The Church of Barter was built in the pattern of Ghezen's hand, with the cathedral as the palm and five naves radiating along the four fingers and thumb, each fingertip ending in a stack of chapels like a layered cake. The entrance to the church has huge double doors and the ground of the main cathedral is cobblestone. It contains rows of pews and the flat rock altar, around which the church had been built. The altar is also known as the First Forge or the Mortar, and is also used as an auction block.
Arches mark the entrances from the main cathedral to each of the naves. There is a spiral staircase built into the arch marking the entrance to the thumb nave, which leads to the upper arcade. The thumb nave is built at a slightly higher level than the cathedral. The top chapel in the thumb is orange; its altar is gold, but built to resemble crates of oranges and other exotic fruits, and frames a DeKappel oil painting depicting a family of merchants dressed in black, cradled in Ghezen’s hand, hovering over a citrus grove. At the top of the stack of chapels on the pinky finger, there is a tight spiral staircase that leads up to a hatch in the roof.
The rooftops on each of the fingers are a "jagged mountain range of slippery gables and narrow stone spines." The spires of the main cathedral are visible from almost anywhere in the city. They are made from copper that has long since turned to green, and crisscrossed by spines of metal scrollwork. The scrollwork is loose in several places at the tip of the main spire.
The church contains a clocktower, which chimes the hour. The Geldrenner Hotel, the Exchange, and the Beurscanal are to the southwest of the church. To the east is the Geldstraat and the Geldcanal.
Ministers of Ghezen preach to the congregation from the altar; church services also use a pipe organ and choir. The main cathedral is left open, unlocked, and lit by candlelight at all hours, welcoming those who wish to offer prayers to Ghezen.
Auctions are held in front of the altar. Weapons are not permitted in the church during an auction.
Each chapel in the tiered stacks at the end of Ghezen's fingers was commissioned by a separate Kerch merchant family.
The auction of Kuwei Yul-Bo occurs at the Church of Barter, like all auctions. Before the auction begins, Anika and Keeg, members of the Dregs disguised as Dime Lions, kidnap Wylan Van Eck and take him to Jan Van Eck in one of the chapels in Ghezen's pinky finger. Inej secretly enters the church via the main entrance, deposits Jesper Fahey's rifle on the roof of the thumb chapels, and then climbs the tall spires of the main cathedral to watch the auction.
In addition to various Kerch people, delegates from Fjerda, Novyi Zem, Ravka, the Wandering Isle, and Shu Han attend to bid on Kuwei's indenture. The Council of Tides arrives, floods the floor of the church, and declares the auction a sham. Jan Van Eck is discredited, Ketterdam's plague siren begins to sound, Kuwei is fatally shot, the Ravkans and the Fjerdans begin to fight, and everyone but the Merchant Council and some stadwatch is evacuated from the church.
Dunyasha Lazareva also climbs to the roof and fights Inej, but Inej causes Dunyasha to slip on a loose piece of scrollwork and fall to her death. Jesper kills a Kherguud soldier in the thumb chapel; Pekka Rollins corners Kaz and Inej in the chapel of the pinky nave. In the main cathedral, Van Eck is arrested and dragged from the church.