The proud dwarven Captain Dugfar stood atop his mighty machine of magic and stone looking down the mountain they had just emerged from; letting the wind whip his beard over his shoulder… "This is a proud day for the Dwarves!" He bellowed. "...and this is just the start!"
Deep within the bowels of the perilous labyrinth, the fearless heroes come upon a grand, ornate chest. Eager for more plunder to line their pockets with, they heave up the lid - to find nothing. A red herring? Maybe not.
A mid-sized sailing ship with an embedded Shard of the Storm.
A world reknown jester was no fool when his mis-applied one of his amusing spells to create a unique way to carry his loot.
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.