Wars rarely have winners and losers – but if one could pick a winner of the Iron Wars, it would be Cyrus Vanderbilt. Of the eight, major families that ruled the lands outside Mortal City, it was Vanderbilt’s landlocked empire, The Midlands Mining Company (TMMC), and its various subsidiaries that tamed the uncivilized region between the ancient walls of Mortal City and the stark range of mountains known as The Stone Curtain.

Built on the backs of thousands of laborers working in inhospitable conditions for decades, The Midlands Mining Company grew from the small, family business founded by Langley Collier as it passed from generation to generation of increasily uninterested heirs. Vanderbilt, the boyhood friend of Jacob Collier (the last Collier heir to serve as CEO) worked alongside his friend in the lead-up to The Iron Wars and then replaced Collier upon his death as both CEO of TMMC and as guardian for Jacob’s young son, Max.

While Max was in boarding schools, filling his head with dreams of adventure and discovery, Vanderbilt was busy consolidating his support for his takeover of TMMC and engineering a “successful conclusion” to the Iron Wars that saw TMMC establish control over half of the railway systems in The Wasted Lands.

With greater access to more markets and more resources than any other individual south of The Stone Curtain, it was arguable that Cyrus Vanderbuilt was the most wealthy man in The Wasted Lands. And with every passing day, Vanderbilt’s fortune continued to grow.

And with it. So did his power.