If a creature is transformed into another creature (say, a human into a dog), then that creature will become more and more accustomed to the new form until a point is reached where reversing the spell is impossible. A second transformation is possible, but the creature will have to go through the whole process again.
An ancient, psuedo-immortal race has been manipulating something important (politics, religion, economics, etc.) for centuries. Hardly anyone is aware of them, let alone their goals.
In the harbour of a major city a large and terrifying ship made of human nails docks. Nobody seems to inhabit this ominous vessel, someone needs to go on board and unveil the mystery. In comes the PCs.