A little advice on magic items reposted from the Runebearer website.
A legendary sword used to hunt enemy leaders.
A legendary sword that might save your life.
A legendary axe—once you are hit, there is no escape.
The PCs are walking along the road, when suddenly a bunch of bandits attacks. The player's dismiss it has just a random encounter, when they find an ornate ring on the leader, obviously out of place with the seemingly poor bandits, who could only afford cheap leather and weapons. This ring has a symbol on it, which, if researched, sets the PCs on a quest. And from then on, the players don't look at random encounters the same way...