In a village the characters hear rumors of a man that recently came through screaming of demon attacks and murderous insects.
A shaman like man appears out of nowhere and asks if any of the PCs have ever heard of him.
A long forgotten and abandoned mine has been recently rediscovered by a local village.
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.
The size and number of knots in hair, tied around neck, or hanging from belt could signify family, importance, worship, guild affiliations. Being able to translate the meaning of the size and placement of knots can give you a a large understanding of who somebody is.
May be used in a more barbaric society. Where in cities peoples clothes and crests show who they are, barbarians have no need for this so use knots.