Episode 16: End of a Golden Age
The golden age of Elmoreden came about a thousand years after its establishment, during the reign of Emperor Baium. With great charisma and leadership skills, Baium created the strongest army in the history of the kingdom. This army drove the orcs, who had considerable influence in the northern parts of Elmore, into the black woods, known later as the Orc Kingdom. In addition, Baium's army led repeated attacks against the kingdom of Perios, and eventually occupied the southern parts of Gracia.
In his later years, Baium lost interest in conquests and used his kingdom's forces to begin construction of an elaborate tower rising into the clouds.
"My name inspires fear in every corner of the continent. Tens of thousands of lives can be lost or saved by the movement of my hand. My power is absolute. That I can only have this power for a few decades, I cannot bear! No -- I shall obtain everlasting life from the gods and rule my kingdom forever!"
The magnificent tower of Baium's design took thirty years to construct. He intended to use the tower to climb to the residence of the gods and obtain the secret of everlasting life. When he climbed the tower, the gods objected to his plans and gave him this response:
"Child of lowly humans, and a lowly human yourself: You dare to soil our abode for your own everlasting life? Have you learned nothing from the lesson of the giants? Very well, if eternal life is what you desire, we shall grant you your request. But you shall never leave your tower."
Having brought the fury of the gods upon himself, Baium was trapped for all eternity at the top of his tower. After the sudden disappearance of the emperor, a fierce competition broke out among members of the royal family as each vied for ascension to the throne. Numerous aristocrats also seized the opportunity to stake their claim to the throne, leaving the entire kingdom of Elmoreden enmeshed in internal conflict. The costs and labor requirements for construction of the tower had already weakened the kingdom. The added conflict and backbiting over the vacant throne was the last straw. The resplendent kingdom of Elmoreden, powerful on the continent for more than a thousand years fell into rapid decline. Within a mere twenty years, the kingdom was in shambles.