Login or register. (You can now login/register with your social networks.)

NPCs
Mythic/ Historical
Religious
4.5
3 Votes

24xp


Hits: 185
Comments: 3
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.5
Condition: Normal
ID: 7449

Submitted:

Updated:
June 1, 2014, 3:31 pm

Vote Hall of Honour

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status

Options


Print Friendly and PDF

The Face on Every Coin, Dini the Goddess of Currency

By:

A goddess with a holy object of veneration in every pocket, wallet and bank; as well as down the sides of the big comfy chair in the inn.

'The invention of currency was a great blessing, without it the great and good would have to labour in the fields or forests like the common folk to get their daily bread. As with all great blessings the divine played a major {some may say central} role, and Our Lady of Coinage was tasked {or maybe created} to oversee the blessing. Since then currencies have come and gone, but the institution, and Our Lady, remain.' - Hans Julberg, Chief cashier Amalgamated Guild Bank of Cottering Port and Senior Historian of the associated Cult of Dini.

Dini in society

There are many gods, demi-gods and godlings with various dealings and associations with commerce, mercantilism and trade. The most popular and well known are the gods of Profit and patron gods of merchants. Supplicants seek from them assistance in making money, growing their business, innovating or even harming their competitors. They are worshipped by bankers, traders, the rich and poor alike all seeking the things money can buy.

Dini is not worshipped by merchants. Her name is not used as an oath in heated bartering on the dockside nor is it sung in praise at annual guild celebrations. Some bankers pay her homage, those considered odd or overly nebbish by their fellows, some thieves leave aside a portion of piety from the shadowy gods of luck and the underworld to curry her favour but overwhelmingly her acolytes are found in the mints of the world, in the engraving guilds and in the treasuries of the great powers.

She has many titles, 'She who Counts', 'The Face on Every Coin', 'The Hidden Thread' and 'The Printer's Mistress' and these reflect her focus and the professions associated with her. Dini is the Goddess of Currency, not of profit or trade. She doesn't care how much money someone has, how comfortable their life is or whether they have only a single coin to their name. She doesn't care what the currency is, over time she has seen polished shells, dried seeds and live crabs used as currency and she has delighted in all of them. Her stance, adopted by many of her adherents is that true currency has less immediate use than the items it is traded for. Fools learn of her and pray for more gold to receive only silence, the wise supplicant prays for a rare coin from a ruined civilization to surface the next time they turn up their vegetable patch.

Her overriding concern is to maintain the system and institution of currency. Where gods of trade and merchants may step in by helping a bumper harvest of cotton or confusing a rival in an auction she intervenes when the sanctity of a currency is threatened, whatever the money may be and whatever the threat.

'So Mick 'ad just finished up rigging the press and we set ourselves down for a drink, it wer' thirsty work haulin' the papers and inks into the warehouse and the press itself wer' as 'eavy as three ox so we thought we'd treat ourselves 'afore starting the prints. So little Theo', the prissy mage type who was goin' to put the spells on the notes to make em' look real stood up to give a speech, e'd had a few already and nobles love talkin'. But I swear to you 'e didn't fall, 'e wer' pushed. A little old lady came out o' nowhere and shoved 'im into t' press. I never seen so much blood.' - Interrogation transcript from investigating magistrate in Cottering Port counterfeiting case.


Dini intervening and interacting with the world

As with all the gods there are limits on how much Dini can directly intervene in the affairs of mortals. Even within these limits she is loath to directly act, only using her corporeal avatars when she feels she doesn't have the time or resources to eliminate a threat to currency indirectly. She typically manifests in two avatars, which go by the names Ambelucina and Siphular.

Ambelucina appears to be a matronly humanoid, looking like a cross between a human and a dwarf. She typically has grey hair tied up in a bun, is of generous build and dressed in sensible clothing appropriate to the culture she manifests in. Those who have interacted with her and been interviewed by the cult afterwards describe her overall appearance as being like a cashier in an old, established bank and her attitude like that of a particularly dry governess. Dini takes this form to deal with counterfeiters and currency defacers, or those who destroy currency; in this form she can use reasonably powerful ice magic, has some skill with the axe and is very durable.

Siphular appears as an androgynous member of any given species, determined by the individual she is interacting with; she only ever appears to people on their own. Siphular has an aura of beauty and luxury which seems to combine both lust and something more cerebral, like appreciation of a fine wine. Those sensitive to the mystical or currents of magic will realise she is employing powerful sorcery to endear and enthrall them, this being part of the reason for Dini using Siphular. This form is employed when dealing with more complex or politically delicate threats to currency, if a monarch seeks to enrich him/herself by devaluing the coinage of the realm or when a cartel of banks are encouraging deflation. In this form she can sway people's opinions, cloud their judgment and if necessary use more base methods for altering policy.

As a god she has vast powers and something of a duty, which she is rather haphazard about executing. Often a threat to a given currency has to be dealt with by her cult, since she is capable of spending years absorbed in study and contemplation of a promissory note or tin coin. Senior members of the cult speculate that this deficiency may have been forced on her by other gods she has been active against in the past. Though knowledge of her dealings is sparse and unevenly distributed around the different outposts of her cult the higher ups generally know that a number of deities and half-gods are ill-disposed towards her. That said, if something should occur which presents a risk to the actual or perceived value of a host of currencies, or to a regional/internationally used currency then she will act promptly and effectively to counter it. On the rare occasion when something or someone has posed a threat to the entire institution of currency then she attacks with all her resources and the fury of hurricane. When acting from the heavens as a purely celestial entity she has numerous currency related powers such as the creation and destruction of currency {though she hates doing this}, converting it from one form to another, imbuing a coin for example with other magical properties and other typical god powers -kill with a thought, turn into pillar of salt, etc.

' 1. The acolyte must be clothed in the sacred weaves, the most holy of cloth, the very paper of Her instruments the promissory notes.

2. The acolyte must repeat the mantra whilst submitting to the test of purity, he is to be placed in the sacred font and the ordained weight of his chosen specie placed on to him until he is below the water. If he is unsullied and whole the specie will flow off him like water and Her power shall lift him from the font.

3. The final step will see the cutting of the coin, the rending of the note and the breaking of the scales. When the acolyte has seen this terror, the atrocity which She struggles against and is at his most vulnerable Her power will enter him and bind him to Her. He will be Hers and he will be your Brother.' - Translated from ancient scroll found in Hershapleius ruin A-212 by Huggerford Tharscarth, 3rd Order Scholar.


The Cult of Dini

Dini is aware of her followers and does interact with them from time to time, though numerous historical records suggest she used to be much more involved. Part of the issue stems from her disregard for profit and growth, which puts off many who might otherwise support the cult like successful merchants or traders. The other main factor is that she tends to interact with the members of the cult with a similar obsession for studying currency rather than the local leaders of the cult. This lack of central direction from Dini and her inability or unwillingness to appoint a central leader has lead to a cult of fragmented chapters, each with their own traditions and interpretations of her doctrines. Most of her adherents are those who deal with money without actually using it, those who produce currency and those who store it {though she has somewhat of a love/hate relationship with bankers and their patron god}. Some traders and merchants worship her exclusively, though they are a very small minority; greater in number are those who include her amongst a pantheon of deities they try not to annoy. In those empires and nations mighty enough to have a central bank or even stock exchange some bureaucrats and chancellors seek her favour to try and maintain the economy. The few thieves who steal for the joy of possessing coins, notes or shiny shells also enjoy her somewhat absent-minded favour; those who steal to survive/spend generally try not to antagonise her by including her in general prayers for forgiveness common to most professional criminals.

As a good rule of thumb, a small chapter of the cult may be found in a town with a tax or customs office. A lone money changer in some frontier outpost or border station will probably worship her and be associated with a metropolitan chapter. Larger towns may have two or more chapters made up of cashiers from different guilds or corporations, or could be dominated by one particular chapter. Cities will have multiple chapters, and major trade cities which see the exchange of currencies from around the world can have dozens of small chapters with a few major ones. There is no recognised code of behaviour across the world and how public the chapters are varies enormously, from completely secretive to openly recruiting on the street. The only constants are a respect for currency for its own sake, belief in preservation of the actual physical pieces of currency and the system itself. This can make them great allies of local authorities wanting to crack down on counterfeiting or currency dilution but also places them at odds when those same authorities want to devalue a currency or retire one altogether. Members of the cult across the world have adopted one universal rule which is to help identify members, when in an environment where it is safe to do so cult members should wear a chain around their neck to which is attached a coin of their choice preserved in a lump of glass.

Every so often Dini will call a meeting of the heads of each chapter she recognises {which seems to be a random process, which chapters are recognised can change from one year to the next}, where she summons them to a remote location and charges them to bring samples of a new and vibrant currency or particularly rare examples of old ones. They gather, present their offerings and as she examines them in great detail and with the eye of a connoisseur she gives them some general advice, instruction and orders. Some who have attended believe this is the goddess attempting to get around whatever has driven her interest in currency into its current inconvenient obsession to the detriment of her actual duties and desires.

The decentralised nature of the cult does make it much more durable and responsive to any threats, either to the cult itself or to their sacred currency. They are willing and able to adapt, be creative and hire on 'troubleshooters'. Dini has not completely left her cult to struggle on their own, certain members of the cult have been given the power to summon her agents, The Debased and The Enshrined.

The Debased are made from the souls of the most successful counterfeiters in all of history, from every race and across the various planes of existence. When they died their souls were seized by Dini and used to power these creations of hers. They come in two varieties, one type being stumbling monstrosities the size of a small giant made of lead and other base metals; they are used to crush enemies of the cult. The other type appear to be normal beings but with oddly glistening skin, they are in fact constructs of paper and ink capable of taking on the appearance of any other person; the cult uses them for intelligence gathering and assassination.

The Enshrined are living beings from across the world who have been contracted by Dini herself. Though they are not usually the absolute peak of martial efficiency they are willing to work hard and in dangerous conditions for the chance of a grand payoff. Dini gives them armour made from a variety of high denomination coins, worth a fortune, enchanted with protective wards and magical enchantments along with powerful weapons. They serve as her elite troops for a set period of time, after which their payoff is the face value of the coins making up their armour; minus any damaged, defaced or lost coins. This gives them great incentive to attack constantly and doge rather than block attacks.


Dini's Artifacts

Dini has a few specific artifacts, some made by members of the cult to try and win her favour, some she made herself. Like most gifts from the gods they have been scattered around the world, lost or hidden and often with a horrible catch for misuse. She has three mostly beneficial artifacts which she is most known for and one designed to punish those she believes are guilty of crimes against currency.

The Porcelain Hog - A smallish statue of some manner of warthog, about the size of a bottle of wine. It is made of porcelain and painted light blue. In the top is a slot, big enough for seemingly any coin but simultaneously too small to see anything inside the statue. A similar slot can be found on the base of the hog. Shaking it seems to indicate a number of coins inside, even if none have been put in. It resists any damage done to it whether physical or magical, and when examined with magical senses or tools appears to be no more than a simple pig statue. It does have a special property though. If a coin of any sort is placed in the top slot, two coins will fall out from the bottom. They generally are not the same type as the first one, may not be the same as each other, may be of less value than the first coin and might even be millennia old. No matter how often this is done the result is the same. Putting two or more small coins into the top slot at the same time simply results in them falling straight through the pig and out the bottom again. It is found with a log book detailing some of the results from different coins put through; apparently putting in a diamond coin gave a small non-edible wafer marked with two suns and some strange metallic runes which was thought to function like a promissory note.

The Lady's Special Brew - A bottle of clear liquid, about the size of a flagon. If a coin is put in here and left for a few minutes it is washed clean. Dirt, blood grime and even curses are removed from the coin; if a damaged coin is put in it will emerge intact. The liquid is safe to handle and whilst in the bottle never appears to run out or be polluted. If a clipping of a coin is put into the bottle by enterprising or nefarious individuals it does not repair the coin, it instead explodes violently flinging the now extremely acidic liquid everywhere. Eagerly sought by the Cult of Dini but not many others.

The Noble's Plates - Two gold printing plates, suitable for hand printing, mechanical printers or even steam/electrically powered printers. When looked at they appear to bear a faded design for a promissory note, the detail cannot really be made out since the plates are worn but the figure depicted doesn't appear human. If the plates are placed onto paper money of any sort they seem to 'absorb' the design and inks from the paper; touching the plates to another piece of fabric of any kind transfers the design and inking onto it so you can end up with a sail sized banknote. Is considered more of a gimmick or toy by pragmatic treasure seekers but is also sought by the Cult of Dini so they can enlarge paper money for easier examination. Enterprising individuals may realise some profit from using the plates, such as the creation of a large amount of expensive inks which could be extracted.

Her Ultimate Temptation - The most famous of her artifacts, and the most reviled. A small leather purse, entirely ordinary looking on the outside tied at the top by some catgut. If a coin is placed into the purse, along with a drop of the holder's blood, then tied shut and shook for a few minutes a very profitable miracle occurs. The purse fills up with copies of the coin, and if tipped upside down will spew forth an endless stream of them. There is, of course, a price. Each coin made uses blood from the original donor; it being magically extracted directly from their veins. It also uses an exponentially increasing amount of blood per coin and many a would be millionaire has rapidly paled, collapsed and died tipping the endless stream of coins into a handy sack. The Cult believes this is meant to teach the importance of a valuable currency to the economic system and the dangers of meddling with supply. Tomb-raiders and treasure hunters think it nothing more than the casual cruelty of a bored or insane god. Its location is unknown but is believed to be in a cult vault somewhere in the world.

Dini in the plot/Dini plot hooks

The PCs are approached in a tavern by a representative of the local chapter. Counterfeiters are sullying the holy coinage and bribing local authorities to keep them out of gaol. Infiltrate the watch house to find out where the guards get the money, tail the delivery man, deal with the counterfeiters and destroy their equipment. Is a good introduction to the cult and to Dini.

A local Baron has gotten into debt with the Tailor's Guild and needs money fast. He turns to the local mint and engraving joint, commanding them to produce more coins and notes; leading to inflation. The local chapter is worried that this devalues the currency for no legitimate reason and is looking for someone to go under the radar and resolve the situation. Maybe the Tailor's Guild can be bought off. Perhaps the Baron can be intimidated into selling some property to clear the debt. Or maybe the chapter will have to authorise the destruction of the mint. No matter what, best get working before Dini sends some Debased to town.

The king is hated, the people are starving and plague stalks the streets. This doesn't matter to Dini though because someone in town is defacing the king's head on the coins. She doesn't care about the politics or the king, just stop whoever is behind it. The party will have to investigate, interrogate and negotiate with angry serfs, obnoxious nobles and zealous revolutionaries; and in the end decide whether appeasing Dini is more important than supporting the revolution.

The party has just wrapped up some business with a large trade consortium when a Cult of Dini acolyte appears to tell them the consortium is planning to halve the price it pays for a certain currency favoured by a rival as part of their ongoing trade war. Dini decreed that money itself is sacred, the party must stop this devaluation going ahead; possibly by limiting supply to keep the price up. How to you reduce supply? With the heist of the century of course.

A scribbled note in an old journal. A cryptic clue in a nursery rhyme. A chance alignment of the stars. Combined they give the party the location of one of Dini's relics. Danger, death and double-crosses are all on the menu in the hunt for the Porcelain Hog.

The ultimate challenge from Dini. Either intentionally or by accident a party member creates a new currency. Dini appears, seeing both a grave threat and an opportunity. A failed currency is a permanent stain on the entire system, a threat to the very foundations of everything she works to maintain and the PC's cavalier attitude to the success of the currency angers her. However, a new and subsequently successful currency strengthens the people's belief in the system as well as providing her with years worth of new designs to study. Her ultimatum, get it on the way to being a successful, relatively widely used currency within one year and be rewarded. Do nothing or not enough to get it off the ground and she will return to annihilate the party. For those who want to really try and change the world.



Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Join Now!!



Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted valadaar
June 2, 2014, 7:32
0xp
A very impressive submission! I was going to say first but you've been a member for a while - nice to see you posting.

A great idea - goes coin in purse with Dozus's The Way of Divine Wealth, with that religion's focus on commerce. Plots, detail, interactions with the PC's - great job!




Voted Cheka Man
June 2, 2014, 9:06
0xp
A nice cult that can fit into any game world.
Voted Kassy
June 2, 2014, 10:00
0xp
Sweet! Well done Harold.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Forganthus

A world where the minds of the rich and the dying are transferred into the bodies of convicted felons.

Ideas  ( System ) | May 25, 2012 | View | UpVote 4xp


Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
PayPal
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.
0.0317