The small jungle nation of Gkar’tell has never been very wealthy. Recently, King Tchovir VII launched many expeditions into the jungles and swamps to the south. The basis for these expeditions are the caravans of Lizardfolk gold and goods that roll out of the jungle to the city of Armegk each year. Tchovir VII, noting the amazing quality of the Lizardfolk gold, and hearing the exaggerated tales of entire Lizardfolk cities built of gold, dispatched many squadrons of soldier-explorers into the jungle under the lead of one Fengkar Chizap, the famous Gkar’tellian general. After several months of stumbling through the incredibly dangerous jungles, dying of malaria and suffering from dysentry, the expedition finally arrived at the ancient city of Itza in the middle of the jungle-swamps. The Lizardfolk greeted the humans with open arms, offering them food and medicines to treat their illnesses. After several weeks in the city, Fengkar Chizap ordered his men to repay the scaled ones’ kindness with treachery. Seizing the greatest pyramid in the city, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Gkar’tellians captured the Inti of the city, Old One, and demanded enough gold to fill the castle in the capitol of Gkar’tell. The Lizardfolk and humans have been in a stand-off for several weeks now while the reptile-men attempt to gather up the huge amount of gold that Fengkar has demanded. The humans have already used up the supplies in the pyramid, and are now relying on moss and plants scraped from the outside walls of the pyramid and whatever food that they can force Old One to summon with his magic. Every day, Fengkar Chizap comes closer to killing the Lizardfolk Inti, and even his own men know that he is dangerously unstable after months in the jungles.
Enter the heroes. There are a number of ways that the heroes may be brought into this:
-They are contacted by a Gkar’tellian explorer who has escaped the pyramid under Fengkar’s orders, seeking out a group of mercenaries as a secret weapon against the Lizardfolk, in case things take a turn for the worse. The explorer offers them a share of the gold in exchange for their help.
-They are contacted by a Lizardfolk emmissarie who has been sent to find some humans who can help them talk things out with the Gkar’tellians. The Lizardfolk offers them a small prize in addition to the gratitude of the entire community of Itza
-The heroes stumble into Itza while exploring the jungle