A key note before we get started is that the currency of Tam'nýer—a' is more or less a universal one in the form of hammered pearls of varying colours; they are called P'ee K'äh and are written as such: . These are harvested from the sea, and delivered to the differing lands by the Sk'älik, which in part makes the Sk'älik the richest species out there in multiple ways, but of course the most obvious is by the riches of the oceans, and in turn, the goddess Q'Tam'šmă herself.
AN IDEA OF COST
Now, with so many different types of P'ee K'äh, it helps to not be carrying so much because they can get pretty hefty. The most expensive thing in Tam'nýer—a' is housing, by far. Most especially in Püertagœ's Rings 2 and 3. To get one of those, you're either born into that kind of wealth, or you and your spouse have been wheeling and dealing your entire lives and are ready to retire. To give you a better idea, Blacksmiths on average make about 360, 000 P'ee K'äh every Tam'nýer—a''n year. Let's say our Blacksmith is Human, so he'll probably work 2 Tam'nýer—a''n years total in his life (as a full fledged Blacksmith, no longer apprenticing) making a lifetime wage of 720, 000 P'ee K'äh. You're looking at 2 Blacksmithing lifetime wages to get into those Püertagœn Rings (1.5 million+ P'ee K'äh).
Now, basic shelter cost-wise in Tam'nýer—a' can vary on where you are in the world, but will more than likely be pretty cheap, if you're all right with low standards. If you're in Uwhang and born there, housing costs nothing because you live in your family's tree (like the pun? You're welcome). If you're in Fawzia-Kedet, you can stay in some speakeasy for super cheap. Püertagœ costs nothing to be homeless, and sometimes you might be charming enough to have people invite you into their homes. The lower rings you can also find shelter for 1 gold P'ee K'äh (10 P'ee K'äh in total), which is extremely cheap considering how long the days are. Your surroundings and amenities may not be the nicest as it might simply be hay and a blanket with a shared toilet area, but it's a roof over your head.
The second most expensive thing you can do is seek passage aboard a vessel. Of course, the port you want will change the price, but if you're venturing from one side of the map to the other, for example T-'a'Ţăs'múr to Püertagœ, Uwhang or ZàÞça (with perhaps an added charge because to get there you have to pass B'hărăbû) you might be looking at a price of 8-12 Blue P'ee K'äh (800-1,200 P'ee K'äh in total). It's not nice and certainly very steep considering sometimes you might just get tossed in with the supplies for a room. But hey, if you need to get somewhere, you need to get somewhere and people are willing to take advantage.
Groceries are lucky decently cheap, especially in the Sky-Coral Sea (thanks to its climate) and ZàÞça, due to so many difficult crops being able to grow there. It's surprising how many plants need either a very humid climate or near bone dry. If you don't eat very much and you live in one of those two places, you might be able to get away with 1 chocolate P'ee K'äh (50 P'ee K'äh in total) a day. Now that might sound hefty; $50 a day to eat?! But remember, one 1 Tam'nýer—a''n day is 10 of ours. In total using those numbers, to eat every day at 50 (1 Chocolate P'ee K'äh), that's an annual total of 55, 650 (P'ee K'äh).
Just as it is here on Earth, prices vary upon many factors. These factors can work together, or against each other as well to inflate or deflate a price further. With that in mind, here's some of the reasons to consider when purchasing and pricing to sell:
Where you are buying/selling?
Is the item high in demand?
Is it considered a "luxury" item?
Is this item easy to find or can it only be sourced in one part of the world?
Are you a well-known merchant or shoppe?
(Think in terms of our labels/brand names)
Taking all this into consideration, let's break this down using an example of K'wãt. K'wãt is a luxury tobacco for pipe smoking in Tam'nýer—a'. It can only be grown at high elevations, meaning that you have to get this product from the Mountains of T-'a'Ţăs'múr and will have to barter with the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa to get it. Now, despite being solely produced by the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa, it is mainly distributed by the Sum’nër’ family (one of the 12 Greater Families of Püertagœ). So now we have two reasons as to why K'wãt is not only a luxury, high-end product, but consequently an expensive one.
Another factor that can alter the price of K'wãt is whether it is dry upon purchase, or wet (which is what you want). Dry is the mark of low quality K'wãt, but can be dried on purpose by a good merchant who knows how to talk a good talk, and show customers
between the quality as well. Then, there is also the poor who still want to smoke K'wãt but cannot afford it wet. However, you might already be piecing together that K'wãt is a product ripe for abusing as a swindler can procure dry K'wãt and soak it in water to make it weigh more, ultimately giving you a cheaper version of the tobacco as well as a run for your money. This is especially thanks to K'wãt being sold by weight. It also hasn't escaped some K'wãt merchants to say that they sell Sum’nër’ K'wãt, as the Sum’nër’ name is synonymous with quality, and permits to charge a higher price as well.
Armed with all that information, hopefully this helps you understand that con men and honest merchants are everywhere, so it is best to be a well-informed shopper. Not only that, but be very aware that perhaps the biggest factor in prices you may find in the varying marketplaces throughout Tam'nýer—a' is that the customer is not always right. Merchants can and most likely will up the price if they interpret your actions as rude, so it's best to play nice when shopping. Remember that Tam'nýer—a' is a world where if there's only one merchant with the product you are looking for, they might be the only one within a few earth hours journey. There is no such thing as mass production in Tam'nýer—a'.
Below is a list of popular items sold by merchants near & far, with price ranges to permit for honesty, lower quality, as well as high quality:
K'wãt (tobacco): 8-20 per ounce
Inva' (gem/medicine): 5-150 depending on the size of the stone
Shavings: 1-2 per ounce
Rieárn (iron/dye/magnet): Dark Grey (magnetic): 3-6 per kilo (2.2 lbs)
Banded: 4-7 per kilo (2.2 lbs)
Õnntas (coal/gifting): 10-60 depending on the size of chunk
Teas (Mët-L'ak/G'týl): Pouch: 20-25 | Jar: 50-70
Časht'ild (fragrance/medicine): 30-60 a chunk
Spring Rot Tree (light source/medicine): Alive: 100-400 depending upon the maturity of the tree
Dead (not prepped): 10-12 for a small leather pouch
Dead (prepped): 20-25 for a small leather pouch
Zlytnoki (fungi/food): 1-4 each (mainly dependent upon where it is sold and what season)
Pure Meyexiu Silk: Fibers for Weaving: 800-2,000 for a handful
Pre-woven Squares: 13,000-15,000 for 1 yard square (3 foot square)
OTHER WAYS TO ACQUIRE NECESSITIES
Now while P'ee K'äh is the currency of the entire world, that's not to say that there aren't other ways of buying and selling. The best example of this is the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa, as they usually tend to run on a bartering system. A prime example of this is their yearly trade with the Ãoni. They supply the Ãoni with Wôrdiţ, and in exchange the Ãoni supply the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa with shells, Spring Rot Trees, fish, boiled B'ashl, and Muntade bark.
Another form of buying and selling which is rare but good, should you be an individual lucky enough to learn it (meaning that not all characters will know this unless they have discovered it through trade), is that while the Sk'älik do trade with P'ee K'äh, some Sk'älik may ask for something to sweeten the deal, and what they are usually looking for are stories. That's right, legends, tall tales, religious or not, some put a high price on these.
"But how do I do I get a book under water and not have it be damaged?" you ask. Ah, well, that's where vellum comes in. Vellum is fine parchment made from animal skin, and waterproof ink can be made from resin flakes mixed with a little bit of alcohol (any) to turn it into a liquid, aka an ink that you can now write with. Sk'älik, of course, love any tale to do with Q'Tam'šmă the most, but that doesn't mean they won't be interested in rare Ṅkhya'jra literature, or something as dull seeming to us as a manual on clock making. They are avid readers, and stories to them are as good as gold is to us.
IMPORTS & EXPORTS:
RISKS AND ALLIANCES
As you've no doubt noticed on the varying destination pages that each place has a small example of imports and exports. That being said, it also brings in the notion of alliances between countries and the problems they mutually face, such as piracy. As aforementioned, Tam'nýer—a' is a world blessed by a universal language, as well as currency. This permits all nations to compete more or less equally despite the fact that some industries can be highly restricted not only to professions, but agriculturally and racially as well.
For instance, Noîka are grown and harvested solely on the island of Trótskarr, and Storytellers are strictly a Khah' profession. Shown by this example, the economic giants of Tam'nýer—a' are not necessarily the largest producing, or spending, but lies in the seeking out of goods & services, their transportation to different parts of the world and implementing them into another society. As they say "Share the wealth!" and travelling merchants — whether by land or sea — are a fundamental aspect of economy of Tam'nýer—a'.
However, the drawback of this fact is that is creates a large opening for piracy; an issue that is thriving in Tam'nýer—a' and has been for ages. This is exploited even more so, due to the fact that natural resources and production and or refining facilities are occasionally not in the same nation. The greatest example of this is convoys getting attacked on the Bluş'taji River that are transporting mined Llî-lko' which is a greatly guarded resource, as it is not only valuable being Tam'nýer—a''s version of platinum, but also because it is illegal for its hallucinogenic properties.
When it comes to alliances for trade and beyond, these are the ties that are the most prominent;
Püertagœ, Fawzia-Kedet & Sky-Coral Sea (Uwhang) are the main alliance within Tam'nýer—a'. That's not to say that ZàÞça isn't included, but when considering 'heavy hitters' on the main world stage, ZàÞça tends to be discounted.
When it comes to T-'a'Ţăs'múr they are the most neutral party, not wanting to cause disagreements with anyone. That being said T-'a'Ţăs'múr trades openly with the Ãoni Coast, and anywhere else they can travel to. They also trade with Rīdhaūñaī, but being aware of the discord between the Ṅkhya'jra and the rest of the races, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa do not announce this fact.
Püertagœ has a similar relationship with B'hărăbû of all places, as Püertagœ actually owns the land that is the city-state of B'hărăbû. Though they do not affiliate with one another to the public, there have been occasions where the Püertagœn Senate will offer the leader of B'hărăbû, currently Boris Vaughnyèl (a disinherited member of one of the Greater 12 Families), some nice coffers to dock their ships there under a banner of truce. Despite this possibly damaging the reputation of the Senate as it can certainly be perceived as dubious, it is not announced to their citizens, and denied by those denizens of Püertagœ who go there to clearly acquire slaves. A mutual disregard, as it were.