The System of Cups is an energy-based currency used in the mystic world of the Occultus. Any organization that trades under the purview of the Occultus uses Cups to value items and services. The physical currency itself is represented by crystals of varying size, each holding a certain amount of condensed magical power.
In the earliest days of the Occultus, there was seen a clear need to delineate value among items of magical worth. The early societies all used their own cultures systems of trade, bartering, and currency, but use of metal and paper currencies proved to be difficult to hold up in mage society. Alchemists could easily produce their own metals and inscriptionists could write convincing bills.
The System of Cups was developed in 984 by Frida Graf, a Germanic hedgewitch. Originally based upon the souls of the damned, the system was adapted to use regular mana and represent a currency that all mages desired, power. Motes were difficult to create, but once made they easily melded with Cups, which then melded with Pools, and then finally Wells. A fastidious mage could use their Cups to buy power, or use it directly to make their spells stronger.
A mage who uses their Cups to power their spells is considered 'spilling' their Cup.
Cups come in four forms: Motes, Cups, Pools, and Wells, each smaller denominations of each other. The System of Cups is divided in powers of twelve, in order to represent a wider division of even amounts of power, as the Occultus is supposed to represent.
The Well is the largest form taken by the energy-based currency system. A typical Well is a electrical looking crystal that radiates with mana. A single crystal that has the capacity to be called a Well has a value of exactly ₰1,728.
Pools tend to be smaller than Wells, but not always. They are, however, less luminescent and represent a smaller amount of power. When gathered together, twelve Pools will create a single, powerful Well. A single Pool is worth a value of exactly ₰144.
Short for a 'Cup of Power', Cups tend to be coin-sized crystals with a mild glow. When twelve cups come together in close proximity, they fuse together to form a Pool. Each Cup is worth exactly ₰12.
Motes are just slightly larger than a wheat grain. Putting together twelve motes will automatically form one Cup. Few things come in just values of Motes due to their small size, and they are mostly used to round out costs or figure interest. Each mote is worth exactly ₰1.
Mages can consolidate their assets into a condensed crystal. Motes, Cups, Pools, and Wells can be combined into a Pearl of Pennies, which acts as a form of wallet. The luster of a Pearl of Pennies usually signifies its power, and thus, the amount of money contained within.
Wells, while not officially having having a greater form that is held in circulation, can be combined infinitely into an Orb of Opulence. Orbs of Opulence operate like Pearls of Pennies, in that their luster reflects the level of wealth within. Orbs will attract themselves to other orbs, making them easy to stack and store in physical locations.