EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Economy

The almost universal unit of currency is known as the Coin. Coins are made from a special material named ‘plastik’ that has unique properties: it is virtually indestructible, can be magically melted and reforged an almost unlimited number of times, and is astonishingly pure with potential impurities being easily removed from the raw product. The value of a Coin is directly tied to how much plastik was used to forge the Coin. A coin with the value of ‘1’ is weighed at about five grams, is around the size of a human thumbprint, and forms the basis of the Xarcadian weights and measures system. A ‘100’ coin is made up of the same amount of plastik as one hundred ‘1’ coins.

Xarcadia has no banking system, and anybody is free to mint their own money. Recent advancements in magic have lead towards the development of ‘wallets’ that seemingly condense plastik into nothingness that can then be extracted later: it’s effectively a hammerspace solely for money.

As the Coin mostly functions as a useful way to quantify the amount of plastik used in a barter, a Coin can take any shape beyond the standard oblong disk that most Coins are minted into. Since plastik does not chip, break, or bend, it is very useful for the production of building material. Though it cannot be sharpened after forging, a sword forged from a solid piece of plastik is both a convenient way to carry a large amount of Coin and a very reliable weapon of self-defense

Some Coins minted by particularly skilled or famous Coin-smiths can be worth more than their “face” value. Especially popular are Dragon Coins, dinner plate sized Coins etched with an incredibly intricate facade of a dragon’s head. There is no limit to the shapes a Coin can be crafted into either; as anything made from plastik is worth its own weight, a Coin that has been pressed into a sculpture is as valid a trade medium as a regular Coin.

Coins are used mostly in Cosmopolis, with diminishing worth in the more rural parts of Xarcadia. The usage of a standard trade medium is seen as a Cosmopolian folly, and most zones use a simple gift economy system. Between rural zones, a barter system is used for interesting items that are unique to each zone. Coins are only truly necessary for people who expect to go to a luxury district of Cosmopolis; otherwise, a Xarcadian is more than secure carrying no money at all.

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