Trade and Money

Eleathean Life

The price of products is heavily dependent on transport, and the cost of transport depends heavily on weight and bulk. These principles are almost universal, but how heavily dependent varies a great deal with the setting. In Eleath, the answer is, very heavily!

Treetop Transport Troubles

Put simply, there is no easy transport of bulk goods on Eleath (a role served by ships in many historical societies with technology comparable to that of Eleath). True, along boardways simple carts are usable, but even these must be hand drawn or require exceptionally well trained draft animals - a spooked drake running amok off a boardway doesn’t usually mean just a bent axle, but the loss of cart, cargo and draft animal - and perhaps the driver, too! In smaller settlements, accessible only on ropeways, no carts are possible, and on wildways then the backs of highly trained icegrip apes or the merchants themselves provide the only transport.

End results: bulky or heavy goods get expensive, fast as you get further from where it was made or grown, and from larger towns linked by boardways.

Couple this with the difficulties of smelting and forging at scale away from the tepui, and larger metal items become precious and well cared for, and even a symbol of wealth, particularly in the tribal lands. The effect is less noticeable on goods with low weight and volume, so it can seem strange that items such as jewellery don’t appreciate in value with location to the same degree, and gold, silver and copper coins are accepted for exchange in most places - see Coinage and Currency.

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