So I am going to try this. I have a setting I will end up wanting explored further than I probably am able to properly tell stories for.
Here is a thing on my google drive about the chunk I want to cover. I would like other people to avoid that city as it is only one corner of a larger world. However it gives a small idea of a city that manages to make its trade between here and there as a rail stop and farmer’s market along with picking through ‘local’ ruins.
Things to keep in mind:
Magic: think avatar last airbender type gesture based magic. Micro-muscles and slight shifts for most non-strenuous tasks.
There are six schools of magic that anyone who has magic will have an affinity for.
Earth/air/water/fire, Life, Death.
You can do some magic regardless, but it’s a trickle at best without some source that matches your affinity to draw on(this makes anyone with an air affinity impossible to cage without a full body bind.)
Add in a touch of wheel of time’s weaving in how magic users see magic both that they use and how they see magic in the world.
No matter your affinity you can in theory use any magic, but anything outside of what your affinity is will be more energy intensive and harder. Like… A fire-worker could keep a stove lit to cook on, but they need to take more effort to use water magic to clean a stain. Some types of magic are equally taxing in everyone so they are treated as cross-school. Typically these are raw kinetic force manipulation be it telekenisis, or magiking so a wagon rolling down hill suddenly has its momentum robbed.
Death-magic, more commonly known as necromancy, is illegal. Those born with that affinity have w few options. Either they can decide not to magic, which is next to impossible since all magic users are drawn to magic. It is as part of them as your arm is to you. They can also use ‘off’ magic that mismatches their affinity. They could also practice in secret, keeping their magics to minor things like disinfection by killing all the parasitical bacteria/fungus, rotting out a lock or thing they want moved, or otherwise trying to not be found out. Technicslly any necromancer is to be executed, but since most people don’t want to kill and those born with !agic don’t get a choice the implications of a universal death penalty meaning baby murder isn’t lost on most people.
The War: before the war the world was so!etching other order of 22nd century technology partially due to magic standing in for facits. Now? The most advanced places are Victorian era or slightly better.
Most of the existing settlements got scrapped and people fled because either the people in charge of automated defenders were gone, the city was lost, the infrastructure was falling apart, and so on. Some places are still technicslly there but it’s a case of gutting and rebuilding on the spot. There are no hidden technology bastions.
Due to how long ago the war was (minamum a century, possibly two, nobody is sure.) Magic has downgraded to mostly ‘things that keep people alive.’ There are some that experiment and find new uses, or find old texts. Largely though magic is not a terribly dominant player now.
Technology: think 17th through early 20th century. Those places that have established faster post war are closer to industrial revolution level. They export skills, refined goods others cannot, and so on.
One things though never were truely forgotten. The how’s of basic sanitation, germ theory, and the like were never really lost.
Artificial races: pixies, doll sized beings that have dragonfly wings and delicate human features survived their task as message runners. Many see them as nucenses due to wild pixies tending towards robbery or making sport of travelers. Most don’tean lasting harm and are mostly trying to keep from being bored or taking out anger at friends being swatted as bugs. They have magics relevant to communication and avoiding notice. They were originally message runners and some places attempt to use them in this capacity.
Ents: druid-creations. Slow-but-mobile trees that are tasked with being eyes and ears, able to listen and we through any living tree rooted near them. They are few and keep to themselves now.
Were people: humans augmented to take on animalisc features. They can change at will, have an innate resistance to magic (for good or I’ll,) can heal faster… And are treated as second class citizens almost everywhere. Most now either live nomadicly as traveling bands or in villages of their own, but a few live with humanity at large. Even if they get discriminated against they do have friends and a place in the world.