fireball or will take significant damage. At the center of the explosion will sit a large popcorn kernal that will hatch a tiny popcorn phoenix after a week's time.

The Last Blessing of Buttersfly

Rumors have spread that a shower of popcorn blesses the individual with great magical ability and foresight.   On the Northern edge of Simmeroon sat a collection of ragged farms and homesteads inhabited by the less fortunate Simmeroonians. Pens of malnourished pigs and chickens dotted the countryside. Yanis, a young farmer boy from the area, had been out tending to their livestock when a deep caw echoed through the sky.
  "What the grill is tha- whoa!" Nearly blinded by a bright eruption, Yanis threw a thin arm up to cover his eyes only to find himself covered in... popcorn? Shadowed by the popcorn, the boy hopped the fence and ran for the pig's shelter, ducking below the roof to cower. It rained popcorn for ten minutes until the pens were filled with the airy snack and Yanis was trapped within the shelter.   "M-Ma! Ma get out here! We're saved!" The pigs happily chomped away at the popcorn, slowly freeing Yanis from the buttery-scented prison. As soon as he was able to leap from the pen he made a sprint for their shack, shouting for his mother the entire way.   "If it's a lizard, keep it outside!" Yanis' mother shook a finger as the boy burst through their doors, "I don't want to see another gross, scaly-"   "Popcorn! It's popcorn! Ma, the pens are filled with popcorn!" Shaking out his shirt, popcorn fell to the broken wood floor. His mother stood in shock. Where had the child received such a gift? Yanis grabbed a potato sack from the kitchen before taking his mother's hand and dragging her out to the pens. "We're saved, Ma! There's enough here for the entire street!"   "I... I don't understand. Where did-?"   "From the SKY! This giant bird flew overhead and-"   "Oh, Yanis! We are saved! My son - blessed by a popcorn phoenix! We must get you to the King!" Yanis' mother rushed her son back toward the house. Within minutes the pair were dressed in their finest and on the back of a rather weak horse, trotting their way to the stone castle in the distance.  

Images created by Emily Armstrong using Wombo.Art.


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 29, 2022 21:05

This incarnation of a phoenix adds a unique twist to the traditional concept of the phoenix. It is a solid piece of worldbuilding and I look forward to seeing more.   Just a point of clarification: are the nutrients from a popcorn Phoenix also comparable to other vital vitamins and minerals that you might get from fruits and vegetables?

Dec 30, 2022 04:26 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you! This is such an awesome question and I had to step back and think about it for a bit! For a world based on food, I hadn't thought too much into the nutritional values of the creatures within! I think in regard to a popcorn phoenix, it would depend on the part you were consuming. If you were eating the popcorn, it would have the same nutritional content as that of standard popcorn with a little additional protein and a bit of a chicken aftertaste hahahah! I believe phoenix would taste much like chicken and provide heartier nutrition; perhaps more jam packed with protein. This was so fun to think about, thank you again for the question!!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Dec 30, 2022 13:10

Thanks for the clarification.   Your article had reminded me of a survival guide that had the nutritional components of a fish laid out in a map style image that highlighted where to find vitamins in which parts that are typically discarded.

Dec 30, 2022 13:34 by Emily Armstrong

That's so cool!! Ooo I may have to think of something along those lines for Culinarypunk, creature butchering guides for the local survivalists and butchers to follow, that would be so neat!

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Powered by World Anvil