Magic is not technology. Wizards and clerics do not manufacture for simple convenience or crude commerce. They are almost always built somewhere for a very good reason, since they take a great deal of time and money for a highly skilled and uncommonly gifted spell caster to create.
Most magic items fall into one of two broad categories – gimmicks and adventuring magic. Gimmicks are uncommon, but not rare because they’re not hard to make and not very expensive. They amuse, delight, and entertain, and on occasion do something useful in a small way. Adventuring magic is by comparison rare, and it is useful for increasing one’s personal power and capabilities to deal with the sorts of problems adventurers often face.
Nearly all, no matter how humble or removed from the adventuring lifestyle, have seen minor magic gimmicks at some point in their lives. Fewer actually own such treasures, but it’s not unheard of for well-off merchants or low nobles to save their money for minor trinkets such as a pot that can make itself hot, or a broom that can sweep itself. Real magic – wands and rings, magic arms, and wondrous devices – is relegated to the wealthy, the powerful, and those adventurers who stumble across such items in the course of their journeys and battles.
Magic items come from one of four principal sources. The first is the distant past. Ruined cities, forgotten treasure vaults, the treasure of dragons, and similar dangerous places often hold powerful items lost, buried, or stolen long ago.
The second source is the powerful temples. Clerical hierarchies are wealthy, well organized, and inclined-to invest in producing magic devices to assist their chosen agents in their duties.
Independent wizards working for whatever mysterious purpose happens to move them are the third major source of magic items. Mercantile wizards (or wizards in the employ of merchants) create much of the gimmick-type magic for specific purposes or markets. Adventuring-type magic of this type is primarily created and strictly controlled by The Order. The Order takes special interest in the most powerful magic items and the few who rebuke their offers often find themselves without said item at some point in the near future, with no direct connection back to The Order. A common phrase often said is, “When The Order makes an offer, you accept”.
Finally, the last major source is the Dwarves. The Dwarves have always been magical artificers of great skill. In their deep halls, mercantile Dwarves ply their trade, and the Trading Companies sell their wares within the great Gnomish trade city of Gnomia.