An ordinary seek-the-artifact scenario gives a valuable lesson why you should always check your employer.
A century ago a power hungry noble sacrificed all the first born children of a nearby town in hopes of gaining the Dark Lord’s favor. The plan failed and his plea for power was ignored. The townspeople trapped him in his tower and destroyed it allowing it to topple down onto him. His last words spoke of his will to return and enslave the town. Now the towers has been seen standing, but what it means is anybodies guess.
This adventure is based around a witchcraft trial. The (innocent) witches have to adventure around trying to collect evidence and witnesses to prove their innocence, which is surprisingly difficult when people slam their doors and window-shutters out of suspicion whenever you hove into view. The prosecutors have to get witnesses who can testify to having seen the witches at their satanic practices.
What happens if you actually get what you have been looking for, all the time ?
The king is having a new wine celler dug when they find a ancient opening to a hidden dungeon.
Nearby the village is a large lake said by the villagers to contain a water god. They tell the party that if they want good luck on their journey they should hire a boat and go to the center of the lake and give a donation to the god.
A man is arrested for mass murder and found to be insane. Piles of corpses were found on his property, neatly stacked torsos with the skin peeled off and the limbs removed. The man readily admits the work is his, though he claims he was only chopping down trees, removing their branches, debarking them, and then stacking them to season.
The man may have swung the axe but it was a Druid who caused the delusion. This Druid is still on the loose and likely to repeat the crime. In time he may get more creative in his "punishments."