The ancient Brownies of Birn (now extinct for several millenia) were a special folk, and so was the currency they used. Proficient in a special kind of magic the Brownies called "lifemagic", their currency was made of wood with special spells cast upon it. Birn Currency was mainly used for trading among the Brownies themselves, while the Big People found it difficult to keep track of tiny Birni money, or even to tell the different denominations apart. Only perhaps a handfull of these coins exist nowadays, conserved through the lifemagic cast upon them.
Concept. Birn currency was unique in the history of Caelereth in that each coin was, in a sense, alive. Each coin was a wooden disc about 1.25 grain across, with a stack of 10 being a grain high. Every genuine coin, besides being stamped on the front with the name and likeness of the reigning monarch and the number of years since the beginning of Browniekind, and a picture on the back with an inscription in the secret red language, also had its life force tied off. As it was being removed from its tree, a redbark Brownie would cast a lifemagic spell to allow the life force within the wooden disc to proceed in an endless circle, keeping it alive in spite of being seperated from any kind of root system or leaves. Genuine Birn coins were thus warm to the touch.
Coins. This wooden currency came in five denominations of coins, made out of five different kinds of wood. The Telg was the smallest. Made from the wood of various vines, it carried a picture of a pile of sawdust, and was inscribed "telg tl birn", meaning "Sawdust of Birn". It was worth just enough to send a message.
The implication of the inscriptions on the coins was to remind people that they were the trunk of birn, that they needed to put the interests of Birn before their own interests.
A ben was worth 5 telg. It was made from the wood of the urban tree, and carried a picture of a branching twig on the back, with the inscription "ben tl birn", meaning "Twig of Birn". It was worth 5 telg, enough to buy a cold drink on a hot day.
The next coin, called an ort, was worth 25 telg. It carried a picture of a leaf and the inscription "ort tl birn", meaning "Leaf of Birn", and was made from the wood of the adlemir tree. An ort was enough to buy a simple meal for two people.
The fourth coin, dalb, was worth 125 telg, enough for a fancy, all you can eat meal for two people. It had a picture of a tree branch, and the inscription "dalb tl birn", meaning "Branch of Birn". It was made from the wood of the eur’oak tree.
The highest denomination of coin, called an irtald, was worth 625 telg. It was made from the wood of the coastal redwood, and carried a picture of the root system of a tree, as well as the inscription "irtald tl birn", meaning "Root of Birn".