Lorasian currency

Lorasian currency is minted in the kingdoms of Lorasia across the Darkmouth Sea.

A bizarre assortment of coins can be found. Highly valued Tremish coins such as crowns (gold), shields (silver), and farthings (copper). Crowns and particularly the rarer towers (platinum) may draw attention from greedy pick pockets.

Receive underrated currency as change for purchases—sometimes “shaved” Tremish coins (with edges ground off for powder), Ordic or Llaelese currency (worth only 60-80% of their face value in Corvis), or possibly fully counterfeit currency. There are also “alley pips” used here. They are plain, pressed silver or gold from melted valuables, sometimes marked with a gang symbol, and only useful in black markets and among fences.

Coins of the Realm


Each kingdom mints its own coinage as a right of sovereignty. However, Treman's position as unquestionably the most economically dominant kingdom has made Tremish the standard trade tongue. Most worldly individuals in western Immoren speak Tremish fluently, and most people in major ports and trading centers can understand enough words and phrases to get by, albeit with thick accents and poor grammar. In the same way Tremish currency is at present the easiest coin to trade at proper values across national lines. Rhul is known to have the most exacting standards for consistent weight and purity of their coin, so its currency is also widely accepted, if less common.

The following coins are in standard use throughout Treman and are widely accepted in other kingdoms as well. The following table lists the currency along with its standard value within Treman’s borders.

  • Farthing = 1 copper
  • Halfshield = 5 copper
  • Shield = 1 silver
  • Groat = 25 copper
  • Halfcrown = 5 silver
  • Crown = 1 gold
  • Swan = 2 gold
  • Tower = 1 platinum

Groats are no longer commonly traded (most people prefer to deal in shields and halfshields) but are still used by individuals of the lower classes to whom a crown is quite a bit of money. The upper classes completely mistrust groats due to extensive counterfeiting in generations past. Halfcrowns have been less popular than expected among traders who seem to prefer to use full crowns or shields. Swans and towers are quite uncommon among the lower classes but appear often enough among those who trade in volume and do not want to be carry heavy coin purses.

Showing too many swans or towers (or even crowns) in the wrong circles is a good way to get marked for theft. Most merchants do not enjoy making a lot of change and appreciate a customer who can pay in the right coin.

Conversion Rates

In Ord and Llael, Cygnaran coins fetch 95 to 100 percent of their actual value, but that figure drops to 85 percent in Khador and even lower in remote areas. Rhul accepts these coins at 90 percent value due to their strong trade relations with the Cygnaran government. Ios has very specific trade arrangements and does not generally allow outsiders freely into their kingdom let alone allow them to utilize foreign currencies. Sanctioned visitors to the Protectorate can purchase local coin from Temple Scrutator-Treasurers at a rate of 7 marks per Cygnaran crown (70 percent of the actual value), but they generally only trade in raw bullion or ingots of precious metals or iron. When the Protectorate first started making their clay currency, they set the exchange rate at a face value of 10 marks per Cygnaran crown but the rate has steadily declined in the years since.

Banking


With the increase in trade and travel throughout the kingdoms of western Immoren, merchants and travelers alike have found it necessary to keep large sums of coin on hand to handle business transactions and so forth. Given the sometimes unfavorable exchange rates, it is also advantageous to have a source of local currency at one’s disposal. Though easier, travel has by no means become safer, and carrying large sums through the wilderness can be dangerous indeed. In fact, bandits and brigands constantly plague the major arteries for trade and travel, including the rail lines.

An original solution to these problems has arisen in Cygnar, Llael, Rhul, and to a lesser extent in Ord. Companies known variously as holding companies, transfer companies, or banks have slowly appeared over the past century. Still a novel concept throughout much of Immoren, the businesses propose to hold an individual’s cash reserves safely until such a time as they are needed. This is especially useful for merchants and others who require large cash sums during their travels.

On a local scale, banks like the Black River Transfer Company in Corvis and the Bainsmarket Holding Company offer to safeguard assets from burglary and banditry, and quite a few wealthy individuals have seen the wisdom in using the bank’s secure vaults. Banknotes written on special vellum are provided to the customer at the time of the deposit to record his holdings. The banks can generally produce small cash sums on a daily basis, but most require twenty days notice before accommodating a full withdrawal from any account. For a small fee, generally one percent of an item’s market value, the banks also provide storage for small valuables such as jewelry and gems. Each banknote bears a design unique to the issuing bank on a piece of fine, cream-colored vellum. The notes include information about the issuing bank, the holder of the note, and the amount of money held by the bank for the individual. Each note is signed by both the bank official verifying the note and the note’s holder then embossed with the bank’s seal. Both the vellum and the seals are produced specially for the banks and their production is a closely-guarded secret. The only way to forge a bank note would be to acquire some of this special vellum and an official bank seal (or a finely-crafted reproduction).

In addition to these local services, the banks also help to negotiate the transfer of large cash sums in the form of bullion from one locale to another (thus the origin of the term “transfer company”). An individual needing to draw on his banked cash at a distant locale can present the banknote declaring his assets and draw local currency against the bullion value of his banknote for a small usage fee, generally one percent of the amount withdrawn. As with large withdrawals from one’s home bank, these require up to twenty days to be fulfilled. When cash is withdrawn against a banknote in this manner, the note is marked and embossed by the lending bank to verify the withdrawal. An official notice signed by both the bank official and the holder of the bank note is then issued to the gentleman’s holding company requesting the transfer of funds from his account to the lender. These accounts are usually settled within a few short months between the banks by agents at the Leryn Bullion Exchange. During the Khadoran invasion, the bullion exchange moved from Leryn to Corvis but retained its old name. Fortunately for Khador, a large portion of the bullion was not evacuated in time, but the profit of taking Leryn is offset by the fact that Khadoran agents are now having a difficult time settling accounts at the Exchange. Agents balance the accounts between the banks and settle on the final amount of bullion exchanged based on net transfers between the banking concerns. When all accounts are settled some of the bullion is held in reserve at the Exchange, while the remainder is converted to currency and transported via heavily armed carriages or train cars back to the banks. While there are still no guarantees that the transfer companies and banks will have better luck transporting large sums of coin than anyone else, by shipping large sums all at once they are better able to guard and protect the shipments.

Counterfeiting


Criminal organizations have long found means
to devalue or counterfeit the coins of the realm with
varying degrees of success. These devalued coins can
wreak havoc on the perceived value of a particular
coinage, particularly if they manage to infiltrate the
market to any pervasive degree before their discovery.
Much of the suspicion of foreign coin stems from
concern about the integrity of such currency, and
cagey merchants have learned to scrutinize coins
closely when dealing with strangers or foreigners. After
all, if a Cygnaran trader is not familiar with the subtle
decorative touches of the Khadoran mints, it is far
more difficult to tell which coins have been altered.
Melting minted coins down to their base metals
is against the law across the kingdoms, yet this is still
done by the unscrupulous to try to sell the raw metal,
or sometimes to use in counterfeiting. Sometimes
Cryxian merchants will melt down minted coins to
form ingots for trading with merchants outside Cryx
in order to avoid the hassle of dealing with a potpourri
of the coins of other kingdoms. Some criminal groups
with the proper resources and craftsmen will attempt
to increase their wealth artificially by creating coinage
that appears identical to legitimate currency but with
reduced quantities of the precious metal actually
used. The success or failure of these counterfeits
depends largely upon the skill of the engravers and
the sophistication of the trader, merchant, or banker
doing the appraisal. Most counterfeit currency is only
effective against untrained eyes.

The crudest types of coinage used in criminal circles
are the so-called “alley-pips”—plain, pressed silver and
gold coins or slugs generally made from melted down
valuables. These coins are produced when fences or
black marketeers feel they can gain more profit from
the raw materials of a stolen haul, particularly one too
distinctive to sell without recognition. Stolen dining
ware, goblets, jewelry, bullion, or other items of gold
or silver are melted down, poured in sheets, and cut
to coin of approximately similar weight as standard
coins. Most of this coinage is also devalued by the
introduction of lesser metals into the minting process.
For instance gold can be cut with silver or other baser
metals, so even at the equivalent weight of standard
coins they have far less true value. Sometimes these
coins are imprinted with a crude symbol or initials
to represent the criminal organization minting them,
although most are completely unadorned. Alleyminted
currency is only used in black markets and
criminal circles and is never accepted by legitimate
merchants.

True counterfeiting requires far more sophisticated
techniques and is considered something of an art
form by those who practice the trade. Like alleypips,
these currencies are usually devalued by being
below standard weight or by having the amount of
gold or silver used cut with significant quantities of
baser metals. However, these coins mimic legitimate
kingdom currency in order to pass undetected.
Skilled counterfeiters can often pass such coins off
as genuine for some time, particularly among the less
knowledgeable or discerning markets and merchants.
Once again, it is common to attempt to introduce
counterfeit coin in foreign kingdoms to make it less
likely to be detected. The best counterfeit coins not
only duplicate the subtle decorative touches of true
mints but are also of reliable weight and purity. In all
respects they are identical to true kingdom-minted
coins (except for the dubious origin of the gold or
silver utilized, as most of these coins are minted from
stolen goods or bullion).

In other cases, criminals may go to less elaborate
lengths to squeeze a little extra value out of stolen
coins by shaving the edge of the coin down and
collecting the bits that accumulate in order to put it
to other uses. Some coins, such as Rhulic gold, are
minted with precise grooves or notches along their
outer edges in order to discourage this practice.
Ordic and Llaelese coinage are rumored to be the
easiest to counterfeit due to the simplicity of their
designs, while Rhulic currency is the most difficult
to recreate. Iosan coin is virtually impossible to
counterfeit, but since these coins are not used outside
Ios this has never been much of a problem. Criminals
within Ios have learned not to attempt it, for the
penalties for duplicating their intricate currency far
outweigh the benefits.

With the recent swell in the use of banks and
banknotes to transfer large sums of cash from one
place to another, banknote forgery has become an
increasing problem. While banknotes are generally
signed by both a bank official and the holder of
the note and embossed with the bank’s seal, these
safeguards are not foolproof. When a banknote is
“cashed in,” the holder of the note is required to
countersign the note in front of a bank official who
then verifies the holder’s signature. The easiest way to
“forge” a banknote is for a skilled individual who has
gained an official banknote through illicit means to
forge the holder’s signature in front of a bank official.
Of course, this requires a deal of skill and practice but
is not uncommon.

More complicated is the production of forged
banknotes. Due to the process involved in creating
them, forgery is very difficult without the use of
stolen embossing tools and bank vellum. While forged
signatures are much more common than outright
forged banknotes, several of the larger banking
concerns held a summit during the summer of 603
AR to address the issue of developing more complex
banknote designs to make forgery more difficult.
Some of the proposed solutions that the largest and
most progressive holding companies are beginning to
implement include specially formulated alchemical
inks and intricate designs printed on the notes with
in-house printing presses.

Bullion


As part of the Corvis Treaties, standard coin
sizes and weights were established in an attempt to
streamline commerce between the kingdoms of western
Immoren. Part and parcel of this standardization was
the incorporation of the gold standard into modern
usage. Coin weights and values are actually based on
the value of raw gold or silver bullion.

Each country mints it own coins from raw gold
or silver bullion. Most is acquired through the Leryn
Bullion Exchange, the same organization that also
handles the conversion of bullion to coins for the
banks of western Immoren. The Exchange also
converts coins to bullion for sale to the mints of the
Iron Kingdoms, and according to the Corvis Treaties
the Leryn Bullion Exchange is the only legal entity
authorized to melt minted coins. Agents from each
country’s mints come to the Exchange to purchase raw
bullion by weight for making coinage. This requires
heavily armed caravans to transport the bullion back
to the mint safely, and of course, Khador is no longer
welcome to trade since the onset of war.

Rumor Has It…


Brigandry has struck in northern Cygnar along the Great
Northern Tradeway. Coachmen and shaken travelers tell
of harrowing encounters with a group of well-armed,
masked highwaymen who have hit nearly a dozen coaches and
several small caravans on the tradeway between Corvis and
Merywyn. If the current round of rumors can be believed,
the last coach hit by these swaggering pistoleers carried
bullion bound for Corvis. The gold was meant to alleviate
pressure on merchants advancing supplies to refugees and
ever-increasing garrisons as well as help finance mercenary
reinforcements for the kingdom’s beleaguered military.
Agents of the Crown are actively seeking information
leading to these irksome highwaymen.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License