These are some of my favorite quotes/fictional places re-purposed to serve as plot hooks.
The king has choked to death on a concubine. It turns out to be a misunderstanding, and was actually a cucumber. The messenger wasn't great with language skills.
The players find a knitted sampler, the edges decorated with birds and flowers in the wilderness. It has the motto "Eat cold steel, pig dogs!" on it, and is surrounded by the corpses of several bandits, variously strangled with pink yarn, or stabbed with knitting needles.
A magical construct has insufficient dates due a war in ______. A new supply must be procured.
An institute of magical learning has vanished from sight, but can still be bumped into. In addition, about 30% of all conversations will be lost due to the chiming of a clock which makes silence instead of noise.
More may or may not be forthcoming.
Edit: The party requires a virgin sacrifice for some reason. If the Paladin has not taken vows of chastity, re-roll.