Many, perhaps most fantasy lands are monarchies, which can be ruled well when the monarch is a clever and able man or woman devoted to his or her people. But what happens when the monarch is ill, or is tyrannically cruel, or a young child, or is otherwise blatantly unfit to rule? How can he or she be dealt with without risking civil war as powerful nobles fight for the crown?
One of the current political paradigms of the Cosmic Era.
The plague of the Petroleum Era, the true bane of organized government
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...