Mithril

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Re: Mithril

#76 Post by Dan L P » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:45 am

:D Good News Good News :D
I found a magical gate that transported me to another world were they mine a wonderful metal called Mithril. It is lightweight yet very strong and it's also cheap, only approximately 150% of the price of gold. Now all I need is to get a pack train of mules to bring the mithril back to Harn. Would you like to invest your money to help me buy the mithril and mules? 8)

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Re: Mithril

#77 Post by Dan L P » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:25 pm

I've decided that the easiest way to bring Tolkien's Mithril (a.k.a. True-silver, Moria-silver, silver-steel) in to the game is as earthmaster treasure. Any place gold is found at an earthmaster site there is a 25% chance of mithril being found as a metal bar. That way you don't have to worry about whether it does or doesn't exist on Harn. The mithril could have been brought to Harn by earthmasters.

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Re: Mithril

#78 Post by Targan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:23 am

The easiest way? Certainly it's another avenue, but given that we already know the huge value both the elves and the dwarves in Middle Earth placed on mithril, I'd say the most obvious way that most of the (likely very small) amount of mithril has come to Kethira is via the elves and dwarves that migrated there from Midgaad. Also consider that it's possible that mithral was only ever sourced from one location (Moria). If that was so, it seems unlikely to me that the Earthmasters were mining under the depths of the Misty Mountains tens of thousands of years ago.
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Re: Mithril

#79 Post by Dan L P » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:10 am

Targan wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:23 am
The easiest way? Certainly it's another avenue, but given that we already know the huge value both the elves and the dwarves in Middle Earth placed on mithril, I'd say the most obvious way that most of the (likely very small) amount of mithril has come to Kethira is via the elves and dwarves that migrated there from Midgaad. Also consider that it's possible that mithral was only ever sourced from one location (Moria). If that was so, it seems unlikely to me that the Earthmasters were mining under the depths of the Misty Mountains tens of thousands of years ago.
Mithril has only one source that we know of, but earthmasters have traveled to many world's, through space as well as portals to other world's.
I'm sure if lead and gold can be found on may world's so can mithril.

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Re: Mithril

#80 Post by macgorgor » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:23 am

Dan L P wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:25 pm
Any place gold is found at an earthmaster site there is a 25% chance of mithril being found as a metal bar.
So, how often would gold (in bar form too, I presume) be found at an earthmaster site, in your opinion?
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Re: Mithril

#81 Post by Dan L P » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:56 am

macgorgor wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:23 am
Dan L P wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:25 pm
Any place gold is found at an earthmaster site there is a 25% chance of mithril being found as a metal bar.
So, how often would gold (in bar form too, I presume) be found at an earthmaster site, in your opinion?

The way I come up with treasure for a earthmaster site is I use HM3 Treasure 2 PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. I randomly selected 1 to 10 occupations and roll for items that wouldn't be destroyed by the passage of time (GM discretion) silver, gold, gems, and artifacts.
If gold is found roll 25% chance of mithril instead of gold bars or nuggets.

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Re: Mithril

#82 Post by Targan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:28 pm

Dan L P wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:10 am
Mithril has only one source that we know of, but earthmasters have traveled to many world's, through space as well as portals to other world's.
I'm sure if lead and gold can be found on may world's so can mithril.
Well there's a definite point at which our pHarns differ.
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Re: Mithril

#83 Post by Leitchy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:00 pm

I'm interested to hear everyone's opinion; what's the difference between the fantasy material "mithril" and the real material "titanium"?

They are both very light, incredibly hard, difficult to find, even more difficult to work needing incredibly high heat...

What else is different?? Is mithril really nothing more than titanium with magical properties? Is it an alloy?

Or is it something else entirely?
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Re: Mithril

#84 Post by Krazma » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:36 pm

Leitchy wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:00 pm
Or is it something else entirely?
Both aluminum and titanium possess most of the characteristics Tolkien ascribed to mithril.

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Re: Mithril

#85 Post by Leitchy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:58 pm

I didn't include aluminium for a very specific reason. For a metal, it's relatively soft and malleable.

Remember that Frodo's mithril vest prevented a sword blow from touching him, but the sword thrust itself was hard enough to knock him out (everyone thought he was dead). In my estimation, a blow hard enough to knock out a hardy hobbit would certainly be strong enough to pierce a chain vest of aluminium links. But not if the links were titanium.

Again, that's just my opinion. I'm not a material scientist, just someone with a little understanding of such stuff. :)
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Re: Mithril

#86 Post by Dan L P » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:10 pm

Leitchy wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:00 pm
I'm interested to hear everyone's opinion; what's the difference between the fantasy material "mithril" and the real material "titanium"?

They are both very light, incredibly hard, difficult to find, even more difficult to work needing incredibly high heat...

What else is different?? Is mithril really nothing more than titanium with magical properties? Is it an alloy?

Or is it something else entirely?
As I said before
"It is said that mithril is harder than steel and lightweight, but to be shaped into weapons and armour it must be malleable. So the special properties of mithril is that it is lightweight and can be melted at reasonable temperature and is malleable enough to shape into items."
"Unlike Titanium : Mithril has a lower melting point and a higher Metal Strength Ultimate Str (MPa)."
I have nothings to prove this, but this is what I believe is reasonable.

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Re: Mithril

#87 Post by Derfman » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:08 pm

My pHarn

Mithril:
Mithril only forms on worlds that have magic. In my mind (and my pHarn) magic is an 'environmental property'. Certain plants and animals require it to thrive (elves) and in some case to even survive (dragons). Likewise, certain minerals only form in the presence of magic. All very natural.
Mithril's properties are as per Tolkien.

Harnic Mithril
Was mined at Kiraz, the only known Kethiran source (and known by very few).
All mithril on Kethira was mined before the fall of Kiraz, or was imported from another world.

Adamantium:
Titanium. Only master dwarvish smiths and skilled jmorvi mages can work with it.

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Re: Mithril

#88 Post by Leitchy » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:33 pm

Derfman wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:08 pm
Mithril only forms on worlds that have magic.

Adamantium:
Titanium. Only master dwarvish smiths and skilled jmorvi mages can work with it.
Isn't that funny; I'm the exact opposite! :)

Adamantium/adamantite/adamantine or whatever it's called, is usually described as a dark grey, almost black substance that is quite heavy, possibly meteoric in origin. But mithril is a silvery, light-weight metal. To me, that means mithril is probably titanium or something close. It certainly could be a magical material or at least have magical properties. But, to my way of thinking, adamantium is clearly a magical material.

That's one of the reasons I asked the question, to see the different perspectives. :)
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Re: Mithril

#89 Post by Dan L P » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:10 am

Leitchy wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:00 pm
They are both very light, incredibly hard, difficult to find, even more difficult to work needing incredibly high heat...
Mithril-coat
"Also there is this!" said Bilbo, bringing out a parcel which seemed to be rather heavy for its size. He unwound several folds of old cloth, and held up a small shirt of mail. It was close-woven of many rings, as supple almost as linen, cold as ice, and harder than steel. It shone like moonlit silver, and was studded with white gems.”

Now to craft such a fine small shirt of mail the mithril it's made out of must be malleable enough to bend into shape. In its cold state it's a very hard metal and probably very hard to bend and the craftsmen would need to reheat the metal to shape it. The temperature would probably not have to be as high as the melting point to shape the metal of course, just high enough bend it and shape it.
The same goes for the helmets worn by the guards of the citadel of Minas Tirith.
Now what's the temperature need to work mithril, that is up for debate.

EDIT
Forging temperature is the temperature at which a metal becomes substantially more soft, but is lower than the melting temperature. Bringing a metal to its forging temperature allows the metal's shape to be changed by applying a relatively small force, without creating cracks. The forging temperature of an alloy will lie between the temperatures of its component metals. For most metals, forging temperature will be approximately 70% of the melting temperature in kelvins.

Material_________Celsius____Fahrenheit
Carbon steel____ 1230_______2246
Titanium_________955_______1751

Charcoal burns at intense temperatures, up to 4,890 °F (2,700 °C).
By comparison the melting point of iron is approximately 2,190 to 2,820 °F (1,200 to 1,550 °C).
Due to its porosity it is sensitive to the flow of air and the heat generated can be moderated by controlling the air flow to the fire.

The maximum temperature of a coal fire in a forge is about 3,500°F (1,927°C).

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Re: Mithril

#90 Post by macgorgor » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:23 pm

Dan L P wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:56 am
The way I come up with treasure for a earthmaster site is I use HM3 Treasure 2 PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. I randomly selected 1 to 10 occupations and roll for items that wouldn't be destroyed by the passage of time (GM discretion) silver, gold, gems, and artifacts.
If gold is found roll 25% chance of mithril instead of gold bars or nuggets.
I see, thanks; technically, stuff found in an earthmaster site could be of any age, including, more often than not, yesterday's adventurers' trash, so you'd still have to roll for its period of origin to be the Earthmasters', a measly 1 in 50 chance IIRC. But hey, LOOT! :lol:

Anyway, on Hârn the first precious metal-based monetary system allegedly originates with some silver, electrum and gold (also mythral/platinum?) tokens of appreciation the elves sometimes dispensed to favoured ones amongst the newcomers, who then began to trade those pieces; eventually some dwarf saw the benefits there to be made and formally began striking coin.

The earthmasters certainly appear to have mined some places in Hârn for specific minerals, but then I find it doubtful they let refined samples hanging around in any great quantities. Think of it, if they had anything like a monetary system, any individual relics found I'd imagine, instead of crude metal bars, to be based on some kind of semi-sentient pan-galactic credit disk/cristal/rod/pendant/ring/thingy. With some luck, that might still buy you a couple soft drinks or snack packs at the nearest functioning earthmaster vending machine, who knows? :mrgreen:
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Re: Mithril

#91 Post by Dan L P » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:17 pm

macgorgor wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:23 pm
The earthmasters certainly appear to have mined some places in Hârn for specific minerals, but then I find it doubtful they let refined samples hanging around in any great quantities. Think of it, if they had anything like a monetary system, any individual relics found I'd imagine, instead of crude metal bars, to be based on some kind of semi-sentient pan-galactic credit disk/cristal/rod/pendant/ring/thingy. With some luck, that might still buy you a couple soft drinks or snack packs at the nearest functioning earthmaster vending machine, who knows? :mrgreen:
Their are other uses than monetary for silver, gold, Platinum, and other rare metals. Industrial and electronic to name a few and who knows what else earthmasters would use rare metals for and storage of metals in bar form seems reasonable to me.

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Re: Mithril

#92 Post by zrayaan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:29 am

My take on mithril is it is an ore that does not exist on Terra, which can only be forged in the deep earth (magma) by craftsman who can withstand working in that temperature. That explains it's rarity. I am not at all interested in real world metallurgy, although I will say my conceptualization was an attempt to follow Tolkien's technology-is-bad theme in AD&D.
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Re: Mithril

#93 Post by Dan L P » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:32 am

zrayaan wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:29 am
My take on mithril is it is an ore that does not exist on Terra, which can only be forged in the deep earth (magma) by craftsman who can withstand working in that temperature.
How did you ever come to that conclusion, and what book did you find it in? Because this is the first time I've ever heard of it being forged in the deep earth (magma).

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Re: Mithril

#94 Post by Dan L P » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:54 am

Targan wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:23 am
Also consider that it's possible that mithral was only ever sourced from one location (Moria). If that was so, it seems unlikely to me that the Earthmasters were mining under the depths of the Misty Mountains tens of thousands of years ago.
Moria is not the only source of mithril, it was also mention coming from Ilmarin.

In Ilmarin on Mountain sheer,
And words unheard were spoken then
Of folk of Men and Elven-kin,
Beyond the world were visions showed
Forbid to those that dwell therein.

A ship then new they built for him
Of mithril and of elven-glass
With shining prow; no shaven oar
Nor sail she bore on silver mast;
The Silmaril as lantern light
And banner bright with living flame

From J.R.R. Tolkien poem
Earendil

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Re: Mithril

#95 Post by zrayaan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:19 am

Dan L P wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:32 am
zrayaan wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:29 am
My take on mithril is it is an ore that does not exist on Terra, which can only be forged in the deep earth (magma) by craftsman who can withstand working in that temperature.
How did you ever come to that conclusion, and what book did you find it in? Because this is the first time I've ever heard of it being forged in the deep earth (magma).
I would think the phrase, "My take," would obviate the necessity of further explanation.
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Re: Mithril

#96 Post by Targan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:59 am

Dan L P wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:54 am
Moria is not the only source of mithril, it was also mention coming from Ilmarin.
I did not know that, and I consider myself to be reasonably knowledgeable about Middle Earth lore so I thank you for teaching me something new.

Is that the only other reference? I note that Ilmarin is in what would become the Blessed Realm, but at the time of the Silmarils would have been part of the one world that Middle Earth and the Western Lands were both part of. Post-Second Age any sources of mithral in the Uttermost West would be effectively inaccessible. But that there were at least 2 sources at one time absolutely means that the source wasn't unique. I always assumed that the presence of mithril beneath Moria and the presence of the Balrog were connected, but whether the presence of the Balrog caused mithril to be there, or the Balrog was imprisoned there because of the presence of mithril, that remains a mystery.

Time moves differently between the different linked worlds in Kelestia, so trying to put together a cohesive timeline is pretty much impossible. I've never for instance nailed down in my pHarn when exactly the elves and then the dwarves started migrating to Harn. I've always assumed it was probably the Second Age, but other than that it's been in my too hard basket. In terms of the Earthmasters' interactions with Arda, it gets even more difficult. Before there was a sun and a moon in Arda, who knows how much time passed? Before Aman and Middle Earth were split off from one another, could the Earthmasters be active in Arda without Eru/the Valar freaking out? If they weren't, then that only leaves the Second and Third Ages for them to have built Godstones and been active in Middle Earth, but you'd think the locals would have noticed.

I dunno, it all seems bloody hard to reconcile. Elves and dwarves bringing mithril to Harn seems easy to justify. Earthmasters getting their hands on mithril many thousands of years earlier and bringing it to Harn, not impossible and I'd love to hear to scenarios that the wise folk here regard as plausible.
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Re: Mithril

#97 Post by rdelorme10 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Pure Titanium would make a lousy material for armor: it has high strength but it is very brittle to the point of being useless in pure form. One does not need extreme high tech to produce qualities Tolkien outlined. First one has to realize that early steel is of much lower quality than the poorest modern steel and was somewhat brittle. Thus most pattern welded swords contain some wrought iron layers to reduce brittleness.

Most mail armor was wrought iron not steel.

Thus is one produced "Stainless Steel" and made a suit of mail armor it would have the properties of Tolkien's mithril: light weight as finer links could be woven; super strong (probably a factor of 10 time that of wrought iron); shiny silver like in color and does not rust.

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Re: Mithril

#98 Post by Dan L P » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:53 pm

rdelorme10 wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:31 pm
Pure Titanium would make a lousy material for armor: it has high strength but it is very brittle to the point of being useless in pure form. One does not need extreme high tech to produce qualities Tolkien outlined. First one has to realize that early steel is of much lower quality than the poorest modern steel and was somewhat brittle. Thus most pattern welded swords contain some wrought iron layers to reduce brittleness.

Most mail armor was wrought iron not steel.

Thus is one produced "Stainless Steel" and made a suit of mail armor it would have the properties of Tolkien's mithril: light weight as finer links could be woven; super strong (probably a factor of 10 time that of wrought iron); shiny silver like in color and does not rust.
Titanium would be good for making armour.
Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong, lightweight alloys.
The problem with stainless steel is that stainless steel, is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass
Now chromium is mined as chromite ore. About two-fifths of the chromite ores and concentrates in the world are produced in South Africa, while Kazakhstan, India, Russia, and Turkey are also substantial producers. Untapped chromite deposits are plentiful, but geographically concentrated in Kazakhstan and southern Africa.
I don't believe I have seen any thing saying that chromite is mined on Harn. Stainless steel might make a good metal for armour but it is not available on Harn.

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Re: Mithril

#99 Post by Dan L P » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:07 pm

Targan wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:59 am

I dunno, it all seems bloody hard to reconcile. Elves and dwarves bringing mithril to Harn seems easy to justify. Earthmasters getting their hands on mithril many thousands of years earlier and bringing it to Harn, not impossible and I'd love to hear to scenarios that the wise folk here regard as plausible.
There are infinite parallel world's and who to say earthmasters didn't travel to those p-world's and find mithril on some of them. We use to think mithril was found at only one location. But now we know it was found in at least two locations. Why not mithril being found in more than one world.

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Re: Mithril

#100 Post by rdelorme10 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:47 am

Modern mining locations are not a good indicator of distribution of a mineral. Chrome was mined in ancient china and other places as early as 300BCE; and it has wider distribution than Wikipedia indicates. There are very large deposits in both North and South America: North American was a major source during WWII and into the 1960's.

Titanium requires far more tech to refine and alloy than Stainless Steel. An Titanium is not easy to produce, the lowest tech method is the Hunter Process which requires very high pressure (high pressure steam bomb) titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) with metallic sodium (Na) at 700–800 °C. The next easiest method in the Kroll Process: "ore is reduced with petroleum-derived coke in a fluidized bed reactor at 1000 °C. The mixture is then treated with chlorine gas, affording titanium tetrachloride TiCl4 and other volatile chlorides, which are subsequently separated by continuous fractional distillation. In a separate reactor, the TiCl4 is reduced by liquid magnesium or sodium (15–20% excess) at 800–850 °C in a stainless steel retort to ensure complete reduction (Wikipedia)". I do not see these process as qualifying for a simple spell.

NOTE you need stainless steel to make titanium!

I support the KISS principle: all the elements of Stainless steel were known in the ancient world and it would not be unreasonable to assume that alchemist and mages could produce small quantities; with nickel being a limiting factor and chromium being a real cost multiplier as it was expensive to purify. Thus making Mithril is expensive and rare; but not requiring advanced technology.

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