Prince Alex knew from the very start what he wanted. A better world. A world where the good ruled, where people could travel the world and not fear being attacked because of where they came from. So when he in 2450 sprouted angelic wings at the age of 15, on the same day his father died, Alex immediately set out to make his vision of Gemnos come through.
King Alex left the Kingdom of Morit with his army. Armed with steel weapons, he conquered most of Caropya in a little less than 26 years. The Yuan-ti were destroyed in the process, and in 2476, he is crowned Emperor Alex the Imperator of the Golden Empire.
By his side, he has his best friend and advisor, Aurax, a mighty golden dragon King Alex befriended during his campaign to conquer Caropya. The Golden Empire is name as such because of Aurax and the golden armor Emperor Alex wears in battle.
The emergence of the Golden Empire heralds the beginning of a golden age. While most of Caropya is conquered, the Iron Kingdom and the elves of Loki Taure are left alone and treaties of nonaggression are signed.
For a little more than 500 years, Emperor Alex ruled with wisdom and generosity. Along with Aurax, he created an empire ruled by justice and equality. Laws were just, none starved and most people were happy with their lives.
Then in 2999, Emperor Alex was killed by Hexia Hellfire. Some feared at the time that the Golden Empire would collapse, but with the guidance of Aurax, the new Emperor held things together, and soon things went back to the way they had always been.
The Golden Empire saw many advances. The Arch Magus, who appeared a few hundred years later, created both the Lightning Rail, the Flying Ship and the Teleportation Circle. All three inventions benefited the Golden Empire immensely and allowed it to develop further.
There was peace in the Golden Empire. Great things were done, and perhaps inspired by the small pyramids made by elves in the jungles, Emperor Ranex II starts in 3676 the construction of the Ranex pyramid, as a symbol of his power and to be buried in. A trend starts and soon all emperors had their own huge pyramid made, while rich nobles have smalles ones.
Then, after more 1300 years of peace, death arrives to the Golden Empire. In 3799, Hexia Hellfire, The Occultist, fueled by the deaths of 10.001 virgin cultists, opens a rift to Hell just south of the Hammerdrukar Mountains, just between the Blackstone Hills and Loki Taure. Devils and demons pour into the mortal world.
The war is on. The enormous armies of the Golden Empire hustle to the Infernal Rift and battle the demons and devils, trying to avoid them spreading to the rest of the empire. Towns are destroyed, villages are sacked, but despite facing some powerful enemies, the soldiers and generals of the Golden Empire refuse to give up.
After 14 years of bloody battles, the Arch Magus finally joins the fray. With a tactical tour de force, Hexia is tricked away from her infernal legions and killed. With the demons and devils in disarray of the loss of their leader, the armies of the empire, spearheaded by King Gromin Ironfist and his dwarven Iron Legions, push back the infernal armies, all the way through the rift and back into Hell. Then Aurax uses all his power and his very soul to weave a spell that closes the rift again, trapping the dwarves, demons and devils in Hell.
Following the Infernal War, the Golden Empire licks it’s wounds and rebuilts. But unrest has been sowed, and the Church of the Sun and Moon is split on how to interpret the infernal intrusion. For years, priests and clerics argue, and slowly, but surely, the gap between the two factions becomes larger and larger.
In 4502, after years and years of unrest amongst the clergy, a full-blown religious war erupts between the followers of the Sun and the Moon. Extremist factions have control of both churches, and advocate the complete annihilation of the other church. The Golden Empire is split down the middle, and Emperor Tyrat III, widely regarded as one of the weakest emperors of the Golden Empire, remains passive.
Brother war on brother, neighbor on neighbor and father on son. Armies march and lay siege and still, Emperor Tyrat III does nothing. Nor does his son, or grandson. They seem paralyzed and reluctant at the thought of breaking with one church, and incapable of uniting the two churches.
In 4599, after almost a century of religious civil war, Eileen Moonsparrow grow her angelic wings and unites the Church of the Sun and the Church of the Moon. The holy war is stopped, after a three-way meeting in the place where Father Morg built his church. Whatever the Oracle told the two high-priests, they came out of the church significantly changed.
Peace returns to the Golden Empire, until 150 years later, when the empire expands it’s borders for the first time in hundreds of years. Arth is discovered by explorer and empire-wide famous dilletante, Jack Lefthand and the empire founds Jacktown and starting a small but steady migration north.
Having land on another continent is great, but in order to truly make it a part of the empire, something more is needed. Thus, in 5279, Emperor Ronild III started the construction of a marvel like Gemnos has never seen before – The Great Tunnel, stretching from Caropya to Arth, linking Jacktown with Caropya’s mainland via the Lightning Rail. More than 200 of the 400 miles are below the sea.
Little did the Golden Empire know that it’s end was coming, and soon.
In 5499, the Oracle, who singlehandedly stopped the religious war between the two churches, receive a vision, and warned everyone of destruction and doom to come. People prepare for the worst, but have no idea what to expect. But even if they had known what was coming, they could probably not have imagined it.
A year later, to the day, came the Cataclysm, which was the end of the Golden Empire.