Mars was successfully terraformed hundreds of years ago.
The year is 2855. The terraformed planet mars is home to the Amisher Lords, an anti-technology coalition that formed after the terminator war. They acquired the planet after a terraforming by-product made technology unusable on Mars.
Mars has been through some tough times over the years, and have maintained a warring culture since the first colonies were founded. Despite this, all 22 seats of power that were established over 400 years ago are still in power today, which is a testament to the effectiveness of the Gotham Guild than anything else.
Now, after nine years of global war for the second time against an elemental invasion, Mars is just starting to recover from the Second Elemental War. This conflict raised the sea level dozens of miles inland, forever changing the environment along the coast in ways that are still being assessed. It also resulted in thousands of miles of scorched earth left behind by fire elemental armies. To top it all off, with most of the planet's forces focused on the elemental threat, local monstrosities and destructive forces that have been kept in check for countless years have had nearly a decade to expand and strengthen their positions, resulting in hundreds of towns being captured or destroyed, sometimes in secret, by all manner of hostiles.
This is where volunteer expedition forces become essential. Travelling even 10 miles in any direction outside a town is risky, and the remnants of the military worldwide is spread thin enough as it is. Which is why the Vagabond Guild is sponsoring thousands of young adults with the promise of a full college scholarship or an equivalent reward to anyone who spends a year in a vagabond squad, and proof of their accomplishments during that year.
You are one such member of a vagabond squad. Whether you did it for the scholarship, the money, to help people, or some hidden reason, you have dedicated the next year of your life toward helping the community. (At least on paper)