A small group of cannibals has started roaming farther out from their remote home and have come into contact with some farms.
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.
As a mage walks through the forest a sprite appears on a branch in front him (or her). The mage will be the only one that will be able to see the sprite. The sprite demands that the mage release him from the forest.
On the outskirts of a poor looking village is a large mausoleum that is well kept and richly deserted. It has a marble walkway and bricked windows with beautiful ironwork adorning it. For grave robbers the look of the outside tells of untold riches on the inside.
In a village the characters hear rumors of a man that recently came through screaming of demon attacks and murderous insects.
A large explosion was heard 4 days ago coming from the foot of the nearby mountains. Ever since then no trade wagons have come through as they usually did.
Orcish currency is derived from glass beads. The art of glassworking is well beyond them, but perhaps the orcs have something of value to the civilized races, such as animal pelts, and well made axes, and bows. The humans trade beads for the goods, and the orcs will trade the beads amongst themselves as a form of their own currency. Perhaps they value blood red beads above all others, or animistic orcs favor beads in the colors of their gods.
Inspired by Indian trade beads, some of which could be quite ornate and beautiful. Most North American Indian beads were made in Italy. Surprise!