Content of the article: "An underused monster with great story potential"
Deep in the swamps dwell the lizardfolk. They are a peaceful people hunting and fishing by day spending time with one another by night, led in rituals by their shaman. Then an egg hatches but this hatchling is different. They are larger and have an evil glint in their eyes, they have been touched by darkness. The lizardfolk are pragmatic but not cruel, so they allow the hatchling to live. The child grows rapidly and quickly becomes a great hunter, reveling every kill. This gains them admiration and followers. Then they cast out or kill the shaman and take control of the tribe. They purge any who refuse to accept their totalitarian rule and even begin to raid nearby settlements may they lizardfolk, Dragonborn, dwarf, elf, or even human. As their influence grows it infects the tribe many tribe members growing in size and strength.
The party hearing of this goes to kill the Lizard King/Queen. Perhapses they told by refugees who left the tribe to escape the iron fist tribe the new leader, maybe it's even the shaman.
The tribe is large and has smaller settlements that would provide a nice foothold if taken, and the lieutenants there defeated. They learn that a Lizard King/Queen is made when the land is tainted by evil. The party then has to repel attempts by the evil lizardfolk to retake the settlements that the party liberates. Eventually, they fight the Lizard King/Queen who is a dangerous opponent (just look at their skewer ability). The party prevails however but their victory is soured by the knowledge that something made a lizardfolk who would have been ordinary this way. Then they must uncover what it was. Perhaps there is an ancient dark artifact hiding in the swamps, or something sinister has awoken, maybe even an evil dragon has awoken from hibernation recently. Whatever it is was powerful enough to taint the world.
Ok, so you get a nice easy story that gives you something more unique than goblins or Kobolds to fight. You get potential allies and enemies among the people who were raided by lizardfolk and the liberated lizardfolk. Maybe some people bear a grudge afterwards (let's make it easy it's a farmer whose family was killed by evil lizardfolk) and starts killing the lizardfolk and now the party has to defuse tensions while being faced with a moral dilemma and whatever made the King/Queen is still looming over their heads.
I would buff the king/queen depending on what level your party is. Honestly give them an AoE like an acid spray, a third attack, some more hit points, and up it's AC a bit. It could even take on a 5th level party by then. Also always have the skewer damage go through but remember that the temporary hit points won't stack (it may already be this way and I'm just misinterpreting the rules). The book monsters of the guild (Link: https://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/234150) has a lizardfolk hulk stat block that I liked for some alternate enemies, I believe older editions have this as well, the monster a day compendium (Link: https://amp.reddit.com/r/monsteraday/comments/6z9cl1/monster_a_day_compendium_v2_all_stonestrix/) also has a fun lizardfolk monk stat block, and I'm sure that there are dozens if not hundreds of cool stat blocks that would fit.
So obviously feel free to steal this, edit it, warp it whatever. Throw in some fun random encounters (Will O' the Wisp are extremely powerful and are great for showing your party that this place is dangerous. If you wondering how their dangerous they can fly into someone do 1d10 damage and stay invisible. They also lead people to really big monsters or traps like quicksand and will strike at night when one character is on watch, great encounter). This is why the MM is the best book, any paragraph of text can be turned into an entire questline, so be sure to have fun with that.
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