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The Wealth of Crevice

What are Chips?

Excerpts from The History of Chips by Inthan Orbanstod

Chips are how we pay for things. It is a system that helped standardize the art of trade. In the Era of Tears, we usually just did simple trades for goods and services. Some of these trades did use old gold and silver coins that were found in the ruins, but there was quite a bit of debate on their value and what they cold be worth. The local nobles and lords were getting so busy dealing with trade disputes they hardly had time for anything else.
Thander Protho, a gnome historian spoke to Kyren Nordin about the usage of the coins in the surface world. The Kyren wanted to work out a new system though calling anything from the old world a failure. This led to a multitude of mistakes that we will go over later in the book.


Gemstones Disputes

It was the Halfling Brethen Conorall that crafted the first chips. Gemstones were commonly used for trade, but Brethen wanted to trade smaller amounts of the stone he had. So he cut one into small slivers and traded them for smaller value items and made it last much longer. Several people came to him to cut their stones as well. This trend still created some problems with value, but was far easier than trading larger gemstones.
Lord Hotran of the Lake was faced with one of these disputes. The dispute was regard to the value of a sliced Ruby compared to a sliced Amethyst. Lord Hotran examined them both and declared the Amethyst more valuable (as he preferred the color). There were several other disputes in front of different lords, that all gave differing values. This created quite a bit of chaos as the chips were getting more popular.
— Inthan Orbanstod

Much Needed Guidance

Kyren Alessis Thorn was interceded in the disputes seeing the Lords themselves falling into squabbling matches. She was very new and young for a Kyren, but people were watching to see how she handled it. The Lords all made their cases for why their values should be used and she listened patiently. Unknown to them, she had read all of Nordin's notes and called Inthan to speak regarding the usage of coins once again. She listened intently to the history that was known and she realized that even then the value of the coins were really arbitrary. The importance was the consistency of the coins.
— Inthan Orbanstod

A Historical Ruling

She declared that the value of the Chips would be matched to the Periods in a Cycle, starting with Blue and ending in Purple. In a huge move, she also declared that all trading transactions will be used with Chips and all taxes will be paid with them. This created a massive uproar at the time. There was many arguments over the value of things and how that would be formed. The young Kyren looked at them and said that those values have already largely been formed. Many merchants were brought in and discussed what they had been trading for the Chips.
  Eventually the Banking Guild was created to help resolved disputes on value and keep control of the distribution of the Chips. This changed our entire city, we had moved on to being more unified and more prosperous because of the guidance of an ingenious Halfling and a young Kyren.
— Inthan Orbanstod

The Banking Guild

  The Banking Guild is in charge of securing the gemstones and crafting the Chips. They control the flow of money and will go around and buy back chips that are in bad condition. People can also go to the guild to trade chips for different values. Many of the merchants do this early in the week to make sure they have enough lower Chips for their customers.


The cutting of the gems is a very precise process and requires a high amount of skills. Gem cutters are paid very well in the city, but they have a high degree of stress as well. The Banking Guild was able to streamline the process in later years to improve efficiency as well.
The process includes a water wheel that cleans and removes stones that would be too small to cut. Then the initial cuts are done by a larger blade that was designed to cut through each type perfectly (this was created by the Smith's Guild and Maker's Guild). After that, each chip is individually checked and smoothed perfectly by hand. A minor enchantment is placed on them to mark them as official Crevice Chips which helps to combat fraudulent chips being made.

Before Chips

Excerpt from The First Phase by Jorankal Tiddlemall  
To understand the importance of the Chips, you must understand the life before them. Life was hard. Not just hard, but getting impossible. The nobles were doing fine. They like to boast that all of Crevice was doing the same. It wasn't.
The common people were poor and starting to go hungry. The Beacon was handing out food, but the farmers were struggling as well. They complained they weren't getting well compensated by Beacon for their work. Which was true. The Hydrofarms were very dangerous at that time and the farmers needed constant support to keep the food flowing. Most people didn't understand that and the nobles didn't care. The nobles demanded fealty when they wanted something. They would throw around their family name as is it meant something down here. Sadly, it did and the common people and the whole city was on the verge of collapse. Several small protests had occurred and disputes over prices and trade values had become everyday events. A riot at a noble house had led to at least 3 people dying. There were secret whispers from groups ready to move against some of the nobles and just take what they wanted.
That is the city we lived in before the Chips. Before people were paid fairly for their work and before the young Kyren made a decision that would change the city forever.

Materials used for Chips

  • Blue: Sapphire
  • Green: Emerald
  • Yellow: Topaz
  • Orange: Citrine
  • Red: Ruby
  • Purple: Amethyst


  • 1 Green Chip: 10 Blue Chips
  • 1 Yellow Chip: 10 Green Chips
  • 1 Orange Chip: 10 Yellow Chips
  • 1 Red Chip: 10 Orange Chips
  • 1 Purple Chip: 10 Red Chips

Common Usage

  Most people use the Blue, Green and Yellow Chips. The Orange Chips are used for large orders of supplies and expensive items. The high values of the Red and Purple Chips appear to make them less popular. There was discussion by the banking Guild to alter the values, but the process might hurt the economy at this point. The Purple Chips are only used by the upper classes and really only used to pay each other for services or for purchasing land and building houses. They aren't used at the market very often.
Brethen Conorall is credited for creating the first Chips. He was a Halfing that tended to explore the ruins and gather things. He found two large gemstones on one such excursion. The first chips were crudely cut with very little skill involved.

Campaign Notes

  For the purposes of the Campaign.
  • 1 Blue Chip = 1 Copper Coin
  • 1 Green Chip = 1 Silver Coin
  • 1 Yellow Chip = 1 Gold Coin
  • 1 Orange Chip = 1 Platinum Coin
  • 1 Red Chip = 10 Platinum Coins
  • 1 Purple Chip = 100 Platinum Coins

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10 Jul, 2019 15:15

Very nice article ScaleyDragon! :D   It's a very cool use of quotes, though I'd recommend you add the Author on all of them (though I know they're the same, but I think it would be a good detail. Just so the reader knows that it's ALL from the same book :D)
I can see you've written in before, but you can write it like this:


Which is written like:
  The stats of how much they're worth compared to the other stones is very nice. It would be cool if you listed the prices of common items as well (not too many, but just a few. It could be done in the sidebar)   For the layout, I'd recommend a few pictures if possible. Maybe just one in the sidebar as well :D

10 Jul, 2019 15:18

For some reason the last bit of the comment is in another text colour and the BBC was screwed up :(   Rest of the comment:
The stats of how much they're worth compared to the other stones is very nice. It would be cool if you listed the prices of common items as well (not too many, but just a few. It could be done in the sidebar) For the layout, I'd recommend a few pictures if possible. Maybe just one in the sidebar as well :D   and if you want the author to be written like in the quote i made in the comment, you just put "|AUTHOR" (of course with your author instead if "AUTHOR") in before the [/quote]

11 Jul, 2019 04:38

Thanks, I tried putting the Author. I like it thanks!

10 Jul, 2019 22:45

I like the idea of your article as it sparked several questions, one of the main details being about the banking guild. Banking is thought to be a modern kind of achievement, so aside from cutting gems, how do they handle the influx of coin from other trades people seeking to buy from their town (particularly from those noble families that discussed the matter at length with Kyren Alessis Thorn)? Banks tend to have very specific jobs. Would one of the main ones be a jeweler? Also, is there any jewely that uses the stones, or were they "melted down" for currency. I am intrigued.   Oh! And in particular, if you allow gems to be used as currency and there in magic in your world, can people use the gems to cast magic, or would that be prohibited (since it's like throwing away a penny).   Also, the design of the quotes nice as they add character to your world and I like the more natural colors you use. I do find the quotes a little hard to read. As I am dyslexic, this may just be my eyes and brain being funky, but if I had to put my finger on it, I think it may have something to do with the opacity of the color against the textured background, but I am not sure. These are just harsh on my eye, but may not be true for everyone else.

11 Jul, 2019 04:45

I've had this background for quite a while, maybe it is time to mess with it a little.   So the gems are actually pretty common in the world. It's all underground and some can go find gems outside the mines if they really wanted to risk it (probably dangerous, but doable). So there isn't a limit on that, although any of these gems found in the mining guilds would be sent to the Banking Guild. The Banking guild has several different skills involved, sometimes outsourcing it, but they try to recruit more gem cutters and enchanters to keep it in house. Lastly, they do decide on how many of the coins to keep in circulation. So I do think they have some modern views on capitalism at least and realizing the importance of things like inflation...although they wouldn't call it that.

11 Jul, 2019 04:50

Oh, to answer your other question. This part of my world is only one massive city. There is are trades between the layers of the city, but it is still only a single city. There is no outside city that they have met as of yet.

11 Jul, 2019 00:14

I really like the idea of a sort-of-cargo-cult version of coined money emerging from a post-collapse society and gemstones fit the bill quite well. Well enough I'm now wondering if any real life cultures used gemstones as currency at any point. I do have one question: if the gemstones are identifiable as the correct kind of stone, and the size and weight of the chips is set, why do they have to be concerned about counterfeiting? You can't debase a gem in the same way you can coinage, and so many of the reasons coins were officially minted are not applicable.

11 Jul, 2019 04:48

I'm sure I will write an article regarding some skilled counterfeiting ring or something to explain the need for the enchantment. The enchantment may even be unnecessary, but might have the image of the Kyren or something show up on it. Like a minor illusion or something. More for show than need.