In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.
This really comes from an ancient Chinese novel. Imagine during the PCs' travels, they come to a place where the gender roles are completely reversed. What adventures will the PCs encounter in such a place?
A sentiment weapon that is very impressionable in terms of what is right and wrong, akin to a child. Currently, being ownerless, it is not very powerful. However, once it has found an owner, it can provide significant boosts to the wielder in an area or areas the wielder most desire. What adventures will this sentiment weapon go through? How will it develop itself in terms of power and personality?
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.