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.
The accepted mode of getting otherwise unobtainable information is to go visit the cranky old hermit living in the mountains. It's just the sensible thing to do. So, naturally, everyone takes their monthly excursion to the hermit's hovel to consult him on everything, from lock-jaw to lovesickness, necromancers to nasal viruses.
Now, if everyone's always visiting the poor old hermit, there's going to be an enormous queue... "Wellcome to the Hermitt's Hovele, Please Take Ye a Number and Have Ye a Seate" reads the sign outside the packed dwelling.
Imagine the poor hermit, having retreated into the mountains to escape this precise situation...