The Barren Advance
The Barren Advance is an ecological disaster / phenomena in the eastern part of Hanaa. The desert around the mountain range The Eye of the World has been spreading outwards to the west in recent decades, turning previously lush natural fields into a barren dust bowl.
While the spread has been recorded to have been going on over centuries, in recent times it seems to have accelerated. In the last 50 years, the desert has expanded more than in the entire history since its genesis.
Scholars and mages have long since attempted to understand the cause for this change in ecology, but so far have failed to produce any strong theory on the frightening occurrence.
Many smaller and some larger settlements have over time been abandoned due to the progression of the desert expanse, especially the settlements that were not raised in the desert to begin with. Towns like Tearnsby and Lora's Garden have been completely abandoned in the wake the destruction of their farmland, while Arkala continues its existence as the population is better fit to deal with the hot and dry climate.
The refugees have spread out across Hanaa, causing overflowing emergency refugee camps to be erected near most major cities. Many regular inhabitants of these cities despise the refugees and treat them with disdain, and settlements located more deeply in the west fear the waves of refugees will only increase.