“I can’t tell the difference.”
The words came out as an astonished grunt. They were quite difficult to understand, but the Minotaur and the Goblin were used to the Orc’s mumbles. It’s frankly a wonder that anyone could make out anything uttered by Kroag the Orc, due to his severe and unsightly underbite. Still, he was the goldsmith of this operation and the three unlikely companions would never have pulled it off without him.
Somewhere in a deep, dark cave the three stood marveling. They were looking at two gold coins, one in each hand of Plooker the Goblin’s lanky arms. The coins were completely indistinguishable. This may not seem such an extraordinary event, except that one of the coins was not gold at all.
“We’ve finally done it,” said Barturius the Minotaur, snatching the gold coin from Plooker’s right hand. These would be the first counterfeit seed coins in the Splinterlands. He held it to his snout and gave a tremendous sniff of satisfaction.
“That’s the fake one,” mocked Plooker. He was not accustomed to having gold snatched from his hand, real or fake. “Does it pass the Minotaur smell test?” Minotaurs are often ridiculed for their compulsive tendency to smell everything.
“Smells like gold,” replied the Minotaur. He was absolutely right. These new coins looked, smelled, and probably tasted like the real thing, but the Stone Golems were probably the only monsters in the land that would enjoy munching on them. Most importantly, they would spend like seed coins.
Plooker the Goblin was more than impressed. This had been his idea in the first place, but he had surprisingly few of the skills necessary to pull it off. Since Goblins typically ask lots of questions when excited, he now turned to Kroag the Orc with a string of queries: “What is the metal called? How many coins will come out of the first run? How long until we can mint another batch?”
Kroag provided the answers, but it was a long and painstaking process. The Orc was also quite psyched at the prospect of a lifetime of riches, and when Orcs get excited they basically lose the ability to communicate verbally. Through the jumping, bucking, spit-flying dance of the tickled Orc, the following answers finally emerged.
The metal used to make the counterfeit seed coins was called boguld. It was recently discovered in a large cavern, deep beneath the bowels of Splinter Peak. Almost no one in the Splinterlands was aware of its existence, and this small minting operation would keep it that way as long as possible. If the Lyverian kingdom had been the first to discover boguld, they would have run a similar operation on a grander scale. After all, what was the seed coin if not a poor excuse to exert Lyverian control over the Splinterlands?
The first minting would be a considered a test run, in which ten thousand coins would be minted. Ten thousand seed coins is nothing to scoff at, being enough to outright purchase a palatial mansion in Beluroc, Mortis’s famed City of the Living. In later mintings, the gang would be able to produce as many as fifty thousand coins with each run. After a few months of hard work, they would have a pile of coins large enough to tip the Spintral scales in Anumün’s favor once and for all. The Dragon Banker would be removed from his perch of power, and peace and abundance would thrive throughout the Splinterlands.
Barturius the Minotaur reclined on a carefully arranged pile of hay in his corner of the cave, extremely satisfied with himself. None of the others had felt the need to establish a corner for themselves, but Minotaurs are notoriously territorial. “I’m gonna take a nap,” he announced. “If you come into my corner while I’m napping I’m not responsible for my actions.” Barturius had provided money for this operation and nothing more. The nomadic Minotaurs of the south are much simpler than Barturius; they are not known for saving money (or sparing lives).
Plooker the Goblin picked up the counterfeit seed coin from the cave floor and held it close to his eyes. As the Orc and the Minotaur began to doze off, he continued to stare at the coin, almost in a trance. No one heard his poem.
Lore written by @chrisroberts. He and his wife @carrieallen are currently finishing up the backstories and lore for all the Splinterlands, and working with @zipporah to complete the book. He will be offering sneak peeks, accompanied by brand-new artwork created by the Steem Monsters Team. Both Carrie and Chris prefer you refer to them as The Masters of Lore.😎
The Team is currently building up to launch a Kickstarter for the 150+ page campaign guidebook. Keep on the lookout for announcements and more inside scoops about the Splinterlands.