The Silver Moon Empire operates with a universal currency of gold, silver, copper and platinum coins. After the institution of the empire by Cornelius Dreven I, the Shadokhan mint produced a multitude of coins that were the same size and weight of pre-existing coins, but bearing the likeness of Cornelius Dreven on all faces, aside from platinum coins which bore the visage of his wife.
Upon the overthrow of the Dreven Regime, the Klockwork Master minted his own coins, shrinking the base amount of gold/silver/plat/copper by surrounding it with a ring of iron. These coins were referred to as 'Gears' and, while the base amounts changed, the value of the currency did not. While there are still some Gears in circulation, their use is rare and liable to attract unwanted attention.
Following the downfall of the Klock Regime and the splintering of the Silver Moon Empire, governments of individual regions assumed the minting of coins, though some Klock Gears remain in circulation.
Shadokhan - Upon the establishment of a stewardship in Shadokhan, the government began taking the Gears out of circulation and minting coins similar to the old Dreven coin but bearing the image of Taysáyad Keep.
Southern Oceanuus has thus far declined to make their own coins; why mint your own when you can take everyone else's? The Pirates' brazen years-long looting of the Silver Moon Empire, which dropped significantly after Kili Bashar's return to power in 1276, has ensured the financial security of the southern islands.
Balthazor once 'minted' a form of currency called the Bone Chip which is still usually accepted in that region. However, the government under Kamal Dreven is phasing out bone chips and plans to remove them from circulation by the end of the decade (1280). Gold, silver, etc. are the most widely used coins in the region, and the new monies are stamped with the seal of the Lotus.
Thermador was also once known for its unique currency. Water being a premium in the region once led to the use of liquid currency, the unusual and magical water coins simply called 'Waters.' Under Arch-Mage Versaisna Lucair's rule, Thermador adopted the precious metals primarily used by the other regions as new currency.
Luminii issues which bear the image of starpetals or wheat grains, depending upon the denomination. The gold coin has the face of Archon Keldon Baraeros stamped on one side.
Cloosidian - The Seleventi tribes of Cloosidian use the barter system more often than coins. The prettier and shinier a something is, the more sweetwater you'll get for it. That does not mean the featherheads are stupid. They know glass from diamonds and their relative worth down the mountains.
|____is worth:||Platinum Royal||Gold Imperial||Silver Regal||Copper||Half-Copper||Ten-Bit||Bone Chip*|
|1 Platinum Royal||1||5||50||500||1,000||5,000||50|
|1 Gold Imperial||.2||1||10||100||200||1,000||10|
|1 Bone Chip *||.02||.2||1||10||20||100||1|
* Table values are assuming that Bone Chips are being used within Balthazor. Outside of Balthazor, they coins are worth no more than a copper, and may not be accepted at all by some merchants.
The following is an example of prices in the city of Dreven. Please keep in mind that supply and demand affect costs, and items that are not produced locally or are not in season will be more expensive.
I Challenge Anyone to Match My Prices
|Clothing||Arms and Armor|
The unification of the Silver Moon Empire and the centralization of trade established by Emperor Cornelius I did not last through his grandson's reign. Trade deteriorated disastrously under the poor leadership of Tumian Dreven. The downward spiral was exacerbated in 1261 by a rare double eclipse whose affect on magic put the portals out of commission and subsequently resulted in natural disasters across the entire continent. With the portals no longer working, trade agreements quickly came into contention and miscommunication was rampant. Letters and ambassadors arrived late; shipments were misdirected or never delivered at all. Trade routes were more readily subject to attack by bandits and the quick transfer of smaller goods was not available at all for ten long years.
Many towns literally disappeared in the upheaval and others were cut off from trade supply lines for several years. Additionally, more populated areas tended to attract mancers - and after the magical disasters and disruptions, mancers became suspect. Many people moved to more rural areas to get away from them. With the exodus from major cultural centers, construction all over the Empire slowed nearly to a halt. The rapid decline of civil service and bureaucracy led to the hoarding of gold by the wealthy. Misrepresentation of wealth funneled fewer funds into taxes and Tumian's control waned as his resources grew thin. In an effort to keep the Silver Moon Knights content, despite the lack of funds to pay them for their services, Tumian authorized payments of land all over the Empire: Lands owned by nobles who could – or would – not pay their taxes in gold. When the nobles ran out of land to be given to the Knights, the Emperor began to confiscate lands from wealthy merchants and other citizens to give to his soldiers.
After the collapse of the portals existing trade routes along the southern coast of the Shadokhan led to the growth of seaports ideally located to channel the increase in trade. The importance of such port towns grew as they became pivotal to the power base. Houses, wharves, and warehouses along the coast spread out along the shores. However, as shipping grew and prospered so did the threat of privateers from the Pirate Nations. Pirate raids increased dramatically and central Imperial authority was weakened by lack of trade as well as bickering regions. At first the pirates focused their attacks on southwest Shadokhan where the expansion hinted at prosperity. Seaports there were burned and looted, some several times over. With the destruction of the renowned Crystal Fleet in the tidal waves (Luminii in 1261 and Southern Oceanuus in 1263), there was little to be done to stop the raiders. Of equal importance, the flooding and destruction in Luminii forced the Luminiians to hide what they were able to produce along with other precious commodities in order to ensure their survival.
By 1265, the pirates were establishing Earthfreeze camps in Shadokhan and southwestern Arboria to be nearer the looting grounds and their sea routes. In 1268, Tumian Dreven bought off a fleet of pirates raiding along the Elbonian Sea with three and a half tons of silver, and the pirates learned that extorting protection money was easier and more regular than looting. Arboria closed its borders, further decimating trade, and raids by sea remained prevalent. The greatest factor preventing the elves from succumbing to the economic stranglehold of the pirates was the geographic blockade imposed by the Talpeasea Mountains along the western Arborian coastal line.
Being landlocked, Cloosidian was the only region that did not have direct problems with the pirates. In the north superstitions about the dead in Balthazor overtook ships as they passed their shores, effectively curtailing imports to that region as well as wholesale raiding. Given the long sea route to Thermador and the suspected threat from Balthazor, both sea-trade and incursions by the Pirate Barons was nearly nonexistent. It is unknown at this time what damages were inflicted upon the Badlands although, considering the exploitative nature of the pirates, it can be assumed that their endeavors reached those shores as well.
As the pirates looted the Silver Moon Empire exhaustively, power centers shifted toward inland Shadokhan, away from their zone of destruction. By the spring of 1269, Tumian Dreven was dead and the Klockmaster forces Shadokhan citizenry to pledge allegiance or leave the region, then initiates efforts to end famine and disease Throughout the interior, overland trade routes were established. Although caravans took longer to go from one point to the other - particularly through the rugged Sturrbith Mountains - it was the preferable method of trade since the items would not be interrupted by the pirates, and the prosperity of the lands began to grow again. The Dreven City Magistrate appointed by the new Klockwork regime cemented his power by defeating an early rebellion in 1269. He knew how to make the grand gesture that appealed to the economically distressed citizens. Town life revived after the restoration of order, but only in certain areas that acted as nuclei of trading networks. Shortly thereafter, Shadokhan became financially independent from the rest of the empire. From that point, trade was based on a coinage ringed by a strip of iron. Old Dreven coins were collected centrally and melted down and the new coins, dubbed 'Gears' because of the outer rim of iron and the gear-like insignia embossed on the faces, were minted by the millions. Much of the casting was done by the ConDulios Bank.
Designating Lady Selina Arlain as his Minister of Synchronicity, the Klocks financed her appointment with large grants of silver. Shadokhan's growing wealth provided the basis for a much increased trade within the empire, and Gear coins quickly became common in all regions. The ready availability of money with the government’s backing, and the potential for profit, encouraged the swift replacement of the old system. Entrepreneurial activity at all levels throughout the empire began to thrive. In 1270, the new governing body was also responsible for renewed construction requiring labor. The building of mills, ovens, wine-presses and the like for the use of the citizenry, nobles and merchants alike allowed the government to charge fees for their use and established a sense of proprietorship in the populace. As other regions began to mimic these ideas, Shadokhan and Luminii moved further forward and founded new trading ports as commercial investments. At the other end of the social scale, successful peasants could buy land, and their success was limited only by their abilities.
In military campaigns, the increased availability of guaranteed coin meant that rulers no longer needed to depend solely on levies to expand private armies. Available monies allowed for the employ of not only levies but mercenaries as well. Raising taxes permitted regional governments throughout the Empire to expand the civil servant base by offering salaried positions once again. The return of organized administration at all levels of government provided for the centralization of records and more efficient trade.
This re-established prosperity meant that larger capital and public expenditures could be envisioned: not only castles but ports, canals, town residences and palaces could be built, which supported the arts as well as masons, woodworkers and other craftsmen. The consumption of luxury goods of all sorts slowly began to become widespread once more. On the other hand, new and growing centrally directed administrations gave the Klockmaster the opportunity to make the same kinds of political, economic, and financial mistakes that had plagued the Dreven Empire: such mistakes are not possible in societies where administrative units are tiny and regions are aggregates of individual units rather than organized entities.
Political stability lasted for nearly three years. During the 1272 celebration of Tivili in Dreven, the Klockmaster's magistrate was assassinated and the Nostrellan decree issued, forcing vivomancers to pledge loyalty to the Klock Empire or follow their 'false goddess' and be labeled traitors. Brutally enforced, the proclamation created a schism among vivomancers, signaled a renewed persecution of Silver Moon Knights, and began another downward spiral.
Undead spilling over the borders of Balthazor and pirates continuing to raid the southern coast emphasized growing internal strife. Groups of rebels sprang up all across the empire and began banding together, two archmages were killed, disease struck, and chaos gripped the land. On Meridian 18th, 1274, the Klockmaster was assassinated, and the Dreven Magistrate announced that Kronomancers - the Klockmaster's own mages - used mixed magic and were subject to arrest and death. Two cycles later the rebels in Dreven, under the authority of erstwhile Klock Captain Raphael Dolek, demanded the surrender of Klock General Yashkara Steelclaw and the disbanding of the Klock Army. The seizure of power from the Klocks led to the emergence of warlords in Shadokhan and similar difficulties within most of the other regions.
By the end of the Rebellion, all of the regions had claimed independence from the former empire and the minting of coins was assumed by the individual governments, although to facilitate exchange and preserve consistency, currency continues to be forged in a universal weight and denomination. (See above for the types of coins produced by each region, and for current regional information please refer to that region's webpage.)