Dwarven Vaults and Mines; also Mithral

Two questions.

First, in fantasy fiction, the archetypal Dwarven stronghold is a mine, or is built around or above mines. How would this factor into an ACKS Dwarven Vault? Would the mines be included in the cost of the Vault stronghold, or be a separate part (essentially part of the 6-mile hex value?

Second, in the Auran Empire or similar settings, is Mithral a naturally-occurring alloy, or an artificial one? If it is artificial, what metals is it composed of?

I also found the core ACKS rules inadequate in this topic; so I wrote my own.

You can also see the HR post I made on it here:

In my view, it’s something that rulers of a dwarven vault would do instead of trading.

As far as I could tell by reading ACKS, there is no mithril or other fantastic metals in the Auran Empire. There’s no mention of it in the magic item chapter and there’s no elven chain. My rules include mithril because they’re based on the Complete Book of Dwarves.

It’s funny because my only dwarf player would want nothing to do with extra charts, so I just read that page for my own satisfaction only.

Many Thanks!

Can I hear from an Autarch on this? Are there really no Mithral/Adamentine in the Auran Empire setting?

There is no mithral, that being a purely Tolkienesque invention. I wanted all the fantasy metals to be rooted in ancient Hellenistic or Indo-European myth.

Magical metals in ACKS therefore include:

  • meteorite iron (sky-steel)
  • adamantine (ore from deep in earth)
  • orichalcum (white bronze; copper, gold, and adamantine)
  • hepatizon (black bronze; copper, silver, meteorite iron)

Of these meteorite iron comes from the sky, and adamantine comes deep mining. Orichalcum and hepatizon are alloys created with magic.

The ACKS draft of Dwimmermount has some of my thoughts on how to use magical metals in an ACKS campaign.

Great, thank you!

“Corinthian bronze” (with an appropriate renaming) could also be used. Per Pliny, there were three grades - copper alloyed with silver, copper alloyed with gold, and an equal blend of copper, silver, and gold. They were considered more valuable than hepatizon because of the higher proportion of precious metal.

Given some of the incredible properties assigned to weapons forged of it, wootz steel could be used as another magical metal.