Economy of Etrand
The Kingdom of Etrand currently has the largest economy on the Continent of Artograch, but also has more social stratification and income disparity than the rest of Artograch - having the largest amount of gross domestic product on Artograch, but the smallest amount of gross domestic product per capita among all of the recognized sovereign states of Artograch (in the Westphalian sense).
73% of the kingdom's inhabitants make their living from subsistence agriculture, producing enough excess to feed the remaining 27% of the population, which includes nobility (3% of the population), clergy (3.5% of the population), merchants and intellectuals (6.5% of the population), craftsmen and laborers (14% of the population).
Agriculture forms the backbone of Etrand's economy, and happens to be the primary occupation of 73% of the kingdom's population. The majority of these agricultural workers are cereal farmers, workers who cultivate and harvest wheat, barley, rye, oat, maize or millet. Much of what they harvest gets grinded into flour, which in turn is processed into bread, the most widely consumed type of food in Etrand. The number of potato farmers is also numerous
A minority of the agricultural workers however work in different subclasses of agriculture: many herd sheep, goats, cattle or poultry, and the number of farmers who farm fruits and/or vegetables is at a similar level.
Mining is perhaps the most profitable field of economy in Etrand, and happens to be monopolized by the Dwarves. Northern Etrand is very rich in iron, coal, silver, gold, gems and mythril. The otherwise economically underdeveloped and overwhelmingly rural and agricultural Southern Etrand has mediocre copper and tin deposits. Northern Etrand is rich in gemstones as well, and the gem deposits of the swampy Southern Etrand are not insignificant either.
Arguably, the least developed field of industry in Etrand is the production of domestic goods: while other countries usually export many of their produced goods, such as pottery and jewelry, in Etrand, the clothing, jewelry, pottery, etc. industries of Etrand are barely developed enough to satisfy local demands, let alone produce goods that are deemed worthy of exportation to foreign lands.
The only exception to this rule is metallurgy and the weapons industry: the metallurgy of Etrand is well-developed - especially in Northern Etrand - and the weapon industry of Etrand has grown so developed, that it has split in two: the upper-class weapons industry that is focused on satisfying high-profile individual customers (such as aristocrats and royalty), and the mundane weapons industry that has adopted mass-production in order to supply weapons the army, as well as poorer customers (such as the middle-class urban bourgeois). The earlier are so high-quality, that they are often exported to foreign countries, while the latter are so cheap, that their low price makes them sell just as well in foreign lands.
Monetary system, banking
Etrand has three currencies: the golden coin, the silver coin and the copper coin. Each golden coin is supposed to worth five silver coins, and each silver coin is supposed to worth five copper coins, meaning that each golden coin is supposed to worth twenty-five copper coins. While not technically coins, gemstones are often considered a type of currency, and are considered by economists to worth 10-15 golden coins, depending on the type and weight of the gemstone.
Since the transportation of metal coins is not the most convenient way to pay, peasants often exchange goods directly instead of using money. Urban trade is often simplified by using letters of credit - ever since the Etrandish annexation of Northern Etrand, several Dwarves have migrated to the great cities of Etrand like Grandfolk and Copperport, setting up their safes that store coins and hand out letters of credit in exchange, promising to return the gold/silver/copper/gems. Usually, they make a profit by charging a small fee for the deposits, such as 5% of the deposited funds. The same banks also very often loan money to people and demand it back with interest, another way they make a profit.
Both the royal family and the Church of Titanius has since jumped on the banking bandwagon and started giving out their own letters of credit.
Exports to foreign countries
The main exports of Etrand include various raw materials - namely: iron, coal, mythril, wool, leather -, cloth, linen, ropes, salt, food and spices, weapons and armour - both delicately made expensive weapons and armour, as well as cheap and mass-produced weapons and armour -, .
Imports from foreign countries
The most notable goods Etrand imports from foreign countries are high-priced jewelry, pottery and furniture for the upper-class population, cedar wood, silk, dyes, perfumes, incense, glassware and wine.
Both trade and ownership are taxed in Etrand: merchants are required to pay for the transportation of their goods across borders, while owners of land, housing and means of production are meant to pay a certain amount of tax relative to their predicted income. Farmers are required to hand over 10% of their harvest to the local landowner - or the King, in case they are yeomen.