The Storms of Shadow
Trade and Commerce
Nobles of Amber have never had any real need for currency. In the past, anything sought could be retrieved from shadow, and, as the true city is their rightful domain, what was brought into it was theirs for the taking. With the fall of shadow however, this philosophy has changed.
Shadow is no longer as accessible as it once was, and retrieving objects of desire from within it can be a dangerous business. Amber now acquires most of its commerce through trade, the influx of the population into the new city offering a very diverse flow of consumables and items of interest. Still, without the unhampered access to shadow, some commodities are in limited supply, and competition for them has emerged among the Nobles of the realm.
The changes in the world have not prevented those of their blood from taking what they want from the populace, but doing so often results in damage to the noble’s reputation, making it harder to get the same items in the future. In addition, so as to guarantee that they are kept in the manner in which they are accustomed to, the nobles of Amber have taken to sponsoring merchants in the city, cornering the market in certain items of trade and giving protecting to merchants from the whim of other Amber houses. Sponsored merchants are treated as retainers by the crown, and actions against them are taken as actions against the lord they serve.
Most of the noble’s of Amber still view currency as something which is beneath them, but are very interested in the trappings of royal existence, preventing them from ignoring the concept altogether. To circumvent this, noble’s usually have a retainer that manages their wealth, responsible for keeping them in the manner in which they are accustomed to. Although currency rarely ever passes between nobles directly, exchanges and judgments often include the merchant retainers and establishments surrounding valued commodities, having value in both the simple enjoyment gleaned from acquiring such things and in achieving a level of luxury beyond the reach of one’s peers. Although, an extremely rare and humiliating event, a Noble in need can petition the crown for currency at any time.
Amber currency is controlled by the crown, the royal purser monitoring the flow of coin into the true city and levying taxes from the populace. Amber coinage comes in two forms, the ‘noble’ and the ‘pence’, and, although most realms still have their own form of currency, Amber’s is recognized in all of the golden circle states.