In the land of Aviontix there are ruins. A lot of ruins. There are many sand buried cities, king’s tombs (They were a very religious people, focused upon their leaving to the afterlife), and huge statuary. However, Aviontix was a kingdom so long ago, that everything has been looted. (Figure there has been a whole historical epoch or two since then) There might be a hidden tomb or something somewhere in the lands, but it is unlikely. This does not stop people from selling maps to them all the time.
A small, primitive village has yet to discover fire, which is a good thing because there are highly flammable (but not otherwise dangerous) gasses in the air. The heroes, blissful in their ignorance, don't know that and think it a wonderful idea to show the locals open flame.