615 Age of Men, Farian Reckoning
In the early ages, the peoples living on Emergalv and Sejko would trade commodities such as items, grain, livestock and the promise of a daughter’s hand. With the influence of the Dryads, trade has taken a more abstract form with the use of money. It began with carved pieces of wood representing credit in specific locations, granted to specific people, but as people unified under lords, this form of currency soon evolved into stamped cylinders of clay, made by authorized artisans only and marked with the symbols of the lord validating the credit. As metalworking grew, the clay slabs gave way to stamped metal pucks. Being too heavy to carry in large numbers, the size of the pucks was reduced and evolved into practical, slimmer coins. To this day the peoples of Emergalv use coins of all forms to conduct commerce domestically and internationally.
In Farianvale the Gold piece is called the Pound. The silver piece is called a Dime. The small copper piece is called a Penny. The Farians use the following system: ten Pennies to a Dime, ten Dimes to a Pound, a hundred Pennies to a Pound. A special gold ingot is sometimes used in large purchases by nobles or for the purpose of storage. This ingot is worth a hundred Pounds, and is stamped with the seal of the owner. A peasant rarely sees let alone touches a single Pound in a year. Merchants have good chances of seeing several hundred Pounds in a year. The nobility controls the flow of currency in the kingdom, and therefore sees almost nothing but gold.
In Arhumlungd, no internal trade is done with money values. The Noerban believe in gifts rather than trade. Artisans all contribute their trade to the community, and have access to the products or services of other artisans in turn. The Noerban shun gold as an ugly metal and trade it to other nations, especially Shammish Manjiad, for silver, which they use in large quantities to craft jewelry and decorate weapons. Silver is also used extensively in Noerban folk remedies. They have found properties in this metal that helps them recover from wounds quickly and fortify their immune systems. Copper is left unmined, and very seldom used in trade with other countries, most often in the form of ore, not as processed coins.
In Shammish Manjiad, the Nagled use very small coins of gold called Drin in large numbers. Goldsmithing is a trade the Nagled have learned from desert giants in the early ages. Since they export all their silver to Arhumlungd, the only form of currency available to Nagled commoners and merchants is gold. Since the value of items ranges from simple things such as a pack of matches to a very complex waterclock, the range that a gold coin can cover must be very flexible. For this purpose, the Drin is a very small, very versatile currency, used by very rich and the very poor as well. For large purchases, rare instances of golden tablets the size of a grown man’s hand can be used in trade. Those have a negotiable value between 20 and 30 Drin, and are marked with the symbol of Sham, the sun god, and the seal of the Shamshi Solingaj, the ruler. These tablets usually circulate from one rich merchant to another, and it is rare for a poor man or a peasant to ever touch one in his life. In Nagled cities, the number of pawn shops has called for a different use of currency. The Drin is also used as a form of price adjustment when two merchants trade goods for goods and are left with a slight difference in value. A merchant may, for example, sell two rolls of silk for a golden oil lamp and a handful of Drin. If, in turn, the oil lamp is decorated with jewels, or is of greater value, the merchant trading in the rolls of silk may adjust the trade value with some Drin. The Nagled are known for fierce negotiations when conducting commerce, and also sport a reputation as penny-pinchers.
In Central Emergalv, the independant Sejkian city-states or Iobmar, Pekiof and Finmar use hacksilver to trade amongst themselves. Hacksilver is usually found on clothing, armor, weapons, house decorations, and is meant to represent the accumulated wealth of a person. Since there is very little social distinction between villagers and the mayor, individuals often carry fairly equal amounts of ‘hack’ on them. When trading with their allies in Arhumlungd, the continental Sejkians use their hacksilver, which pleases the Noerban greatly, to trade for grain, livestock, weapons, mercenary services, art, and a variety of goods and services.
On the isle of Sejko, gold and silver are used extensively, while copper is completely ignored. Since the island’s conquest by Farianvale, the Pound and Dime have been adopted by the Insular Sejkians. who have at the same time set aside the practice of hacksilver. In dealing with the Sejkians of Iobmar, Pekiof and finmar, however, they revert to their ancestral mode of barter.