On the road you meet… a fiery fire dragon!
The mighty Xeatoxx is not some random encounter without purpose. He, though he is the last to admit, has a serious problem.
While camping after a long flight, his little boy discovered a hole and was dragged inside by some spider-creature. Brave as his Daddy is, he scorched that thing with his fire (and sure was Daddy glad to see that!). But now he cannot climb from the hole - it is digged in earth, and the tunnel upwards is too tight to fly through. The mighty dragon is not the smartest one and is afraid of injuring his only baby.
... time for some silly twolegged humanoids to appear!
The heroes should not be powerful enough to easily defeat such an enemy, but that is rarely a problem.
Xeatoxx will most probably scare them (being an old dragon tradition :-) and has quite a problem with telling that HE needs help. Once this is clear, the humanoids will help him (kindly asking is not an option) and are left to their own devices to free the little dragon.
Father will oversee the operation and help if needed or poke them a bit if nothing seems to be going on. He is not inherently evil , but having a little fun is OK.
The reward may be some treasure in the creature’s lair and such an unsure and unstable thing like ... the favour of a dragon .