Mithril is the rarest and most powerful magical material, with only a few hundred pounds known to exist. Even the mighty Gudersnipe Foundation only holds a few ounces of the stuff(though this amount is hotly disputed). It is a silvery-colored metal, but slightly less malleable than Argentium. Once forged into shape, it is almost impenetrable by anything duller than a laser-beam.
Mithril is a highly potent super-conductor and magic amplifier. Hunter Jusenkyou described it thus: "You're on top of a 1000-story-high wizard tower made of Adamantium. I'm standing in the mud at the bottom with a single mithril ring. I am more powerful than you".
Mithril crystals have only ever been theorized, and was long believed to be the stuff of legend. It was only when large quantities of synthetic mithril became available for experimentation, that scientists even began to speculate on the properties of the stuff. A mithril crystal would be nearly unbreakable, probably impossible to shape, and have magical properties far surpassing the regular metallic material. On such crystal is believed to exist on the Ring of Tarkier. VRF scientists studying mithril were unable to make it crystallize artificially.
In the Mage Wars, it was highly sought after, yet still very rare. Tiny veins of the stuff would occasionally be found, but hundreds of tons of ore(called Thettazite) were required to extract even a few ounces of pure material.
Ore-bearing stones were favored as building material for Mage Towers, as they provided some magic amplification; but it was extracted and purified that the metal became the most powerful. It is extremely hard, yet malleable enough to form intricate shapes.
Of the few hundred pounds of Mithril known to exist during the Mage Wars, much was formed into rings or pendants. A few knives and a single sword have been observed. It was also common to embed small slivers of mithril into more common materials to make rings. Though not as powerful as a pure mithril ring, a small sliver was still hugely valuable.
Much of the mithril was eventually captured by dragons during the Second Chaotic Period and is held in dragon hoards. What little remains is usually found in museums, where it is considered a national-level treasure.
No significant natural deposited of mithril have been discovered or mined since the early Second Age. Very small deposits are occasionally unearthed, and the ore is prized by rock collectors; but assembling enough to extract an apreciable amount of the pure metal is considered impossible.
During most of the Ages of the Alliance the existing quantity of Mithril was believed to be in the range of only three to five hundred pounds, with the majority of the material in rings, settings, and other very small item. A single mithril dagger, and the hammer called the Song of Arkentur, were the largest known items.
Mithril-bearing ore, called Thettazite, is not exceptionally rare, but is only ever found in small deposits. With refined mithril coming out to just half a carat per ton of ore in even the richest deposits, mining it is not economically viable.
Legends from the Mage Wars spoke of it once being plentiful, referring to the Planet Eladamri, which once had soaring towers of mithril and Adamantium. This deposit was discovered by the Saratoga and some the material brought back (enough to add a six-inch plate of armor of each substance to the ship's hull; meaning orders of magnitude more mithril than thought to exist in the whole multi-verse).
In the 43rd year of the Age of the Dragon, scientists at the Victory Research Facility discovered a way to artificially produce mithril in supercolliders. The synthetic material was discovered to be identical to the natural product in every way, except origin.
The synthetic material saw a variety of uses as a superconductor, hull armor, and power-generator. As a conductor, it was only surpassed by metallic hydrogen. Generating power from mithril involved one of the few uses of Magic-Tech since the Mage Wars.