Currency and Economics of the Martic League

 

The Martic League has thriving economy based on trade. The various cities trade manufactured goods with each other and surrounding regions. Ships from Lacramar and Ithmar sail north along the coast of the Great Forest, and meet and trade with Olmai sailors from the far North, for amber, gold furs and rare woods. They sail to the islands of Atalantë for pearls and strange items dredged from the depths, and to the Su'uvenayen archipelago to meet with traders from far-off Lumulea and to trade for swamp-ebony (though such trips across the wide ocean are rare). The ships of Irilian, though plagued by pirates, sail to all of the cities of the Mithil sea. The cities themselves produce maufactured goods of every kind. Inland, the grassy plains are home to small villages of herders who drive their cattle to market in the cities, while the far more numerous coastal villages live by fishing.

 

The Martic League uses a common currency agreed upon during the Concordat of Sael, which established the League. It is based on precious metals and is constituted thus:

1 Cruele (a gold coin weighing 9 grams)

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2 Beas (a coin made of mixed silver and gold in a ratio of 1:1), also weighing 9 grams

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4 Rylthanen (a silver coin weighing 40 grams).

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20 Thanen (a silver coin weighing 8 grams). This one shows a warship and was minted in Lacramar in the 971st year of the city to commemorate a victory over pirates.

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40 Ryldaden (a brass coin weighing 45 grams). This one was minted in Lacramar and shows the city with the goddess of fortune hovering over the citadel, while ships sail in front of the city wall.

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200 Daden (a brass coin weighing 9 grams). This specimen, minted in Ilthmar, shows the 15th Lord Protector standing between two towers, holding the key to the city, and standing on a sea-dragon.

In addition to these standard coins there is a plethora of special coins - Half Thanen, Double Rylthanen, Double Cruele, etc usually minted for some special occasion or other. They circulate with the rest of the coins, and every merchant worth his salt can instantly calculate their relative worth. And of course, outside the cities, most trade is carried on by barter in the age-old way.

The coins are struck using a screw press and bear complex designs to discourage forgers. Nonetheless, most merchants are always on guard against forged coins so they are typically weighed against coins of known (or assumed) worth, unless the merchant is familiar with his customer. Every merchant thus has a small set of coin scales.

To guard against debasement, foreign coins are accepted at 2/3 of their value by weight at changing houses and then melted down for later restriking. However, citizens who have obtained foreign-trader warrants can exchange their coins at 3/4ths of their value by weight.

 

Taxation is levied twice a year by the Office of the Taxwarden at the rate of one Thanen per head, plus 3% of the value of a family's holdings. Anyone who makes an enemy of the Taxwarden may find that his holdings have been overvalued! Tax may be made either in coinage or in services acceptable to the city. Most wealthy people pay primarily this way - supplying guard companies or ships, maintaining the roads around their homes and offices, while poorer people serve in the guard or supply goods to the various city offices,