When one first hears Sahara they picture sand, the desert and an isolated environment. As I have to make the lair of an emperor, there must be an empire for him to rule so I would have to still keep the feel of isolation from the rest of civilization but while doing this create a sense of regular use of this which can be done by making the lair look like its furnished but still 'lived in'
Although it may be too early I'm already thinking about the type of people who would potentially inhabit this lair and the space surrounding it. The reason for this is mainly because the appearance of the people or their lifestyle which i may convey in this scene is a reflection of the time period and explains a lot more about the hero.
As my hero is an Emperor he is expected to be a highly respected hierarchical figure which therefore must be reflected in his lair through wealth and luxury. Until I am sure of the time period my hero and his lair will be based in I will be looking at all sorts of palaces and thrones to take out all the elements that I feel represent high class and power the best