Mithril Ore is a relatively-common type of Terrain Special - specifically one of the Minerals. It appears as group of white streaks on the overland map. Mithril Ore is very common on Myrror, but can also be found on Arcanus. It appears mostly on Mountain tiles, and with some frequency on Hills as well.
If the Mithril Ore tile is within the catchment area of a Town, that town will produce an extra +1 Power, added directly to the town's owner's Power level. This bonus is doubled if the town has a Miners' Guild present.
Furthermore, if a town with access to Mithril Ore constructs an Alchemists' Guild, all new Normal Units produced in this town will be equipped with Mithril Weapons. This provides the same bonuses as Magical Weapons, but also increases the unit's Melee Attack and Defense scores!
Mithril Ore can be changed into Silver Ore using the Transmute spell, and Silver Ore can be changed into Mithril Ore using the same method. Mithril Ore can be removed from a tile by raising a Volcano in that tile. Corruption temporarily removes the bonuses that Mithril Ore gives to nearby towns.
Though Iron Ore is the primary (and most abundant) material from which to make weapons and armor, the magical nature of the realms of Arcanus and Myrror provides a rarer but more powerful metal called "Mithril".
Mithril is silvery in color, and is both significantly stronger and lighter than either iron or steel. It is imbued with magical energy as well, and can be used as an important compound in various magical concoctions. Mithril is also a common component in spell-casting.
The discovery of a Mithril Ore vein is not an immediate benefit to any town - it is only mined for use in magical endeavours. However, once the locals learn to work this metal using alchemical skills, it becomes a viable source of material for construction of powerful weapons and armor.
Mithril Ore appears as a group of silvery-white streaks across the surface of a tile. This makes them very hard to spot when placed on Mountain tiles, which are mostly white. Also, Mithril Ore is hard to distinguish from Silver Ore, which has the same color but resembles small specks instead of streaks. If unsure, use the surveyor tool.
The name of this metal comes from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, et al). It has since become a staple of many fantasy settings.
Initial Placement and Terrain Edit
Mithril Ore is abundant on the plane of Myrror, where it is one of the most common Minerals - possibly the most common. It is extremely abundant on Mountainous terrain, and may also be found in Hill tiles. The metal appears also on Arcanus (also in Mountain and Hill tiles), but is less common there - about as common as Gold Ore.
Note that due to the randomness involved in the creation of the world, it is possible that no Mithril Ore will appear on either plane - but it is highly unlikely.
The only way to remove Mithril Ore from a tile is to raise a new Volcano underneath it. This permanently removes Mithril Ore from the tile - and it cannot be restored. Volcanoes can be created using either the Raise Volcano or Armageddon spells.
Mineral Effects Edit
Mithril Ore is a Mineral, and thus provides a bonus to nearby towns. A town with Mithril Ore within its catchment area produces +1 Power.
Power Bonus Edit
This Power is similar to that produced innately by the citizens of some races, by the wizard's Fortress, or gathered from Nodes. Like any other Power it can be invested freely into generation of Mana, Research of new spells, or increasing the wizard's Spell Skill.
The bonus is not too significant, but can have a serious impact during the early portion of the game. Later on, placing many towns next to Mithril Ore tiles can collectively boost a wizard's Power input by a respectable margin.
Mithril Weapons Edit
Once a town constructs an Alchemists' Guild (if it has access to this structure at all), it will begin outfitting all new Normal Units constructed there with Magical Weapons. Units equipped with such weapons have an innate +10% To Hit bonus to its Melee Attacks and non-magical Ranged Attacks, making them more dangerous in combat. However, the hit percentage of Ranged Magical Attacks and Special Attacks such as Thrown and Fire Breath won't be increased. Such units can also effectively battle enemies possessing Weapon Immunity, which is extremely strong against Normal Weapons.
If the town also has a Mithril Ore deposit within its catchment area, all new Normal Units produced in this town will receive Mithril Weapons instead of "plain" Magical Weapons. Mithril Weapons possess all the benefits described above, and in addition will increase the unit's Melee Attack by +1, its non-magical Ranged Attack by +1 (resp. +1), its Thrown Attack by +1, and its Defense score by +1. These are significant bonuses - especially to low-tier or Multi-Figure units.
These bonuses apply only to new Normal Units created in this specific town. Existing units that do not possess such weapons may not be "re-equipped" with Mithril Weapons. Also note that a unit created with Mithril Weapons will never lose them.
The Melee Attack and Thrown Attack bonuses apply only to units that possess such attacks to begin with. A unit will not gain a Melee or Thrown attack due to getting a +1 bonus in either of these fields, if it does not have such an attack by default. Also, the bonus to the unit's Ranged Attack applies only if the unit has a Ranged Missile Attack or Ranged Boulder Attack.
Another important point to remember: If the town also has access to Adamantium Ore, the Alchemists' Guild will provide new units with Adamantium Weapons instead of Mithril Weapons. This is fine - since Adamantium Weapons are even more powerful!
It is possible to build two towns close enough together that their catchment areas overlap. Shared tiles are marked by a red "1/2" label, seen in each town's details screen.
When a Mithril Ore mineral occupies a shared tile, it will give half of its benefit to each town. As the game drops half-points from minerals, the net effect is that a shared mine produces zero Power. Despite this waste, it is often worth sharing Mithril Ore due to the Alchemists' Guild benefits.
Note that it is quite possible for this state to change during play, as new towns are established and existing towns are destroyed. The Mithril Ore tile's bonuses will be redistributed automatically in such events.
Note: A town with an Alchemists' Guild and access to a shared Mithril Ore tile can equip all new Normal Units with Mithril Weapons as normal - with no drawbacks. Therefore, two towns can use the same Mithril Ore tile to produce advanced units as though each town had full access to this Mineral!
Miners' Guild Bonus Edit
When a Miners' Guild is erected in a town that has access to Mithril Ore, the Power output of each Mithril Ore tile in its vicinity is increased by 50%. Since the game round half-points down, the Miners' Guild has no effect on Mithril Ore unless the city is owned by Dwarves..
This is done in order to increase Gold output at the expense of Power production and Mithril Weapons. It can be useful for a number of reasons - particularly when the empire is running low on Gold to support all of its existing units.
Remember that transmutation is not permanent: you can always cast the spell a second time to change Silver Ore back into Mithril Ore.
Since Mithril Ore is often considered far superior to the paltry amount of Gold gathered from Silver Ore, players will usually opt for the opposite: turning Silver Ore into Mithril Ore in order to manufacture Mithril Weapons in areas where they are not otherwise available.
The Corruption spell can be cast on a tile containing Mithril Ore. In such an event, both the Mithril Ore itself as well as the tile it's on will cease providing any bonuses to nearby towns.
This stops both Power output from the tile, as well as the ability to create Mithril Weapons - so long as all Mithril Ore tiles in the town's vicinity remain Corrupted.
To combat this, send Shamans or Priests to Purify the affected tile immediately. If several tiles are Corrupted, Mithril Ore tiles usually have a high priority for Purification. Several spells, including Gaia's Blessing and Consecration, may also help if they are available.