The Duel of the Mine Owners
A tragedy carried out by a maddened man
The duel of the mine owners is a well-known conflict in Elken, which happened around thirty years ago in 1553. The situation is seen as a tragedy as well as an example of people who let wealth go to their heads.
The Events before the IncidentThe duel was between Ignees Ilfred and Hilmon Pedelstrof, who were two mine owners, both in the same field. They were both renowned for their mining establishments which unearthed large quantities of Welian Steel. Both were hoping to supply more of the steel to the Elkean military and possibly earn a higher social standing due to this.
Securring DealsThe two lived relatively close to each other, and their respective mines were less than a day away from each other on horseback. They were known for competing against one another to supply Biroaln with ore. The town is home to many blacksmiths, due to its advantageous placement close to many mines.
What lead to the incidentA year prior to the conflict, Igness Ilfred had secured a large deal with the Elkean military. The deal made it clear that she and her family might be elevated to nobility or the like due to their contribution. Hilmon Pedelstrof was not satisfied with this, and he did everything in his power to find dirt on Ilfred. A month before the incident, Pedelstrof secured a good deal with several blacksmiths in Biroaln. Ilfred sent a letter congratulating him in his success, as a way of showing that she was open to work past the bad blood between them. However, this made Pedelstrof paranoid. He was worried that she was going to steal his deal, though he had no idea how.
The spiesDue to his suspicions, which he had no proof of being correct, he sent spies to investigate if Ilfred was up to something shady. However, these spies returned and told him, as he had been told before, that there was no dirt to find on Igness Ilfred. This angered Pedelstrof and it was reported that he started acting illogical and paranoid to a worrying degree. His family later stated that it was as if he had become obsessed with his rival to the point where he had gone mad.
The Fated DayThe day before the duel, Hilmon Pedelstrof travelled from his hometown of Belnbak to Kilfeld, the town where Ilfred lived. It is reported that he showed up to her front door and started yelling and causing quite the commotion. After things had settled down, he drew his sword and told her to grab hers. He apparently wanted to settle it over a duel. However, as Ildred's and Pedelstrof's families revealed afterwards, there was nothing to settle. With no other choice but to comply, Igness Ilfred drew her sword and walked outside and onto the road. Here the two clashed blades. Both got good swings at one another, but nothing fatal. Suddenly Ilfred doubled over, after only a few minutes of fighting, and she did not get up again. She was pronounced dead a few minutes after. The only response from Pedelstrof was an outburst of menacing laughter. It was later revealed that she had died from poison, which had entered through the shallow wounds she had received from Pedelstrof's blade. He had lathed it in a lethal venom and he had murdered her. She had done nothing more than congratulate him on his success. He was later sentenced to life in prison for murdering none other than a supplier of the military.