The Totem of Nehual is something of a Maltese Falcon. Many have spent long periods of their life searching for it, spending vast sums of money, and in the end never finding it, or only finding it long enough to lose it.
Could come across a band of refugees. Could have been thrown out of their town by a tyrant taking of their land, bought out by somebody unexpectedly, fleeing a battle they know is coming their way. Could be proof of what they are searching for, hints and tips of what is to come, or just to broaden the reality of the world.