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Coins for Trenne Byar

I designed these coins for the fantasy live role play Trenne Byar (Three Villages) which took place in the summer of 1994, close to Ludvika, Dalarna, Sweden. The planning of the event took around two years and was attended by more than a thousand people. The first and largest of the villages was Vidhamn, were taverns offered proper meals and jugs of mead. Across the stunningly beautiful lake, there was the farmers’ village of Arnros, whose population was suspicious of the big towners. And far far into the woods, were you lucky, you could stumble upon the ancient monastery of Svalvid.

Around 18 000 of these coins were in circulation, used by everyone for everything from everyday tasks or shady negotiacions to high adventures. They came in two kinds: tins and coppers. They could also be split in halves and one tin equalled six coppers. The tins had the king’s dove on the front, and the testicle dagger on back – symbol of crafts and sciences and the bourgeoisie. The coppers displayed the three pillars on one side, symbol of the fictitious faith. On the other two crossed ears of wheat rested on a shield – a crest of sorts for the hard working farmers of the land.

Trenne Byar coins

I also designed the script encircling the pieces. I was called Dulin and was designed for ease of learning, yet to prevent automatic reading, so to emulate illiteracy for those who wanted. And hundreds of people did attain litteracy and even had sayings tatooed on their bodies.

Thanks to my very litterate readers, it came to my knowledge that the existence of these coins were mentioned in the sci-fi novel Stealing Worlds by Karl Schroeder. And I can only concur with the implicit message – some of us are indeed blessed with having experienced the innocent days before internet. Invitations for the event was sent over mail (not e-mail) and we had one mobile phone shared among 1100 people. Forget selfies, for emergencies only!

From Karl Schroeder’s Stealing Worlds, 2019, page 55.

Comments 11

  1. Very nice coins. I am attempting to catalog LARP coinage and would like to learn more about the coins and the world of Trenne Byar. If you could share any information about them or about the script Dulin; I would appreciate it.

  2. Very nice coins. I am attempting to catalog LARP coinage. Could you tell me anything more about the coins or the script ”Dulin”? Any additional information will be appreciated.

  3. Thank you for responding so quickly. I would like to include as much information as possible. Could you tell me the size of the coins? Who made them? Is there a place I could learn more about the language? What does the script on the coins say? What happened to all the coins? Were they re-used for another LARP? Were you an organizer for Trenne Byar or a player? I am also trying to find out more about Trenne Byar, such as map, any emblem, heraldic device or flag; that represents them. If you wish you can send me an email. My address is : yozefszekler@aol.com Looking forward to hearing from you. Joe Petruska

  4. Hello Joe,
    Thanks for the interest, I’ll try to answer those questions.

    Could you tell me the size of the coins?
    – The large tin coins are 26 mm in diameter and the smaller coppers 22 mm (approximations).

    Who made them?
    – I designed them. If I remember correctly the dies (two per coin) were engraved by professionals at a firm I think were called Undéns. I believe they also made dies for the Swedish Krona. A large portion of them but not all were handmade using electric or mechanic devices.

    Is there a place I could learn more about the language?
    – The language is Swedish, but the script is called Dulin. I designed it and it’s made to be easy to learn, yet impossible to read ”by hasard” as to simulate analphabetism. It’s actullay basic Latin letter but with a few modifications and a line on top of each word.

    What does the script on the coins say?
    – Tin bird side: ”Vår jord Arndufvarike” / ”Our land Arndufvarike” (Arndufvarike being name of the kingdom, basically meaning ’Kingdom of the eagle-pigeon’ The pigeon was the symbol of the royal family and in particular the king.)
    – Tin dagger side: ”Tidens ton vårt ljus” / ”Tone of the time, our light” (The testicle dagger surrounded by the four elements symbolizing crafts and science and the bourgeoisie.)
    – Copper three pillars side: ”Tradition godhet” / ”Tradition goodness” (The three pillars being the symbol of the faith and in particular the Crown Temple Castle in the city of Byrander.)
    – Copper shield side: ”Skönhet styrka” / ”Beauty strength” (The shield and the ears of wheat representing the army and the people.)

    What happened to all the coins?
    – We coined about 16 000 pieces in total, we still keep a coffin full of them. Most of the over a thousand participants kept at least a couple of coins.

    Were they re-used for another LARP?
    – Yes, they were officially re-used for the event Nyteg, produced by Henrik Summanen and Thomas Walch in 1997. They also issued another 2 000 coins.

    Were you an organizer for Trenne Byar or a player?
    – I was one of the members of Ett Glas, the organizing team.

    I am also trying to find out more about Trenne Byar, such as map, any emblem, heraldic device or flag; that represents them.
    Ett Glas used as emblem a heraldic shield party per fess sable and azure, with an outlined hourglass sable and sand sable in the bottom halve.
    – There are several maps, the most magnificent being a color map of the world in aquarelle that covered the second handout booklet. There are also maps of the landscape as well as the villages.
    – I’d recommend reading Erlend Eidsem Hansen’s rather harsh and personal description in Nordic Larp from 2010: https://nordiclarp.wordpress.com/
    – More info:
    http://nordiclarp.org/wiki/Trenne_byar
    – There’s also a Facebook group with many pictures. It’s in Swedish and for old participants but I think it would be ok for you to lurk there if you’d be interested:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/trennebyar/

    If you e-mail me your address I’d be happy to send you a couple of coins. I’ll try to get back with more details when I find time.

    1. Dear Gabriel, I just read this article and the following conversation with Joe Petruska.
      Is it possible to kindly ask for a couple of coins? I would love to have some for my archives.

      This is my e-mail: blaz@baltazar.si.

      Best wishes,
      Blaz Branc, from Ljubljana, Slovenia

  5. Brought here due to the casual mention of Trenne Byar and these coins in Karl Schroeder’s new SciFi book ”Stealing Worlds” (page 55). Wanted to find out if it was something the author made up or if it was for real. Awesome work on the design of those coins.

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      Author

      Hi Sandra! Thanks for the kind comment. Wow, interesting, never heard of him or that book. Would you be so kind as to quote that passage?

      1. Hi Gabriel, I have always collected coins and I think these coins aee soo cool! Is there any way to get some coins? Best, Guy

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      Author

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