The world is similar to that in Prince of Thorns: namely, so far in the future that civilization has essentially reset, and is back to a medieval level of technology and culture. However, there are still rare pieces of modern civilization scattered around. A type of trade has emerged where Artifact Hunters travel the world, finding leftover artifacts and selling them. What I want to know is, What characteristics will define items as valuable, useful or desirable?
- No electricity or technology works: Anything electrical is too delicate to still be in working order, and any powers sources have long since vanished/stopped working.
- Use should be different than modern usage: Anything that works the exact same today as it would in a medeival setting would already be available, created etc. A modern knife might be sharper, but it's still just a knife.
- Doesn't have to be practical: While use is a key part, the ultimate criteria is if something is sell-able, and at a high price.
- Society has forgotten modern times: People know of the artifacts lying around, but any memory of modern/post-modern times is basically myth, and no scientific or cultural knowledge has been passed down.
Humanity reached a peak of technology at a few hundred years from our current time. Not far enough that there was anything super revolutionary, but more people, bigger bombs, better weapons etc. Some cataclismic event, human triggered, happened. Involved widespread destruction, think nuclear war but not necessarily radiation poisoning. The few, <.01% survivors were people already somewhat isolated from society. Cities and towns are gone, blown up, but anything more than 100 miles from nearest town survived. Fast-forward a few thousand years