Fairy Storm is a fantasy setting I have been batting about for several years.
What if magic was a substance that leaked into the world from a parallel world. It would ebb and flow and not be the consistent resource most magic worlds rely on.
Form there, I had the idea of an otherwise lifeless world with a deep gouge/valley marking the only livable parts. The world would be populated by beings brought there by magic portals so we could have the world would be sparsely populated and "wild" with great unexplored expanses due to a relatively recent history.
The original idea had that the magic "poured" down the walls of the valley and washed around the valley like the eddies of a slow creek.
While thinking of what the valley and magic streams would have on a fantasy setting I had another story idea about how the little motes of sparkles in a sunbeam were actually tiny fairies. From this seed came the idea of tying magic to the fairies. Fairy Storm stuck with me as a great description of what kind of havok a low magic would would experience under the onslaught of too much magic.
I liked the idea of a very large, but still somewhat limited world setting and the idea that Fairy Storms would mess things up leading to parts of the world being cut off for years at a time.
Fairy Storm is conceived as a low mana/medium fantasy setting.
The people are mostly Human. Elves, Dwarves and Orcs mostly keep to themselves, but it is not uncommon to encounter them in larger cities.
There are no "evil" races. Dark Elves are greedy and dangerous as a rule, but easy to avoid and it is not uncommon to see individual Dark Elves who break the stereotype. Orcs as large groups are fairly chaotic and violent, but more in a random mayhem kind of way than a sadistic violence way. Individual Orcs are accepted and Orc Mages are some of the most powerful Mages in the world.
Magic is kind of like a mist that permeates the world. It is carried into this world by faeries from a parallel dimension.
Magic is a constant low level with semi random higher pockets. People know about magic, but it is fairly rare to see an actual Mage. Mages tend to keep to themselves out of the public light. Small low-powered enchanted items are common, but usually not personal items.
Due to the low level magic, wild animals are often mildly magical and herd leaders will be much more dangerous than in other circumstances.
True magical monsters are extremely dangerous and will be avoided by all but the most powerful of adventurers or a very well equipped squad.
The wild places outside of settlements are usually sparsely mapped, rarely entered, and very dangerous.
In the world of Fairy Storm, Magic exists in a parallel plane and occasionally leaks to our universe. Fairies inhabit the magical plane and when they cross over they bring bits of magic with them. No one knows exactly why Fairies cross between the worlds, but they seem to be attracted to beautiful or interesting things.
Fairy Storm is a fairly low Magic world. Magic is common, but not strong everywhere. Most people have seen a Mage casting spells but it is still rare enough that if a mage comes to town they will often draw a crowd to watch them perform. Most towns have one or two enchanted items and many houses will have a small "lantern" token. Merchants often have small or medium level magical items for somewhat reasonable prices.
This is because the Magic is tied to the Fairies and Fairies do not always find our plane interesting enough to come to (see Fairies). So while there is almost always a trickle of Magic around, Magic can not be counted on.
Enchanted Gems and Totems
Most Magic that people encounter takes the form of enchanted gems or intricately carved enchanted totems. The more powerful the spell, the bigger the gem or totem and the more intricate the carvings. Bigger gems with intricate carvings serve to attract the attention of Fairies and help the enchantment.
Often a town will have a central well inlaid with an ornate gem casting purify water. Or an elaborate gate that casts a ward off evil.
Since the power of an enchantment is related to the strength of the Magic and Magic is tied to the Fairies, great effort will be made to keep the enchanted item clean and beautiful. Often people will place flowers at their town's enchantments or surround their town's enchantments with gardens or other art.