Welcome to the After.
It’s been many years since the apocalypse rocked the Old World, and destroyed almost every living thing on the face of the Earth. The last few survivors, minds eroding from radiation, banded together in small groups and living out their unusually long lives trying to breed a sort of humanity back on to the face of the planet. Many of the resulting offspring turned out mutated, and thus was born the many races of men. They spread over the landscape, reforming small parts of civilization. Around them, the earth crusted over and rose. It covered over the Old World buildings, capping its pores and settling itself on top of what was old, growth spreading on the new soil. Barely anyone remembers the old days, and those who do are so insane no one bothers talking to them. Society is mostly spread out, some in settlements, many of them nomads. The few bastions of civilization have thick stone walls to keep the mutants out at night, and to keep the power inside. Magic flows through the veins of the lucky few, the odd changes brought about by radiation manifesting themselves through reality-altering powers. Psionics bless those who have them with incredible mental abilities offset by eventual insanity, escaped by few. Everything is touched by a kind of alteration, animals mutating and changing in strange new ways, dormant things come to life.
I don’t feel like writing something flowery again. Above paragraphs preserved for future use, possibly.
Civilizations rise, and they fall, and for the past billions of years this has been the case, and will continue to be the case ever onwards. In one such cycle on one specific continent, sand covered everything. There are remnants of a past civilization in the form of black ruins that seem to be made of a kind of shiny black stone (which is not obsidian, obsidian makes other things). There is a Before, Beginning, and After era.
This is the After Era. When society is beginning to build itself up again.
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.
A young man is born to a powerful family on the verge of beginning their own safe haven, and when he is of age he receives a letter from the Capital, informing him that the great uncle he never knew he had has given him the estate he never knew existed.