A short document regarding an event in the coasts of Samara
What is the "Tide of Scales"
The Tide of Scales is an event that happens once every decade, at some point between the Sun's Rise and the Nature's Wither. In the past, there were many claims about it's origin done by superstitious people. They talked about a gigant snake in the ocean and, while they were not entirely wrong, they managed to voice the biggest understatement in the history of Samara. The Tide of Scales happens whenever the Pimordial Dragon sheds its scales. This is something every reptilian does, and dragons are no exception.
Due to the size of the creature, its scales are proportionally as large, and that means they require a lot of manpower to take ashore (if they haven't been found there) and just as many people to move them inland. Port towns and harbors tend to lead the scales to beaches in the proximity for several reasons I'll go over later on. In a quick overview, as an introduction to further points, the scales are both rare and immensely hard to work with. Their size has led to harbors having to stop its service in the past since some of them blocked the way or had done damage to the docks themselves and their providing has always led to a competition between Drachmanians and Darkskin elves.
History of the Tide
The Tide of Scales was first discovered when a group of Goldstrand elves were bringing Darkskin slaves from their land to Samara as part of the colonization. They quickly attempted to capitalize on this, bringing one to the harbor they were arriving. This served as a precedent as to why Primal Scales should never be taken to docks of any kind, since the place became completely unusable during the several months it took to remove the scale and repair the place. Another, more careful, try came a few months later. The Goldstrand managed to take the scale to a dock safely, but when they tried to navigate the town with the scale, it became such an impossible task that they had to destroy the docks, dump it into the sea, take it onto a nearby beach and then fix everything again.
For several months, the elves attempted to work the scales out with magic, but they failed due to the procedence of the scales. As a result of this failure, they quickly began looking at the Primal Scales as something not worth working with and decided to make the Darkskin slaves work on them, just to see which results it yielded. If it failed, then the scales were useless, but if they succeded, they knew they could craft very valuable items with them.
Trough their raw strength and sheer dexterity, the Darkskin elves managed to separate the scales in three layers, which made them easier to work with. Each of these layers aquired a different function as time went by, but that's another subject. Eventually, the Goldstrand elves began marketing items made from the scales, such as armor, jewels and watercrafts.
During the Darkskin revolution, as they drove the Goldstrand out of their cities, the scales were used as a method to block Goldstrand assaults from the sea. The strongest among the Darkskin used them as tower shields and the most dextrous eventually turned them into ringblades or "Voltas" in the native Darkskin language.
After the Goldstrand loss in the revolution, their former slaves took over their cities and business and, as a result of the improvements, the Primal Scales could recieve a better treatment, which, in turn, led to a rise in quality and more applications.
As they began changing their trading techniques, a competition with the Drachmanian Drakescales began. Even today it's hard to say which item offers the best deal. Drakescales are more frequent and cheaper, but weaker. Primal Scales are hard to find, hard to work without appropriate equipment and overall quite expensive. However, they do offer some of the best protection to be found in these lands.
Primal Scales economy
As if to link this point to the last one, I'll start off by saying that Goldstrand attempted to monopolize the production and sale of Primal Scales. This was a practice that wouldn't have been succesful now, but back then, when the scales were worked by slaves and the production costs were almost non-existant, it was the cheapest choice, albeit not the best one.
After the Darkskin Revolution, however, the production costs changed and so did the way of providing these scales. At the beggining, it wasn't something really benefitial, but it required little effort and allowed for more control over the market. The way this was achieved was by selling exclusively premade items and forbidding the harvest of Primal Scales by anyone without the permissions to do so. What this caused was a quick decrease in the amount of brute material that led to a massive increase of the demand once all Primal Scales had been used, which was satisfied by Drachmanian Drakescales. When the Darkskin figured out that the Primordial Dragon only sheds its scales once per decade, they turned around their strategy.
Instead of selling only prefabricated items, they began selling Primal Scales to a massive pricepoint. This ensured that only people with the coin enough to fully be able to work a Scale were capable of buying them. This led to a more spreaded and slow distribution process, which led to the offer and demand to stay even. This, in time, meant that this product would be competing directly with the Drakescales. And it was a known fact that Primal Scales would not be selling as well as their competitor, so Darkskins decided to try and expand their trading routes by making a deal with the Dukes of Salt. The last Goldstrand elves in Samara and the governors of Saltstone Moor. Their objective was not to push inland trade, but to take it overseas.
I must conclude by saying this was a brilliant strategy. Since the Primal Scales are an item exclusive to Samara, the pricepoint in other regions exploded to completely insane amounts. It didn't offer as much quality as the Sinder's Coiled Iron or Bluesteel, but the fact that these were ludicrously harder to obtain than Bluesteel gave the Primal Scales a clear advantage.