Sporkchop wrote this great blog entry and it got me thinking of all the little things that really give a world flavor.
What is considered "worth it" when it comes to trading, purchasing, adventuring? Think of the Silk Road and spice trade that united East and West. Or even the tin mined from British shores that allowed the Ancient Greeks to craft their bronze weaponry. With such real world references in mind, what can you include in your conworld that give it more real flavor?
A while ago I referenced slavery as being a not-so-palatable inclusion in worldbuilding. I'm not advocating the notion of slavery in the least. I find it absolutely abhorrent. But that does not blind me to the fact that it has been common practice in nearly every human society throughout the ages.
So just what makes your world economy run? Is it the trade of precious metals, jewels, spices, etc? Are people trafficked for whatever foul purpose? You must remember that very arbitrary things are assigned value. Think of paper currency - it's all over the world in "civilized" society. But the notes themselves mean nothing. And how quickly do we realize that in the aftermath of natural disasters and government shutdowns?
P.S. Mini woot to myself for passing 15,000 views sometime very recently!