This mountain chain was once vast and impenetrable, but had the misfortune to named in the binding spell of a mighty demonic(godly?) being, namely that when the Great Mountains are forgotten, then shall it be free.
On the road you meet… a fiery fire dragon! The mighty Xeatoxx is not some random encounter without purpose. He, though he is the last to admit, has a serious problem.
The heroes find a small crypt somewhere and being brave adventurers they want to check it for evil forces (=graverobbing). Or for any other reason.
Gnomes are famous for their festive springtime celebrations. Farm villages will often dye their hens eggs bright colors; with gnomish magic, the chicks that hatch from the eggs have the very same colors. The chickens eventually lose their hues, but the stronger the magic, the longer the color stays. In a gnomish village, one can easily spot the village shaman by his flock of gaily colored fowl.