Whilst on the surface of Kelbonnar’s Material Plane, the Imperial Coinage of the Empire of Turelion is the universal currency, this is not true of the Underdark, which is a far cry from being a single, nearly all encompassing political and economic unit. For many years, trade in the Underdark was carried out exclusively through bartering, but as with the surface world, there was a desire to reduce personal wealth to a point where it was not tied to the moving and exchange of large amounts of bulky items, whose value was not standardised. To this end, the city of Frax, one of the largest commercial centres in the Underdark, developed its own form of coinage, called simply Fraxian Standard. It quickly became the most ubiquitous and trusted currency in the subterranean region, more so than Imperial Coinage, which as deemed to be too much at risk of depreciation or tampering at the whims of the individual Emperors. Nowadays, whilst other forms of currency within the Underdark do exist, and Imperial Coinage is accepted widely, if one wants to trade in the Underdark with an sense of parity with and trust in the local merchants, one must acquire a stash of Fraxian Standard.
Ensuring the Quality of the CoinageBecause the city of Frax is a major trading hub, it is said that all pieces of Fraxian Standard coinage ever struck there will eventually make their way back to the city. Therefore, the Merchant Council of Frax regularly removes coins from circulation so that they can be reweighed, checked for signs of tampering and if necessary can be melted down to produce fresh, standardised pieces. Individual units which have been through this process are stamped with a minute punch, which when examined under a magnifying glass, or jewellers lens, gives the date that the particular piece was last quality checked.
Fraxian Standard is a coinage that is cast, rather than struck, and the rectangular bars are created through the pouring of the molten metal into specially designed and meticulously crafted terracotta moulds. The bars are then stamped with metal punches, which transfers their designs onto a single face of the bar. Upon completion, all bars are individually weighed to ensure that they meet the exact weight criteria for their respective denomination of the coinage.
ManufacturerAll Fraxian Standard coinage is produced by the city of Frax in the Upper Underdark. The minters of Frax are highly trained, their profession highly regulated and their work highly scrutinised and recorded.
The Production of Fraxian Standard is credited as being one of the main innovations that greased the wheels of trade within all of the Underdark's levels to the point that people can buy and sell goods wherever, regardless of the political and social situation or relations of various factions, provided that they have the coin to do so. It has allowed the factions of the Underdark to collaborate with an ease that they were never able to do previously.
Currency & Deeds
Raw materials & Components
The three denominations of Fraxian Standard are, as their names suggest, minted out of platinum, gold and silver respectively. The metals used for this purpose must pass a purity test before minting, to ensure that they are as fine and unadulterated as possible, thereby ensuring the integrity of the coinage.