Most of the known world is covered in endless desert and clean water sources are few and far between. Scum and villainy have taken root in the remaining humans, and most of them have turned to crime. Entire settlements made up exclusively of outlaws, bandits and slavers are not uncommon, and friendly faces are a rare sight.
Technology and magic are governed by those in power, and poverty runs rampant.
Housing is made from scrap, and it is said the heat from the sun is able to kill a man in mere seconds if he sets foot outside the few safe communities that have established themselves in the past century.
Religions are usually centered around basic practicalities like water or other natural resources, such as The Cult of Aacqua-Yei, who believe the very concept of water to be a Godly presence, and consider it blasphemous not to savor every drop to its fullest.
It's truly a dog-eat-dog world, and only the strong; those prepared to kill, may survive.