|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Lavis is grown on hillsides across Roshar.
Lavis fields are typically planted in the seasons following the Weeping, when the highstorms are weaker. A mixture of lavis seeds and stumpweight sap is spread across the hillsides. As the dark brown polyps begin to grow, they have to be wormed. Farmers must carefully go over each polyp searching for worm burrows. The worms like sugar, so they can be removed by inserting a reed tipped with sugar into the burrow and pulling it out when the worm latches on. Once the worm is removed, the polyp can be patched with crem. Each field can take weeks to check and it is important to check repeatedly for worms since any worm that is missed results in the loss of the entire polyp. The crop can be fertilized during the worming process.
Mature lavis polyps are filled with grains suspended in a sandy material. They are broken open, and the grain is separated from the grit and typically dried for storage.
There are different strains of lavis. The variety grown in Hearthstone has polyps that grow larger than a man's head and mature in about four months. There are smaller, heartier strains that can thrive in regions where the highstorms are stronger. It is also grown around the warcamps on the Shattered Plains. After the coalition sets up headquarters in Urithiru, Dalinar initiates large-scale farming on the Shattered Plains. This is part of the reason why he agrees to fetch the residents of Hearthstone, as many of them are farmers.
When the Highstorm stops happening, the farmers of Tashikk start planting lavis, tallew and clema during their rest period. Kaladin also comments on this when he first travels back to Hearthstone.
Hatham's farmers fail to cultivate lavis in Urithiru, presumably either until Rlain shows them how the Parshendi combine Stormlight, a certain rhythm, and lifespren to sustain rockbuds on Stormlight or until the Sibling activates the tower.
Lavis is a staple food source and is prepared in many ways. A common version of chouta is stuffed with flangria that has been mixed with ground lavis, formed into small balls, and then battered and fried. By itself, lavis can also be made into kuma by crushing it together with spices. It can be steamed as a side to broths or curries. It can be made into a ration bar by mixing it with sugar, which holds the bar together. It can also be fermented into lavis ale or distilled into honu, a hard liquor.
Lavis grain is the basis of the economy in many small towns like Hearthstone. Sebarial considers it a lucrative enough crop to include as an important part of the economy he builds in his warcamp on the Shattered Plains. The Akanny region of Sadeas princedom in which Hearthstone lies is especially fertile for growing both lavis and tallew, potentially feeding half of Alethkar with their yield.
Lavis grain typically goes through several merchant middle-men on its way from the farming communities to the cities. By the time people buy it in the city, it usually costs four to five times as much as the farmers sell it for. It is handed out as a ration in Kholinar when the Parshendi besiege the city.
Ships often take barrels of lavis onboard to feed the crew; occasionally a barrel will have dormant larvae in them, rendering the lavis inedible to humans when the worms mature. The Hexi nomads, however, prize just such worm-ridden grain and are eager to buy it.
Armies also sustain themselves largely on Soulcast food, including lavis grain, when they have the advantage of access to Soulcasters. It is difficult to Soulcast things into true lavis with individual grains; less advanced Soulcasters typically can only create a block of hardened lavis pulp which can then be chipped off and cooked into a mush.
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