Currency used throughout the Ancient North is generally pretty uniform. Local lords (like those at Reddale and Greenwood Keep) usually have their own coins minted, but since most of the value of a coin is its material, not the crest stamped on it, all coins are spendable throughout the lands.
While bartering is a common practice between neighbors, most items are valued in coins, even if no coins are actually exchanged. Even farmers and shepherds use coins regularly, however. Whether they’re buying drinks at the local public house, purchasing salt from the general store, or selling their wares at a festival.
Coins are the most prevalent form of currency in the Ancient North and are minted of metals of varying worth at the five wealthiest towns, Greenwood Keep, Highkeep, Reddale, the town on the Silvern Plains, and Westkeep.
- Tin Bit is a coin of very little value. Tin bits are generally stamped with a simple line, and only to indicate that they are official coins. 10 tin bits are worth 1 copper penny.
- Copper Penny is a common coin of middling value. Copper pennies are usually stamped with a single letter representing the city of their minting (R for Reddale, G for Greenwood Keep, etc). 1 copper penny is worth 10 tin bits, and 10 copper pennies are worth 1 silver mark.
- Silver Mark is a coin of some value. Silver marks are often stamped with the symbol of the lord who minted them (the kite shield for Reddale, the star for Greenwood Keep, etc). 1 silver mark is worth 100 tin bits, and 10 silver marks are worth 1 gold crown.
- Gold Crown is an uncommon coin of great value. Gold crowns are stamped with the image of the lord who minted them, thus older crowns have different faces than newer ones. 1 gold crown is worth 1000 tin bits.
Other Forms of Currency
- Bronze Plate is an old, and now infrequently used, form of currency. Many small villages and local traders still use bronze plates, but they are much less common in larger towns and keeps. A bronze plate is a rectangle of bronze, about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. It is usually unstamped, though older bronze plates have been found with images on them. A single bronze plate is worth 2 copper pennies and 5 tin bits.
- Obsidian Orb is an extremely valuable and virtually unused type of currency. These 3-inch spheres of pure obsidian are used in rare trades of mass quantities of goods between large towns. An obsidian orb is worth 100 gold crowns. Obsidian orbs are not minted or created by local lords; they have been found in the old stone keeps scattered across the Ancient North and no more than a score have been discovered.
- Tin Bit
- A beggar can expect to earn his living in tin bits.
- A tin bit will buy a tallow candle that burns for one hour, a pound of raw wheat, or a cup of watery ale.
- Copper Penny
- Farmers, fishers, and shepherds generally count their money in copper pennies.
- A copper penny will buy a square yard of canvas, a pint of lamp oil, or a pound of iron.
- Silver Mark
- Traders, craftsmen, and mercenaries are paid in silver marks.
- A silver mark will buy a 50 feet of hemp rope, an iron dagger, or a goat.
- Gold Crown
- Wealthy merchants and lords deal mostly in gold crowns.
- A gold crown will buy a square yard of silk, a bottle of fine wine, or an ox.