The blackboard of the middle ages
A large steel shield in the form of a sea-shell attributed to Athena, the goddess of civilization, craft wisdom and war.
A Castle or better a fortified tower is floating over the country side and being attacked by goblins (or other monsters, depending on PC strength)
A man is taken in for a crime years ago. Any who ask or willing to listen, he tells a tale of how he ended up in such a position. So far fetched is the story that many believe it to be false. Perhaps the adventurer who came to town would like to listen to the man's tale?