From a low hillock in a vast plain, the entrance to the Noil Ruins is as unobtrusive as it is a gateway to wonder…
The Pelezians, or “clay people” were strongly bound to the earth. In fertile plains and valleys they lived their happy existence, peaceful, yet ever on their guard. Many nomadic attackers they defeated, until a different enemy came; their advanced technology and weapons (and magic) were beyond the skills of defenders. One-by-one their settlements fell, until the clay people were not more.
To the greedy students of the past, their heritage is but not forgotten.
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.