Suitability of Feathers
The most suitable feathers for writing come from the outer rear edge of the wing of a bird and are denominated by the order in which they are fixed to the wing, with the first of these feathers (the “pinion”) being the most desirable for scribes. The second and third feathers are also generally acceptable, even for the more discerning scribe.
Though "raw" feathers (those feathers not yet prepared for use as a quill) of extraordinary and magical creatures are not widely available for sale, some varieties may be found in more esoterically-stocked magic shops. To determine the “fair market” price in g.p. for a raw (unprepared) pinion feather, multiply the experience point value of the creature (including XPs for the creature's average hit points) by the "frequency factor" of the creature as below:
Feather pricing example - griffon (per 1e DMG):
Experience point value = 375 + 10/hp (w/ 28 average hp = +280) = 655 XP
Griffon = uncommon = frequency factor of 2
655 x 2 = 1,310 gp fair market price for a griffon pinion feather
Normally, “second” and “third” position feathers are priced respectively at 95% and 90% the value of pinion/prime feathers.
Prepared quills of an extraordinary or magical nature are nearly impossible to come by, but spellcasters/merchants who specialize in the trade (of preparing quills) are not unheard of, often demanding ten times or more the cost of a “raw” feather for a prepared quill of the same type.
ABOUT THE GRIFFIN IMAGE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE...
The griffin image on this page came from Wikimedia and was donated by educational publisher Pearson Scott Foresman. I will posting soon about their donation from 2007 and the help Wikimedia still needs to finalize those images so they are ALL available the public.