The Summer Heroes
Currency in Illuviѐn
There are numerous different currencies in use across Illuviѐn, a number which has multiplied since the collapse of the Sorian Empire in eastern Orem, which has resulted in the reversion of many polities to localized monies. Prior to the Imperial civil war, the gold-based Imperial Osella was the standard for trading; this standardization facilitated long-distance trading across the lands ruled by the Empire and helped spur economic development in the provinces.
Imperial Osellae are still widely accepted across Illuviѐn, even in locales where new currencies have emerged (or old currencies have re-emerged), and so it retains (a much diminished) economic importance in many areas. The currency used by the Hassunai Elves also ranks among the most-used of currencies, though its use is confined mostly to the realm of Hassuna itself, as the Hassunai maintain strict oversight of money-changing and trade within their coastal cities. The Atusia is the standard of the Hassunai coins and trades at a one-to-one ration with the Imperial Osella.
In addition to metal-based coinage, governments, religious organizations, and merchant houses frequently employ paper- or vellum-based Letters of Credit, as well as Trade Bars. (Art objects and gems also function as de facto currency, but because of the inherent difficult in “standardizing” such things, this is not systemic usage.) Unlike metal-based coins, Letters of Credit and Trade Bars are not worth their weight in the material used to create them, but are instead backed by the credit of the institution issuing them. Letters of Credit and Trade Bars are used when the values of items/goods being moved are so large that coins would be impractical. Letters of Credit are almost invariably magically enchanted to ensure their authenticity (and to enhance their toughness), and divination spells to guarantee the provenance of a Letter is fairly routine when the value is high enough.
Despite the relative sophistication of economic systems across the continent, banking has reached its highest form in the city of Brightwater, and this technical disparity has allowed Brightwater merchants to capture more of the banking industry than their city’s economic status would imply. Additionally, Brightwater merchants were the first to setup extensive money-changing enterprises when the Empire teetered on collapse in 837 BR, a temporal advantage that has given them an edge in dominating that aspect of the financial sector, too.