The Fourth Epoch was the time of the successor states, which grew up in the wreckage of the Empire. The Elvish continent was divided into many different states, and the southern continent saw the regrowth of a powerful state in the south. Also in this time, about a third of the Human Kingdom fell into the control of the Windlords, who ruled over the mostly human population, and warred among themselves. (The Marrakesh campaign and the sheriff’s campaign take place in the fourth epoch.) The fourth epoch included a sudden appearance of a new order of magicians in the mountains of the Human continent who could summon creatures and armies apparently at will. They established themselves in the southern regions of the Human continent, and spread over into the Elvish continent as well. Near the end of the fourth epoch, there was a large increase in the number and prominence of the half-elves, even though full elves had left by the start of the fourth epoch. The half-elves drove out the Windlords, and took over as the nobility of a number of states on the Human and Elvish continents. These states have part-elven rulers with position frequently based on the amount of elven blood. Although the states are independent, they do not war among themselves like the Windlords, and frequently act together against common enemies. The Eastern third of the Human continent had coalesced into an empire near the middle of the Fourth Epoch. The Empire was eventually defeated by nomadic groups who had access to what was rumored to be a strange source of magic. The Empire is now ruled by a combination of the descendants of both the old nobility and the new nobility from the nomadic tribes.
The human rumors say that near the end of the Fourth Epoch, while fighting the summoners, a young dwarf cleric lost his left forearm. He asked his relatives to make him a weapon he could attach to his elbow to continue fighting. An uncle of the brave lad invented a new form of sling for the cleric to use. As the cleric could not swing a rope a new form of propulsion was needed. The uncle worked for nearly a year, perfecting a method of igniting an explosive red stone in one end of a tube that would be attached to the arm, which would shoot a sling stone out the other end. The arm-shooter was actually made before the news arrived that the cleric had already been killed while participating in a rescue attempt. The arm-shooter was kept and played with by the dwarves, and the inventive clan began to think of other things that could be done with the red stone, soon named ergeonite. The discovery spread to all of the adjacent clans, and then to the humans, and then across the oceans. The Fifth epoch – the age of controlled power – had begun.