Giving NPCs memories can go a long way to making a more realistic and enjoyable game world.
This is not a submission about creating NPCs, this is about presenting them. Not everyone walks around with a different accent, strange tic, or catchphrase, our memories are what make us different.
As they travel they notice a horrible rotten smell. As they travel it gets stronger and stronger forcing them to cover their noses and mouth less they choke on the horrible smell. Stream full of dead fish. Spawning trout die in mass quantities after they spawn littering areas with dead fish dying and deteriorating in the sun.