Random Adventure Idea

I was at the gas station today when I saw a random object on the ground near the pump. Naturally I started thinking about gaming.

What if the party just randomly found an item on the ground while they were walking toward a completely different goal? What if it quickly became apparent that this item was valuable? What if amazing things started happening as soon as they took possession of the item, so much so that they might not even want to look for the owner, let alone give the item back when they found the owner?

Now, what if "random" encounters started happening to them? Groups appear out of (seemingly) nowhere, demanding the return of the item. More of one creature type than another always ends up showing up in the middle of night watch. Other seemingly unconnected events happen to the party.

The party can ignore these events (well, deal with them and ignore the larger consequences) and continue on their original quest easily enough...just with a few distractions here and there. Or they can start looking into the item and find out some of it's powers (some they may have experienced, some maybe not). They can possibly start finding connections between all the "random" events happening to them. They can find out that the item they happened upon is so very much more than a forgotten trinket by the side of the road.

What do you think? Also, is there already something like this out there? I don't care to re-invent the wheel.

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