I am Zian. I am here to relate this tale.
Here is the Citadel. Hewn from a mighty stone and held fast to the bedrock miles below it is cold where everywhere else is hot, dark when all else is eternally bright. Hundreds of miles of tunnels reach out in every direction and open into vast caverns containing an entire city. We live here and we die here and seldom venture forth upon the scorching sands or gaze at the blinding sun.
Out in the desert, under the unblinking sun, some live. Their bodies are dark, encrusted with the sands of a lifetime in the wilderness. They come to the Citadel to trade. Sometimes for stone, sometimes metal and sometimes words. They bring exotic gifts of food and objects they have found out in the desert. No-one trusts them. No-one can live without water. No-one can live without darkness. We fear them. We must always remain vigilant.
The sand is in everything. It falls from the sky, rises between your toes, in your eyes, your mouth, the water you drink, the food you eat. Out in the sands, there is only light and death. Some of our people fear the sands more than anything. The sand is everywhere. Everywhere but Here.