A world very anagalous to earth time period technologically similar to earth's 1870s-1900s, but with out any super powers, advancement of military technology has been slightly slower. Steam engines, trains, hot balloons, etc. While steam ships, including ironclads, and purpose built steel ships are now the military norm, sailing ships of wood and cloth are still common both civilian use and military use.
Nation states exist, even as colonial nations, but the colonies are small and none of the nations can exert enough military or economic pressure to wear the title of super power. As a result of this some warlords and pirate bands exist scattered throughout. While not strong enough to take on any nation head to head, the effort in manpower and materials and the associated risks in attempting to stamp them out are too great for any single nation, as it may weaken them and leave them vulnerable to attack from another nation.