A small tavern sat at the center of the Mors desert. This was not as odd as one might suppose, for the center of the desert was known as "The Oasis." and was really a lake, connecting the Mors and Ianua rivers. The tavern, which shared its name with the lake, was a stopping place for those who had traveled along the rivers that ran through the northern part of the Mors Desert and wished to continue south, as well as those going in the opposite direction.
A small bearded man introduced himself to the tavern keeper. "'Ello," he said, "I am Dyron Micoml, a traveling merchant. I have a load of goods with me to get to Fortior. I hear the place has grown in the recent years, and there should be good business for me. So where-"
The owner of The Oasis interrupted. "You're looking for the desert guide, right? Right over there." He gestured to a hooded figure in the corner and went back to wiping mugs clean. The merchant looked a bit uneasy as he headed toward the desert guide, but he never made it. A tall, well-dressed man grabbed Dyron by the arm and introduced himself as
"Saal Zerrot, captain of the Windsteed. You don't want to travel through the desert. It's a rough trail, and you certianly wouldn't want to trust your life to-" he lowered his voice, "a blasphemer." The little man's eyes widened as Saal continued. "I can guide you down the river and over the ocean all the way to Basi, which is often a better market than Fortior, as well as having a safer path to Fortior than you could find through the desert." Dyron seemed obliged, and the two left together.
In the corner, the desert guide glared from under a well-worn hood. The merchant was a fool. Saal's travel would cost him three times what the desert guide charged, the trip to Basi would likely take twice as long, and it was well-known that the ocean was no safer than the desert. The desert guide tapped the side of an empty mug and called out for a refill.
"Right away, ma'am," the tavern keeper called back.