Ghostly flaming apparition of a blade, slayer of spectres and all that is ethereal, wielded by its durable hilt inlaid in gold, silver, ivory and white pearls. It can turn the tide when fighting the intangible.
A plague has hit the local area.
In humans it affects only the most vulnerable, the children and the very old, and even than it's little more than a summer cold. 24 hours of sniffles and then it's gone, barely noticeable really.
To sheep however it is fatal and the whole economy of the area is in serious trouble. If this keeps up the area could well be facing famine.
Somebody (enter the PCs) must find the rare herbs needed to make a cure.