The lizard-men I have had rolling around in my head for a few years now are somewhat different then most I’ve seen in books. Though not to any great degree. The initial inspiration was from a character I made for a game that never happened, but the culture I thought up stuck with me and I have been letting it unfold and build in my head since.
Lizardfolk can be found in nearly any environment, but most stories speak of them as swamp dwellers. They have a tribal culture of hunter-gatherers with no static home. Just large areas of territory they move around in. This leads to most other races not considering them very civilised and treating them as mere savage monsters. Only the most knowledgeable scholars suspect that they have a society that extends so far into the past only the elves can match it. All passed on voice to voice down the ages.
The thing that make other races fear and hate them is their use of necromancy. The magic of the dead is considered a horrifying practice in the more settled nations, and mostly for good reason given how the power over death corrupts most mortal races. Lizardfolk explain this as a lack of distinction between two kinds of necromancy. Control of the body and manipulation of the soul. For the lizardfolk the soul belongs to each person, but the body belongs to the tribe. This is true during life as warriors and hunters devote themselves to the greater good of their tribe. But it also extends past death when the soul is no longer in the body. So the shamans of each tribe preside over the funeral rituals to make sure every dead body is preserved for the tribe’s future need.
They consider animating bodies into undead to be the same as using wood cut from a tree. A natural use of resources. The flip side is that manipulation or binding of a soul is the highest blasphemy there is and a tribe will go to any lengths to destroy a necromancer who dares to use those magics.
I’ve always pictured the lizardfolk as skull-adored creatures of stealth and ambush. Yet powerful enough to be dangerous in fair fights. With dozens of preserved bodies on call anywhere a shaman might need to animate them for protection. As well as a few dozen zombies and/or skeletons accompanying the shaman everywhere.