Mok (Plant)

Mok is a sugary staple grain traditionally consumed by the inhabitants of the Upperland. It was domesticated over thousands of years from a hardy field grass common to the region. The fruit of the grass grows in strips along its length, and this is what is harvested (typically by hand) and eaten. It can be eaten raw, but much of its nutritional value is inaccessible unless sprouted, cooked, or fermented.

Because of the grain’s versatility and long shelf life when dried, it is a popular food with both Upperlanders and Outerlanders, and is commonly exported from the Upperland into the desert. Due to its reliance on certain features of the Northern climate, mok can only be grown on an industrial scale in the Upperland and some limited parts of the Northern Middleland.

As food, Middlelanders have a more distant relationship to the plant, as they rely on a completely different staple, almost to the exclusion of all other foods. Most Middlelanders know mok as an ingredient used to make sweets, though the grain’s sugary flavor is often tempered with sour fruit in order to suit Middlelander tastes. (Middlelanders typically find raw mok to be disgustingly sweet.) While mok is edible to people of all ethnicities on The Continent, Middlelanders who overindulge in mok may develop tooth decay or digestive problems in extreme cases.

Besides its role as a food source, mok is also commonly fermented into alcohol. This makes it an invaluable resource in the continued industrialization of the Middleland culture, which requires massive amounts of ethanol to drive its technology.