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Currency of the Elves

With a simple sleight of hand trick, a street magician makes the leaves of the tree fall against the backgrounds of gold, silver, and copper as she waves coins in front of children's faces. Screams of glee echo through the shops and storefronts as the amazement of a quickly whispered spell and some hand movements delight and captivate those watching. Such a simple trick, one that most Elves can do before being named an adult, is watched in almost every city and trade hub in the Kingdom, places where coins abound a children gather.   Branches are the currency of the Elven Kingdom, established amid the Giant Wars by King Cyllin. The coins, decorated with trees from throughout the Elven Forest, were meant as a uniting factor between the factions that made up the Elven Kingdom, something that all of them had in common. Areas of the Outlands were the last to adopt such a notion, but before the end of the Giant Wars, the Outlanders had accepted Branches as their official currency.   Many assume that there is a hint of magic utilized within the process of minting these coins due to the delicate and intricate imprint that is on every coin and the long-lasting nature of the imprint. It has been noted, and even studied by the Unending Scroll, that using one of the Branches as a sort of worry stone over centuries would not diminish the imprint in any way. While the coins are minted in Alfensil, the process is a closely guarded secret that only a select handful of people chosen by the King are privy to.  


The design of Branches took nearly a decade to be decided upon, something that King Cyllin took upon himself. It is his artwork that graces the face of every coin used in the Elven Kingdom. Only the imprint of the period and the current ruler changes, often upon the coronation of a new King. Due to the long lives of Elves, even this changes very rarely.   While gold and silver coins are the most common, all denominations have a chosen design, even mithril and adamantite coins which are extremely rare or not used at all in most cases. From lowest value to highest, the coins are imprinted with a birch tree, a cherry tree, a maple tree, a spruce tree, a willow tree, and an oak tree.  


At a time when the Elven Kingdom needed to be united against a common foe, King Cyllin decreed the creation and usage of a new currency that would become the official currency of the Elven Kingdom. Some of the areas near the borders of the Kingdom were not happy with this change early on, often ignoring or refusing to use the coinage altogether. It is unknown what caused the shift, but eventually, all in the Elven Kingdom would adopt the currency before the end of the Giant Wars.   The Kingdom chose to utilize metals that were mined within their borders, relying heavily on the deposits within the Spine of Kallex for this purpose. Coins of gold and silver became the most prominent, while coins of adamantite were reserved strictly for royalty. Those made of mithril were coveted, so much so that it was decreed that coins of that value were not to leave the Kingdom. Such a precious metal could not be given to those who would not respect it.   Over the centuries, some denominations of Branches would make it into circulation in other countries, but Elves rarely used their currency outside of their homeland. Because of this, Branches became a currency that was often counterfeited and used in far-away lands to purchase expensive goods. By the time a seller realized the coins were fake, the buyers could be long gone.   To most Elves, a counterfeit of any denomination of Branches is easily spotted due to several minor differences, often in the leaves of the trees. This high level of detail and the quality of the imprint make this coinage highly collectible, especially during periods of beloved monarchs. While not as coveted as the collection of Ages, some Elves will dedicate centuries of their lives to collecting full sets of coins from specific eras, often related to important world events or times within their lives.
Branches, the currency used in the Elven Kingdom, is considered to have some of the most detailed imprints that are thought to be imbued with magic due to the coins not losing any detail even after being in circulation for millennia.
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Author's Notes

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Feb 15, 2024 18:45 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

They're so pretty! I love the idea of the different trees being the different denominations.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
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