In the heart of the dry, rocky Quoya Desert is a large valley, a depression that sits below sea level. This area is known as the Merket Depression or Merket Oasis. The depression is not green and lush, but most of the dry streams of the region drain into it during the brief rains. The water stays underneath the surface, making the area richer in plant growth than the surrounding desert.
Furthermore, at places like Kwachow, the rainwater is carefully stored in underground cisterns and used to irrigate fields. The depression is known throughout Shou Lung for its fine melons and vineyards. The grapes are dried into choice raisins or are made into a sweet wine popular at banquet tables. Some of the wine is sold to the nomads, but they do not have a strong desire for the drink.
Because the depression produces some items of value, the area is under the watchful eye of Shou Lung. Being outside the limits of The Dragonwall has not prevented the Shou from posting an administrator and garrison at Kwachow. These guards are mostly concerned with collecting taxes and punishing the occasional bandit. In the face of serious threat from the nomads, they are likely to retreat behind the Dragonwall.