Thursday, 5 February 2015

Coins of Seshnela

"In the Fourth Action, when Malkion and his followers were building New Malkionwal upon the shores of Gennerela, a pair of Talari brothers came to the Prophet to ask for instruction. they each claimed the other had borrowed a portion of their wealth to build their manor, but none could determine the truth of the matter.
Malkion, listening to this, scooped up a portion of the soil beneath him and shaped it into two discs of perfect Silver.
"These discs I name coins, they shall be used to mark when a favour has been performed that cannot be repaid immediately. So that all may know what is truthfully due." He gave one of the coins to each of the brothers.
At this, the brothers complained that although this would stop it happening in the future, it did not determine who owed the original favour.
Malkion declared that for this teaching, the brothers both owed him a favour, and in payment they would forget past wrongs, and work together for the good of all.
The brothers saw the Logic in this."
- The Revelation of the Coin.
This passage from the Abiding Book has provided the origin of Malkioni coinage, the issuing of which has long remained the province of the noble caste. While the guild of silversmiths create the coins themselves (manual labour being anathema to the nobility).

Exactly which nobles can issue coinage remained a subject of much debate during the first age, as did the value of the coins in question. As such coins dating back to this time fluctuate wildly in size, material, shape, and quality, such as the rare and infamous Priina Baronic coins, which were almost pure gold and double the size of modern coins; or the ubiquitous and scorned Tanewal Purple, a square cut coin cast from an alloy of lead and silver.

During the reign of the Middle Sea Empire, in an attempt to unify the Malkioni, the Emperor Miglos issued a proclamation restricting the right to mint coinage to the Governor of each province of the Empire. This proclamation also enforced a more unified form for these coins. They were now to be made of silver, almost all were circular, and bore the portrait of the issuing governor one one side, with the other bearing their personal sigil.

As the later wars against the Draconic Empire drove the Middle Sea Empire into a militaristic stance, the positions of Duke and Governor were combined, granting absolute authority to the ruler of each Province. Because of this, the coins they issued became known as Ducats, after their new title.

By the time of the closing, the excesses of the God Learners combined with the many wars and uprisings across the Empire, and the need to pay all their soldiers left many Dukes unable to mint coins of high quality, leading to debasements at a previously unheard of level. Many coins were found to be merely silver foil over copper bases, leading to desertions en masse as soldiers refused to fight.

The Interregnum of Seshnela led to a resurgence in varied coinage, as without a stable central government enforcing Miglos' proclamation, each feuding duke took it upon themselves to make their own coins bearing their face, regardless of if they were made of silver, gold or brass. The soldiers, acting as mercenaries and bandits, preferred to barter for their service, not trusting these coins, and when they were accepted, it was usually only for their mineral value. Shirts of scale amour have been salvaged from ancient battlefields where each scale was made from a copper coin bearing the profile of an unknown nobleman.

The rise of the Balifids, and the creation of the modern Kingdom of Seshnela once again created a stabilizing influence on the local currency. With a proper relationship between the Dukes and the King, the ancient minting rites were reissued, and many old and worthless coins were destroyed.

King Vikard's reign was marked with many disasters, including many economic ones. Beliving that all currency should resemble that used by the earliest Malkioni, he organized a massive reissuing of currency, collecting all he could in taxes, so that the coins could be reminted to be as pure as possible. This decision inspired many dukes to rebel, as they felt their ancient rights to mint currency were being infringed. Despite this, the Vikardi silvers are famous for their purity, although many of the remaining coins are said to be cursed by their creator's foolishness and greed.

The Quinpolic League, having gained their independence from Seshnela, created their own coins, although it is said that few residents of the league have ever seen one, as coins gained from foreign trade far outnumber the native coins, and it is not uncommon to receive change in Esrolian clacks from a transaction paid with Dara Happan Wheels.

With the rise to power of Guilmarn the Fat, the Kingdom of Seshnela has prepared itself for a new great reissuing. Having learnt from the errors of his ancestor, these coins are not minted for their quality, but instead for their quantity. Like his father, Guilmarn has sought to centralize the power of the Kingdom, and has set himself up as the only noble with any rights to mint currency. With this arrangement, he has all but criminalized the use of any coin but the new one, which is known by many names such as Shekel, Shilling, or most commonly, Imperials.

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