The entire city is in an uproar. Two factions proudly identify themselves to each other by wearing red or white scarves or handkerchiefs on their bodies in plain site, or hanging them from their place of business identifying themselves and their belief. Apparently a very respected high priest of the local religion has recently disappeared and so has the entire church coffers leaving it penniless. A city divided on the possible guilt of the missing.
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 long forgotten and abandoned mine has been recently rediscovered by a local village.
Magic should have side effects, both expected and unexpected - fortuitous and deplorable. Expected side effects add anticipation, while unexpected ones increase the drama of the scene. The result can be comedic or dire, it dpends on which circumstances work best for your game.