The old world is gone...it has been for some time now, as long as anyone can remember, only ruins of once prosperous cities exist in the wasteland between the expansive walled fortresses, called Compounds. The compounds are the domain of the Empire, the last civilized remnants of humankind, if you can still call them civilized. The Empire rules the compounds with an iron fist, the Imperial Guards are the enforcers of the laws of the Emperor. Those in the compounds are thankful for the protection of the Imperium, as the alternative is a life of savagery and hiding among the ruins of the past. These blessed inhabitants of the compounds are called Citizens, which pay a tithe for this protection.
The Wasteland is basically everything else and is patrolled by the Horrors, Horror-Touched or their Hellions, a race of mutants/demons that has brought the civilized world to the brink of extinction. Their minions are the various sub-human species including Goblins, Orcs, Ogres, and many others. These creatures roam the wastes in large numbers, gathering those they find, and depositing them in the Slave Pits, Mutilation Dens or simply devouring for food.
The guild know as the Lantern Lighters usher caravans from compound to compound or settlement to settlement, offering a roaming beacon of imperial protection in the Wasteland from the Horrors. Those that have been abandoned by the Imperium, due to impurity or contamination, or have simply choose the harsh freedom in the ruins of the Wasteland are called "Ghosts".
There is also said to exist an order of champions, that are called many different names by the ghosts of the wasteland, some of these names include "The Order", "The Blessed" or "The Chosen", but they refer to themselves as a Seeker of Light. These beings rumored to roam the wasteland battling the Hellions and Demons, and are seen as the guardian's of the Ghost's.
Between the Imperium and the Order, the Hellions and the Ghosts are the Wanderers, you are a member of the Wanders Guild, you have license to both roam the wasteland most often serving the Merchant Houses and are to enter the compounds (with restrictions) when in the service of one of these Houses. You like most wanderers have been attempting to achieve the status of "Free Wanderer", and be allowed to join an Adventuring Guild, or form your own Adventuring Company. Free Wanderer status can only be granted by the a Lord of a Compound or by a Merchant House Baron.