Welcome to the After.
A risen civilisation is a beautiful thing. Tearing its way through adversity and diplomacy for decades, endlessly striving for a greatness that always rests just out of reach. Struggling and climbing until at last they reach their destination. Rising to the top of the mountain where, for one glorious, shining moment, the entire earth is laid out before them. Enriched by their teachings, enslaved by their warfare, some combination of both.
Unfortunately, on top of the mountain is not very steady ground to stand on.
But this is just the small version of the larger cycle of the earth—which civilisation as a whole must topple from its too-long perch atop the mountain of golden ages and true enlightenment. Many civilisations fall every few centuries, but it takes thousands of years for a Great Fall to happen to the entire earth.
It has now happened twice.
The first Great Fall came about when magic returned to the world after a long period of slumber. The warlike nature of the people on it caused them to fight, die, and more importantly, explode each other in the name of each clutch of land they called their homes. Conflicts grew more heated, firepower became more desired, until in the ultimate show of pyrotechnics the human race detonated huge chunks out of the earth and wiped themselves out. Almost.
Then came the Age of Titans. Records of their coming are, obviously, lost to time. They might have landed from space, the explosions could have rocked them from their slumber deep in the earth. No one will ever know. The point is, they existed, and built huge structures made of a mysterious substance called Blackstone, that apparently appeared alongside magic. Humans were mostly feral back then, barely understandable cannibals who roamed the dessicated husks of buildings in packs. The Titans built and built until they apparently built too much, and something caused the world to get covered with sand.
This is the After Era. When society is beginning to build itself up again. An age collectively waiting for the other shoe to drop.
A young man is born to one of the bandit camps. He grows up in a harsh environment in which, because of his powers, he is shunned. When he comes of age he receives a letter from the great uncle he never knew he had, informing him he now owns land that he never knew existed.