Imperial trade coin
One of the first things to change with the creation of the empire was the system of currency. To survive, a man needs very little. A little food, water, shelter and time is all it takes to build a strong man capable of a days labor. In order to operate a massive farm capable of feeding many but operated by few, a man must be convinced to work more than his needs require of him.
Comfort and luxury would be the glittering prize that could tempt man into compromise.
With the imperial trade coin a man could convert his labor into value and buy things a simple person cannot himself craft. A warm house, a soft bed, a masterfully prepared meal, tobacco for his pipe, and fine shoes for his feet. All crafted in factories that sometimes operate across town and other times operate across the known world. From shore to shore, a coin had the same value based on the work a man is capable of producing in a certain amount of time.
Single: A small task of which about ten can be completed by an average man in an average day.
Sun: Equal to ten Singles, a Sun is the value placed on a day’s labor.
Crescent: Equal to ten Suns, a Crescent is a quarter moon or a week.
Moon: Equal to four crescents, a Moon is a full lunar cycle or a month.
Season: Equal to three Moons, A Season is worth the time it takes to complete one of the four seasons Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.
Imperial: Equal to four Seasons, an Imperial can buy a man’s labor for a year.
No single coin can buy a man for life, but it is a small thing to think that with fist full of Imperials you could come close to it.
Trade coins are all minted from copper which is easily minted, durable and weather well.
Above a Single, each coin is marked with a unique number that is used to track the coin where ever it may be found. Since it is law to report every transaction in which a coin is traded, they become valuable tools for the empire to ferret out unlawful transactions and lawbreakers. A misplaced Sun may be overlooked, but anything more is enough to bring local enforcement in to investigate. A Crescent found on the street is worth only the value of the metal it is minted on unless you could return it to its rightful owner who may be willing to give you some portion of its value as a reward for it’s return.
Theft of money is rare in the empire. While a cut-purse may be able to make off with a few singles, it just isn’t worth the amount of trouble theft stirs up to take more than that.