Consider the idea of spontaneous genesis of life, as used to be belived. What strange kinds of life might arise from modern substances? What kind of vermin would a landfill produce, or an oil spill on the ocean?
Throw in a handful of random customs - like women or men of a certain level of society being required to wear a veil or a pendant of some type.
Magic is the lifeforce of all living creatures, and it is from it that all life is made - in areas with lots of undead, magic might actually be missing or weak, which puts a whole new spin on how dangerous the undead are. Even simple zombies can be troublesome if you're relying on mages and you hit a pocket of undead making a low-magic zone...
How about a dragon how cheerfully rules over a kingdom; his people all know him for what he is, and dragons are looked upon as wise and benevolent creatures. Dragonslayers from other kingdoms coming to free it from 'tyranny' are likely to get beaten to death by peasants with cast iron skillets.
A demon who isn't some hideous creature bent on consuming souls, bu is, in fact, a likable chap who enjoys having pleasant chats with people - trying to talk them into becoming his servants.
Someone needs the blood of a dragon, given willingly, to make a rare potion. Guess who gets hired to sweet-talk a dragon into giving up some highly powerful blood?
Faerie foods with unusual effects. Like faerie sausages that turn the eaters into wiener dogs, faerie wines that make the drinker whiny, etc. There's a table in Palladium Fantasy RPG which has a table of ideas.
The PCs are walking along the road, when suddenly a bunch of bandits attacks. The player's dismiss it has just a random encounter, when they find an ornate ring on the leader, obviously out of place with the seemingly poor bandits, who could only afford cheap leather and weapons. This ring has a symbol on it, which, if researched, sets the PCs on a quest. And from then on, the players don't look at random encounters the same way...