Many years ago, a trader from far away died while in The City. Having no next of kin or friends in the city, and the magistrate not having any way to find and contact them, his personal goods were inventoried and eventually sold. One of the entries was a "bag of 220 beautiful coins". These coins were of no real value, being made of a copper alloy. They were beautifully detailed and artistic in design. A local crafter purchased them in the auction. He turned them into buttons, clasps for bags, hat bands, and jewelry. The items were sold, traded, and gifted.
Years later a whimsical artist placed a beautiful old trinket upon one of his statues. She magically came to life. So fun and enchanting was she, that she married the Prince of the City. The ending of this story goes badly. Some of those who opposed the Prince stole her necklace. After turning her back into a statue, they broke her. The Prince died soon after. His end was of a broken heart, with or without a knife through it.
Across the land, rumors and folk tales of animated snowmen, trees, statues of people, horses, and animals, began to appear. Scholars and magic users investigated these folktales and facts (if they got there in time) and found a common thread, a common item with a beautiful artistic circular element. Horrace of the Impressionists guild researched and discovered their origin, a bag of 220 beautiful, artistic coyns of unknown origin.
Now those in the know are searching for coyn items, hoping to find those with animation properties to use for their own purposes.
Each coin (coyn in the old tongue)has the ability to animate a "lifelike" inanimate (statue, toy, oddly shaped tree). Simply placing the item or coin on the lifelike inanimate will bring it to life. Removing said item returns the object to an inanimate state. If animated thing is exceptionally lifelike, it will turn to flesh with hair, and appropriate elements. If it is not, the thing will simply be mobile and intelligent.