A few people asked about this, so I thought … why not?
Emily had next to nothing with her when she was brought to the Nameless World. Her watch, credit cards and suchlike might have brought her some cash, but the majority of her limited possessions were left with Void when she was sent to Whitehall. Nothing she had would have been more than a curiosity to the locals.
Void, having assumed the role of Guardian, assigned her a stipend (pocket money). He didn’t actually mention this to her because he was curious if she would think to ask. <grin>.
What Emily did, during SIM, was to find ways to turn what she knew (or half-remembered) from Earth into saleable concepts. Theoretically, her agreement with Paren (Imaiqah’s father) was that she would get a third of the proceeds. In practice, there was a great deal of information piracy from the very start, but she still got enough to make her a moderately wealthy young woman. That money was largely stored in Whitehall’s vaults.
When Emily was ennobled, her wealth jumped astronomically. She didn’t just get access to the resources of Cockatrice, she also got a claim on the barony’s future wealth. In effect, she suddenly had very good credit – anyone loaning money to her would know that even a mismanaged barony would still bring in plenty of gold. (And barons were quite happy to squeeze their subjects if their creditors came calling.) Her economic policies (insane by local standards) actually boosted her wealth – she might have been claiming a smaller slice of the pie, but the pie itself was much greater. It’s hard to draw direct comparisons between their world and ours, but Emily was probably rich enough to raise her own army.
Emily made a mistake at this point – she mingled the revenues of the barony (which belonged to the baron, not Emily personally) with the revenue from her investments. This will probably have baleful effects in the future.
When Emily gave Markus the money to start a bank, she also moved a substantial chunk of her own wealth into the Bank of Silence. This was mainly to show her confidence in Markus and serve as the bank’s base wealth, but also to give her a stockpile of cash outside both Zangaria and Whitehall. Most of the microloan investments paid off, boosting her wealth.
Emily ran into trouble when she abandoned Cockatrice. Most of the revenues belonged to the barony, as I noted, but some of them were rightfully hers. Emily had blurred the line a little too much. This weakened her because she could no longer count on future income, but – at the same time – she still had the wealth in the bank. (Imaiqah, currently serving as Baroness, is actually trying to separate the two sets of money, but Emily is unaware of this.) Emily hasn’t made a fuss about monies owed to her because, at base, she doesn’t think she needs them.
As of now, Emily isn’t poor, but she isn’t super-rich either.
The good news is that she doesn’t owe anyone money, certainly not on a large scale. King Randor isn’t trying to impede some of her investments in Paren’s former work. She also owns a house and a few other things that can’t be taken from her. The bad news is that she doesn’t have the wealth of a small country at her disposal. Large investments are beyond her.
Someone less honest than Emily could probably still make a good showing. She’s technically in exile, not stripped of her position. She could probably get loans and suchlike based on her potential future income. But Emily is too careful for that. <grin>.