Rivers are said to be the centre of life and civilisation. So, in my world, there are plenty of rivers and lakes, and there are cities/towns all along those waterways. Also, there are port cities by the sea. There are populations in the forests, and in the mountains as well, and they all have their own water sources.
Now, in my world there is also a rather large desert, making up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the kingdom, and in this desert, there are tribes of 'outcasts' or even what I'm calling the 'desert-people'. They can survive in the desert like the native tribes can survive in the deserts of Africa on Earth. Even without rivers, and being far away from the sea, they have their methods of tapping water, which is a closely-guarded secret. (Also, there will be something like a special school in the desert, for training in harsh environments, not sure if this helps).
It's tradition for the king or, in this case, queen of the kingdom to travel the entire kingdom, visiting most major towns and generally taking stock of any problems in the kingdom (in this case, the king has been dead for some time, and the reigning queen is a good queen). This 'tour' of the kingdom would have to include the desert-people. So the queen and all her train would need to travel through the desert to get to the towns.
To put it into better context:
- There are 13 powerful magic-users with her: her Council of advisors and protectors but they cannot control the weather and make it rain, nor can they just conjure water out of nowhere
- In her train, there are a couple of personal servants like her handmaids. And there are also 36 men in the royal guard, plus the horses, and the horses' handlers.
- Her son, the crown prince is with her. He can use magic, but has been trained more as a warrior. She's teaching him to be a better diplomat, and to be a more responsible heir to the throne.
- There is one other magic user, who is one of her two personal bodyguards. He's not as strong as the 13 Council members, but he can do things they cannot. Think of it like the difference between someone who has been training for basketball for 10 years, and someone who has been training for basketball, badminton and soccer for only 5 years. He still faces the same limitations as the Council.
So how would this royal entourage of just over 50 people carry out their purpose in the desert?
- There is the problem of water, and it may be difficult to carry gallons of water with them. But I might just get the spellcasters to drag up any underground water as they go along, so not so bad.
- The main problem is security. The desert is not flat, and with all the sand, it would be easy to hide assassins (by the way, an assassin recently attempted to kill the queen) and the outcasts, who may also try to cause mischief. How would security be taken care of in the desert? Also, if someone let's say kidnapped the queen/prince (not confirmed yet), is there any way to track kidnappers in the desert? Or how do you escape an ambush in the desert?