The world is a rich and fascinating place. The arts are hugely popular, plays tend to be the most popular form of entertainment even among the common people and lower classes. Craftsman practice their craft to an increadible degree, and many jeweled wonders can be found worldwide. Lastly, people travel freely through from any point in the world to any other.
Or at least thats what the stories passed down from mother to child say the world used to be like, back when the moon was whole. All anyone knows now is that a few people have money, and most do not. Those with that money still spend it on the arts, and the crafts of the past, but usually on trying to wrest money, power and influence from one another. Those who do not have money, the majority, simply are. They do what they can to get by, either as indentured servents or as thieves stealing what they can from the rich. It is not uncommon to find a single wealthy family in control of an entire town, or region.
In case you didn't notice up there, the moon has split. Cracked down the center by some unknown force in ages past, the moon is now two large fragments and thousands of smaller ones forming a sort of half ring around the planet. Any of a thousand ledgends attempt to explain what happened, and its cracking explains any of a thousand more.
Where Adventurer's Fit In
Those rich families need to look powerful and impressive. This has led to a new class of wandering mercenary called the "Adventurer". An adventurer makes their living in one of two ways. The main way is as a simple bodygaurd. Afterall, when Rich family #1 attends a ball at Really Rich Family A's estate, they don't want to go ungaurded. There is a very real chance of being robbed, held hostage or simply killed. Having an impressive and exotic troup of bodygaurds attend you is a sure way to prevent that. The second way adventurers, can make a living is by scavanging. Scavanging is essentially what it sounds like. See, way back in the day when everyone had money and magic item creation was not cost prohibitive, people used to build elaborate mausoleum or tombs filled with magical treasures. Unfortunatly for the most money hungry nobility, those treasures are typically gaurded by horrible beasts or equally powerful traps. Here is where the adventurers step in. When a tomb is found by a rich lord, he puts a call out for adventurers. Those adventurers are told where the tomb is, and asked to bring back the magical treasures. Common forms of payment are usually "You can keep most of the loot" "Ill let you abuse the local population, and steal from them even though I normally protect them", or other methods worked out privately.
Oh thats right, there is one last method for adventurers to make a living. See, sometimes when these adventurers find the treasures of a tomb, they decide "I'm not bringing any of this back to count whatshisface. Lets run into the hills". Usually, a local lord employs his most powerful adventurers solely as insurance against that. These adventurers are rarely called upon to do anything, and are mostly a threat or deterrant, but their job is essentially to "Find" those missing adventurers and return with the lost loot. Usually they are allowed to keep the loot, and even occasionally paid as well.
House Rules Used
Will play the role of a fairly successful adventuring group in the employ of the Lord of Alcimiter, a middle rank nobility. They are his most fearsome adventurers, but he still occasionally sends them on Scavange quests. The Lord of Alcimiter tends to be fairly generous, and doesn't ride his townspeople as much as the others, and as a result he has found they tend to steal from him less than other lords.