The net went down, it went down hard. People got hurt, people died.
Things are not what they appear in the Cognitive Network
The CogNet might be policed by sentient programs and controlled by artificially intelligent super computers, but it is built on top of millions of organic memory cores that function as its host.
The PC's end up in a strange world where the very rocks are made of gold and jewels.As such gold and jewels is worth very little, but the iron in their swords and belt buckles is suddenly worth a LOT.