adventuring as a profession is built around a simple loop: people need certain tasks done that involve a lot of travel, either to deliver goods or search an area for certain objects or protect people or etc. adventurers offer to do these tasks in exchange for pay, usually getting to keep whatever they happen to collect beyond the bounds of their job. adventurers often use their profits from jobs to further fund their adventuring, and to facilitate ease of access to work, businesses have sprung up with the intent to act as a bulletin board service for work to be done.¹ some of these, such as the Reformed Adventurers' Union, exist primarily as an adventurer coördination business, and just arrange deals with other businesses to provide discounted equipment and etc.
Alton Koska² is an animate skeleton³ who, through forces he doesn't even have a clue about, is seemingly unable to die, at least through any regular means. in his second life he eventually gravitated towards economics, which led to him creating the Loëz Hour Store in CC 1989.
the Hour Store is a combination bulletin board and general store operating off of the principal of "labor-for-labor": that the only fair compensation for labor (or the product of labor) is an equivalent amount of labor (or the product of an equivalent amount of labor). thus, rather than selling goods for regular cash with a markup to make profit, customers instead agree to an amount of labor equivalent to the labor value of the goods they're purchasing⁴, which they can fulfil by taking work from the bulletin board. inversely, someone can pre-emptively take on work from the board and then purchase goods of the same value as the labor they did. the store issues labor notes, each representing the value of an hour of labor, which can be held onto to keep track of labor value owed.
the Hour Store in Loëz ended up being popular enough that Koska helped establish a second location in Noctilu. which has similar success. despite the distance, the two maintain a shared bbs.
¹ - many of these businesses take some percent of the payment as a "service fee," and some pocket the money and pay the adventurer in scrip to spend at company stores. the Tengexw Rail Guild uses the latter system for adventurers it recruits unless they get to a certain status within the company's adventuring division. now this system may sound predatory and easily capable of locking people into underpaid contract work, but dont worry!, that assessment is completely accurate
² - many people call him Koska the Unkilled, but he really doesn't like being called that.
³ - during his life he seems to have been an éntañi, but his memory of that time is very blurry.
⁴ - Koska takes a very small markup for the time he spends with the customer, but the base total goes to the person that produced the goods. for more intensive jobs, people are allowed to negotiate the rate somewhat.