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On the vast, super continent of Middle-earth there is a gargantuan wealth of magic, marvelous creatures and peoples that are no more; and a sense of wonder and adventure as no other place can match. But Middle-earth's riches are not just that of the living and intellectual property, within Arda's crust and stony flesh there are countless treasures. Elements and Minerals of every sort abound within the soil.
Metals are common and can be used to create the greatest arms and armor, to the most beautiful of jewelry. Other minerals find their use in paints, medicines, and the preparation and storage of food. Minerals and Metals were the causes and ends of wars, kingdoms and empires were built by and grew rich and powerful by harvesting the precious bounty of the Earth's flesh. Minerals and Metals could be found in every type and every corner of the land, from the Gold, Silver and Mithril of the Dwarven halls, to the Steel and iron of Gondor and the Exquisite Bronze armor of the Kingdoms of the East. In the old days the riches of the earth were nearly endless, and with this wealth was fueled some the richest and most powerful ages since the world began.
Formation and MiningEdit
After Eru Ilúvatar created the Arda the Music of the Ainur set the blood of the earth with great pressure and heat. Over the many years, the earth's molten flesh cooled and from it formed minerals of every kind. In great veins and deposits the newborn treasures sat, within mountains, riverbeds, and the farthest depths of the lonely sea, and waited to be unearthed.
There are nearly as many ways to extract the riches as there are ores to uncover. Beneath the sad, gray face of a distant mountain there could be a trove of Mithril and silver, the plain, rough rock of the desolate hill could hold brilliant geodes; the bed of the local river could be ridden with flecks and nuggets of gold; the blue waters of the ocean housed salt and lustrous pearls. When the first of the Children of Ilúvatar were awoken, they mined these riches, but only to a limited degree. It was Sons of Aulë who opened the cold rock and reveled and built their great stone halls and began to harvest the great wealth of useful and valuable metals and minerals.