Tales of Skytopia
The Earth lies beneath Skytopia, and is home to the less fortunate. It is technologically backwards, and the people there lead miserable lives compared to the Skytopians. Magic is scarce and primitive, and few of the wondrous inventions created in Skytopia are ever exported to those who dwell on the Earth. In part, this is for practical reasons – magic is stronger closer to Heaven, after all – but much of it is just plain elitism and selfishness. Skytopian leaders see little reason to share their wondrous machines with the Earth-dwellers, who have so very little to offer in return.
The Earth-dwellers live dangerous lives, for the surface of the Earth is also home to monsters. Strange beasts live in the forests and caves of the Earth, and to be lost in the wilderness means almost certain death. Ironically, this great threat to Earth-dwellers is also their greatest asset: Skytopian alchemists are often interested in the tusks or eyes or gall-bladders of strange beasts, and it is only when Earth-dwellers manage to slay such a monster that they have something of value to trade with the Skytopians.
While Skytopians live in a Renaissance era of wondrous magical machines, the Earth-dwellers live in the Dark Ages. They have no sanitation, no machines, and simple crude tools forged from iron and bronze. Magic is not completely dead on the Earth’s surface, however, and many of their hedge wizards and wise-women are surprisingly clever using what little resources they have. Additionally, occasionally an Earth-dweller is born with unusually potent magical powers. In the past, such a lucky individual was often invited to Skytopia along with his friends and family. Today, he is more likely to be kidnapped and press-ganged into an army, should the airborne sorcerers learn of his existence.