Giving NPCs memories can go a long way to making a more realistic and enjoyable game world.
This is not a submission about creating NPCs, this is about presenting them. Not everyone walks around with a different accent, strange tic, or catchphrase, our memories are what make us different.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.