Sunday, 23 October 2016

Silver Penny of Emperor Lyshir III

First and foremost, my most sincere and heartfelt apologies for the absence of any post last weekend; university life caught up with me and I had a pile of work to get through. However, with any luck the next short(ish) story, entitled Steel and Silver will (hopefully!) be ready to share either next Sunday or the weekend after. Of course, the Lore below is aimed at adding a little depth and finer detail to the story to come without spoiling any of the plot, so read on for clues as to what may be coming!

I decided that I wanted to do something a little different for this week's post, and having bailed on you all last week I thought it a good way of making it up to everyone. Given that I've recently discovered something of a fascination with archaeology and medieval numismatics, I thought I'd try and incorporate a little of both into the next short(ish) story and some of the other posts in order to diversify what usually gets posted here.

Below is a wonderful pencil sketch done by my lovely girlfriend Lizzie, as well as a few notes on it and how it pertains to the upcoming short(ish) story. She has my unending gratitude for doing this for me, and she has gone above and beyond what I asked her to in the quality of her drawing and the time and effort she put into it for me. The wonderful image is, as ever, accompanied by some basic academic-style notes for those interested in some of the detail hidden in the world of Esdaria - and clues towards the next short(ish) story. 

Quickly, a word on the way dates are presented and written in Imperial Documentation. The most common way of writing and presenting dates in the English language takes the form of the Anno Domini system: 1000BC for one-thousand years before the year zero, or the birth of Christ (hence BC), and AD500 for five-hundred years after the year zero (Anno Domini is medieval Latin for 'year of the Lord'). Here, because there is no Christ in Esdaria, the calendars of the various peoples are structured differently: the Empire works in Eras, of which there are currently two; the Halflings have Epochs, of which there are currently three; the Elves, on the other hand, take a year-by-year approach, not ascribing names to different periods of time.

All Lore Posts on this blog take the form of imperial documentation unless stated otherwise. The Empire works in Eras, of which there are currently two: the First Era of Imperial History and the Second Era of Imperial History. As a result, dates are written as follows: the one-hundredth and seventh year of the First Era of Imperial History would be 107Y1E - Y following the 'year' and E denoting the 'era'. As another example, the seventh year of the Second Era would be written as 7Y2E, the ninety-ninth year of the Second as 99Y2E, and the three-thousandth year of the First Era as 3000Y1E. You get the picture.


Coin - Penny
Emperor Lyshir III (148Y2E - 189Y2E)
Western Imperial Heartlands

The above coin was one of a series of Emperor Lyshir III coins minted by Andrey of Busnik at the behest of his patron, Earl Aesinger Fortescue. This particular coin, minted in the large village of Busnik in the Western Imperial Heartlands by the renowned moneyer, was only in circulation between the one-hundredth and eighty-first and one-hundredth and eighty-fourth years of the Second Era of Imperial History (181Y2E - 184Y2E). On the obverse, it bares a highly detailed rendition of the emperor's features in the typical Vidorian fashion as well as the inscription EMPEROR - LYSHIR - III. The obverse sports the Imperial Phoenix and the inscription ANDREY - BUSNIK, the name of the moneyer and location of the mint that produced the coin respectively. It is made from high-quality silver, most probably taken from the mines in the north of the Imperial Heartlands. The quality of the coin stands as testimony to the wealth of the Western Imperial Heartlands under governorship of the Fortescue family, and the skill of the moneyer whose coinage was of higher quality than most minted elsewhere in the Vidorian Empire at the time.

This particular coin was not minted for long, for in the face of frequent Maedarian rebellion between 181-192Y2E, Emperor Lyshir III chose to appear in armour on all coins issued up until his death in 189Y2E. This series of west-minted coins were among the final series to be produced showing an emperor in "peacetime" garb, as it has since become common practice for emperors to appear in full battle regalia on their coinage. With regards to the later "armoured" coins of Lyshir III, they should not be confused with the triumphal coins issued following the fall of the kingdom of Altmeria in 150Y2E, which also show Lyshir III in armour. Lyshir III, who had reigned for forty-one years from the age of fifteen, was succeeded by Lyshir IV in 189Y2E, who successfully resisted King Aelfurd until he was murdered and usurped by King Gared in 193Y2E.

The moneyer himself, Andrey of Busnik, who was born in 165Y2E in the Eastern Imperial Heartlands, moved westwards when he was ten years old with his family. His father, the well-known moneyer Oldren Silverspinner, was forced to relocate to the Eastern Imperial Heartlands after the death of Duke Alhred of Eastwatch, his previous patron. When Alhred's son, also Alhred (d. 171Y2E), sponsored another group of coin-makers to those his father had supported, Oldren was forced to look elsewhere for work. Andrey and his family arrived in the Western Heartlands at the same time as the kingdom of Maedar's rebellion under Governor Lysandrus (165Y2E) and settled in the large fortified village of Busnik.

Interestingly, the events of the 165Y2E rebellion were hugely beneficial for Andrey's father, Oldren, as Earl Jacob Fortescue led one of the imperial armies that reconquered Maedar and brought it back under imperial control. The young Lord Aelfurd - an acquaintance of Earl Jacob - replaced Lysandrus as governor of the province after the rebelling governor was slain in battle. Earl Jacob returned to the Western Heartlands draped in glory and quickly issued a special triumphal coin on behalf of Emperor Lyshir III, one which Oldren was placed in charge of producing. When Oldren died seven years later (172Y2E), Andrey, then seventeen, took over his trade, minting coins for the new earl of the Western Heartlands: Aesinger Fortescue. Andrey appears to have taken to minting with the same love, care and skill as his father, producing high-quality silver for many years.

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