Formed entirely of shadowstuff, Ranunculus passes through matter and living things. While objects are unaffected by its passing, living creatures, when struck, are stunned and descend instantly into madness, effectively removing them from any battle. Upon spoken command, Ranunculus will instantly return to its owner’s hand.
The local band of 'nasties' (goblins / orcs / whatever) lives in relative peace with the local population.
Along come the PCs and go through their usual heroic monster bashing routine, wiping out the nasties and pinching all their stuff, then continue on their way.
Problem is, they don't kill ALL he nasties. The survivors want revenge and, after spending a few months recovering, start to take it in their own inimitable style (which is not unlike that of the PCs come to think of it).
Next time the PCs are in the area they find themselves VERY unpopular with the townsfolk.