"Uncle Humblestaff?" the young hero responded. "Of course I know the man. Wouldn't have had a chance at the academy without a word from him. He's the big guy over there, surrounded by all those adventurers."
The only remnant of the Shattering, Lydecker Cain found himself the solitary survivor of a universe that was no more than shards of glass.
"Have you ever felt like there’s a world just beyond ours? Some sort of strange dimension, a light dancing just beyond our fingertips? Well, I’ve touched that ‘sacred’ world, and I know its true face."
History is full of interesting and exotic people who can help to populate your world. They can help illuminate the range of what people think is possible for your world (or you can consider them PCs run by players not in your game).
Weapons or equipment that is heavily relied on can be "named". Then the equipment begins to gain abilities beyond those of normal equipment. They might siphon off some of the experiances of their owners (1 to 5%) and level up on thier own. Could be an unintenitional way of creating artifacts. Ships could become sturdier or seem to just barely outrun the worse of a storm that would have surely sunk another vessle, swords could fumble less or resist dulling more, a farmers plow could turn stones aside easier. Anything that is depended on as much as an inividual can depend on as much as another individual could be "named".