For centuries, the wild frontier lands known as the Dran Feldar, between the human Barony of Maradon and the elven Princedom of Jhanakai, were thought to be worthless. Few people from either country settled there. But the discovery of a single vein of mithril in the Altyrean foothills bordering the frontier plains sparked speculation that the entire Dran Feldar region itself might be rich with the precious metal.
Violent clashes began almost immediately. Heavily armed and armored bands set up outposts in the region, fighting when they encountered each other, or killing prospectors and burning settlements belonging to the opposition at other times, in an effort to drive them out and claim the region for themselves.
The men of Maradon already had reasonably successful iron and copper excavations elsewhere, but mithril would boost their mining industry immeasurably. And on the surface of things, Maradon had the advantage of numbers on their side, with a population exceeding that of Jhanakai by two to one. On the other hand, the elves were highly skilled fighters, and better adapted to long periods in the wilds. Further, while they had no formal alliance, the elves were on extremely good terms with the dwarves of Kabad'zem on their border. And the Kabads rarely said no to a mining opportunity when it arose.