Someone has been raiding the coast. The PC’s are dispatched to help - but can they trust the local authorities?
The mentor of one or more (lawfully-inclined, socially ambitious) PCs is vulnerable because of a past action Ã¢â?¬â?? an action that was justifiable at the time. But opponents can now use changing circumstances or new information to discredit or destroy the mentor and damage the PC. The mentor is unwilling/unable either to respond or escape the consequences. The PCs can take action, but not in the open; ‘kill the monsters’ is not likely to solve the problem. Failing to act will doom the mentor and damage the PC; taking action may also doom the PC.
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.