Economy of the Starlit Court

From Beacon Space

Situated within the great traveling space station of Sihi, the society of the Starlit Court has been faced with the ever-present challenge of sustaining itself without consistent access to external resources. This has led to a remarkably centralized system of resource management, emphasizing rationing, recycling, and careful resource preservation, tempered by a variety of extra-legal and overtly illegal economies that flout that same central control. Over the centuries, this strict control has evolved, waxing and waning in its relative strength of implementation and enforcement, influenced by interactions with alien polities and the discovery of unclaimed resources across the depths of space.


The economic history of the Starlit Court spans almost a thousand years and is a tale of adaptation, centralization, and transformation in a unique environment, it is a testament to the adaptability of Sihian society in the face of challenging circumstances. From strict central control to periods of prosperity and eventual integration with external economies, the Starlit Court has evolved and transformed over the past millennium. Today, it stands as a unique example of a society capable of thriving in the depths of space, navigating the delicate balance between central control and individual liberty, while unofficial economies continue to flourish alongside the formal system, adding layers of complexity to the economic landscape of Sihi.

Strict Central Control

Particularly in its early years, the Starlit Court relied heavily on a centrally controlled economy. Every resource was carefully managed and rationed, with an emphasis on reusing and recycling materials wherever possible. In the time before their first interaction with another community on their journey, the Court’s confidence that any resources outside of what was already on board were obtainable was low. As such, the survival of Sihian society depended on these stringent measures, ensuring the Court's long-term stability. This period was marked by a minimalistic approach to consumption, where every item was considered valuable, and waste was virtually nonexistent.

Periods of Material Wealth

Over the centuries that followed Sihi’s initial launch, intermittent interactions with alien polities and the discovery of unclaimed resources in the form of asteroid belts and barren worlds provided the Starlit Court with periods of massive material wealth. During these times, the centralized command economy gave way to more typical market economies. For entire generations, the populace engaged in unfettered economic growth, enjoying access to a wider array of goods and services. However, these periods always faced the inevitable end of the unrationed resource pool and the accompanying end of their ability to freely grow.

War Economies

Throughout its long history, the Starlit Court of Sihi has faced several periods of conflict that necessitated the establishment of war economies. These challenging times tested Sihian society's ability to adapt, allocate resources, and mobilize its population for the exigencies of war.

Civil Strife and Dark Times (EGM 66-91)

During the Civil Strife, the Starlit Court grappled with internal conflicts that threatened its stability. As factions vied for control, a war economy emerged out of necessity. Centralized control over resources became crucial as the Court diverted a significant portion of its production capacity to support its military and policing efforts. Rationing and resource allocation were implemented with even greater rigor, affecting all aspects of daily life. The populace was resistant to these measures, seeing them as further proof of the nepotism and overreach of the knightly orders.

Luxury trades, such as those of the noble houses, came to a near standstill, and many of the black markets that would later come to define much of the Court’s economy were founded as citizens sought goods and services that were scarce due to the wartime focus on essentials. After the strife ended, it took years for the economy to return to pre-conflict levels of stability.

Lutrian War (EE 25-26)

The Lutrian War was a brief but intense conflict that required the rapid mobilization of the Starlit Court's resources. To support the war effort, the Court implemented a war economy characterized by the mass production of weaponry, ammunition, and military equipment. Civilian industries were temporarily repurposed to meet these demands, and the Court imposed strict rationing to ensure the military had access to essential resources.

As the conflict was relatively short-lived, the war economy was disbanded swiftly after the Lutrian War's conclusion, and the Court returned to its regular economic operations. However, the lessons learned in resource allocation during this conflict would inform future wartime strategies.

Civil War (ES 6-8)

The Civil War was a particularly tumultuous period in Sihi's history, marked by intense internal strife. The war economy that emerged during this time was characterized by extensive resource centralization and rationing. The two halves of the Court, each seeking to secure their power, directed a substantial portion of available resources toward the war effort.

This war economy had a profound impact on civilian life, with shortages in many essential goods and services. The unofficial economies, especially the black markets, played a significant role in providing citizens with goods that were otherwise difficult to obtain. After the conclusion of the Civil War, Sihi faced a long period of rebuilding, both in terms of infrastructure and the economy.

Tereket Wars (AoQ 197-227)

The Tereket Wars were a protracted series of conflicts that required a sustained war economy. The Court was forced to adopt a comprehensive resource allocation system, emphasizing the production of military hardware and supplies, while civilian consumption was curtailed through strict rationing.

The black and grey markets expanded considerably during this period, as the populace sought to circumvent rationing and obtain scarce goods. Many of these markets operated with a degree of autonomy, sometimes rivaling the official economy in scale.

Adapting to Change

In the past century, since Sihi arrived in Beacon Space, the Starlit Court experienced constant interactions with all of the settled economies across this sector. Additionally, the Court itself has begun permanent settlements on various worlds, including the cultural center of Grail. These developments have brought an influx of material goods and raw resources that have all but rendered the centralized command economy that has been the core of Sihian economic policy for centuries largely obsolete. The average citizen can now access nearly anything the sector has to offer, albeit for the right price.

The Court's ration of resources has transformed into something akin to a Universal Credit, providing the bare minimum needed for survival, typically mediated by the Knightly Order or the Trade Guild that is the individual's primary employer.

First Bank of Sihi

As a result of the forced opening up of the Sihian economy, the Court has had to create a new medium of exchange and a body to regulate its creation and use. As such, in AoQ 524 the First Bank of Sihi was incorporated by the Council of Elders and given a disused administrative building in Camlann to use as its headquarters. It took them nearly a decade of work to design and implement the digital currency known as the Throne, it has since been floated and is required to be integrated as a payment option in all places of business on Sihi. Due to the delay in the creation of the Throne, its adoption has been slow and skeptical as the majority of the population of Sihi either continues to use de facto currencies from before the Bank’s inception or have adopted a variety of currencies from across Beacon Space due to their ease of use with outside traders, most commonly the various scrips of the Trucker’s Unions.

Revenue Services Guild

Alongside developing a new currency out of whole cloth, the First Bank of Sihi realized that a vast array of necessary administrative functions would be required for the correct management of the new economy. This requirement for currency tracking, anti-fraud, and corruption services, alongside a range of more public-facing services such as currency exchange, resulted in the founding of the Revenue Services Guild, RSG. Deliberately placed on Leviathan so as to keep its organizational independence from the Bank it was supposed to monitor, the Guild is one of the few that does not have its headquarters somewhere on Sihi.

Common Currencies


As the official currency of the Starlit Court, the Throne is nominally the most common currency within its borders. A purely digital currency, the Throne is relatively new which carries with it the advantage of being supported by an incredibly modern network both technologically and socially. Designed to fulfill the modern needs of Courtiers and society as a whole as it becomes more and more necessary to interact with the free flow of goods and services available in the wider sector.

This same novelty, however, results in a low level of trust in the stability and strength of the currency. As a result, over the past few decades since its introduction the Throne has seen a slow uptake in its general usage and a tendency to be used primarily as a means for accessing government and government-adjacent services where the Throne is the only accepted currency. In the past few years, this distrust has settled slightly and a wider range of businesses have begun to accept it including some off-world businesses with large interests in Starlit markets.


A unique example among the many currencies that are used among the populace of the Court, the Sceatt is an official token of trade, sanctioned by part of the government, that predates the general liberalization of the Sihian economy. Initially created, several centuries ago, by the people of the Leviathan as a means to track the allocation of resources to the citizens of the Leviathan, it has, since the founding of the RSG, been transformed into a local variant of the Sihian Throne.

Pegged at 1:1 with the Throne and legal tender in all places that accept the Throne, through automatic digital conversion through the RSG, the Sceatt is seen largely as a curiosity to most visiting Sihian space. It is however still the strongly preferred currency for those born and raised on the Leviathan, where the cultural hold of centuries of use has ingrained it as the most trusted token of value.

Trucker Scrips

Especially popular due to their ease of use in importing goods from outside of the Court, the third most common type of fully legal currency found floating around the markets of the Starlit Court are the various Trucker Scrips. Due to the ever-increasing integration of the Trucker Unions into Starlit Space, especially with the expansion of said space to cover all of the now-claimed Avalon’s Gate region, these tokens have become more and more common.

Unofficial Economies

Throughout its history, the Starlit Court has also harbored a variety of unofficial economies.

Noble Patronage

The old noble houses of Elentar, who brought significant resources with them to Sihi, maintained a constant trade in luxury goods, art pieces, and bespoke items. They often did so through the patronage of various trade guilds, granting them access to resources and knowledge beyond what the Court provided. Rarely denominated in any official currency, the threads these debts of patronage have woven across Sihian society can still be seen in the favoring of certain providers of goods and services by the elite.

Black Markets

Various black and grey markets have emerged over the centuries to fulfill both the demands of the populace that exceeded the Court's provision and to supply those items authorities have deemed illegal for the common person to own. Initially operating on ledgers of favors within underground communities, these markets eventually established their own tokens of trade, effectively creating de facto currencies that continue to circulate within Sihian society.

De Facto Currencies

These currencies are often unique, based on items or commodities that hold inherent value. Here are some examples of de facto currencies that have been seen in the black markets of Sihi over the centuries.

Favor Tokens

In the early days of Sihi's black markets, favor tokens were a common de facto currency. These tokens represented personal favors or debts owed within the underground communities. They were essentially IOUs and could be traded or exchanged for various goods and services.

Over time, these favor tokens evolved from a semi-formal system of exchange within the black markets to fully realized currencies. Many have evolved to the point of having both physical and digital representations and some even float on various stock exchanges across Beacon Space, a few of them are even offered for exchange at the RSG.

Rare Gems and Precious Metals

Certain rare and valuable gemstones and precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum, which have been historically difficult to obtain in the controlled economy of the Starlit Court, have become a popular de facto currency in the black markets. These precious materials are not only used for their intrinsic value but also accepted as a form of payment for a wide range of items, from weapons to contraband goods.

Data Chips

As information and data hold immense value in any economy, data chips containing valuable or sensitive information have become a popular currency in the black markets. These chips can be traded for a wide range of goods and services, including access to restricted technologies.

Antique Artifacts

Sihi's long history and connection to various civilizations meant that antique artifacts, whether from Elentar or other alien cultures, are highly sought after. These artifacts served as both collectibles and de facto currency, as they were often used for access to the Noble Patronage networks and the luxuries traded within.

These de facto currencies, and a thousand others, have long provided a means for the black markets to operate efficiently and facilitated trade among individuals who sought to bypass the constraints of Sihi’s centralized economy. The variety of these currencies reflects the diversity of goods and services exchanged in Sihi's underground economy.

Failed Crackdowns on De Facto Currencies

Throughout its history, the Starlit Court has made numerous attempts to curtail the use of de facto currencies within its borders. These efforts have primarily aimed at consolidating economic control, enforcing taxation, and reducing the influence of underground economies. However, these endeavors have largely proven to be ineffective, met with resistance from various sectors of Sihian society.

One of the primary reasons for these failures is the deep-rooted reliance on de facto currencies by a significant portion of the population. Many individuals and communities have come to depend on these alternative forms of exchange, often preferring them over the Court's official currency due to historical trust and ease of use. Additionally, the decentralized nature of the black markets, coupled with their ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, has made it challenging for authorities to eradicate de facto currencies entirely.

Despite the Court's stringent measures, black markets have continued to thrive, with de facto currencies circulating in parallel with the official economy. Some traders even openly accept de facto currencies, further legitimizing their use.

The Crow Currency Conspiracy

Over the years, a conspiracy theory has gained traction within certain segments of Sihian society. This theory posits that there are shadowy figures within the government, probably members of the Crows of Maeve, actively sabotaging efforts to eliminate de facto currencies. Supporters of this theory claim that these figures have vested interests in the continuation of black markets and the use of alternative currencies, benefiting from the thriving underground economy.

While there is no concrete evidence to substantiate these claims, the persistence of de facto currencies in the face of government crackdowns has fueled speculation. Some believe that these figures may be influential members of the elite or hold positions of power within the Court, protecting their own economic interests.

Regardless of the veracity of the conspiracy theory, the use of de facto currencies remains deeply ingrained in Sihian society, serving as a symbol of resilience against centralized control and a testament to the adaptability of the Starlit Court's population.