Brownies of Birn (now
extinct for several millenia) were a
special folk, and so was the currency they used. Proficient in a special kind
of magic the
Brownies called "lifemagic", their currency was made of wood with special spells
cast upon it. Birn Currency was mainly used for trading among the
while the Big People found it difficult to keep track of tiny Birni money, or
even to tell the different denominations apart.
Only perhaps a handfull of these coins exist
nowadays, conserved through the
lifemagic cast upon them.
Birn currency was unique in the history of
Caelereth in that each coin was, in a sense, alive. Each coin was a wooden
disc about 1.25 grain across, with a stack of 10 being a grain high. Every
genuine coin, besides being stamped on the front with the name and likeness of
the reigning monarch and the number of years since the beginning of
Browniekind, and a picture on the back with
an inscription in the secret red language, also had its life force tied off. As
it was being removed from its tree, a redbark
would cast a lifemagic spell to allow the life force within the wooden disc to
proceed in an endless circle, keeping it alive in spite of being seperated from
any kind of root system or leaves. Genuine Birn coins were thus warm to the
Coins. This wooden
currency came in five denominations of coins, made out of five different kinds
of wood. The Telg was the smallest. Made from the wood of various vines, it
carried a picture of a pile of sawdust, and was inscribed "telg tl birn",
meaning "Sawdust of Birn". It was worth just enough to send a message.
The implication of the inscriptions on the coins was to remind people that they
were the trunk of birn, that they needed to put the interests of Birn before
their own interests.
A ben was worth 5 telg. It was made from the wood of the
urban tree, and
carried a picture of a branching twig on the back, with the inscription "ben tl
birn", meaning "Twig of Birn". It was worth 5 telg, enough to buy a cold drink
on a hot day.
The next coin, called an ort, was worth 25 telg. It carried a picture of a leaf
and the inscription "ort tl birn", meaning "Leaf of Birn", and was made from the
wood of the adlemir tree. An ort was
enough to buy a simple meal for two people.
The fourth coin, dalb, was worth 125 telg, enough for a fancy, all you can eat
meal for two people. It had a picture of a tree branch, and the inscription
"dalb tl birn", meaning "Branch of Birn". It was made from the wood of the
The highest denomination of coin, called an irtald, was worth 625 telg. It was
made from the wood of the coastal
redwood, and carried a picture of the root system of a tree, as well as the
inscription "irtald tl birn", meaning "Root of Birn".