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Blood Favors

There was a tale of a merchant from the far west named Ben Amin came across a man dying alongside the road. Upon closer inspection, the suffering soul was part of a group of thugs who plagued the trade routes, and it was his role to waylay any trader until his fellows would rob him. However, as fate would have it, the ruffian was beaten to the point of death by a rival gang and left to die. The merchant carried the injured man to an older couple who treated him for weeks until he recovered. The man never saw the merchant anymore but asked why the family would take care of the stranger? They said the merchant paid them a blood coin.   What is a blood coin?   The ruffian knew of shards. Shards were metallic pieces. Copper, Bronze, Silver, or Gold had value everywhere. However, this unusual rock is worth weeks of medical attention and board?                 His caretakers told the ruffian that the Blood Coin has more value than gold. Even the Council of Wizards have expressed interest in these stones from the Infernal Citadels of Lord Bishop. It is said to be a perfect mixing of blood and igneous rock.   What is so distinctive of this rock?   The traveling merchants discovered the Infernal Citadel developed an economy where the real value unit is blood. Blood is used for the creation of dark magic by the ritualists there. The magic has created wonders, but one special item is called a blood oath amulet. The amulet holds a powerful entity that is bound to perform a single task for its owner. These Blood Demons are formidable protectors, assassins, and valuable infiltrators.

Oath Amulets

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Blood Oath Promise by Clip from John Wick movie series

No one knows the exact process for making blood oath amulets, but if you acquire one, you are to imprint your thumb in it (which pricks your thumb to obtain a sample of the owner's blood), and then you can summon a blood demon for one task. To commission forging of an oath amulet, experts claim about 1,000 blood coins are the bare minimum requirement. You can use gold, but oath amulets sell for 100k right now.

    The ruffian was incredulous. "These rocks can fetch 100,000 gold?" He was holding its cold, smooth surface as they continued.  

The venerable husband continued as his spouse nodded affirmatively."Yes, well 1k blood coins are scarce to obtain, but as you can see, it was a fine payment".

Why didn't he hand you 100 gold instead?

 

"We asked for a Blood Favor. Nefarious dealers think a fair trade would be a live human for a blood oath amulet, but this is not the case. Lord Bishop values humans for slave labor like other Wizards, so he will only award market gold value for humans. "

"How much blood does it take to create an authentic coin?"

"The soaking and sealing process takes time and about 1 liter of human blood. Humans only have 5-6 liters, so any more could have disastrous results. So if you killed and drained an adult human, you could get, at best, six blood coins."

"Hence the need to create a stable stockpile of blood that can be stored and traded. "

"Blood Favors work at the rudimentary level. Instead of performing a service for a merchant using metal value systems, you could sell some of your blood or obtain blood components from other creatures. A trained alchemist could soak and seal the blood for you into a coin form for some silver shards. People can also mine out igneous rock and soak up blood themselves to have them forged and sealed to form coins."

"For those who are citizens of the Infernal Citadels, blood coins are a common currency. They have more value than the metal shards. So one can go to a market with a blood coin and come back with enough Citadel goods for a family for a month."

 

The man put the blood coin on the table. He shook his head in disbelief. "I can't believe all this. "

The older man shrugged as he retrieved the coin. A hand blocked his advance.

"I can't believe you told me all this. Thanks so much for the lesson. That this coin has more value than I have ever seen in a lifetime. I can't believe you took the time and coin to bring me back to health when all I am going to do is rob you of this precious rock." He gave a glaring look of caution as he stood up with the blood coin in hand. "I'll be leaving now with this, and your reward is that it will be all I will take. I can take a lot more." He winked at the startled wife.

"You sure about that?" the older man warned.

The ruffian laughed, "Old man, you couldn't rip a piece of paper, let alone take this rock from me. Your wife is just happy I am not taking her too."

"I didn't say that was my wife, young man."

The woman's face melted away, and her form enlarged to a foot above him. Her legs melded together into a congealed form of blood. After the blood demon finished off the hapless sod, it dissolved into its abyss. The owner of a blood oath amulet observed his bloodied thumbprint vanish and become blank. He placed a few small rocks around the bloodied man as they soaked up his lifeblood like a sponge. A knock of the door and the head of the home opened the door; he greeted Ben Amin.

"It was as you said, Ben."

"I can pick em. You have enough stones?"

"Six stones should do it. Three for me and three for you. Not bad for a few weeks work. Please take this empty oath and use my stones for a down payment. We will be setting up shop here soon enough." The merchant bowed and set forth for the West.


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Cover image: Linen cotton Harem Pants (Unisex) by uploaded by Marie Jeanrenaud

Comments

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22 Aug, 2019 07:30

I really like the way you've explained the currency through the narrative in this. It explains the money well and drags the reader into other aspects of the world. Nice job!

22 Aug, 2019 13:27

Wow seeing all the honors you have racked up on World Anvil. Thank you for the kind words!