The PCs have been traveling for a long time down the same stretch or round with no sign of anything suspicious. As they cross over to the next hill they see a gigantic splater of blood with a bleached dragons scull in the center of it. It the dragon skull's mouth is a tattered backpack with something wiggling inside of it.
One of the standard peices of equipment for an adventurer is a sword. But swords were actually very complicated to manufacture. Therefore, an adventurer who owned a sword might have had it passed down through the generations or might have been rewarded by some influential figure. Or simply looted it from a tomb.