Isekai has started its grand restructuring! Please bear with us as things move around and get situated in their new home.
Names are also in the process of changing, so some names are inconsistent currently.

Mithril

Written by Shiftrex

Mithril is considered by many to be a holy metal or rather a blessed metal found within the land of Isekai, coveted for its beauty as much as for its physical properties. In the way of weapons and armor, there is no lighter metal that can be found and in terms of strength, it has been noted to reach the same quality as Dragon Scales when it has been properly tempered and worked. This makes it highly coveted for travelers, heavy weapons, ranged tips, and even magical items.   From a more aesthetic perspective, after being forged and refined it greatly resembles high quality Silver. It has a bright sheen that is resistant to scratches and even when worked poorly it is as reflective as a common mirror. It reflects light well and can produce a blinding effect if exposed to bright sources of light. This metal takes magical engravings well and can persevere them for centuries, even having a natural glow that is in accordance with the type of magic used to enchant it. The hue of the aura is one of the basises used for and explained in a book titled The Spectrum of Magic by a prominent Wizard from the Human Empire.   The most notable qualities of this metal are its low weight, durability, and the trait of being able to reflect magic if it has been forged properly and highly polished. Off-putting qualities about Mithril metal include its scarcity, the difficulty of creating high-quality products, and it is hard to modify or re-forge weapons to upgrade them or give them additional enchantments.

Properties

Material Characteristics

In an unrefined state Mithril is a gray, unimpressive metal. It can easily be mistaken for iron, Silver and metals of much lesser value to the untrained eye. The distinguishing characteristic is its durability as it cannot be split apart or bent without significant force and well-made tools.   In a refined state, this metal gives the appearance of a highly polished Silver or a mirror. It is incredibly light, most common folk believe the metal to be weightless but that is not the case. Mithril weighs ten times less than iron for the same spatial quantity while being much stronger, though its hardness is sometimes called into question. It has the reputation of being able to withstand incredibly harsh environments without changing form, take staggering amounts of force without so much as a scratch to its polished surface, and it has been known to potently reflect magic and supernatural energies in a polished state.

Physical & Chemical Properties

After being forged, Mithril seems to be impervious to cold temperatures and will never become more brittle from a naturally cold environment. In general, it is resistant to temperature changes and is comparable to Dragon Scales in both hardness and strength despite it having an upper-temperature threshold. Specially designed furnaces have the ability to melt the metal down and make the process of removing impurities less daunting.   It should be noted that the more pure the Mithril is the more its natural traits are accentuated to include its reaction to magic. While even poorly forged Mithril can reflect weak magic shields that have been forged with expert craftsmanship have been shown to reflect both Draconic breath weapons and magic cast by Ancient Fey. These traits are incredibly valuable but spark an incredible amount of desire when combined with the weight factor, Mithril is one of the lightest metals in the world when compared to common materials like iron with the best-made Mithril implements showcasing that it weighs only 10% of identical items made of iron.   Surprisingly, Mithril has shown itself to take enchantments well during a certain step of the cooling process when creating weapons, armor, and trinkets but it only takes these spells readily through engravings and runes. Once a Mithril object has been created and bestowed with an enchantment the object shall retain the enchantment for several centuries with some objects having lasted well over 1,000 years without any decrease in power. However, removing or upgrading an enchantment on a Mithril object is nearly impossible which makes for a material that is only brought to the most skilled artisans to avoid any mistakes or misjudgments during the creation process.

Geology & Geography

This material is scarce in the world of Isekai and is found through only two natural occurrences, the first being the death of an Ancient Mithril Dragon that has lived to its old age and gone through the "Last Flight" ceremony that marks its death to the physical world. The second is Silver that has been exposed to celestial energy for long amounts of time, the likes of which would indicate that a god spent considerable time in an area. The second phenomenon has not been known to be reproducible by devout means employed through Clerics but rumors have it that an artifact of a god could eventually change silver into Mithril if given centuries of exposure.   The areas that have produced Mithril without the aid of a Dragon's passage are found sporadically throughout the world, with the highest concentration being underwater and long deep-sea trenches. Other places have included the far north and south that are covered in deep layers of ice and snow, far beyond the willing pick of most dwarves and would-be miners.

History & Usage

Cultural Significance and Usage

Mithril has been given the term True Silver or Blessed Silver by many cultures because of its association with the Mithril Dragon and with the presence of gods in a given area of Isekai. This sometimes goes as far as certain religious groups taking steps to hide Mithril veins or preserve the presence of Mithril in an area after the passing of an ancient Dragon. The reason for this is that there is a belief among various Clerics of the Pantheon of Life that Mithril imparts a natural blessing to the land and the creatures within it, warding off the presence of undead, weakening the power of curses, and even empowering spells that would grant mortal creatures life.   This has yet to be researched heavily but it has permeated many cultures to include Elven Culture where Mithril can often be found as a decorative piece of high temples, ceremonial weapons, or used as weaponry against the foulest of creatures. Regardless of it having celestial powers in application, the immense quality of the metal has led to success in conflict concerning demonic creatures simply by merit of the weaponry and armor being lightweight, near-indestructible, and able to contend with supernatural energies in a unique way.

Refinement

Mithril has a high-temperature point that must be reached through the use of a special furnace of mundane means, magical fire has been seen to have zero effect even on unrefined Mithril. That being said, Flare Steel is also an ineffective means of creating a hot enough flame due to it relying upon an innate or mystical property to create heat. This left many craftsmen puzzling for years on how to properly use the metal before it was discovered that appropriate techniques could be used to elevate a natural flame to the proper temperatures and that fuel with mystical properties was not a directly magical source of heat and could be relied upon. Most simple Dwarven furnaces that focus on refinement of Mithril will use superheated vats of iron to melt Mithril down and then remove the much lighter metal from the flowing slag before it cools, this is a lengthy process because Mithril reacts very slowly to any changes in temperature which can make a project that would normally take days extend into weeks or months.   An important step of the refinement process is polishing, in order for Mithril to reach its maximum effectiveness it must be skillfully forged, impurities brought to a minimum, and the polishing process must begin long before the metal completely cools. The more smooth the metal is, the more its reflective quality of magic will be brought forth and it is also during this time frame that it must be engraved with any magical runes that the wielder desires. Most skillful blacksmiths have found that as soon as polishing is complete, it is helpful to quench the blade in supercooled liquids or expose it to severe temperatures like those in the Neither Tundra so that it quickly reaches an optimal state of solidity.

Distribution

Trade & Market

This metal is found most often among the Elves, they love its lightweight and durable nature though it can be found in any kingdom of the world that has the skill to find and refine it. Mithril is considered luxurious and exotic to most though it would not be uncommon for champions and top-level warriors to have weaponry and armor made of this material. Due to the location of Metallic Dragons in the world, it is most often found around or near the Northern Continent, in the regions nearest to the Neither Tundra.
Type
Metal
Value
1 lb of Mithril is equal to equal to 100 lbs of Gold in the standard market
Rarity
This material is considered to be among one of the rarest in the world. It is the second most rare metal in Isekai.
Color
Silver ranging to Pale
Related Species


Cover image: Isekai Cover by Landscape via Artbreeder, created by RiverFang

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
13 Dec, 2020 17:29

This is such a detailed and interesting article. I really like the detail that mythril is incredibly hard to rid of an enchantment once it's been put on there. You'd definitely want to get it right the first time!

Powered by World Anvil