Istaria’s economy is very unique. Let me give you an idea.
Gold is not worth what you might expect it to be worth. Gold pieces, however, are worth far more than gold itself. I suppose you can say it’s worth a lot because the empire says so.
But as for raw resources, they are very abundant in the land of Istaria. One never has to starve or go hungry. Literally, that is why you will never find a single beggar in Istaria. Food is extremely abundant. Despite the Withered Aegis having their forces and their nasty Blight advancing, resources continue to be plentiful.
Oh, and there’s one positive side-effect from the Blight. Blighted resources! How in the world is that good? I know you might wonder that. Well you see, blighted resources do not corrupt anything they come in contact with. While they themselves get corrupted, they do not spread the corruption. This has enabled many master crafters of the realm to construct some of the most powerful weaponry and armors.
Back to my main point. Resources flourish. But surely with so many Gifted ravaging the land there has got to be a time when that ends. Indeed not! You see, resources in Istaria regrow and regenerate at a rapid pace. Whole outcroppings of the expensive and not-so-rare mithril return in a matter of minutes! That is how fast they regrow.
I have a theory that this is also why processed metals – like swords and armors – never break entirely. They regrow themselves when made blunt and broken.
Now, there is a downside to all of this. It means that nearly every resource is available to everyone one. No, not all have the aptitude to gather and collect certain materials, but surely all can learn. All the Gifted, that is. The non-Gifted are constrained to their mortal lives, their spouses and children, not to mention their meager 9-5 jobs. Bunch of losers.
The fact that every resource is available to all Gifted means that the demands are very low. Most except the most rare items can be crafted by the Gifted themselves. Why ask for help? Well, at least there are a handful of Gifted who see community as a wonderful thing and are not swallowed by self-pride and their ego.
What a wide world!