Coin of the Realm
Coins of the Realm are solid gold coins that were minted by the Empire of Australia and served as the principal form of currency in the Empire (and beyond) until they were replaced in 1527 by the Empire Sovereign. Their appearance, weathered over time, has been described and haunting and ghostly.
The first Coins of the Realm were minted by the first Eleanor and bore her likeness, as did all subsequent Coins. It has been claimed, however dubious the source, that the original gold was taken from the pirate ship that carried Eleanor from the Holy Land to the shores of Australia. It is said that the original gold was melted down and minted into the Coins.
The Coins have a colorful history, especially after they passed from wide circulation in the mid-1500s, and have been said for centuries to contain magic and power far beyond their golden value.
The Coins, under Empire law, have protected status and any purposeful harm that is done to the Coins is considered a capital offense. While it is generally accepted that the Empire's invasion of the Holy Land in the early 1900s was for geopolitical and strategic reasons, it has also been stipulated that this may have been instigated by a grave insult delivered to Empress Eleanor XXXI by the Consul of Jerusalem in the form of the melting of a collection of six Coins and their subsequent fabrication into a rude plaque. While most historians do not credit this story, it is nonetheless a common yarn.
The Coins carry great significance in the world of Empire Tarot. Practitioners of this ancient and highly suspect art of divination by custom accept at least three of the coins before commencing a reading of the Seeker's path. Symbolically, the coins represent the Journey of the Reader, the Gratitude of the Seeker, and the request of a blessing of the Seeker's future. By custom, the Reader must accept all three coins, although, on occasion, the Reader may refuse the third coin if they see something terrible ahead in the Seeker's future that they cannot reveal due to lack of sight.
The requirement of the Coins in the Empire Tarot ritual has led to a few merchants in many cities typically holding a store of these coins in reserve and exchanging them for local currency with anxious Seekers. Readers frequent these merchants to exchange the coins for cash and so that the coins may be used, once again, in the ritual for the next Seeker.
Many legends surround the Coins, which are said to, alternately, bring good for bad luck to their bearers. Hoarding the coins is considered extremely dangerous, not because they may be stolen, but because the power of the coins when brought together, will bring calamity upon their owner. Having only one coin is considered to bring its holder great luck, but only for a short amount of time, after which it becomes often fatal.
The deaths of many famous individuals over time has been attributed to the coins.