A tall lanky man with a distracted air, well versed in arcanotechnology, parapsychology, and a collector of molds, spores, and fungus.
A bloated corpse shows up downriver from a Taoist monastery. Brought to you by
the words bloat, corpse, redhead, Tao, monastery, murder, underwater treasure,
chains, Wuxia, and romance.
"She sails up'n'down the Tristis River. All them river folk see her an' give her a wide berth. Superstitious lot, them river folk. 'Course, we adventurers kill of monstrous superstitions of the rich type on a daily basis! Who're we ta judge? So's anyways, she is said to only appear when the moon is full and the werewolves howl. And though she's ne'er violent, you can always 'ear a moanin' sound. I got no idea what's aboard that ship, but whate'er it is, I want nothin' to do with it."
-Old Gerald, man in the pub
The empty shrines of a god so old, all but his name is forgotten.
A strange group of ghosts plague the grave yard, only seen under the light of the full moon and known to drive most men mad that hear their gibbering speech.
(A simple plug in side-quest with a twist, that is left a little generalized to fit in with any fantasy campaign with minimal prep work by a gm.)
Frozen to death by a penny pinching, cruel landlord, the Frozen Woman has found her vengeance against her killer, and now seeks to destroy those who might do unto others what was done unto her.
“Return to me,” she said, and as he died, he said: “I shall return”.
And though the years flew like sparrows from disturbed nest, he did return, year after year…
In the insanely complicated politics of the Underworld, the Ghostlords are the highest beings below the Death Gods. But First and Night-Crowned Wolf, Ghostlord of Blood and Fury, seeks to make himself the one and only Ghostlord, and grind the Underworld beneath his iron heel.
A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.