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Currency in the Fomorian Empire

Currency in the Fomorian Empire is similar to currency in the rest of Known Space with coins made of precious metals in denominations of 10 with fifty (or so) coins to a pound (roughy 10 grams of metal per coin). Not all coins, in fact very few, in the Empire are round, with daggers, spearheads and axehead shapes making up the majoriity of coins with only Silver Shields (langenokek) and Starmetal Eyes (rryntek) being round.

The smallest denomination of coin, worth 1/100 of a Gold Spear (mnostek), is the Daggers of Kichol | ᛞᛖᚾᛎᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᚲᛇᚴᚯᛚ | denzek chign kiichol, colloquially known as denzek or daggers, they are vaguely dagger-shaped copper coins weighing about 10 grams (.35 oz).

Next are the round silver coins, known as Shields of Goibnu | ᛚᚪᚾᚷᛆᚾᚯᚲᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᚷᛟᛁᛒᚿᚮ | langenokek chign goibnu, or just Shields or langenokek. They too weigh about 10 grams (.35 oz) and are worth 1/10 of a Spear.

Spears of Elatha | ᛙᚪᛋᛏᚪᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᛖᚻᚨᚦᚫ | mnostek chign elatha, Gold Spears or just Spears/mnostek are the standard of currency in the Fomorian Empire and like other coins, weigh about 10 g, though these are very high quality spearhead shapes.

A more rare coin in the Empire is the Axes of Konand (or the Empire) | ᚿᛡᚾᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᚲᛟᚮᚾᚨᚾᛞ (ᚲᚮᛚᚲᛁᛋ) | gnenek chign konand (kulkis). Interchangably known as Axes of Konand and Axes of the Empire, they are commonly called Axes or gnenek or often refered to colloquially as soldiers | ᛠᛞᛃᚨᛐᛖᚲ | ydjathek because, orcish tradition holds that to draft a fomorian you must provide him with an axe, and interestingly, 1 axe will buy 1 battleaxe and a gambeson. Gnenek are made of platinum, weigh 10 g, and are worth 10 mnostek

The final unit of currency, usually reserved for huge purchases, is the Eyes of Balor | ᛨᛠᚾᛏᛖᚲ ᚴᛁᚿ ᛒᚨᛚᛟᚮ | rryntek chign balorr. Worth 100 spears, they are made from 10 g of pure Starmetal and shaped like a disc bearing an ominous eye on one side and the the bust of the current High Chief on the tails.

This practice of using the current High Chief's bust on the Eyes of Balor has led many High Chiefs to put a bounty on coins from previous rulers by only allowing trade of said coins to the government, then melting them down into new Eyes. By making trade in the coins of previous rulers contraband, and allowing people to turn in these coins for current coins on a 1 for 1 basis has two effects;

First, it insures there is enough starmetal in circulation to give the empire a good idea of who their ruler is, and secondly, insures that the prohibitively expensive starmetal coins have a constant weight.

Like all currency, Fomorian currency is prone to forgery, and fraud like shaving. Forgery is usually accomplished by changing the core of the expensive coin to a core of less valuable metal, or by plating 10% of the coins in a batch with a more precious metal, such as copper shields plated in silver. Both methods of forgery are detectable by weighing the coins.

Shaving is the process of grinding off small amounts of the coin and melting the shavings into a forged coin. These forgeries are often closer to the original weight than the coins used for shaving. Detecting forged coins by this method is more difficult and usually requires a coin expert, but when it comes right down to it, does it really matter when the coins are good weight?

Finally, there are the combinations of fraud and forgery, coins are shaved then the shavings are used to make coins with false cores.
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