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.
"...the Ilthian mountains. A craggie masse of rock rysing from the Ilth'n plaines. The waters whych springe from it are ful of godeness and fortyfie those who drynk them [+1 STR]. Alas the vyle beasts resydent in these hills also bathe in these waters, and in the doing gain great strength. Foes mortallie wounded have bene known to flee, onlie to return, revytalised houres later..." - Chronicler Eamusil, Mondopedia, Vol XV (The Lands of Sylmen)