Standing at the prow of the ship, Ashala rejoiced at the strong winds catching her midnight-black hair - flapping it like a pennant. The dark clouds ahead would have filled other seafarers with dread. Not Ashala. The dark clouds and wicked winds were an invitation, a challenge.
"Steady as she goes!" she shouted over her shoulder to the shipmaster, "To the Eye!"
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.