An African tribe called the Ik throws their children out of their homes once they turn 3. They are left to fend for themselves with no help from their parents at all, and to survive, form groups with others their age. These groups only last a few years, and every so often the individual will join a completely different group.
There is a land far to the east that is a great, desolate, near-empty wasteland home only to barbarians, ghosts and monsters. Many nations launche expeditions to this land, seeking to find the rumored-at treasures and riches beyond it's outer fringe.