The Times Are Nightfall
The basic unit of currency since Alexius took the throne is the firebird, so called because it bears the Imperial Phoenix insigina on the reverse, and a portrait of Alexius on the reverse. It is minted from a metal called prismium on Byzantium Secundus, and it is very difficult to counterfeit. Firebirds can be broken into halves (called crests) or quarters (called wings).
Additionally, smaller denomination coins, generically known as talons (an all-encompassing term covering literally dozens of local currencies) are extant; a talon is valued at 1/8th of a firebird. Four of the Houses issue their own coinage as well: the House Decados mantis, the House Hazat claw, the House Li Halan cross, and the House Al-Malik sparkler (obviously, not their preferred name, but the name by which they have come to be known). House Hawkwood formerly minted black lions, but the currency was discontinued with Alexius’s ascension to the Phoenix Throne. The surviving House currencies are valued at eight to one firebird, though within House territory, the exchange rate may be far lower.
Most non-Guild freemen can expect to earn less than forty firebirds a year. Serfs are lucky to make one, and many live in debt bondage.
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