There are few places more treacherous than pools of quicksand save for a sea of quicksand. Those who tread here quickly find that the lust for adventure or coin might leave them with a sinking feeling of despair.
I dream of rain; I dream of gardens in the desert sand
--Sting, Desert Rose
The wastes are cruel, and beneath the desolation they hide many secrets.
The Ocadian Desert is a desolate place. The spirit of the land has been crushed, changing the region from a series of islands with evergreen forests and animals in a shallow sea, to one of the most inhospitable places on the Sphere.
Teenagers who run away from home to live in the wilderness may become feral. As they become more and more feral, they gain some supernatural powers (a la Peter Pan - ability to fly, things they imagine come true - possibly quite powerful), but at the expense of their humanity and ability to speak, comprehend complex subjects, etc. Maybe they have a leader: the most feral of them all.
A regression into a fantasy childlike state.