The road is a dangerous place
This encounter takes place during the day as the party is traveling on the road in a wooded or hilly terrain. As the party is nearing a bend in the road a half crazed mule pulling a wagon storms into view. The driver is slumped over in the bench reigns still in hand. The wagon tips sideways threatening to topple over as its pulled at break neck speed sending the driver hurtling into the woods.
Almost as soon as this encounter begins it is over. The mule can be stopped if a skilled animal handler can get close enough to calm to beast or the players can just let mule run itself out. This will take a considerably longer then taking control of the animal. When the driver is approached they learn that he is dead but from an arrow shot not the fall from his wagon. The wound is fresh and the shot was perfect; sadly there is no saving the cart driver.
On examination of the wagon there is a wide assortment of goods and sundries on hand. Rugs, Crates filled with pottery and a any number of other items any merchant would pedal from village to village.
The whole event leaves the players with questions.
Who shot this man and where did he go ? He must be nearby the wound is fresh. If it was a bandit attack why did the bandits not attack the party? What was the attacker after ?
This encounter should leave any morally good party with many choices to make before they are able to move on. And if they take the cart and the body with them maybe an entire adventure can be spawned from just this encounter.