Readers will be familiar with the markets of Oramia and Kashiq, but I thought it might be interesting to write a little more about them, and their importance in my books.
There is no money in either Oramia or Kashiq, and goods are traded or bartered for other goods or services. These are lands where people are self sufficient in terms of growing food crops and where their particular skills can be used to produce items which can be traded for other useful items.
We learn in Flammeus that the redoubtable Gladia is well versed in driving a hard bargain at market, and as an embroiderer or stitcher, she adorns plain items of clothing or cloth with her stitching patterns. In exchange for those items of clothing, she would be looking to make trades of more cotton cloth, needles and thread to maintain her business, and also the more mundane items required in life such as soapballs, coffeepots, salves and physics, salt, coffee and so on. Each settlement will have informal trading or bartering set up between the people who live there. Benakiell, as a dwelling maker is in high demand for mending and waterproofing dwellings, and makes a variety of canny exchanges in return for his skills. Beyond the more informal trades, many of the inhabitants of Oramia and Kashiq travel to bigger settlements like Sanguinea and Gabez in Oramia, and Pirhan and Arbhoun in Kashiq in order to trade for more unusual items. The further you travel , the more likely you are to make good exchanges - Oramian coffee and spices in Kashiq, and Kashiqi oranges and dates in Oramia go down well.
In Kashiq, there are more formal markets which are delineated in the centres of settlements and which tend to trade during the cooler hours. In Kashiq, the market place is laid out in a pattern of squares of alternating colours, and each trader must occupy one space. Traders make more specific items in Kashiq, and can only be under the guidance of one of the six Gods of the Kashiq pantheon. This means that each trader is likely to sell a smaller range of goods eg someone may be a skilled carver and sell carved boxes, or a jeweller, or a metalsmith. Much to Talla's delight, one of the items that can be traded in Kashiq are a variety of ready cooked foodstuffs such as the cakes and sweetmeats that Shira makes. (Click here for a recipe)
However, trading is not just for material goods. In Oramia, those who provide a service such as the Empaths and the Birthmothers trade for goods in exchange for their services, and in Kashiq those who follow Soren and are Songmakers can also exchange their singing talents for material goods; Achillea receives several items of jewellery from grateful listeners to her songs, like Parline, who feel healed by her singing.
What skills or materials would YOU be able to trade if you lived in Oramia or Kashiq?