The king is having a new wine celler dug when they find a ancient opening to a hidden dungeon.
The entire city is in an uproar. Two factions proudly identify themselves to each other by wearing red or white scarves or handkerchiefs on their bodies in plain site, or hanging them from their place of business identifying themselves and their belief. Apparently a very respected high priest of the local religion has recently disappeared and so has the entire church coffers leaving it penniless. A city divided on the possible guilt of the missing.
Nearby the village is a large lake said by the villagers to contain a water god. They tell the party that if they want good luck on their journey they should hire a boat and go to the center of the lake and give a donation to the god.
A long forgotten and abandoned mine has been recently rediscovered by a local village.
A common mistake when writing adventures set in deserts is to assume that the climate is too ferociously hot to wear armor. Historically, most battles in deserts involved troops dressed in protective armor. Although they would have been miserable during the hottest part of the day or the hottest part of the year, desert weather isn't intolerably hot 24/7.